Monday, October 4, 2010

Photography Pholly

Photographers, camera-wielding people of the world, we need to have a talk. I understand that there is a need within many people to create art, and I am no exception. Whenever I write, I feel fulfilled, like I’m chipping away at a monolith of marble to reveal the figure captured by my mind’s eye. The need to write is right up there with food and shelter. Creation of art is a worthy pursuit from which I could never in good conscience dissuade anyone…

But let’s be realistic.

Let this thought set the tone for the rest of this post: taking black and white photos of flowers with a DSLR does not make you a photographer. What separates photographers from people who take photos? Technical skill, knowledge of how to properly use equipment, and perhaps most important of all, an eye for the art. I know I’ll never be a photographer, or even anyone who is decent at taking photos. Why? Because I don’t have an eye for photography. Photos I take tend to turn out crappy or mediocre, and though I’m sure there are ways I could make improvements, they will only be marginal. Seeing as this is the case, I know full well that I should just stick to writing.

A constant source of annoyance for me is seeing someone I know take an interest in photography, instantly label themselves as a professional photographer, and start pimping out their new business: [insert last name here] Photography. Please be realistic. If you’re going to try to make a living out of this, at least put yourself in a position to do so. Read up on technical details, ask people (not friends) for honest feedback on your work, and get the right equipment. Blurry, noisy 1024x768 photos of baby nieces and nephews taken with a three-megapixel point-and-shoot with a smudgy lens are not going to cut it.

As I said before, I would never discourage anyone from creating art, and if it satisfies your needs, then by all means please continue to do so. Please follow your dreams, because you never know whose art will be recognized as something exceptional. If you just try, you have at least a small chance of success, but if you never even put forth the effort, then your chances of success are those of a fart in a windstorm.

Is this post going to keep any of you out there from snapping sepia-toned pictures of your pets? No. Does this post make me seem like a person who understands the plight of the amateur photographer, set adrift upon the deluge of like-minded photography enthusiasts who have flooded the professional photography market with their entrepreneurial ambition? Not at all. Does this post make me feel better about denying requests on Facebook to “like” three new photography businesses per day? Absolutely.

12 comments:

Barefoot Mommy said...

I agree. :)
I purchased a DSLR at the same time as a few of my friends about 8 months ago..two of them have already started photography businesses. If I were to be completely honest, they're relying on auto modes and their editing skills to make their photography great. Maybe it's because I'm not crazy into editing, but I'd rather make the photograph be able to stand alone and THEN learn about the editing. The way I see it though, time will tell which really have the skill to be a photographer and the rest will slowly fade out.

Sandman Moon said...

Ha ha! Augustin, this post is HILARIOUS! See, that's why I'm just sticking to my crappy cell phone camera. Then when a picture does come out nice, I can just say, "Wow, not bad for a cell phone camera, eh?" You won't see me investing in a $700 camera anytime soon!

Shark said...

Agreed with Sandman, this post is hysterical!

My dad's a photographer/cameraman, and my siblings and I grew up around cameras. I know exactly what you mean about getting asked my opinion on sepia-tone pet shots when you know there's much better out there.

Photography is hard work. Even though the technology has come a long way, and made it much easier to snap a snapshot, that's all it is. A snapshot. Lighting, zooms, FPS, all that stuff makes a huge difference, even before you get to things like composition and framing. My dad struggles when he's on vacation to take just snapshots and not 'photography.'

I think of the 200+ shots I took while I was in Ireland, only one of them is really a "photograph," and it was more luck than anything else.

Show Me Mama said...

I am your new follower. You can follow me back at http://showmemama.blogspot.com. Make sure you leave a comment so I know you visited.

Have a great weekend
ShowMeMama

Heavenly Savings said...

Cute Blog! I’m a new follower Happy Tuesday!! I would love for you to stop and take a look at my blog as well! Thanks!
http://heavenlysavings.blogspot.com

K said...

As an event planner...especially one who's done her share of weddings, I can completely relate to this post. I once got into it with a photographer who was flat out ignoring what our mutual clients wanted. "But I'm the photographer!" he stated. "No, you're a hack with a camera and Photoshop." was my retort.

New follower from some random blog hop.

~K
bigklittlea.blogspot.com

Minima Sapala said...

The impact of Photoshop on our society is an interesting concept; we're allowed to alter our perceptions even more if they make us uncomfortable.

Hm. I need to think on this.

Anna said...

Hi! I found you blog through the Tuesday Tag Along. I am your newest follower! Anna @ www.livinghealthyonabudget.blogspot.com

tips4green said...

Hi there! I am a new follower, please stop on by! Thanks so much and have a wonderful evening!!
Alissia
http://tips4green.blogspot.com

tips4green said...

I am following you now. I think I must have had something funky go wrong with gfc or something. Hmm? Anyway, thanks for letting me know. Great blog!! Have a wonderful day!
Alissia
Tips 4 Green

Sandman Moon said...

Eagerly awaiting your next post! Especially because you're our Write Club Spotlight this month! ; )

Michelle said...

Here from Tuesday Tagalong:) Have a beautiful day!
Michelle
http://nmgills.blogspot.com/