Babe Ruth vs Photography

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by neilpeters, Oct 21, 2006.

  1. Babe Ruth was tested like a lab rat, with 1921 technology, to find out why he
    could do what he did so easily. To no surprise, what they found was freakish
    super-human reaction and response, superior eyesight. Albert Pujols was also
    tested recently and got the same level of results. Basically, you're not
    hitting that fastball, and just as important, a change up, without a "gift" of
    nature. [google: science of baseball, babe ruth]

    Before anyone jumps overboard with any artists are better than accountants
    debate, I'm not trying to go there or make a value judgement. Everyone has a
    skill of some sort, whether it can be displayed or not. None better than the
    other.

    However, isn't the reason artists of all types, are drawn to their craft, in
    this case photographers, might be because they physically and mentally see the
    world differently, if not with enhanced mental vision (and I don't mean 20/20
    eyesight). What is the "human factor" that can't be tested for in the lab?
     
  2. I think the factor is a quality that has been described for a couple of thousand years in various ways, but what has become popular now as "mindfulness" in some circles. Athletes call it "being in the zone". It is the ability to achieve a state of mind that is essential, whether it is physical like sport, artistic like photography, or any other human activity actually, even accounting.

    If it is done with the proper attitude and state of mind, every human activity taps exactly the same "stuff" within us. Ballet dancers and NFL running backs are doing the same thing. Photographers and carpenters are tapping that same resource.
     
  3. Mr. Cooper touched on an important point and I'd like to elaborate.

    I am sure you have noticed that athletes cannot express how they do what they do, and when pressed to do so it can be an embarrassment. The point is they have developed 'body' or 'kinetic' knowledge which is not available to the language center. Photographer Ralph Gibson speaks of the same. Two of my photographer colleagues are the same; after 30 to 40 years of daily work the knowledge is still unavailable to explanation.

    So that is one human factor. It has been shown that after studying and practicing certain things for ten years, even the less kinetically talented can become as good as a master BUT that applies only to a narrow set of skills such as chess. To create original work, to evince something new to the mind and brain, one still must have the intellect, motivation and challenge to Make it So.
     
  4. "What is the "human factor" that can't be tested for in the lab?" The gestalt of the person. Humans are hyper-complex systems and we lack any tools that allow us to do much more than scrape at the surface of that complexity. My guess is that we won't have such tools for at least another century because, to do so, we'll need computers at least a thousand times more powerful than current super-computers and software that can reduce billions of electrochemical reactions to some form of explanation of what they relate to. Even having done that, what will it tell us? That the complex interactions, which cause you to perceive a rose, are different from mine. So, not a lot further forward then.
    00IVv4-33072384.jpg
     
  5. Innate... the rest is called practice.
     
  6. "So what are you really seeing when I show you these roses?"

    Life's cycle?
     
  7. That the complex interactions, which cause you to perceive a rose, are different from mine.
    Indeed, very true, and the differences come from our different cultures, experiences. The rose is a good icon for cross-culture comparisons. (Not specifically referring to the iconic red and white roses from early British history, but we could!)
     
  8. Simply hand eye coordination. Ruth had astonishing coordination; the least 'athletic' person imaginable otherwise. He could win 20 games a year pitching or batting. Didn't matter. Those twitch muscles did their thing. Cassius Clay had it too, in a more athletic body. Film of Ruth batting or Clay jabbing is an astonishing thing to see.

    Hand eye coordination is the physical feature that differentiates our species from all others. Conscious thought at 1/500 is not possible. Photography requires a brain that can respond hand eye coordination-wise to what is presented to the lens. This is most obvious in opportunistic photography, less so in 'set' photography.

    Learning and practice are very necessary; the brain must be conditioned to spot the opportunity, the hands and eyes to make the right moves. Ruth, to recognize a hanging curve from a slider; Clay, the dropped hand.

    In photography, the opportunity recognized probably is associated with what have been distilled as the "rules" -- the rules of composition and lighting, I'd guess. At least it seems that way for me. Walking down the street and seeing a certain combination of lighting and composition, the camera comes up to my eye without thought, and if I don't have a camera, there comes instead a sense of regret.

    --

    Don E
     
  9. An artistic photographer is someone whose attention is held by visual scenes. A metro commerical photographer is someone who was looking for a simple technical field not involving heavy work. (Become a barber or become a photographer ?) But the two can combine. A wedding photographer might be someone truly interested in ordinary people putting up ceremonious events. A portrait photographer might be someone truly interested in documenting ordinary people moving through sports, school, events, and employments. In other words a metro commercial photographer might be someone truly interested in people and that rather than interested in visual scenes.
     
  10. "Simply hand eye coordination...."

    My wife's Grand-father, Ken Williams

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/w/willike01.shtml

    one year hit more runs than the Babe. Lifetime batting average, 319.

    Running to first base, after some twelve years, he was hit in the back of the head by a throw. Net result, he lost the hand eye coordination, played a couple more years and retired at thirty-nine:(
     
  11. Thats amazing Thomas. 1922 was one heck of a good year for the Williams family. Unfortunately, he was hit in the head long before batting helmets started.
     
  12. Actually baseball...and eye-hand coordination ?

    No...there's not a single fundamental that makes a good athlete. It's a combination of fundamentals and characteristics that make an athlete...and each athlete is different. But there's a coolness or confidence under pressure, there's a slow timed swing to put top spin on the ball or there's a last second quick swing to snap the ball, there's an early and subconscious processing by the brain weighting go or no go, and there's the experience of a statistical knowledge of the opponent. Strangely enough minor league player result does not predict major league success or failure...and the only way to find out is to just try players in the major league. And that suggests that the major and minor leagues are two different games and that player intangibles are chaotic or exponential...well like a telephoto lens exaggerating camera movement.
     
  13. Oh, tendon strength, muscle strength, muscle acceleration, timing, consistency, physcial dexterity, weight, reach, center of gravity,...,strategy,...,focus (as attention to task),...
     
  14. sports: technical, tactical, psychological, physical

    photography: the ability to see in 2D, isolate the essence, anticipate the moment . . . depends on what you're shooting and what you want to say.
     
  15. Okay, if we are only concerned about putting the bat on the ball then recognition of "eye hand coordination" only...might be valid.

    But one player is going to put the bat on the ball with a timing, another player is going to put the bat on the ball with a consistency of movement, another player is going to put the bat on the ball with a quick reaction, another player is going to put the bat on the ball with a strategy,...and so on.

    So test putting the bat on the ball in a batting cage not in some broad standardized testing. In a broad standardized testing a race car driver, a soccer player, and a baseball player might all have similar scores. But it's not predicable which one could cross-over to which other sport.

    Also, I don't skill in video games relates to real world sports...

    Now to tie the baseball metaphor back into photography...basically the human characteristic that ties unrelated endeavors together is...inspiration. One person achieves fulfillment doing one thing and another person achieves fulfillment doing some other thing. The human involved in endeavor is the universal thing...
     
  16. I would say that the human factors that contribute to excellence are very complex. As well as something we must call aptitude, which is most probably what leads a person into a particular discipline, you need the will power and application to practice regularly and to a degree beyond what most people tolerate, plus something which I have to call feedback facility, which means that you run the experience of your mistakes and failures back through what you do and learn from it. A lot of people don't do this or do it very inefficiently.
    Genius has famously been described as 5 percent inspiration, 95 percent perspiration, and this is a good if rather trite way of describing it.
     
  17. Genius is often elegant while "95% perspiration" would be work ethic...

    Genius (if an elegant moment) would be 50% inspiration, 5% perspiration, and 45% "where the heck did that come from"...

    (A comprehensive structure leading up and containing an elegant development could be accomplished by any of thousands of people but the pivotal fundamental is one person's elegant moment or insight.)

    Relate to photography...well most great photographers pursue a particular subject, genre, or element-to-integrate. So it's choice of subject or genre...
     
  18. Example of genius:

    Newton's second law is Force = Mass * Acceleration .

    Einstein's famous formula is Energy = Mass * Speed-of-Light-squared .

    Of course "speed-of-light-squared" is an acceleration and you can see what Einstein did. He related two apparently different natural occurrences to the same set of fundamentals...from a viewpoint that the fundamentals of energy could not be measured and therefor not previously related.

    Another example of genius:

    As an elementary student Gauss was required to add up all the numbers from 1 to 100. Here is what he did:

    001 + 02 + 03 + ... + 48 + 49 + 50
    100 + 99 + 98 + ... + 53 + 52 + 51
    -----------------------------------
    101 + 101 + 101 + ... + 101 + 101 + 101

    So the answer is 50 * 101 ...


    Photography genius ?

    A Adams camped out at the mountains with gear and didn't sleep late...
     
  19. Example of genius:

    Newton's second law is Force = Mass * Acceleration .

    Einstein's famous formula is Energy = Mass * Speed-of-Light-squared .

    Of course "speed-of-light-squared" is an acceleration and you can see what Einstein did. He related two apparently different natural occurrences to the same set of fundamentals...from a viewpoint that the fundamentals of energy could not be measured and therefor not previously related.

    Another example of genius:

    As an elementary student Gauss was required to add up all the numbers from 1 to 100. Here is what he did:

    001 + 02 + 03 + ... + 48 + 49 + 50

    100 + 99 + 98 + ... + 53 + 52 + 51

    -----------------------------------

    101 + 101 + 101 + ... + 101 + 101 + 101

    So the answer is 50 * 101 ...


    Photography genius ?

    A Adams camped out at the mountains with gear and didn't sleep late...
     
  20. That was a nice insight B.Hall. Adams didn't sleep late. Much of "genius" is being in the right place at the right time. Another is the ability to recognize when you've done something special.

    When Einstein first proposed e=mc2, it frustrated many physicists. It still does. How can you "square" the speed of light, since, in theory, nothing can move faster than its speed, now you square it, grief :) The ability to imagine cannot be overlooked.
     
  21. Speed-of-light is speed and speed-of-light-squared is an acceleration value...but the idea is that mass turns into energy at the speed of light...so the fundamentals of the formula require a little bit of study...and the physical fundamentals must apply to a sub-atomic level or something (because two sticks rubbing together is not the speed of light)...

    Yeah, photography genius is choice of subject, genre, or element-to-integrate in broad work...
     
  22. Okay, 186000 m/s^2 (as 186000 m/(s^2)) is an acceleration rate that means the velocity will be 186000 m/s at one second, the velocity will be 372000 m/s at two seconds, and so on. And that m for miles and s for seconds...

    If the conversion of mass to energy (here I guess just call it combustion) takes one second then the speed of light is not exceeded...

    Of course photographers are very attentive to light...and flash photographers know about its speed.
     
  23. "Speed-of-light is speed and speed-of-light-squared is an acceleration value..."
    <BR><BR>
    Actually, it's not. Squaring speed does not yield an acceleration value. M/S^2 is not the same as (M/S)^2. M/S, squared, is M^2/S^2 or (M/S)^2. To get an acceleration value you multiply speed by time, not by speed.
    <BR><BR>
    F=MA yields a result in Newtons: (kg*m)/(s^2)
    <BR>
    E=MC^2 yields a result in Joules: [kg*(m^2)]/(s^2)
    <BR><BR>
    Newtons are a unit of force, while Joules are a unit of work.
     

Share This Page