A few weeks ago I decided to start posting my photos to Instagram once again. I took a break since I was having a hard time coming to terms with the current state of social media and our political environment. Companies like Facebook, who also own Instagram, have been facilitating hate and disinformation for years without consequences.
In the year 2020, it just became intolerable for me to engage with these platforms when there was so much harm and money being generated. What was designed to bring people together, is also driving us apart, in often the most vile and sinister ways. I often think participation is complicity, and when you make a living through marketing, it can be hard to stomach.
While there hasn’t been a windfall of change in recent months, I decided to return to Instagram. Since the onset of the pandemic, I still managed to take photos when parks weren’t shutdown, the forests weren’t on fire, and the air wasn’t choked with ash. I can build my portfolio in private, but it doesn’t serve a purpose, to inspire, educate, make people think, or bring joy during such a dark period.
So the first image I decided to share, seen above, and taken during this horrendous year, is my best effort at anthropomorphism. It’s a summary of my experience since March of 2020. The image features a Great Egret that I encountered while kayaking in Drake’s Estero. In fact, it was the first time I had the chance to kayak since the onset of the pandemic. I rested along the shore, watched it catch fish, and preen. A short moment of zen.