Saturday Evening Post #96: Eavesdropping

I don’t know about anyone else, but seriously, I’m seriously over Zooming, Youtube tutorials on just about every subject there is. Youtube product reviews, that are simply biased every which way, and the “We’re all in this together” mantra.  I just don’t get it. The number of vidiotclips I’ve watched on how to make the most of my post-processing, are hardly entertaining, nor that well filled with actual instruction, and a lot of waffling (well, I shouldn’t complain about that too much should I, dear blog reader), and in the end not all that helpful for the types of problems I’m trying to solve. Not everyone is making (thank goodness) 34 frame HDR landscapes.
Joe McNally said it best, ” Post is not a hospital for poor camera handling technique.”

Must be the weather, or it’s hard to be a non-photographing photographer, or perhaps a non-plumbing plumber, we just can’t get out to our subjects, (well ok, a plumber can do emergency calls)

Eavesdropping is different.  Listening to two totally invovled photographers in discussion about many elements of the craft, and little snippets of value seem to drift out, hoping to be cherished beyond the intimate discussion, and landing every so vapour-like on an eager ear. Something to build on.  Or perhaps, slipping slowly across the void, hitting the wall or ceiling and lost forever.

We, EE, I and David Nice, have spent many hours with the nesting kites and their energetic young. It’s like eavesdropping on their lives. Waiting for an instant that is more than just another kite shot, but a real insight into their lives, a sensitivity for the moment. Learning a little about what it’s like to be a Black-shouldered Kite. I spoke with a long time friend today, about the excitement of being close enough to see the feathers rise and fall as the bird breathes.  You don’t get that on vidiot.:-)

Here is one snippet that I meant to publish when I spoke of Rodney Smith in Saturday Evening Post #93, Speaking Privately.
You can see the full text here. But here is the eavesdropped version.

Rodney was photographing the Chief Executive Officer for a corporation.
He says, “I’d learned over the years that the play for power and control was simply fear… if you could earn their trust, they were willing to be truly vulnerable and powerful subjects.
The CEO walked in and said, “I’m very busy, let’s get this over as soon as possible.”
Everybody, the people who hired the people who hired me are sweating.  Time is motionless.
Smith asks him to stand in one place, look directly at the camera, takes one picture and says, “Ok, that’s it, you can go now.”

Subject says, “Are you serious? That’s it”.

Smith replies, “I believe you have a competent picture equal to the effort you’ve put in to that experience and I’m willing to accommodate your need for speed. If you have some time in the future, and are willing, together we can produce something of far more substance, but now, that one frame will be enough.”

He leaves, everyone else leaves (quietly), Smith packs up and heads down the hallway.
Just about out, and the secretary says “He would love to see you in his office.” Smith is then shown some photos of houses that the CEO owns, and offers that he would love to be photographed in one of those locations where he would have more time.

“If one opens up to me, I’ll give them my heart and soul… the picture is bigger and stronger than me. It is sacred and worth fighting for.   What starts with a handshake in the end is an intimate embrace.”

I was sitting on the grass, at the edge of a foot-bike path.  The young kites were intrigued by the concrete and the grass and whatever might be in the grass.  Every-so often their concentration was broken by a bike-rider hurtling past, but they quickly came back to investigate.
This one was working its way up the footpath towards me. Could it see me? Of course. Did it change its approach because I was there, No not one bit.

Holding my breath, and trying to avoid camera shake, and suddenly it rose up, flew toward me, and landed on the grass. I could see the feathers rise and fall.