This Saturday I received additional evidence of the generosity of the Daguerreian community. A box arrived containing a number of pieces of equipment for making daguerreotypes. The sender, who asked to remain anonymous, had contacted me earlier and told me that he had some items that he had “outgrown” as it were and that he would be willing to let me use them on a long term loan basis. Needless to say I was delighted by his offer. What he sent will give me a tremendous jump start in getting underway.
Equally important is his example of mentoring, which I hope to emulate at some point in the future.
What I hadn’t really thought about before this weekend is how much I will benefit directly by extending the network of practitioners. Although he didn’t tell me anything in particular about his motivation, I believe he sees the benefit in expanding this art form too. Clearly daguerreotypes are under-appreciated. At least part of the problem is that not enough people have had an opportunity to see a modern daguerreotype. If you have never seen a daguerreotype in person, you really can’t appreciate its unique qualities. I believe that the more people are exposed to daguerreotypes, the more they will want to have them personally. More active practitioners will mean more interest by the public at large.
This thought about increasing the number of daguerreotypists can run counter to the scarcity mentality that says – “The more daguerreotypists there are, the more they will compete with me”. This leads to keeping knowledge secret, to practicing alone. I will confess to having considered this attitude myself, particularly since in some ways I am fleeing from digital photography – a field that is awash in practitioners.
We probably don’t need to worry about the world becoming awash in daguerreians. :)
I have written before about the generosity that people have shown to me as I have begun my journey of becoming a daguerreotypist. This latest example gives me even more inspiration. It also strengthens my commitment to share information with others in this forum and others as I gather it from various sources. The world can use more daguerreotypists…..
Now that my thoughts have run a few hundred miles ahead of my abilities though, it’s time to go back to work. That lensboard I made on Sunday leaks light so it is time to try again. But my sincere thanks to everyone who is helping; may this unitary increase in daguerreians raise your level of success as well.