“Recently, photography has become almost as widely practiced an amusement as sex and dancing,” wrote the culture critic and free-range intellectual Susan Sontag in 1973. Were Sontag alive today (she died in 2004), she would surely be slapping her forehead and bemoaning her abysmally inaccurate “almost” qualifier, given today’s specter of nearly everyone in the industrialized world carrying high powered cameras that sit snugly in their pants pockets or purses, mere add-ons to the smartphones that power their 24/7 connectedness to the world.
Surely, no one anywhere can possibly be having sex or dancing at even a minute fraction of the rate we pull out our cameras to amuse ourselves.
For better and for worse, we are awash in photography, perhaps the greatest democratizer of all art forms, a chance for most anyone to scratch a creative itch and record for at least his or her own posterity a moment in time that strikes them as meaningful or haunting, joyful or challenging, comic or mournful, enticing or just plain fun.
And just as surely, there is more great photography available today—by a nearly infinite factor—than ever before. Mountains of it are just a click or two away, under no one’s lock or key, out in the previously unimaginable public square of the Internet, where I’ve spent a little leisure time over the past year collecting a few treasures on your (and yeah, mine too…) behalf.
Though most of the shots below were not captured via phone camera, they’ll look just dandy on yours, and even better on the relative behemoth of your computer screen.
So with just a touch of further wordy ado, here is Traversing’s Sixth Annual Holiday Photo Gallery.
My fondest hope is that it covers such a range of earthly phenomena and human expression as to have you smiling in delight or shaking your head with incredulity, then perhaps tapping or texting a friend and asking, “Hey, wanna go dancing? Or maybe just take some pictures?”
And finally, just in case you forgot how to dance because you’ve been so transfixed by your phone camera, a few helpful pointers courtesy of Mother Nature, who will always show the Way…
Check out this blog’s public page on Facebook for 1-minute snippets of wisdom and other musings from the world’s great thinkers and artists, accompanied by lovely photography.
Deep appreciation to the photographers! Unless otherwise stated, some rights reserved under Creative Commons licensing.
Elizabeth Haslam, whose photos (except for the books) grace the rotating banner at top of page.
Library books photo by Larry Rose, all rights reserved, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Polaroid camera by Judy Baxter, Hahira, Georgia, https://www.flickr.com/photos/judybaxter/
Cayucos Beach Babe by Linda Tanner, Los Osos, California
Red-eyed bug by Bob Skinner, Crescent, PA
Water triangle by Stephen Hill, San Rafael, California
Nudes by Michael Dunn, Jacksonville, North Carolina
Glove & red rose by (renowned fashion photographer) Frances McLaughlin-Gill, shot in 1948
Leopard down tree by Owain McGuire
Rain by Aftab Uzzaman, Thames, New Zealand
Water tower by Andrew Hidas, Santa Rosa, California
Afternoon beach by Rajesh, Chandigarh, India
Elderly Mali woman by Emilia Tjernström, Oakland, California
Wedding day rock climber by Dylan Siebelink, Netherlands
Winter woods by Jessica McConnell, Vancouver, Washington
Double rainbow by John Fowler, Placitas, New Mexico