The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Going off on a tangent - and Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres - Episode 11

Sticking to the point was never a strong trait of mine.

The destination of the conversation is never as interesting as the journey.

Of course this means there have been (too many) times when the meeting is over, and everyone has gone their merry ways, I've suddenly realised I didn't actually get the answer to the question I wanted, which had been the reason I'd engaged in the conversation in the first place.

I have to be in a real rush, or there has to be some kind of emergency, before I can get in touch with someone and just ask them the one thing I need to know, and then bring the communication to a close.

Somehow it feels a bit rude, or disrespectful, not to engage in pleasantries, which expand out into enquiries after the health or activities of the person, and their immediate family, which inevitably leads to recollections of other events that definitely feel relevant, as well as anecdotes, jokes, and a fair amount of putting the world to rights.

And if you're going to spend a while doing this, then surely it's more civilised if you go somewhere to have this exchange over a cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate...

It can be a dangerous thing to stop me in the street and ask what I'm up to. Far better to cross the road and wave to me from a distance, while indicating with your body language - perhaps a shrug and an exaggerated pointing gesture to your watch - that implies while you would really love to chat, destiny, and perhaps the future of mankind itself, means you are in a rush and we'll do it next time.

Even my son has learned that when he asks me a question, he needs to quickly supplement it with the fact he wants the 30 second answer, not the 30 minute.

So when it came to doing the video podcasts, I was never going to be able to do short, 2 minute how-to videos.

The long-form format suits my talking style so much better.

Of course I absolutely get it that this is not for everyone; that even among those who do watch, there are many who will prefer the recorded version so they can frequently skip forward.

However, I also know there are some people who really enjoy the conversational quality of my approach. It feels more like you are sitting in the room with me rather than watching some academic tell you stuff in a way that you feel guilty if you don't have a pad open in front of you and aren't frantically taking notes.

And while there is no doubt Episode 11 did involve me going off on several tangents, I can assure you they are all relevant.

The fortunate bit is I wasn't in conversation with someone else, as that's when the tangents off the tangents off the tangents tends to happen, and the destination gets forgotten about entirely.

Meanwhile, for those who wait for the accompanying blog post before they watch it, here is Episode 11 of Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres, in which I discuss:

0:00 - Introduction - what's coming up
2:13 - Background to the photo shoot I did with a retired ballet dancer
5:50 - How the size of a light source effects the quality of the shadow
7:06 - The studio set up for the shoot
17:51 - How I edited the photos
24:58 - Life Drawing and the importance of being outside your comfort zone for stimulating creativity
44:41 - Critiquing images
1:15:45 - Coming up next week

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And, or course, if you would like to submit a photo for feedback, or just ask a photography related question, then do join my Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres Facebook group and I will put it into the following podcast:

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