Colin Finlay at Discovery Communications


A very powerful presentation yesterday at Discovery Communications by photojournalist Colin Finlay who showed images from Rwanda, Antarctica, The North Pole, and devastation from mountaintop removal in West Virginia and oil production in Alberta, Canada.  Colin approaches his work with a messianic zeal and his presentation style was sort of an understated Garrison Keillor with a lot of whispery drama and pregnant pauses a bit of Eckhart Tolle philosophizing, all of which of course, is not out of keeping with his subject matter.  His was definitely one of the most stylistically evolved photographic presentations I have ever seen and I am always grateful that presentations of disturbing work are not combined with Beethoven’s Fifth like something out of Star Wars. The audience was visibly moved and in addition to the opportunity to view an important body of work I think it was most instructive to us photographers on how to make our own presentations more successful.  My own act is a bit more vaudevillian in contrast, but I think my current subject matter lends itself to that, as does my Mary Poppin’s philosophy that “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” But when you are photographing victims of a horrific genocide a spoonful of sugar is very inappropriate indeed.  I’m a big fan of Eckhart Tolle, and I believe that we carry the things we photograph with us forever.  Personally, having suffered enough sturm und drang the first thirty years of my life, I am not eager to take more on and continue the cycle at this point.  We all know what we are capable of, hopefully, and each to his/her own task.  I am grateful that many people like Colin Finlay have shoulders broad enough to handle their tasks


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