Sunday, December 20, 2009

A brief digression . . .

I'm having the most wonderful morning, sitting here on the couch with a laptop on my (duh!) lap, watching a video about painter Wolf Kahn. I have had one of his books on my Amazon wish list forever (it's too pricey for me right now). But we were at a neighbor's house the other day and they had an art book of his work which they loaned me. So I've been reading about his life, his work, and then, coincidentally, I read on someone's blog about this video online. I'm just partway through the first of two videos and am finding it so applicable to photography.

And that's my point.

I believe there comes a time when we need to STOP READING ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY! Just stop it. Stop getting so wrapped up in lenses, shutter speeds, built-in GPS units, gizmos, photo backpacks, must-haves, etc. and begin concentrating on the image, the feeling of that image, the structure of that image.

Stop reading about photography.
Begin reading about art in general.

Or maybe continue reading about photography but begin reading about art as well. Expand our minds. Expand our vision. Become visual artists, not just photographers.

And that, my friends, is my New Year's resolution. I believe I'm already on my way, but haven't really put it into words/actions. Twenty-Ten. Ten-Four.  -- Carol Leigh


Sam Hipkins said...

Amen. You said it well. -Sam

Carol Leigh said...

[Sam Hipkins sent this to my private e-mail and kindly gave me permission to copy it here. -- CL]

Hello Carol...there is so much I wanted to say other than Amen. . . First, I really enjoyed the video. Thanks for including it. I noticed that at no point did Kahn mention his brushes, his canvas, his easels. Artists really don't spend a whole lot of time talking about their equipment, do they? But photographers do. Why? Well, we rely heavily on something that is basically a machine. Unlike any other artistic endeavor we must have the machine and all its associated equipment. For eons the work of a photographer hasn't been considered art because of its mechanical nature. The mechanics make it so simple to do that literally anyone can do it. Point the box and push the button. I guess photographers have bought into the notion that they cannot be on the same level with "real" artists, so they spend their time talking about the equipment. It takes someone like you to remind us that, "Hey, this mechanical process can be more than just pushing the button, it can be art and here's how."

Keep sending the message,


gottago said...

Thanks for turning me on to both videos of the painter Wolf Kahn.

Following you is taking me on a ride. The ride is freeing. I jotted down this direct quote from Wolf Kahn's Part 2 video: "I want to get away from intentionality and deliberate......and just let things happen.

What a stretch for me. But I know I'm on the right track.

Your hunger to expand your vision is motivating.