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by Genghis

COMING IN 2011: New photographic adventures to hang our hats on.

The Christmas lights are still twinkling, and we are on the precipice of the light of a new year. The dawning of 2011 has us as photographers, looking fondly back at the photographs we made during the past year, yet stealing glances wistfully and hopefully at the Photographic New Year we embark on in a few short hours. Our sentimental minds are stirred as the old images flash before our very mind's eyes, and our artistic souls are on fire at what we perceive as new challenges to mount, and fresh compositional approaches we may take to reach new heights of Visionary Nirvana.

It is the dawning of a new age for photographers, and every new age must start with a new day. That new day leads to a new entire year of photographic exposure, adventure and ultimately, satisfaction as our mind's eyes' visions come to fruition---and this new day has arrived. The best of our photographic visions in the coming year, will be realized, resulting in the twin accomplishments of brilliance and finality. These pictures will sate our aesthetic souls by showing who we are, what we think, and how we see the world around us, when we allow our mind's eyes to rule our world photographically.

NEW YEAR'S LIGHT: Light will be shed on our photographic visions.

Every Photographic New Year must begin with a backward look at the old. These old photographic images seem in retrospect like they happened yesterday, because we as artists, put our very hearts and souls into each and every image that we expose to the film plane or digital sensor. Because of the extraordinary effort and emotion we put into the making of these photographs, these memories stay forever fresh. I can look at a photograph I took forty years ago, and I can remember what I felt while I took it and how I executed the making of the exposure to this day. I can recreate the planning of the composition. I can visualize holding the specific camera I used, feel the heft of it. I can envision making the print in the darkroom. I can recall the exhiliration of seeing the image as the print dried, exulting in my success.

Every photograph that we keep and cherish, is like a child to us, making us smile with satisfaction and inner warmth. Sometimes that smile that spreads across our faces, is engendered by a smile from a human subject that dominates a photograph. That smiling subject may be in a sea of people surrounding her, a sea of people unaware of the rare photographic drama unfolding among them, making the contrast between that person and the unwitting passerby around her all the more remarkable. Very often, these dramas are only known to the photographer. On rare occasions, the specialness of the drama is known by both the photographer and the subject, creating an unseen line of consent between the photographer's eye and the subject's knowing acknowledgement.

This subject's smile shows her spontaneous collusion with me and my camera as the drama unfolds.

Looking forward into the possibilities of the Photographic New Year is exciting and titillating. The possibilties are endless, and can range from dynamic street photos to the unmatched grace and dignity that is generated by single flower. This single flower may rule her royal court in our photograph, by contrasting herself to the fawning and worshipful foliage surrounding her, rendering her graceful and powerful with their counterpoint in duller color and relative lower luminescence. They treat her as Queen, and she graces our photograph like the Beautiful Ruler that she is.

That is what's terrific about photography. All styles of photography are open to excellence in their ranks, each sub-discipline achieving visual impact in its own unique way. In the upcoming Photographic New Year, photography will allow us as individuals to hone our chosen artistic styles according to our specific creative minds, to the same conclusion of photographic excellence. There is no one best style of photography. There is only the One Best Result that we all chase with our hungry lenses, that is borne of technique, talent and drive. This One Best Result is exemplified in our most moving images. Photography is a Big Tent with room enough for all stylists to create.

Pay homage to the Queen.

Photography is a solitary endeavor, a solemn pact between a photographer and his or her camera. It's just us against the world, baby. A photographer ventures out into the world alone with camera in hand, to explore and expose the beautiful, interesting and sometimes bizzare. Any socializing between photographers is done between exposures, between sessions, and sometimes vicariously on the internet. I would be remiss if I didn't mention a reconnection I've had with an internet photographic community recently, and this reconnection was sparked by a closing of a site. For many years I frequented and contributed to a website called A couple of years ago, I phased out of this wonderful community because it's image posting requirements mandated very small images. I got tired of creating smaller versions of every image I had just to meet Webaperture's posting parameters.

I recently learned that Webaperture was closing it's virtual doors. After reconnecting with many of my old friends from Webaperture, I learned that a Facebook Webaperture Page had been created. This is wonderful! Now through this Facebook page, former Webaperture members can post pictures and stay socially connected, just like on the old site. Because of the ubiquity of Facebook membership, most of my old friends from already belong to Facebook. Another bonus of Facebook membership: Every time we post photos at our own respective Facebook pages, these images are instantly transmitted to other Facebook "friends" and posted at their respective Facebook sites, so that they are able to view our photos. This has boosted image-sharing among former Webaperture members to a new level. The Facebook Webaperture Page however, is the main meeting place for Webaperture members.

Photography is a solitary activity but the internet has fostered friendship among photographers.

We are on the verge of the Photographic New Year, and this is an exciting time of year for us. We look foward with excitement, plans and expectations moving forward into this new day, new month and New Year. Our cameras are primed and gassed-up, and our lenses are shiny and clean. Our mind's eyes are refreshed and rested, ready for the challenge of this new Dawn of Photography.

We're on the verge of a New Photographic Dawn in a New Year.

This is what makes the art of photography so great. It is a constantly renewable art that is only limited by our imagination, creative drive, aesthetic sense and technique. There will be thousands of arresting images that we each will generate in the coming year, regardless of which style we individually engage in. Good luck, have fun, and accomplish.