Tuesday, November 28, 2006

David Plowden Quote

Have you ever lacked inspiration? Didn't know what motivates you to take photographs? Here's one great photogapher's take on inspiration and motivation:
I was born astride two eras. The fact that the demise of the steam locomotive and the beginning of my career occurred simultaneously was a coincidence that determined the course of the rest of my life. It was that initial sense of loss—and perhaps that my father died later the same year--that greatly influenced the way I view the world. It also made me keenly aware of photography’s unmatched ability to preserve the moment and, thereby, to capture things on film before they disappeared. It began to dawn on me that I hadn’t simply been documenting steam locomotives in their final hour. I was witnessing something of far greater consequence: the transformation of a culture. In this light, the body of my work depicts an America almost unrecognizable from the one I began photographing forty years ago. The urgency to record has become ever more imperative as I have tried vainly to stay one step ahead of the wrecking ball. . . .
To those familiar with my photographs, it may appear that I have spent my life glorifying works of an age past, that I have tried to enshrine them with an immortality before they vanish. I am filled with a sense of loss, but not just the loss of steam engines, iron bridges, small farms, and the stores of Main Street. I am distressed by what I perceive as a pervasive disregard for the future. I do not hear "America singing" anymore.
--David Plowden, in his preface to Imprints


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