What is Life ?

Street cleaner, 2012 (photo credit: Christian Espinoza)

How do you frame life ?

From the moment I picked up my first SLR camera, a Nikon FE10 which I borrowed of my friend Toshi (and soon to be replaced with my first SLR purchase, the Nikon FE2), it all suddenly made sense to me. The world I saw in those four corners of the frame made everything comprehensible, in a way.

For a while I thought I was the only person who felt like this, that is until I discovered ‘the greats’, which to me were (in no particular order) Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Diane Arbus, William Eggleston, and Gary Winogrand. I became obsessed, I was hungry for information, for pictures, for the technical wizardry that became my craft. So every other day I would pour over the catalogues of art photography books at the University library, then I would hit the streets to practice. My nights were mainly spent in the darkroom, printing rolls and rolls of film, all black and white then.

Years later I discovered studio lighting, and my photography took new levels of craft and technical ability. But there was still something that I longed for. Something that touches on the deep psychology in each and every one of us, in our humanity, and that is the search for ourselves in the world around us.

I just finished watching the documentary “Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable” Directed by Sasha Waters Freyer. An absolute must watch for anyone with even a slight interest in photography… or just pre entertainment and depth for that matter. Winogrand gave you a sense of himself in every photograph, and that in turn gave him a sense of belonging, or grounding.

You may chose photography, or maybe writing as your creative outlet. But whatever it is, I believe that our expression is what fuels us, what energizes, and revitalizes us. It’s what gets me up in the morning, knowing that there’s a whole world out there, unscripted, and ready for the taking. In one shape or another.

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