Monday, November 18, 2013

The Photographer's Journey | The Deeper Connection

There's an article that popped-up on my web browsing radar this morning (I gave up on TV news long ago) that tells the sad story of Canon Inc. cutting their annual profit forecast due to declining sales in the face of the rise popularity and capabilities of "smartphone" cameras. From the perspective of a professional photographer this would at first appear to be sad news with the assumption that everyone with a camera phone now can do just about everything a pro could do with a DSLR and several lenses. 

True there's some impressive imagery coming from shooters just using an iPhone. The new apps are amazing. Personally I've been having a ball with my iPhone 4S, Snapseed and Instagram . . . but . . . my iPhone won't be replacing my DSLRs with those nice lenses. And it's not a matter of greater technical capabilities of the equipment. It's more of a case of making the most of the tools that are at my disposal. 

The paintbrush and canvas don't define the artist. The pen and computer do not represent the soul of the writer. What is more important is what is achieved with the tools available in representing in visual work how and why the photographer interacts with life and light around him or her and more significantly, if that work touches and moves the viewer - even if just one person - in a way that is affirmation in the positive and heartfelt. 

It's the connection that matters and from my experience it must be a connection that is honest, respectful and reflective of a gracious nature. Can that happen with a pic from an iPhone ? Sure can. Not often, but it does happen. 

Camera manufacturers adapt to the changing market. New, easier to use cameras come out to meet market demand. "Smartphones" get smarter. People shoot away. It's all good. It's all fun and once in a while very creative and inspiring. The one consistent will always be the grace and beauty found in the balance of light and subject and that hard-to-explain reason why we are all pulled toward artistic expression through the visual interpretation of our life experiences.

Sometimes I fight the urge to get a bit perturbed at the fact that the one thing I was (and hopefully still am) good at - photography - has now become so mass produced, mass marketed and mass consumed that I worry that I will be lost in the crowd, insignificant and meaningless. But in spite of all the noise and mass image snapping out there, the sense of accomplishment still remains when I touch and move just one viewer in a positive way. 

It's not about the gear. It's not about the apps. And honestly it's not about me. It's about what I can accomplish by allowing my time, talents and tools to be used as vessels for reaffirming the blessings all around us and encouraging others to do the same. It's about gaining the greater wealth when letting flow and letting go and to connect deeper and higher, in the sacred honesty of love, light and life.

The nice equipment and accolades are temporary. The connection is forever.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

A Beautiful Mess | Leaving The Leaves Where They Fall

A Beautiful Mess. Of leaving the leaves where they fall and letting go of expectations.

So much of the stress we place on ourselves resides in the inheritance of the self-imposed pressure of meeting unrealistic expectations - of not disappointing those who will never be willing to freely release their approval in the first place, no matter how hard we try. Why is it that we so willingly give over the power of approval to those who are reinforced by this negative energy when God has already released us from such binds ? There is a beauty to the simple grace that arrives when we not only learn to let go of our own pride-filled expectations of others but also when we regain the rightful inheritance of peace based on an unconditional and all-powerful love. There is never a need to earn what has already been given. Declare today to stop the cycle of the sinful inheritance, embrace the gift that has already been given and just enjoy the beauty of all the simple graces of each day, including a yard full of fallen leaves!