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Feb 22, 2019
Writing is impossibly difficult and immensely rewarding. While it costs far more in time and effort than anything I have ever done, it compensates with learning, discovery, and understanding.
Photography is also difficult, yet it opens me up to the world, other lives and remarkable stories in a journey of discovery that makes me a better person and, hopefully, a better artist. Always has. Blotched and imperfect daguerreotype images from 1838 France, then England, and later from the U.S. Civil War captured my imagination during rainy afternoons among the stacks in the village public library. Large format impressed me with the mystery of glass, solution and light. Then medium format seemed to perfect the beauty and authentic documentary truth within the confined borders of a print. The spectacular advances of 35mm, Polaroid, film to digital, and DSLR photography seemed essential and worthy. If I could learn enough, I might translate my innate curiosity and empathy for certain subjects into meaningful works that support others’ interests. This is how we discover the truth by gathering fragments, piecing together theories of reality. Evolving.
The world is large and diverse, yet most of us live within walking or commuting distance of our day jobs. Most of us grow up thinking small, grateful for a paycheck, fearful of the loss of that paycheck, amazed when we find friendship, humbled when we discover love. Decades fly by as we prepare for our life’s great aspiration. Time passes, and we find out that as we made plans our life spent itself. We were focused on job, family, house, and taxes while time focused on… time.
Today, I break through the wall that separates my writing and my visual art. Writing and Photography. A new beginning for both.
I am pleased to present a series of my images of tall ships, each of which captures a sense of story that I strive for in everything I do. And each of which inspires new stories in my imagination.
I have been photographing boats for longer than Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours required to become world-class. Yet, I still feel I am only beginning to understand the truths to be found at the intersection of time, skill, and insight.
Discovery is a fundamental quality of the sailing experience. No two moments afloat are alike. Every ocean, season, and transit is a one-off. Each tack, reach and run is unique. And the human skills that developed over thousands of hours learning and eventually mastering the ability to navigate all this newness are fragile and fleeting, for we are here for only a blink of an eye in the scheme of time. Yet the more one discovers, learns and masters, the more opportunities present themselves to challenge us. In this way, we find out the soul of nature, weather, seas and the vessels we build to walk on water and take flight on ever-changing winds.
Whether writing or shooting, telling a story about the history in a 2,000-year-old tibia or documenting time’s stresses in a 178-year-old whaling ship’s arthritic rib, my goal is the same: to capture meaning itself, inspire the viewer’s imagination and touch the timeless in everyone who looks upon them.
I invite you to visit my gallery and view my new Tall Ships collection at www.markrogerbaileyphotography.com, and while you’re there, please view my Maritime Miniature Limited Editions.
Until next time,
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