Nigerian National Geographic photographer Jonathan Harky is still struggling to believe his cameras are working so well. In the midst of a project to photograph the landscape of the Malian capital, Bamako, he discovered one of his cameras couldn’t take a sharp photo of a street.
Harky thought he had taken great care to position his camera properly, but it had fallen out of its mount when they were taking the pictures. He realized he needed a new camera and he contacted a company that would send him a new one with a new mount. He was also promised a free replacement. Instead he received a note telling him what they were calling “sabotage” and that the company would have money left to pay for “lost camera units.”
So he did what anyone who has ever received a phone call would do and called a number on his cell phone, which has a camera outfitted with a smartphone application. In less than a minute he was able to download the new camera onto his own cell phone, but the phone kept rebooting. He kept on pushing the button but no matter what he did it wouldn’t turn on.
The company was still in Nigeria with no answer, so he kept asking and finally after several calls he was given a personal phone number. When he dialed he finally heard a female voice instructing him not to return until they got the new camera back.
He then hung up and called his wife – who also has an American phone number – but after that her voice was gone. In the end that was it, so when the phone started ringing, Harky had no idea who was calling.
What makes people look at photography like science?
One of the most common images we see in the news is the “selfie” – of a young child holding up a camera and snapping shots of herself while on vacation. Most people don’t think much if all self-portraits are taken. However, if you look more closely at these photographs, you see how little thought is put into them. It’s all about taking one or two pictures.
The other most common “selfie” in the news is of a toddler holding up a camera and taking several photographs of himself. The truth is that these children often have no idea what they are doing because they never learn how before they take the photo or even realize what they are in the photograph. So the children, at no time, even begin thinking about what they are doing
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