So, I can be tough as a diamond.
I can also be as fragile as a snowflake - dissolving and melting into a puddle of tears over the lamest, sappiest most nonsensical of things. Kodak commercials are especially adept at bringing on the waterworks.
Photographs, too...especially photographs...they can (and often do) evoke a strong emotion. I love them, they're like little windows that have been left open, allowing me to crawl in to someone's vision and imagine the story they tell.
I am an appreciator of photographs, with absolutely no talent or ability to capture a remarkable image of my own. I SUCK at taking pictures. However, I believe this disability of mine allows me to truly appreciate, admire and immerse myself in the work of others MUCH more adept at it. Like a food critic that can't cook, but knows a good meal when they taste one. Yeah, that's me when it comes to photos.
So I decided to share a few of my favorite internet sites that I believe are secretly black holes, for each time I visit them massive amounts of time seem to evaporate. These sites use film and photography to capture humanity at its best and worst - I think it is just awesome!
This Wild Idea/365 is just epic. Theron traverses the country interviewing (mostly) strangers, giving us a unique view of our corner of the world. He does an audio interview, along with photographs of their lives. There are people you'll like and people you won't - all have a story to tell.
Pictures, from ordinary people, inspiring a Hollywood style short film? This made my heart skip a beat. I'm not a cinephile, I like movies but I'm not exactly passionate about them. However, when you create an entire story, then produce a short film based on a few selected images?? That gets my attention. There were 8 categories photographers could submit their photos under - then one photo from each category (I think) was chosen to create the film "When you find me."
The above clip with Ron Howard should lead you to the film, but if not - here it is:
*warning: You'll need tissues, it is a beautiful & tragic story - but ultimately, wonderful and stunning. Watch the end, before the rolling credits, to see all the images that inspired the film.
This final film clip is a compilation of 4,500 hours of video, taken by average people from 192 countries...all filmed in one day, July 24th, 2010. It is exactly as it says, life over the course of an entire day. The bewitching hours of the early morning, the world waking up and rolling out of bed, getting ready for the day and so on. It is odd, quirky, affectionate, silly and you'll roll your eyes and say,"Oy...really?". What is amazing is that the footage isn't all from highly industrial cities, from people living middle class lives and sporting video cameras - it is life from everywhere, that is the beauty of it. I know it is long, but watch if you can. I think it's beautiful.
So, you now see that I'm a big softie inside a diamond exterior. I'm thoroughly enamored with humanity and how it chooses to portray itself - I love the images people catch and the stories they tell through that looking glass.
Film and photography are art forms and as with any art form they can (and often are) manipulated by the person behind the camera, however I don't believe it makes the image less honest. I believe everything that I've posted here is up for interpretation, it's yours to imagine as you please.
I can't forget National Geographic...this is the black hole I spoke of earlier. I can get lost in their photo-streams for hours upon hours, I'm not kidding. Here...look for yourself: National Geographic Photography. And bring some coffee with you...you might be awhile...I'll meet you there. ;-)
Yes, I've already cried a bunch this morning posting all three of these videos.
I know I said I didn't feel like writing, but I guess that's how it happens, right? It just does...happen. Go figure.