Back on the street

The weather is back to nice (30 C at dusk, feels almost chilly) and the kids are on vacation, so I’ve managed to wrangle a half hour away from everything. Landed in the parking lot of a huge park they’re rebuilding in the center of AD. The workers where wait9ing around for their accomodation shuttles.The trip is an hour each way, twice a day. Little to no AC. To go back to lodgings that look like a prison camp (although to be fair – they seem clean and well kempt from the outside)
The Pinoy guy is from Cebu. I think he was very happy to talk.

Shooting for the Moon – a David Alan Harvey lesson

Last March I took David Alan Harvey’s class at GPP. One of my fellow students chose to shoot Sheikh Zayed Mosque for his photo essay. It turned out pretty well, except for the ONE shot David kept asking him for: “get me the Moon and the Mosque together”.

It led to some memorable in-class exchanges – from which I learned 2 things: don’t argue with David and you should shoot a day before or after the full moon – it looks better.

Lesson 1 was actually pretty useful during the class. Arguing with DAH over the relative merit of ones pictures is pointless. It’s not, by any stretch of the imagination, a class based on objective criteria. It’s self-consciously and shamelessly subjective.

So if David tells you to go get the Moon over the Mosque – you go try to get the Moon over the Mosque (or in my case, the fishermen’s bedroom). If you do, great. If you don’t, chances are good that you’ll have learned something in the process anyway.

Lesson number 2 stayed with me for a while. I live right next to the Mosque, I see it every day – so much so that I sometimes forget it’s there. Until I read something about a Supermoon coming up, and I figured I’d get my ass in gear. A quick check of the “The Photographer’s Ephemeris” told me that I was in luck, full moon was in 2 days so the next morning (remember, a day before) I was in front of the Mosque, double parked on a highway, with my tripod perched on top of a pedestrian bridge.

And that’s where, a full 5 months after the class, DAH taught me something again: I’m really, really, really not a landscape photographer (and I get bored really, really, really easily) (also, even in the UAE and in June, it can be cold in the morning)

By the way: it is absolutely possible to get shots of the moon and the mosque. One of mine made “Photo of the Month” at GPP.

So thanks David, for some great butt-kicking and inspiration. See you next year.

Photography resources

Have you ever tried to find links to people and images that matter in the history of photography? It’s kind of a nightmare….

A bunch of people, who met at the GPP conference in Dubail in 2013 and in 2014, have gotten together and pieced a list of resources that they have found useful, one way or another, in learning about photography as a form of expression.

These resources are exclusively focused on photographers and their production. There is nothing here about gear. Not because it’s not important, but because it’s not the point.
There is also no judgment of value on these artists. Some of these I hate, some of these I love, and you’ll have your own favorites. Again, that’s not the point.

The point is to educate your taste, so you can build your own style, one day.

I’ll leave you with this quote from André Gide:

“Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again”

and the admonishement to read “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon