This month, I am sharing work that is not mine but that continues to inspire me. This is an image from a postcard I bought at the DeCordova Museum. There was no other information about this photo but the date, 1890. It got me thinking. In 1890 photographs were taken with cumbersome 8x10 camera's shooting onto negatives of glass plates. There was no rapid fire Nikon at 8 frames per second. Each image because of the prep work and cost involved was done with intent. In this take of a what appears to be a man jumping at high--possibly life-risking--distance, there was time for only one take. The timing of the jumper and the camera man was probably done through yelling and a finger on the shutter trigger. I am going to presume that this image was taken for the pure joy of it. Maybe these were photographers getting paid on assignment for the government to photograph the West and while out there, got a personal inspiration. Who knows? But the inspiration says to me--sheer joy and freedom. The prep time in an image made in 1890? A few hours more than an image made now in the mere seconds it takes all of us to pull out our iPhones.
Often we look back at history and see only the struggles or the negative. But people in history were most definitely inspired, creative, and motivated to live in the moment. It makes me look at myself and ask what have I done lately just because I enjoy the craft of it. I have a 4x5 camera and taking portraits with it is something I have always absolutely loved. Perhaps I need to do some of that this year, simply because I love the process and I can not rush while doing it.
Have you found yourself looking for a new creative outlet this year? Besides her constant obsession with yarn, my sister has been thrilled to have writing for me as the newest creative addition to her life. What is yours?