|Brooks Institute, graduation day 1995|
In 1995, I sat amongst my fellow graduates listening to the wisdom of a respected professional and industry leader. Robert Glenn Ketchum eloquently blended stories from his travels with his thoughts and advice. His underlining message was this, you are photographers and your tool is a camera. You are to carry this tool with you at all times and use it to record your life, life around you or just amuse yourself while doing the photographic equivalent of scales on the piano.
Whatever you do, just carry a camera and shoot with it.
I smiled to myself as I was the only one of my graduating class who had a camera with me, my battered and traveled M4-2 with a 35mm Summilux was over my shoulder and loaded with drug store color print film.
To this day I carry a camera with me almost everywhere I go - it varies from a small Lumix digital camera, a Canonet, Leica, a smoking Yashica T4 on loan from a friend, and sometimes just my Holga, which has been repeatedly modified.
On a sweaty, rainy and foggy morning last month, I was zigzagging across the loop on my way to a three-day off-site strategic planning meeting for work. As I approached one of my favorite Chicago icons, I saw a most beautiful site; Marina Towers was completely enveloped in fog. I had the perfect camera with me that morning, a half frame Canon Demi, with its razor sharp fixed 30mm, f/1.7 and built in meter, the EE17 is really a joy to shoot with. It was loaded with Fuji 160 color neg. I dialed in a stop and a third of compensation (by adjusting the film speed) and shot almost an entire roll of film. For fifteen minutes everything in my world just stopped, it was fantastic.
|Marina Towers Triptych|
Sure I was late to the meeting, but I arrived excited, engaged and totally ready for the (long) day.
So thanks Robert, thanks for your words that live on daily!