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Wednesday, 04 March 2015


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And if you thought it was photography, and it is not, sell your gear as I did, without regret.
Perhaps in the future your outlook shall change, maybe.

Yes Mike, there are worse fates then not being an artist, it's being an artist :)

Mike replies: There must be worse fates than not being an artist. :-)
...uummm, being a Banjo player wishing to be in a metal band?

John McPhee in the March 9 issue of The New Yorker:

"The last thing I would ever suggest to young writers is that they consciously try to write for the ages. Oh, yik, disgusting. Nobody should ever be trying that."

The article is currently available in it's entirety on-line at The New Yorker. I wish the analogy with Duane Michals's quote really held up!

This quote appeared on Tokyo Camera Style at about the same time you posted:

"Being around him- and Lee- It wasn’t like you were around 'artists'. I’d been in painting classes in art school and these two seemed like just regular guys who enjoyed shooting all the time like some people exercise or eat- they didn’t talk about art ideas or the work that much. I wonder what he would have said if someone had asked him if he was ruthless or had a conscience. I have no idea. These two dodged any artsy questions like the plague- It was just 'I just shoot to entertain myself and I don’t care what you think.'"

— Michael Jang in conversation with Blake Andrews, on time spent as a student with Garry Winogrand and Lee Friedlander in the 1970’s.

If the thing inside you that needs to be expressed is advocacy or scientific documentation or photojournalism, that's all good. There's an amateur in town that takes exquisite photos of tiger beetles in the beetles' environment. Even insects need advocates.

There must be worse fates than not being an artist. :-)

I have to accept that fact 999 times for every 1,000 images I take. Does that mean I am only an artist 0.1% of the time, or only 0.1% of an artist?

Kenneth Tanaka: "...Of course there is one catch to this directive: what if you discover you've nothing to express?"
Simple, don't even try, do something else you enjoy. Like golf, for instance. (Full disclosure: I know Duane and have worked with him. Very sweet guy.)

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