About Me…and Photography

About Life. About Finding My Way. About Sharing What I’ve Learned.

What motivated me to start this blog?  I was one of the photographers assigned across the country in the 1970s by the Environmental Protection Agency. Our mission was to document the current state of the environment.

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The project was called Documerica. My 1973 segment concentrated on noise pollution, and how it decimated a community.

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https://www.behance.net/gallery/10024435/How-Once-We-Were-Last-House-Standing

http://lasthousestandingbook.com/

When the Documerica archives were resurrected 40 years later, I was interviewed many times. One radio journalist joined me at the decimated location where my original photojournalism had taken place.

That interviewer had asked me to photograph the aftermath. He then asked that I think out loud while doing this. Talking and photographing was certainly unusual for me, as someone who tends to work silently and reflexively.

After a friend heard the broadcast, she expressed her fascination in what goes through my mind as I create images. I had always taken this process as a given, merely the way I work. Despite that, her remark started me thinking that, “maybe I know something.”

 I realized—in a later panel discussion at the National Archives and always in gallery talks—that people do tend to gather around. They ask many questions to which I actually have answers. As a late bloomer, making photography my career after many of my peers were already established, I had worked hard to catch up.

Now I was becoming known for photographic art…

http://www.michaelphilipmanheim.com/MPM-happenings.php

http://www.michaelphilipmanheim.com/MPM­-biography.php

…and realized that I love to share.

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PHOTOGRAPHY TIP NUMBER 2» Some photographers are legends in their own minds. And I have encountered wannabes who, because cameras can produce images with little input, strut with arrogance. The tip?  Humble up. Unleash curiosity. No need to dominate or impress, but to learn from everyone and anyone…about them, their interests, their insights…about life.  It all goes into a brain that can translate understanding into meaningful images. And it makes you a better and interesting and tolerant person.

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