November 7, 2010

John Stanmeyer

I have an odd thing against photojournalists and the works they produce. National Geographic photographers do shoot wonderful documentary images, but that is as far as I ever allow their credibility to extend in the art photography realm. Why do I rank them so low in comparison to their artistic counterparts? Anyways, I came across this image by National Geographic photographer John Stanmeyer, and I cannot help but to include it in a post. It is a fantastic image. It has everything that I am interested in lately... Ancient gold and blue caves with dripping phallic-like stalactites that are lit up by a thick ray of overexposed (contemporary neon) light, and iridescent waters. This image would be a perfect fit for this blog if two things changed. One, the National Geographic tag on the artist must go in order to gain (or lose for some people) credibility. And two, that floating person shouldn't be a middle-aged overweight man in billowing orange swim shorts.. instead maybe a naked person or someone floating amongst the materials of a long dress? Or maybe its funny that the swimmer is probably another National Geographic trekkie.

This image is from John Stanmeyer's Sacred Waters Series for National Geographic. You can tell that it is documentary photography, but some of the images are pretty interesting. The collection displays cultures and religions that worship water. I read a book once on the molecular make-up of water and how it changes form under different circumstances. For example, under a microscope the molecular pattern of the water was complex and beautiful when classical music was played near it. It changed design completely when it was blessed, or sung to, or if someone cried near the water. Weird yes, but interesting all the same. It makes sense that people all over the world would worship water. Humans are approximately 60-70% water. Our habitat, earth obviously, is made up of just over 67% water, not to include the water in our atmosphere. No wonder we all gravitate toward the ocean.

Well if nothing else, National Geographic's photographers have us thinking.

Click here to see John Stanmeyer's Sacred Waters Collection.

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