How to offend photographers.
On many occasions very skilled photographers both amateurs and/or professionals receive this type of statements.
But I wonder how many times a great chef regardless if he is an amateur of professional gets told, what a superb cake, you must have a very good bowl and spoon?
Listen up all, your intentions might be good but it often makes the photographer feel squeamish since it’s hard to protest with someone who are indirectly saying they like our photos.
But please don’t do it, if you want to discuss photography and/or gear then start with reading up on it, just read anything, anything what so ever about photography.
Then you will at the very minimum at least know what you talk about before making erroneous statements which presents both yourself (as being ignorant) and the photographer (as being substandard) in a bad light.
I admit people often do not know better, it is often-times down to lack of knowledge when people make these types of statements. Many are misled through our modern “consumer society” where biased sources intentionally try to generate greater sales and/or to promote certain brands over others…
Take latest case is a recent drive by Nikon where they blatantly state “A photographer is only as good as the equipment he uses.”
I understand marketing departments for various brands obviously push for their products to gain popularity over their competitors, but to downgrade a photographer’s skill set to the brand he/she is using is an outright stupidity and an artistic insult.
While we all love our gear, it’s not about the make/brand of the camera or the gear.
This can easily be proven, you can take the best photographer/photo critic/magazine editor/ or anyone else working in the image industry and show them any image from any DSLR camera, and not a single one of these professionals would be able to tell you if this was taken with a Canon or a Nikon camera….. It is simply impossible to see this using the human eye.
Obviously I don’t deny that good camera can be a useful aid, but that is all it is; an aid and nothing more, noting less.
A camera is just a high-priced “lens cap” and if you really want to discuss equipment then the only part of the gear that truly makes a difference is a good lens. But even this will not mean you will take good photos either.
Anyone; even a child can point a camera and shoot, thus the question we should ask ourselves is what (or who) am I taking a picture of and for what reason?
There are thousands of books and websites that will describe a number of approaches to composing a shot, how to make technical readjustments as to capture as much information as possible in the best way possible.
Thus my suggestion is that you read it, then put it aside and find what you can perform using your own interpretation of what you read.
Take numerous of photos, yes lots and lots, but think before you take the photo. In fact before you shoot try to research, get to understand the best angles and settings for your shots.
If you are using digital cameras which most people do today then another aspect that often is discussed is post-processing of your images.
Therefore we come to the next subject, is Photoshop falsification and deception?
Many photographers are faced with the accusation that using Photoshop is cheating by creating a reality that is not the way it was presented when we took the photo.
Before making that statement one must understand that if we want decent images today then the media we use today has not got the dynamic range that old analogue film did.
Besides this it also depends on whether you use preset modes on your camera or set up aperture, shutter or ISO manually. Depending on these and other factors there might be times where you don’t have any blacks or whites , this ends up creating a narrow range of neutrals and low contrast images.
Thankfully it doesn’t take much to tweak images into an adequate form and this is the simple part.
But if you want to pick out what it was which caught your eye in the first place then you must spend time/energy to work cautiously and systematically through the digital process; this is where you should try to use RAW instead of JPG so you’ve got room for manoeuvre.