Sheila would love it if just one morning now and then I slept past 7:00, but it's not in the cards. I start waking up as the sun is starting to rise. I'll start thinking about the day ahead and within a few minutes I'm excited to get started.
Sundays are especially fun, because it's a day when, even though I dearly love our industry, I've given myself the luxury of going off topic. So, I started sharing whatever was on my mind when I turned on my computer. With each post, while they're often therapeutic for me to write, I'm hoping to hit on some point in which you, my readers, can relate.
This week, thanks to two incredible artists, I shared some remarkable content, but also understood a little better why I cherish so many different aspects of my life-long journey in photography. If good content is "King" then Don Komarechka and David Akoubian surpassed the legend of King Arthur this week!
I started the "Why?" series because I was teaching a workshop last year and nobody knew who Mary Ellen Mark was. My thought was to start introducing you to the movers and shakers of the industry by asking them to share one of their favorite images. I wanted you to get to know more artists, for many of you, far outside your chosen specialty. However, this week it was a double-header of dedication and emotion.
The first "Why?" of the week was with good friend Don Komarechka. We finished a podcast we did for X-Rite about printing macro photography. As I went to hang up I mentioned including one of Don's images in "Why?" He immediately sent me this image of an ant on a blade of grass. Less than a minute later we were recording his episode.
There were two things that struck me - first, the power of the image. It takes us all to a place we've never been, yet we literally walk through and on top of every single day - the world within our world - the macro community all around us.
Second, as Don talked it got me thinking about his quest to capture the image and the dedication it took to get this shot. It was an all day event. He never wavered from his determination. As he talked he reminded me of the stories I've heard about Ansel Adams spending all day in the darkroom, and then ripping up the print because it wasn't yet up to his standard. It was all about Don being dedicated to the quest for the next ultimate image.
Then came David Akoubian's "Why?" later in the week. David and I have a great friendship, but he's another one of my cyber buddies. We've spent more time on line or on the phone talking, than in person, but he's always supportive of anything I'm working on. Like Don's image, David took me to a place I never expected to visit, that intangible link to the emotion great images bring out.
As David's voice cracked, talking about the connection between looking at the Milky Way and thinking about his dogs, he took me from enjoying a stunning image to reminding me what our industry is all about. We help people connect to memories and emotions often buried under the day in day out baggage of life and business. While I loved his image, the story behind it was even better.
David's post took me to a shot I grabbed one day of Molly the Wonder Dog. He got me thinking about the relationship I have with my dog. But this morning, as I was lying in bed thinking about what I wanted to share today, I realized David and Don took us all some place else.
They both reminded us of the power of great images. They both reminded us of the importance of never compromising on the quality of an image or for that matter our lives. They took us on a journey of dedication fueled by some of the emotions we cherish the most.
So, today's post is both a thank you to not only Don and David, but the sixty-two additional artists who have shared their stories on "Why?" to date. It's also a reminder to all of you about the power of our craft.
As I've written many times before, with the exception of modern medicine, no career field has given the world more than imaging. As photographers you're the greatest of magicians, making the intangible tangible and capturing emotions, events and memories for people to cherish and share for a lifetime.
Wishing everyone an outstanding Sunday filled with quality time with those people...or pets...most special in your life. Go for those therapeutic eleven-second hugs I always talk about and make it a day worth remembering.
"This is what I like about photographs.
They're proof that once, even if just for a heartbeat, everything was perfect."
Happy Sunday everybody!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.