Friday, December 5, 2008

Too Old to (f)-stop...

I recently linked to the latest online photo community endeavor when the red flag suddenly emerged demanding I take my interest elsewhere. I was too old a fart to play in their game. Age discrimination had raised its ugly, full haired head. This photo community was strictly for the young, so it was amusing running into this post at Magnum the very next day.

Actually, I think it's great young photographers get together and form collectives and organizations to promote their work, advance their education and careers, etc- particularly in these hard times to come. I know I could have benefited back in the day. But other than social networking, how much are they gonna actually learn without, at least, a few, more experienced (ie- older) members to share the wealth (of much needed knowledge and experience). Imagine an entire generation of photographers making work like this!

I've always thought diversity to be a crucial key to growth and wisdom in most any "intellectual" forum. But perhaps the time has indeed come to put me out to feed the polar bear and ensure the well being of the next generation. After all, the time has long, long past when one could walk into a "prospective" NYC gallery with a portfolio of 35mm B&W prints...
(photo- Friend with First Car; my first "good" photograph, circa '73)

3 comments:

Benjamin said...

This stuff makes me mad ... like really fucking mad.

Why? Because we have this kamikaze tendency to denigrate experience. Sure you get the occasional has been resting on their lazy arses, but they've done their time and respect is due, just as I respect the young uns making it happen.

At 26 I was one of the BBC's youngest radio documentary producers. The reason I got there so early is that I was surrounded by and supported by amazingly experienced and talented producers prepared to share their talent and time with me. Over the years many of these producers were lost to redundancies and replaced by kids who just couldn't compete cause there was no-one left to hold their hands.

Kicking out experience is a boost for the me me me generation, its idiotic and short sighted and smacks of insecurity.

Benjamin

(32 years old)

Mike said...

Thanks for the link; it was a help in sorting out the issue which my aging brain was having difficulty with. It's always fun to find youthful talent, but establishing a group based on an age limit seems idiotic - kind of a flickr hell.

Stan B. said...

For someone who more than occasionally forgets that he's still not the same age as the person pictured in the accompanying photo, it still comes as somewhat of a "shock" (when reality quickly steps in) to find oneself on the downward slope. Or as Bette Davis once said, "Growing old is not for sissies."

I'm all for the young bloods trashing everything we got so vitally wrong, but they definitely need to keep a handful of us around if only to make sure they don't make even bigger mistakes- particularly when the miscreants of this fading generation in power have done their utmost best to dumb down succeeding generations.