Friday Notes #87 — Make Me Learn Something

I love to learn something new. When I do, I'm appreciative and give back. Here's how I thank two authors for their work.

Friday Notes #87 — Make Me Learn Something
Photo by Brett Jordan / Unsplash

I’m in the final stage of preparation for my vacation in Italy. My mindset is starting to turn into a photographer’s mindset. Now that I have settled on the gear to bring, I’m thinking about the photos I’d like to take and how different my style should be this time. This mindset helped me create the idea of a photo diary that can be found here: “Summer Vacation in Italy — a Photo Diary Project Built Using Craft.”

This week, I watched two YouTube videos related to photography that I found inspiring and learned a few things from.

First, I like this rant from AOWS about what should be considered real photography. As you might expect, it’s a matter of perspective (pun intended), and there is no definitive answer. Yet, this video somehow comforted me about my position on the subject. Modern digital photography allows us to do things that are so far away from what was available to previous generations of photographers. Yet, many techniques currently used by many of us are not that far from the basic techniques like dodging and burning to enhance an image, which have existed for hundreds of years. So, what is real photography in the digital world is an eternal debate.

The second video is about street photography and the challenge it might represent for some photographers. I generally like street photography style, and I learned something interesting from this video. Street photographers can be labelled as hunters and fishers. The hunters will set their minds on a specific subject and hunt for it in the city until they find it. Some photo subjects might find this intrusive and disrespectful if they notice they are photographed. Fisher photographers, on the other hand, are more passive and frame the environment for potential subjects and wait for their subjects to move in. In many cases, the subject won’t bother or might even excuse themselves for crossing the photographer’s path. Here, instead of confrontation, you get excuses. It’s an entirely different approach. For shy photographers like me, being of a fisher type offers a better way of doing street photography. I could try to be a fisher photographer in Italy.

Both of these videos made me learn something. In response, I paid the author using YouTube’s thanks feature for the first time. It’s not a lot of money, but it signifies deep appreciation. When I learn something, I’m much more willing to say hi and thank the author. I hope the authors will appreciate it because I suspect this isn’t very common. Unfortunately, so far, I didn’t get any form of acknowledgement. Oh well.


On a slightly different note, street photography can also be the source for doing street portraits. Sitting in a park, watching people come and go, for many photographers, it’s tempting, even can be the occasion, to ask permission to take a portrait of a stranger. But, unfortunately, it’s not an easy thing to do for me. I have never done it. I’m far too shy to ask, even following the rules and advice in this article: How To Ask A Stranger For A Portrait.

What did I learn this week? There are two types of street photographers: the hunter and the fisher. The former is much more aggressive and willing to get the scene they are looking for. The latter adopts a passive attitude and waits for the magic to happen.