I can never remember where it was I first heard or read this but...
“The radio was made for music; now, music is made for the radio.”
I was just thinking about how interchangeable music is with photography and radio with the internet or, more specifically, anti-social media and garbage apps like Facebook-owned Instagram. I get that the internet wasn't made for photos but stay with me.
Flickr – before it went to hell on the Political Correctness Express – was a truly unique platform for film photography. Up until about the early 2010s, the website was swarming with brilliant work from relative unknowns. Their pictures made you feel, think about or long for something; they had substance which made them worthy of admiration and even archiving.
Nowadays, self-proclaimed “visual artists” have feeds as sterile, safe and soulless as all the rest.
I'm starting to understand why people who start stories with “back in the day” are usually recalling better times.
It's always bothered me to hear photographers say things like:
“there's beauty in everything” and “inspiration is everywhere.”
There are individuals who dedicate their lives to the craft of photography. Many of them are full of faux-inspiring quotes about painting with light and whatnot. Some suggest that great art can be made by doing something as simple as photographing a crack in a wall. An argument can be made once in a while, sure. But if beauty was purely subjective (it's not), anyone anywhere could have an endless stream of inspiration to create. Not nearly everyone does. Thus, to preach that “it's not what you look at, it's what you see” is not always insightful or advantageous to all.
There are times you simply can't expect to be able to create something out of nothing.
Looking through old photos, I came across this. Not exactly a scene worth capturing on Natura 1600 but whatever.
Welcome to Chicago: a city so unlivable that it consistently ranks among the most abandoned in North America.