The issue today is change. Not that it’s happening, but that we, as a society, aren’t handling it. It’s how we’ve gotten into the situation we’re in. The pace of social, technological, economic, and political change (or lack thereof) has superseded our ability to adjust. People find themselves longing for some bygone day as an ideal which, of course, never actually existed. Feet planted in the past have lost the ability to ambulate.
Any teacher will say that the secret is not knowing, not memorization, it’s knowing how to learn. It’s a skill as important as the ability to read. One needs the skill of learning. Please allow me to suggest that the time has come to facilitate the skill of knowing how to change. After all, it is no longer the case that the things one learned in high school or college is an unmovable bedrock, and if I may paraphrase Paul Simon, much of what any of us learned in high school is crap. It’s no longer possible to be the same person at 35 as one was at 25, or someone the 35-year-old would recognize at 60.
It’s as true for artists as anybody; the only way to keep dragging new art from the subconscious is to keep growing. I’ve recently begun following a young novelist you should know named V.E. Schwab, whom I came across through N.K. Jemisin, whom you should REALLY know. (Now, I do know a couple folks very critical of emerging writers, always pushing 19th and 20th century masters as the be-all-end-all; it’s a fixation guilty of the above, and as a Vonnegut man it pains me to say that. The old masters are what was; Jemisin and Schwab illustrate NOW). (BTW, a lot of new stuff IS crap, but that’s neither here nor there). Schwab’s genre (fantasy) is not necessarily my cup of tea, but the writing is so superb I find myself drawn in. Schwab lamented on Twitter today that she’s learned her newest novel in the works must be completely re-outlined. She actually suggested quitting while she’s ahead. It’s just a youthful bit of handwringing (she’s only 31) that we’ve all regressed to at times. Burnout is a common artisan’s condition to which one must constantly re-condition. Now at what I would term my advanced age I’m confident in offering a warm fuzzy, saying “V.E., hey, it’s only the tip of the iceberg, girl!” Ambulate, but with empathy.
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Two points of note in today’s work. First is the filtering which brought a sense of movement to the leaves while at the same time adding hard lines to the stationary objects. I accomplished this through a combination of edging and texturing. Second is the addition of color to the black and white film-derived image – some might call it tinting more than coloring. I discussed this technique in my August 8 post. I had a choice between increasing the saturation to blow out the yellows or decreasing such to create a subtile effect in which the composition superseded the abstraction and chose the latter.
I might change my mind, well, later.
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NOTE: This post is part of a series examining the application of digital techniques to film photography in creating photo art, done in tribute to the closing of the last regional retail photography stores.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.