Sometimes, just sometimes, as an artist you lose your vision and drift off onto other tangents. Not that that’s bad or less important and in ways it may be your way of growing within your field. Maybe it’s paramount to your development or your way of experimenting with things.
When I first got into photography one of the things I really loved was taking unstructured or candid photos of people just being themselves. One of the things I bought during that time was a 400mm lens for my Pentax just to be able to be more anonymous. After a few years I found myself drifting into landscapes, boats and water. A few more and it was nature, flowers, birds trees, cars and all sorts of things. I became eclectic. Eclectic isn’t bad in itself but it lacks specific focus.
The other night I watched a show, Snapshot: the Art of Photography. It was on Lincoln Clarkes, a Vancouver Photographer. He’s built a career doing what I virtually abandoned almost a half century ago. It was like an instant needle being dragged across vinyl or those nails on the blackboard. My mind came to a screeching stop and I began to rethink some things. Maybe I have to reposition a bit and do something a bit more important.
Here in the little backwater of Keremeos there is a group that a lot of locals don’t especially like. Pickers. Without pickers the fruit industry would not survive and the vast majority of them come from Quebec and are reminiscent of the Hippies of the 60’s. I’ve walked by this group a hundred times and they walk by my house daily but until I watched the documentary on Lincoln Clarks it just never clued into my eclectic mind that this is a group that should be documented. Where else could you possibly find such interesting people with colorful hair, different clothing, dreadlocks and full body tattoos.
I think by looking at Lincoln’s body of work it shocked me back into realizing what I thought was important in the beginning and to help be focus on the future.