May 22, 2022

The Real Deal: The Good, The Bad and the Beautiful of a Life Behind the Camera

And then theres my friend and editor Ted Waitt, and Rocky Nook, my ever patient publisher. I penned the agreement some years back, and I think there was a stipulation in there that stated, “Dude, whenever.” The pandemic ended up being the window. Ted and I are extremely attuned in regards to both bent humor and respect for the story. He permitted me the freedom to simply write, even though the stories I was producing had no direct nature or reasoning. I generally provided to Ted a jigsaw puzzle of words and pictures. He discovered the path to a meaningful book.

And it continues. At this point in my life, I see the world through a rectangle, idly making air photos in my head of virtually anything I see around me. The work of a professional photographer is intensely personal, and overtly public at the exact same time.

I constantly counsel that the cam is not a cam, its a visa, allowing the provider thereof to transit borders, both personal and geopolitical. Observant, funny, whip clever, and outstanding business, I was sent to picture Mary when I was a staff photog at LIFE. Our meet resulted in first, an image she has explained to me as the favorite shot of her ever done, and thence a friendship to this day.

Which seems to be going well in various classifications, https://rockynook.com/shop/photography/the-real-deal/, up until now.

I permitted myself the title of expert photographer in 1978, and Im still standing, shooting jobs, cam to my eye, doing education, believing on it, talking about it, and, when again, composing about it. The Real Offer: Field Notes from the Life of an Operating Photographer, is done, and out and published.

And! She likes it. She did me the honor of publishing on Twitter.

I signed off the book as I will sign off here.

Ive been asked what the book is actually about. Is it a how-to? Is it about little flash, and where to put the light? A video camera instructional?

In the frontispiece, I composed, “I pictured a life. And then I took photos of it.”

Thats practically it, at its most simple. I grew up steeped in stories, legends, and the lore and lure of the faraway. Which may be a little odd, given the truth that I was a middle class kid of no particular description or difference. Went to five various grade school, got schooled and slapped around by five various orders of nuns, and headed to high school, where the Irish Christian Brothers continued those jobs, with vitality. Nothing at all impressive took place, conserve in my creativity, which looked for the refuge of books, much of which included photos.

The photos along the way, gathered like intriguing pebbles on a lengthy beach walk, span Kodachrome to pixels, and the cameras from the Nikon F to Z.

No.

Whichs what this book is. Intensely, deeply personal, not only in the stories, guidance, knowledge (hopefully) and direction provided, but also in the relationships acquired through the act of putting your electronic camera to your eye, which to someone untutored in the psychological magic of all this may seem to be a completely mechanical deal including the measuring of light and the focusing of a lens. Smile!

Image by Dennis McDonald

Love and light to all.

The life of a professional photographer is mostly about climbing over the safety rail, and peering out, and over, and beyond. And we keep doing it, ill advisedly, despite the fact that there is often absolutely nothing there to see, or what is seen is disappointing, irrelevant, drab, and hardly worth the effort, much less the threat to ourselves.

The images along the method, collected like interesting pebbles on a prolonged beach walk, span Kodachrome to pixels, and the electronic cameras from the Nikon F to Z.

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” Walk on air versus your much better judgement.”

The Irish poet laureate, Seamus Heaney, possessed of a deep eloquence and understanding of the human condition, may have unintentionally penned the very best description of a photographic career. It is in truth carved on his gravestone in Northern Ireland.

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And it continues. At this point in my life, I see the world through a rectangular shape, idly making air images in my head of virtually anything I see around me. The work of a professional photographer is intensely personal, and overtly public at the same time. Extremely, deeply individual, not just in the stories, recommendations, knowledge (ideally) and direction used, but likewise in the relationships got via the act of putting your electronic camera to your eye, which to somebody untutored in the emotional magic of all this may appear to be an entirely mechanical transaction involving the measuring of light and the focusing of a lens. I always counsel that the camera is not an electronic camera, its a visa, making it possible for the carrier thereof to transit borders, both geopolitical and personal.

Due to the fact that there might be a picture there. And that tantalizing possibility is the unlimited fuel that stimulates the photographic spirit, and makes you climb up over the rail, even when reasoning states remain put.

Ive been writing this book for the last 2 years, and Ive been thinking about it for the last 5 and living it for the last forty.