Workshop done last night. Quiet, calmness, a day to relax and reflect. I took a ride to Palo Alto after lunch and visited friends at the gallery. I sat at a sidewalk cafe and had an ice cream. The world looks different again. 

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Thinking of the past three days task … to motivate a group of people in helping see the essence of Photoshop, one of the largest and most complex applications in common usage. To try to reduce it to an approachable, comprehendible thing that one could learn, could be motivated to learn. It’s a big task. Nine hours was not enough. Yet when that conversion from complexity to simplicity happens, it happens instantly. 

I was poking around in the equipment forums on-line and a dialog arose around the nature of what is “goodness” in the context of a camera … does a camera have ‘soul’ that influences the act of doing photography? that motivates the pursuit of photography? And a similar set of thoughts sprang from my head. I thought I’d put them here so as to have them to meditate on in the future. 

me > “The Muse, the soul, the emotion comes from the photography. Not the equipment.”

other > “could you expand on how you think the soul comes from the photography? Could the camera be an extension of the photographer creating through the act of photography? Doesn’t the camera influence the creative process at all?”

me > “To me as photographer, the best praise I can give to any camera is “The camera does not get in my way.” The camera that disappears from my consciousness fastest is the best camera. It’s the one where the controls are simple and explicit – fall to my fingers and work as I think they ought to work – where the the viewfinder is clear and unobstructed, and that I neither cherish like a Stradivarius or dance with like a lover. It should be there simply as an extension of my eye and mind, enabling me to capture what I want, when I want it. 

The soul comes from the Photography … I am interested in the expression of gesture, emotion, the contrasts and juxtapositions of things; in the telling of story and perceptions of the world. What tools I use to do that have changed many times over the years … When I’m doing photography, I want to be spending most of my time looking and seeing, not working the camera’s controls. Change has come to my Photography too, but the Photography changes in tempo with the growth, maturation and collapse of concepts/ideas/observations in my head and in the passing of my life, and in my relationship to events in the world surrounding me. Camera technology changes with the movement of the industry through the technology and the economy. Essentially, Photography and Camera Equipment are two utterly separate things. Their relationship to each other is purely that of wood to hammer, nail, file, saw and glue. “

The understanding and skill in use of image processing tools is related to the execution of vision in the same way. With information, comprehension, technique and practice, the other thing … that art which is Photography …can surface. They are separate things entirely, but related in the same way: as wood to hammer, nail, file, saw and glue.

Yeah, I need my head to quiet down.
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