Sunday, April 21, 2013

Deep Knowledge

Wet Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) - Banff National Park, Canada
Canon 7D + Canon 300 f2.8L IS
Cliché warning.... the world wide web is the great equalizer. 
New information streams at a unattainable rate, so I resort to summary sources to fill the immense cognitive vacuum; born is the literate poser. Original works take too long to digest, are cluttered by their obtuse detail, and often mask the bottom line. A three hour investment on the source yields deep knowledge of minutia and little else. Science Daily and Science News are my crutch, I am a poser. 
Crane Lake - Lake Country, MN
Canon 7D + Tokina ATX-II 12-24mm f4.0
Today’s world of bits, bytes, and data create an opportunity for many while diluting greatness that might be lurking among the throngs of web participants. In the near past, it was easy to sort through the trash and find nuggets of gold. Outstanding works of art, literature and science seemed to radiate from within the pile, but today’s trash heap is so dense that the singularities are buried too deep to see.
Spring Crane (Grus canadensis) - Manning Trail, MN
Canon 40D + 
Canon 300 f2.8L IS + Canon 2x Converter Mk II
Like many, I am web junky. I frequent the usual sources like the, Politco, HuffingtonPost, ScienceDaily, TechNews, and DPReview. Far from knowledgeable, I know a little about everything and a lot about nothing. Knowledge is good, but deep knowledge is better. In teaching biology, I find that my years of investment in the field, lectures, and labs are the platform for my classroom creativity. Deep knowledge serves me well when working with neophytes, but the farther I am removed from my formal training, the shallower I become. I try to leverage my losses with a voracious appetite for the ubiquitous glossy summaries available to us all... the web is the great equalizer for a homogenizing society.
Gondola Sunrise - Venice, Italy
Canon 5D Mk I + Canon 24-105 f4.0L IS
The context for my lament points directly towards my passion for seeing nature and being a participant in this world. The skills I developed with film are the foundation from which I now work the digital platform. Exemplary work, once relegated to the few willing to invest the sweat to learn, is now readily available to the masses. Like the world wide web, digital is the great equalizer. Average shooters become experts in months instead of years, and images that once took years to conceive are produced and shared freely every day. Deep knowledge serves us well when striving to be the best, but remedial skills coupled with amazing technology now makes fools gold glitter with brilliance.

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