Friday, January 10, 2014

But Hold on to What you Believe in the Light

Earlier today I was in my fifth period study hall reading through old post titles. It struck me just how much over the past year I've titled posts with music lyrics. Just a thought.

A note before the post starts: This is the week before midterms. I don't think I'm sane, but then again, when I am like this I can sometimes do my best work.

What I want to talk about is two things that may or may not be words: hypotheticality and intentions. Take that, for example. I wrote that non-word (my editor is giving me the magic red squiggles) in my weekly planner as a potential blog post. It seems anymore that we need something to strive for, or to have some path in place before we justify a destination.

It seems to me that spontaneity has gone from a desirable trait to something construed as irresponsible. Why does it seem this way to me? I live in a relatively self-contained bubble: my goals are set forth by some mythical curriculum committee of wizards or whatever for me to figure out in a calculated way. I understand how you arrive at an answer or destination or milestone or what have you is important. But does it lose its importance when it's carefully plotted out? When everything is expected, when everything is painstakingly explained, or planned?

I think it does. I think above the destination and above the specific route one takes to wherever they're going is what happens to stop that route.

I have four favorite photographers (they may argue with me, but I call them photographers) as of now who are: Dan Winter (Winner of ReimagiNATION 2013's Art Division), Brad Knabel (Carlynton Marching Band Resident Photographer), Dave DiCello (Pittsburgh Photographer; master of HDR) and Kate Kinley (really hard to describe. She does a lot of conceptual photography, and has a flickr and blog, both of which you should check out). The common thread between all four of them is that they take pictures of spontaneous life.

Life consists of those moments that aren't posed, that aren't the ones that you want to put in a resume, or on a college application. It's the stories of how you heard about that scholarship, or the parking ticket you got outside of that school, or that girl whose books you helped pick up in the hallway on the way to some class that make life move. I've never been fond of portrait photographers for this reason exactly. Life is more like an instagram picture than a school portrait.

I ask people (mainly at school, but elsewhere too) all the time what it is they plan on doing, where they are going, and more often than not do I get the response "someplace else". This troubles me a bit because they appear to think they have explored everything that is here (here being Pittsburgh). And I don't think that's true either. I want to explore things, and when I can't, I want to reexamine what I already know. I don't know, random thoughts.

If you are interested in checking out any of the photographers I mentioned above, here you go:

If you are one of the people I mentioned above and want me to delete the link, please let me know, like now. I don't want you to sue me or whatever, just email me at alex dot popichak at gmail dot com.

Oh, and the Spring Standards are playing Mr. Smalls (of Tally Hall adventure fame) April First. This is not a drill.

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