Your Intent vs. What You Capture
We're talking about the challenges um that that sort of stand between your intent for photograph and uh actually pulling it off and that challenge really is one of interpretation because what you see is not what the camera sees it would be so great if you could just you know, blink your eyes capture what you saw in your memory but we can't and so we have this interpreter which is the camera and unfortunately the cameras um is actually fairly um ah it's a very limited tool it's kind of retarded when it gets right down to it it on lee does a certain amount of things fairly well so it's up to us is as craftsman to understand the limitations of the camera and how works and how we can both kind of circumvent those limitations and how we can embrace those limitations. So for example, one of the ones we were talking about before the break was lower dynamic range of the cameras sensors so you look at this photograph that the chris shot and what you see after that it's out of the camera is this...
kind of reverse lightning bolt of light and this this mountain biker in the shaft of light everything else is really isolated by these dark dark shadows but our eye because it's so much more able to capture a broad a dynamic range of light you can actually see into those shadows but in the photograph you can't so that's one of the limitations if you want to capture that broad range, you're screwed because you can't you can't do it so you have to take multiple exposures or used automatics or, um or something like that, and camera technology is always changing, but right now this is one of our limitations. You can use it to your advantage, and so we get an aesthetic out of that limitation that's actually quite pleasing it's a question of understanding and you can either use that limitation to your advantage or maybe not knowing how to use it quite so well, it actually gets in the way of you rendering your intention into that into that image. So that's that's, one of the things that I've got I've got another let me see if I can go to another one that I used to illustrate this recently on, um, on my my blawg and, um illustrates a similar kind of concept and I actually went out looking for, um where is it saturday I went out looking for for something that would illustrate this. And so, uh I went looking for this beam of light and and exposed manually for this whatever was in this just shallow beam of light, and then I just waited for someone to walk into that beam and and I had already got me exposure down it was just a matter of waiting and capturing were my camera more able to capture that broad dynamic range, I would be able to see into the into the shadows, I'd be able to see all that clutter, it would be a completely different photograph, same moment, same light, same composition, but because of what the camera could have done, which you can't, I would have a totally different looking photograph and the other photograph I took roughly the same time, the same setting was this guy with his two dogs looking up, he was talking to a buddy in a window and again, because the camera can't capture all of the detail in this, uh, in the shadows while it is also capturing the exposure here, it gives it a particular look, but that's that's a challenge because you know you, you're perceiving a scene and then you're saying to the camera, okay, interpretive seem go click, and then you look at it, it's, not at all what? So you have to be aware that you're dealing with an interpreter that actually speaks if you relate this to language, speaks a smaller vocabulary than you do, so use you say, okay, interpret this and you and you tell this long story and the interpreter turns around and goes he is angry, you know there's an interpretation from fifty words down to three words well, is that all he said? Yes that's all he said have you seen lost in translation? The movie lost in translation there's a scene very much like that and that's what it's like when we're using our camera to render this intent we've got all these things going around in our mind and in your heart and you're like, oh, I see this and then you take the button, you squeeze the button, take the photograph and it's rendered differently part of the frustration is the fact that thie camera sees things different, sees light differently sees color differently, but when you begin to understand that through taking a lot of photographs, you begin to understand that oh, if I under exposed this a little like your shooting that's a look at something different here if you're shooting the album glow early morning somewhere in the mountains and you wonder, expose it a little bit it's a little problematic because the dog in the foreground gets gets a little darker than I would have liked, but under exposing it gives this very dramatic ribbon of light along the top. Had I exposed for this ribbon of light it would have been quite bright it would have lost the color, but the under exposer actually gives it that bright, intense light this was also shot through a ah gold and blue polarizer, so there's an added kind of color cast to it, but the the exposure gives it that intensity, if not the exact color and and knowing how your camera works and playing with that again, it could be a limitation or you could use that to your advantage. But if you're not aware of the limitation, it stands in the way of interpreting because again, you pick it up the camera and you go click and you know it doesn't look like that. So you gotta understand how the camera works that's one of things that stands in the way is the whole dynamic range. It sees light differently than you do. You just have to be aware that the more you shoot, the more you'll be familiar. The second thing is that what you see is not what you get in terms of rendering into your taking a three dimensional world, right we see thing was with perspective when we stand up, when we sit down, our perspective changes, we have vanishing points, we see three dimensionally the moment you pick up your camera and you squeeze the shutter. You just take that three dimensional world that you see and procedures you khun. You can move your head, you could look around the scene and you just whom you flatten it, and as soon as you flatten it, it changes the way you perceive the scene. So what I see now is not the way that I'm going to see things when I change it into a, uh two dimensional world just for example, depth, depth, completely changes, and so if you want to show a deeper scene, if you want to introduce reintroduced depth into a photograph, it's not just a matter of picking it up and click and oh, look, it was a deep scene, therefore there's depth in the photograph not so it's, a two dimensional scene of something that had once had depth, and now it doesn't because it's been flattened, so spent that's especially true if you put on a longer lens, so you put on a two hundred millimeter lens, you're still perceiving depth. You're just, you know, and that's why the idea that I'll just put on a longer lens and it'll just be the same thing on the closer it's not it's the same thing closer, but also compressed. Your perspective doesn't change, but the the apparent distance from rear to front feels like it gets compressed, so there's always that issue when you're interpreting your intention. There's always that issue that the three dimensional world is now getting translated into a two dimensional world so you need to use you need to be aware of the tools that will do this for you um lines for example are a great too if you want to reintroduce depth lines give a feeling off and that's all we have in a photograph all we have is the illusion of or the feeling of depth do do long lenses really compressed space no they don't they don't and they don't change perspective but what they do is they give it up appearance of they fool us into feeling like things have been compressed wide angle lenses will by you know by inversion they they actually give us the feeling that things are broader and the lines are more exaggerated so if you want to reintroduce depth to a photograph you want to use lines to your advantage so here's here's an image um of a guy I shot in old delhi and there's a feeling of depth now how do I swung the camera around and photographed him just standing against that flat wall? The slats would've gone horizontally would've been a very flat image swinging around this way allows for some perspective and that perspective is exaggerated because thes lines now are guiding my eye were used to vanishing points were used to the fact that these lines implied depth so now bye putting these lines into the into the frame, I feel like there is a depth my gets goes, obviously goes first to him and then it goes through the image because thes lines pull my eye in, and it's gives me the feeling that I am being sort of included in the image and and as a result, the viewer, the reason this is important. You give depth to the image. So what? Well, it pulls the viewer in and it forces them toe. Look at certain parts of the image. So you not only look here, but you look back and you see these thes, whatever these bottles of coca cola or whatever in the background, and then your eye comes back again, and it looks this and it's a it's a cycle, and it it involves the viewer and any experience and which were involved is a more compelling experience for us. Any photograph that's more interesting that makes man. I do this circle, whether it's, it's, a circle kind of of depth or I'm going into the image, or whether I'm traveling around the image or however you I have to do it. We'll look at different images that have different kind of ways of guiding the eye later, but this is one where you can use the lines to pull you in. You can also use light I'm not actually sure if I fight used one that has light tio tio draw well, he actually here's not here is not a bad example of light either the light in this photograph as well as the lines gives a feeling of depth and you can do that with ah portrait where you have a light that feathers off to side of the face that light that's front on that's why we don't like on camera lighting that's why this whole movement of off camera lighting is important because if you like someone with an on camera flashes there's no shadows and therefore there's no depth as soon as you put a flash over here or a light source over here the light comes here, it hits the face and and feathers off and that is because we're used to reading things in the real world that way we see the depth were given visual clues to go ah there's some depth there, the face has has texture and it has it has that you know what I'm saying is it's just it's, forcing the eye to recognize depth where before it totally would that's how you reintroduce it that's how you get over the issue of having flattened a three dimensional into two can you ever bring three dimensions back into a photograph? No, you can't but you can bring back the appearance off or the feeling of the illusion of three dimensions something that has more depth is generally mohr engaging it invites you in that's not to say every single photograph you take has to be deep it doesn't have to have depth, there are images that will have less steps I mean this this is just ah flat front on image it doesn't have as much depth it's got some, but it doesn't that doesn't have as much it's got a nice kind of soft, even lighting it's nothing strongly suggesting depth but there's some lines you know the lines were there, but this wasn't an image where required depth this was really truly just a pigeon on a blue wall I didn't need the viewer to you know, too it's a simple, simple image, so not every image needs depth but it's one of those challenges that when you look at as we talked about yesterday, my images don't look the way I want them to and they don't say what I want them to one of the challenges that gets in the way of that is because when I looked at that scene there was depth my eye could roam around I could see things when I flattened into a photograph suddenly I lost all that depth if you want to reintroduce it you use things like lines and light teo to bring it back so that's that's one of the things that they were talking about the other is the other thing is, um the moment you experience something well even a short thing like um let's see, I've got this one here so I've got this boy this is in in varanasi, india and this little this little thing here is ah paper kite that's fallen out of sky and it's fine and he was actually he was jumping from boat to boat and have frames where he's jumping and they were okay and I liked them but what I loved was this kind of posture of supplication even if you don't know he's catching we're trying to catch something falling out of the sky or you don't know what it is there's still this very it's almost like he's looking to the sky going why me and there's this there's this feeling but I watched him for maybe twenty minutes and I caught a lot of different moments on ly one or two of the moments that I actually caught represented the whole experience for me because you and I experienced moments in much broader periods of time um as as I talk about flattening the three dimensional world into two were also flattening that spatial were also compressing a like a temporal thing were flattening time so that that tense ten minute moment that ten second moment it could only be represented really by one frame that means there's a lot of frames that aren't going to do it and that's a challenge that means the moment matters you can't just take any photographs and it represent the moment you were feeling you're looking for a gesture that is representative of you know if he'd been standing here like this it would have just been a kid standing on a boat right if I'd caught him after the thing went in the water and he turned around I was looking out and all I could see was the back of his head would have been a very different photograph it would have been one of the moments in this scene that I still remember but to get this scene to feel the way I wanted to to be the way I wanted I needed a representative gesture and that meant the moment mattered so here's another one that I shot in er italy recently and uh this is one of my favorite shots that I've taken in a long, long time he was a very distinguished man we're having lunch and uh I wonder what he thought because he was there with his lovely wife and they're enjoying lunch and this ragtag bunch of photographers come with all their bags and the tripods and and sit down and, you know, start talking and he's having this quiet lunch, but I had my camera with a fifty millimeter lens, and I put it down by my boot after I sort of pre focused at next and got the exposure right? Because when I was taking it here, the lines on the chair weren't doing it for me, and I was getting funny stuff behind him. It's just very cluttered. And I kind of thought, if I I changed my angle that those lines would more exaggerate a little and it was a bit of a gamble, but I wanted something a little different. And so I just put the the camera down and I just squeezed a number of frames. This is the final one that I ended up with with this moment. This photograph there was and I should have brought the others I neglected to. But this photograph I shot maybe fifteen frames, none of them were as good because the gesture just wasn't. This has got good framing, and I like the way the lines work, and and but the gesture is is what makes it if he'd just been sitting there it would have just been a guy with a cup of coffee but this this looking off this kind of you know he's kind of got this great expression on his on his face here where he's you know he's like, you know, case going I've got a bit of a googly eye going on there's there's something really lovely about that particular gesture gesture matters moments matter and you can't just go oh, this is a great five minute moment I'll just take a picture and captured you need with in that five minute moment what car cheaper so we're talking about is a decisive moment where you captured the moment that sums it up right? So if like with car cheaper somewhere, he captures this guy jumping across a puddle if you want to capture him jumping across the puddle unless you're shooting video where you could shoot the whole sequence you could shoot him before he jumps that's not really a guy jumping over a puddle that's a guy about to jump over a puddle you shoot him after he's jump well, the moment's gone and he's just a guy who happened to jump across the puddle but you don't even know that maybe he's just standing beside a puddle to get that moment you need the guy suspended over the puddle and that's I mean that's going to take some skill it's going to take some work and so again to answer the question why doesn't my picture look like that? Why didn't say the things I wanted to say? Well, perhaps it's because the camera doesn't see in and experience ten minute moments or five minutes it doesn't even experience, you know, a five second moments even if you set a shutter speed for five seconds away, it records it's gonna be very different so that's to say that we need to be your conscious that if what we're experiencing is a moment, we have to find the moment within that moment that represents the rest of the moment and that's a challenge that's one of the challenges we have to overcome and that's why photography is so hard because you can't just pick it up and go click and there it is you have to pick the moment some people are much better at it than others I am learning to recognise moments better than than I have before but it takes a long time again there's disadvantages because it could be so fast there's also strong advantages so if you want to use um like we talked about before the camera doesn't see things the way you do, you can use a long shutter speed teo create an aesthetic that you actually could never see you could never see the blurring of let's say I don't know let's pick something blurry um okay, so here's here's one you would never see blurry boats like that I mean they'd have to be really moving fast for you to see the blur but you can feel it you can experience that you can experience ah thirty second moment where you see these boats bobbing up and down well, how do you catch bobbing? Bobbing is very hard to illustrate if you'd use a sixteenth of a second a thirtieth of a second so you say, well, I want bobbing boats I need to show some motion how am I going to do that? Well, you're in luck because the camera one of the weaknesses is you you need to let in more light to explore, clamp down the aperture puts um something in front of the lens like an andy filter do whatever you have to to expand that length of time you capture and you can capture an aesthetic that you actually could never see with your eye but might better express how you feel. So if you're sitting there having a cup of white wine in this was in vernazza in italy and secretary and and you're looking at the boats bobbing and you're seeing the sun kind of sets and you starting to take these little thes frames and my man, this isn't doing what I want we're lucky because we have these tools that allow us if you've brought an andy filter if you've got a really tight aperture, uh, to create something since I put on nd filter a graduated filter um across let's see where I put it, I put it across across, right? And without it, I was over exposing this more than I wanted to, so I put a polarizer on, uh, to knock down it was a golden blue full riser, so it intense the gold color of the sunset, and then I put a grad that kind of came down from here so that along this line it's sort of this gets darker and this gets lighter. Where is before this was too dark or this was too light, so the use of things like filters and that sort of thing tricks the camera into exposing it in the kind of the way you want to gain an aesthetic that you could never do with your eyes. So again, you can whine and complain that the camera does or doesn't do a certain thing. Oh, it just doesn't capture this, or you can look att those limitations and go, how can I use this to express something that I myself could never do so again to doc about moments you can actually freeze moments that you would never see, you wouldn't ever see a drop of falling water? Just suspend itself, but because of the fast shutter speed, you can actually capture that, or you could let it go for a long time and see, you know, multiple drops kind of blur together. So it's a question of how do I feel about this? What do I want to communicate? And you can either look at the limitations, or you can look att tthe e, the aesthetic that allows you, but either way, however you look at it, you have to acknowledge that the camera has limitations. One of those limitations as an interpreter is simply that it just it does different things to time, and so you have to be aware of the moment matters. So do you use a very fast moment, and not only how fast is that moment, but which moment and then do you use a really long moment? And if you're going to use a really long moment, how does that affect the, you know, the aesthetic, and it can do some really cool things in this case, the contrast between the completely immovable pavement and the moving water, the water became very soft, the boats were kind of moving, and I think that contrast is exaggerated by the fact that this is just so solid you want to sew something in motion than putting it next to something that's completely immovable creates a stronger contrast which either enhances the fact that this is immovable or it enhances the fact that this stuff is in motion. If this concrete was moving, this would not be the same photograph. This would be a blurry picture, right? So this is what gives it the handle for the eye dick grab on to say that this is stationary. Oh, they must be moving. The whole thing was moving. They just think you're a crappy photographer, right? Or or a very experimental photographer. All right, so that's some of some of the challenges is that moments don't always translate well that we compress or expand time in the camera in a different way than we experience it. And so as a translator, you have to tell the camera what you wanted to do with time. You have to tell the camera what you wanted to do with space, because otherwise you put it on program will do its thing it's basically just kind of you're saying say this and it's it's, kind of like google translator, it comes up with an approximation, but, you know, it may not be so good like the mountain biker that were talking yesterday at the park, he has a tattoo that he got in, I think I'm getting this right in chinese that says, um uh, what did se said warrior scholar, warrior scholar was what his tattoo translated us, but in chinese, if I get that the story right, it didn't translate his warrior scholar it translated as student athlete, same kind of words, very different concept warrior scholar, student athletes. So the question is, do you want to have control over how nuanced your visual communication is? If you understand what the limitations of the camera are, you will be better able to tell it translate my intention this way rather than just set it to pee and go to tea and hope one of them actually says something because these air these are important issues. If you're trying to say this, your translator and less your translator does it well, your translator is going to say something very different. So how how close do you want the one to come to the other makes sense. Okay, why don't we take a quick second? See if there's any twitter feed back and then we're going to go into ah, a couple more on the same issue. There is a ton of questions tunnel let's, go to the inn. We're gonna take a technical break. Okay, so we're back couple battery changes. We're good to go. We were approaching lunchtime, so what we're gonna do is we're gonna ask a couple of answer a couple questions from twitter then we're going to break and we're gonna come back and now I'm kind of resume the conversation where we left off. I did want to say that if you have not read the war of art, you need to put that on your list don't get confused for the art of war. It's a very different book. You'll get different things out of it, but steven press feels war of art is profoundly important reading for creatives and strongly suggest that you get that read it. So, um, questions from the twitter sphere questions from the internet um, a lot of people are requesting that you include the info on your photos so they can see how you were shooting them trade secrets I would never tell. So that's been that's been a steady requests and a lot of people have been asking about model releases, especially when there is multiple people in the crowd um and also pictures for your book. Yeah, I'm gonna leave the model release question I think one is better addressed to ah to a lawyer on dh two it's really not totally relevant to vision, but model releases kind of depends on what you intend to do with the photograph. And so, um, sometimes they use them sometimes they don't but that's a very long conversation. That's best fielded by someone who's actually got some legal expertise. A lot of people have been asking, so I just thought I would, um yeah, it's always about using thing. Next. Next. So, again, on the on the twitter feed, um, it was a question a while back. Catch me a light is wondering, do you ever walk away from a shoot without finding your vision? And does that happen less frequently? Overtime for you. It does actually thought the question was teo, I have her leave, you know, leave a shoot without finding what I was looking for finding my vision and and absolutely, I mean, there are on a small scale. I mean, I rarely come back from a trip without anything to show it for it. But as we said, that none of this is easy. I mean, it's not this is this is not something you just walk out and go. Ah ha! Look, my vision behold, and you put on the vision lens and you take a picture, sometimes you really have to wrestle this to the ground, and I think that in order for this stuff to look at a photograph that you like that really, whether anyone else likes it or not, not relevant to look at and go, I pulled it off. I love that. The fact is, we like it because it's so rare, it's it's hard to get a photograph that we really, really love if everything we point our camera was good, photograph matched our vision the way we wanted to, then it would just be a commodity that had no value. These things are valuable to us and resonate with us because we know they're hard, and sometimes you go out, you shoot and it's frustrating, and you come back and you go, I just totally, totally joe mcnally's language. I just totally screwed the pooch on that. I just did not pull it off and bad for you, bad for the pooch, right? So, my feeling on this is you wrestle with it, and even if you come back without the photograph, the fact is you've learned something more about your process. You've learned something, but how you work and how, in this case, you don't work, and then you go back and you try it again, but there have been times when I've gone out and shot, and I'm just going to miss stinks I'm not seeing it today I can't and all kinds of cool stuff could be going by another photographer could be just be on fire and you're just not having an off day this is not it's not athletics it's not just muscle memory you get up you put account I mean even athletes have bad days and I think this kind of stuff it's okay to not be inspired you could just go and work as hard as you can it's not ok to be not inspired if you're not working if you're sitting there waiting for inspiration to come then that's your fault but if you're working your butt off and you're going out and you're working hard and it's just the pieces are fitting together go have a cup of coffee, relax write something bright out yur frustrations maybe look at your stuff and ask why, you know maybe you're in a rut and you just need to go try some totally different but there's all the time you know it just the danger of course is when you let that frustrate you and you just go uh I can't do this and put your camera you gotta punch through it, go have a coffee and then try something else but don't go back and keep trying the same thing because you're still going to stink, you know if you're in a rut jump the right, try something different, put on a different lens, go to a different part of town, change your lighting, just change something and move with that, you know, steer that moving ship, but push it further and punched through his frustration gets all of us as artists we you're frustrated with down ourselves, all of us think we suck at some point, we'll look off one of these days, everyone's going to find out I'm a fraud and that I had my shot, my last good picture, and now I'm screwed and we'll have that you gotta push through it and that's where sometimes it helps to call a friend to go. I'm having a bad day, and they remind you that, in fact, you don't always suck. There are times when you suck less and buoyed by that encouragement, you go on and, you know, so we'll have another question regarding well, the question is, do you ever scout places and take dummy shots and then go back? You know, like, uh, process the information and then go back? Yeah, I mean, I think because our vision is, um, it evolves and it's dependent often, especially in travel, that kind of work that I do. I mean, I was in vera not so for several evenings over the course of a couple of weeks, seeing it from different angles, shooting it in different ways, and sometimes you shoot it at the wrong time of day, but you start to think, what would it would be like? You know, what if I shot this after the sun went down? What if I shot it while the sun was going going down? What if I brought my tripod and did longer exposures? So we'll talk a little bit later this afternoon, we'll talk about sketch images and the process that I go through because very often I will go on, I'll look at it and I'll shoot and I go, you know what? This isn't working, but I'm still learning something I'm still seeing, I'm still perceiving, and I'm thinking to myself, I'll come back and I'll try it a different way, and when I come back, I know the shot didn't work from this angle. It didn't work with this light, and so I've narrowed it down. I know potentially what might work now, and so you just you go back, but again, this is a process, this is a journey, anyone that thinks they're just going to go to a spot. Put the camera there I take the picture and move on they're kidding themselves and when they fail and when they find it frustrating going to even trust more frustrating for him because they think that everyone else does as easily we don't it's hard won it's difficult and you've got to be okay with that and you've got to be okay with giving yourself grace to fail and to pick it up another day and if it's not working for you go have a glass of wine enjoy the moment the biggest failure would be doing in a place like this too not only take bad photographs but to be so preoccupied by the fact that you've taken bad photographs that you don't enjoy the place you're in you're not enjoying the place you're in because this is meant to enhance your enjoyment, not rob you of it so if you're having a bad day you know what put the camera in your bag, have a glass of wine and just enjoy it because ultimately these are meant to preserve our memories, not prevent us from gaining those memories so you know don't let it get in the way of life you just moved from coffee to wine so yes well, you know how frustrating it was melting started with t I have an americano then it was straight to double espresso and then I was onto a bottle of wine so, um, one more and then we're gonna break for lunch. Then we're gonna move on greater than any in the audience or from twitter. This is more of a process question in a way, not about model releases. But you talked about one of your favorite of recent photographs is the the man that you showed us, um, sipping is his drink. And are you asking people, um, to take permission? This is a very common question. Or do you just take the photo? Do you make any kind of visual clues with this guy? Or then are you losing? I think this situation depends from, you know, from context to context, from moment to moment. I certainly don't do sneaky shots. When I was doing this, my intention was not to hide the camera. I mean, I was as you could tell, I was sitting right near him and I had been taking photographs of the group, and I was I was shooting very man, I was looking at him and I was shooting, but he was okay. Um, so technical issue, um, so in answer to the kwai don't know when we dropped it, but the question was do I do I interact and ask for permission? And sometimes I do and sometimes they don't I mean, my guiding principle is respect and and uh honoring the people that I'm photographing sometimes interrupting them on what is essentially a candid moment is frankly disrespectful I mean, he's having a meal with his wife and now if I wanted a portrait, then I of course I would I'm not gonna walk up, sit beside him at his table and start taking us his portrait, but this to my way of thinking is more candid moment and I wouldn't hide it I don't do the hip shot where you know would pretend that looking somewhere else I was very open about it, but in this case he was enjoying a cup of tea coffee before that he was kind of smoking a cigarette talking his wife so it was in order to sort of preserve the moment I just took a candid shot so the contacts dictates whether I but when I do portrait kind of work, I will all interact as much as I can I'll buy something from a fruit person stand, but again it depends on your intention for the image is this this is because they really this conversation not about logistics is about intention, so to bring it back on track if your intentions for candid photograph the less you affect that scenario with the better if you go in and you say, may I take your picture? Well, you're not going to get this photograph because he's now become very conscious. Well, I don't this guy's going to do this, but he's, probably going toe, you know, going to be very suddenly he's going to be reserved in the mask goes up and you don't get a more honest moment, so sometimes you ask, sometimes you don't. But for me, the principal is, are you are you intentionally concealing it and being deceptive? Are you honoring the person? You know, I would not have created a photograph that caught him picking his nose or whatever, because I mean, yeah, great moment, but also not honoring this person especially, you know, in a in a context where you're teaching other people about honoring cultures and stuff to then go, oh, I'm going to get this picture of the italian man picking his nose so that that would be my answer to that question is the principal guides me more than a step by step kind of set of rules.