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  • robglenister

We see life differently

Updated: Mar 12, 2023

People ask me why I don’t belong to a club. Or why I don’t pursue photographic ratings. The answer is simple. We see things differently. That gives you the right to associate or align with how I see things or to disagree. Differences of opinion are okay in my book.

However, if you want to actively participate in a club or pursue photographic ratings then you need to conform to standards, rules and evaluation criteria that you may not agree with. Do these constraints make for better photography? Possibly. Do they make one a better photographer? The jury is out on that one.

A simple image illustrates my point. This picture was taken during a “Street Outing” in Kalk Bay many years ago. I don’t know the subjects and didn’t even speak to them. I simply took a pic as they were about to cross a relatively busy road. On viewing the image back home, it dawned on me that crossing a road means different things to different people. At the time, I would have stepped off the pavement and walked – without giving a thought to what I was doing. Hopefully, I would have been programmed to look left, right and left again before doing so.

For this group, it was a far more complex matter. The height of the pavement was an issue. The unevenness of the ground was an issue. The width of the road was an issue. The line of sight, given fading eyesight was an issue. The expected speed of walking was an issue. The time before the next vehicle arrived on the scene was an issue. The speed of the next approaching vehicle was an issue. The capability of the driver of the next vehicle was an issue. And the list goes on.

Yet, all we asked of them was to look left, right and then left again. But any of the issues mentioned above could have resulted in death, rather than arriving alive on the other side.

Ansel Adams said 'No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit. So, I will judge my own images based on what’s inside of me, and break the rules if I deem appropriate. I will publish them on this site if I believe they warrant it. You have the right to like or not like my images. That way, we both get to exercise our choices.

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