Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Subjective is life…

In the course of any given day almost all of us are faced with what seems like an edges stream of numbers and statistics. Ratings, reviews and expert opinions that often base their relevance as begin and objective source rather than an individual opinion. Objective information isn't inherently bad, but it is essentially useless for the part of life that means something. (bigger versions)

We all know which foods should be the best for us, but it's rare that these are the foods we love to eat. Which cars are the most efficient - which clothes are the most durable - what we should weigh - how much we should sleep - there seems to be no limit to the statistics available. Now if we wanted to build something, to design, then the more we know about the components the better. What about a painting or a photograph…

Every artist has their own tools - their own techniques - they create in their own style - their vision. There is a stage of learning where the focus of study must be the mechanics and techniques of every field, but after that an artist grows to be different - to understand and explain the world in their own way. While it starts with an objective framework this is discarded to allow a subjective one to form. The subjective realm is where art happens.

Sensor sensitivity, pixel count, lens mtf are all useful from an engineering perspective. They are helpful in teaching principles and understanding technical capability, but otherwise they are merely distractions. A better meter may give a more reproducible exposure or a more accurate white balance, but unless the photographer understands light and how to compensate the exposure the subjective component is missing. Any other person would make the same image (even a robot, a machine would make the same image) in the same situation.

Every person has the ability to view the world differently and this is something that no camera, pigment, brush or piece of software can do for you. This is what makes an individual special, important and valuable.

Everything in life that means something, everything truly important - is subjective.