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February 17, 2011


This explains a lot about your photography. A couple of things you may find interesting: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and Miksang.com.
You are always a good read.


John W

Interesting column, some further initial reading: Zen in the Art of Archery; anything by Minor White in Aperture 50's-70's.


Having been a big fan of Bruce Lee as a kid and after studying a couple martial arts myself (Judo and Muay Thai), I knew exactly what you were going to write after I read the initial quote. And right you are, by the way.

As an aside, I am very jealous that you got to study with Dan Inosanto. I've read a few interviews with him and he seems to be one of the few to have truly grasped Bruce Lee's teachings--did you take any photos of him?

Good quote; I *think* I understand it. ;)

I remember the feeling of breakthrough when I realised some techniques (HDR, panorama, enfuse etc) were just tools, last summer. Quite a different mode of operation from "see how it looks"; after spending some time researching and playing, I got enough of a feel that I could drive the output using whichever tool I wanted, not being subservient to the techniques. Now to carry on practising that... :)


The Tao of Photography: Seeing Beyond Seeing by Philippe L. Gross and S.I. Shapiro (Jan 9, 2001) describes what you are talking about very well.

Having come a similar path, seeing art in the world around me has been a rewarding journey. Photography has given me a way to communicate what I have seen, so that the viewer can have an experience with it too.

I read a few variations of this quote over the years and had a reasonable notion of what it meant. I loved your explanation. Thanks.

The amazing thing is how universal that process is.

You start with little or no knowledge or skill (technique). Also with little critical ability to judge or compare your work with what has gone before. Then, you have to practice to learn and develop skill and technique. After you internalize that knowledge, you are again free to pursue your own path.

I read this almost as soon as you posted it and since then I have recalled it over an over. This is possibly the best (and most succinctly stated) writing I've ever seen on this issue (apart from Bruce Lee's, of course :). Excellent (and bookmarked for future reference).

Great Bruce Lee quote. In my first regular job (not related to photography and just fresh out of college) one of the senior guys told me that I would typically go through four stages of development: (1) unconsciously incompetent; (2) consciously incompetent; (3) consciously competent; and (4) unconsciously competent. With regards to photography I think I am still on Level (2).

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Thank you!

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