It’s all about the light and gesture

Today was the first day of the Photoshop World Conference. Well actually it was the pre-conference workshops, and I attended the Photo Safari that was put on by Moose Peterson and Joe McNally. This is my second time attending a photo safari with Moose and Joe and much like the prior time, this was a great experience. The first part of the workshop is Joe and Moose sharing their work, experiences and answering questions. It was inspirational as always, but they said a few things that really stuck out in my mind.

From the desk of Joe:

  • Human gesture and human emotion trumps all when photographing.
  • There are no real mysteries to photography. Only tenacity, hard work and a willingness to fail.
  • Knowing the art of the craft of photography is what allows for the expression of the art.
  • Put yourself in the service of the person looking at your photographs. You can’t be there to explain and narrate your photographs. They must tell their story without you talking.

From the desk of Moose:

  • If you follow your heart, photography always works out.
  • Photography is not something that happens overnight. It takes time, practice and experience.
  • If you aren’t failing you aren’t pushing yourself.
  • Clicks of shutters should tell stories.
  • Clicks of the shutter are summations of everything in your life. Not your understanding of f/stops and shutter speeds, but your experiences in the everyday with family, friends and life.
After the talks, we ventured onto the buses and out to Bonney Springs. Bonney Springs is a ghost town outside Las Vegas with a great group of people running the place. However, before we got there, I spent some time thinking about what was it in my work that was a story? Did I have gesture, emotion and meaning in my work that I could reference or draw inspiration? Would I be able to find work that was interesting to me in a new location? As it turns out I was able to find work that was pretty exciting for me. These objects really made me feel connected to the town.
From the old broom in a corner to the old mill to the creepy fortune telling miner, there was something that made me feel that there was a history needing to be told.  It also felt like there was a nostalgia to the place. Each of the buildings and objects was telling a story. Some of the stories were of fortunes and fame and others were of a time long gone as the mines shut down around Las Vegas. As I looked at the work back in the hotel, I found myself thinking that my work will really expand in the coming months as I start to understand that failure is a good option and that the best stories of my life I am just know starting to tell.

September 7, 2011

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