Connect the Dots

What could John Singleton Copley, Dale Kennington, Joe McNally and Steve Jobs possibly have in common?! In his commencement address at Stanford in 2005, Steve Jobs talked about connecting the dots when he said “… you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” All of these people are dots on my camera journey.

 My first college art class was about American art and architecture and it was there that I was introduced to the work of John Singleton Copley, including this painting, Boy with Squirrel. On a recent visit to Boston, I stopped to see his work at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and was immediately transported back to art class as I reveled in the color, composition, light and contrast of his work. While I have chosen photography instead of painting, I find a clear connection to my study of the work of Copley and my own choices as an artist. The same can be said for Dale Kennington, an Alabama artist whom I have long studied and admired, who has been a mentor and a critical inspirational dot on my journey. I could marvel at works like this piece by Kennington, One More Hour, for many hours indeed!

If you have been on this path with me for a while, you know how much I value education. In keeping with that, I try to take advantage of opportunities to learn from other photographers. Recently at the PhotoPlusExpo, I caught a seminar by Joe McNally. For Nikon photographers, he is the man! McNally is the one who tests equipment well before it goes on the market, is a master of light, and has created more memorable magazine covers than one can recount. It was enough to be in one of his seminars, but when he pulled me out from the crowd as a subject, I felt like a teenage girl being pulled on stage by Justin Bieber! From his books, his blog, and his live training, McNally, too, is a dot on which I can reflect.

 Now it is your turn to study my work and ponder other dots that you see connected.  I would love to hear from you! Remember that the next stop on the camera journey is the Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival in Thomasville, Georgia November 21st to 23rd. Come check out pieces from my CHULEE collection and get an autographed copy of our book.

 What dots do you see when you look backward?

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