Friday, January 15, 2010

Diamonds in the Rockpile - Class of 2009: The Aware Writer

John McDevitt, alias The Aware Writer, is one of those people you can instantly find common ground with. Not only is he an exceptional and knowledgeable photographer, he shares the idea that by passing on that knowledge to others who seek it, the art of photography as a whole is furthered.

This is, I have found, not always the attitude one encounters when seeking photographic wisdom. Ask some people about the exposure settings for this shot or that one and you might think you'd asked for the missile launch codes for a nuclear sub. Not John. Not only does he post helpful, well written (and illustrated) tutorials he's also not at all shy about answering questions one-to-one. I've already picked up a few tips from him myself, and I'm sure they won't be the last. (Ever think of using a salad spinner to dry negatives? I didn't.) John's unique in that he shoots exclusively -- or nearly exclusively -- on black and white film (though this is a trait shared by of Monochrome Weekend fame).

We've had a good deal of discussion over the relative merits of each, both of us knowing the other is unlikely to switch (or in my case switch back) but there's much to be gained by dialogue.

If you don't check out anything else John's done recently, don't miss the series of photos called . Taken at Christmas 1966 while John served in the US Air Force there, they offer a look at a long-ago far-away version of the holiday and serve as a pointed reminder that as different as we are, we're a lot more alike.

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Robin said...

I only discovered John's blog a few months ago, if that, but I never come away without having learned something or been touched by his words, and his thoughtful (and helpful!) comments are always just the thing.

Great choice Mojo.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I'm humbled, happy and honored to be included as a Diamond in the Rockpile. Blogging is about sharing among friends both new and old. We all benefit as we learn from each other.

Blogging is about being yourself.

Life is a creative journey and I'm having the ride of my life. I've learned so much since starting The Aware Writer back in May 2009. And my creativity and productivity have taken off in all kinds of fun directions.

I treasure friends like you and will continue to "polish the diamond" as best I can.

P.S. My box of toys arrived from B&H this afternoon. My new 35mm f2.0 AF lens works great on my N8008s and is an investment that will move with me when I can finally swing a dSLR.

P.S.S. I bought two rolls of ProviaF color transparency film "just in case." My F3 loves to sit on his tripod while we explore the wonderful world of macro photography. My first love is B&W but I have an affair going with color on the side.