I have not spoken with many on this subject, though some of my closer friends have touched upon it with me on occasion. They do so in such a manner as to cause me to assume that most people, by and large, understand what “place” means, and how we ought to be when we visit one that is inhabited by another tribe, as it were. “Another” meaning simply a group of individuals who had not specifically invited us into a place of significant meaning to themselves.
The process is endemic to Photo Journalism as we venture forth, to see what there is to see. But really, the process of exploring a place, let alone sharing what may be there, not readily apparent to naked eye nor casual observer, begins with a willingness to listen. And I am not referring to aural imprint. Listening begins in the heart. That is where intentions form.
It really is a self educational process, that of translation of a sense of place.
This is what I like to do: go stand in a place, and experience what has been, is, and could be.
What I love doing is stepping into an area, (frequently I have found that it is best to be barefoot) slow myself down, and with inner eyes look to see what the place has to say. Every spot on this Earth has a song to sing. Each is different. And as we endeavor to connect to that, as Artists, if we know how to be, the land, the sea, the air, past, present, the future, they will share with us.
Our knee jerk reaction will always be to share that, as a vessel, or conduit, with the world. But in doing this it is good to recognize what may have been meant for our heart only. In that is a comprehension of the sacred. That word, sacred, meaning this: that which is set apart. Those who learn how to keep things sacred tend to be entrusted with more. It seems to be a simple universal law of sorts.
We all do well to move in reverence with some subjects. Because how we approach them, will determine what they will reveal. It is a very rewarding process, one that can enrich the heart and make for a smile of sorts. I always think of the Mona Lisa smile. It says a lot, while revealing little to the casual observer. I like that.
Below are a few images from a road trip last week with my wife, through Northern California. I did not really shoot much, though I did some stills, time lapse and motion capture. But I listened, rested, slowed down, disconnected from the digital chatter, and let the real seep back in.
This little video was crowd sourced for a project created by Nahko Bear and Medicine for the People. I love that Nahko gets all this, and it is why I share his music and message. We need that: medicine. Return to health. Cultural entropy being what it is. How we should be.
Images were all shot on the Canon 5DM2 and Canon 70D. Thanks for looking through the blog. Aloha oe.
You can click on any of the images for a larger view.