BJ'S BLOG 01/18/16 "Photographs and Ziggy"

January 18, 2016

Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:

At around age 10, I became interested in photography. The idea of capturing people and places and freezing forever memories, holding them in endless time, really appealed to my young mind. It was my dad who generated the interest in me. He wasn’t a professional photographer, but he loved “the arts” in all forms, from the purest to the most technical. We had a large walk-in closet across the hall from a bathroom that wasn’t used for much, so it became a darkroom.  Without running water, developing pictures got a little tricky, requiring a sprint to the bathroom to flush the chemicals and not overexpose the negatives. Aw, you caught me. This was well before digital cameras, memory cards, and Photoshop.

Someone said something about a thin line between love and hate, but I disagree. I think that line can become very blurred and in fact might not be a line at all but some type of intertwining cosmic convolution of emotions. In short, I believe it is truly possible to hate and love the same thing at the same time, people included.  I have started to feel that way about photography.

Pictures of people always seemed to preserve a lie. They can show a person then and that person now, but that’s just the changing shell. The people inside the pictures likely feel they haven’t changed and still have quick minds and agile hearts. And then something happens that says, whoa, hold on. What’s going on here? David Bowie has died? David Bowie who looks like Ziggy Stardust? Ziggy doesn’t die, and he especially doesn’t die looking like that poor wretched creature in the “Blackstar” video. And then you realize pictures don’t lie. They tell you what the mind denies. When the body finishes breaking down—and it will—it doesn’t matter how quick the mind or agile the heart.  Ziggy really did die.