Hva kan vi lære fra andre steder?

Denne teksten ble postet av en Roller Derby venn på Facebook. Jeg har fått lov til å poste den her, fordi selv om han snakker om musikk så er alt han sier overførbart til fotografering.Vennen min heter Colin, men i Roller Derby-miljøet er han kjent som «el Toupeé».

El Toupeé (foto: DizzyDreams Photography)
Many years ago, pre-derby, back when I had hair, I played in a band.

I started out as a bassist. I had once heard it referred to as ‘the tool of ignorance’ by Blackie Lawless of WASP – but then he was never a patch on the masters of the bass guitar, like Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris or Motörhead’s Lemmy, both of whom are unique – and I toiled endlessly to master the beast. When I moved to Leeds, I switched to playing rhythm guitar out of necessity – it was far easier to move my guitar rig than it was to move my bass rig – and I formed a band that lasted ten years. Less than a week after I left that band I sold up pretty much everything and quit playing music.

All of that being as may, I learned a few valuable lessons that I have carried forward in life, and a post by a friend reminded me of these, and prompted me to consider sharing them…

1. Vito Bratta, late of White Lion, was once considered to be the natural heir to Eddie Van Halen’s guitar crown, and was critically lauded by practically every guitar magazine in the English-speaking world. When asked about his knowledge and abilities, he summed it up thusly: I read, watched, and listened to everything I could, and wrote it all down. Then I re-wrote it. Then I re-wrote it again, so that it all fitted on one sheet of paper. Then I tore up the sheet of paper.

2. Billy Sheehan, formerly of the David Lee Roth Band and currently performing with Mr. Big, won the «Best Rock Bass Player» readers’ poll from Guitar Player Magazine five times for his «lead bass» playing style. When asked about his prodigious abilities (the man can play 64th notes, with his fingers!), he replied: In the 80’s I watched these guys racking up huge scores on Pac-Man, and I could never figure it out. Eventually, I realised that all they were doing was repeating a series of three or four basic patterns, and once I figured out what they were… and that’s all I’m doing on the bass.

3. John Connelly, late of Nuclear Assault, was giving advice on the quality of guitars, and gave the following wisdom: If you give a lousy guitarist a great guitar, they’re still gonna sound lousy. But if you give a great guitarist a lousy guitar, they’re gonna wring the guts out of that thing and make it sound like a million dollars.

Obviously, I am going on memory here, and not quoting these people verbatim, but I hope you get the points being made.

A. Don’t be a slave to the accepted wisdom of others. Listen to what they have to say, question and challenge it, and take from it what you will.

B. Some things will always work. You just have to know where, and when, to use them. You also have to be able to do them better than the person you’re doing them to/against.

C. Just because you’re using [insert brand name] with [insert famous photographer]’s name on it doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be as good as [famous photographer].

Med andre ord (oppsummering på norsk, i tilfelle du ikke er så stø i engelsk: 1) Les alt du kommer over som handler om fotografering. Godt skrevet, dårlig skrevet, middels bra skrevet. Skriv gjerne selv, enten i en blogg eller bare for deg selv i en bok. 2) Lær deg det grunnleggende, og bruk det til å ta utrolige bilder. Hvis du kan det grunnleggende veldig godt, er det mye lettere å eksperimentere. 3) Hvis du gir en dårlig fotograf et bra/dyrt kamera blir bildene fremdeles dårlige, men gir du en god fotograf et dårlig kamera kommer de til å bruke all kunnskapen de har for å ta så gode bilder som teknisk mulig med det.

Still alltid spørsmål til det du lærer. Enkelte teknikker kommer alltid til å virke. (Det gyldne snitt for eksempel.)Bruk dem, og bruk dem bedre enn den du lærte dem av (etterhvert). Det at du bruker [sett inn kameramerke] betyr ikke at du automatisk tar like bra bilder som en berømt/flink fotograf som tar bilder med samme kamera.

Det er mye bra visdom i det Colin skriver, og som du ser kan det lett overføres til fotografering.

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