Friday, August 31

What's This About?

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They're a technology, those mules and that horse. I came to visit that technology, more ancient than the Phonecians, in a car. I captured their image electronically in a digital code. And I transferred it into two or three software applications for post production on my Mac. And the fact that we muddle all of that together into a final image to glow your monitor thousands of miles from where I'm sitting, and maybe dozens of years afterward... That is so ordinary that we are no more impressed by it than we are of the mud that forms after a rain. We have reached an age where it no longer makes sense to wonder how things work, but only how to work them to our advantage.

We simply don't care what makes a tool function, but how to function something with the tool. This is a very large change. In the living memory of thirty percent of the living population things worked just the opposite way. I am staring right now at letters formed by electricity. How does it get here? Where does it come from? What is it? Hey, that's all behind the curtain offstage. I just want to be able to grab enough to form these letters to write about something completely different. To write about three mules and a horse. Which may or may not have looked anything like the way they look here when I saw them through my lens down in Blue Ball.

They say that a concert pianist should never think about the mechanics of playing when she is performing. Because if she pays to much attention to the act, what she is performing will come apart. See how that works? By examining the way those animals form the image up above... we totally lose sight of the animals. I wonder how often folks fail to accomplish something because they become immersed in the process of doing it? The critics of art photography are a lot like that. They become caught in the details of composition, color, form, shape, and texture. Or they focus upon lighting, focus, apertutre, cropping, or exposure... and they miss what the image means. Process again trumps accomplishment, understanding, success.

Life lessons?

4 comments:

John Roberts said...

I was thinking similar thoughts last weekend as I talked to my Mother on the phone. I on a cordless phone, and she on a cell phone several hundred miles away, and we're talking like she's across the street. Most people think nothing of that, but I still find it amazing.

pnfphotography said...

I agree with both you and john it is amazing but as a person who lives in the country myself I am far more drawn to the daily life small town things. I will say we have lived here long enough that I do feel struck by many things downtown downtown. I am hoping to go into the city today so will see if I can find something fun to shoot. lol...farmers market perhaps

Trub said...

That is a rather nice way to criticize the criticizers. The end justifies the means. I wonder did anyone ever evaluate Michelangelo’s choice of chisel and hammer? I am not making comparisons, just observations. Our tools of today are amazing and yes we do ponder the origins. They are just to vast to grasp. It is said that no one person understands a pencil. The graphite is mined and processed, the wood is harvested and formed, the eraser is manufactured and the metal band is “made”. Then it is assembled and painted, Just too many processes for one person to know. And that is just a simple subject, not one of a complex nature. Techno geeks (myself included) try to pick apart the process….to understand it, emulate it and yes, maybe comprehend and grow a bit. I think that when the accomplishment is well received it gets analyzed, maybe just because it can. Somehow it seems like a left handed compliment.

What can truly be said about a photograph hanging on a wall? I like it, It is appealing, it is pretty. When one goes beyond that one starts down the road of process evaluation. Ahhhhh…. That slippery slope. To discuss its meaning or impact is to reveal personal feelings and thus become vulnerable. It would be truly interesting to know why people purchase your prints.

advman said...

Hmm ... every pleasure in life has vulnerability as a precondition. Being open is being vulnerable. That's where it begins.