6.28.2021

The Presumption of Knowledge.


 I'm increasingly convinced that all the knowledge and research we think we've successfully done about digital photography has mostly been a sheer waste of time and a spinning of wheels. The endless arguments about file sharpness, resolution, "color science" and image processing yielded, on the whole, no better images than those taken in the previous era and served mostly to assuage the anxiety of transitioning from one technology to another. From film to digital. 

I used to think that we all "needed" to stay "current" in order to do our craft well but I'm slowly (very slowly?) coming to find out that we had the "ruby slippers" all along. (Wizard of Oz reference...). 

Being able to rattle off the number of aspheric elements in version two of our favorite 85mm lens, or having the specifications for the top five digital cameras on the market committed to memory says more about our "presumption of knowledge" than anything having to do with seeing good, interesting, fun, evocative photographs. Or sharing them.

Above image of Ben taken at a Summer swim meet at the Rollingwood Pool. Circa 2003. It was done with a manual focus, 50mm Nikon lens and a Kodak DCS 760C camera. 

Knowledge is tricky. We presume that knowing lots of stuff is the same as knowing many fewer things very, very well. What I think we are really looking for is wisdom mixed with whimsy.