… A Great Tool For Learning How to See …


Authors’s note: Increasing the amount of voodoo and using a vpn to a befriended server, I finally managed to upload some images. In the end it was less about posting and more a personal challenge if my skills would suffice to overcome this provider’s faulty setup. Finally by pure guessing on my side it turned out that the MTU (Maximum Transfer Unit) of the network connection was by default set too high. One simple (again black magic) command: sudo ifconfig wlan0 mtu 576, and the network connection ran as it should and does everywhere else.

Linda Gordon’s biography of Dorothea Lange was given to me as a gift from a fellow photographer. And after having recovered from the travel and set-up chores, I started to read and was immediately fascinated by the intensity of this book. The many aspects of Lange’s life and story get unfolded and form an immense micro-history of that important time also in the history of the United States of America. Only one sentence in the foreword makes me hesitate a bit: Gordon compares the movement and effects of the New Deal with the feeling of a fundamental change during the last presidency election campain. And whilst I do wish she will be proven right, I could not help but notice a feeling of deep disappointment about the current development in the U.S.

The title of this post is the middle part of a Dorothea Lange quote. Developing the craft and art of seeing certainly is the key factor for any artisanal or artistic endeavour. And what I have read so far from Lange’s life, it was accompagnied by an openness to and in life, that formed many facets of her personality. I guess the latter is the real general key of personal development, also as a photographer, whereas the camera is the same kind of tool the individual scalpell is for the surgeon: indispensable yet in no way defining competence or skill.


  1. Markus, nice “voodoo” on getting your images uploaded. I understand not being able to let the challenge pass. 🙂

    I echo you misgivings and belief there’s no “new-deal” afoot in the U.S. Many of us were hoping there would be change and felt we were voting for such change in the last election. I feel a lot of frustration in the people here but no clear vision of how to effect change, what that change should be…or even who to trust to lead change.

    Dorothea Lange is best noted for documentary photography during the great depression and Japanese internment in relocation camps during WWII. I’m not sure who would be best known for documenting the times we live in now, immigration, corporate corruption, unemployment and lost of personal homes — perhaps now it is documented through thousands of different photographers instead of a few. Perhaps much more information but less story.

    Thanks for giving me worthy topics to consider today.

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