Friday, February 25, 2011

all head, all heart

Nothing attracts Aces like a King.

There is something about photography that makes even the rawest of amateurs believe that they are indeed artists from the moment they bust out their new cameras from their boxes. The relative accessibility of digital technology probably plays a factor, but for the most part I think a general lack of respect for the arts is what is driving this phenomenon.

Most people claim to value and even respect art. However, this usually only applies to refined and culturally accepted final works of art. There is no love for the process. There is no respect for the foundation that was painfully and carefully built. Technique doesn't happen overnight. You can get lucky a few times, but consistency is the true mark of a talented artist. Having said that, some of the artists who have produced the greatest works of art were wildly inconsistent.

I also believe there used to be a certain amount of luck or chance involved with artists who were discovered before the various information revolutions. I am certain that for every famous artist there were at least a dozen of the same caliber who went about their lives and to their deaths without any significant recognition or acknowledgement. However, today as the age of internet unfolds, any savvy person can potentially share their work instantly with billions around the world. Unfortunately, we are all being exposed to a lot more crap as well. 

More and more I feel that photography at its core is about art. While technique serves its purpose, without a heavy helping of heart and soul, I find that images are dull and lifeless. A muddled mind and a cold heart can only produce dead images. When the heart and mind are in alignment, beautiful and amazing things happen.

While I do think it is somewhat cowardly to hide behind an anonymous computer and rip into people, I find the Bitter Wedding Photographer to be pretty funny. I wish there was a local version of her persona, because there are plenty of photographers who deserve to be laughed at in the Washington, DC area. To be fair, I think there are lots of funny photographers in all markets and regions. 

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