Maybe that’s what I’m doing. You never know. Fred McDarrah was documenting Greenwich Village in the 1960s and didn’t know he was in the middle of the many revolutions that were to come–1950s to 1960s, beat generation to Vietnam war generation, folk music to punk rock–he saw it all and photographed it.
I’m reading his book, Fred W. McDarrah, New York Scenes. Very well done. But he didn’t know he was documenting a significant period in time. He was just documenting, and the revolution of the 1960s revealed itself after the moments (and chances to photograph) were long gone.
That’s why I wonder if that’s what I’m documenting, a significant time of change, or even the end days. If the climate ends up knocking us off this planet to save itself, well, if there’s anyone to come, later, they’ll have my photos of the last days.
I’ve been documenting America with a few other photographers for a little over a year on my project, RoyStryker.com, and I am thrilled that the viewership is building, but mostly, that I’m over a year into it. Because I wonder what it will be in 10 years, assuming we’re still here. Time makes projects relevant.
I’m about ten years into my street photography documentary project: ColoradoFaces.com
So, here’s my advice: That thing you wish you started 10 years ago? Start today and you’ll be glad you did in 10 years. Because there’s nothing like the element of time to add significance to a project.
I hope we’re not at our end days. But I’m just documenting what is in front of me, photographing my world. Time will tell its significance.