yes, I am a photographer


the money shot... © Raffaella Loro

There is a lot of politicking going on these days and I've found it rather fascinating to compare the level of spectacle in the goings on of the Canadians vs. the Americans. In simplistic terms the Canadian political system tends to lack the bright lights and high production values of the Americans, which of course works both for and against them. Generally the level of spectacle in the American system bothers me except when it comes to the photographic coverage of the campaigns and recent conventions. I watched two interesting slideshows today on the New York Times which included some of the perspectives of the photographers who were on the campaign trail or present at the conventions. One slideshow followed photographer Damon Winter on Obama's campaign trail while the other followed a group of photographers who were capturing history at the conventions The pairing of the imagery with the photographers' narration was very interesting. Aryn and I were talking about my seemingly lack of interest or avoidance of conversations about politics in the last few years, a response due in part to the fact that I'm a bit of an idealistic sap and it bothers me to see politicians becoming even more like celebrities and their speeches becoming hollywoodized. However, despite my dislike for the glitz and glamour of politics I can't help but be fascinated by the imagery that documents it. Of the two slideshows that I watched today, the photos that interested me most were the photos of the two conventions featuring the protests and the photographers' vision. I'm not sure what it was, but these photos provided a stronger connection to what has been happening, more so than any other media coverage. Perhaps it is because these photos were taken in the midst of all the activity. The photographers were right there, they were experiencing what was going on. I think it might also be how I react to photography. A still image is something I can study. It encapsulates a period in time, it freezes light and shadow.

I've decided that I will finally start calling myself a photographer. When people ask what I do I will tell them I am a photographer. It is what I do. I don't quite take my camera everywhere, because it does get in the way of me interacting normally... but when I do get a chance I do carry it with me most places. My friends are mostly used to it now. I like documenting life like this. After all, I spend my day trying to look at things differently. When I was younger and I would go out walking I would always try to describe what I saw. I have found that as I have grown older this habit has remained but the words translate to images which in turn translates to a technical analysis of how I might shoot that particular scene. Just this evening as the sun was setting I looked behind me towards the bedroom and I could see the light in my apartment slowly disappear. I wanted to document this movement of light. I wanted to show the shadows creeping over the furniture, pushing the light back out the windows and across the west until it sank below the horizon. I did nothing though... knowing full well that by the time I had my camera ready the light would all be gone. So instead I write about it here and catalog the scene in my brain. That will have to be enough for now. One of these days I'll photograph such a scene.