Archive for TED Talks & Photography
One of my goals is to someday be asked to give a TED talk. And not simply because I think it would be a great honor, but because I hope to someday have something so worthwhile to share that a TED conference would be an appropriate stage for my message. I am a huge fan of the TED conferences and it’s mission of ‘ideas worth spreading’. Of the 800 or so talks uploaded for public viewing I’m sure I’ve seen at least a few hundred of them over the last few years and they almost always are interesting and inspiring to me. I recently made a point to watch every single video that has any connection to photography or was given by a photographer and compiled my list of the most important video talks here.
A part of the purpose of The Photo Jedi blog is to be able to think out loud on topics I don’t feel are being covered elsewhere.
I picked each of these talks for different reasons, which I will explain further above each video, but the overarching reason why I connected with each of these videos was because they all require you to think.
As a working professional photographer one of the things I’m most frustrated with right now in the action of – taking, creating, or making a photograph – is that because it’s more easy than ever to take a photo professionals, prosumers, and amateurs alike are thinking less about what and why they are creating imagery.
Photography has become a universal action. And more and more a universally thoughtless action. For me, this is a bad, bad thing because photographic imagery can also be one of the greatest forces in human interaction on earth.
David Griffin: On How Photography Connects Us
(I selected this video to be the first one here because as the title suggests it serves as a great reminder as to how important photography really is. There is a famous, cliche even, line – “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Which, I have argued before is not the case… in fact, photographs can be even more powerful than a thousand words because they have the ability to present extremely complex things without having to use a single one. The power in photography is it’s ability to convey meaning beyond words. It’s simply amazing.)
Jonathan Klein: Photos That Changed The World
(Jonathan says: “When we are confronted with a powerful image we all have a choice – we can look away or we can address the image.” He goes further by saying: “Did the images change the world? No. But, they had a major impact.” Again, this is a message about the raw power of photographic imagery.)
James Balog: Time Lapse Proof of Extreme Ice Loss
(Using 25 time-lapse cameras positioned at the poles James has captured extremely clear and telling visual proof of global warming. This video scares the shit out of me. It reaffirms all of my fears for what our future on this planet might be like. If you can’t understand the power behind photography after watching this – you never will.)
Vik Muniz: Makes Art with Wire & Sugar
(I love this video because I don’t think Vik would define himself as a photographer, but he does create a lot of photography in his work. This video is important to me because it clearly states my underling thought for this post. You must think first – then shoot. And Vik is all thinking…. what a wonderful artist.)
Rob Forbes: On Ways of Seeing
(Like Vik’s video Rob also speaks to thinking about the world in a new way. But, his way of thinking involves a process of seeing things as they already are, but from a different point of view.)
Johnny Lee: Demos Wii Remote Hacks
(This is an important video because it combines the idea of thinking about photography in a new way with thinking about technology in a new way. He takes technology that exists for one purpose and re-purposes it for another use.)
Alison Jackson: Looks at Celebrity
(This video is also important for me because it really challenges what is considered a reasonable thing for a photographer to be allowed to do. Alison’s work challenges cultural conventions. This is important because it can serve to remind us that there are no rules when it comes to art or photography. Her talk reminds you that your work can be whatever you want it to be.)
Taryn Simon: Photographs Secret Sites
(I love Taryn’s project. I love it because it’s such a good idea. But, I also love her project because even though it was a really good idea for a photographic project her imagery is also really amazing. Which is ultimately what matters in the photographic arts. If you’re imagery can’t convey your message or stand on it’s own merits – then why is photography your medium? Why not use another form of expression to convey your idea?)
David Hoffman: On Losing Everything
(David’s says in his talk, “You gotta make something good out of something bad.” That’s an amazing message coming from a person who has lost the physical form of his entire life’s work in photography, film, and writing.)
Chris Jordan: Pictures Some Shocking Stats
(Another project I love. The ideas behind Chris’s work for me are some of the most important to be presented by a photographer now – period. Every person in the world should see his work.)
Yann Arthus-Bertrand: Captures Fragile Earth in Wide-Angle
(Yann says: “The problem is that we don’t want to believe what we know.” – indeed.)
Rachel Sussman: The World’s Oldest Living Things
(like Taryn and Chris’s projects I absolutely love the idea behind this project. And I’m actually a little jealous I didn’t think of it first… I love all things old. And nothing seems more important then to appreciate and respect the oldest living things on earth. Kind of helps you frame our place and time…. a little bit of an ego check, eh?)