Easing Back Into the Flow of Things

The flu was not fun. It caused me a great deal of discomfort and no small loss of income. Save for the lingering cough and a slight headache, I think it's behind me now. The coughing is a bit frustrating, but the flu is notoriously a bastard.

You may be wondering how I chose to spend my unplanned vacation. The answer to that is shivering, sweating buckets, coughing myself sore, and in long, fevered sleeps for the most part. I spent what little energy I had left over from all that watching random TED Talks, Fora.tv discussions, and B and H Photo videos on YouTube.

I learned a lot of random interesting things watching TED. Unfortunately, upon researching further, I discovered nearly everything I had learned turned out to be unsupported by scientific evidence, significant data sets, or a general consensus among experts in the field(s). The internet is a real party-pooper sometimes.

Fora.tv was good for some debates on religion, spirituality, and rationalism. There wasn't much new territory covered there. I've heard all of the arguments before. They mostly boil down to people who spend a lot of their time arguing about religion tend to have personality issues.

The B and H Photo clinics were great. I particularly enjoyed Adam Marelli's lecture, How to Talk to Strangers: 7 Tips For Photographing People. The lecture doesn't actually cover approaching strangers in much detail, but Marelli does provide an enthusiastic and compelling refresher on some tried and true concepts and techniques like

  • learn your superficial anatomy,
  • study the great masters,
  • choose your peers and idols carefully,
  • frame a nice setting and wait for someone to walk through it (a la Henri Cartier-Bresson),
  • pay attention to the angle and quality of light,
  • and shoot a few variations on your theme.

It's a good talk and, though I downplayed it a little, he does in fact provide some worthwhile tips and philosophical considerations when photographing people on the street. But that's only a part of what it's about. I recommend it.

Perhaps tomorrow I'll get a chance to leave the house and do some shooting of my own.