Category Archives: Ideas

“Photography and Luck” in Extraordinary Vision Magazine

Extraordinary Vision Magazine — Issue 24
Extraordinary Vision Magazine — Issue 24

My article, “Photography and Luck” appears in this month’s edition of Extraordinary Vision Magazine, available for iOS and Android platforms for free. This is a great photography publication that features images and writing by a wide range of photographers.

Download links:

Enjoy!

(Post originally shared on December 25, 2014.)


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email

Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Social Media and the Death of the Web (Morning Musings 9/27/14)

Dan Mitchell 1977 Website Screenshot
Dan Mitchell 1977 Website Screenshot *

How many of us have considered the ways in which popular social media services — which admittedly are hugely appealing in many ways  — are doing an effective job of killing the world wide web and undoing the early promise that it offered of direct and open access, along with visibility proportionate to quality, and critical disintermediation?

A few years back there was this astonishing, exciting, powerful, accessible thing called the world wide web, on which virtually anyone could share their story, their creative work, their business — and we saw the beginnings of the great disintermediation as boundaries were broken and the middlemen who had stood between content producers and consumers began to disappear. This was a world filled with promise. Those who produced valuable and interesting content (as differentiated from those who simply channeled it) could connect directly with a world of people who found that content compelling, and those looking for content could easily find it and follow it. Word got around, and it did so fairly directly, with little or no intermediation by those who had controlled traditional media.

Social media applications are seductive things, especially during their start-up phase, when the typical approach has involved giving away (or at least appearing to give away) a great deal of access by means of what seem like very open platforms. In fact, many who jumped onto these platforms early on did manage to leverage their initial power to their advantage. However, virtually without exception, these applications have morphed in directions that do not enable our own control over what we see and who we connect to, but which instead take control out of our hands and begin to determine for us what we will see, most often based on generating advertising revenue — a old model that takes us back to (to coin a term) nondisintermediation. Continue reading Social Media and the Death of the Web (Morning Musings 9/27/14)

Quotations and Photographs (Morning Musings 9/21/14)

Self-portrait with Friedlander Poster - SFMoMA
Self-portrait with Friedlander Poster – SFMoMA

With partially ironic intent, I’m going to begin this Morning Musings post with two quotations. I snagged from the web by doing a quick search on “quotations about quotations” and, in line with common web practice, I simply present them for what they appear to be — I have not checked to validate the sources. Hey, it’s the internet! ;-)

“In the garden of literature, the highest and the most charismatic flowers are always the quotations.”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

“He wrapped himself in quotations – as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of Emperors.”
― Rudyard KiplingMany Inventions

I’ve thought about this quite a bit, largely in the context of the (increasingly?) common practice of attaching quotations to photographs. I think that there are things about this practice that seem useful and beneficial, but there are also some aspects that seem a bit problematic, at least to me, and I’d like to briefly explore this in an entirely incomplete way.

I can call up a few relevant quotations pretty quickly when necessary. Some of you may have seen me post a favorite John Muir quote as a way of acknowledging that I’m heading of into the mountains: The mountains are calling and I must go.  Continue reading Quotations and Photographs (Morning Musings 9/21/14)

I’m Amazingly Humbled! Not. (Morning Musing 9/17/14)

OK, this “morning musing” post is a) not really being posted in the “morning” (though I was musing about it then), and b) about as totally unrelated to photography as possible. Hey, its my (humble) blog!

Recently recipients of high honors or acclamations have been responding to these honors by saying, “I’m humbled.”

Probably not.

I just grabbed one definition of the word “humbled” off the web — from the Free Dictionary:

tr.v. hum·bledhum·blinghum·bles

  1. To curtail or destroy the pride of; humiliate.
  2. To cause to be meek or modest in spirit.
  3. To give a lower condition or station to; abase. See Synonyms at degrade.

Imagine that the recipient of high honors and acclaim stood in front of those conferring the honor or award and announced:

“Your award humiliates me and destroys my pride. You have reduced me to a lower condition and station, and I am abased. You have degraded me. You make me meek. Your award demotes and dishonors me and devalues me.”

Actually, you don’t have to imagine. That is essentially what it means when a person claims to be “humbled” by an honor!

If you want to have even more fun with this, see some of the synonyms and related words listed in one  of the comments following this post. Using them, our recipient might add:

Thank you for demeaning and discrediting me, humiliating me, and bringing me shame. It is wonderful to be taken down and dishonored by a group such as yours. I am embarrassed and grateful that you have castigated and diminished me in this way. I thank you for your ridicule and bad-mouthing disparagement and for presenting me with such a slanderous public affront.

I think that the people misusing the word “humbled” in this context actually mean well. They are trying to express gratitude and to not seem fat-headed or egotistical — and those are good things. However, there are better words to convey what they likely want to say. How about: “I’m grateful. Thank you. You have honored me. I never thought that this would happen. I deeply appreciate this. I want to thank all of the people who have supported me. I hope I can live up to your expectations. This means a lot to me.”

And thus ends my humble rant. ;-)

Morning Musings are somewhat irregular posts in which I write about whatever is on my mind at the moment.

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email

Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.