What Does Your Photography Mean To You?

Photograph by Pamela Hansen, one of my M.A. R. S students.
As the final event of my recent M.A.R.S workshop, I did something that I like to do on all my workshops: I ask the participants, "What does your photography mean to you?"

Photograph by Dennis Hilburger, one of my M.A. R. S students. *Canon 7D camera with 20mm lens
*HDR 7 exposure bracket beginning at F/9 with a beginning exposure of 1/15sec. Then the bracket was -1 stop,-2 stops, -3 stops +1stop, +2 stops, +3 stops,
*ISO of 160
*Photo shop was used to add the light beam illuminating from the lighthouse and the fill was reduced to the desired look.
As usual, several of the participants became emotional and teary-eyed while giving their answers - drawing several members of the class (as well as the instructor) into the strong feeling of the importance of photography in all our lives.

Photograph by M.A.R.S. student  Dennis Symons.
I have ended my classes and workshops like this for years, but I still get new answers. My favorite this year (which will not come across as being emotional in the typed words below:

"A way of remembering our childhood. After second grade, we stop brining home pictures to put on the refrigerator to show our parents. Why not do this as we get older, too? Photography is a way to bring back what the world has killed - the artist in all of us."

You could hear a pin drop in my classroom after that answer.

Photograph by Donna McCann.
Of course, I heard the usual, but equally as important, comments: a passion, an outlet, a way to remember, my ego, a connection and so on.

Below are some of the other new comments. If you have a comment, please share it in the Comments section here on my blog.

- An escape.
- A way of seeing more deeply.
- My social life.
- A way I write my history.
- Love and happiness.
- A happy accident.
- I have no choice. Freedom.
- Owning art.
- Back to my roots.
- Because of it I'm living today.
- Staying fresh.
- Art heals.
- I have to see with new eyes every day or else I'm nothing.
- I see better when I make art.

Thanks to all the students in my class. And thanks for the thoughtful words in your "thank you" card and for my new Indian Jones-style hat (not shown). I needed a new hat!

Photograph by Lee Waxman, another new friend from M.A.R. S.

My next open workshop is in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

Explore the light,

P.S. Speaking of childhood memories, click here if you need some :-)