The Bend Photography Meetup met today at the Old Mill coffee shop, where we had a discussion for over an hour about the qualities of our various cameras and our techniques of using them and our computer clean up of the images. A lot of techie communication flowed and ebbed which didn’t please me very much. It would have been okay if it consumed as much as half the time but, as usual it consumed ninety nine percent of the time, not devoted to social interaction.
When my turn came I expressed my annoyance that the only classic photographer ever discussed by these people, was Ansel something or other, and never a thought was given to the ideas expressed in the photos or how to emphasize the ideas. I complained rather excessively about the mundane quality of the art I saw last night in the Bend Art Walk. The technical quality is very good and there is an abundance of quantity out there too, but there is a paucity, a near void of any social cometary or even a challenge to the local dedication to the idea that art is intended to be nice, and art is supposed to be pretty.
In my own foolish way, perhaps, I think art should goad people to think and to ponder ways in which to improve the whole world around them, and not just their momentary eye-candy world view. Maybe I am wrong about this, because when the world is already quite good, as it is here in Bend, perhaps the best thing to do, is to not rock to boat, and instead to participate in keeping everything on an lovely even keel. That approach means to concentrate on the nice things in life, which are abundantly available here, and to suppress all challenging things, including any thoughts which are not understood before they are even heard, or in the case of photography, even seen.
That has been the direction of my expression of ideas in these meetings, and elsewhere, but it hasn’t been very well received. There are potentially some excellent photographers in this group, but they are not going to jog each other out of the complacency found here, and so it is unlikely that any of them will rise to their potential without an intense prodding. Humm.
These are not very challenging photos, but even so they may be annoying to some people. Each of them has just a bit of an unusual quality about them, and even that tiny bit may be annoying, and not very pretty.