While watching Human Planet (an excellent series) I noticed that in the section on jungles, they describe how an Amazon tribe, before going on a hunt, put tree frog venom into their blood to make them react faster and keep up with the animals they are pursuing. They also put drops of a noxious plant juice into their eyes to sharpen their senses. Would this technique help us as photographers?
“The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”
Give it a try and let us know
I bet one could write quite a thesis on drug use by photographers, and how it affected their working style.
I will suprised if the Robert Capa's of our day don't occasionally (or not) use cocaine, amphetamines, etc. They'd have to source it locally though. Maybe not so likely then.
I wonder if a few drops on a lens with fungus growth will clear it up?
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Well, it is too late to ask Dennis Hopper.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
One major factor to consider about using drugs is that a large portion of the effect that a person feels after taking them is based on what the person expects to happen.
Yes, the major classes of drugs (stimulants, depressants and hallucinogens) do cause a predictable effect but, above that, the user's experience with that drug is mostly determined by what he believes will happen. Alcohol is a depressant but, because many people associate drinking with going to wild parties, people often become more excited when they drink. (Up to a certain point when the alcohol starts knocking them out.)
These people of the Amazon have a long cultural experience with the drugs they use and they know what to expect when they take them. If you took those drugs, you would not be able to predict how they would affect you because you have no experience taking them. You have no idea what to expect when you take them.
So, instead of enhancing your abilities these drugs might hinder you. They might stimulate you and make you more alert but they might make you so shaky you can't hold the camera still. They might make you sick. Not to mention the fact that they might kill you.
The bottom line is that, regardless of what anybody tells you, taking an unknown drug is like rolling dice. You don't know what could happen. You could roll a seven and win on the come-out or you could roll a twelve and crap out.
You'd be better off drinking a beer or smoking a joint.
I saw that episode and was very impressed by the level of adaptation shown by these people. I don't think boosting my visual acuity would improve my photography; I rather need some brain enhancements
They also put drops of a noxious plant juice into their eyes to sharpen their senses. Would this technique help us as photographers?
"There's more to the picture
Than meets the eye." - Neil Young
& My APUG
I consider coffee a performance enhancing drug.
I often take it for a few months during the winter to fight off seasonal depression. It also helps you quit smoking. (Or stay quit.)
As a bonus, it also has a "clarifying" effect for me. Having a touch of A.D.D., I often have trouble concentrating on one task at a time.
It takes a bit of time for the medication to completely titrate into your system but, once it does, I can have razor-sharp concentration if I try.
On the downside, however, it is a fairly strong stimulant. You have to work to get the dosage right for your individual needs. Too much and you can be jumpy and moody. Some people have sharp mood swings. This also means you have to watch out for your caffeine intake. Too much and you'll be bouncing off the ceiling!
Once I got used to it and knew what to expect from it, I found it really helps during those dreary winter months... Concentration-wise, mood-wise and it helps my creativity a little bit, too.