“Personal” Photography Musings

Given today is the general election for President of the USA perhaps it seems fitting to post about “personal” images. Because unless you’ve actually sat down face-to-face beside the candidates, all anyone voting has to go on are video images and (spoken) words. (And the rare discussion with those who’ve actually met the candidates.)

An electronic visual depiction of a human being is only a very tiny semblance of a rendition of who and what that individual is. But in this day and age where information gluttony is status quo, “image is everything,” especially in America. A vapid statement indeed. Especially given so many hold one another’s images anywhere in the range of high regard and affection, all the way down to utter contention and resentment, mostly unconsciously, not realizing even that in real life — away from all the screen time, and even combined with all the screen time — our sight, eyes, vision, images, eyesight, seeing, looking and visual consciousness is but a mere sliver of our current and potential experience and reality.

While professional photography for one’s (individual) website is commonplace today, that doesn’t make the process any less challenging.

It is all about how to depict and represent oneself authentically while bucking the mainstream staged photography aesthetic of appearing self-absorbed, egotistical, attention seeking, and feeding the hungry ghost of fame and celebrity solely for the sake of fame and celebrity. But not going to the other extreme either — the extreme of jadedness, disinterest, too-cool-for-school, and instilling any other mindsets detracting from authenticity. The aim is to transcend these two extremes while conveying a look and feel to accompany and complement the intent and purpose of the published location of the images.

Ideally, these types of pictures will also accurately convey an encapsulation of the culmination of one’s life experience and state of being at that unique moment in time and specific place. All without any kind of typecasting. Without defining, freezing in, and locking down any kind of personal identity while allowing plenty of mindspace to grow, evolve and expand into one’s next highest version.

Sometimes an image is so captivating one forgets the elements of mind, intent, attitude, and consciousness of the photographer, subject, and even the viewer in forging the visual experience. On one hand it can be wondrous, moving, inspiring and beautiful. On the other hand spellbinding with deep subconscious influences.

Another polarity in photography is stealing a bit of one’s soul versus revealing what needs to be seen.

“While the white man sits on his fat can
And takes pictures of the Navajo
Every time he clicks his Kodak pics
He steals a little bit of soul”

Some say one’s image can allow those with certain psychic abilities to heal, harm or otherwise affect or influence the subject. At the least, a picture can definitely form a mental impression in the viewer. How much difference this makes varies vastly and is dependent on myriad conditions.

On the other end of this spectrum photographs can coax out often hidden aspects, traits, demeanors, and comportments hitherto unbeknownst allowing one to “be seen” on deeper, more expansive levels and dimensions. There are those who need to be heard to be seen. And those who need to be seen to be heard.

Behold the butt chin, caved temples, jelly jowls and an Adams apple for a neck. And be sure to blink a few times to make sure you’re not viewing a corpse. I can kind of see now some of the reasoning why I was playfully told a long time ago, “I’ll break your face.” Or maybe just call such a semblance uniquely and distinctly chiseled. Whatever. It’s a bit of a shock sometimes to see what we look like on camera (as well as how our recorded voice sounds.)

I can’t sing enough praise about the color, lighting, background and composition though. Big ups and much love to Brannon Rehm, the operator behind the lens at Meramec Highlands Quarry aka Quarry Park aka Dee Koestering Park; a place where I wonder WTF went on there in an old twitter thread below:

(Mostly minute & unanswerable) questions about Meramec Highlands Quarry aka Quarry Park aka Dee Koestering Park https://goo.gl/maps/7sVdztNgKrLTNPzv7

Why the interest in this Meramec blue limestone over other limestone in the area?

Why stack huge stones on top of each other in the woods?

Some are at strange angles. Others look like they have tumbled down. Did they tumble? If so, how? If not, why and how were they placed the way they were? How (and why) did each stone get to its (current) position?

Why don’t the little stones propping up the bigger stones crush?

Is there evidence of these stones being sawed? If so is it reproducible? How long would it have taken to cut all these?

Why was the site abandoned?

What’s underneath the big stones?

What are all the kinds of fossils in the rock? Have these been studied and recorded?

How was this particular Meramec blue limestone formed and why at this location?

How were the massive table top portions of stone extracted from the sides of the hill? Why were certain areas of the (bed)rock cut into diagonally while other rock areas close by appear not cut into?

Why do some stone slabs have mini drill holes close together while others don’t seem to?

Why is one section of rocks spaced apart in 2 to 3 major piles?

Who all has inhabited & owned this land over time? What groups & companies were involved and their histories & backgrounds?

Is all the stone accounted for, as in do quarry records say how much stone was extracted; who bought it; where it went (& is it still there now); and how much stone was left unsold or unsellable?

[While taking notes at site iPhone froze & needed hard reset: power + home buttons]

Originally tweeted by j dippold (@JJDippold) on March 3, 2020.

Published by josh dippold


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