I have always been obsessed with photography—the spirit of an image, the permanent grace of a moment, the subtle solace of motion in stillness. I have never enjoyed being in front of the camera, as I will never have "picture hair," a good side, or a photogenic demeanor. I whirl around too much and simply prefer the idea of reproducing a setting or event through my own interpretation.
I'd rather vomit than snap a "say cheese" photo, unless I'm toting a tacky Burger King coffee mug around Barcelona, paying the street performers too many Euros to pose with said prop while in character. To me, capturing a likeness does not mean holding the subject captive, unless it's a deceased fish, a process that entertained me throughout the Alaskan interior.
I can't say an 'F stop' or 'aperture' mean all that much to me, I'm not that kind of photographer. I just shoot. I don't even enhance or manipulate. I rarely shoot historic monuments while traveling, for the post card and Guide Book industries have that market covered. I draw on the lifestyle, the attitude, and the indigenous cast that abounds. I find comfort in the crevices, relief in the residents, and reinforcement in the ridiculous. Off-beat, candid, and hopefully different.
Obviously, animals are more difficult to corral than humans, seeing as they have fewer fluffy tails to wag, sloppy tongues to drag, and hind legs to launch that often prove distracting to the lens' desires. However, the satisfying reward of strong footage for the long-eared, winged, beaked, horned, and four-legged sets make exceptional trophies. But I may only sample the spots on a giraffe's fanny or the highlights on a warthog's brow, if you really want to know.
I still find something unusually romantic about 35mm film. There's something about the courtship period and unrivaled level of anticipation involved in fetching your results from the lab, fanning through the photos in physical form at a chest-level counter, while the negatives flutter beneath the tapping foot of the customer behind you. But as of 2011, I've started to give in to digital, just a little...