How Photography Saved My Life

My G+ profile description reads: Writer. Photography saved my life. The photography statement sounds rather dramatic doesn’t it? Despite the supposed histrionics, I believe the statement to be quite true and when photographer Helen Sotiriadis suggested I write a post about it, how could I say no?

As is usually the case with big profound statements such as this, it’s hard to put into words exactly how the story and emotions support the premise. But as a word weaver sewing the fabric of tales or a surgeon wielding his blade, I will attempt to share with you how it came to be that the magic of a lens gave me the ability to discover a new life and breathe deeply for the first time in years.

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Discovery of great minds

I remember when I first discovered blogs. I spent an entire week, nearly 18 hours a day, reading. I was giddy with the discovery that somehow I had tapped into a previously unknown online world of intelligence and talent.  I was hungry for knowledge and expression and it seemed that with the discovery of these new writers, a whole new world opened. It was all quite exhilarating and exhausting.

I always become very excited when I meet someone who has a brilliant mind or an incredible talent. To me the most complimentary thing I can say to a person is “You’re interesting”. And just like in the old days, I’m once again smitten with brilliant interesting minds that I’m discovering in a truly global arena. I’ve circled writers and photographers whose thoughts and visions encourage me to raise my own bar higher. Not only do I like that, but I had forgotten that I need it.

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Gee Whiz G+

I’ve been on Google+ for exactly one week and have logged some pretty serious hours learning and experimenting so that you don’t have to. While the platform is still in BETA and is fairly simple in scope, the more I got into it the more compelling it became and the more there was to learn. Much of this was due to some of the extraordinary content being published there by members. I’m sure I’m going to have to post a follow up (or two or three) on Google+ but here are some of my thoughts so far and hopefully a bit of info to get those of you new to Google+ up and running.

Let’s start by explaining what Google+ is. It’s Google’s roll out of a new social media platform. A bit like Facebook, but cleaner. A bit like Twitter but more expansive. By invitation only, G+ is growing like crazy. As of this post, estimates are that G+ has amassed 18 million members. It still doesn’t compare to Facebook’s 500 million members, just announced by Zuckerberg yesterday, but considering G+ has only been available since June 28 and is not yet available for public consumption, it’s numbers are pretty impressive.

Google+ is a suite of several different start up products, with more to come. At present Google+ offers, of course, a newsfeed. Sparks culls together various recommendations based on your interests…art, design, fashion, photography etc.  Hangout is a video chat service where you can chat with one friend or hold a conference with up to ten people at a time. Huddle is an sms/text messaging service, which I’m hoping will save me lots of dollars on my international sms fees. The main cool feature is called Circles which is how you organize your friends and deal with some pretty slick privacy features which neither Twitter or Facebook can compare. There is also intergradation with Picasa, Google’s photo platform.

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