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Commonalities

Season's EndWe’re all on similar journeys. We have different skills, and find ourselves on slightly different paths or perhaps at different distances on the same path — but there is more in common then not.

We’ve each had our periods of just trying to keep up, periods of stillness when there seems to be no progress and periods of being tossed about where staying afloat is in itself a victory. We are all flesh, blood and bone. We all need food to eat, water to drink and a place to rest. We each feel a huge range of emotions and each of us pursues those things we value.

This becomes apparent with a shared interest such as photography among a group of like-minded blog friends. The Internet has made it possible to experience and share commonality with friends around the world — geographical and political boundaries don’t apply.

Can you imagine what it was like 50-60 years ago to be a photographer. You’d for the most part be on your own with only limited opportunities to share viewpoints and experiences — limited equipment, limited books and instructional material. Would that be better or worst?

12 Comments on Commonalities

  1. Right on, Earl! I enjoy the communities I’m involved with. Yes, it would be different back then, shooting more for themselves than for others.

    • Monte, there’s so much information these days that sometimes it almost seems like noise. I wonder if shooting back then had some advantages in that there wasn’t as many distractions. But then I like being able to see what others are doing.

  2. I certainly enjoy the communities and the ability to meet, either in person, or virtually, other photographers. I think that photography has grown my leaps and bounds because of it. Anytime that there is a free exchange of ideas, good things happen. Great post, Earl.

    • Paul, I agree I think the exchange of ideas, techniques and information as well as the near instant feedback and abundant marketing has put photography in the fast lane. Thanks!

  3. I do well remember the times when photography inputs and outputs were tightly restricted to a physical level of exchange: for input we had to buy books, and output rarely left the immediate surroundings aka friends and family. Now we have much greater liberties and possibilities, but the challenges have grown as well: On flickr, my pictures compete with billions of others…
    What I do enjoy is the more personal exchange: writing blog entries and comments, exchanging ideas and knowledge, discussing. Now that would have been possible earlier, too, only not in that amazing speed, ease and low marginal costs.

    Oh, and not to forget today’s picture: The warm brown reminds me of friendlier, warmer days we had and will have. Today’s cold and wet weather makes me especially grateful for it.

    • Markus, excellent point about competing. Would Ansel Adams be as well known today if there had been 1,000 other photographers shooting similar shots? Perhaps not.

      Glad the photo reminds you of warmer days — but it may be several months until they arrive again. :-)

  4. I often wonder if the greats were those great photographers who had access to publicity of the times. Perhaps there were many others that we will never know of.
    It is a great age to be in (although I still wish for interplanetary travel :-) ) – it is now quite easy to see what so many other people are creating – to draw inspiration from, and to also know what has already been done before.

    • Mark, I’m sure there probably were other great photographers or potential photographers never heard of. I believe the “luck” of being in the right place at the right time with the right opportunity has always played a part in the selection process.

      I totally agree about it being a great age to live in. Hey, in addition to interplanetary travel I wish they’d invent the “transporter” for planetary travel. Sure would beat long airline flights! ;-)

  5. A fine warm-toned image of the dried weeds/flowers. My experience agrees with Markus’ statement about showing only to family, friends and a few local groups. The way pictures cross former boundaries and help us know a bit more about others is very good.

    • Thanks. Don, I agree that understanding how others think and view things can certainly help us understand more about our own views and interpretations.

  6. We definitely need a Stargate! Imagine all of the landscape photos yet to be taken! :-)

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