The Fortnight on Friday

British Columbia Museum of Anthropology

First Nations carvings as found at the British Columbia Museum of Anthropology

Every week my email subscriptions and Feedly bring me articles that inform and enlighten. It would seem a pity not to share some of these gems, so I have decided rather than to just Facebook or Twitter them into the ether, I would share them here on my blog every fortnight. This first week, perhaps driven by the faint melancholia of  autumn, a few links to posts on The Big Picture…

♦ First articles by David DuChemin, one of the more thoughtful photographers that I follow, and one who always manages to put his message across clearly. For one who is relatively new to making photography a business, and doing so late in life, I regularly try to work in social media mode through blogs, Facebook and Twitter. I don’t find it easy. I am not a natural writer, and as a social butterfly my skills are dismal. While I enjoy blogging, I do often find the Google+, Facebook, and Twitter routines frustrating. Often images that I feel are worthwhile are ignored, and in other cases, ordinary images can receive a lot of attention. But it is the mere fact that I am expecting and looking for comments and ‘likes’ when posting through social media is actually becoming quite frustrating. Here is a viewpoint from this established photographer…

I wonder if listening to such a glut of voices doesn’t rob us of the space to listen to our own. I know I’m having a tough time finding a signal in all the noise. I’m distracted. I feel like my job has become more about “being a (well known) photographer” than making photographs. I love you all, and I care about you, but checking Facebook to see if you like my blog, my photograph, my clever little whatever, it’s exhausting and it’s killing my muse. It’s not about you. It’s about ego.

Read the complete articles at On Authenticity and On Authenticity Again for more of David’s thoughts.

♦ Another fine photographer and writer is Guy Tal. You can pick any of his posts and find it worthwhile, but on this first episode of The Fortnight on Friday I want to focus on just two. The first hails back to August and is entitled The Painful Part. Guy, temporarily limited in his mobility due to an injury, ponders life ephemeral and his bond with nature…

I like finding places where I can sit comfortably, away from the roads and trails, with a pleasant view or by a  stream or in the shelter of an alcove; out of sight, far enough that I can’t hear the buzzing of motors, and where no other human is likely to intrude. When I find such a spot, I stay there, sometimes for an hour or more. The longer I’m there, still and quiet, the more the essence of the place penetrates my awareness. Surface features reveal the forces that made them; plants and animals tell their stories of adaptation and overcoming the challenges of the place; weather and light and rock speak of the life journey of the Earth, itself – where it’s been and where it’s headed. It is a tapestry of stories, almost endless in variety and scope, yet each profound and meaningful … and temporary. And in this vast web of tales, I get to weave my own.

The second article broaches on something that many photographers have to deal with. When can I call myself an artist? Does it matter what other people think about what I do? Says Guy, in his post What Makes an Artist?:

Art changes and morphs with the times. It has for tens of thousands of years. Today’s definition is no more final than any that preceded it. More importantly, throughout history, it took courageous artists to buck the trends and powers of their day and redefine art as they saw fit. With regards to other people’s impression of artists, keep in mind that art is among the most subjective things we can create (or consume). Pandering to others’ opinions is the realm of politicians and salespeople, not artists.

All true, of course. Anyone can be an artist, and we hope that by pursuing you passion, you can survive as one as well.




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