Sunday, May 8

Pulitzer Prize Photo Exhibit

Saturday's visit to the local museum included hall browsing to see 100 of the world's greatest photographs by Pulitzer Prize winning photographers. Wonderfully displayed and lighted, each photo came with a background blurb that told the story behind the picture. Truthfully, some of the shots would be meaningless otherwise. Most impressive pictures don't need a story, but their impact can be greater if we view them with a wider perspective.

This exhibit is busy. Lots of viewers. People have sent letters to the editor praising the quality and importance of the event. People have shared about the emotional significance of the event. One spoke of tears.

Sorry, no tears from this guy. My stoic machismo prevents such embarrassing moments. I'd rather take pictures of the folks staring, reading and trying to restrain their tears. But after sneaking two shots and almost being confronted by a security guard, I saw a "NO PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED" sticker on the wall. This was off limits to bloggers like me who like a good story. So those red X's are there so I won't go to jail.

More good stories happened at 2:30 in another room in the museum (the reason I had gone in the first place). Three local photogaphers for the newspaper were going to speak about their work and answer questions. It was great seeing a slideshow of various photos and enjoying a session of Q & A afterward. There were about 50 people there. I asked the most questions and learned a few things.

Next week three of the Pulitzer Prize Photo photographers will be here from the S.F. Chronicle. Their pictures are on display. One of them is a local.

All of this to say: There is something wonderful, jaw-dropping and instructive about good photography. A great shot will bring a flood of emotions as we relate to the pathos, humor or beauty we see and feel. These are snapshots of our souls in a real sense. And our reactions are God-given appreciations that grow with time, I think. Our vision matures. We listen more closely. We feel more intently.

Now, go buy a good photography coffee table book.

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