‘Photography for good’, ‘Photographers for a better world’ both are worthy sentiments but if I pull them into my own personal context, can I honestly claim to be on board? In my own head, do my true motivations align with those of Excio or am I outwardly associating myself with such a movement in an attempt at post-rationalisation? Or worse, like the tobacco and booze companies last century (before they were forced to desist), cynically associating themselves with sports; or Lotteries doling out funds to worthy causes while being perhaps the leading marketer of gambling in our land – reputation laundering!
I know, cynicism can be unpalatable and destructive – as I approach sixty I’m increasingly aware of the dangers of ‘grumpy old man’ syndrome. There’s no point in getting bitter and twisted in old age is there? There lies one of the reasons that I’m a photographer – because it makes my heart sing, even after decades of shooting... which brings me back to my little bout of introspection.
When I started taking photos, and this still mostly applies, the reason I kept shooting was down to the pleasure I get from getting out there, applying and honing my skills, processing the RAW files, sharing them with others in various ways, and just personally reliving the experiences I’ve captured. Adventure, creativity, recognition, happiness. ‘Photographers for a better world’ though? Well, I do enjoy it when my images inform or inspire others – that fits doesn’t it – at least a little.
Thankfully, there is one thing I’ve done in my life that, when I look myself in the mirror, head held high, I genuinely believe qualifies me to associate with photographers for a better world without harbouring any dark secrets. You may know that I created a book about a very special place that epitomises, or is a microcosm of, most of humankind’s challenges and opportunities in this globally warming, pandemic threatened century with its extremes of wealth and poverty. The place is Khumbu, the region to the south of Mount Everest in Nepal, home to the Sherpa people.
Read the full article in our journal.