Archive for June, 2012
Rodney King died before he turned 50. His beating, painful as it was, followed by the acquittal and subsequent riots, promoted awareness of racial inequities in our country. Too bad we need chaos to promote learning, not only about ourselves, but the national ethos we support.
Would have liked to see him beat the demons and survive. The great experiment in which America has been engaged suffered a setback when Mr. King became ten-minutes-famous, but it advanced as people who never thought about the problems realized how deep and pervasive they were and are.
Not so easy to shoot a portrait of a family in their residence. People have stuff to do. Dad has to hay. Kids have to play. And Mom, who has a responsible job outside the home, has to drive the kids to Brattleboro so the grandparents can take them to Connecticut for a short vacation. Cannot stay too long. Have to keep the camera and the models focused. Rearrange the furniture. Set up the lights. Meter. Color card. Shoot. And get out. It always helps if the family wants to be photographed and if they are sweethearts. You can see from the expressions they like to be together and that they are a family.
So, you go to a class expecting some instruction. Heisler appears with a raft of cameras. He plays with them. Shows you some of his work and then dares you to go out and shoot to kill, just like he does.
“I won’t keep this a secret,” he says. Someone taught him, mentored him and opened doors to the universe of photography that he gleefully walked through.
They be his babies. He shoots with them; fixes and repairs them; and loves them for what they should and could do.
Metalsmiths shape metal by hitting it after it has been heated in a furnace. An ancient art, it has probably been around since the Hittites, a 14th century bce group that hung out in an area which is now Turkey. Without metalsmiths, there may not have been wars, agribusiness or beauty accessories. The Morrell family, Dad Leigh and Son Justin, practice the craft, today, at Morrell Metalsmiths, relying on the same skills and knowledge as the first people with hammers to produce high quality decorations for home and office.
Farmers have smarts. They need to be vets, businessmen, and dedicated. Milk the cows in the morning. Milk the cows in the evening. Feed them. Keep them healthy. No days off. And they have to relate to cows, some of the dumbest animals God put on earth, but without whom we would not have chocolate milk or porterhouse steaks.