Newsletter November 10, 2010

Backgrounds! What a word! What ideas!

What comes to mind when you hear this word? Do you think in terms of a figurative painting or photograph and see what is “behind” the subject? Do you see the landscape rather than the tree in the … forefront?

Do you see perspectives going back far to the horizon?  Do you see the background? 

Do you see other visuals as in movies … even those you can see on TV!

What’s happening not up close … but the wider picture. What’s behind.  If you’re looking further than what first meets the eye … you’re opening your eyes to the background rather than focusing on what perceive “up front.”

(BTW, Here’s a word about cinemas/theatres in Paris.)

Or do you think of background as your own … background? As in your own culture, home environment? This, too is your background.

Background loves adjectives. Like … academic. What’s your academic background? This, of course, refers to what schools you went to, what degrees you got, the subjects you studied and … those you avoided studying; Your academic background is included but is different from your ‘educational’ background which is a much wider description and can include non-academic learning … millions of skills that can never be taught in schools. Your background is your experience. Your life history.

And of course … professional. What’s your professional background? It’s in … IT (Information technology) or in marketing, or in financial consulting or in law. Or in medicine. Or in anthropology. Or forestry. Or botany. As a pastry chef. Or even … the ever more sophisticated activity of buying and selling … otherwise known under the generic term you see in the newspaper every day: Business.

How would you translate this concept into French, into another language?
C’est l’arrière plan?  Mais aussi c’est l’histoire! Notre histoire. Notre expérience!

Photography and language have a lot in common: They’re both about perceiving the world from up close, from “normal” and from far back. They’re both sources and means of expression.

Relax … and you’ll get the picture. The whole picture.

Thanks for reading today’s Paris Savannah Connection!

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