Sunday, April 19, 2009

Headed Back To Japan

Last night Diane and I headed down to San Diego to hear John Prine and Josh Ritter. It was a wonderful concert in a pretty exceptional venue. It was held at the historic Spreckels Theater in the heart of downtown San Diego. It opened in in 1912, was renovated in 2004 and really just a beautiful place. Well worth the drive.

I’m sitting at SFO, headed to Japan and preparing for a long journey and a long few weeks ahead. In the next several weeks I’m in Japan, Canada, England and possibly Germany and China. It’s going to be crazy busy and I’ll be in dire need of time off when all is said and done. So the concert was a little bit of foundation for the trips ahead. Music has a way of doing that for me. And it’s made me think a bit about my own photography.

Looking at my iPod I see some 120 songs by John Prine. Out of that number I have about 88 in a playlist and about 20 of those are considered 5 stars. Mr. Prine has been producing music for a long time now. His writing is creative, unique and gets to issues in a way that is thought provoking. Over that period of time I wonder how many of those songs he considers his best?

Over the last 30 plus years I’ve had an on and off again love affair with the camera and photography. It’s provided me with a ticket to the world. A way to share what I see with some of the people closest to me. Today, it’s my creative outlet in an otherwise crazy world, at least my little slice of the craziness. And looking back over that span of time I don’t have much that I would really call wonderful, or good, or anything else. Maybe I’m too hard on myself. I’ve been accused of that and to some extent it’s most likely very true. And it raises the question on why I do this, why accept the pressure to produce something meaningful. It really boils down to the fact that I just really enjoy it.

I may never produce anything that anyone would consider great. But I enjoy the images and I think that’s what matters the most. Photography is constantly on my mind. I want to read about it, see it and actively work to produce an image. I really enjoy the process and it’s why I have a camera with me on this trip even though meetings and work related stuff will, in all likelihood, prevent me from making anything worthwhile.

So here’s one from the hotel window during my last trip to Japan. It’s taken through the rain splattered window overlooking the Shin Yokohama train station. Those shapes really interested me and I made several images of the structure over the few days I was there. It’ll mean something someday. Well maybe.

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