Monday, November 12, 2007

Photographs of the Photographers

A few years back I was at Rocky Mountain National Park watching some elk. A man with a huge backpack of equipment came up and started to set up to photograph the scene. I ended up watching him. He had a lens that was as big as my leg. His tripod was a mechanical contraption out of a science fiction movie. He was wearing a vest with a million bulging pockets. It was fascinating.

When you first start sending students out to take pictures they want to stand far away from the action. They tell me it's embarrassing to get so close. They end up with those all too common "vacation shots" of little tiny people who are barely recognizable.
"Yup! That's Aunt Ruthie there by the rim of the Grand Canyon. At least I think that's Ruthie. She has a hat like that one there. Nope. Nope. That's some stranger. But, ain't the canyon beautiful?"
It is hard to get young photographers down into the action. Possibly this series of pictures will inspire them as they show photographers in action. Unfortunately, the photos are not cited. I love this content and will look for similar sites, but please leave a comment if you know of a good location that cites it's sources.

I might mention that I have mixed feelings about the photographer getting down into the action. Sometimes the photographer becomes a part of what she is trying to film. Ever been to a wedding where the photographer is more visible than the bride? The couple end up with great wedding photos but the guests remember the big guy with the humongous camera taking pictures. I have no answers here, just a vague unformed thought about how can we really be observing something if we are part of it?

Update: (11/13/07)I just checked on this site and it isn't working due to the owner running out of memory in their account. (I think?) Hopefully, the pictures will be available again sometime soon.

[Image:"Photopgraphers and their hard work." \STATiC. 27 Oct 2007 .]

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