Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I was watching another music awards show on TV recently, this one to about ten songwriters who have influenced their and other generations of singers who sung their songs and songwriters who followed them. They were talking about one of my favorite singer-songwriters, Kris Kristofferson. Probably few people recognize him or his songs - you should find a compilation CD somewhere to listen to him, and fewer people know his life, especially as a veteran and Rhodes Scholar.

Anyway, one of the persons talking about Kris said his songs were written from the inside out, ones that everyone not only recognizes but finds it touches them. The songs are about the essence of life, our feelings during our experiences. We've all been there, and Kris put it to words and songs. He's written a lot of songs you've heard but don't realize they were written by him, and it's fair to say his singing is unique, meaning it ain't top 40.

But that said, I like his music and singing. And it's relationship to photography? Well, it touches on the words of David Vestal.

David Vestal has been a photographer for many years, and there is no way I can begin to summarize or praise his work and his contributions to photography. I just want to say I'm grateful to him for his column in Photo Techniques magazine. I only started subscribing to PT last year but I've read it for ten years now buying it at newstands when I saw it. My appreciation of his wisdom is of late and his advise to photographers.

Much of what David is writing about is the essence of photography, and, in my view, that a photographer works inside out. A photographer has to be there in the present with their eyes and mind open, with passion and spirit, and the camera ready to do what they see in the scene to capture and produce an image. In short, a photograph is about the photographer, and their visual expression of the world. For you to see.

I know that my photography and essays are only observations on life in my life, nothing more and nothing really great. It's my own realization of being me. And this photo is similar. While many people and photographers love images of waterfalls - and many photographers spend hours trying to learn to get the right style in their images of watefalls - I like the small things in life, and this small creek was one.

It's the ones you drive by almost everyday. And driving on the Westside Road to a trailhead in Mt. Rainier NP I glanced alongside the road and saw this small waterfall. I spent most of the rest of the afternnoon at this place - never got to hiking - and like the rest of the photographers, trying to capture what I wanted. Nearly a roll of film later I could only hope it worked, to which this was the best of them.

What it takes to express yourself from the inside out? You have to have the soul to express, the passion to have the fire, the heart to have and be the love, and the energy to drive the dedication. It's the totality of your being. Well, ok, sometimes, and many times it's not always completely there, but then we all have our moments when and where it is, as the saying from Teddy Rosevelt goes, "Do what you can, where you are, with what you have."

I liked the small rock that just can't grow moss. Sometimes we're all just like that rock.

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