It is an accepted aspect of life that the English are some of the worst linguist. Whether this is true or not is not the point here. We English have a reputation. It is especially true when compared to the linguistic skills of the Dutch or Scandinavian countries. They just seem to be able to master several languages when we English only master one. Of course we believe that as english is the lingua franca of the world most people have a grasp of the english language to enable us to get by when we venture out into the world.
This, of course, means that we have missed one vital fact. Whilst the language we use is english it isn’t the language that most of the world is talking to one another in. To them the english they talk to one another is not the Queen’s english but coloquial and sometimes misunderstood by we English. We have this problem when trying to use English english in America where, of course, they use American english. At times it can become similar to the imperial/metric problem – they both describe the same thing but there are differences that if not clarified can cause a satellite to crash into Mars.
I had a similar experience when watching a video by Jamie Windsor today.
Here he expresses his views on how to become a better photographer. On the whole his points are well made but one was to question whether you should be proud of your older images? He was arguing that to become a better photographer you must progress, try new things and challenge whether photographs you made three years ago are as good as you you thought they were at the time “…but if in three years time you’re still really proud of those images you’re probably not doing something right…” (6:30 into video).
Initially my reaction is that this is nonsense. A good photograph, however you judge it, is a good photograph no matter when you captured the image. Equally, in our digital world post production is so much more where the magic of photography lies than in the past and an image captured three years ago can and probably will look different if you post produced it today compared to three years ago. Then it struck me. I am not the audience he is trying to address but rather a younger audience where ten years ago is almost a lifetime (Instagram is less than 9 years old for example) which is very much the same as the English as a Second Language problem. I am now old compared to most photographers; my experiences are very different to theirs and I need to understand that.
To illustrate this point the three images on this blog were captured in the 1970’s and have been post produced in the last few years (the last two today) and reflect my formative period. They all have technical problems associated with them but nonetheless I feel they work for me. Whether they work for you is another matter because you bring a whole different set of preconceived ideas to viewing the images and I accept that. What I have to come to terms with to most of the people who might view this post 3 years is a long time and 40 years is, well, more than a lifetime.
All that I want is another baby
Ace of Base