Monday, October 16, 2006

Inspiration from David Plowden

A friend of mine gave me a book, Imprints, by David Plowden, with the following note scrawled on the inside cover:
I know you’ll be inspired by these images.
Keep up the good work!
-- Todd Morten

Well, not only have the pictures inspired me and even affected the way I look through the camera, but the words have inspired me as well. David Plowden is gifted in that he not only communicates well with a lens, but also with a keyboard. I'll share many of the things he wrote in that book with you, but the most inspirational story I've ever heard about photography, one to which I relate, was written in the pages of that book, and I'd like to share it right now.
Many years ago when I was crossing Kansas on a train, I went to the dining car for lunch. Once there, I discovered to my horror that all the window blinds had been pulled down. The steward seated me, and I immediately raised the blind so I could look out on the immensity of the flatlands . . . . A moment later the steward reappeared, reached over, and pulled the blind down again, assuring me that “there’s nothing out there to look at, son.”
Perhaps not to his eye, but certainly to mine. I raised the blind once more and have never lowered it since.
--David Plowden, on "The Flatlands," in his book Imprints


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