Thank goodness for RMSP students. Jimmy White, one of our Career Training graduates, just sent me this fascinating blog post about a photographic study that he made of a fly species called Ornidia obesa. I recommend that you take a look at his post if you are a curious person. Heck, I suggest you take a look even if you aren’t curious because perhaps it will inspire you to pay special attention to your personal surroundings in a new way.
They say that it’s important to try to learn something new every day. As photographers, we have the opportunity to create windows into worlds that others may not have an easy access to. Sometimes we find ourselves drawn to photographing a subject “just because.” This in the moment spontaneous style of shooting is critical to the creative process. If we are always analyzing why we are choosing a subject or a particular perspective, we may lose our sense of the spirit of photographing. Often, our best images happen when we are not trying, but really when we are just plain curious. Curiosity feeds us. It feeds our imaginations. It was curiosity that fed Jimmy’s urge to photograph a fly in 2008. And it was curiosity and drive that compelled him to keep photographing that fly until he arrived at a picture that excited him. And it was curiosity that urged him to think about that fly in the picture years later when he was sharing it in a portfolio review.
This curiosity drove Jimmy to research this insect which in turn taught him something really astounding about this life form…And that inspired him to photograph the fly some more. Then he wound up with a series of interesting images and he wound up with a bit of narrative to add to it on his blog. And I read his blog and he aroused curiosity in me. And now, it’s going to make me move through my day today just a little more conscious and curious about my surroundings. That just might make me take a spontaneous photograph. It’s interesting how cyclical things can be and it’s intriguing how what we may find inspiring in images that we create, just may change another person’s day. Jimmy did this for me today and maybe one of my photos did that for someone else at some point. Yeah, these are just mental meanderings, but they matter.
Jimmy has a background in law. He also has a passion for preserving our environment. It is always interesting to me how our interests and backgrounds can inform our photography. Jimmy is a conservation photographer. His images, just like Robert Glenn Ketchum’s, may create change in our world. We may wind up with safer drinking water thanks, in part, to Jimmy. We may have fewer species that go extinct because of Jimmy’s photographs. But for today, he can know that he aroused curiosity in me as I find myself in my office prepping for the arrival of our Summer Intensive students. So, thanks Jimmy. You expanded my day.