Paul Cezanne said “To paint is not to copy the object slavishly, it is to grasp a harmony among many relationships”. This summarises very well the common obstacle people find with photography. They point and shoot – and modern cameras encourage such an unthinking process – and are disappointed with the results. I’ve been surprised how many adult students didn’t know the basics of f stop, shutter speed, ISO etc. On one occasion when I taught young teenagers I handed a girl a manual film camera and explained its functions. I showed her the shutter release and she flinched, frightened at the camera and what it might do when it clicked. I learned all the basics as a teenager when I got my first camera, a Russian model called a Cosmic Symbol. As a photography tutor I’ve discovered large numbers of people don’t have such experiences. It’s rudimentary stuff but some people get stuck at that stage and think effective photography correlates with those technical details. It doesn’t. In particular, there’s a visual and psychological difference between what you see and experience and what your camera sees. The gap between the two, and understanding how it works, is one aspect of effective photography. The path here, climbing the hillside, is the one you shouldn’t take from Baiau if you are heading for Coma Pedrosa. Down at the lake you have to walk further around to the left before you find the correct path.

 

Pyrenees Mountains: Estany de Baiau :Andorra

Sunday October 28, 2012