Many of us recall Donald Rumsfeld warbling on about the differences between what we know and what we don't know. As he put it, "...as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."
Personally I couldn't care less about the unknown unknowns; it's like feeling bad about something you're not guilty of doing. As the years go by, it is the known unknowns that are starting to get to me. The stuff you know you don't know. For example, I have been taking an intermediate photography class at Rice University's Suzanne Glasscock Center for Continuing Studies. The more I listen to the very capable and experienced presenter - a professional photographer - the more I realize how little I really know about photography and in particular the post-processing work flow. If you want to do it right, there are seven steps: Transfer. Rename. Consolidate. Cull. Separate. Improve. Print. I don't even do recipes with 7 ingredients anymore, never mind tackling new projects with seven steps!
By the time we were halfway through last night's class, I honestly felt like picking up my camera and tripod, tucking them under my arm and walking back to my car and right out of the intermediate photography class. It was just too dispiriting to realize that there is a whole world of knowledge and procedures and techniques out there which appear to be almost overwhelmingly difficult to master. If I were 26 I might have had a different take on it. But of course I'm not.
In the end I didn't walk out. After all, I paid good money to be there. And then, when I got home, there was a message from a Facebook friend complimenting me on the quality of some of the shots I took at the recent Cross-Country Relay and asking if he could repost some of them. Repost some of them? Absolutely. No need to transfer, consolidate, cull or improve: just go right ahead and repost them, as many times as you want.
Here are a few of my own favorites from the day:
The Incredible Progress of Daily Practice
18 hours ago