Weekly Post Challenge: “Habit”
I’m talking about street photography, as I so often do! While many, rightfully, obsess about how to do it I’m often preoccupied with the reasons of why to do it. It comes from my upbringing. I was always taught that there is a reason for things; a reason for doing things. I should be conscious of my actions because my actions have positive or negative consequences. Not merely act out of some instinct or meaningless habit.
Truth be told, not everyone thinks ahead. Some of us do but unfortunately don’t think far enough ahead when it’s actually possible. Getting into some sort of trouble is typically how life tells us that we’ve grossly lacked foresight.
Thanks life, for letting us know after the fact! That’s just what we need! You’re so awesome!
Oscar Wilde is well known for many quotes. One being: “Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” Well, given some of his choices life, he really ought to have known. The blessed reality about his axiom; however, is that those who survive their mistakes are placed in a wonderful position to teach the rest of us to not copy their errors.
That said, not repeating history works well when we don’t arrogantly accuse the experienced ones of being hypocrites for not practicing what they preach. They’re only trying to save us from relying too much on that 20/20 hindsight.
I try to use art to make foresight a good habit.
Where I live, there is a grassroots effort (carefully trying to not say “movement”) to look at the city of Hamilton’s past to understand where most surviving things came from, discover what has been lost and complain about what might have been. One of the top ways this is done is to review historical photographs held by private collectors, public library and historical society and newspaper archives. We regard it as connecting with local heritage, and I know this happens in many other communities around the world.
For me, the only hang up about it is that it doesn’t seem to inspire serious consideration of the city’s future, and tomorrow’s prospects – as difficult as they are to predict, are important to me.
When I make sci-fi art, I’m often trying to envision a future so distant that it’s really hard to be certain of. Much closer to reality; when I do street photography at home or in some other city, one of my aims is to document how the place is now in hopes of instilling serious thought about the future.
Yes, although street photography is done viscerally there can be a meaningful purpose, and there is one for me. Just as there are photographic records of the past, there should be some of today. Not just so that future generations can use them to reminisce and bicker as we currently do but so that those pictures may hopefully also be used to help create a better tomorrow.