Saturday, May 05, 2012

The Deep End

Ken Rockwell has a post today on 'Real Nikons', in which he writes:

"I so love shooting a real Nikon. It just goes, and the fully professional F3 weighs much less than the amateur D800 or 5D Mark III. The F3 runs for years on a pair of A76 batteries that sell for less than a dollar. My 5-year old can figure it out, while not even I can figure out most of how to get a D800 to go. The F3's owner's manual is only 46 pages of well-illustrated simplicity, while the D800's manual is 450 pages of meaningless menu nonsense."

Here's an interview with John Sexton on why he still likes traditional black-and-white. He makes a good point about the art and experience of photography when he says you've got to enjoy what you're shooting. If you're shooting a landscape, you'd better enjoy it, so that even if you don't get to make any photographs that day, you will still enjoy and appreciate the experience of just being out there in the wilderness.

In either case, I thought about how I learnt photography—just by going out and shooting. It works the same for both film and digital. And then I thought about my approach to teaching, my 'education philosophy', so to speak: I'm a product of the 'deep-end' school of learning.

Miss Shanti knows all about this: throw the kid into deep waters, and in struggling to stay afloat he will learn so much more than he would have any other way. Go in there, get deep and dirty, experiment much, make many mistakes, learn a few things, make even more mistakes, learn a few more things. And be the best you never imagined you could be. As Geoffrey Rush's character in Shine says, "You win some, you lose some; you can't lose 'em all."

Great books are not written by people who churn out half a page of writing a year; great landscapes are not taken by people who refuse to get up, get out and fight the elements.

But the best part of the journey is still being able to share it with people who mean the world to you. And today just happens to be the quarter-century anniversary of some of those people.

To Kaun, SooT and Teeming: a most blessed 25th. May the next 25 years, and the 25 thereafter (and so on!) be even richer and more amazing than the last. Let's grow (old) together! ;-)

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