Monthly Archives: September 2013

10 gjëra që gratë mund të mësojnë nga burrat

learn from men

 

Nëse jemi me fat, marrëdhëniet tona bëhen shkolla më e mirë që kemi ndjekur, bashkëshortët bëhen mësuesit që na shndërrojnë. Intimiteti i vërtetë fundja, është një pasqyrë e fuqishme, shpesh ajo cka partneret kthejnë tek ne, janë cilësi të cilat i kemi dëshiruar, me qëllim që të jemi më të ekuilibruar, të plotë dhe të vërtetë. Në këtë frymë, këtu po rendisim 10 gjërat që burrat mund t’u mësojnë grave, jo në një strategji mbledhjeje, kjo listë shqyrton menyrat e thella me të cilat burrat formojnë veten, dhe ne vijim, kthehet për t’ju ndihmuar dhe ju për të qënë në një formë më të mirë.

 

1-Vetëpërqëndrimi 

Burrat shpeshherë janë kritikuar se vendosin veten dhe interesin e tyre në plan të pare, por kjo kritikë vjen shpesh nga gra të cilat janë mësuar gabim se ndjenjat personale i largojnë nga të tjerët, mbi të cilet duhet të përqëndrohet vëmendja e tyre. Vetëpërqëendrimi, ndryshe nga egoizmi, është i udhëhequr nga një dëshirë e shëndetshme për të përmbushur plotërine e dikujt, një plotërim që jo vetëm con në një përvojë më të pasur të të jetuarit, por dhe që ofron më shumë tek të tjerët.

2- E folura troç
është e vërtetë që meshkujt mund t’a teprojnë me këtë virtyt; ka një kufi shumë të hollë mes të folurës së sinqertë dhe kopanit të të folurit troç. Por nëse gratë mund të kapërcejnë një kompromis të vogël të mungesës së taktit në favor të një ndershmërie më të lartë, do shpërblehen. Së pari, kur flisni qartë, ndjeheni më i pastër, dhe kjo ju bën të çliroheni nga një barrë e rëndë.Së dyti, një zakon i të folurit ndershmërisht kultivon forma të tjera të ndershmërisë, sic janë e folura e drejtpërdrejtë me njëri-tjetrin, e cila është çliruese gjithashtu.Se fundi, e folura e drejtpërdrejtë fuqizon marrësin e të treguarit të së vërtetës, ata e dinë që mund të vijnë tek ju për ‘gjënë e vertetë’ dhe ky është besim.
3- Të pranosh anën e errët.
Shumica e burrave kuptojnë që kanë të meta të shumta, kurse gratë duket se përpiqen kaq shumë për një imazh të së përkryrës, ato nuk do pranojnë asgjë që mund të minoj atë perceptim. Por të pranosh anën tënde të errët ka dy përfitime : ti je më pak i ndjeshëm ndaj saj dhe më shumë empatik, pikërisht prej kësaj. Gratë shpesh janë shumë të dhëna për t’u parë si të mira, bujare apo empatike- më shumë nga sa janë, ato përpiqen për të gjykuar më ashpër dhe për të fshehur vese, të cilat pikërisht nga kjo shtypje, bëhen me helmuese. Duke pranuar tabu, edhe nëse ato zbresin virtytet e gruas, mundësojnë integrim më të vërtetë dhe më dashamirës.
4- Luftë e pastër
është thënë se meshkujt luftojnë më pastër se gratë. Edhe nëse po e godet djalin në fytyrë, me grusht apo me fjalë, gjithcka mbaron shpejt, kërkohet ndjesë dhe qerasen birra. E vërteta është se meshkujt mund të jenë po aq të llastuar, pasive -agresive dhe mbajtës inati sa dhe gratë. Gratë duhet të përpiqen të imitojnë burrat kur janë të zemëruara. Thuaje atë që mendon, mos u dorëzo deri sa të arrish të kesh thënë atë që do, dhe nëse “kundërshtari’ kërkon falje, pranoje dhe qëndroji tundimit për të mbetur i zemëruar. Nëse nuk vjen ndjesa, mbro veten duke pakësuar detyrimin dhe duke mos treguar të njëjtën dobësi sërish.
5- Ji një prind i guximshëm.
Të pyetur si vajti dita e tyrë e lojës, fëmijët e një miku treguan se ata ishin të lejuar të shkonin deri aty ku mbaronte lëndina e kositur e mikpritësit. E madhërishmja përtej, aty ku pylli dhe ku ndodheshin të gjitha fortesat për beteja, nuk lejoheshin. Pse? ‘ Nëna u kishte thënë se fëmijët mund të pësonin ndonjë gjë apo mund të lëndoheshin. Në ditët e sotme ka një prirje shqetësuese për një fëmijëri të sigurtë izoluese. Sigurisht që pak kujdes është i domosdoshëm, por që ta kufizosh fëmijërinë e fëmijës në një dhomë apo në një pale lisharëse në oborr është e papërgjegjshme. Kjo gjë mëson frikë dhe zëvëndëson zhvillimin dhe zbulimin e talenteve me neuroza. Prirja e djemve per të rrezikuar është një kompesim i mirë për kujdesin femëror dhe këto aktivitete që duken skajshme përmbajnë një vitalitet të shëndetshëm.
6- Po, ti mundesh!
Një nga përfitimet e privilegjit si mashkull është këmbëngulja e lindur dhe ndjenja e së drejtës. Për fat të keq, ideja që gruaja duhet të jetë e hijshme, tërheqëse dhe e gjindshme ndaj dëshirave të të tjerëve, mbizotëron ende, -thotë Ronald Levant, ish president i Shoqatës Amerikane të Psikologjisë dhe Profesor i Psikologjisë në Universitetin e Akronit, i cili bën kerkime për gjinitë dhe maskilitetin.”Ashtu si burrat që janë gati paturp kur shkelin normat e gjinisë, edhe gratë duhet të përpiqen të mposhtin atë turp në mënyrë që të jenë kategorike, të sigurta. Ashtu si në një eksperiment, përpiqu të hysh në jetën tënde ashtu si dhe ne, me sigurinë që ti meriton përkujdesje, respekt dhe vëmendje.
7- Jo, nuk ke pse
Një tjetër përfitim i të qënit mashkull? Të ndjekësh instiktin tënd pa menduar se po bën ndonjë gabim. Nëse gjendesh në një situatë në të cilën ndjehesh i manipuluar apo i shfrytëzuar, vëri veshin kësaj ndjesie, pastaj vepro në përputhje më rrethanat. Shumë herë gratë instiktivisht mundohen të hyne më zor aty ku nuk janë të dëshiruara, të mëkojnë kur ato duhet të braktisin. Meshkujt kursejnë më shumë se thjesht kohë dukë u tërhequr shpejt.
8- Emocioni tabu
Një efekt anësor i të ndjekurit të instiktit është se kjo mund të të cojë në një rritje të zemërimit. Për meshkujt, zemërimi është një emocion i pranuar, i miratuar, por tek gratë është një emocion tabu. Dhurata e zemërimit gjithësesi është që gratë e kanë të nevojshme. Zemërimi zbulon kufinjtë, mpreh ndjenjën tonë të së drejtës ( dhe të padrejtësisë) dhe kërkon përgjegjshmëri tek të tjerët. Duke bërë këto, zemërimi gjithashtu parandalon mahisjen e pakënaqësive të cilat mund të mërzisin gratë.
Sado e vështirë të duket, gratë nuk duhet ta largojnë zemërimin shumë shpejt, shtypja e zemërimit mund ta demtoj atë.
9-Cinizmi i shëndetshëm
Ndoshta është konkurrenca jonë e lindur, por burrat mund ta shohin botën nga një kend shumë i pavolitshëm. Ne nuk mendojmë se njerëzit kanë qëllime të mira, ne përgatitemi për më të keqen. Ju mund të pyesni: Pse ëhstë kjo gjë e mirë? Duke qënë realist ndaj të metave të të tjerëve, jo vetëm e ruan energjinë për ata që e kanë treguar veten, por gjithashtu ruhet nga keqpërdorimi i atyre që se kanë bërë këtë gjë ende. Por më e rendësishmja, është se na bën të jemi realistë për natyrën njerëzore dhe më pak të prekur nga zhgënjimi, gjëra të cilat gratë mund t’i kenë ende të fresketa.
10- Mirënjohje mashkullore.
Edhe nëse është fituar nga të bërtiturit kur qanin, ndërsa ishin të vegjël, apo nga tallja deri sa ne zhvilluam këtë armure titanium si lekurë, ajo cka burrat pompozë bëjnë për t’u shfaqur stoikë dhe burrërorë është një rezultat që është fituar nga tallja. Ana tjetër e kësaj është se ne jemi të tronditur nga akte mirësie, të bëra pa të keq dhe ne mund të tregojmë mirënjohje nga zemra për gjërat e vogla. Një kek i bërë në shtëpi për ditëlindjen apo një lavdërim për një punë të bërë mirë. Gratë mund të jenë lodhur nga këto vogëlsira dhe gjithmonë kërkojnë për më shumë, por nëse keni parë ndonjëherë si shndrit nga mirënjohja dhe vlerësimi fytyra e një burri, edhe ju do deshironit të ruani atë mirënjohjën fëmijërore për surprizën. Source: Woman’s day

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10 Things Women Can Learn from Men

If we’re lucky, our relationships become the best classes we can enroll in—and our husband or wife our most transformative teacher. Real intimacy, after all, is a powerful mirror, and often what our partner reflects back to us are the qualities we have long desired in order to become more balanced, whole and authentic. In that spirit, what follows are 10 things men can teach women. Not the typical inventory of boardroom strategies, this list instead examines the deeper ways men shape themselves that in turn may help keep you in better shape.learn from men

1. Self-Focus 

Men are routinely criticized for putting themselves and their interests first, but this criticism is often leveled by women who have been wrongly taught that personal passions detract from others—where their attention should be focused. Self-focus, unlike selfishness, is guided by a healthy desire to fill one’s well. A well that, when full, not only leads to a richer experience of living but also will offer more to others.

2. Speaking Bluntly 
It’s true that men can go too far with this virtue; there is a fine line between bracing candor and blunt-force trauma. But if women can get past a slight compromise in tact in favor of greater honesty, there are rewards to be had. For one, when you speak more clearly, you feel clearer, and that can relieve an enormous burden. Second, a habit of verbal honesty cultivates other forms of honesty, including straight talk with oneself—which is also freeing. And finally, speaking directly enfranchises the recipients of your truth-telling—they know they can come to you for the real stuff, and that’s called trust. 

3. Acknowledging the Dark Side
Most men understand that they are deeply flawed, and at times it can seem women strive so hard for an image of perfection that they will admit nothing that could undermine that perception. But there are two serious benefits to owning up to your shadow side: You are less susceptible to it and more empathetic because of it. Women are often so invested in being seen as good or generous or empathetic—rather than actually being that way—that they tend to have harsher judgments of others and conceal vices that, in their repression, become more toxic. Acknowledging taboos, even if they subtract from womanly virtues, yields a more real and more sympathetic integrity.
4. Clean Fighting
It’s been said that men fight cleaner than women. Whether you’re punching the guy in the face with fists or words, it’s soon over, apologies are made and beers are shared. The truth is that men can be as petty, passive-aggressive and grudge-holding as women. But even a stereotype is worth its lesson if it offers a good one. Women should try emulating men when angry: Speak your mind, don’t give in until you’ve made your point, and if your “opponent” apologizes, accept it and resist all temptation to hold onto the offense. If no apology comes, protect yourself by downsizing that bond and not offering up the same vulnerability again.

5. Fearless Parenting
Asked how their playdate went, a friend’s children reported to him that they were only allowed to go to the edge of the host’s mowed lawn. The great beyond—where the forest, and all its potential forts and battles lay—was off-limits. Why? “Their mom said the kids could catch something or hurt themselves.” Insert head-shake here. There’s a disturbing trend in our world today toward safe-proofing childhood. Sure, a little caution is fine, but confining your child’s imagination to his room or a swing set in the backyard is irresponsible. It teaches fear and replaces discovery with neurosis. Men’s affinity for danger or risk is a good offset to feminine caution, and those activities that seem rough around the edges maintain a healthy vitality within them.
6. Yes, You Can
One of the perks of male privilege is our innate assertiveness and sense of entitlement. Unfortunately, “the idea that women should be nice, pleasing and accommodating of other people’s wishes still prevails,” says Ronald Levant, EdD, former president of the American Psychological Association and a professor of psychology at the University of Akron, who does research on gender and masculinity. “Just like men experience a tug of shame when they violate gender norms, women must try to overcome that shame so they learn to be assertive.” As an experiment, try entering your life as we do: with the presumption that you deserve solicitude, respect and attention.

7. No, You Don’t Have To 
Another perk of male privilege? Unapologetically following gut instinct. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel manipulated or exploited, heed those feelings. Then act accordingly. Many times women will instinctively caretake when they should cast off, nurture when they should abandon. Men save more than just time by calling foul early. 

8. The Taboo Emotion
A side effect of following one’s gut is that it may lead to an increase in anger. For men, anger is the one approved emotion, but for women it is the taboo emotion. The gifts of anger, however, are what women need most. Anger reveals good boundaries, sharpens our sense of justice (and injustice) and demands accountability in others. In doing all these, it also prevents festering resentments, which can afflict women. Hard as it may be, women should not dismiss anger too quickly; its suppression can be self-sabotaging.
9. The Healthy Cynic
Maybe it’s our innate competitiveness, but men can see the world in an adversarial way. We don’t presume human beings have the best intentions—and we prepare for their worst. You may be asking: Why is this a good thing? Being more realistic about people’s limitations not only preserves energy for those who have proven themselves, but also defends against mistreatment from those who haven’t. More important, it keeps us realistic about human nature and less affected by how it can disappoint, all things women might find refreshing.

10. Boyish Gratitude
Whether it stems from getting yelled at for crying as a boy or being mercilessly teased until we developed titanium armor for skin, the posturing men do to appear stoic and manly is a result of being bullied into it. The upside to this is that we are almost shocked by genuine acts of kindness and can have a heartfelt gratitude for the little things: a homemade cake for our birthday or thoughtful praise for a job well done. Women, being more attended to in those ways, can be jaded when it comes to such niceties and always look for more. But if you’ve ever seen a grown man’s face light up with appreciation, you, too, will want to maintain that childlike surprise for the benevolent.
source: woman’s day

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To Ask or Shoot | Street Photography Tips on how to shoot strangers.

Taking pictures of strangers can be intimidating.If you ask the moment may be gone, but if you don´t there may be a bigger problem. How do you decide to photograph strangers?

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These girls were selling coconut jewellery at one of the surf breaks in Santa Teresa (Costa Rica). When I asked if I could take their picture they immediately got into this pose. This maybe the global effect of Facebook profile pages.

 

It takes some guts to grab a camera, head out in the streets, and start snapping away at complete strangers. Professional photographers at Magnum and National Geographic often spend years returning to the same spots. They study the cultures and make friends, usually to blend in more than an average person. The bags of film and memory cards connect us to places and people we may only dream of seeing. Most people who enjoy street shooting, live for these pictures. Often unrehearsed, they are the product of years of practice or sometimes dumb luck. But behind the camera, there are photographers who are constantly working up the nerve to take one more picture.

People around the world see photography differently. Nothing makes this more apparent than pointing a camera at someone. Some are natural exhibitionists and others believe, with religious conviction, that photographs are evil. Unfortunately for photographers there are no name tags declaring “I enjoy having my picture taken”. We must feel out our subjects, maybe even interact with them first, before they will allow their picture to be taken.

Over the years I have tried different ways to photograph strangers. Some were more successful than others. Luckily, there have been no disasters, just a few sour faces. To those folks, I bowed my head, apologized and moved on. It’s not worth it to press a stranger into being a model. You never know when they will exercise the right to go crazy.

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I don´t speak any spanish, but this local and I both understood each other. He was speaking the universal language of relaxation. When I gestured to the camera, he cracked a little smile and waved his hand.

Asking

The hardest thing about photographing random people on the street is asking their permission. Many people have no issue being in a photograph, but they do not want to sit and wait as you meter the light, adjust the focus, or change the ISO. The settings for a shot should be done in advance. If you see someone you would like to shoot, set up your shot well before you ask them to be in your photo. It will also help the picture feel more natural.

Aside from not speaking Spanish, I definitely don’t know any Sudanese. This boat captain was from Sudan, working in southern Egypt. When I showed him the camera he lifted his eye brows, as if to say, “Well as long as it doesn’t hurt too much, fire away.”

Aside from not speaking Spanish, I definitely don’t know any Sudanese. This boat captain was from Sudan, working in southern Egypt. When I showed him the camera he lifted his eye brows, as if to say, “Well as long as it doesn’t hurt too much, fire away.”

For the photographer who spends most of their time taking pictures of family and friends, they often wonder how to make the transition to strangers? They ask me “How do I ask? What do I say? What if we don’t speak the same language?” Maybe it’s like picking someone up in a bar, what do you say, “Wanna drink?” Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. There have been times when I have nodded my head with my camera in sight and the person shrugs their shoulders, permission granted. Other times I have mumbled “Photo, ok?” and they nod back. There is no formula to taking to strangers. Ideally, you should appear to have good intentions, not keep them too long (leave the tripod behind), and avoid being some lecherous creep who keeps collections of children’s photos all over the basement walls.

Leaving the hotel before sunrise, I went out for a long walk. Along the way, there was a bakery which was just opening up. The fresh pastries smelled amazing. The owner, pictured above, was delighted to offer me snacks right from the oven.

Leaving the hotel before sunrise, I went out for a long walk. Along the way, there was a bakery which was just opening up. The fresh pastries smelled amazing. The owner, pictured above, was delighted to offer me snacks right from the oven.

Flattery

When most people are pressed to explain how they see images on the street, they answer is “I don’t know, something just caught my eye.” You have probably said this yourself, and if not, certainly heard it countless times. Seeing the picture is step one, getting it is an entirely different challenge. If this “special something” can be put into a piece of flattery, than use it. Most people like to hear nice things about themselves. Now there are some pieces of flattery best kept quiet, these usually pertain to anatomy, striking resemblance to celebrities, and comments that sound like they could be read after misdemeanor charges in court.

However, if someone’s blue jacket happens to stand out against the yellow bench they are sitting on, there is no harm in saying, “Hey that’s a cool jacket, mind if I take your picture?” Chances are they will say yes.

Depending on the level of James Bond you have in your genes, flattery can work wonders. It is not for everyone. If you are really interested in shooting construction workers you may have to take a different approach. Calling a 250 lbs. plumber cute might not get you a photo op. There are a million different angles to work here, but the underlying premise is to find a way to make them feel comfortable for about ten seconds. Easy enough, right?

This couple was on the far side of an empty square in Venice. Once I came into the square they spotted me. But my girlfriend and I wandered around long enough that they went back to slapping each other. Eventually I pretended like I was shooting a church and backed up to them. At the last second I turned and took the picture. They never even knew I took the picture.

This couple was on the far side of an empty square in Venice. Once I came into the square they spotted me. But my girlfriend and I wandered around long enough that they went back to slapping each other. Eventually I pretended like I was shooting a church and backed up to them. At the last second I turned and took the picture. They never even knew I took the picture.

Distractions

Markets are one of my favorite places to shoot. There are boxes stacked on crates of new treasures waiting to be discovered and workers who look like they are right out of Marco Polo’s travels. One thing I have found about farmers, fishermen, and butchers is that they are intensely proud of their food, but often very shy. To those who are willing to pose, I always ask them for a picture. The food hanging in the backdrop works better than any professional studio. But not everyone wants to pose. They want to show the food, not themselves.

He was busy selling fish, which worked out perfectly for me.

An easy way around this is a small exercise in patience. I start by taking pictures of the food. This gets them used to the click of the shutter and they usually go back to whatever they were doing. It is an old fashion photographer’s trick for loosening up nervous models. Then I adjust my focus and wait for the right moment. It is really helpful to shoot a rangefinder in this instance, because I can keep both of my eyes open. With both eyes open I can watch a scene develop and then “CLICK.” I’m done. Everyone is happy. The picture is taken and they did not have to pose. We smile at each other and go our separate ways.

A 90mm might have made this a better portrait, but with a 50mm I can still remember peering over the wall as I walked into the market.

A 90mm might have made this a better portrait, but with a 50mm I can still remember peering over the wall as I walked into the market.

I might add that there is a huge difference between being shy and not wanting to be photographed. Shy translates to, “If you can get the picture, I am ok with it, but I’m not posing,” while the other is more like “If you take this picture be prepared for a fight.” Avoid the second group unless you are very comfortable with Photo-jitsu. It is also difficult to get a model release from someone after an argument or fist fight.

Stealth Street Photography

Henri Cartier-Bresson used to wish he was invisible. This way he could take pictures without people noticing him. Since the start of the 20th century we have invented some pretty high tech gadgets, but the Invisible Suit is still not on the market. As an alternative there are some simple techniques that will allow for natural looking pictures, without your subjects even knowing you were there.

HIDE YOUR CAMERA. I live in NYC and see people all the time who look like they are hunting with a camera. They carry their SLRs nearly at their face, and when they take a picture, adopt some stance that looks like it was taught at a military academy. Relax, be natural, it’s a camera not a gun. When a picture is taken nonchalantly, it does not call extra attention to you as the photographer. Then after you are finished, pull the camera away from your face. Let it hang over your shoulder or like Bresson, hold it in two hands behind your back. This famous pose, used by old men all over the world, has an understated feeling. There is no rush, there is no hurry and no one will think twice of a slow moving person who walks like a retired gentleman.

CLOSE FOCUS A FRIEND. My girlfriend and I travel everywhere together. She is like my street assistant, it’s fabulous. We got together this routine for focusing on strangers. If there is someone I want to photograph, she will either stand near them or about the same distance away in a different direction. This way I can focus on her, spin and take the picture. It’s a very good way to work if you have a travel companion. People either think I am photographing her, or they are so distracted by her walking around than by me standing still that they never notice their picture was taken.

Camped out in a cafe in Guimaeres Portugal, this delightful lady came to me. Without her the picture would be incomplete.

Camped out in a cafe in Guimaeres Portugal, this delightful lady came to me. Without her the picture would be incomplete.

CAMP OUT. Glass buildings can be a very useful tool for a street photographer. They act like enormous reflector shields, bouncing the sun to give an incredible fill light. When this happens, the window for opportunity can be anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. Instead of walking around looking for a picture, grab a seat, and wait for a subject to come to you. Cities are great places to shoot because there are endless streams of new people every second. Sitting on a bench could bring over a hundred potential subjects in fifteen minutes. Since you already have the lighting, the backdrop, and the feel of the picture just right, it’s easy to hang out and wait for a shot. The added advantage of waiting for a photo, rather than looking for one, is the shift in psychology that occurs. For some reason, if you are there first people act like they are intruding into your picture, instead of the inverse. This can play to your advantage. They may actually look at you as they walk by instead of ignoring you. They could be looking to see what you’re doing, they may know they are being photographed, or they may not look at all. Their behavior is easy to catch and a little “Psst,” may get their attention at exactly the right moment. Since the shot is already set up, you don’t need to have your face up to the camera. It’s a bit like the expression “Shooting fish in a barrel.”

The fisherman were just coming back from taking a few guys out on the boat. While I spoke with the little girl’s mother and father, I only ended up with a picture of her. They really like that I wanted to take pictures of the fish they caught.

Strike Up A Conversation

Of all the techniques for shooting strangers in the street, this one is the best. Going out and meeting new people is one of the great by-products of taking pictures. The stories they have may spawn a new body of work or just make for a great exchange. You never know who you will find. There are more people I meet who have stories about Leica’s than any other camera. I would never have known this had I not actually talked to them. And unless I am in a really bad area, I don’t put the black tape over the Leica label. It has been a ticket to more opportunities than I can remember, so I leave it uncovered. I wish there was a technique that could be passed along for talking to people, but there isn’t. The only thing I can say is, if you have never talked to and photographed a complete stranger, try it out. You will only have to do it once to see why it is worth overcoming the anxiety or rejection.

Restrooms are for customers only. Its a familiar sign at many restaurants. The advantage of buying something is that it gives you a few extra minutes to hang around and look for good pictures.

Restrooms are for customers only. Its a familiar sign at many restaurants. The advantage of buying something is that it gives you a few extra minutes to hang around and look for good pictures.

Pay for it

Getting out your wallet to take a picture may seem strange, but it’s part of the way things work. Paying for a picture could mean giving a street musician a dollar to snap a few shots or hiring a hooker in a third world country. Both are completely viable ways to get pictures. Reading the stories behind the numerous photographers who have worked in and around Red Light districts, I came to understand that many things, pictures included, are for sale. But not everyone is scouring the seedy back streets shooting hookers and pimps. Sometimes the best way to get a picture is to pay for it. Purchased images usually cost a few dollars at most. This can be particularly prevalent in third world countries. A struggling farmer is not really out of line when he asks if you can spare a dollar for a picture. Staring into the lens of a few thousand dollars’ worth of photo gear, can you really blame him? Not really. Especially if you are in a foreign country and you know there may be a few hands out for pictures, be prepared. Carry some small bills separately from your wallet. This way you are not pulling out a wallet full of money to pay someone $1.

Market in Portugal.

Market in Portugal.

Conclusion

Photographs are the evidence of our footsteps. They validate the path we took to find a picture. In the course of our travels, whether at home or abroad, there will be anonymous people who will pass in front of the lens. Most of them will never fully realize the role they played for us, in the development of our photography. Speaking to everyone we shoot is simply not possible. But, if we have a chance to step outside of the role as the anonymous photographer and engage the people we are shooting, the rewards are potentially endless. Good, bad, or indifferent, the mix of reactions will vary. But, with some good karma, a funny line, or just a smile we might discover something we would have otherwise missed had we not set the camera aside and said “Hi, can I take your picture?”

Source: www.adammarelliphoto.com

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Collector buys a camera at an antique shop — and it’s filled with undeveloped pics from World War I

1Anton Orlov, a San Diego based collector of vintage photography equipment, recently visited an antique shop where he purchased a unique French stereoscopic camera called a Jumelle Bellieni. While he was cleaning the device — and much to his surprise and delight — it contained eight undeveloped photographs taken in France during the First World War.

All images courtesy Anton Orlov; top image shows an officer investigating the ruins of a destroyed French village.

Orlov, who blogs at The Photo Palace, is no stranger to such discoveries. Back in 2005 he found a larger collection of photos taken during the Russian Revolution. “I absolutely love finding images that likely have never been seen by anyone in the world,” he writes.

2This image shows a house that has collapsed and fallen into a river. Perhaps not surprisingly, the photographs capture much of the devastation wrought by the Great War.

In regards to the new discovery, Orlov describes how it all unfolded:

When I got home I was anxious to figure out everything about the inner workings of this camera. First order of business was to clean it. Everything in the collection that was acquired by that store is covered with a thick layer of dust and grime and it took quite a few Armorall wipes to get the leather to gain a presentable look. Then came the Carl Zeiss lenses – I carefully took them apart and wiped them to the best of my ability. I can’t say they are in great shape, but at least I got the majority of fog off of them. I started to run out of things to clean on the outside of the camera, which naturally made me wonder what it looks like on the inside. After a good while of looking for the back release I realized that there is none present entire back can be slid to one side. The plate pressure springs jumped out at me like a couple of live and angry rabbits (the Monty Python And The Holy Grail kind). Naturally I thought something was awry as I am not yet used to camera parts charging in attack mode. Luckily I soon realized that I was out of the danger zone and that the two parts acted as they should have been expected to. Here is where things got incredibly interesting.

23Soldiers investigate the ruins of a crashed biplane.

Inside each film chamber I found a stack of neat little glass plate holders (12 total). While 4 of them were empty the rest contained the original thin plates of glass. The last thing that I ever expected to find though were negative images on those plates! Each of them seem like they were fully developed! The glass is clear (I am not sure if dry glass plates had antihalation backing on them and am in touch with an expert to try to find that out) in the dark areas and fully exposed and dark in the light areas. I am completely baffled by this find, but the images were so intriguing that I decided to scan them.

4Two soldiers proudly display a rather large bomb amid the clutter of what appears to be a destroyed ammunition site.

Check out Orlov’s entire post, which includes some other images. Orlov also has an Indiegogo campaign you may want to support.

UPDATE: As readers have pointed out, the camera did not contain film, but plates — hence Orlov’s claim that the pics were already “developed.”

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Stolen Childhoods

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Dare To NOT Compare!

An Inspired Approach

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.” ~ Lao Tzu

I work in an industry where we are constantly comparing.  We compare the way things are being done now to the way things use to be done and then add in the way things should be done.  We compare our company to others within our industry and we compare teams to other teams and reps to other reps.

In a world dominated by comparisons it is hard to break free of the need to compare.  Often when we don’t match up or seem to have shortcomings we begin to defend and justify why we aren’t as good or why we aren’t creating as much opportunity as others.

Personally, I have spent my life not comparing myself to anyone or anything.  I realize my happiness comes from things others may not ever…

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Schools Are Good for Showing Off, Not for Learning

pfSuppose you are a student in a high school or college course and a magic fairy offers you the following choice:

(1) You will learn the material in the course well, but will get a low grade (a D).  Or

(2) you will not learn the material at all, but will get a high grade (an A).  Which would you choose?  Be honest.

Nearly all students (except for a few rebels), would unhesitatingly choose Alternative 2.  Students are rational beings.  They know that school is about grades, not learning.  If they ever need to know the material they can always learn it on their own, in a far more efficient way than they can at school.  On the other hand, they can never erase that awful D.  It would be stupid to choose Alternative 1.  By the time they have reached high school, all students know that.

Schools are for showing off, not for learning.  When we enroll our children in school, we enroll them into a never ending series of contests—to see who is best, who can get the highest grades, the highest scores on standardized tests, win the most honors, make it into the most advanced placement classes, get into the best colleges.  We see those grades and hoops jumped through as measures not only of our children, but also of ourselves as parents.  We find ways, subtly or not so subtly, to brag about them to our friends and relatives.

All this has nothing to do with learning, and, really, we all know it.  We rarely even bother to think about what our children are actually learning in school; we only care about the grades.  We, the parents, maybe even more than our kids, think it would be stupid for our kids to choose Alternative 1 over Alternative 2.  We would forbid them from making that choice, if we could.

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If schools were for learning rather than showing off, we would design them entirely differently.  They would be places where people could follow their own interests, learn what they wanted to learn, try out various careerpaths, prepare themselves for the futures that they wanted.  Everyone would be doing different things, at different times, so there would be no basis for comparison.  People would learn to read when they wanted to learn to read, and we would help them do it if they wanted help.  The focus would be on cooperation, not on competition.  That’s what occurs at certain democratic schools, which are for learning, not for showing off, and such schools have proven remarkably effective.

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One thing we know about learning is that it is inhibited by the kinds of pressures that we use at schools to motivate performance.  Many psychological experiments have shown that contests and evaluations of all sorts lead those who already know well how to perform a task to do it even better than they otherwise would, but has the opposite effect on people who don’t know it so well.

For example, in one research study, conducted many years ago, psychologists observed people playing friendly games of 8-ball at the university’s pool hall.[1]  At first they watched from a distance, so the players wouldn’t know they were being observed, and then they moved in close and observed deliberately, making it obvious that they were evaluating performance.  The result was that those who were already good, when not observed closely, performed even better when they knew they were being evaluated; but those who were just beginners, learning how to play, performed worse when evaluated.  The same has been found for many kinds of tasks—intellectual as well as athletic or manual. Showing off is facilitated by evaluation and contests, but such pressures inhibit learning.  And yet, in our constant attempt (supposedly) to increase learning at school, we keep raising the pressure, and then wonder why it doesn’t work.

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Much has been written about the education gap between children from economically richer and poorer families in the United States.  It’s interesting to note that over the same period of time that pressures to perform well in school have been increasing, that gap has grown ever larger.  In fact, one study showed that the gap in standardized test scores between the affluent and non-affluent grew by about 40 percent between the 1960s and today.

I’m sure that lots of factors figure into this education gap, but here’s one I’d like you to consider.  Let’s suppose that children from economically better-off families learn, at home, much of what they are tested on in school.  They perform well under the pressure of tests and the constant evaluation that occurs at school, because they already know a lot of it.  They are used to this way of thinking.  Let’s suppose that children from economically worse off families don’t learn so much, at home, of what they are tested on in school.  They perform poorly on the tests, right from the beginning, because they don’t already know it.  The high pressure of constant testing and evaluation—coupled with the embarrassment and shame of failure–makes it very difficult for them to learn at school what the others had already learned at home.

The failure may lead them to accept, fatalistically, a belief in their own stupidity, which may cause them to drop out of the whole process, mentally if not physically.  In other words, I suggest, the high-pressureenvironment drives a wedge between those who already know and those who don’t already know, causing the gap to increase from year to year in school.  And, as the pressure to perform well increases, the wedge widens.

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If we really want to reduce the education gap, we must design schools for learning, not for showing off.

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What do you think?  Does this explanation of the increase in the education gap make sense, or not? This blog is a forum for discussion, and your stories, comments, and questions are valued and treated with respect by me and other readers. As always, I prefer if you post your comments and questions here rather than send them to me by private email. By putting them here, you share with other readers, not just with me. I read all comments and try to respond to all serious questions, if I feel I have something useful to say. Of course, if you have something to say that truly applies only to you and me, then send me an email.

For more about children’s natural ways of learning, and the conditions that best help them learn, see Free to Learn.

Reference

[1] Michaels, J. W., Blommel, J. M., Brocato, R. M., Linkous, R. A., & Rowe, J. S. (1982). Social facilitation and inhibition in a natural setting.Replications in Social Psychology, 2, 21–24.

 

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