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9 August 2018

One of the financial institutions we frequent was recently acquired by a larger concern, prompting the inconvenience of converting old accounts to new ones, which in turn occasioned the gifting of this piggy bank to those afflicted.

A smarter move, perhaps, than supplying us with mattresses.

But the piggy bank given by a financial institution is not merely ironic. It also echoes Ben Franklin's "a penny saved is a penny earned" and invokes childhood lessons of deferred gratification. It is also, that is, symbolic.

So we took a photo of it one night and edited it to death the next day, removing all the color and imposing a cool, intellectual blue on the thing until we got something we liked.

What would cross training be for the photographer?

Then we had to come up with something for it to symbolize. Fortunately we had plenty of loose ends at hand to try.

But the one that fit the slot was a subject we've been wondering about for a few days.

We're big fans of cross training. The predominant activity you practice over and over again profits from some ancillary one you indulge in less frequently. The distance runner who bikes, for example.

What would cross training be for the photographer?

We thought reading would do. But not photography books. Not how-to books. Nothing having to do with the craft. Not even any picture books.

Instead, we thought, how about novels? How about seeing the world through some protagonist's eyes as if they were photographing life?

One thing leading to another, we found ourselves wondering what the equivalent of narrative point of view is in photography?

Are we, that is, condemned to shoot only what we see? Can we not build a gallery of images we, as authors, contend have been seen by some other set of eyes?

The garden through a child's eyes. The beach through the eyes of a mother in the nineteenth century. A night beat observed by a bobby in post war England.

You get the idea. The photographer as an author, acting out other characters.

We'll stop there and, taking a cue from our new acquisition, save that idea for another time.

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