It's not "what you took with you" it's "where you've been."

A ceiling detail from the Alexander Palace in Pushkin, Russia. 1995

Dead of winter. Blizzard conditions outside. The one thing Russia had plenty of in 1995 was petroleum and the one thing they shared all over the country was heat. I've never been  hotter than in a Russian public building in the dead of winter. I was part of a survey team from the World's Monuments Fund. We were analyzing the very last palace of the Czars. This is shot with a Hasselblad SWC/M.  It was a specialized, wide angle medium format camera that had a permanently attached 38mm Zeiss Biogon lens on the front, a bright-line optical viewfinder in the accessory shoe and an A-12 film back on the read end. There was also a bubble level on the camera.  The system was sharp and distortion free.

All we had back then was film and film cameras. All the camera info is in a little notebook that I kept while I was in the St. Petersburg area in February of 1995. I brought home so many better memories than of what was at the end of my camera strap. It was the people I met and the sights I saw that stick with me. Curators and guards, translators and professors. 

In the end it may be what you take with you on assignment, but I certainly am not referring to cameras and lenses and power packs. I am referring to all the experience and vision you have already packed in your head. Just a thought.  And actually, that's the most valuable commodity today-----just a thought.


Patrick Dodds said...

Excellent. Concise and excellent. Well said.

robert quiet photographer said...

Interesting. A simple thought with a simple photo. Beautiful.