For Heaven's Sake - Speak Photography!

on March 07, 2021
So many languages to listen to today. So many internal translations going on. So many puzzling communications... If you are not the IT person in your office - or the IT person in your home - go and ask a computer question of them. They will give you one of two things: a. A straightforward and honest technical answer. b. A puzzled look as they try to figure out from your longwinded phrases exactly what your question is. Then it's your turn to either feel: a. grateful that the technical problem has been resolved. b. Exasperated and resentful that you cannot understand the language, let alone the answer. This is particularly so if you have never learned to speak Acronym, though even if you have a smattering of it, Brand Namese will trip you up. And it is the same with most of the divisions of photography - there are words that mean everything and words that mean nothing, and they are frequently the same words. Once you mix art with science it becomes nearly impossible to understand some talks. I find this particularly when it's me doing the speaking. There is a fine line between wondering what to say and puzzling over what you said. You're in even more trouble when your listener heartily agrees with what you said and you were just making it up. In the end, exposure, focus, and capture describe most of what we do when we capture the picture. Contrast, level, and hue can define what we have when we let it loose again. The trade did itself no favours when it started to mix references to dots per inch or centimetre with pixels per the same measurements. Years of puzzled customers at camera shop counters and exasperated lecturers at printing conferences.... Then the video industry decided to invent new processes, standards, settings, and designations. They had seen what the stills side could do and apparently decided to increase the stakes in the game. The fact that inventors and makers all over the world are in competition with each other has not helped - the acronyms and standards of video are like ants milling on a sugar pie. And then there is art...the evanescent icon of ephemeral ennui capturing the primordial angst...with the sun over its shoulder and everyone smile. Makes you long for a Kodak How-To-Do book. I buy mine at the secondhand market. They are like old friends...since i sold them there a couple of decades ago and they have come back.