Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What is the Value of Dumb?

I had initially intended to post something today in regards to some dumb comments by the debate moderators at the GOP debate in Michigan yesterday. After hearing the questions from two journalists who are employed at CNBC, one of whom is a host of a financial program, I had the feeling that their parents ought to be asking for their money back for any college expenses they had incurred for their children.

Then this evening, I logged onto AOL to check my e-mails and to scan through the headlines of their news features. (Note, I said “scan” as it is ridiculous to call the Huffington Post drivel “news.”) In scanning the primary headlines, I usually look quickly at the three headlines that are under the primary headline for that “page.”

What I saw was a headline talking about the record price for a photograph sold at Christy’s in New York. Suffice it to say, being the “serious, amateur photographer” that I am, I just had to check that story out with the hopes of seeing a stunning photograph with lots of interest or contrast or special effects.

But, instead, I found a perfect example of a REALLY dumb person who was willing to spend $4.3 Million for a single photograph. To my surprise, part of the story spoke of earlier photos that sold in the millions and in looking at the story I found links to each of the photos.

Sorry, folks. I was not impressed with any of them. I have seen photographs by any number of individuals on the various RV forums and blogs that have better photos than what I saw that brought millions of dollars.

Needless to say, I’d like to find the dumb person who paid such an outlandish price for such an unimpressive photo. I’ve taken photos by accident that seemed more artistic than these, which someone supposedly took on purpose.

Sadly, the story refers to two different photographers, both of whom have sold photos for millions. I just don’t understand it. I know of painters, two of whom that are participants on the RV Dreams forums, whose work far exceeds the quality of these photos. If the works of those forum participants in their paintings and photographs were to sell for even remotely close to what these photos brought, the artists and photographers could really enjoy the RV life.

Without further ado, allow me to first introduce you to one by Cindy Sherman, entitled “Untitled #153 which at some time in the past sold for roughly $2.7 Million. If something like a crime scene photo has such value, we should have photos worth billions of dollars where I work.

sherman_untitled_153_2_7 Million Dollars

Next, is another by Cindy Sherman, who apparently can’t think of titles for her photos, is entitled “Untitled #96. When it sold for a record price, it went for $3.89 Million. (What is it with taking pictures of reclining people from above?)

Cindy Sherman Untitled no 96 at ._3_89 Million Dollars

Now, for the final one, the record $4.3 Million photo, we turn to a photographer by the name of Andreas Gursky. This one at least has a title. It is simply called “Rhein II.” If I remember right, I also saw one of his photos entitled “Ocean II”, so he must also have some issues with titles. I would have simply called it “Boring II.”

GURSKY-PHOTO-Rhine 4_3 Million Dollars

If you are interested in more, follow this link to AOL’s Huffington Post report.


So, to contrast the above high-dollar photographs, I guess I should post one of my “accidents.”  Maybe I can someday get a few bucks for something like this one.  Look low and towards the trees on the left and just above the surface of the water to see what makes this photo an accident.  I barely noticed the bird, which I think is a grey Heron, in the viewfinder of my camera.  I snapped quickly without even composing and got this image.


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