Saturday, June 25, 2011

Churchville Photo Club Talk Slides

This is a short note intended mainly to provide a link to the slides (about 5 MB, Adobe pdf) I used for a talk I gave on June 20 to the Churchville Photo Club in Pennsylvania.

My presentation used selected images and portfolios to illustrate (and give at least some credence to the sincerity of) my ongoing journey toward self-discovery as shaped by physics, tao, and photography.

I'd like to thank the club's president, Felix Gomes, and Vice President, Marty Golin, for their kind invite and hospitality; and all the attendees who endured not just the 2+ hours worth of (what must surely have been less than completely intelligible) "babble-speak" about the philosophical dimensions of fine-art photography, but did so in a non air conditioned room that barely shielded all those enclosed within from the 90+ deg(F) heat and 90% humidity outside. (By the time I finished, I felt - and looked - as though I had just escaped from an unsupervised sauna set to an inhuman "Danger: lethally hot and humid" setting!).

But while the conditions were far from ideal, the venue itself - nestled within a wonderful nature center about an hours' drive from Philadelphia - could not have been more idyllic. My 12 yo son, an avid naturalist, and I arrived about an hour early, and had an opportunity to walk the grounds and just revel in the quiet gentle ambiance of the center. We both promised to return here for some quality time whenever the opportunity for such a trip next arises: he, to just explore and look for insects and frogs; his dad to train his "other eye" on the beauty of the park (I was sans camera gear for this entire trip, and felt, as all photographers do, considerably less than whole).

Later that evening, and after my talk (that I was happily surprised to see my son sit through in its entirety; this was the first time my son had heard me speak on photography - his take: "Not bad, dad." I'll take it ;-), he and I shared a magical moment of shared bonding, punctuated by a few hugs and a hint of a tear or two on our cheeks. And this experience had nothing at all to do with my talk!

After many handshakes, discussions, and chats with people as we all made our way to our cars - I should mention that my talk ended fairly late, way after sunset - the last car except ours finally left, and my son and I turned to our own car parked in a corner. At this point, it was essentially pitch black, with but an insignificant light some distance away. As our eyes adjusted to the dark...

...we both froze in our tracks; jaws dropped. An otherwordly event was unfolding before our eyes. I briefly entertained the scary thought that I must be having a seizure! There, in front of us - to the sides; all around us - were more fire flies than my son and I have likely seen in all our combined years on this planet! Clusters and clusters of hundreds upon hundreds of fireflies; flying, spiraling, blinking, flashing, and - collectively - putting on a dazzling fourth-of-July-like display that would put to shame (as my son later described) any fourth-of-July show that we'd ever seen.

My son and I just sat in revery on the grass, not speaking, not thinking; mindlessly - dare I say Tao or Zen-like? - absorbed in one of nature's wondrous dances. After 20 minutes or so, my son turned to me to give a hug, and said, "Dad, I'll never, ever forgot this day!" (And neither will his dad :-)


David said...

Your moment with your son was truly special and is not something likely to be repeated. Who knows when you and he (or anyone else) will be in the right place and time again?

You are blessed to have recognized the event for what it was. How many of us do not realize what we are seeing, only to miss something quite unique.

It's too bad you didn't have your camera with you (which is a surprise given you were talking about photography; kind of like a magician without a rabbit!) but such is life.

David said...

My earlier comment was before I had a chance to view the slides Andy showed for his talk.

Andy's slides are simply marvelous. They are nothing short of a deep insight into how Andy sees nature and life. A glimpse of his soul.

Andy has tied physics to photography, and photography to physics, in a way that few of us could probably do ourselves. And he did it with such an intimate and intuitive sense of each discipline that I marvel at just how deep his appreciation for both dwells within him.

I am saddened not have heard his talk, but just to see the slides is enough to know how beautiful it must have been.


Andy Ilachinski said...

Your kind comments have done something that I'm sure at least half the people who sat in the 90+ deg room listening to me pontificate endlessly about physics and photography had wished had happend during my talk; namely, you have left me utterly speechless. I am honored and humbled by your words. Thank you kind sir.

Marty Golin said...

Yes, 2+ hours in less than ideal conditions for physical comfort. & yet, if anyone left, I didn't notice. I know that some people had difficulty grasping your "presentation." But... I believe that as you noted, "give at least some credence to the sincerity," it was your sincere manner & quiet passion that gives it such impact. I know that I was not alone savoring it; the person next to me at one point said, This is fantastic!" The stars were aligned to have you able to come to our club.

Roy Money said...

Dear Andy

What a wonderful gift are these words and images you continue to generously share with so many who have never met you in person - though I certainly get a strong sense of your person from both the words and the images.

Your blog is one of my most favorite places on the web and I never cease to be amazed and nourished by what you share here.

A very deep bow to you.

Roy Money

Fear Knot said...

wow! in the stillness of what we believe is idle time.... the world dances before us -- you and your son noticed and joined the fire flies in joy. Fantastic Andrew! Fantastic!