Capturing expression

Dec 27, 2004

One of my goals for 2005 is to watch as little television as possible, and I’m trying to go cold turkey this week. But a few baskets of laundry needed to be folded, so I sat in the rocking chair in our bedroom and clicked the remote, which turned on the small television in the corner. The local PBS station (UNC TV) was airing the American Experience documentary about the great photographer Ansel Adams. There are moments of sheer brilliance here as Adams’s breathtaking images draw you in.

My love of photography comes from my grandfather, Frank the Beachcomber, who, when he wasn’t in studio 1, 2 or 3, seemed to be outside with a camera. See a collection of his photographs over at Zuiker Chronicles Online (note: works best in IE).

In the Ansel Adams documentary, the producers read letters that Adams wrote to his friends. These letters are introspective, eloquent and enlightening – the producers explain that such written expression helped Adams understand that truly artistic photography can and should be about expression.

That made me want to splurge on a new camera, something better than my current Canon PowerShot S110 digital camera, but it also got me to thinking about letter writing. I still write letters to friends, but nothing as deep as those by Adams or other famous people from earlier eras. And I wondered, can weblogs be considered the letters of our age? Will the documentaries of the late 21st Century quote from weblogs of today? If not weblogs, what? How do you express yourself and intimately share your observations and epiphanies?

Anton Zuiker

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