Tuesday, March 25, 2014

PICK OF THE WEEK: Street Photography Can Help Change the World

Being a Tourist isn't all Fun and Games (Amsterdam June 2013)

Those of us who are serious about street and social documentary photography have a passionate belief that photographs can change the world and make it a better place. For many it is the driving force behind their work. And this isn't some kind of amorphous, wishful thinking type of attitude: there are many many examples of photographs changing the course of history. And then there are the "little things": those times when a photo touches a soul, raises a smile, provokes a thought in a viewer. Then there are the times when a photo can prompt a person to take action, to do something, either in their own lives or for others.

Recently I received an email requesting the use of the photograph that is this week's Pick. I won't go into the details of the person who made the request. It's enough to say that he is a scientist working in an area that will be of benefit to all human kind. He wanted to use this image as a slide in the introduction to a lecture he is to give at a conference.

Naturally I agreed. Even to have a photograph of mine included in the introduction to a lecture on such important work is an honor and I am deeply deeply grateful. The scientist in question tells me that this photo sums up exactly what his work is about. I've yet to see the presentation, but I can't wait!

In many respects, the work I have chosen is a lonely road. Well, there is the sharing that happens on the streets between me and the people I am privileged to photograph. But even so the work itself requires focus and a kind of silence that can only be achieved by entering a state of contemplation, both on the street and later when the sorting, editing and posting happens. And that is an alone thing!

But, my work is humanist in nature and it is a joy for me to know that I can play even a tiny part in the work to make our planet, Earth, a little better for us all.

Peace to you all

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I welcome any comments, questions, suggestions. The floor is yours! Sharing is a huge part of my philosophy, so please, share your thoughts with us