It's a Darin Ross photo from Nerdcon on Instagram. He is standing behind a microphone. It's a huge room. The seats are filled. Great lighting and color and focus and it looks intensely frightening.
It is affecting. It takes your breath, and you realize it makes you happy.
Because it's a great story of success, you think.
So you decide to title the photograph.
Success is scary.
In the Introductory Essay by Richard Ford in Birney Imes book entitled Juke Joint, it is written:
"As with most of us, I am not a special friend of art which requires explanation. An hour in a public place with a Calder mobile usually suits me better than an afternoon in the stacks with Joyce (James). I remember when I read "The Waste Land" in college, my professor insisted I buy three other books just to help me read that first one. And I couldn't do it. Far from understanding the poem, I did, however dimly, like it. I suppose the scholarly way to learn must've seemed too round-about for my first purposes. Possibly this is my hook into photography. Because, for all its "retinal realities," it's complicated authorship and fidgety reliance on delicate machinery, at its best a photograph is sleek and self-sufficing in its relationship with us. It doesn't require words to be itself. It is art and does not renounce complexity, but by and large it is also what it simply seems to be when we look at it - an honest medium, as Edward Weston said about it. And in us it inspires the flattering faith that our direct, most human response is probably a true one."
Today I am grateful for photographers and writers and books and instagram and a lesson on history.