A Long Overdue Update

James Joyce, 1922. My favorite pic of Joyce. Maybe Because Sometimes I feel the Same Way.

It’s been some time since my last post. Since then, a lot of things have happened, and I thought it would be appropriate to update readers, if any still exist, about what’s going on and my plans moving forward.

First, I am aware that there are problems with the site – the links to past posts don’t work, so you’re not able to access the site’s history except by sequentially scrolling back from the main page. I’ve had recurring problems with attacks on the site – why anybody would want to screw with an inconsequential blog about photography escapes me – and just haven’t had the time or energy to deal with it. As well, I realized in hindsight that I needed a break. As such, the tech problems gave me a good excuse to step back and give myself a rest.

I turned 60 yesterday. Sobering, even though I’m content and in good health. I’ve found myself wanting to step back from a lifetime interest in photography and just let it be for awhile. A precipitating reason for doing so has been my realization that traditional ‘photography’ as I know and practice it is dead. My photographic tastes and interests are relics of an outdated mindset, the functional equivalent of the old guy still driving his 66 Mustang. In reality, you can’t go back; technology and aesthetics and practice move on, and reflexively criticizing the current state of things – which in proper measure serves as a necessary counter-balance to some of the obvious problems associated with digitization – can become tiresome.

As for the blog, I intend to continue it for so long as I’ve got something to say. Whether anyone listens is not really my concern. I assume there are a few discriminating people out there – both old and new photographers – who my ideas might resonate with. So, expect the blog to be ongoing, and expect that at some point I’ll have the tech issues resolved and the site will be functioning properly and I’ll be adding content on a semi-regular basis.

For the time being, other interests will be taking much of my time. I am about to embark on a new phase of my life. I’m easing my way into self-imposed semi-retirement in my profession, and will be enrolling in a graduate program at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass this Fall. Why? 30 years ago I quit graduate school to go to work. I was recently married and had bills to pay. In the back of my mind, I told myself I could always go back someday, if for no other reason to finish what I had started. Now’s the time to do it, and the opportunity to do it at Harvard fulfills a lifetime dream. The degree, were I to achieve it, wouldn’t be for anything other than the doing of it itself, but that seems to me to be the best reason to do anything.

Waldo Emerson, the 19th century American writer and philosopher, said that the one maxim he lived by was that one should always do the thing that scares you the most. Good advice, I think, getting out of your comfort zone. I’ve tried to follow that rule in my life, sometimes to better effect than at others, but I see no reason why it’s not still applicable as I’ve gotten older and more settled.

So bear with me. I intend to be here for awhile. Check back here occasionally. And feel free to email me at leicaphilia@gmail.com if you’d like to say hi.

One thought on “A Long Overdue Update

  1. Demetri Nomist

    There is no such thing as an “outdated mindset” in art. Let us not confuse novelty with innovation. Your photographic interests and tastes are as valid today as at any other time regardless of what is the photographic style du jour or current technology favoured by the masses.

    As long as you are taking and making photographs that you think are good and move you then who cares what photographic technology you used or whether your photographs were not conceptual enough. As long as a particular – young or old – photographic technology is used to make photographs you think are good then that technology is very relevant and very much up to date.

    Give up, but not before, when your photographs begin to look like all the rubbish that current technology has made possible.

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