You don’t often think of the U.S. government when you think of wise persons with perspective, experience, and fundamental good taste. And yet, I know just such a guy, who did Herculean work on behalf of all of us while in the employ of Uncle Sam.
David Kay was a weapons inspector for the UN, and is a very very good photographer. He spoke truth to power during the runup to the Iraq invasion, and since then, he’s retired and taken a seminar or two with me. Honestly, I’ve wanted to pick his brain (he knows what really went on in Iraq and a lot of other places) more than he’s wanted to pick mine (the longer I do photography, the less I know about it).
In fact, I linked to his blog, Trust Your Cape, ages ago.
Anyway, I was reading his always-interesting observations the other day and came across the following passage, which is just about the most cogent sum-up of our current photographic situation as I’ve come across:
Remember the days of Kodachrome 25 or 64 when the shot you took was the shot you got. Sure you could add filters and make variations in EV, but in the end the image that was on the piece of film was the image you were left with. Not today! We are rich in possibilities, have a poverty of time and, perhaps most frightening of all, dependent upon our own visual judgment and tastes.
Damn, if that doesn’t about say it all. I’m glad David is enjoying his photography these days, but I wish he were back in the trenches on our side, because we need guys with his brains and perspective watching our backs (and our fronts) if we’re going to make it through the 21st century…..