It is Mother’s Day.
Yesterday I wandered out to create an image that would be illustrative, which I could use as a thank you note through our Ocean Lovers venture site. That image is above. I thought about it prior to building it, and all through the process from design, to copy writing, finalizing, and publishing.
Sunset colors. White sage buds. The blossoms unified by the setting sun. An eternal message embedded within the symbology of the compositional elements. Earth, sky, eternity.
I had spoken to my friend and colleague West Cook earlier. He was at his post running the restaurant for a Casino here in Ventura. We had laughed about the dense fog and how he would be missing nothing. I had been wrong obviously. I even set about proving myself to be in error as I spent the two hours after our conversation creating a funny series of images, just by thinking about where to be, as conditions changed and what to say, via the camera. That image above was my final exam. I had been wrong. But in following the lead of Nature. something special was fostered. Mothered into existence, as it were.
I just finished perusing the first 12 people in the Follow the Light Grant competition. Which is a Photography grant created by colleagues, family and friends of my first editor and long time friend, Larry Moore, who succumbed to brain Cancer in Oct 2005 at the age of 57. (The same age I am today as I write this)
Celeste Moreaux had kindly included me in this year’s group of individuals who get to look at the entrants and their work.
With all the changes in publishing, technology and communication venues since Larry’s passing, some things will stay constant. First among those is the ability of the photographer to think, and in process actually have something worth saying. Of the first 12 , maybe 2 got that. Not bad really. 2 out of 12. But the thing is we need to understand that what we create ought to matter. We need to comprehend what this means: mattering. How to use your ability to touch a heart and draw people along.
So many of us get it wrong. We push. When really, the effective thing for an artist to be is a light source, and draw people along. The image beckons.
Cameras are tools for facilitation of the implementation of change and communication of emotion. It is a simple thing really. One just needs to learn to care about the right things. Then people get it, and they follow the light.
We as Photographers and Artists really need to understand what our function is, and most importantly who we are and where we are going. Otherwise we mistakenly believe it is us who people ought to follow. All we really are is a people skilled at holding a mirror. The reflection should never be our physical one in that frame. If we want to do work that matters the image skillfully will reflect our voice, our spirit and soul. Better make sure yours is maturing or it will embarrass you: the grand revelation of who you are within your work.
Larry understood that so well. The remembrance of some of our conversations makes me smile this fine Mothers Day.
Here are a few images from my desktop today.