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  1. #31

    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Multi Format
    Firstly Welcome Anyte, I'm sure your make many friends and have a wonderful learning experience here :-)

    Re-reading this thread and the additional postings since I last visited a thought (rare I know) occurred to me. When I use to run 10K and 10 mile road races for fun, no-one asked me if I was an athlete (not that I ran that fast); when I go fell walking no-one asks if I'm an explorer, etc. etc. So why the heck does everyone ask me if I'm a pro-photographer if I go out with a camera?

    One thing I forgot to add on my last post is that I would take photographs (and do) even when not getting paid for it. I agree that once we pick up that camera, we almost become a different person, full of confidence, talking to strangers and getting into locations that we probably would not dare without that box in our hand :-)

  2. #32

    Join Date
    May 2004
    4x5 Format
    Yes, thanks. I have some thots on your words. I love the title of your post and your honesty. Self-criticism, self-doubt, and the pursuit of meaning, as you put it, pretty much some up my own condition. I have no real answers, I gravitate (as you seem to) toward the questions which have no answers, and I constantly ask, "Why?" Like you, the time I spend shooting, or working on a photographic project serves to give me a kind of respite from the daily hum-drum of my life. (I have begun to "work" at allowing the frame of mind I enjoy during photographic pursuit to be carried into my regular, gainful employment. (It's the frame of mind, not the work per se, for me, I think.) It is an irony to me that most of my time is spent doing the necessary, needful, daily living kinds of things. When I'm doing photographic things (a much smaller percentage of the time) I feel like I am handling the real stuff of life. And yet, at one level, it makes no sense to pursue this in that it pays no tangible rewards (as your young friend alluded to). I have come to accept that, for me, life's most meaningful moments can happen during the oddest times. Such as when I'm lying on my belly in the grass, say, photographing minute life. You referred to your own "waxing philosophical." Socrates was to have said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." Your photography and painting sound like a wonderful combination of gifts. My photographic work (minimal by some standards) is very necessary to me also. It's "purpose," if I may call it that (and this is very personal and subjective), is to keep me moving forward. That word, "forward," implies to me heading in a direction toward more and greater truth. I don't know where I am headed, or why, or how to get "there." I only know that I must go "there." I have to follow the (my own) path. Yet the path is pathless. Because the idea of path means to me something that can be discerned and is relatively clear. My own "path" is not clear and I don't really "see" it. The closest I can come is to respond to a part within me that, kind of, urges me on. It has been my experience that the further "onward" I travel on this "path," the more I am forced to confront who I am - the person who photographs, thinks much about ideas that are meaningless to most others. Others tend to either tolerate or criticize me. I think this is probably because to be authentically human (which is what I think I am unconsciously aspiring to, and without self-congratulation) is frightening to persons who only know life from the perspective of living it from the position of a false self. I do not judge them as persons. Your words, "It's a confusing dilemma," ring very true. I think truth, and genuineness are confusing, and do seem to place you and me in a kind of dilemma. I wonder if it feels confusing and dilemma-like because that is what leaving a false self and beginning to touch on what is true is naturally like. I wonder, do the confusion and the feeling of being stuck in a dilemma signal the beginning of a more authentically-lived, honest life. This, at least, explains for me the function of organized religious gathering. Marx was to have said that "religion is the opiate of the masses." Is a photographer, say, who has never set foot inside a church, but who spends his life striving to gain the recognition and accolades of his peers, also succumbing to the opium that insulates him from the fearful place of true self? I don't know. What do you think?

  3. #33

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Large Format
    Quote Originally Posted by mrcallow
    It is far better to be poor and happy, living your dream than rich and dissatisfied.
    I learned this a long time ago from a very good friend.

    I have also come to understand that the 'why?' doesn't matter. I do it, thats why! Sure I doubt myself and my work from time to time. Thats when I work a little harder.

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