Review: 2013 Photographer’s Market, edited by Mary Burzlaff Bostic

2013 Photographer’s Market, edited by Mary Burzlaff Bostic

The 2013 Photographer’s Market bills itself as “Everything You Need to Find Buyers for Your Photos.” By its nature, dust jacket copy tends toward the hyperbolic, but this is one instance in which they’ve got it about 98% right.

For years, I bought and used the Writer’s Market series of books, so I already had a fair idea of what to expect even before cracking open my copy of the Photographer’s Market. It’s thick — nearly the same size that phone books used to be back when people still used them — and packed to the rafters with information.* In addition to the listings of consumer and trade publications, submission requirements, and contact information that’ve been this series’ stock in trade since it started, there are also interviews with industry insiders, plus information on galleries, art fairs, contests, workshops, and agents/representatives.

The yearly updates ensure that what’s there is up to date. The other advantage is that, like the companion volumes put out every year for writers, illustrators, and others, a great deal of time and thought is put into where the industry is, and where it’s going. The upside — a pretty big one, as it turns out — is that you’re not stuck with a publication that assumes that photojournalism and editorial are thriving right now. The authors don’t just acknowledge that photography has changed significantly, but they’ve also laid out a number of tools, resources, and strategies to keep photographers up to speed on the current state of the market. There are segments dealing with everything from running and marketing your photo business to maintaining a healthy life-work balance. On top of all that, the print edition comes with a free 1-year subscription to (e-reader users are left out in the cold on that last bit).

There’s enough here that anyone — whether you’re looking to keep a professional photography business going, or just to make a few bucks on the side — should find something they can use. I’d especially recommend this book to people who’ve just bought an SLR and are now calling themselves “professionals” because they’ve gotten a few bucks here and there for head shots, or doing a wedding on the cheap. Even a cursory read of this book should be enough to let you know that there’s much more than that to being a professional photographer. For some people, no doubt, that’s going to be a discouraging prospect. For the rest of you, it’s a good thing, since if you’re willing to put in the work, there’s plenty here to get you off on the right foot.

Way back in the first ‘graf, I mentioned that the jacket copy got it about 98% right. So where’s that other couple of percentage points? Well, by its nature, a book like this can’t go into a great deal of depth on any one thing. If you’re new to making money at your photography, it’d be in your best interest to take one or more topics that this book only scratches the surface of, and doing further reading and research to build your skills and knowledge. That might mean picking up a good introduction to photography technique if you’re literally just starting with a camera, but if you’ve been shooting for a while, it’ll mean checking out other, more specialized books on the business (like David duChemin’s VisionMongers: Making a Life and a Living in Photography) or legal (like Edward Greenberg’s Photographer’s Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age) aspects of photography. But as a starting point — and as a comprehensive single-volume reference — I can’t think of another book that does what this one does, or that handles the job quite this well.

*Yes, I know books don’t have rafters. It’s a figure of speech, dammit.

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Courtesy for Photographers (A Primer)

She went thattaway.

Mean people suck. So do rude people. Mean, rude photographers, needless to say, also suck, and what’s worse is that they give those of us who mind our manners a bad name. There’s a lot to be said about the ethics of photography (several posts’ worth, actually), but it’s worthwhile to consider a few bits of photographic common courtesy. Especially since “common courtesy” doesn’t seem to be so common nowadays. So here are a few common-sense rules for photographic common courtesy.

1. Be mindful of your surroundings. This can take any number of forms. Sometimes, it’s knowing the rules or customs where you’re shooting (especially if you’re shooting in a place where the culture is much different than the one from which you came), and finding someone who can act as your interpreter/guide/educator if you’re unfamiliar with the area. It’s also knowing, or getting to know, the people; realize that your camera doesn’t confer on you some form of King- or Queen-ship (they’re people, not just your “subjects”). Some things — whether you’re photographing a parade, or shooting in a cemetery — require an awareness of the other people who are/might be present, and some basic respect for their space and feelings. Finally, don’t be a typical tourist or the “Ugly American” (regardless of your nationality).

2. Be mindful of other photographers. One other reason (among several) that I’ve never wanted to be a wedding photographer is because I can just imagine the havoc that 60 people taking flash photos must raise when you’re trying to capture that once-in-a-lifetime shot. What’s even worse are times when I’ve seen people casting dirty looks in the photographer’s general direction as though she’s in the way. Here’s a tip: unless someone in the wedding party has paid or asked you to photograph or film the proceedings, give the photographer a wide berth, and let him/her do the job for which they were paid.

3. Please, don’t be an ass. I’ve said this before, but it bears/needs repeating. It’s one thing to try, gently, to coax a smile out of a subject; it’s something else to resort to conniving, deceit, or other forms of fuckery. Don’t ever be a jerk just for the sake of getting a photo. You’re ruining it for the rest of us, and making it that much harder to get honest photos out of people who will probably be on their guard all because, y’know, you’re an auteur. Or something.

4. Don’t brag on your gear. Yes, we all know you spent a mint on your camera. And maybe the person next to you is shooting with a TLR that’s older than your grandma. That doesn’t mean that you’re a better photographer, and it sure as hell doesn’t mean that you’re entitled to get all high and mighty over what’s in your camera bag (“Oh, a D40. How quaint. When were you going to upgrade?”). At that point, you’re not a photographer, you’re just a camera collector, and an obnoxious one at that.

5. Know when to put the camera down. Some things are meant to be experienced directly, without being mediated through a viewfinder and a stack of ground glass. I can understand the desire to want to document things (I’m a photographer too, after all), but sometimes the best document of something is the warmth you feel when you look back on something, the goosebumps, the stories… There’s nothing wrong with telling someone, “You just had to be there.” But if you’re going to be there, then sometimes you’ve just got to be there, and be fully present.

Have you come across any bad behavior recently? What are your pet peeves regarding your fellow photographers?

Rule 50: Learn Some Theory

I’ve toyed with this post on and off for a while now, and I’m finally going to bite the bullet and just write the darn thing. The short version? By whatever means you can — websites, books, college, osmosis — learn yourself some artistic and photographic theory.

Since I can’t very well just leave it at that, let me elaborate.

There are a couple of acknowledged classics in the field, such as Susan Sontag’s On Photography, and Roland Barthes’ Camera Lucida, but the theoretical framework for photography exists from the medium’s earliest days. Some of this theory concerns itself with ground that’s already been trodden by other arts (you can recycle the philosophical questions around esthetics, for instance, ’til you’re blue in the face), while in other cases there’s more of a concern with how the photographer finds meaning in a subject, or how the resultant photo conveys meaning (or fails to). The one unifying thread through the 150-odd years of theory that’s out there is a desire to make sense of the inner workings of photography, and it doesn’t show any signs of abating as time goes on, since the advent of digital has only added not only more photos, but also more writing about them, into the mix.

So what’s the use of all this theory, anyway? For one thing, it gives us a different lens through which to view and interpret what the medium is about, and is capable of doing. In some ways it also fulfills the same role that literary theory does for the written word. Just the same as we can shoehorn language into stuff as mundane as shopping lists and as sublime as, say, Pablo Neruda, so too can photography be approached in as quotidian or as ambitious a way as you’d like. Reading Barthes, the Adamses (Ansel and/or Robert), Rowell or Sontag will not make you a better photographer any more than watching “This Old House” will make you a better carpenter, but using either of those things as starting points and incorporating them into your practice can lead to a different (and sometimes even better) understanding both of what you’re doing, and why you do it.

In closing, however, let me add two very big caveats, in flashing neon lights if necessary:  Let me add to that the thought that the role of theory and the theoretician should be similar to that of the critic and their criticism; that is to say, theory, like criticism, is only useful insofar as it furthers your understanding of something. If what you’ve read only serves to confuse you, or to muddy the waters, you have two options: come back when your practice has taken you further (to see if the theory makes more sense, or holds more water, in light of what you’ve experienced), or decide that maybe that particular bit of reasoning just doesn’t resonate for you, and that there’s nothing wrong with that. Second, and even more important, don’t — and I mean do not ever — allow theory to be a substitute for practice. All that theory, all the philosophizing and philosophy and rules and regulations, has its uses, to be sure, but it also has its limitations. Theory can only explain so much, beyond which point it falls (or should fall) silent.

Interested in learning more? (Photography and Theory) is a conference, now in its second year, that covers… well, you’d probably already figured that bit out, hadn’t you. The Photograph In Theory is an article by Elizabeth Chaplin that covers not only photographic theory, but also where it can intersect with the practice of other disciplines (e.g., sociology)… and there’s quite a bit more out there, if you’re so inclined.

Beyond Photography: Joe Strummer at 60

Joe Strummer by Joe Kerrigan (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Joe Strummer — guitarist, lyricist, provocateur, one-time Clash frontman and the guiding force behind the 101er’s, Latino Rockabilly War and Mescaleros — would’ve been sixty years old today. As I write this, with Strummer and the Mescaleros’ “Global A Go-Go” blasting through the speakers, and I’m reminded of an old saying: “It’s not where you take it from. It’s where you take it to that counts.”

“Big Youth booming in Jakarta, Nina Simone over Sierra Leone, big sound of Joujouka in Nevada, and everywhere, everywhere Bob’s bringing it all back home…”

Joe struck me as something of a magpie, taking a little of everything from a little of everybody. However, it was where he took it — that stew of musical influences, passion, politics, and humanity — that made, and makes, his music worth listening to. It also ensured that Strummer was never “just” a punk, some kind of one-note joke or one-chord wonder. Sure, his earliest recorded work (available on the 101’ers Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited*) has a ragged proto-punk intensity, and early Clash material like “White Riot” and “London’s Burning” had all the venom, fury, and irresistable force that the Pistols had. But from Strummer’s earliest days, the worldview and the music were so much more, and so much wider. You can hear it on the covers (“I Fought the Law,” “Pressure Drop,” “Armagideon Time,” and “Redemption Song”), the originals like “(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais” and “Get Down Moses” that name-checked and musically referenced everybody from Bo Diddley, Johnny Cash and the Mighty Sparrow to the Skatalites and Baaba Maal.

Anyway, it’s good to be sent back to the underground. There’s always a good side to bad things and the good side to this is that at least everyone has to go back down.

Of course, it wasn’t all ups. When the Clash dissolved in 1984, Strummer was at loose ends. During these “wilderness years,” he’d release Earthquake Weather,* a mixed bag that drew decidedly mixed reviews. His soundtrack for Jim Jarmusch’s Walker* fared better critically and artistically (the juxtaposition of the jaunty “Filibustero” over the movie’s violent opening scene is a stroke of genius), but he’d essentially dropped off the radar, taking stray acting gigs, scoring small indie films, and even joining the Pogues to fill in for a wayward Shane MacGowan. All that would change in the early 1990’s when Strummer formed the Mescaleros, a band that would, over the course of three albums (Rock Art & the X-Ray Style,* Global a Go-Go,* and the posthumously released Streetcore*), alternately build upon his roots, and branch out in new directions. He never quite recovered a Clash level of fame and reknown (indeed, one scene in Dick Rude’s Let’s Rock Again shows Joe handing out flyers and busking on the Atlantic City boardwalk). But his later career was, I’d argue, every bit as important as his earlier work, and has aged gracefully in ways that, say, the Pistols and Buzzcocks reunions didn’t.

So what do I take from Strummer’s work, and why am I bothering to write all this? For starters, if you’re going to pursue your craft, do it as though it matters, even if you’re the only one to whom it matters for now. For another, wherever it takes you  — the ups and downs and then the ups again — handle it with as much grace and humor as you can muster, but also with no small measure of gratitude.

Welcome stranger to the humble neighborhoods / You can get inspiration along the highroad

Above all, though, approach your craft wide open. Eyes, ears, heart, the whole lot of it. Our work, whatever it may be, doesn’t exist only in our minds. The act of creating something puts it out into the world, and also — even if it’s only in a small way — acts on the world. In some way, then, we need to acknowledge that the world exists, and acknowledge the people who’ve shaped it and with whom we hopefully engage. We’re confronted every day with something, or someone, new. Whether it’s our neighbors, or what comes out of their stereos, their ideas, or their way of life, they present us with a choice. We can stop to learn from them, or run in the other direction with our eyes shut and hands clamped over our ears to drown them out. But of course, if we do that, we cut ourselves off from a give-and-take that could otherwise have expanded our options, our understanding, and ultimately ourselves… all of which is to say that the world doesn’t stop with us, and so our art and craft shouldn’t, either.

Joe Strummer passed away on 22 December, 2002. This December, in other words, will mark a decade that he’s been gone. It seems a lot more fitting, however, to celebrate his birth and all that he brought with him into the world, along with all that he left behind. Rest easy, Joe.


On the Web: Joe’s legacy lives on via Strummerville, the Joe Strummer Foundation for New Music. You can find out more about it (and hear from a ton of bands and solo artists I expect we’ll probably hear a lot more from in years ahead) right here:

Audio: Any of the Clash’s albums are worth having, even the sprawling wreck that is Sandinista!* (my personal favorite). If you have to start somewhere, I’d suggest either The Clash (US Version)* or London Calling*. Yes, there are collections (like the excellent Clash on Broadway*), but the albums have a power and cohesiveness that you’d miss if you just listened to the singles. When it comes to Joe’s post-Clash output, his work with the Mescaleros is far better than his work on Earthquake Weather, while the Walker soundtrack is a bird of an altogether different feather. You can get the Mescaleros stuff in order (linked above) or all at once (on Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros: The Hellcat Years*, just released on MP3 today as it happens) but bear in mind that as band members dropped in and out, the group’s sound changed markedly from one album to the next.

Print: Two books are essential if you want to learn more about Joe and the Clash in depth. Marcus Grey’s The Clash: Return of the Last Gang in Town* has been revised several times and covers the history of the Clash with detours into the members’ lives after the band broke up, while Chris Salewicz’s Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer* is a revealing portrait of Joe before, during, and after his time with the band. There’ve been other books written about both the band and the man, but none that I’ve read were as good as these.

Video: Finally, there are several films about both the Clash and Joe. For the former, check out Don Letts’ The Clash – Westway to the World* For the latter, there’s Dick Rude’s Let’s Rock Again* and Julian Temple’s The Future Is Unwritten*, which feature archival footage of Strummer, alongside interviews with bandmates, friends, and those he influenced.

It’s time to take the humanity back into the center of the ring and follow that for a time. Greed, it ain’t going anywhere. They should have that in a big billboard across Times Square. Without people you’re nothing.

Links with an asterisk (*) are Amazon affiliate links that help support The First 10,000. Links to song titles go to YouTube videos. The Strummerville link goes to Strummerville.


Rule 49: Concerning the Proper Way To Eat an Elephant

Twice in a Blue Moon

In case you’re wondering about the title (and whether or not I’ve taken leave of my senses), it’s from an old riddle. “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

If you’re just starting out on the photographer’s path, it can be awfully intimidating, what with all the stuff you have to learn. Shutter speed, aperture, ISO, exposure, composition, the Rule of Thirds, lighting, Sunny 16… I’m reminded of a bit from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life, where Michael Palin’s preacher solemnly intones, “Oh Lord, ooh you are so big…” Substitute “photography” for “Lord” in the preceding phrase, and you start to get an idea of the problem. Photography is so big. So absolutely huge. Gosh, we’re all really impressed down here I can tell you.

Ahem. Sorry. Got carried away there. Where was I? Oh, yeah, photography.

So anyway, there’s no getting around the fact that photography is really freakin’ large. Lots of moving parts. Many things to learn. And with something, anything, of that size, there comes the temptation from time to time to just throw up your hands and say to hell with it, ’cause there’s just no way you’re going to learn all that stuff all at once.

Easy there. Nobody said you had to. Best of all, there’s no prescribed (or proscribed) order in which all this stuff needs to be learned. You can be as systematic or as haphazard as you’d like. You can invent your own learning system, set your own learning curve… or you can just pick up a camera one day and start shooting, gradually working your way through options and menus ’til you know the thing like the back of your hand (then buy a new camera and start all over again). Or you can shoot ’til you realize there’s something missing, something you’d really like to do, and figure out how to do that thing, moving from thing to thing as you need to, one side effect of which is that there are things you’ll have no idea how to do, but the things you do, if you’re diligent, you’ll do really, really well.

But above all, remind yourself that nobody learns anything — photography, knitting, playing the bagpipes — all at once. Just the same as you can’t swallow an elephant whole*, you cannot reasonably expect to master the whole of your craft in one fell swoop (and if you have, or think you have, congratulations; you’re doing it wrong.) Take it one step — one setting, one shot — at a time. Your photos will be better for it, as will your skills. And there’s less risk of indigestion.**

*Unless you’re a boa constrictor

**I hear elephant repeats pretty badly.

A Small Rant (Don’t Touch That Dial!)

I feel like I should be stepping into some kind of photographic confessional typing this. Come to think of it, I wonder if anybody’s done that? They’ve converted churches into other things, why not repurpose an old camera shop as a church, with photo booths as confessionals?

Ahem. Sorry. My mind’s off on a tangent. Let’s focus. Where were we? Oh, yes. Confessions. So here’s mine: I have shot in program mode. And sometimes — quelle horreur! — in full automatic. I have even been known, albeit rarely, to utilize my camera’s Scene modes. Forgive me, for I have sinned.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “Why all the wailing and gnashing of teeth? And could you please warn me if you decide to move on to rending of garments, that I may avert my eyes?” Alright, probably you weren’t, but play along for a minute.

The reason is this: I recently overheard someone declaring that so-and-so “only” shoots in Program, right down to shooting a wedding that way. As in, “That simpleton doesn’t use Manual, and ergo, is not a real photographer.”

I don’t know if writers get worked up over crap like this. I’ve never heard a writer declare that someone’s work was better or worse because it was written in longhand with a quill pen, or with a manual typewriter, or on a computer running Linux. I’ve never eaten a delicious meal and thought to ask about the pots, or looked at a painting and worked myself into a lather wondering whether the brushes were made of badger hair or nylon. And yet, for some reason, I’m supposed to look at photographs as though the settings used say anything about the quality of the photo, much less the quality of the photographer? Are you flippin’ kidding me?

Don’t get me wrong; if you’re buying a camera that gives you that degree of control, stretch out. Try it. The creative possibilities that open up for you by learning how to use your aperture and your shutter speed, by being able to throw ISO and exposure compensation into the mix, are vast. You’ll be able to do things with your camera that you may not have believed possible (or that you knew were possible, but weren’t quite sure how to do). But you are not a lesser photographer if the camera’s not set to A, S, or M.

And if you’re a photographer, try this on for size: the next time you see someone shooting in a mode of which you disapprove (and yes, you really are being as silly as I made that sound), instead of passing judgment and sniggering behind your counterpart’s back, you might consider asking them why they shoot the way they do. It could be someone’s first day with the new camera, in which case you probably have something to offer them; they may be experienced, but find themselves coming up short in some situations and they’d rather not miss the shot; they may also have been shooting longer than you have, and might rather put more thought into composition than settings just then. Don’t assume, ask. Barring that, leave the judgment to yourself, lest ye be judged… and I say that secure in the knowledge that each of our portfolios — yours, mine, and anyone else’s — is the artistic equivalent of a glass house. You may show your best work, but we’ve all got plenty of stinkers buried on (or quickly deleted from) our memory cards and hard drives. And some of them were taken, no doubt, in Manual mode.

Well. I feel better now. Question is, what do you think?

What’s My Motivation?

I read a post a couple of months ago called “Why Photography?” by Steve Coleman. The same day, Brian Miller had a post up called “Why Make Photographs?”

If it came from a non-photographer, it would’ve drawn the same response that I get when someone tells me they don’t like to read, or that they “just don’t like the taste of food.”* In short: WTF? But these weren’t non-photographers. Maybe it was something in the water?

At any rate, the same question, posed the same day, by two photographers whose work I respect and enjoy got me to thinking (and thinking; as you can see, it’s two months later, and the question’s still very much on my mind). You may have asked yourself that question as well, with the inflection changing depending on your mood. If you’re not yet a photographer, or just getting started, the question comes out, “Why make Photographs?” or “Why Photography?” As in, “Why this thing, and not some other?” How come I’m a photographer and not, say, a bassist (easy — no hand/eye coordination to speak of), singer (can’t carry a tune in a bucket) or painter (the less said about that, the better)? I could probably have stuck with bass, or found a vocal coach, or gone to art school, but I didn’t. I did, however, pick up a camera, and found it very difficult to put it down. Sometimes you find your medium, or maybe you just meet it halfway. But if it speaks to you — and allows you to speak through it — it’s hard to ignore that.

So then you’ve done this photography thing for a bit, and you like it enough to do more than take snapshots. The question then becomes, “Why Make Photos?” Somewhere along the line, the relationship has deepened and you’ve decided that you and the camera are more than just friends. You start to move beyond the ability of the camera to simply document, and you decide that maybe you’d like to try using it to interact with, or respond to, not only what’s in front of you, but also what’s starting to show itself in your mind’s eye. There’s an old expression that when you’ve got a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. Well, spend enough time behind the camera, and if you really throw yourself into it — you really start to look deeply at things, really start seeing — before too long, everything starts to look like a photograph.

Then you hit a wall. Sometimes it’s after a bad day of shooting, or a bad month (or more), where it seems like the inspiration’s gone and the world’s gone flat. Now all of a sudden, the question is “Why Make Photos?” or “Why Photography?” (whereupon you may shake your fist at the sky, your camera, or both). It happens (or it will, if it hasn’t yet; trust me on this). When it does, it’s helpful to revisit those first two versions of the questions. Revisit your motivation, revisit your joy, revisit doing the work just for the sake of it. The frustration will pass, will turn on a dime or a shadow or an interesting bit of geometry or eye-popping color.

Of course, your mileage may vary. What I’ve written about is my experience, and yours (the experience, the motivation, and all that goes with it) could well be very different than mine. And that’s okay. I could also quote at length from both of the essays mentioned above, but I won’t. Read them — and quite a bit else on both Steve and Brian’s blogs — for yourself. It’ll be time well-spent. And in the meantime, what about you? Why do you make photographs?

*Someone actually said this to me once, and I’m still agog over it.

World Photography Day 2012

A quick post today, just a little something that I wanted you to know about. August 19, 2012 is World Photography Day. It’s not a holiday (yet)… just a day for photographers to get together and document their respective worlds. It’s a humble idea that’s gotten to be pretty big; it launched in 2009, and it’s mushroomed to involve photographers from 150 countries in the few years since.

Their mission is a simple one: Our mission is to unite photographers across the globe to remember the history of photography, celebrate the present and discover the future.

So, in that spirit, get out with your camera on August 19 and celebrate!

The World Photography Day website:

On Facebook:!/worldphotoday

On Twitter:

Rule 48: Be Glad For Your Ignorance

At a glance, that probably sounds like the most counterintuitive advice you’ve ever gotten. After all, we have it drilled into our heads constantly that knowledge is power. And as someone who seeks to spread knowledge and understanding about photography, even if it’s only in a small way, you’d think I’d be the last person to advocate for knowing less. But let’s go beyond the title, and the negative connotations of the word, for a moment.

In its most basic sense, ignorance is simply not-knowing. That lack of knowledge isn’t something to wear like a badge of honor, but it’s a necessary part of the process, something that’s worth honoring and putting to good use. As long as it’s a point of departure, it’s a phenomenal tool for growth and something worth having around if you plan to get any better at what you’re doing, whatever that may be.

Stripped of our ignorance, we’re stuck. We have nothing new to learn, nothing new to see, and nothing new to say. Think about it: some of the worst of what we’ve done, whether they were wars, race hatred, religious extremism, blinkered political systems, or any of the other myriad forms of hurt, hatred and stupidity of which we’re capable, came about because we “knew” something. We knew better than someone, or knew we were better than them.

What do we have to show for our ignorance? Landings on the Moon and Mars, the exploration of the depths of the sea, decoding the human genome, better understanding of our own minds and bodies… we’ve accumulated a vast wealth of knowledge, the net effect of which has been to further illuminate the depths of our ignorance, which in turn spurs us on just a little bit farther.

What we “know” as artists doesn’t turn us into genocidal maniacs, obviously. But it arrests us, stunts our growth as people and as artists. Knowing something, we put it off to one side; it loses its appeal and some part of its importance. It’s barely worth our attention, much less our continued effort. So ignorance (whether we’re calling it that, or giving it some other name like Zen does with Beginner’s Mind) is vital to our progress, our growth, and our joy.

If we can forget what we know — or begin to realize all that we don’t yet know — we have something to work toward.  We don’t know it all. We don’t even know all of a little bit of much of anything, come to think of it. And we should probably be glad for that, because as long as it’s true, there’ll always be something new to learn, and some new surprise, awaiting us at each stage of our learning and putting what we’ve learned into practice.