Unlike Pete, I don’t have to put much thought into what my next blog will be. I don’t really even need to plan them. My blog is and will most likely always be about the images I’ve taken and the project I am doing along with the odd random thoughts like this one………
I don’t have a big following and I put images out across a number of platforms and that is perhaps a bit of a downfall of using various sites; not building a good foundation with an online community. Anyhow, these images are mostly different although there may occasionally be some cross over between the sites.
Well this post is kind of about photography because that is where I come into the equation and it is also what made me think about communication and communication barriers despite having a common language and even a good command of a second language.
Effective communication relies on three things, the words chosen, the intonation and speech pattern, body language including facial expression and eye contact.
I’ve said it before but for the benefit of those that are here for the first time…. I rely heavily on those aspects of communication in my day-to-day work. No I am not a customs and excise officer, no I am not a police officer and no I am not an interrogator for some totalitarian state. I do a very normal job that just needs to have a good awareness of communication skills.
I find communicating difficult when it comes to blogging and social media outlets.
One wants to keep things simple and not too long-winded but without using those small fill words or giving a full back story, the written word can very very very easily be taken out of context.
This was evident today.
On one of the photo-sharing sites I use, I commented on a lady with a chopper!
Some of you will already be smiling. One or two of you may be laughing. Some may be thinking ‘WTF’ and others might be thinking ‘what the f**k’ does WTF mean?!
It was actually a photo of a woman with an axe and my comments were along the lines of ‘most mens nightmare is a woman with a chopper!’
Here is the thing, even between English-speaking countries there are variations in terminology, colloquialisms and slang.
Have a look at this online dictionary for the word chopper.
Some of you get the joke, some of you don’t, some of you that understand the intention behind the wording will be offended because you’ll take it as a slur against trans-gender, semi sex-change persons or what ever term we are politically correctly supposed to be using; even though that is in my mind clearly not the intention.
In the case of the lady holding the axe, a pretty woman with a chopper! This pun may well have been lost in translation despite having a common language with our American and Canadian cousins.
This is just one example….. Okay, You may remember a post about Helmut Newton and another blogger perhaps took this as an uneducated dig. It wasn’t. I just wasn’t struck by the work on display. It was an opinion, my opinion and my opinion is as valid as anyones; in much the same way as your thoughts are. It’s not to say he was not a talented photographer.
This also brings me on to my blog about David Bailey and the disbelief in my class that I could question his greatness. Well, actually there was never any criticism of his ability to use a camera. He, like Newton, knew how to get results and worked hard to get where they are. In the case of Bailey, is it Sir now? I’ll stick with Dave or Mr. Bailey…. In the case of Bailey I simply expressed an opinion that anyone with a good understanding of image taking could be in his position with the opportunities he had at that time. Again, it’s just an opinion.
Onto another photography post, someone commented on a Lee Jeffries image expressing their preference for a completely blacked out background.
Some people commented and may have just been pointing out that he (Jeffries) is well-known for his style of work and this may have been done assuming that the person commenting didn’t know his onions.
I don’t often read a lot of the remarks under photos, sometimes I do and this time I did. It made me chuckle because I could just picture people’s faces with regards to thinking who is this chap to critique someone considered a master in his field. Not dissimilar to my comments at college about Newton & Bailey.
The guy expressed an opinion and may have felt scoffed at by some of the remarks. I commented that it made me chuckle but of course he does not have the full back story to why I was amused. Simple communication that was easy to resolve but to some extent unavoidable without a big long, even boring prelude to set the scene.
Unless the wording is blatantly aggressive and nasty, I think in most instances comments need to be taken lightly. I definitely think they should be read two or three times and returned to, prior to responding.
Thankfully I’ve not upset anyone today. hopefully I’ll keep it that way.
No photo, no tips and hints, just a thought process noted down for future reference and my own mindfulness that a common language does not mean a common interpretation.
Is this my third post in three days?
Rest assured that is the last one for a short while… I hope y’all have a good weekend.
Jim Jimmy James.