Friday, September 8, 2017

Quatrain #34: Quadrivium

Literally, a place where four roads meet. A quadrivium is also defined as being a course that was offered at medieval universities in which students learned the four mathematical arts: arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music.

In virtually any photography course rudimentary forms of math are used to calculate exposure values with geometric sequences and fractions; composition & design strategies are routinely studied which are riven with simple principles of geometry; and the study of various forms of light reveal its spectral color properties, in addition to practicing observations of astronomic objects — the sun & moon are popular favorites. In regard to the music aspect, well that’s a form of poetry, so let’s equate that to the expression of all of these technical things that manifest in the visual poetry of photographs. To get to my point, a photography course easily meets and exceeds the definition of a quadrivium: interdisciplinary practices. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Quatrain #33: Échelle Européenne

After taking a three-week tour to Europe recently, the perceptions brought home are multi-layered, and intricate. But most of all, what I think about is scale. I've been to big cities before, with big buildings, big spaces, and yes, sprawl as far as the eye can see, studded dense with urban constructs. There is something however that makes me blink and do a double take in Europe, and that's about the size of some the architectural specimens visible there. Even on 21st-century terms, those folks who designed and hewed were thinking big. No, strike that… I meant colossal. It is sublime to not only stand amongst these wonders, but to think of being part of the human family they have sung to for hundreds and in some cases, even a couple thousand years.