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The renowned photographic teacher Craig Tanner in a recent podcast mused, "We are drawn toward the highest energy." Hmmmm.... Or maybe some draw the highest energy within their frames? Are all ideas energy? Is the vice versa? Let me try that differently. Are good ideas disruptive? And is that what generates energy?
Much of what draws the serious lens is upsetting to the status quo. Which is the role of innovation, right? As I do the galleries here in Hilton Head and Savannah - I see a tide of stereotypical art. An hour ago I saw a mass of excellently rendered shots of the Savannah mansions for sale at a shop. The photographer captured wonderful palettes, warm lighting, tack sharp detail... and yet this high craft produced mind numbing goo. It's as if he froze the scenes in mirrors - and simply reversed them. I could sense no part of the guy's mind in the interpretations.
Do you recall garage bands that sounded just like pop-hits? They weren't artists, they were impersonators - or live recording/playback rip-off-ers. Most photographers are not artists... their images never pass through a bath of energy. They are visual stenographers.
I agree that Craig Tanner's pictures, at least as posted at Light Diary seem drawn to the highest energy. But I don't agree that most people's photographs capture high… or even any energy. They are not art, they are, even when originals, reproductions – copies of a moment.
Yesterday I confronted something foreign to me. This tree must be so commonplace to denizens of the deep south. So, how to show them, as well as people like me, that there is something unusual about this tall guy? So how to tap the energy here and make it spark out at you. How to make it shimmy and snake upward toward a commonplace sky?
So here’s my way of sucking the highest energy out of someone else’s humdrum. Does it work?