I wanted to get in touch with old mentor recently, a brilliant individual who was an inspiration to my photographic creativity. He wasn't my boss or tutor, but a colleague who crossed into the arc of my life. In his day his images were recognised for their brilliance.
Times change. Technology changes. Ideas change. The world expects so much more today than it did "Before Digital". For some of my former mentors the ease of entry into photography has made their lives more difficult. Men who had gathered resources over a long career are suddenly in an arms race with happy snappers. Some of these men refused to go quietly, others faded like a silver print that hadn't been left in the stop-bath for long enough.
Searching for the faded light of a wonderful career I am reminded how quickly things can change in life. Prior success is no determinant of the future.
Anyone who owns their own business will understand that innovation and renewal is essential, because the world changes around us and you can't stand still for too long. Photography is no different. You're only as good as your last exhibition. It takes a bit of humility to appreciate that change is to be embraced, that whatever you're doing right today might mean nothing tomorrow.
Looking back at one mans work from Before Digital, the labour that had gone into carving beautiful images with light on film, I am reminded that no matter how lovely our creativity becomes there is always potential to go further. Maybe even a necessity to go further. The act of being alive is a dynamic process, always in flux and always moving forwards.
The creative mind is a creature that is swimming not drifting.