Academic journal article Southern Cultures

American Studies

Academic journal article Southern Cultures

American Studies

Article excerpt

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In my long love affair with photography, or more precisely with photojournalism, I never developed much affection for the dramatic events that newspapers and magazines feed on for an instant, or the incendiary personalities who elbow their way into our consciousness. I have, to be sure, made plenty of pictures of news events, and of the glittery people in their midst, but I am happiest when I can sneak away and find what has been or will be forgotten or neglected or overlooked. That means at football games I pretty much ignore the celebrity quarterbacks and wide receivers, preferring instead to look at the folks on the sidelines, the cheerleaders, and the curious people who inhabit mascot outfits.

In Florida, where I lived for many years, and elsewhere in America, dramatic vistas are commonplace, and the clangor of the unknown for their promised fifteen minutes of fame, and the already famous for an extra fifteen minutes, assures a steady supply of eager and sometimes even photogenic subjects. Many years ago I concluded that for me truth and beauty, and perhaps wit and wisdom as well, is more likely to reside in what is ordinary and seemingly insignificant than in the supercharged personae whose incessant bluster and self-promotion guarantees attention but delivers little except noise and more noise. …

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