When I'm not spreading hate and discontent, I love to go out into the little bits and pieces of unspoiled creation that survives intact and try to capture just a hint of the glory that the Creator left for us.
This and your other thread has me thinking a lot about the work of Kenro Izu. I saw a show "Sacred Places" of his that was quite moving.
Truth BEHIND the Camera
This is an interesting thread. Especially when you consider how much every photograph reveals about the photographer behind the camera and not just the image in front of it. I think that whether any photographer is aware of it or not; whether he/she likes it or not; there is no way to avoid the fact that making a photograph is always a bit like being naked in public.
Mark, your original question seems to indicate that you think there is some way that a photographer can control what is revealed about himself in his photographs. I mean, if I have understood, a photograph that "documents" the inside of a church, in your view, does nothing to express one's actual faith. I would beg to differ.
While I can understand a desire to try to focus on, or perhaps emphasize more, the actual way that one feels about one's own faith, I am suggetsting that perhaps , in a way, it is a losing proposition. For example, if I take a series of pictures of my wife, no matter what else you might say about them, I would bet that you would get an idea of how I feel about her. Yet, if I set out to try to illustrate to you how I feel about my wife, I think the images would wind up looking contrived, cliche, boring. Not because I feel differently but because the spontineity and "honesty" of the first set of images was obstructed by the "agenda" of trying to inject some truth into the second set of images.
The truth is the truth, and it is revealed in every image you make. In the example above, you might point out that the second set of images would at least succeed at showing something about my feelings. My point is that they would be lousy photographs.
I think that if you make photographs about things that you know something about and that matter to you, and if you try to make the best photographs that you can, ... your faith and all of your virtues will be revealed.
I did not know that one could separate their "faith" from their manifestations.
The Abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery has an "eye" and has offered a few "faith" images. Early in his life he learned meditation from Minor While while taking up photography. "Art-practice" (sometimes, photography) is one of the learning forms used in The Eight Gates of Zen. As practice, trainees are required to be empty of themselves as they approach a poffered theme. It seems that the abandonment of "self" enables an intimacy, a celebration of one.
Yes this has been done in different ways by different photographers. The first one that comes to mind is the Amish work that George Tice made mostly in the '60s. Another photographer Laura Wilson (Avedon's former assistant) spent many years documenting the Hutterites of Montana and published a book by the same name. Other photographers have done books or portfolios of various cult type relegious groups like Baptist snake handlers and small southern black Baptist chruches and their members, though I can't recall their names now.
Originally Posted by mark
Chris Ranier has also done work with different cultures around the world whose subjects and environments usually have some religous associations.
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For a long time I have thought about doing a documentary on different faiths and their observances that one might see that in the end we really are not all that different from each other. I guess this would be my way of expressing my faith which is spiritual not religious. Now all I need is a good host.
I just kind of dawned on me but I don't think that most religions outside of Christianity and maybe Islam, consider their religion to be a "faith". Meaning "a hope, that I believe in".
I'm sure someone will correct me on that. Not sure.
I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.
these folks weren't exploring their faiths were they? I have seen tice's Amish work but he was not Amish. There are tons of outside looking in portfolios but I am looking for people on the inside doing it exploring their own faith.
Originally Posted by donbga
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI
So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004
Just to clarify things, are you euphemistically calling a religion a "faith"? It seems to me that a faith is an individual's experience or belief that may or may not exist within the confines of an organized religion. Whereas adherants of an organized religion may not have faith those who do not embrace an organized religion may have the greater actual faith. The two are separate and distinct in my perspective.
Originally Posted by mark
I am just trying to gain clarity on what it is that you want to do.
Just for the record, Merriam Webster defines "faith":
Originally Posted by Donald Miller
2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs
Can't speak for Islam, but Christians often use "faith" as a synonym for religion; i.e., "marrying within one's own faith".
All that being said, Donald asks a good question.