>>> Street Photography eXchange #48 <<<

Started Jun 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
fad
fad Forum Pro • Posts: 16,280
Re: Communication skills
2

Someone was telling me today about Jay Maisel as a teacher, how he is very good, but very honest and brutal.  Not everyone can take it.

Like me, Jay grew up in NYC, went to college where I grew up and went to grad school where I went undergrad, and lives on the eastern side of Soho while I live one block south of him, but on the west side.

So part of it is cultural.  The NYC style is not to waste too much time on niceties.  And part of it was to get your attention to the cold, hard necessary facts that could really help you.

Everyone's opinion is valuable, but not everyone's opinion is equal.   Chris is very experienced in practicing and teaching photography for many years.   Al Bobkin is a very fine artist, with or without a lens.   Zubu is a very proficient art restorer with a deep background in photography.   Sal, although a beginnerish street photographer, as am I, has decades as a highly trained classical musicianship teaching her about professionalism in the arts.

So when Al here likes the shadows on my photograph, it means it has graphical qualities that please an accomplished artist.   --One thing I struggle with is pleasing the pros, who prefer graphical excellence, vs. capturing thoughts and feelings and the face of life, in work that is less graphically accomplished.  This ain't easy.  --And last week, when Chris suggested I alter the saturation/vibrance values of a shot, I understood what he said, because it was taught in a course, and I've started paying a little more attention to that.   Comments like this are worth 10,000 "I like your photo,"  "great work,"  "why do you shoot pictures like that?" kind of comments.

So in this line of work there is both equality and hierarchy.  All of us are equal in the sense that we have unique souls trying to find expression in photography.   However, while we are all on an infinite journey, some people have been at it longer, or with more discipline, and they can provide guideposts in how to make the next step, if they care to tell us.

Learning to deal with tough, but thoughtful negative comments is part of the journey.   If you keep talking as if you know as much about photography as Chris, for instance, it will only hold you back.   Chris and I see many things very differently, and have not been shy about disagreeing.   But when he talks as a teacher, it pays to shut up and listen.   I am certainly deep in his debt.   Likewise when I think about how Al composes his works with originality and effectiveness, it improves, not my eye so much, as my effort.   Sal inspires just because she has such a beautiful soul, and a tart mind that she keeps well in check.

I swatted at you because you need to develop your critical sense, to stop and think:  Am I being sloppy?  Am I being quick and foolish (ie the horizon argument.)   We all have stuff rush into our head, and we have to learn to edit it before expressing it.

You have shown you can do that, on second thought, which is very much to your credit.  If I were to light a candle for you, it would be that you learn to wait for your second thoughts before posting.  They are *much* better than your first ones.

-- hide signature --

Frank
shot in downtown Manhattan.
http://sidewalkshadows.com/blog/ (street photos)
Always view all photos in Gallery or Original Size

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