Why What Works (Luminous Landscape), a comment

Started Jan 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
Lights Veteran Member • Posts: 3,569
Re: Rules vs. insights

amalric wrote:

I cannot quote such a long message, so I will be brief. My post was not about setting iron rules at all, but discussing those of Reichmann. I might soon have to teach basic photography, and so I need some orientation.

I am self taught, so I don't feel distant at all from those who are. However when you teach you must be effective, and identify clear fields of action, by which you can improve skills provably. If one has taste and education it is a considerable help, but even if those are absent, photography has definitely a set of techniques that can be learned. Time being short it is good to identify two or three clusters like Reichmann did, and work on those.

Separately I criticised over reliance on cameras, but I am not alone. Ming Thein wrote one of his enlightening articles just on this. By exercising the same skills over a range of cameras he reached the stage, where he could work with any of them, and thus he was freed from the dependence. I think it is an appreciable goal, since ars longa, vita brevis - one cannot lose it in a range of never ending features.

Better learn what can be carried across a range of brands and models, and you will probably be able to work and feel at ease even with film, or the adaptive optics of the future.

I'll probably rely on this little treasure, which is well known across the forums:


In the end it must be like in Herrigel's Zen and the Art of the Archery, or any mental and physical discipline. One needs constant practice, and also a set of rules, until one does not need them anymore.


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I remember a teacher I had in life drawing. He taught us the basics, proportions, foreshortening, etc. I remember drawing a skull everyday for it seemed months. Then all of a sudden he stopped. Brought in live models, and never criticized anyone's work as before. He would always ask "does this look good to you?" or something similar. This was the hardest class I ever had..since we had to try to develop our own direction...and it was almost like being a fish in the ocean, and trying to find out where we were going. He would always answer our questions with other questions. Although at the time I, nor most never realized it...I think it was the best class I ever had. Been a long while ago, but still think of it always. Freedom, once a certain level is attained is a very difficult thing to deal with...it asks basic, and very difficult questions about one's self...aims and resources...and intent.

Just for what it's worth...

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Why so serious? :The Joker

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