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on Dec 31, 2014 in Thought of the Month

A New Year’s Resolution?


Those who know me know I love history and none better than my family. Under the tree this year were many new books, one was Kiska: The Japanese Occupation of an Alaska Island. I know it was a busy year for me, I only got 19 books read (last year was normal with 28) but this last one, Kiska was great! Written by a biologist working with birds, he went looking for our history as well as birds. The Aleutian Battle during WWII fascinates me to no end because as many have called it, it was the forgotten war. The island of Kiska especially, because of its long history with men, wildlife and then, war. I have always wanted to spend time on Kiska with my camera and now after reading the book, more than ever. What has that got to do with a New Year’s resolution?

As photographers, and don’t be mistaken we are VERY fortunate to be photographers, we have a certain responsibility to keep the craft moving forward while preserving visually stories. All too often though, we get wrapped up in f/stops and shutter speeds rather than looking for the next story to tell. That is why I like to read so much, because it plants in the imagination a written story that challenges our visual storytelling. The island of Kiska is 2000 miles west of Anchorage. You have a two hour flight west from Anchorage and then a 38 hour boat ride to get to the island and that’s after you’ve earned the money and got the permits to do so. Then staying on the island is no picnic, hell, just landing on the island can be treacherous. But by reading the book, I feel the gauntlet has been thrown down for my photography and the desire to explore this wildlife and historic treasure left to us greater than ever. And that all comes from reading a book. The New Year’s resolution then that I want to put forth to you is this, simply read more books and set your imagination loose and let your heart fill your photographs! A pretty simple one but with big implications!

Happy New Year, and thank you ALL for all the blessings YOU have shared with us!

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