On the 4th of July
Each year I shoot fourth of July pictures on a local reservation where rules do not matter. I see children from 3 to teenage years blowing off fireworks unsupervised. As crazy as it sounds I love taking pictures of the scenes in “Firecracker Alley”. I am writing about this because it makes me happy and gets me away from reading too many blogs and magazines about technical photographic nonsense.
Speaking for myself, I read lots of blogs that provide lots of advice. I see people, me included, get so enamored by all the technical gibberish that is out there. What we forget is what gives us happiness and peace when we are off with nature or shooting on the street. We forget what the camera is about and how it makes images. We forget that the camera is not with a darn. It isn’t about good gear, great gear, fast gear, the gear with the most ISO, pixels, etc. It’s about you the photographer and how you connect with your yourself and your environment and not the ISO, speed and pixels!
A camera allows you to go at your speed, at your pace…no matter your level of expertise. What you snap is a moment in time that is gone forever but etched for a life time. All the technical gibberish and whether or not you machine has super natural powers is irrelevant. Remember that!
Imagine for a moment what Henri Cartier-Bresson shot with in the 30s and 40s. He said, “The only thing which completely was an amazement to me and brought me to photography was the work of Munkacsi. When I saw the photograph of Munkacsi of the black kids running in a wave I couldn’t believe such a thing could be caught with the camera. I said damn it, I took my camera and went out into the street.” He then went on an acquired the Leica camera with 50 mm lens in Marseilles that would accompany him for many years. He described the Leica as an extension of his eye. I truly wonder what he would say today? I think he would not care and would be shooting with an iPhone. While this is debatable, I am sure you get the point.
Take a deep breath and quit squabbling about useless nonsense. Use something that feels right to you. Shoot anything and everything. Have fun, smile and enjoy life a little! Start or reconnect on a new journey and become inspired by photos. Don’t let nonsense diminish your passion. If you get overloaded with tech talk and bar room experts run away, go somewhere peaceful and quite. Get grandpa’s old film camera or that old 3 mega pixel in a box under the bed and be at peace. Look in that old shoe box, take out those old picture…be inspired…and say…if it is to be it is up to me!
Our nations birthday is coming..get those cameras ready!