Monday, March 30, 2009

Worried Artists-- or my first Rant

Is it just me, or are photographers as a whole the most insecure artists in the world?

This is something I see play out over and over again on photography forums, newsgroups, blogs, across the internet.

Hornet's nest, pretending to be a mountain

People get downright indignant when they show a good picture and are told "they must have a nice camera." True, the gear doesn't make the picture, and this particular comment used to bother me too (to be completely honest, it really pissed me off), but when you think about it people making such comments are simply looking for a way to compliment the photographer's image -- but don't understand the best way to put it into words. They don't necessarily "get" all of photography, and instead hone in on the icon of the artform, the camera. I also found the better I get the less this comment bothers me anyway. Besides, some of my coolest photos are "accidents", that I simply put myself in a position to make-- can I really take full credit for those?

Inside of Hornet's nest

I have also seen really creative photographs get blasted because someone decided they "aren't really photographs." I'm not sure what they mean by that. My guess is it means something like "you made something that I don't understand, therefore it can't possibly be a photo." My personal thoughts are, if the image could not have been created without capturing the effect of actual light from a scene then its a photograph (a light drawing). Photography isn't "pure", it isn't "real", it is a reflection. If you want reality, you need to observe it with your own two eyes. That being said, I prefer to do as little to my photographs as possible. But that is a preference, it does not define what photography is for me. In fact, I find the whole notion to define what is and what is not photography, in this context, rather silly.

It doesn't matter what you are using... digital capture, film, shoe-flashes, studio lights, sun, moon, candle, no post-production (digital OR darkroom), tons of post-production, or what have you... just do it!

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