Chickasaw National Recreation Area Revisited
Late Night in Salina, Kansas

We The Photographers

5-25 Sunset watermarked-1521

I didn't feel well today.  But I left the house to go to the gas station for some ice this evening and noticed the spectacular sunset and had to take off down the road to capture this beautiful sunset. 

 

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What is photography to me? Is it a religion, an obsession, or just a way to see the world.  What is photography? It is something that has managed to consume my times, thoughts and emotions over the last five years. Is it narcissism because I have a certain skill at it.  Do I enjoy other people finding pleasure in my pleasure.   Photography along with other forms of art, is simultaneously one of the most valued things in society and one of the things that is devalued on a professional level.  It is a philosophy, an ontology, it is the lens for which I view the world. It is my critical lens, my philosophy now.  It wasn't always this way, but awareness changes thinking.   An intense awareness of your surroundings. 

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It is like a prayer, it is something I do every single day.  I'm not a religious person. I'm not a praying person; yet spirituality is still there.  Because we will never know all the answers.  We are all from the earth, we are a product of billions of years of evolution, we come from the stars.  We exist.  We exist, we disagree, we start wars, we kill each other.  We don't all pray to the same gods or have the same belief system; yet we all concur that beauty can be found in nature.  

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We can all sit in our disillusioned worlds that filled with pain, heartache and the anger the media feeds us.  We can all declare we need more time in order to enjoy life, or we can go out and enjoy our lives, moment by moment.   We hurt each other and break each others hearts yet, we lose loved ones to disease, yet nature is static.  It is there, predictible.  The sunsets at a certain time.  The ancient ones knew this.  The ancient ones knew nature because they lived it.  Our generation views the beauty of the world on a computer screen.   Some of us bring that obscurity to life for them.  We are the philosophers. 

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We capture the world with our lightproof boxes and we share them.  The same principle applied to photography since 1840.  We are the light gatherers.  We are photographers.  We follow the light and worship the golden hour, scorn high noon and look for these glorious moments that leave us in awe of nature.  

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We seek a profound moment in fractions of seconds, in Fstops, the mathematics of photography is complex and the technology is in ones and zeros and not in chemical compositions.  Yet we stop and we look and we see these patterns drawn in perfection. 

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The bokeh, the modern day equivalent of Monet, Renoir, Manet, those impressionists who were influenced by early photographers.  Their play with light is translated into our love with these images that are light and color, yet we know they're a field, a flower or a background.   Cezanne, Mary Cassatt, these artists who left their mark on humanity can be seen in contemporary photography.   We are all influenced by each other.  We, the photographers,  we the bloggers, we take time from our lives to share these seconds with you.  We share what we see - we give you a momentary glance into our world.  

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  We the photographers, we the bloggers, we the people looking to find positive in this world.  Are still trapped in reading the negative diatribes of the media, the hate filled world of anger when a tragedy happens.  We continue to find beauty in obscurity and to lift up the mundane and ordinary to help you to see what we do.   We, the photographers spend too much money with too little appreciation.  We are the crazy people on the side of the road taking photos of a fence, the sunset,  something inconsequential to your field of vision. 

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While you can rant about politics or bemoan the state of the world, some of us spend our time editing photos and not fixating on the hate the media feeds us, the hate it sells us.  We don't have cable television, we made a choice to drown those voices out of our lives.   We spend our evenings in Lightroom or Photoshop and uploading to our blogs.  We talk to our friends about gear, glass and lenses, our friends enable our addiction and never suggest we seek help.   Yet we know it means meals not cooked, rooms not cleaned, or laundry not folded.  We do it anyways.  Photography is our critical lens in which to see the world.  It is a second, a shot  taken or missed, one to file away to be revisited a decade later.   A memory.   A memory kept held tightly to ourselves or one shared with the world.  Either way it belongs to us.   

Comments

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Alan Bates

I love this post, it almost an anthem. I'm not near the photographer you are (I'm a picture taker! and proud of it) but I love taking pictures every day, dozens of them. Maybe its an obsession, probably is, but I don't watch much television any longer. I just upload pics, post pics, and look at other people's pics.

I'm so glad your commenting functionality is working again.

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