Lately when I walk through our current exhibit, Through a Different Lens: Three Connecticut Women Photographers, the smart little iPad mounted on the gallery wall has been staring back at me with three heart-rending words: “No Internet Connection.”
Is that a cry for help?
“I need you!”
Or an accusation?
“I have no connection and it’s all your fault! Museum visitors hate me! I promise them touch-screen interaction and delightful videos, and they feel nothing but annoyance and resentment. Why don’t you love me?”
First, let me explain the purpose of the iPad in the exhibit. Then I’ll get into deflecting the blame for its failure onto someone else. Continue reading →
I have had, in the past few weeks, the opportunity to lead gallery tours of our temporary exhibition, Through a Different Lens. I spent so much time with the photographs on display when we were preparing the exhibition and I was writing the publication that I’ve sort of forgotten what it’s like to see them through new eyes. Every tour I lead gives me the chance to see the material afresh. Continue reading →
History of photography enthusiasts might recognize the quote above, generally attributed to Arthur Fellig, a photojournalist in the 1930s and ‘40s. His advice – half technical, half philosophical – was based on the method he found worked best for him, when all cameras were manually operated. The first half refers to the aperture setting on a camera lens; f/8 is an aperture that typically provides optimum sharpness, plenty of depth of field for quick focus, and flexibility to adjust the shutter speed. Setting his camera lens to (f)8 gave him the ability to capture fleeting moments, without wasting time to make technical adjustments. Perhaps in the second half Mr. Fellig (nicknamed Weegee for his uncanny ability to be first on the scene) was suggesting that while it’s always good to be ready for a moment, it’s better to be there when it happens. Continue reading →