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January 16, 2016

Huntington, West Virginia

I recently enjoyed this short PBS Video segment on the photographer Ken Van Sickle of New York City.  Mr. Van Sickle is an older gentleman and apparently enjoys photographing in the same genre as I do, just shooting what you find interesting and trying to find the best way to present what you see in an equally interesting way to others.  His images are much more artistic though, he has had quite an eye, working for 6 decades on his photography.

The comments to the article are very interesting themselves, some invoking and debating a quote by Thomas Merton, whom you will recognize if from nothing more than my occasional discussion of him (providing you are a long time reader here).  Mr. Wallis made a comment that we can all agree upon, that the educational requirements for being a photographer have declined considerably during our lifetimes, assuming you are my age, give or take.  Our local camera club had a long standing requirement, lasting for decades (about 30 years at least) that once you reached the level of a an accomplished photographer, then you had to process and print your own images yourselves.  That was, of course, back in the black and white film and fiber based paper days.  Still, not a bad requirement.

 If the camera club, or any group, required their members to shoot RAW, use no automatic plugins or "artistic" apps, and then print themselves in order to reach whatever level deemed "an accomplished photographer", then how many would reach that level?  

 Still, I have never enjoyed images as much as I have during the past several years.  The argument can be made that it is the image that decides, not the process at all.