Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

The Moab Photo Symposium ended a few days ago (if you were not there, it sucks to be you!) and it was an amazing experience. I truly enjoy presenting to, and talking with, participants who are striving to bring meaning and depth to their work. I get as much inspiration from their journey as I hope they get from mine.

As importantly for me, was the chance to hang out with the other presenters. I all too rarely get a chance to “talk shop” with other photographers who share my basic photographic philosophies. Landscape photography can be a lonely pursuit, especially when working in less-visited areas, so it’s nice to be reminded that we are not alone in the proverbial wilderness.

150428_Morning Glory Natural Bridge_UtahMorning Glory Natural Bridge, Negro Bill Canyon, Utah

A highlight for me was getting to hang out for a couple of afternoons with someone I consider a true, modern master of photography, Charles Cramer. We explored a couple of canyons as potential workshop locations and had a great time doing it (at least I did). Bucket list item . . . check! I only hope my puppy dog eyes of adoration and longing stares didn’t freak him out too much  🙂

Presenting alongside Charlie, as well as Guy Tal, Colleen Miniuk-Sperry, Jeff Foote and the symposium god, Bruce Hucko, was a humbling, inspiring, and invigorating experience.

However, as will all things good (and most things bad) it had to come to an end. In the case of the symposium, it was quite an interesting end. When Bruce announced the conclusion of events, a couple dozen of the participants spontaneously began, without prodding or begging, to stack chairs, fold tables, and collect trash off the floors. It was a wonderful sight and proof positive of the family-type atmosphere Bruce has nurtured over the dozen, or so, years of the Moab Photo Symposium. Within half an hour, we had the three main rooms cleared and swept and the front doors locked. Even a vendor pitched in to help with floor sweeping. I mean, where else does that happen?

While it is good be home, it is also bitter sweet. Already I miss the camaraderie and discussions about photography, as an art. But, the photo-do and honey-do lists are long (they got longer while I was away) and neither includes writing a blog post.

So, with sweet sorry I must leave. But, before then I encourage you to consider attending this even next year. The location is spectacular, the atmosphere inspiring, and the micro-brew beer and plentiful snacks are free.

Moab Photo Symposium


13 thoughts on “Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow”

  1. I agree with every word, Chuck, and will add that it was also a great privilege to spend more time with you. Your sincerity and humor played no small part in the success and mood of the event.

  2. Love the way you are putting theory in to practice with this photo. Adding creatively to the beauty of this area. Found the symposium to be a great mix and a chance to make new friends. Everyone of the presenters displayed great generosity. Gained much from Charles Cramer. More that information he has the wisdom to make the complicated simple. Also was moved by the other presenters especially concerning poetry and metaphors in photography.

  3. Sounds like it was a great event! Wish I could have been there. Happy to hear of the great joy you received being part of this extraordinary team. Love Guy’s comment. I’m sure your humor was wonderful as usual!

  4. Chuck, you are an inspiration! Your presentations and joyful irreverence about our individual pursuits of our craft still linger and ring true for me. It was great fun getting to know you and your work. Thanks for making my journey a trip well worth the effort and time!

  5. I so wanted to attend this event because the roster of speakers was full of people who inspire me on a daily basis. Sounds like it was a fantastic event.

    I will note that the kind of atmosphere you describe with surprise exists within the nonprofit sector (where I have worked for the last ten years). I am a little envious that you found a little pocket of that culture in the photography community. I always feel like I do not fit in the landscape photography world very well, so maybe I am hanging out in the wrong places.

    1. Sarah, I will be honest, it was pretty cool. As for feeling like an outsider, I hear ya. Maybe we can be outsiders together. Our own clique?

  6. Chuck! And should we add that MPS actually pays within a week! Check’s in the mail as they say. And thank you dearly for your presence at the symposium….no folks, he did not have to beg that hard! One look at Chuck’s webpage and I knew he had to present at my event! As Charlotte pointed out, you brought a wonderful, humorous, honest and irreverent but so TRUE passion to our festivities. And yes……clean up! I’m not quite how we collect such a wonderful cross-section of people to attend, but I know we cut a prime cut. No jerks in our crowd! As one of the attendants told me when talking about telling his wife he had to come……I just told her I had to be among MY PEOPLE for the weekend. Tribe. Family. Whatever we want to call it……You are indeed a family member……kind of like that one uncle that both mom and dad are a bit leery to invite to family gatherings, especially formal events like weddings or wakes (hmmmm….similar?) because they are quite nervous about what you might say…..but we kids delight in your coming for the very same reason! I look forward to more visits!

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