Group questions versus individual questions

I just finished teaching a workshop in Berkeley, California. Being in the San Francisco Bay area, the light was great. The group was very supportive of each other and the work they did was interesting. The questions they asked were many and good. They got me thinking about the questions I am often asked in workshops, in general and what I am trying to do with this blog.

The class was run by a great organization called Fotovision. You can read more about them at: http://www.fotovision.org/pages/home.php In this class, like in most classes, students would often ask me questions one-on-one, while we are out photographing, during the breaks between classes, etc. Ninety percent of the time those questions were what I call “group questions,” queries that I thought should best be answered in front of the whole group. While some questions that I am asked are individual questions, most are really group questions. I think that is partly because most photographers who are sharing the process of learning a new skill, have similar questions as they grow. (I define an individual question as one that when answered only benefits that individual.)

So I ask the students to hold their questions till we are back in the group and ask their questions then. The answer I give then has the potential to benefit all the students in the group. Everyone learns something and I do not have to repeat myself. While answering student’s questions I realized that The Wells Point web site in general and the blog in particular are both ways of answering the group questions that I get from friends/students. But in this case the answer I am giving can reach many more people.

With that in mind this blog entry is another grab bag of things that I have seen and read about recently. Though it is not literally in response to an individual’s question, it is answering the ongoing question of “what’s new in the world of photography and as a photographer, what should I be paying attention to? “

In no particular order:

In 2006 I produced a photo story on a fascinating Palestinian architectural preservation organization. A PDF of that was recently posted and can be seen at http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/pdf/2000/200006.pdf

The veteran photography critic, A.D. Coleman is leading something of a one-man campaign against the auction/break up of the renowned Polaroid collection of photographs. If you have donated work to the collection or know someone who has you should know about this effort.

Quoting Coleman:

“If you have work in either the U.S. or European Polaroid Collections, want to prevent the destruction of this world-famous archive via sale of its individual works at auction, and want to establish your claim to ownership of works you deposited in that collection on long-term loan or assert ongoing rights to access them, the time to act is now.”

More info at: http://nearbycafe.com/artandphoto/photocritic/?p=1194 and http://nearbycafe.com/artandphoto/photocritic/?p=1510

David Reicks has compiled a list of all the various POD (Print on Demand) publishers, and has made that list into a Google doc. You can view what he has assembled at:
https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AtaBEttJY5-AcHhmWUJtSEpMcWp2bzdrakpucjhZVlE&hl=en

If you are using Lightroom 2 for processing, organizing and editing your RAW files, you know that it is a great program with a whole bunch of features, many of which are not obvious. If you are good at learning software by reading the instruction manual, good for you. But if you are like me, someone who learns by doing, video tutorials can be the key to really understanding that software. Adobe has posted a whole slew of tutorials about Lightroom 2. They can be a bit basic, but they have a lot of information and they are free. Find them by starting at: http://www.adobe.com/designcenter/lightroom/articles/lir2am_videotutorials.html

I hope that these resources are helpful. If you have a group question, send it to me and I will try to answer it, if I can. If it really is an individual question I will tell you that too. Equally importantly, if you have an answer to the question “what’s new in the world of photography and as a photographer, what should I be paying attention to, “ let me know and if it fits the bill as a group answer, I will happily share it with the larger “class” that make up the readership of this blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *