by Dave Brown
Where do I go from here
I spend a lot of time looking at OPI (Other People's Images). I think we all do? There are some true artistic savants out there. They have always been there, and with the many, many means of posting, submitting and publishing available to everyone today I am able to spend all of my days just looking at what others find relevant. There is a huge amount of absolute beauty. I am so often in awe of what people's minds can come up with, what subjects and techniques can make something beautiful to look at. I have acquaintances that are veritable beauty production machines, that can pump out emotionally charged images seemingly on auto-pilot. My friend and others like him have so much “material” on the market and available for general viewing that it is difficult for some gallery owners, to define what will or will not “fit” in their space. So the constraints applied to subject matter become evermore restrictive. To remain cutting edge, exhibits must continually broaden their search, and concurrently narrow their scope as to what subject matter is "cutting edge".
The quandary confronting all of us is that everything is cutting edge. What subject material, techniques, processes can I utilize that will be perceived as avant garde enough to be exhibited? The majority of what I do in the field or lab is a culmination of what I have experienced personally, exhibits I have seen, books I have read, history. Steiglitz, Uelselman, Weston, Adams, Frank, Stein. A Look at what they produced was a path into their minds as they worked; what were they thinking? Like today there were technically crisp compartmentalized images, as well as what-the-hell-were-you-thinking wild stuff. For the most part all of it had impact. Enough to make me want to explore for myself, mimic some aspects, and adapt others.
I guess what I am trying to say is this. I am moved by everything that I presently see in nature. Nature is not merely birds, trees, moving water, or solitary boats on calm seas. Nature is you, me, birth, death, children picking through waste dumps—the image may perhaps be painful to look at for us, but it is nature, and it moves organically with our ever-changing range of emotion. I for one should not be a judge of what the public wants or needs to view. I will only keep taking pictures that make me feel something, and I will keep sharing them with others, in hopes that what I feel or felt is expressed in my work.
So in presenting another picture of moving water I am providing a glimpse into what Moves Me. It is another image of flowing water and there have been many before it. The emperor had many suits but he was most proud of the one that was nothing at all. Be moved!