April 20, 2011

110: Making pictures

I took a digital photography class during my last semester of college in an effort to cultivate another hobby that I now practice only sporadically.  The instructor was an impressive documentary photographer in his own right, besides being a great teacher, but it was always a little jarring to hear him tell us to "go out and make some photos."  Make rather than take, because we, the amateur photographers, were creating the shots, rather than just capturing them.  It's a term also used by the White House's chief photographer, Pete Souza, in The President's Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office, which I just finished reading yesterday.  Souza and a number of former White House photographers talked about documenting chapters of history -- LBJ's photographer, Yoichi Okamoto, said he wanted to take/make photos that people will see in five hundred years -- and the collection of photos from the tenures of former presidents from JFK to George W. Bush was fascinating and enlightening.  It also reminded me how much I love old photos.

 (First three photos via We Heart It, last two are of my grandfather during the Korean War.)
These photos were definitely made.  Mine are still taken.  I've got a long way to go.


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