I’m sure most of you have heard the expression, “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. Well at the beginning of my photographic journey I could not have predicted the many ways in which photography would change. Back then, the primary methods of showcasing your work, was through galleries and exhibitions, or magazines and books. It might have been a combination of the above, but nevertheless each of these avenues required gaining the approval of someone, essentially the gatekeeper, without whom you couldn’t enter the "Promised Land" so to speak. Of course these methods still have value today, but there’s a limited number of good opportunities. All that changed with the internet. How many good photographers might we never have seen without this new conduit for exchange. I know I certainly have been a benefactor, and I truly hope that this website will be of value to others as well. 

Then take a look at the equipment and process side for a moment. The camera pictured at the beginning of this article is mine. It was my primary instrument for serious photography for two decades, and will always have a very special place in my heart. Okay I know what you’re thinking…how old is this guy! Actually view cameras as they’re called do go back a long way in photographic history, but still continue to be produced, all be it in limited numbers. There’s still a small but dedicated group of view camera photographers out there tromping through the woods. Going back thirty or forty years when film still ruled, view cameras were considered the bee’s knees for serious landscape photography. Today of course digital cameras rule! In fact digital everything seems to rule - but I digress. As our tools and method of capture have changed dramatically, so too has the post processing and printing of the files, as we call them today. We barely know what film is anymore, even though we try at times to mimic its look. The darkroom has been replaced with Lightroom. Printing is no longer even a requirement to share your images, though I remain a big fan of the physicality of a print. 

So what has all this to do with my earlier reference “the more things change the more they stay the same”. Simply this. Regardless of the methods used for creating and sharing a photograph, the value of the content remains as important as ever. If you look back over the roughly 180 years of photography, the technical methods, materials and styles have changed numerous times, yet the content above all else is what compels us to take the time to look and perhaps even linger upon an image. It doesn’t matter what type of camera was used, analog or digital, nor whether it’s viewed as a print on gelatin silver, platinum, chromogenic, or inkjet, (and now even digital display). You might have a preference for the aesthetic of one over another, but the content if compelling enough, will win the day. As photographer artists we choose our tools and materials carefully to support the content, but content should always be #1.

One can see this theory born out in the great works of past artists from many disciplines. Painters, sculptors, photographers, architects and musicians. Regardless of methods, materials and styles, their work endures.

As to my own work, I can only hope that some of it might rise to that level, but it’s not for me to judge. Only time and the collective opinion of others will determine that. I just think it’s necessary to remember the importance of content, when in our current age, style can often be given more weight than substance.

Wayne Jeschke

I’m sure most of you have heard the expression, “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. Well at the beginning of my photographic journey...

The More Things Change

2/8/2020

I’m sure most of you have heard the expression, “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. Well at the beginning of my photographic journey I could not have predicted the many ways in which photography would change. Back then, the primary methods of showcasing your work, was through galleries and exhibitions, or magazines and books. It might have been a combination of the above, but nevertheless each of these avenues required gaining the approval of someone, essentially the gatekeeper, without whom you couldn’t enter the "Promised Land" so to speak. Of course these methods still have value today, but there’s a limited number of good opportunities. All that changed with the internet. How many good photographers might we never have seen without this new conduit for exchange. I know I certainly have been a benefactor, and I truly hope that this website will be of value to others as well. 

Then take a look at the equipment and process side for a moment. The camera pictured at the beginning of this article is mine. It was my primary instrument for serious photography for two decades, and will always have a very special place in my heart. Okay I know what you’re thinking…how old is this guy! Actually view cameras as they’re called do go back a long way in photographic history, but still continue to be produced, all be it in limited numbers. There’s still a small but dedicated group of view camera photographers out there tromping through the woods. Going back thirty or forty years when film still ruled, view cameras were considered the bee’s knees for serious landscape photography. Today of course digital cameras rule! In fact digital everything seems to rule - but I digress. As our tools and method of capture have changed dramatically, so too has the post processing and printing of the files, as we call them today. We barely know what film is anymore, even though we try at times to mimic its look. The darkroom has been replaced with Lightroom. Printing is no longer even a requirement to share your images, though I remain a big fan of the physicality of a print. 

So what has all this to do with my earlier reference “the more things change the more they stay the same”. Simply this. Regardless of the methods used for creating and sharing a photograph, the value of the content remains as important as ever. If you look back over the roughly 180 years of photography, the technical methods, materials and styles have changed numerous times, yet the content above all else is what compels us to take the time to look and perhaps even linger upon an image. It doesn’t matter what type of camera was used, analog or digital, nor whether it’s viewed as a print on gelatin silver, platinum, chromogenic, or inkjet, (and now even digital display). You might have a preference for the aesthetic of one over another, but the content if compelling enough, will win the day. As photographer artists we choose our tools and materials carefully to support the content, but content should always be #1.

One can see this theory born out in the great works of past artists from many disciplines. Painters, sculptors, photographers, architects and musicians. Regardless of methods, materials and styles, their work endures.

As to my own work, I can only hope that some of it might rise to that level, but it’s not for me to judge. Only time and the collective opinion of others will determine that. I just think it’s necessary to remember the importance of content, when in our current age, style can often be given more weight than substance.

Wayne Jeschke