Sunday, June 17, 2012

Your Camera is Your Tool

'Peace' (c) John AshleyWay back when we incorporated this photography business, I wanted to call it some form of "Second Nature." But all of the good versions were already taken, and I kept reading that an art business should include the person's name, so I reluctantly settled on our official moniker. 

"Second Nature" seems ideal for a couple of reasons. First, hanging out with wild animals comes naturally to me. But mostly, "Second Nature" acknowledges that nature is the primary artist, and my images of nature are more like secondary student interpretations of the "art" that's already there.

Compliments still make me uncomfortable because I feel like a middle man between the "masses" and the wild things that most people are unaware of. The camera is just a tool, and photography is just the medium I chose to show people the cool things that I really care about - the things I want them to care about. I'm not trying to make people respect my camera skills. I'm trying to "wow" them into respecting nature.

Along these lines, I recently came across two interesting people who are not photographers. But they are using cameras to share something that would otherwise go unseen - the creative landscapes of their minds.

Simon Beck and Sonja Hinrichsen like to walk in snow. For days at a time. While walking, they transfer images from their minds into the snowscape to create intriguing, temporary sculptures. Their primary medium blows away with the next wind and disappears with the next snow. So they photograph these landscape-size sculptures as a way of sharing their mental images with other people.

It's yet another creative use of this tool that everyone now carries in their pocket. What are you driven to share?  What do you want to show to the rest of us?

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