To be honest, Exercise 1.1, that can be accessed here – (https://archnasinghexpressions.com/2020/04/30/exercise-1-1-the-instrument/) didn’t excite me as much at the time when I was getting prepared to execute it, as it did after I finished doing it, and now after I have finished uploading it. What was initially difficult for me to remember was to set my camera to auto mode – like I have mentioned earlier that it took years of learning to finally get out of the auto mode and take control of this overwhelming mechanism that is the DSLR camera. What I didn’t realise is the immense learning that is beginning to already happen for someone like me who has somewhat been or thinks is in control of the camera for some time now. It is indeed refreshing to unlearn while at the same time while looking at auto mode, unprocessed images and being able to tell immediately what setting you need to tweak in order to better that image. It maybe a reverse learning for me, but I am thoroughly enjoying it to be able to see it so simplistically.
Researching randomly earlier, being triggered by the quote ‘you can’t step into the same river twice,’ I typed the words – ‘no two alike’ in the search engine and some really interesting things popped up. The first one was about these two photographers, who unintentionally and unknowingly captured the same image at the same time. The picture in question was of strong waves as they crashed around Whaleback Lighthouse, taken off the coast of New Hampshire in the middle of an intense storm by photographer Ron Risman, who hails from New England. When he uploaded it on his social media account, along with a lot of appreciation, he was accused of stealing the particular image from another photographer Eric Gendron, from New England as well. Shocked initially on what appeared to be a blatant act of stealing despite the images being edited differently, upon analysing the images, Risman realised some subtle differences in the image.
“We had what looked like the exact same image, taken at the exact millisecond in time, from what looked like the same exact location and perspective.”(Risman, 2018)
Another interesting article and interview I came across was of scientist and photographer Dr. Kenneth G. Libbrecht, who is a professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and has been researching on snowflakes since the early 90’s. He has made over 7000 images of snowflakes and according to him, he has never seen any two identical snowflake under his microscope till date. His images of snowflakes, apart from not being alike, are also great sources of inspiration for photography enthusiasts, each one of them being a piece of art.
Apart from snow flakes, apparently no two sand grains are identical. Tiger stripes are unique in every individual. No two finger prints are identical. And having done this exercise, now we know that no two images are alike. Apart from learning how highly sensitive the camera is as an instrument of recording, this exercise also led to a whole lot of very interesting ideas that can be taken forward, especially during the times of lockdown and restricted movements. This exercise did turn out to be quite rewarding after all with new learnings and insights and gave me a lot of interesting ideas that I want to explore at some point of time.
Featured Image- Libbrecht, Kenneth (2019) [Photograph] At: http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/ (Accessed 28/04/2020).
Fig 1 Risman, R., Gendron, E. (2018) [Photograph] At: https://www.popphoto.com/photos/2008/12/no-two-alike/ (Accessed 27/04/2020)
American, S. (2020) No Two Alike: Snowflake Photography Reveals Nature’s Symmetry [Slide Show] | Scientific American. At: https://www.scientificamerican.com/slideshow/no-two-alike-snowflake-photography/ (Accessed 28/04/2020).
Crager, J. (2008) No Two Alike? | Popular Photography. At: https://www.popphoto.com/photos/2008/12/no-two-alike/ (Accessed 27/04/2020)
reporter, N., 2018. Two Photographers Unknowingly Take Exact Same Photo | Newshub. At: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2018/03/two-photographers-unknowingly-take-exact-same-photo.html (Accessed 28/04/2020).