The truth is in the eyes of the buffalo, The way of gentleness which conquers all hate, The life which cannot be put out. He wanders not on accident, as if far from home. He is there to be found, to be taken and led, Leading us through all in the utmost humility. (after reading the chapter “How to Tell a True War Story” in the book, The Things They Carried)
I attended a wedding this past Saturday, and I had a couple thoughts. Now, keep in mind, this wedding was in Thailand, so this is not completely applicable to all weddings…as if it could be even if it were in the United States, because weddings are all so wildly different these days.
My thoughts were not just about wedding photography, as in the professional hired to photograph the event, but also all the photography which takes place in a wedding. Really, I took a couple snapshots which could say quite a bit in and of themselves.
There are many aspects of photography, many different paths down which it might lead. My own path is a journey in pursuit of reality, or “true reality” as I like to call it (though I know how redundant that sounds), and with the potential of photography to freeze a moment in time, “reality” is indeed a common pursuit in photography, but not the “true reality” or the spiritual reality which lies behind, through, and all around that surface-level reality. I heard a quote that really seemed to be attempting to bridge the gap between the surface reality and the deeper and wider reality.
In the biographical documentary about James Nachtwey, War Photographer, Nachtwey said, “It’s more difficult to get publications to focus on issues that are more critical, that do not provide people with an escape from reality, but attempt to get them deeper into reality, to be concerned about something much greater than themselves.”
I have been challenged by War Photographer, a documentary film about the “anti-war” photographer James Nachtwey. As it points out, though he may have started out with at least a partial desire for the travel and adventure, he has become something of an anomaly: he is a quiet and hopeful photographer, who believes his photography can make a difference, even in such overwhelming issues as war, poverty, hunger, and disease.
He says in the film, “We must look at it, we’re required to look at it, we’re required to do what we can. If we don’t, who will?”
I read a wonderful blog post. I already mentioned this on Twitter @CooperStrange, but wanted to flesh it out more here: I was particularly affected by a recent article on the Strobist site. It was not the regular Strobist, off-camera lighting spiel, but rather a deeper look into the business of photography…though in this case, the non-business might be more accurate.
Well, so I do not overload you with a long post here (because if you actually follow that link and read his post, it is already quite long), I will cut to the chase. The Strobist post was good, but I very much liked the e-mail he left a link to near the bottom of the site. This was an e-mail from a friend of Mr. Stobist (David Hobby) who was passionately explaining his idea of developing documentary (story telling) photographers by teaching them “how to create decent photojournalism using Bressonian decisive moment style.”