There is something to be said for escaping life (even if just for a day) and leaving the constant bombardment of reality for the surreal existence that comes into meditation somewhere after white. Whether it biologically changes someone is beyond me, but the romance in the heart beating slower crosses my mind persistently.
In line with the prior, my wife and I left to what could be God’s gift to the Earth, Kauai. No camera, no computer, no schedule. Each day only had the allotment of 1 hour for pre pro calls, and then the phone was retired.
What I discovered was that I miss a lot trying to take in everything. In an effort to get the most out of life I often neglected the source of my creativity, life itself. Color, light, ratio, texture, all of those technical aspects of photography will help you to take sterile images with a pleasant histogram. However, emotion is absent, the relationship with the subject is non-existent. Unfortunately this is not a part of this medium that can be taught, it can be had, but only by not trying to learn it.
Laying on the beach, mai tai in hand, I began to analyze where my mind placed the relationship of people in comparison to the grander scheme of life as its biological existence. Does the viewer of a photo read into the subject anymore or have they been numbed to critique it on the grounds of “it looks HDR?” Visualization of an end product only extends to palette, the expression is not predetermined, but realized on set. With the entry into the “photographer” profession being easier with cheaper digital I worry we will see a scientific analysis of imagery to determine its merit. The artistic equivalent to our existence being only relevant to the passing of genes and the every other interpersonal relationship being analyzed down to synapses firing off to send other endorphins as a hormonal stimulant. It’s an area void of emotion, compassion, empathy. In a way it’s the antithesis of everything that photography is.
In an interview for The Actor’s Studio, Dave Chappelle told how his father advised him to name his price (what he was willing to give up to be famous), and when it got to be too much, get out. When work affects your quality let yourself be rescued to a place of living. Your mind’s eye will see better when you haven’t lost your mind.