Thursday, January 18, 2007

Jim Brandenburg Musings

A friend and I were in conversation about Art Wolfe, and I brought up a book I misremembered as his. The author/photographer in question was actually Jim Brandenburg. Well, he makes pictures of wolves, so collapsing wolf art with Art Wolfe seems a logical way to make a mistake! Since it was on my mind I ventured into the Cold House and found it patiently waiting between Joyce Tenneson and Robert Vavra.

Facing burnout, Jim Brandenburg gave himself an assignment in which he allowed himself 1 and only 1 picture a day for 3 months, with profound results.

I wonder how I would handle the contraint if I were in his shoes. I seldom give myself lens time, so when the camera is in my hands, I'm like a starving woman at a smorgasbord--every visual delicacy clamors for attention, and with the shameless abundance allowed by digital, I gorge. Very different state of being than he was in when he embarked this project, so I guess I'll never know.

In his words: "My photography had originally been a means, and an excuse, for spending time out-of-doors, but in the midst of my own success I found myself wed to a drudge named technology, living in a world lit by computer screens instead of the sun. I wanted to wander the forest, to see what was over the next rise, to follow animal tracks in the snow as I had done so happily as a boy. Each photograph would be a true original, like a painting. Not the best selected from rolls and rolls of similar frames, and not altered in any manner except occasional cropping or adjusting tone and color. I sensed there would be new lessons learned."

So that generates the question, "what would be an analogous project tailored to my-- or any other-- lifestyle?" Hmmmm. I'll think about that one. What do you think?

I'm a big fan of questions. Ask the RIGHT questions and the answers can transform the world.

What a pleasure starting the day thinking about photography and growth!

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