UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTHS ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY

Time for a reality check about Photography:

adult aperture bokeh camcorder
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Sometimes I find it funny that I can tell how many people really read my blogs.  “Oh, here is another blog from 123PhotoGo!  Let’s look at these great pictures.   Maybe I shouldn’t put in pictures and have everyone read the blog instead.  But, what’s the fun in that?   I have posted a blog, and immediately I get a like in 1 second.  How do they know they like it, when they haven’t had time to even look at it?   It’s a crazy world out there in this blogging world.

I recently ran across an article that talks about 5 different truths about photography.  And I wanted to put my take on this.  So, these are my thoughts on this, and it seems like this is really the truth in the photographic world:

#1 – Bad weather is good weather!

In fact, I would say, if I was going to go out and try to get the most creative photos for my portfolio, or find something that would just be so much more creative than anything else, I would pray for bad weather.  Not tornadoes,  or blizzards or something really crazy, but a good rain, or snowstorm, or even a good wind might just create some of the best photos you could get that no other photographer might be willing to get.

sea side during sun set
Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

Everybody thinks that the beach should be a beautiful sunny day, with this gorgeous sunset or a lovely couple holding hands down on the beach.  But, I would love to see reality.  The approaching storm down on the beach is so unique, that you just don’t see it hardly ever.  And when you see that type of photo, you realize that this happens, and it is an amazing photo, isn’t it?  Think of the fact that your photos could be much better taken in lousy weather than good weather.

 

#2- Lens snobbery is real:

Now I have not had this problem yet, because I don’t have that big lens yet.   But, I am going to quote from the person who wrote this article.  This is priceless:

A few months ago I made the heart-wrenching decision to sell off my beloved Canon 500mm f4L IS lens. It was a hard decision. That big hunk of glass and metal had been with me a for a few years, traveled around the world with me, and made some of my best images. But, its size, heft, and cumbersome, tripod-requiring handling was getting in the way.

I’ve replaced it with a much smaller Olympus 300mm f4 PRO for the micro 4/3rds system (giving me a 600mm f4 equivalent at a third of the size). And here is the uncomfortable part – the quality of the Olympus lens is equal to that of the Canon and I don’t miss the bigger, more expensive Canon lens at all. Not one little bit.

Except (and to be honest I have a hard time admitting this) when I’m around other photographers. As a bonafide professional shooter, the big lens felt like a badge of honor. It’s a bogus badge for sure because the size of your lens has nothing to do with performance or image quality. Yet I felt like I needed that big glass to be taken seriously as a pro.

The compact mirrorless 4/3rds system does not stand out the way the big gear did, and in groups of photographers, I noticed my gear (and me) being brushed over.

The great irony is that my long lens work has improved dramatically with the purchase of the new gear. Its small size is easy to transport, so it is always with me when it matters. I now walk the dog with a 600mm f4 equivalent for heaven’s sake! It’s there when I need it and the results have been excellent.

Time to put the snobbery aside and let the images speak for themselves

AK-FAI-home-SWTH-105259-35-1
A Swainson’s Thrush singing in my yard in Fairbanks, Alaska. This image is one I could never have captured with my old 500mm f/4 simply because I simply would not have been carrying it while walking my dog.

 

AK-Juneau-CommonRaven-104298-1
I don’t think the bokeh or sharpness of my Olympus 300mm f4 falls short in any way when I compare it to larger, far more expensive lenses like my old 500mm f4.

Quote and pictures from David Shaw – Digital Photography School.

 

#3 – Your big DSLR is slowly becoming unnecessary

 

mirrorless vs dslr

Photographers are switching from the DSLR to mirrorless cameras at a rapid rate.  And why?  Because they have found that they offer more features (in some cases) and less to carry than the DSLR.  And the photographer who once had the DSLR is trying to figure out why he didn’t change sooner.  Especially when it comes to lenses.  The lens quality of these cameras appears to be just as good, and they are so much smaller, it is getting hard for a photographer to justify carrying around the bigger equipment of a dslr.  So, I am not here to sell one or the other.  I have still a dslr, and love it.  I enjoy the feel of the camera I have.  But, honestly, when some of my photographer friends are jumping the ship to the new smaller version of a mirrorless camera, I have serious thinking about looking at these things.   This is what technology does to the art world.

 

#4 – Creativity is more important than you think:

pexels-photo-458381
Pexels Photo 

There seems to be a lot of articles through camera magazines, and blogs (except mine) about the technical things you need to know about photography.   I think if  you learn more about creativity and composition, you will learn more about becoming an artist.  I have always felt that photography is an art.  That is what I keep trying to push through my blogs.  Learn that you are an artist.  What can you do, even in your mind, to become an artist, rather than a photographer.  My whole goal in this blogging process is to teach photographers to become creative, to become artists.  I hope you stay with my blogging, because I am constantly looking at other articles, and I will try to share with you the creative process of what you need to do, to be more creative.  I spend about 10 percent of my blogs teaching about the technical things about the camera, and the rest is about composition and learning to become an artist.   STAY WITH ME HERE.  I AM HOPING TO GIVE  YOU THE TOOLS YOU NEED TO BECOME A UNIQUE ARTIST THAT CAN LEARN TO BE DIFFERENT, AND STAND OUT FROM THE REST OF THE PHOTOGRAPHERS OUT THERE.

 

#5- Money is better spent on travel than new gear:

Got a few hundred bucks to blow on gear? Don’t. Take that few hundred bucks and take a few days and go somewhere awesome instead. Unless you really need it, your extra money is better spent on going somewhere really cool to make images, and not on cameras, lenses, bags, filters, and flashes.

 

That is the quote again from David Shaw about how he feels about how you should spend your money in photography.  Now, I believe you should have the necessary lenses before you go travelling.  And what are those necessary lenses?  Probably, at least that silly lens that came in your kit, for a start.  The  18-55 mm lens, and then one more lens you should have is the 75-300mm lens.  And that you can generally get fairly cheap.  But, the other thing you have to have if you are going to do any scenery photography is a circular polarizing filter.  PLEASE! don’t get a cheap one.  Get a good one.  I saw on Amazon, someone selling polarizing filters for under $10.  And then I saw an add in a magazine for this new filter that would make all your scenery photos just stand out in the colors that they should be, and they were not embarrassed to advertise it at $119.  Folks, it is only glass!  And it is only OPTICAL glass, not plastic.  Get the good stuff.

pexels-photo-1133505

A new telephoto lens or camera could cost you thousands of dollars. If you have functional camera gear, and you are looking at something new just because it’s all bright and shiny, take a moment to reconsider. Could those thousands be spent traveling somewhere new and unique? Some place to photograph a landscape or phenomenon you’ve always dreamed of shooting?

We make images by exploring our world. Without that exploration, all the fancy new gear in the world is worthless. Just as importantly, you’ll get the experience and joy of travel, and that is truly priceless.

 

That is a valid point.  I think money spent on somewhere you want to go, might be money well spent.  Every Thursday, this website has the weekly “Photos of the Week”.  If you follow that closely, you will notice that I have spent significant time and effort finding photos of some of the most beautiful places around the world.  Not just your ordinary places, but, sometimes places you would not normally think of.  Yesterday, I got a hold of photos of the TOP 20 MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLANDS IN THE WORLD.  The number one most beautiful Island in the world was MALDIVES.  I wasn’t sure I had even heard of it.  But, when I researched the photos of the Maldives,  Yeah, I could see why:

maldives 1

maldives 2

maldives 3
3 photos above of the Maldives.  Beautiful in every way.

 

 

CONCLUSION:

Look, photography is messy and expensive. I suggest you embrace the mess and reassess the expense. Go outside when the weather sucks and see what you find. Remember that the performance of your gear is what matters not the brand or the size, and know that creativity is hard but it’s the only way to advance your photography. Photography takes work.

Take some time and follow this blog to learn how to be creative, learn how to become an artist.  We will spend more time on how to become an artist and less time on how your camera works.  If you want to know how your camera works we will give you the reference of where to go.

One last photo to help you stay excited about photography:

IMG_0769_edited-1503028978601.jpg

 

 

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One Comment on “UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTHS ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY

  1. Interesting article!
    I can give you one reason why sometimes someone “like” before “reading”. I usually quickly go through all articles in my Reader page and marked the ones that I like before going to each blog to read it, because I want to know how much time is needed to read all the articles I want to read. Doing this helps me manage my time. Of course, even with the intention to go back to read all, I, sometime, didn’t go back due to lack of time, but that’s a different story.
    Have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

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