“A very receptive state of mind… not unlike a sheet of film itself – seemingly inert, yet so sensitive that a fraction of a second’s exposure conceives a life in it.” ~Minor White
Last Summer I took a trip to San Francisco and Big Sur. While it was unquestionably beautiful I found it equally stirring. As I strolled San Francisco I thought about what it might have been like in 1945 to be a student at the California School of Fine Arts Department of Photography. How much could a receptive mind learn from the likes of Adams, White, Lange, and Cunningham? As I explored the city I wondered if some of the things that caught my eye might have also caught theirs.
Later in the trip as we worked our way south I stopped at Point Lobos and set off on a solitary hike. I came across a tide pool and was mesmerized by it–shooting pictures as the patterns swirled and transformed. In a sudden rush I pictured Weston perched over that same tidal pool or one just like it shooting the ever-transforming scene; was he equally enraptured when he captured Tide Pool, Point Lobos (1940)?.
For everything that is good in this life, we owe something to those who came before. They are the trailblazers, the brave ones, the visionaries. And while I think they’d be flattered by all the attention, I’m pretty sure after some time they’d tell us to get the hell off of their path and find our own. It isn’t the path after all that’s great, it’s the exploration.
I’ll start tomorrow; today I’m emulating.