Literature and Photography

If there is such thing as imaginative “writing” in literature, then perhaps there is also such thing as imaginative “seeing” in photography.   Only with this, we would be able to develop a good “eye” for things and study the familiar and the ordinary thing around us, and later on ponder on what these ordinary things reveal to us.

Yet both fields of photography and literature still require the ability to “see” – as if each sight before the writer’s or photographer’s eyes is a different world all through out.  With these, one can enter in a world different from the everyday, and from these, one can increase his or her own understanding of actual experiences.  Photography and literature reveal and/or create emotional truths about our naked selves.

I agree with Eudora Welty when she said that both the writer and the photographer must learn about “accuracy of the eye, about observation and about sympathy towards what is in front of you.”  With this statement, she has asserted that literature and photography have similarities with each other because of those three components.

In literature, we are taught that imagery plays a very important role in creative writing.  In fact, the poet Ezra Pound exemplified much on imagery more than anything else.  Most of the writers believe in the cliché that a picture contains a thousand words, and in special cases, one doesn’t have to tell his feelings or emotions through words, he or she could express them through visual arts especially in photography.

In literature, one must be very accurate in presenting the details in his or her literary piece.  Take for example, in creative nonfiction, a writer must choose carefully the most important details to include in his or her story, otherwise, the story would be ‘fed-up’ and boring because of two many broad details.  The ability to recollect important memories and present them in a creative way would make up an excellent literary piece.

This idea is exemplified in the story “The Little Store”. In the story, the writer Eudora Welty recounted her own experiences through presenting imagistic reminiscences when she was a child.  Because these things that she had done were memorable to her, they were presented in a very specific detailed manner.  Such words like “blackberry lady” and “watermelon man” were few descriptive examples.  but the most interesting imagistic example would be her description about the Little Store: “Licorice recently sucked in a child’s cheek, dill pickle brine that had leaked through paper sack in a fresh trail across the wooden floor, ammonia-loaded ice that had been hoisted from wet croker sacks and slammed into the icebox with its sweet butter at the door, and perhaps the smell of still untrapped mice.”  This example creates a powerful dramatic effect because it appeals to the senses.

On the other hand, photography requires the same components as literature.  One should be visually articulate on choosing the specific details of a certain matter or object best to be captured.  Anything in this world is easy to capture by the camera, but only few things in this world has the ability to make the viewers pause for a moment and ponder the elements of the story behind the photographs.  The pleasure one can find in photography is the pleasure from the idea that photography could evoke feelings to the viewers.  It is the pleasure that a certain photo elicits a certain response of emotion.

In photography certain aspects needs to be considered.  One must take into account the elements of a good photograph like size, space, texture, color, angle, and light and identify them.  Even though these elements sound technical, they should not be taken lightly because each of them constitutes a kind of language or emotion that is very crucial to photography.

A good photograph is that which we see the words circling around it.

Both literature and photography, as what Eudora Welty said, capture the (1) accuracy of the eye; (2) observation and (3) sympathy towards what is in front of you.  Accuracy of the eye is best presented in the author’s accurate and precise choice of specific details – “the particular”, rather than “the universal”. The ability of the author to discern what is only relevant in a particular idea for a story is a good test of his or her aesthetic sensibility.  In photography, this quality is exemplified if the photographer sees an object, and isolates it in a very sharp focus as if it is one unified object capable of drawing out emotions to the people who sees it.

In literature, developing a good story starts with observation of particular thing, action, image or object in nature that may embody universal qualities.  That is why most of the contemporary writers put their ideas and metaphors in concrete specific objects.  Developing a good image in photography on the other hand, starts with simple observation of seeing ordinary things around you and “seeing” them in a different light.  Photographers must see into considerations that the images should provoke people to respond into them readily.  A good photographer should observe how shape, light, color and texture convey different moods that elicit ideas into the viewers’ part.  It is also important to have technical expertise and a seemingly natural flair for good things best to be captured.

One should also “see” the object with sympathy – that is, regard it with a particular significant aesthetic value.  This goes both for literature and photography.

 

With the advent of new technology, one can already used digital cameras and avail specific electronic features from it.  Still, a good photographer shouldn’t just rely on the advancement of his tools, but he should also possess that outstanding creativity to make pictures great and to choose a creative subject matter for photography. Like photography, literature doesn’t rely much on the general view of the world, but it depends on the writer’s keen sense for particular details that would render his or her work powerful and inspiring.

Advertisements

Looking Into the Future

I saw National Geographic Channel’s feature about Nostradamus in Nostradamus: Is it Real and was utterly surprised to saw the same topic again in Discovery channel in Nostradamus: the Truth at least two days after. It was weird, but maybe that’s how competition goes. Ha-ha!

Well, almost everybody knows about Nostradamus, who was extremely famous for his prophecies. It was said that his book of prophecies was sold in very large numbers, and widely circulated all over the world. In both features, they tried to present if these prophecies were really real, or just purely coincidental. His glimpses to the fate of mankind were mostly depressing views of the world, written in different language of French, in a style that depicted clearly the raw visions of his mind.

To give you a background story about how I got acquainted with Nostradamus, I was told off when I was 10 to get ready for the end of the world. Whoah! I was really scared back then, because in that coming year (that was 1999), there would be complete darkness to hover all over the world and widespread hunger where the King of Terror would descend to the Earth. We all panicked there, (hehe, the kids in the neighborhood and old people) about the coming of what we believed as The Judgment Day. But nothing happened. There was no darkness for the coming years, there was no such thing as end of the world (though there was still widespread hunger in other parts of the world and a few eclipses) but still life went on. Now, its year 2008, and everything is running in its usual course. So what the heck just happened at that time?

Did Nostradamus make a very grave mistake OR did we make a huge mistake in interpreting his prophecies?

***

A famous historical event that we can associate with Nostradamus is about Catherine d’Medici and King Henry II ofFrance. Catherine read the book of prophecies of Nostradamus, and summoned him to look into her king’s fate. And Nostradamus predicted the death of her husband – a one quatrain that troubled the queen that tells about King Henry II’s death. And it did happen. It was said that that was the first time that Nostradamus successfully looked into the future.

But there was more: the predictions about the Great Fire of London in 1666, the rise of Hitler, the atomic bombs dropped inHiroshimaandNagasaki, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Although there were seemingly perfect matches, science does not support it. Although many people believe that Nostradamus might have acquired divine inspiration or paranormal abilities, scientists still believe that it is utterly nonsense.

There were also few misinterpretations of the prophecies, some dates written in the quatrains were recalculated, and we cannot deny the fact that because of manual ‘publishing’ of the prophecies, people involved might constantly and unintentionally change the words which only added errors. Then, the original quatrain might have been misprinted by hand, and this is also because of the mistranslation of Nostradamus’s complicated French. He was so careful in anything that he said in the prophecy because of the height of the Inquisition.

But this is my take: the language that Nostradamus used in his prophecy is ambiguous, generally, and this vagueness, I personally think, is responsible for the increase of probabilities. What I think is that he was not looking into the future, but referring back to historical past events, knowing that the astronomical patterns involved in his passion for astrology, would always follow the same historical pattern.


Honey and Clover Manga

I finished downloading the manga Honey and Clover, but I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for the continuing chapters in season 2. Probably, the Shoujo Magic hasn’t finished scanlating it, well, no wonder, it is hard to translate such difficult series.

However, if you have the full copy of the season 2 (and so on) scanlated manga, please let me know! I only got three chapter- scanlated copies of the volume two, that is from chapters 10-12, but since it is still ongoing (whatever happened, please do continue Shoujo Magic!) I’m still waiting here!

I love the Honey and Clover manga. And I’ve also seen its season 1 and 2 anime version that premiered on Animax. However, I haven’t seen yet the live action series (or is it movie?).

I made a summary out of the season one Honey and Clover manga because I love it so much. If you planned to read the manga and wishes not to get spoiled here, DON’T READ BEYOND THIS because it might Continue reading

How Do They Do It?

It’s weird that I’m here at home doing nothing but stare at the ceiling for hours, while people around the world are doing something productive. This thought is intensified even more when I saw the back-to-back episodes of How Do They Do It in Discovery Channel last Sunday. I was impressed at the innovative technologies that they are using – that the other countries are currently using to do and create things that we encounter everyday, and I haven’t really thought about the how of it, not until I aw this. In fact, such things such as knives, forks, egg beaters or electric iron and how to make them never really came across in my mind.

Last Sunday’s episode of How Do They Do It featured how to transfer oil from the oil rig to the other parts across the globe. We all know that oil is an essential source of energy and this job is crucial especially if you are tasked to transfer lots and lots of barrels of oil by trans-oceanic transportation. But in the show it featured the Mighty Servant, a transporter that acts as a giant-ocean-going pick-up truck to sail the oil rig itself (20,000 tons of oil rig, I think) to the other parts of the world. It is very risky due to the natural occurrences of typhoon or other weather disruptions. What I saw was when the workers there were transferring the oil rig to the Mighty Servant, they were extra careful because the ship might become unstable because of the heavy weight of the load. This is a very crucial task, because they have to be accurate on the position where the oil rig should be. If the lift is successful, then the Mighty Servant will have its 5-week voyage across the globe to the other parts of the world.

Discovery channel also featured electric shaver from the Braun company inGermany. This is a very convenient especially for men because it provides a skin smooth shave for their mustache. The most critical considerations about this product are the blade and the protective foil, because the safety starts there. So critical that some parts have to be microscopically engineered, and should undergo photoelectric plating to produce a photographic image that would be used as a template. Then, in the fully operated assembly line, parts of it are brought together. After that, the new products need to undergo testing to assure that they are safe.

Next top, we got transporter, the SPMT (if I’m not mistaken) from Fagioli. It weighs over 15,000 tons, has 16 wheels and can move to 5km/hr. This man made marvel is used to transport the turbine from the production area inMilanto the power station inArizona. It is highly maneuverable and very accurate in terms of distances. It has hydraulic suspension system and it can weigh materials up to 570 tons. The Fagioli people transferred it by lifting it and loading it to the 150-meter long barge and it took a painstakingly 30 minutes. Then, after checking and double checking its precise position, the journey of 10,000 km starts from there toAmerica.

The most interesting feature above all was the fire-proof race suit that a racer should use when he or she is into drag racing. This will protect the driver (of the Fire Force car) from any possible explosion due to the jet because of the use of highly expensive fuel. The Fire Force car can run in 700km/hr in 5 seconds, and even uses a pair of parachutes to slow it down. It takes two days to complete a suit that would insulate the driver’s skin and at the same time would also gave him comfort. The first thing to do is to make create a design that would serve as the template. Then you cut out the fabric, and with this, they used computer-controlled cutting machine. Amazing. The fabric would protect the driver not only from the fire but its three-layered fabric would also protect him from the radiant heat. They used fire-resistant thread, of which I never knew existed, I was really impressed. After it, one can now put the logo design in front. Then the suits are tested to ensure its safety.

It’s incredible, when Discovery channel featured these amazing products. With technology, such things are really possible.