The sun had a circle around it. I’m sure there is science as to why, if you are one of the dwindling believers in that sort of thing. I saw it, photographed it. And now I’m about to print it. Just for me. Small, taped or glued into the journal as a reminder.
I like small things like this. Just moments. Nothing fancy. No need for status updates. Just point, aim and fire. One of my favorite moments of the Trump presidency was when he went outside during the eclipse and then did what every single human being was told not to do. He looked right at it. Stupid is as stupid does.
I’ve been staring at the sky a lot too. But not at the sun. A few days ago I noticed a star during the middle of the day. At first I thought it was a UFO. I wondered if I could shoot it down, stuff the aliens, develop a roadside attraction and get rich. But then it didn’t move. And it didn’t move. And I realized it would probably be armored and if I took a shot at it they might vaporize me or worse yet abduct me and force me to perform sexual acts with their race. (I have a lot of time to think about these things.)
I want to take a moment to thank all those on the frontlines of World War Virus. There are SO many people who are kicking ass and holding fast. Food services, medical, fire, law enforcement. I’m next to useless at this point. My immune system is about as reliable as a 1982 Ford Pinto. So, I’ve got to find other ways to help. This might come AFTER whatever happens. Don’t know but the plan is starting to spin. Good luck out there.
I know one way you’re going to help. The documentary photo work happening right now is amazing. Some day some of those stories will be in AG23, and I’ll be reading it.
People understandably haven’t got the time or inclination to reflect on these images now, but the photographers in the trenches right now are the same as the ones in WWII, Vietnam, and the Civil Rights era. As a wannabe documentary photographer, I’m kicking myself for not having figured out a way to contribute work. A big reason for that is I believe that old rule – do no harm. I hope to heck any photographer going near hospitals is trained in working in those environments and is geared up. They’ve got to have that access and trust with the medical community and not get in the way.
I’d be in the way. I’ve got to figure out other stories to tell, and how to do it without causing harm. So that means I’ve spent a lot of time at home like everyone else who can/should. I still take walks in my neighborhood, and I have to leave now and again to restock. I have my camera with me. Still fiddling with basic audio, so maybe I’ll finally practice some interviews.
I bought some masks from a local vintage thrift owner / fashion designer / artist. I’m giving most to friends – at a socially distanced drop off / exchange. If I get this thing, I’m blaming the guy at the bus stop. I saw him up ahead so ducked into the street to pass. Sure enough, Murphy’s Law, just as I was approaching he turned to cough in the direction of the street. I definitely dropped an F-bomb. Come on dude, into the sleeve.
There are tons of ways to help. Yes, some photogs I’m sure are suited up, pros and ready while others will try to use the disaster to sell themselves. It’s been happening since the advent of the Internet. But, just being the best version of yourself is enough. Learn something new so when we come out we are better, more informed, etc. I have no inclination to get out and shoot. Not the pandemic anyway. But I havne’t been a PJ guy in years.
Dan, I know you’re not a NYT reader, but I think you’re going to want to read this. The importance of journals/diaries. It’s an incredible article.
“The Lost Diaries of War
By Nina Siegal and Josephine SedgwickApril 15, 2020
Volunteers are helping forgotten Dutch diarists of WWII to speak at last. Their voices, filled with anxiety, isolation and uncertainty, resonate powerfully today.”
Awesome. Pure awesome. I think journals or diaries are one of those things that get taught out of people by parents, schools, etc. Like art, creative writing, etc. “That’s a waste of time.” “That’s silly.” How many photographers have thumbed their noses at me over the years after seeing my journal. I think journaling is one of the most important things can do and often acts a bit like meditation. An opportunity for pure thought. Clarity.
“Being the best version of yourself is enough.” Spot on.
Seventy years ago Camus’ central figure in ‘The Plague’ said “The only means of righting a plague is common decency.”
That’s what worries me.