Why What Works (Luminous Landscape), a comment

Started Jan 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP amalric Forum Pro • Posts: 10,839
Re: Rules vs. insights

Vlad S wrote:

amalric wrote:

I think that LL was after a three pronged, simple structure, that people can easily commit to memory.

The Triangle of Exposure is another one. You'd be surprised how many don't know the basics. And yet I am sure they'd want to increase the number of keepers.

In the context of a short and basic class I think those concepts are quite helpful. But IMO it is important to be careful with words, and not to call them "rules." That's why I highlighted the word "insights" that you used in the beginning. They are just stepping stones, open ended propositions. Students, especially new to the area of study, tend to take the words of the instructor as the ultimate and final truth, beyond which nothing exists. For me it is always important to make sure that the student understands that it is not an ossified and dogmatic system.


Again I am not sure if we speak the same language. Rules for instance can be Rules of Thumb, or Rules of Fair Play - is there anything indecent, or in your country political correctness has devoured even that?

Again my original intent was to discuss LL segmentation:

Contrast / Gesture / Implication

Does it make sense? When I was a kid photogs. used Feininger as their bible, and I am sure that he had something equivalent.

But even without discussing didactics, I am sure that before a session there is a number of things one checks beforehand exposure, white balance. noise, stabilisation - checkboxes if you don't want to call them rules.

There is also some more subtle implication with the subject that HCB discussed accurately, as the whole *point* of a scene.

He reminded me very much of the rules of theater, which were codified in the Indian Mahabarata some 2500 yrs. ago. Even there the sons of the evil goddess tried to prevent the birth of theater by wrecking the rules.

Aristotle has also codified Art in its Poetics. It is a very basic need, because an artist knows that the more he restricts himself, the more his attention will concentrate, and the result be original. This is a v. common occurrence, if you know artists.

Unfortunately consumerism works exactly in the opposite way: the multiplication of features and of models. the rapid obsolescence, means that most never really master their camera.

And that is the reason why, at least once in their lifetime, photogs. feel attracted by the simplicity (and perfection) of a Leica. In fact it restricts their decisions to the very basics.

Again I am not making this up. Ming Thein, an outstanding photog. , has described it very convincingly in his blog, in 'Less is More'.

Rediscovering some very simple 'rules' at some point in your evolution as a photog. might save your skin, and wean you from the dependence of a particular camera.


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