This evening was another night out, this time to see George Will at DU's and CSU's joint effort, Bridges to the Future
. Will was a fantastic speaker, moving around the podium, not hiding behind the lectern, completely at ease, and lecturing conversationally, not with the monotone that so many speakers use.
Somewhat surprisingly, he was given a completely fair shake from the former Democratic Senator Hank Brown, and the former Democratic Governor, Dick "Duty to Die" Lamm. Funny enough, Will did mention that, since the Federal Government's largest recipient class is the elderly, this would, in the coming years, place a growing burden on the tax structure. Lamm was obviously less impressed with Will's encouragement of immigration.
The main point of Will's speech was two-fold. First, the American people had demonstrated, given all that had happened since the March 2000, when the stock market bubble began to burst, and now, a remarkable maturity and confidence in the future. He had begun to worry that we had gone soft, and might react unpredictably when the inevitable economic slowdown happened. Instead, we didn't, and, in reactino to September 11, have shown a new seriousness about the world and out place in it.
Secondly, that, in addition to Bridges to the Future, we should also be building bridges to the past, so we know our history. Otherwise, we risk becoming frustrated at temporary halts in progress, forgetting how far we've come. It was a tremendously optimistic speech, and one well worth hearing if Mr. Will comes your way.
I went to go see John Fielder
last night, and, in-between book, gallery, and workshop plugs, he was fairly entertaining, and pretty informative about composition. He's one of Colorado's best-known nature photographers, and has recently taken to opposing the Demon Growth in all its forms. He also has some interesting notions about private property rights, which is to say, you have a right to your property, so long as it doesn't interfere with his right to make money photographing it.
But leaving that aside, he seems like a genuinely nice guy, and a brilliant photographer. He made it clear that there is no Royal Road to great photography. Anyone can master the technical details, but the only way to true creativity and distinctive style is to focus on your subject. Don't get too cure trying to be original. Ansel Adams said much the same thing when he was accused to making boring landscape pictures. He said that there was always at least one person in his photographs: himself.
Welcome to the new home of View From a Height. I was offline for a while due to the conflicting demands of school, work, home, wife, and dog, we're back on line, and ready to start blogging!