By pascaljappy | Monday Post
The spectrum of mindsets and personal goals in photography is as wide as in any other hobby. Perhaps wider, since personal image can be involved. In a very real sense, that is, because selfies tend to dominate the organised electron matrices we (as a species) like to collect during travels. With the inevitable consequence of potentially offending whomever dwells in our hunting grounds. As illustrated by the obfuscated Japanese who are beginning to realise the flip side of a flourishing tourist industry might overpower its financial benefits.
However, those are not the locals you’re looking for.
No, I’m referring to the local photographers. The swines are always better than us visitors. It’s a universal law, and it appeared to me that quite a few of the articles collected for this week’s round-up illustrate this point. You be the judge of what you prefer, but it does stand to reason that locals have a better statistical chance of witnessing the exceptional and, if at all evolved, capture it for all to savour.
And, when you think about it, these two approaches of photography are probably the most completely opposite you can find. On the one hand, travelling the globe to find a new background for a photo of your ego. On the other, putting your creativity to work to highlight the beauty of what is right on your doorstep. As my son just remarked, approaches as diametrically opposed as the phone cameras you use for each.
In between the lie all of our various travel photography paradigms. Workshops, dedicated trips, snapping. All highly enjoyable and all highly doomed. Because the local tog, that insufferable melonhead, is always better that us. Ah well. At least you have cat pictures to Lima-Oscar-Lima away the pain.
(You’ll have to excuse today’s pics. A: I don’t have any selfies to illustrate this article. B: As the custodian of a tiny new life form, I’ve not been out a lot these past days, to replenish the photo stock. Biskit here is portrayed using a Sony A7r2 and a Zeiss C-Sonnar 1.5/50 ZM)
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Thanks Pascal, a treasure trove this week. The volcano, the waves! Interestingly I can’t see the car pics as I’m not allowed from my country. Time to change the settings on the VPN methinks.
And what a treasure trove, Steve! This is like a walk though the flea markets along the Seine . . . something for everyone (except the bicycle crowd – they seem to have missed out, this time – never mind, they won’t have to wsh their lycra shorts this week).
I was intrigued by the size of the sand bunkers on Dubai’s golf course – or maybe it’s not a golf course? And yes, fighting nature is as silly as being Donald Trump.
The story I adore is the one about the lady who gave all the cameras to the children. It seems to me to be the centre piece of this post, Pascal. Because children don’t think like adults. They are still exploring the world. So they “SEE”. It’s a basic cognitive process that assists in their development from birth to adult hood. And this “seeing” materialises in all of their photos. Funnily enough, they seem to have excelled themselves in terms of composition. I wasn’t conscious of poles growing out people’s heads. There didn’t seem to be any appalling breaches of the basic “rules” [SIC] of composition. They captured the tonal range nicely, which is of course absolutely essential in the world of black & white photography. And practically all of their photos tell a story.
We adults could do a lot worse than just following along behind, and imitating the children. They seem from these photos to be wise beyond their years! 🙂
Steve and Pete already said it!
Especially about the lady who gave children cameras!
I agree completely!
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No need for an excuse, Pascal!
What the h$ck if the i’net is full of cat pics – mostly boring anyway, at least if your “justify-cats-link” is typical.
Cats are hard to catch, I mean really catch (with a camera of course, how else), even with fast AF.
So, Pascal, my admiration for you for using manual focus for Biskit on the move – and sitting, considering how suddenly cats just stop sitting still, especially when so young!
[ Right paw just raised, eyes a bit wondering…”that big eye?”..]
( You aren’t secretly using the Sony-Leica-AF-adapter, are you? Apologies, I’m sure not, 🙂 .)
Ha ha, no AF, Kristian. Just a lot of wasted files 😉
Yes, i know…
( Our cat lived in film time.)
Even with AF (Fuji XF1), I’ve had lots of wasted files on a friend’s cat.
Yes, I know, lots!
( Our cat lived in manual focus film time.)
And even with AF (Fuji XF1), lots of wasted files on a friend’s cat.
Kristian, the bit about the lady who gave children cameras wasn’t all that clever. It was handed to me on a platter (English expression).
As a small child, I learned two languages – English and French – because at home everyone spoke English (damn my father! – he refused to speak French in the house!) and on the other side of the street lived a French kid, who went to the same school, and every afternoon we’d play at his house, and everyone spoke French. But he left the district and I lost touch – and the opportunity to keep my French going.
Several years later, and I was at college (high school to some). Learned French again – blackboard teaching style, with printed books in both languages. After three years, I was told I couldn’t continue. And a few years later I met & fell in love with an Italian girl, so I learned Italian. Struggling for a while, going back & forth between both languages. Till one day I decided to hurl those books to one side, and replace them with Italian-only books. In short, to learn Italian the way Italians themselves did.
And that’s when I realised it. They DON’T learn their language from books. They polish it up and improve their knowledge of it from books. But they learn their language the same way everyone else learns theirs. From seeing things and learning what they are called – whether it’s a toy, or a bit of food, or a wave breaking, or the weather, or anything else. More sophisticated concepts like emotions and morals and philosophy can be introduced later, as the children mature a little, and grafted onto the same basic learning process.
For photographers, I guess the equivalent process is kids with cameras – reaching the limits with the cameras they have, and wanting a better one FOR SPECIFIC REASONS, usually – which means they’ve LEARNED something. Sooner or later, especially with the info flying around the internet, they’ll be introduced to “composition” and other techniques. Some will even go and do a photography course at a tech college or whatever.
But we all started by living, and looking, and listening – the “hands on” approach. Book learning and blackboards all came later. I was even taught to count, by counting my toes – not looking at numbers or exercise books or blackboards.
When I left home, I knew how to darn holes in my socks, stitch on a button that had fallen off, buy my food and cook it, clean up the kitchen, wash and iron my clothes. Because I’d spent a couple of decades watching my mother and various aunts and grandmothers doing it all. I didn’t need to go to another school – or read books about it – all I needed was an apartment of my own, to do it in.
And that part of our learning process provides a solid foundation for further growth and development. In every sphere of our lives.
I’m not quite sure I get your point.
( Language is a complex beast…)
First I thought “the bit about the lady’ refers to the article in the link…,
and though I love what that lady did, I found the article rather sketchy,
… but then I remembered you had commented before, so I guess “the bit” refers to that comment?
But I don’t think that comment wasn’t “all that clever”!
( It wasn’t so explicit on learning, but it said other important truths about children.)
– – –
I agree with all that you say about learning, we all learn best through imitating, practicing and experimenting – and children are usually better than grown-ups at that.
(Math and other abstract subjects are an other matter.)
Now to the lady that gave children cameras.
What struck me was that she had said that the children (some nearly her age) were taking “more powerful and more intimate pictures than I could.”
( And – judging by some of the photos – that doesn’t diminish her…)
( Although I had the impression that some photos were chosen more for “effect”.)
I don’t see this as mainly a project of teaching photography. I see it more as giving the children a tool to open their eyes, tell stories, document situations, become more aware of things … perhaps even developing critical eyes faster.
And, as you said in your first comment, children do such things more directly and honestly than grown-ups.
Of course, if some began really learning photography and wanted to go on, much would depend on the chance of getting some financial support, at best provided by or found by that lady.
[ As an aside:
You say: “Sooner or later … they’ll be introduced to “composition” and other techniques.”
True, but, personally, I don’t regard ‘composition’ as a technique.
Perhaps because I did it instinctively a couple of years until it was taken up in Art class at school – I didn’t think much of that, I guess it was done too simplistically. So I continued by instinct…
And I believe it can’t really be taught. But one can learn about how human vision works (I haven’t…) and try to adapt one’s images. And one can find ideas in other people’s work.
( The different “principles” are, I think, more like the lines on stationary untill one (hopefully) learns to write without them.) ]
– – –
Me too, I grew up speaking German with my mother and Swedish with my father and the rest of the “world”. When I was 10 we spent 9 weeks in Britain. After two days my parents stopped speaking Swedish and I had to try to speak English (but was allowed to ask for help in Swedish), so I came home with a third language – at mealtimes and on Sundays English was spoken. My father bought the trilogy Lord of the Rings (in English, of course) and I was absorbed!
( But spelling and grammar were tough at school.)
( Also my mother taught me to darn socks, stitch on buttons and to iron. The rest I had to find out for myself, more or less.) ]
Re. your Haydn-etc. comment in #735:
but Mozart could fill even his “presets” with a life you seldom find in Haydn’s music!