Thursday, 30 August 2012

#photooftheday: Roses for St Rose of Lima Day, Peru

How does this photograph of roses and the holiday that it represents in Peru help me develop a global identity?

Monday, 27 August 2012

Book Launch: Encierro N'awlins

It's the Big Easy Rollergirls' tribute to the San Fermin encierro fiesta in Pamplona, Spain. The Rollergirls dress up as bulls, the streets on the waterfront are closed and the residents of, and visitors to, New Orleans get out bed early (or stay up), dress in white, wear red paƱuelos (handkerchiefs) and run with the bulls.

It was hard to find the motivation to go to this event (there was also a French waiter's race that captured my creative imagination), but after a short talk with my husband in our hotel room, recounting a long week we had just spent eating buttered barbecue shrimp at Mr. B's and drinking frappes in the Old Absinthe House, we took the streetcar two blocks and followed the crowd to find the bulls.

When we arrived the event had a unique feel. You could sense that people were looking forward to it. The bulls were in a big group on one side; posing for photographs and chatting with each other, friends and photographers.

Once the running started the Rollergirls formed a funnel to make sure that as many people as possible got bashed with a bat. The mood changed at this point to a kind of platonic version of chasey-chasey spalshy-splashy. The first shot in the book is taken while I ran through the funnel. It's a surprise that it isn't out-of-focus as I'm giggling and trying to dodge a bat.

Most people take a snapshot and it is a process of framing and posing. The interesting thing about shooting is seeing the shot in a split second and knowing that you have captured the way the person experienced that moment. Once you start to see shots in this way it can be hard to stop shooting. I can be a hazard to myself in this moment and I am pleased that Kim is usually there to make sure that I don't get run over.

When I shoot, I am looking for the essence of the experience and when I see it I click and represent it on film. The camera captures emotions and attitudes and my favorite shots in this book are the ones where you see both motion and emotion.

I hope you enjoy this book.


Monday, 13 August 2012

Remembering #London2012

The Olympics for me was a mix of unknown athletes, political conversations, old versus new media, and the human spirit.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

What Can You Tell About Me From My Facebook Self Portrait?

My Facebook page contains two pictures: an inset of my face and a river bank scene. If you are from the East, would you think that I was more in tune with your culture or that I was more Westernised?

The focus on my face shows a strong tendency to an individualistic Western culture while the setting shows that I understand myself to be part of a larger whole (a more collectivist Eastern approach).

What Difference Will Culture Make To My Self Perception?

Huang and Park’s (2012) study of Facebook users from six universities in two areas of the world showed a difference in the photographs that the students used for their Facebook profile based on home and host cultures. In East Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan), the student choose settings that they liked, while the students from United States (California and Texas) choose to focus more on showing their head (and shoulders).

The study also showed that people who move abroad adopt aspects of the culture they live in and change their photographs on Facebook in a way that shows the adoption of the host country's culture.

The study also found that although East Asia showed a more collectivist culture, the number of friends people have is higher in the more affluent cities of Singapore and Austin.

How Can I Use This Data on My International Assignment?

When you move abroad you need to create a support system in your local area. When you are choosing a place to live you can start with the more affluent cities as they are more open and more likely to include you as friends.

Western and Eastern cultures have different visual perception, attention and reasoning skills. Over time you will pick up the local and adapt to your new culture. If you are designing a page, you might want to make it more culturally friendly to the people you want to live and work with. Some changes to the way you present yourself may help you work and live in your new culture.

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