Thursday, 8 March 2018

Meteors and Stars

Do you know the difference between a Meteor and a Star?

Star search - Gin Gin Observatory WA
A Meteor is space junk. Composed mainly of dust and ice. Sometimes referred to as a  'shooting star'. Meteors (or Comets)  burn bright and colourfully as they enter the earth's atmosphere, burning out to almost nothing. Everyone gazes skywards, with 'oohs' and 'aaahs'. A few seconds later they are finished. They are short lived. A lump of molten metal, cooling, unforgotten, never to be seen again.

A Star is a sun. Seemingly far away in a mystical night sky, the star twinkles faintly. But the twinkle is resilient. Its light is always there. It says 'I'm not going anywhere, you can rely on me.' A Star goes on and on. A Star is permanent, resilient and lasts millions or billions of years. Stars are grounded, honest, reliable.

Such is the plight of some photographers. There are the Meteors and there are the Stars. Recently statistics have been released by Photo Counter, Capture and other sources that indicate the number of female photographers leaving the industry has escalated.

Stars: Shelley Johnson and Peter Holland
One of the longest serving, most successful commercial photographers I know is no 'Shooting Star'. He has been a colleague for 2o years. He maintains a profile lower than a caterpillar in camouflage. He is one of the most sought after, highest paid photographers in WA.

Another photographer who is not a Meteor but a Star is an ex student from 1981. At the pinnacle of her photographic career she sticks to the basics. Even today, after 30 years of success, she religiously sketches her lighting plan and layout for the next day's shoot.

Star portrait photographer Douglas Kirkland
The message here is stay twinkling in the distant sky. Do the small things really well. But seek the limelight and just very well may flame out.

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