Thursday, November 30, 2017

There Is Still Hope

A couple of days ago I posted the first of what turned out to be three posts with bird pictures.

In that post I said a few things about my intermittent but lifelong experience with photography.

Inevitably the comments centered on the hardware: what brand and type of cameras have I owned over my lifespan to date.

That hardware centricity is just me: for me a well crafted camera, and if is capable of changing lenses, any of its associated lenses are things of beauty; they are to be savored when not in use.

I feel the same way about guns.

My love of firearms has nothing to do with the Second Amendment.

A Browning ultra light 20 gauge with a ventilated rib is a thing to be kept in safe, dry, locked storage; occasionally it is to be brought out of storage and be enjoyed as a work of art; it never need be loaded or discharged to be completely functional – for me – in its ultimate purpose.

I feel that way about books as well.

Over the years the hardware centricity that I have for cameras and lenses has found ancillary utility: I have learned to express myself using cameras for their designed purpose.

And that has added a vital dimension to my life.

The evolution of the hardware of photography has accelerated into a full fledged revolution.

And I have become something of a camp follower of that rapidly rolling army.

Every time Sony has a major new announcement I give the new thing my complete attention and analysis: do I really need the dollar eating features and functions that have just been added to the Sony predecessor that I am currently using?

Or not?

So when I got an email from B&H telling me about a live stream panel discussion for the new Sony A7RIII, I enthusiastically clicked on the link and watched the event.

There were five young people – one a moderator - all professional photographers.

I doubt if any of them was older than thirty five.

It was a good session; I learned a lot; I probably am going to upgrade.

But the thing that hit me about five minutes into the event had nothing to do with B&H, Sony, the A7RIII or anything tangibly related to commerce or photography.

“These kids are the future of America, and I like America’s chances if these are the sort of people we are and will continue to be” I heard myself thinking.

In the drab, downer dominated, discouraging and disheartening era of donnie I saw the first sign of hope.

There are people who love life, the world, one another and are moving forward.

There are people who think thoughts, not alternate facts, who savor ideas and probe the edges of what they think they know.

There are people who spontaneously and articulately, and with a smile or a chuckle can follow a heuristic line of discussion to cogent, spontaneous and whimsically entertaining conclusions.

There are young Americans who don’t need to be made great again; they already are; they always have been; and no amount of socio political filth can change that.

So I have hope.

And part of that hope is that I hope there are lots more like the ones on the panel; and I hope they all vote.

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