We've done it again, notched another year of Photo Assignment. This one sailed by fast, yes?
The last assignment of the year is a good time to stop and reflect on all that's come before. A good time to scan back through 12 months of photos, looking for signs of improvement, clarity, new skills, a more streamlined workflow, or a fascinating creative spark. They're there, believe me, sometimes hidden in the details, but it's worth a little time looking through the telescope backwards at what we've already done.
It's a good time to review our personal relationships too, how we made them stronger, how they made us better people. How we encouraged others struggling along the path and how sometimes by merely being there, we effected unexpected change. How with simple and clear words, and yes, with our photographs of truth, beauty, and love, we inserted some goodness into the world's divisive diatribe. Art has power and I've heard plenty this year about how one photograph or another affected someone positively. We are a force for good.
It's also a time to look back at our losses. This week we lost a dear Photo Assignment member, who during our Hot and Cold assignment, died tragically in a house fire on a windy December night. The last two photos she posted eerily presaged her near future. JB Dampier will remain in our hearts as a warm, talented, creative photographic artist who loved blues musicians and taking in rescue animals. She was one of our most active members and enjoyed messaging several of us independently with ideas, questions, stories, and support. She was the best figurative next door neighbor anyone could have. Rest in peace, dear JB. You will have a place with us here always.
For the next two weeks, let's reflect on those people, situations, and things that call for our attention. Let's not let them get away because we're too busy or too tired. We'll make time. When we pick up our cameras, let's use them to record things that last, the timeless qualities common to all good people, the things that make us a better species.
In a way, this is a self-assignment. Only you know what has mattered to you in 2015 and what still needs your attention. Take your camera into that space and come back out with images that capture the essence of the only rule that matters - the golden one. It doesn't require a feel-good holiday to go there; it's a celebration and attitude we'll carry into 2016.
REFLECTION will run for two weeks, from December 16 through December 29.
© 2015 Don Johnson / Arrowrock Photography