Tag: memory

The failure of photography in tragedies beyond 9/11

For the last two weeks, I have been blogging about photography and the events of 9/11. First, I explored how the attacks have become something of a milestone marking major changes in the business and culture of photography. Then I pondered how those same events helped me understand my own process as a photographer. This week, I am considering what photography fails to do when it comes to tragedies, like 9/11. Read More

9/11 changed the world (of photography)

The tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01 has come and gone. I listened to, watched and read many of reports on the commemorations. I was equally interested to read the many commentaries exploring the long-term impact of those horrible events on our nation and on the world. Throughout that process, I never read a commentary that explored the way that 9/11 has impacted the world of photography. With that in mind, this week I will explore my reaction to the events of 9/11 as a blogger/photographer. Read More

I have seen the future and….

I have a soft spot for science fiction, particularly the futuristic work found in movies like Blade Runner, Minority Report, 2001 A Space Odyssey and of course, Star Trek. I am less of a fan of movies like Alien or Independence Day, which strike me more as simple action movies set in the future. Having recently seen a few sci-fi movies has led me to ponder “the future.” I have also seen a couple of new photographic technologies that got me thinking about where our beloved medium is going. What I saw left me not altogether happy. To steal a line form the cartoon character Pogo “I have seen the future and the future is us.” Read More

Nostalgia, photography and pablum

Because it is summer, my recent blog entries have been shorter (and I am hoping sweeter.) This week I am writing something equally short but maybe not so sweet. I will be exploring a weird convergence of marketing, nostalgia and photography that I recently came across. What I read got me pretty agitated, but I wanted to “sit on my anger” for a few weeks, to see if my initial reaction was still appropriate. Now I can say that what I thought back when I first saw the offending passage is what I still think, a few weeks later. Read More

Memory and photographs in the “twice promised” land

I am winding up my time in Israel and the West Bank. Having spent time in both places, I can safely say I am more confused then ever. So much so, that I will not be blogging about the politics of the conflict. I am not sure I can add anything to what is already a very heated and complex debate. I will be blogging this week about the one topic that I can speak about comfortably, photography. I want to think out loud about the interesting role that images and memory play for both “sides” here. My thinking is derived from my recent experiences here, my years working here as a photojournalist and my larger interest in the history of photography. Read More

Senses, memory (and photography)

I am about half way through a two-week trip to Israel. I am here photographing (duh,) touring, visiting and helping Annu with her project photographing three generations of women (in this case Israelis.) Because I have spent so much time here (living full-time and visiting for long stretches,) I sort of know the place. On the other hand I have not been here in eleven years, so many things have changed. As I am walking around, photographing, things seem vaguely familiar yet… Since arriving, I have tried hard to analyze my reaction to being here again. Photography is clearly at the core of my memories of this place, but so are other senses. Read More

A hierarchy of memory

I generally write (blog) as way to organize the jumble of activity in my head. I am writing this particular entry after six weeks in India (and what seems like an equally long flight to get home.) The flight was not really six weeks of course, but the intensity of how experienced the two flights left me thinking about how we initially encounter and later remember experiences. Photographs often facilitate this process. Some discussions with family in India prompted me to think further about the intertwined relationship between images, family stories and memory. Read More

The power of paper

If all goes well, this will be the last blog entry prompted by the discoveries that I made during my recent spring-cleaning. As I was reviewing, editing and purging old documents, files and papers, I had a few more flashes of wisdom worthy of one last blog entry. Those insights reminded me of the value of my having studied the history of photography in college. Although I make my living as a commercial photographer, that education, focused on the liberal arts, rather than on a specific skill, continues to serve me well, thirty-odd years later. Read More

preserving memories, sound or sight

I blogged (and podcasted) earlier this spring about the discoveries I made during my in-depth spring-cleaning. I explored what I learned about my own photography as I reviewed, edited and purged thousands of old photographs and transparencies. More recently, I have been similarly reviewing, editing and purging other old recordings, documents, files and papers. Some were personally poignant and others were professionally compelling. The entire process is worthy of at least a couple more blog entries. Read More

Staring at life, staring at death (part two)

In the first part of this two-part blog entry, I shared my daughter’s perspective on our shared experience photographing kids with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses through an organization called, “Flashes of Hope.” Although I was in the exact same place as she was, working on the same project, I took away a different set of experiences from that very emotionally compelling day. Out experiences are divergent of course because of many reasons including the fact that she is a child and I am a parent. Our perspectives also diverged because of how we experienced the same people in very different ways. In the end, we came to the same belief, that family photos are an especially important part of the world of photography. The route we took to get there was a bit different. Read More

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