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My Blackberry or My Crappy Point and Shoot!

I have previously mentioned people’s assumption that good images are synonymous with top spec cameras. I’m sorry but for me that is wrong. I’m not knocking technology, there is no doubt that it can make things a lot easier but what I am doing is celebrating vision.

The images above are a small selection from Caleb Butler’s WordPress blog. Caleb is a student and the title to this article is his answer to my question “what are you shooting this stuff on?” That’s it, there is no top tech here, it’s all about the looking, the seeing, dare I say it, all about showing an interest.

The More You Look The More You See

There was a time when it seemed that everyone had read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: God, even I had and I don’t read. Apart from trying to work out what the motorbike actually was one quote has stuck with me, “start with the upper left-hand brick.”

Phaedrus found that rhetoric at the University level was taught as a branch of reason alone. He was also having trouble with students who had nothing to say. Especially one girl, who was a serious, disciplined, and hardworking student. She wanted to write an essay about the United States. Phaedrus told her to narrow it to Bozeman but she couldn’t think of anything to say. Phaedrus told her to narrow it down to the main street of Bozeman. Still nothing. He then said “Narrow it down to the front of one building on the main street of Bozeman. The Opera House. Start with the upper left-hand brick.” The next day she returned with a 5,000 word essay on the front of the Opera House on the main street of Bozeman, Montana.

We get blocked from our own creativity because we just repeat what we have already heard. Until we really look at things and see them freshly for ourselves, we will have nothing new to say. “For every fact there is an infinity of hypotheses. The more you look the more you see.”

Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values)

Interestingly, though the book sold 5 million copies worldwide. It was originally rejected by 121 publishers, more than any other bestselling book, according to the Guinness Book of Records.


As a psychology student my research methods tutor once said “the problem with you (Butler) is that you want to know the answers before you’ve even undertaken the research.” This did indeed cause blockage.

You see we all get blocked, and sometimes we need to start looking and seeing again, seeing like a child. My daughter takes my cameras out sometimes, it probably seems a bit incongruous, this small girl walking round with a Nikon. She photographs anything and everything, even me: the image that I use as a Twitter Avatar was taken by her. Of course they aren’t all technically great photos but as with her cousin Caleb’s images, they are interesting, full of life, they communicate an interest in life.

So, here we have it, Caleb’s vision, updated regularly from his Blackberry, posted on a free WordPress blog. It’s anything but crappy and it’s there for the taking, so why not get out there?

Just point and shoot!

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