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Machines - A World Wide Panorama

June 13-23, 2013
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Introduction

The June 2013 event on the theme of “Machines” has 73 panoramas. Photography was done between June 13 and 23, and the long-term events “Culture” and “Forests” were open for new contributions at the same time.

Theme Essay: Machines

The essay conveys the team’s idea of the event. It is usually published together with the Theme announcement and offers a starting point for the contributing photographers.

Machines

by Andrew

Experienced WWP teammates will remember WWP events such as Energy and Transportation, where machines took part. Now, years later, we are focused completely on these things.

We find machines everywhere, both indoors (washing machine, vacuum cleaner, sewing machine) and outdoors (vehicles, cranes, funiculars, garden pumps). Some kinds of machines have been around for centuries or even millennia, for example windmills, shadoofs, rickshaws, or honey extractors. Many continue to look and work as they always have, while others have changed their appearance and locations. Some machines are ready for retirement into museums and collections, and it is possible to find them only in backwater districts – milk separators, jukeboxes, and so on.

Some machines become TV stars; the Discovery Channel has devoted popular serials to X-machines (machines designed for extreme loads and tasks) and to machines designed by Leonardo Da Vinci but never before realized. Other machines change the urban skyline, making it easy to distinguish a harbour from an amusement park, or a shipyard from a construction site.

Where is the line of demarkation between tools and machines? Why does the dictionary consider a shovel as a tool rather than a machine? When a machine consists of mechanisms, where is the distinction? Can a mechanism be a machine or does a machine consist of two or more mechanisms?

In most cases, the mechanisms of machines hide under a shell, so the panographer has to find the right point of view. The photographer may choose to capture a ‘decisive moment’; the point when a human ‘feeds’ the machine – fills it with fuel or other consumables – or repairs it, for example. Perhaps the decisive moment would be an action produced by a machine, such as opening a bridge. Alternatively, could you capture something imaginary or impossible, such as a Turing or a perpetual motion machine?

Be creative, try to shoot a panorama that’s never seen before. It could be waiting for you right next door!

 
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