The market

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Connections

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The power of a single image

Our sense of vision often delivers us the first impression of a person or place; it helps us communicate as we “look for clues”; it helps direct our actions and movement.

The summer when I was 11 years old I signed up for a “summer strings” program, designed to introduce aspiring musicians to orchestral instruments. My sister was already playing the cello and given my relatively large hands it was suggested that the violin would be too small so I was steered to the viola. I spent the next couple of months squeaking out scales and the basics of this lovely instrument.

My dad was a lover of music and a musician himself, having played piano and French horn in addition to singing. Music filled our home daily from the hi-fi in the living room, with stacks of LPs playing everything from Wagner to West Side Story.

I don’t remember when Dad brought home “A Taste of Honey” by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, but one look at the image on the cover and my viola-playing days were over. I think a mix of pre-teen hormones and the jazzy beat of the music conspired and that fall I entered the band program at school with trumpet in hand.

There have been many iconic photographs through the years that have stayed with us because of their portrayal of a historical situation; their captivating perspective and content. This is one image that has stayed with me since I was a young lad. While I haven’t played a trumpet in decades, I still smile when I see the image of the lady wearing nothing but whipped cream and the influence that image had on me.

 

Ten years on

Ten years ago this week I walked off a plane from the US into a new era in my life. What started out as a chapter unexpectedly turned into a volume. Life is like that sometimes.

I could not have anticipated, even dreamed of, all the changes in my life that were coming – good and bad, happy and sad, adventurous and boring. But that’s why it’s called a life journey, no?
I’ve learned and grown so much in this time that it’s nearly impossible to put the lessons to words. It’s also hard to comprehend how much more there must be to learn in life if this era is any indication of what’s yet to come.

I won’t list out the world changes that have happened over the decade (a DECADE already!), as even I would be bored with such a list and I’d start sounding like my grandmother… To give you a rough feel, when I embarked on this adventure 9/11 hadn’t occurred and the iPod – much less the iPhone – hadn’t been invented yet. So many changes in such a short time.

These few years have seen the end of one and, through a maze of others, the birth of a new, loving relationship. My first grandchild made his entrance a short two years ago! I’ve gone through another career transition, moving onward and upward. I have again learned the difference between friend and acquaintance – always a tough lesson for me. And that’s just a taste of what’s transpired in my little corner of the world.

My photography has been published a number of times (plus a show) and has taken its right position, moving from serious hobby to the core of my soul – where it was all the time actually, I just had to recognize and embrace it. I’ve finally found how to balance work and creativity, get them to work together and feed each other – and pay the bills, all at the same time. No small feat but oh, so worth it.

It’s been a fascinating decade. We’ve all experienced the past 10 years, each in our own way, full of our unique experiences; the good, the bad, the lovely, the ugly – it’s all ours. I, for one, can’t begin to imagine what the next ten will bring, but I am curious…

 

Dennis Hodges on MTV Hungary

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