About    Blog    Contact



Specialist or Generalist?

I've been struggling a little with this apparent dichotomy.   Today's conventional wisdom seems to favor specialization.  "Who would hire a part-time plumber? or brain surgeon?”  But what about the Renaissance man—wasn't he a good thing?  Do we all really want to be pandas and eat nothing but bamboo?

As this relates to photography, the establishment wants to rain upon us a similar advice: produce a consistent body of work.  Within the field of art this (in my current thinking) feels like an unreasonable constraint, and not one that is universally rewarded.  My favorite painter is Richard Diebenkorn who famously progressed from representational to abstract expressionist to figurative work, and finally to his own geometric Ocean Park series.  My earliest and most lasting influence in photography was Harry Callahan, whose work and subject matter varied wildly over his career.

All this is to say that I have decided to make a bold leap against some of the stuff I'm reading, and to continue my photography of both architecture and of people, concurrently.  And of telephone poles and walls.  All my diverse interests and energies will be made manifest and will continue to be visible at this same web-site.  It might appear inconsistent, but it's all photography isn't it?  And isn't photography a specialty?