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rs Gratia Artis roars Leo the Metro Goldwin Mayer lion at the beginning of all those great films of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Art for the sake of art.

When it comes to art, though, many of us harbor something of an inferiority complex. We can’t draw like M. C. Escher or paint like Rembrandt, so we imagine the visual arts to be beyond us; a gift given to select people.

Enter, stage left, Nicephore Niepce, a Frenchman with an almost unpronounceable name, and one of the pioneers of photography. The earliest surviving photograph made by him dates from 1826. Then came Louis Daguerre, father of the Daguerrotype (Louis was a modest sort), who commercialized a photographic process in 1839 (sponsored by the Government of France). The next 50 years saw a long list of photographic improvements, culminating with George Eastman’s marketing of the Kodak Camera in 1888. His goal was "to make the camera as convenient as the pencil," and he marketed the camera with the slogan “You push the button, we do the rest.” The camera came to everyman.

So now, all of us are artists (if we’re French, we’re artistes). Put a camera in our hands, and the visualization process starts. Each of us has a story to tell, a story unique as each snowflake

(don’t tell me they all look alike to you) and interesting to someone around us. The camera allows us to tell that story. We not only document our families and friends, we often make private moments public (oops!), and even make despots and other enemies of the free tremble! It is telling that they fear the camera’s eye, because it reveals truth and that truth has the power to set free (read Carlos Miller’s blog for a good view of the ongoing struggle with domestic dictators). Hands come out to cover lenses, cameras are confiscated and photographers are arrested (or worse) because the perpetrators of these acts have something to hide.

There is a larger truth, also, in photography when directed by the eye of our imaginations. In our eisegesis, that is, our reading into a situation, we reveal ourselves. Out of our hearts, we speak with photographs; of our yearnings, of our loves, of our desires, of our dreams. Show me your photographs and you show me yourself (this is why so many Hollywood narcissi embarrass themselves with their own photos).

  1.     Free the inner artist NOW!

  1.     Expose yourself! (figuratively speaking)

  1.     Keep your camera with you

  2.     Look at what others are doing:

  3.      Photographers on the web

  4.         (viewer discretion advised)

  5.    - The Photo Argus’ list

  6.    - The Hongkiat list

  7.    - Harry’s list

  8.    - Pieter Wisse’s list

  1.     Be bold!

  2.     Create your own photo project

  3.      Here are some of mine:

  4.    - The 50 State Capitols project

  5.    - Forest Park 365

  1.     Photo History timeline

  1.     A photographic history

  1.     Photo History Podcasts!


photos copyright 2012 Edward Crim

So, what are you waiting for? The journey starts today, into a world that lies ready to be truly seen. Capture those events, save those memories and preserve those moments!