Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/05/15

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Subject: [Leica] Photographers IQ test
From: "Birkey, Duane" <>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 10:34:09 -0500

My father always taught me:

It is better to keep silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove
all doubt.

Having said that,  I've done photography work with doctors, dentists,
engineers and during my photo retailing days, I was the account manager for
Argonne National laboratory.  Many of these people with multiple PHD's would
undoubtedly score higher on some IQ tests than I... 

But all of them asked me technical and artistic questions about photography
that they didn't know... and some of their questions I thought were
incredibly stupid.  In many ways IQ is relative..... Lawyers have the
highest IQ????  Eat your hat.  They are just better at either manipulating
the legal truth, finding loopholes or catching the manipulation of the truth
by the opposing legal counsel....  remember that most politicians are
Lawyers....... No offense intended to lawyers on this list.  Several of my
best freinds in the states are lawyers ....

But hang around people at places like Fermi Lab or Argonne National
Laboratory etc...  for a while if you want to see people with a high IQ..

I can't speak for other photographers, but I try to learn something each
time I photograph and I've observed thousands of different situations ....
Having shots hundred of weird cases in our hospital, photographed countless
surgeries and x-rays, I can identify lots of different medical cases,
bacteria cultures and tell you about medical procedures and expirimental
treatments, but I'm not a doctor.  I've learned all sorts of stuff about
sub-atomic particals,  using geo-textiles for unstable road construction,
high powered short-wave radio transmitter and antenna construction and
design and hydro-electric turbine generators, but I'm not an engineer.  I
can tell you about tribal peoples languages, history and traditions, but I'm
not an anthropologist nor archaeologist.  I can identify all sorts of birds
and snakes and tell you behavioral aspects of them, but I'm not an
ornithologist or herpetologist.  I've learned all sorts of things about
volcanos, but I'm not a volcanologist.  I could tell you characteristics of
historical Andean religous art, but I'm not a art historian...  I hope you
get the point.  

I've experienced enough as a photographer that I think I can hold an
intelligent conversation with just about anyone and ask intelligent
questions.  I don't know any other person who has experinced the broad
variety that I have.  But there are other photographers on this list who
have probably experienced as much and probably more...  But there are other
photographers who only shoot weddings and portraits...... Just as there are
lawyers, dentists and doctors who can't figure out on their own how to open
the camera back or press the rewind button.


Duane's Photographs of Ecuador

Replies: Reply from john <> (Re: [Leica] Photographers IQ test)