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Monday, 22 May 2017


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Yes indeed.
Looking up and around also includes looking at people as a matter of course. But if you really notice it, it's stunningly rare (except in Italy). It's so rare that if you just happen to be doing it, you may often be regarded suspiciously, like maybe you're a 'perv' or such.
Like so many things, it's based on fear, both the fear of looking and the fear of being looked at.

Ah yes. Looking up, looking down. Here's my lesson about that:

When I was a gormless teenager at math camp -- yes, there was such a thing -- our teacher was Professor J. Harvey Butchart, not only crack mathematician at Northern Arizona University but also a hardened explorer of the nearby Grand Canyon. One day he took a few of us down a little used trail (he estimated 2-3 people took it per year) from the South Rim to the river at the bottom, 24 miles round trip in a day. Wonderful! About halfway down I realized that I had been so concentrated on the barely perceptible path that I had seen little of the canyon, so I looked up and wham! walked straight into a prickly pear cactus, embedding several spines in my right foot through the canvas of my tennis shoe. So I had to walk the rest of the way down, and all the way back, with those spines in my foot (couldn't get them out till I had tweezers etc).

The view was nice ...

By the way: J Harvey was great. When he said in passing that he had rafted down the canyon on a rubber mattress, I asked him how that went. He said he got too wet, so the next time he did it he strapped two rubber mattresses together.

Love Arthur Elgort's work. Another book of his I'd happily recommend is Camera Crazy (another Steidl publication). It's pretty self-evident what it's about.

"The counselors taught us that when walking in the woods we should look down only every third step—or, on rocky trails where the footing was treacherous, look up every third step."

That's funny -- it's similar to an old woodland Indians saying I once made up: "The occasional dog sh*t on the shoe is the price you pay for keeping your eyes on the clouds."

I have spent a lot of time in the Rocky Mountain West. Due to the vast distances and mountains which serve as the "frame", there the sky certainly does look amazing and dramatic. "Big Sky" country. My home is in Ann Arbor which is a population center in the middle of a flat midwestern landscape. For years I didn't pay much attention to the sky especially during my daily commute through the SE Michigan suburbs. Then one day, in an effort at mindfulness, I began to focus on the sky during my walks and commute, and, there it was--most of the time just as amazing as out west. Sometimes you just don't notice what is right in front of you as the familiar becomes banal. But, a lot of it has to do with the "frame". The Finger Lakes are a great frame.

Not a book, but there are a lot of good modeling hints on this site. http://www.modelmayhem.com/

I've always been interested in astronomy and meteorology, so I'm always looking up. The stars have been my friends my whole life and they'll be around for others after I'm gone.

Most people don't know if its cloudy or sunny. Such a shame.

I grew up in New York City - a place where you never looked up for a variety of reasons.

Mike,I thought you might be interested to know that while the cheapest offer on Amazon UK is only £32, the most expensive bookseller has 4 copies only priced from £240.49 to £700.42 Henry

The sky is so big that it's difficult to capture its drama and grandeur in a photograph. If it was anything else you would step back to get it all in or buy a wider lens or frame it with some buildings or trees but that doesn't work with the sky.

Maybe I need more practice.

This reminds me the Jay Meisel story he tells during the "Light Color Gesture" seminar. He spent years photographing sunsets, following the sun as it dropped below the horizon. That is until the day he turned around and realized the beauty of a sunset is often behind you.

Jay and Stephen Wilkes are giving a free 2 hour seminar at the School of Visual Arts in New York City next Wednesday night, I believe it starts at 7:00 pm.

Look up!

Ho, ho, Mike! I just googled on "auctorus" to try to work out what was actually meant by it. Nothing useful. The 11th entry was your mention above! LOL.

Cheers, Geoff

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