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Thursday, 25 May 2017


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Always happy to hear from the great Jim Hughes.
The same sage advice has taken many forms. For me the most concise version came from Fred Picker, it was simply
"Assume you are standing in the wrong place."

By which he meant what are the odds that the first time something catches your eye you are in the best position to make the best photograph. By all means make that frame, but also get high , get low, move around, and look behind you.
Take what you are given, then try to do better.
I know Fred was highly opinionated, and not always as right as the thought he was, but I always thought this one was a gem.

Or as Ken Rockwell puts it:

And this is why I have always preferred waist level view screens on film cameras and now the LCD screens on digital cameras. It's a lot easier to move the camera if you don't have to move your head with it, and it is conducive to trying a lot of angles without putting on an impromptu dance performance. - unless that's your thing of course - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wygqlfUoJEs

After reading the article, the phrase Nejelski's Theorem kept coming to mind. When I got home I looked in a folder I keep on articles that have resonated with me and there it was! Jim Hughes wrote an article by that name in the August/September 1999 issue of Camera Arts. There was also another article by him and a few others by another writer. Now I want to read more by Jim. He needs to make a book of his collected writings, profusely illustrated of course. I'm serious.

I fondly remember both Camera 35 and Camera Arts and would look forward to each issue (not always easy to find here in the U.K.). I also remember seeing Gene Smith's exhibition 'Let Truth be the Prejudice' many years ago. I travelled from the north of England to London to see it: train, tube, exhibition, tube, train home; all in one day. It was worth it.
Thanks for writing, Jim. Come back soon.

Thanks, Mike, for hauling Jim out of retirement. As a high school kid in the early 70s, I would ride my bike all over town looking for Camera 35. It was the first mag I subscribed to, (Dad got Pop Photography) because I was tired of searching each month. Now I'm close to retirement myself. I think I may have a dozen issues of Camera Arts somewhere in the basement.
Jim- Keep it up, man. Always love to read you.

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