“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” Henri Cartier-Bresson
And while numbers are simply numbers, it made me think about photographs taken and lives touched by them. An image may be technically perfect and still leave viewers flat. Other times an image with technical flaws (backlight, exposure, composition) can touch people in ways you never expected.
The last two months I’ve been staying fairly close to home to complete a certificate program at the Center for Documentary Studies at DukeUniversity. I began the program several years ago, but then life and travel got in the way of completing it. In a way, though, it seems as if the delay worked out for the best. I am in a much better place in my life and career now and much more able to put together a final project of the level necessary for completion of the program.
Tomorrow, I will present a multimedia documentary presentation of the Harvesting Diver project, called “For Cheap Lobster”, showing the devastating affect that diving has on these groups of men who harvest the sea. Thiswill be final presentation as part of the CDS Certificate program and where Iwill receive my Certificate in the Documentary Arts.
And ultimately, that is the power of the photograph. To tell a story. To make a connection. To make the abstract real. It is possible as a writer to tell a story and elicit that visceral reaction from a reader. It can be done, but it’s difficult. The reader has to pay attention and focus on what you’re writing.
Now that this phase of the project is done and the certificate program is complete, it’s time to get back out on the road. Time to make more images and tell more stories..