Thursday, September 4, 2008

Keep Learning

I always talk about how we, as photographers, must continue to learn. Photography, after all, came into being as the result of the experiments of many, many people. From its beginnings with the camera obscura, to the calotype process, the daguerrotype, later on, 35 mm film, and now digital, it has taken the minds of a lot of people for it to progress this far.

I was reading about what is considered the first official photograph. It was captured in 1826 by a man named Joseph Nicéphore Niépce and took some 8 hours of exposure to develop. Due to the extended length of time, the buildings in the image look as if they are lit from both sides.

And it was his work with a man by the name of Louis Daguerre that led to the next important development in photography. Yet most do not know that Daguerre's namesake, the daguerrotype, was as much the work of Niépce, who died 4 years into their partnership. Daguerre for the most part reaped the benefits of their partnership.

Each contribution to photography was built upon the work of men before. One experimented with light, another noted the effect of sunlight on certain chemicals, yet another figured out how to fix an image, make it permanent. It was all of these people together who invented photography.

I am always learning, learning about myself, learning about the past and those in the past who contributed to it, learning about my camera. Just yesterday I tried a camera setting I usually avoid and imagine my surprise when it worked. There I thought I knew that that setting would not work!

Part of becoming a better person is having a willingness to learn and thus a willingness to admit you don't know everything. It is those who think they have nothing to learn that I think know the least. And admitting your lack of knowledge caused a mistake, makes you the greater person.

Crescent Moon

Crescent Moon

Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.


Tracy Ruckman said...

So what is the setting you discovered? Is the moon photo a result?

Great shot!!

I have never seen that first photo before - and with my eyes, it just looks like a black and white abstract painting! :-)

This is a great post! Thanks for sharing with us!

scw1217 said...

Olympus put 3 focus modes into my camera, one of which they call ESP. (Yes, I think of the other ESP when I read that.) In effect, it chooses where in the scene to focus. So when you depress the shutter, it moves the focus lock around in the screen. It actually drives me bonkers. But when I could not get the camera to focus on a dragonfly in front of a busy background, that setting worked when my spot focus would not. I plan on testing it out more over the next few days to see if it helps me with some focus issues I have had lately.

Sun Singer said...

Very interersting post, and equally true for writers as well.

As for the technology, it's not only fun looking back to the beginnings, but noting how far things have moved in one's lifetime; I'm stunned by the differences between the Speed Graphic I used years ago and the digital camera I have now.