I've been thinking (hey no jokes!) about the current state of photography and how my views on photography are starting to evolve. Years ago my stance was quite defensive and one of keeping traditionalists into a cohesive unit. I still believe this is a good thing and we have basically proven that we are here to stay. We've established we are here to stay so now what? The implications of our coming together can go two different ways. 1) Isolationist 2) Participationist (new word alert?). The isolationist approach means we will change, closing ourselves off to the photography world. Why should we change? I am starting to shift towards a mindset that we should be participating in the larger world of photography in a highly visible and positive fashion. The amount of energy I've wasted feeling hostile towards emerging technologies is immense and ultimately a waste. I feel that we know what we love so lets embrace it and focus on that. Today I read some info about an inkjet paper claiming to be a replacement for silver gelatin, it claimed it was even better. In the past this would have made me cringe and feel extremely agitated.. but hey, if some folks want to use this paper why should I care? We have more important things to put our energy towards than this. These new products have arrived and are not going anywhere so it's up to us to focus on what we care about and share it with others rather than gripe, become negative and inclusive. This in no way means APUG is going digital, our mission statement stands in that regard, it just means I would like to see us as part of the photo world at large. Foto3 was my first step towards guiding us down a less isolated path. The conference will be a mix of all things imaging -traditional, digital, hybrid. Traditionalists are a part of this visual ecosystem and I'm excited that we can partake in such a diverse venture. Let's show the world we are not a closed community that some make us out to be. We are active, energized, producing phenomenal work (just see the gallery and portfolios) and we are having a heap of fun. I am also branching out with new websites that further integrate us to the global imaging arena. Photocentric.tv will contain videos from all areas of imaging. I am extremely excited that soon we will be able to let others SEE what traditionalists are doing, the magic behind it and why we enjoy it so much. Greatcapture.com will also be a site packed with variety and our presence will be noticed there as well. When I think about traditional photography becoming isolationist I fear that could be the end of us. Let's continue doing what we love, let's get our work out there and show people what we do and we will flourish. What do you think?