San Diego – This afternoon i will be giving my last two presentations at the San Diego Fair (Formerly the Del Mar Fair). This is one of the top fairs in the country. Of course it has the obligatory farm stuff to honor its genesis and reflect that much of this county is still rural and agricultural. But it also has on display some of the best wood working I’ve ever seen anywhere, a superb student showcase section showing what students in school all over the county are accomplishing in visual and applied arts, and, of course the international juried photo exhibition which is one of the largest of its type in the country.
The coordinator, Georgia Ratcliff, has continued and expanded on the weekend seminar program and offers back to back seminars on a variety of photo topics and also offers viewers a chance to hear the same topic from different perspectives. That is not a common opportunity for students and learners and is a value of great proportion. In my case, for example, at least two of my topics (Color management and HDR) are also being presented by other experts in the field. I know that they will be presented from perspectives and experiences very different from mine and that is an incredible value to attendees.
Though we teachers often would love to think differently, the truth is that none of us knows all there is to know about these complex topics. In addition, we are artists in the sense that our vision for our work informs and constrains our technical approaches. Photoshop(tm) , for example, is so huge a program that (a lady in the audience a year or so notwithstanding) no one that I know of that is truly an expert in its use would claim to know all there is to know about it or to have completely “mastered” it. And even if they had, they could not transmit all of that data in an hour or hour and a half.
What I do know and use did not all come from a single source; I selected this and that bit from this and that other “teacher” or user as I needed it and had its particular approach resonate with my needs. When i hear someone tell of an approach to something i already know how to do but they are presenting it differently i will try it. Sometimes it works better for me, sometimes not as well but I keep looking knowing that another artists may find the exact opposite to be true for them and their work.
So I am thrilled that in this venue, an attendee can hear, for example, both my presentation on Color Management from a working photographers perspective and also hear it from my friend John Watts’s perspective, i.e. that of a professional printer and system consultant. Our presentations will have some overlap and perhaps some differences of opinion. But those come from our differing uses and are not a matter of right and wrong but of style and need variances. Students should be exposed to both. And to be clear, I deeply respect John’s skills and knowledge, so much so that I have asked him, on several occasions, both to speak to my classes and to help me in managing our system at City College.
And here, in this venue the attendees can hear both. What a treasure for them. What makes it even more wonderful is that it is FREE to attend (once you are in the Fair). You can sit there all afternoon if you like soaking on the information.
My two presentation this afternoon are on Macro and Close Up Photography and on Printing on Canvas so should be some fun stuff. This is the last few days of the fair for this year so if you have not seen it now is the last chances but be prepared for a horrid parking situation and i would recommend you park at one of the outlying lots and take a free shuttle in to the Fair Grounds.