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This Blog used to be about the question: What is Science?
Now, it asks: What is Happiness?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Here's to Jack!

Ok, so every so often someone crosses your path and out of the blue make ripples in your psyche.

This time it was Jack Picone.
Sounds like the hardass hero of a 60s detective novel and you wouldn't go far wrong if you imagined a character from a Dennis Lynds tale. For, like Dennis' detective, 'Dan Fortune', Picone is a photographer with a heart, whose work is underscored by a personal need to grasp what it means to be a creative character in society.
And some of Jack's society takes us on a sometime horrifying, sometime querilous journey through, amongst others, many of the war zones of recent history. Add Art to Reality to the Photographer's eye to the emotion of a critical moment, to the heat of conflict, and the ease of dying, take it out, frame it, show it and we are left with as much the question of what it is that drives the man behind the camera as the images we are given.
Jack's website is a generous offering of his work, including a feast of his features. This is a website that begs to be part of a bedtime laptop and tea session.

Have a look yourself.... ......

But the occasion of my meeting Mr Picone and spending some illustrious hours crawling the Indian eateries of Nairobi a few days ago has made me ever more aware of how much a photograph is as much about the photographer as the subject.

There is a vast difference between gazing at just the images of the much vaunted 'Longnecks' and then hearing the photographer talk about the extra-image story. These are Kayan women (a cultural group who have migrated from Burma into Thailand) who adorn themselves with neck-elongating rings.....end result >> great tourist attraction.
But once you have read the accompanying text to his images, or heard Jack's story of the day the women took their rings off and went 'jolling' in look at the pictures again and they have quite a different ring. (xtp).

Anyway, whilst in conversation with young Jack, I perchanced upon a shared interest - oh, wouldn't it be nice to fly aeroplanes.....just to get to see what it is like....

So, one thing lead to the next and I, inspired by the idea, resurrected my flight simulation habit, dusted off my aviation manuals, reconstituted my IVAO membership and gingerly plonked myself online at a very busy Brussels International Airport. For a few hours I just watched and listened to the radio chatter that took a virtual world into the virtual virtual and watched as plane after plane took off and landed, all under the very serious control of a stranger I will never meet in person.
I thought about filing a flight plan....maybe to Milano, a short hop, but broke out in a sweat at the thought of my rusty coms skills. Wait till Friday and fly from an African airport....
I recalled once when Sarah, my daughter, flew SAA from Cape Town to Frankfurt. I went online and duplicated the flight for 11 hours.
The next day I commented on the great sunset and orange clouds she saw before landing....'How the heck did you know that?' she said.

Sometimes the 2 dimensional world we create is as good a memory maker as the 'real' one.

Nuff sed!

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