The Year of the Lens
Cameras, cameras everywhere. It’s absurd to think that in your queue for coffee, you and the people around you may possess 2-3 cameras apiece. 60, 70, 100 cameras in the room. Cell phones, iPods, laptops, Flip cameras, and on and on… Huh? How did we get here? Has it made life better? Are pictures any better? In many cases the answer is no. The 1/8th inch camera on your laptop bezel does not have the potential to make you Ansel Adams. And of course, it’s not meant to. And so while we take imaging for granted these days, downright expecting cameras everywhere, we still demand ‘quality’ photography elsewhere. Take a hike in any national park and you’ll notice a whole lot more tourists with big, expensive d-SLR cameras dangling around their necks. This too is a good thing, giving the lay-person the chance to have vacation photos that are actually worth a damn.
The plethora of cameras, however, do pose a good challenge for those of us who make most of our living behind a camera. Now that the technology is available to just about everyone, it comes down to vision, to experience, to the eye. Fortunately, ubiquitous technology does not an artist make. It still comes down to what you know, how to compose a shot, and how to tell a story through a window of glass.
I declare 2011 The Year of the Lens not only because there are more lenses than ever, but because I am challenging myself to do my best work yet. Last year I took over 10,000 photos, and hundreds of videos. This year I aim to take more, to explore more, and to produce the best images of my life. They say a picture can tell 1000 words, looks like I’m going to say a lot.