Most people find me to be a boring person. That seems strange because from the inside it seems to me like new and interesting and ofttimes even valuable things are percolating up into my consciousness. Just yesterday I discovered just how boring even my photographs are, when an ordinary picture of a duck picking at its fleas was chosen from only five submissions to a local photo contest for submission to the Worldwide Photowalk. It is a very nice picture of a duck, but a bing search of mallard ducks will provide thousands of duck pictures which are good and some better. However, my picture of two boys jumping their bikes off a staircase is a unique study in boys’ motivations, and of social interactions with a young woman being totally unimpressed with these boys’ show-off antics. Anyone will look at the duck picture for half a second and move on to the next picture, but any half-conscious person will look at the bikers and the girl and the beautiful setting and pause for a while to wonder about the interactions of humans and why they ignore each other, or pay attention.
A quick perusal of last year’s Worldwide Photowalk shows a rather mundane collection of photos, and perhaps that is as it should be, because the intended audience for these pictures are ordinary people, living ordinary lives and concerned with ordinary things. The pictures are easy to look at but also they are easy to forget, because they are so simple and direct. I try to make my pictures a bit challenging to look at and difficult to forget, even though they are made of ordinary things viewed in typical settings and shot more or less straight. Sometimes, it is necessary to clone out visual distractions, and sometimes to move items associated with the picture a bit, but the completed picture is of the things of the time and of the setting in which the event existed.
Part of my personal striving is to motivate other people to do new things with their cameras and their lives, and to find new ways for people who see my photos and the photos of others so they may live within their personal worlds more fully. Below is a simple flower photograph, but the direct sunlight shines through the blossoms creating an unusual glow, and as it does so it creates transmitted shadows of the flowers behind, and the shadows are only partially illuminated with diffused transmitted light and so the blue sky reflected off the shadowed areas creates yet another layer of lighting effect. The transmitted light glow of the fuzzy stalks transitioning through light green to dark rose and down to near black adds more dimensions to light. There are many more such playful ideas in this photo. Click it to enlarge.
Perhaps the reason people find me boring is because I ask too much of them, and they don’t want to rise to the challenge. I will do some experiments with breaking off my lectures about what interests me and listen more to their stories before mine become too much for the other person, before I become oppressive and boring.
To avoid being boring listen to other people and talk about their interests.