Friday, January 25, 2019

Manifesto: Update/Notes

This refers to the previous remarks and the marvelously rich and interesting comments that follow it.

I think there is a slight misunderstanding going on here. These are not rules or edicts or a defining document. What they are is a strident personal statement and an invitation.

If my kind of crazy seems close enough to your kind of crazy to maybe make something interesting happen, hit me up. Send me an email, mail me a book, demand my phone number, come to Bellingham with a case of beer. We aren't going to agree on everything, and this isn't an entrance exam. If my strident position overlaps enough with yours -- and you get to decide what "enough" means -- then you are invited to collaborate with, criticize, be criticized by, and to argue with, me about it.

A maelstrom of disagreement, with occasional cries of "YES! THAT!" is the desired ideal state.


  1. Many thanks for putting your manifestos up/out there.
    Could I please clarify your thinking, mainly around points 1 & 2.
    Re 1. Is the aim along the lines of 4th estate - hold the powerful to account (not just gov’t or big business, although that covers most of it these days)?
    Re 2. So is this more in the documentary style? Truth can be a slippery beast, and often depends upon one’s perspective (and all the contextual aspects that go with it). Yes, there are some absolutes, but there are more than 50 shades of grey in between. When it comes to matters pertaining to humans, I find most things to ultimately be subjective.
    Having said that, I appreciate that context can often be better articulated over a series of images than in a single image. So are you thinking something closer to say ‘long-form visual journalism’?
    Looking forward to seeing what comes of this.
    Not THAT Ross Cameron

    1. Consider all interpretations fluid and subjective! "political" covers a great deal of ground. Is simply showing things as they are political? Often. All the way around to naming names and demanding specific policy changes.

      My take on straight photography and truth is that it should be good enough for the photographer. Perhaps I am naive, but I feel as if the photographer knows when a picture is true, and when it's false. There are no real criteria you can put down a priori. If you can look me in the eye and say "that's how it was, really" and mean it in some sense that means something to you, that's as good a criterion as any.

  2. “come to Bellingham...”

    Oh, cool. I’ll drive up, put on my geek vest and hang two DSLRs around my neck: “TOK TO MEE ABOUT CAMERAS!!!!!!”

  3. Seriously, I doubt you’d much like my work, for any number of reasons that you’ve articulated, but if you’re game to look I’ll send you some prints.