Create: For What It’s Worth Episode 022

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What an interesting week we have had. Let’s talk about a new hero, the single most important thing you can do as a photographer, defense attorneys, the rewarding minefield of CBD and how I managed to secure my first Leica. I’ll talk all day people.

Comments 12

  1. Another good entry. I’ve never been to Scandinavia, but it’s high on my list of places to want to move. I’m ready to leave America. No, I don’t hate America, but I also don’t subscribe to the idea that because I was born here, I’m somehow inextricably tied to it. It’s an amazing place. There are other amazing places, places that don’t have a weird gun culture/obsession, and where the health care debate doesn’t start at “don’t be poor”.

    I grew up around guns. Not in the house, but a lot of my friends had them. Hunters – .22s, bigger rifles (technical term), shotguns, locked away. It didn’t seem unhealthy. We’d go out shooting. Luckily my friends who had the guns were all taught well…but even so, it’s a wonder the rest of us didn’t do something stupid.

    Fast forward to the 2000s. I shoot photos at a lot of protests. It’s tough to distinguish the weirdly paramilitarized gun rights folks from the weirdly paramilitarized police. (Dumping all those retired military vehicles and gear on U.S. police forces was a terrible idea.) Mass shootings every week. Numb. When I drove across country in 2016 I saw open carry in all the gas stations and coffee shops. I stopped for a lot of coffee. The guns did not make me feel safer. Hmm, are you the “good guy with a gun” fantasizing about your potential hero role, or are you some angry white dude bitter about where the road has taken you? America is fond of excess. Somehow we went from hunting to “honey have you seen my extra extended capacity magazines? I’m going to be late to the Show Your Assault Rifle parade at city hall.”

    Other places aren’t perfect, but I think I’d instantly be more at ease in a place where every 3rd person isn’t packing an arsenal and scanning rooms for targets or exaggerated tramplers of their 2nd amendment rights.

    I disagree a little bit with the points about Iraq. I agree that it’s elected officials and the military industrial complex who deserve most of the blame. But there’s more than enough evidence out there for us to know (voters and veterans) that we might be the only ones who can stop the Forever Wars. Vote out the neocons and interventionists, get out of the military, don’t encourage your kids to join. That last one is a tough one. The military industrial complex knows how to wave some very tempting carrots in front of young people craving opportunity, purpose, camaraderie. I’ll never fault the 18-25 year olds who might not have read All Quiet on the Western Front. But the rest of us should have learned some lessons from Vietnam, McNamara, Iraq, and everything after the first month in Afghanistan (the Washington Post’s Afghanistan Papers should be mandatory reading in high schools).

    As with a lot of things, I’m a hypocrite. I stayed in that machine too long. I rationalized it by telling myself I needed to witness the events. There’s an endless stream of 18 year olds waiting for their shot. If any of them ever ask me for advice, I’ll steer them towards the Coast Guard. Or I’ll plant the seed of – sure, do it, be great at it, but read and pay attention. Take that college money and run. And if you stay in, make sure it’s your decision.

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      Well said. Guns are an odd thing. They were everywhere in my life for the first 21 years or so but they were inert. Then, everything changed. I see the Internet as the real culprit. A lot of people alone in the dark at home thinking they are connected and wanting to be part of something greater than themselves, no matter the cost. I don’t fault soldiers either. Policy is at the heart of the issues, bad policy that is.

  2. I’m listening to this a day after Trump refused to shake Pelosi’s hand so she tore up his speech. Yes, such a wonderfully civilised political landscape you have over there.

    By the way, isn’t it about time you got rid of those Twitter and Instagram icons at the bottom of this page?

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      Ya, probably a good time. IG for sure. I’m still on Twitter but that was an ask dating back to 2007ish, so I might be able to jettison as well.

  3. Amazing as usual. I don’t know how you consistently talk about interesting stuff, I could probably string together 2 minutes of dialogue a month.

    Original work. Definitely my challenge, I can’t stand doing anything that’s already out there. I hate copying.

    Introvert and public speaking. That introverts are not meant for public speaking is a big lie. I’m an introvert, the kind that goes to an event and then if you were to ask everyone if I was there they’d say no because I just don’t blend in crowds. But then, I don’t mind talking in front of people, I in fact enjoy it. And I believe introverts have a huge advantage when doing public speaking, in that we’re for the most part internally validated, we live in our bubble. So when public speaking we don’t seek or need the audience feedback, we can just focus on our delivery. Extroverts needs people to react, give them feedback when they talk because that’s how they energize. Being in front of a crowd is a lonely place for an extrovert to be alone. My thoughts, and advice when I hear an introvert say they couldn’t do it because they’re introverts.

    Sneaky way to get a Leica, care to teach me your father’s investments tips?

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      I am sneaky. No questioning that. Original work is a grind, or at least can be. You should read “Quiet,” about being an introvert in an extrovert world.

    2. Dan, Definitely will check it. Thanks. Grind to be original? True, I don’t think anyone can truly create original and personal meaningful work without countless hours of dedications.

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      People get lucky from time to time. Something goes down in front of you and you are the only one there…but most are correct.

  4. I believe I’m one of those people with technically competent but boring images and trying to take photos with better story telling or historical value is now my challenge. Seeing a Facebook newsfeed mostly full of images that are not only boring but also technically incompetent and over processed but which people seem to like was not helping me become a better photographer. It was doing the opposite. I’m glad I left more than 7 months ago. I need to work out what I want my photos to say, completely independent of the nonsense that happens on Facebook.

    And you’re right. We don’t need to share all our photos in order for them to be worth taking. Going into silent reflection mode this year and clearing all my work off the net until I decide what I really want to put out there makes more sense. It is also liberating to no longer care about proving I can do it all. It’s laughable now that I had my motorsports and light painting photos out in the public sphere. No matter how easily I learned how to do panning shots, I’m not passionate about motorsports, so who cares? Likewise, why did I have light painting shots in my portfolio? The only purpose it served was so that when photography enthusiasts around me wanted to get together to do light painting I could direct them to those images and say “Been there, done that years ago… I don’t feel the need to do it again.” What a silly reason to put those photos out there – lol.

    On another note, I completely agree about Steven King’s book ‘On Writing’. It’s great, but I don’t think I’ve ever read any of his novels either – lol.

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      Ridding yourself of FB. Good move. Not where one goes for anything good related. Sharing is a sickness. Not always, but when it comes to photography and modern culture I can say this with certainty. Sure, share when you have something to say but not endlessly and mindlessly. Social is a sickness as well. That is proven daily. Try this. Try thinking about motorsport in a different way. Forget the cars. Forget the action. What do you have left? Location. Culture. Family. Tradition. Politics. Science. Technology. A lot of stories in there.

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