Here’s wishing you all much happiness, creativity and fulfilment for 2022 🙂 🙂 And here’s how we hope to contribute in however tiny proportions!
2021 has been a very odd year. A triumph for science, a disaster for leadership and intelligent collaboration. Great riches for some, personal tragedy for others. Nothing new, really, but rarely has it been so publicized and obvious in what we considered to be civilised countries. Covid was to blame for much of this, of course, but our attitude towards the pandemic, even more so than the pandemic itself.
Will this change next year? Of course not. The same people are leading our countries and our collective psyche hasn’t changed with the passing of an annual digit. We can expect much of the same for the coming months, and possibly years. If we get out of this mess, it will either be because of more scientific triumph, or out of sheer dumb luck, if one variant becomes far more contaminant and far less dangerous than the ones it replaces.
But we’re also learning to live with the situation, to find happiness in different things and to adopt new attitudes. So it still feels right and realistic to wish all readers a Very Happy 2022. I hope the coming year brings you great prosperity, financial or otherwise, good health and fulfilment in whatever endeavor & adventure you embark on.
DearSusan was created to be a collaborative blog from day one. I’ve always wanted it to become a meeting place for people wanting to discuss a common passion. And, in its own minor way, the blog has succeeded in that.
Now, more than ever, I want DS to be a place where everyone feels welcome and encouraged to share photographs, ideas and points of views, to find friends across the world when they feel like it or need encouragement. So, sincere posts from everyone will always be welcome (I do refuse a lot of product placement posts, hence the “sincerity” clause 😉 )
But I also realise that a community doesn’t imply that all participants share the same needs or goals, so a few amendments will be made, starting in January. Those have already been discussed briefly in recent posts and will be presented in more detail shortly. Let’s recap.
It has been brought to my attention that some readers would love to leave feedback on some photographs beyond the usual congratulations and words of enjoyment most often profered in response to published posts. And, others like me, would also like to get assistance and suggestions from peers when a photograph somehow doesn’t meet expectations we had while making it.
My response to this is a double whammy suggestion of reaffirming the basics and providing feedback to those who seek it.
Critique shouldn’t be understood in the French sense of criticism, but in the more constructive acceptation of the word: evaluation and suggestions. Critique is the easy part of the duo : only readers who wish to see their photographs analysed will send some in for review. A group of seasoned photographers will look at them and share ideas which will be published with the photographs. And whoever wishes to can volunteer more help in the comments.
Basics is far more challenging to organise.
When I discussed the idea with him, Philippe rightly pointed out that any kind of structured “education” can normalise how those who follow it create photographs. And that many Vivian Maiers of this world have probably been weeded out of our photographic hall of fame by rigid rules and guidance.
So, Basics will never be a set of rules. Hardly a surprise for those who have read my regular rants against predefined, out of context, rules such as the rule of thirds or golden spiral. It won’t even be a set of guidelines or anything that could orient how someone photographs. Instead, I just want to provide an understanding of how our eyes and brain read and understand images, so as to provide a framework for evaluating one’s work, after the shoot. Even that is too much of a goal for myself, as my knowledge of this only extends to topics that interest me such as composition and PP. So I’m hoping the whole set of chapters will be a radically new approach and truly collaborative in nature. We’ll soon know 🙂
This is just me. All topics will be welcome as usual. But my usual thirst for nature has only grown even bigger this year. I’ve lost interest for much of life’s luxuries and few things please me more than being surrounded with silence and trees. Of course, this will be reflected in my photography.
It’s also a topic worth focusing on a bit more, beyond my personal work. I find that nature is the perfect antidote to Instagram and the toxic culture of perfect fakeness. Nature is wonderfully imperfect, so finding fragments of beauty where they as, as they are, makes us work harder from a creative standpoint and puts us in tune with out surroundings far more than going to the few famous hotspots everyone and their aunt seem to place in a compulsory bucket list 🙂
I sure hope so, but … so did I, last year at the same period. Video takes time, far more so than photography. And time is not a luxury on my side at the moment. However, I have ordered a new high-spec MacBook Pro, with video processing in mind.
So, … on that front, it’s wait & see 😉
NFT was one of the 2021 words of the year. I wrote about them early on, because the promise is quite exciting. Since then, a few hilarious discussions with gallery owners in London have convinced me that NFTs will – for a long time to come – stay a speculative curiosity of very limited artistic value.
However, the Blockchain still fascinates me, with its immense possibilities, and the idea of certified digital work has so many applications that none of those discussions have quite cured me of the desire to experiment.
I’ve never really tried to sell my personal work. Some stock images, some commissions, yes. More creative work? Never. NFTs with a twist seem like a good way to go about that. Readers regularly ask me how they can support the website, I’m guessing NFT sales could be a way forward, as well as an interesting experiment to describe for all others who might be interested.
In the mean time, let me once again wish you, and you families, a very happy new year 🙂
2022 probably won’t see us back to normal. We’ll again have to adapt and live differently from what we used to consider to be ideal. But like the spider web above, beauty and happiness can be found where we don’t necessarily expect it. Let’s find those ways, let’s share them with others, and let’s have the best possible time together 🙂
Be seeing you.
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