Querimony: To Questionably Moan & Complain!
I will use this page to spread my own personal vision of unrest with all that I perceive is wrong with the world and with photography, well more likely with other photographers. Ignore me, I am mostly harmless and will likely only hurt myself! I promise that I will likely try to not write here more than I do in the BLOG itself!
Again, I apologize ahead of time for all of this!
Now, who could get mad at a face like this?
What I HATE About Photographers!
I really do live in a glass house so I try really hard to not throw stones, but…..
North Island Bone Yard, my ONLY usable image from a 3 HOUR trip due to Uncaring, Self Centered Thoughtless Photographers!
I recently went on an organized photographic trip to the North Island Lighthouse (Georgetown, SC) with a LARGE group (40+) of nature photographers who have all photographed together many times over the years. You would think that they would have some sense of where they are and what they are doing in reference to the other photographers in the group wouldn’t you? Forget the subject matter, lets concentrate on upsetting the other photographers by being rude and callous! Is someone setup on a tripod taking a long exposure through the bone yard at the sunrise over the water? GOOD! Letswalk through the scene as though we didn’t know that they were even there! And to make it even more fun lets do it as many time, as as we can! What? Someone yelled at us for doing this? What nerve!
Come on people, get real. There are ethics involved in photography just as there are in life! You just cannot walk through life (and photography) in your own little world! You MUST be conscious of others around you and what your impact is on them. If you keep this up some one is going to run you over in their car (or throw a rock at you if you are taking pictures).
To make matters worse you need to know that all of these folks were adults of advancing years! OMG! Can you imagine what they have taught their children?
Another generation of uncaring, clueless and aimless wondering souls to ruin my images and put muck in my tire treads!
There are rules, and here they are:
- Do nothing to the area you are photographing except for taking images.
- Leave no trash
- Be aware of other photographers and be nice, stay out of their scene. If you cannot then ask them before you walk through.
- Help other photographers if you can. Teach others what you have learned. Learn from others.
- Be humble. Be caring.
- Do not throw stones…… Darn, I just broke this one!
Oh, My God!! What Are You Doing??
Some time ago I was talking to a friend and photographer when he suddenly said something that totally blew me away. We were talking about our own bodies of work when he suddenly blurted out “You know Mark, you are taking way too many Infrared Images and I believe that you are loosing touch with what and who you are!”. Needless to say, I was stunned and speechless over this admission from him! I have been crunching on his comment for some time now and am no closer to really understanding his meaning than the moment that he let it fly! This has created (for good or bad) a serious time of introspective searching on my part. What type of photographer am I? Who am I? What defines me?
Well, one thing is for sure, I have always been a Fine Art Nature Photographer from day one. I normally work in Color, but if I had any say in it then my work would all be in B&W! Why? H mm, I KNOW that this is true because Ipersonally like B&W better, but those around me don’t! What a mine field! Color me perplexed and confused. I guess that I can see where he is coming from with his statement, my COLOR work has always defined who I am artistically from the world’s viewpoint. But what about my own feelings? I see myself as a fine art photographer. I am not tied to any one type of subject matter. I like wildlife, land & seascapes, birds, macro and nautical images. BUT B&W images really get my creative juices flowing…. This admission on my part doesn’t really seem to fit into all of the self defined subjects that I just listed except for land/seascapes and nautical… When I first started serious photography (as if any stage of photographic development can be defined as serious) I exclusively shot mushrooms! I can hear your thoughts… Mushrooms, hmm strange. Have you ever looked closely at a mushroom? There is an entire galaxy of beauty in and under them! I shot over 10,000 mushroom images! I was published everywhere and even had one on a MTV music video! They were wildly popular. But as in all things I evolved! So I moved naturally into the subject matter that people currently see on my main stock site. I know my passion for B&W and there is some on the site, but most people in the outside world like the color work the best, so what did I do? I catered to the peoples likes around me and only rarely look to myself! I see it as no surprise that I have latched onto Infrared photography with so much passion that those around me question my motives! Of all my images now, 95% that I take are Infrared! That is the reason for this web site, to promote my new passion. If I had my own way in this I would take 100% Infrared, but understanding the world around me of course I will not bend so totally to my own desires, after all, I have to feed those around me too. But in answer to the basic question that was asked of me, YES, I am taking more Infrared pictures because I am passionate about them, and am I loosing track of who and what I am?
I HOPE so, after all we all have to evolve…
Everybody Has A Camera…
And Wants To Be A Wedding Photographer!
November 15, 2010
In today’s world you simply cannot spit and not hit someone carrying their brand new DSLR on a neck strap! They are just EVERYWHERE (one of these days I expect to go out to take a photograph in the dark, turn on a flashlight and see a dozen of these people scurrying to the dark shadows like an insect startled by the sudden appearance of light). In fine art shows around the county they come out as though they were attending a Royal Wedding of some sort. They walk into your display area (with their cameras around their necks) and in loud tones proclaim to the world: “Gee, I can do this type of work all day long and charge less money!”, then they rush their new DSLR up to their head and without even so much as a “by your leave?” and start taking pictures of your work (well now at least I can see how it is possible for them to do as well…)! I always make a point of TELLING them to not take pictures of my work and if they cannot remember it later on then to purchase it! I also offer to teach them photography in a workshop if they ask for help with a technique that takes me more than 5 min.
The young wife goes out and purchases a brand new shiny DSLR camera thinking that with this perfect tool for capturing images of mood and emotion, and in this new PC world that we find ourselves living in, thinks that she doesn’t have to actually learn how to use it properly (after all, she has a right…). She (with new DSLR in hand) can now go out and start taking wedding photographs (of course charging 1/10 the normal costs, taking food off of the table of some poor professional photographer who does this for a living. Then she realizes just how hard it is to take good images and quits (but not until after she puts someone who actually knows what they are doing out of work).
The world is littered with people like this…
Do NOT get me wrong, I think that it is great that people go this route for making a living, but at least they should learn their trade (dont you think?)! I always go out of my way to encourage new photographers to not only learn how to use their equipment, but to learn how to see…. I will take out budding photographers in order to help them grow in their art! But in every group there are those who think that they have a right to do something that they also have a right to get into others way who are really trying to make something artistic (see older post here titles “What I hate About Photographers”.
Quick, turn on the lights, perhaps they will scurry away!
I will not post a picture here, someone will likely just take a photograph of it!
Will YOU GUYS PLEASE GET A LIFE!
Oh GOD, I am going to rant again! Please forgive me… This response is NOT targeted at one person, but at photographers as a whole. This is for you all.
Q: Please help me choose which image to send in for a book selection (or contest).
A: Please get a life where you are not defined by others for your own creations!
Why on earth are you guys soliciting opinions on YOUR photographic entries to a photographic selection process and contests? Do you submit images to contests and ask the judges to help you select the winning image? This is basically the same! Get a backbone and choose…
Pick what YOU feel is YOUR best image and send it in! Do NOT ask others to help you. In most cases being an old fart I will actually tell you to submit your worst image just because you asked! (only for contest or selections, NEVER in a critique) Everyones work is good. Everyones work has merit! Select the image that has the greatest EMOTIONAL impact on you as the artist! You can do no better than that! Take charge of your work and quit trying to get opinions of others for the process because YOU are the best judge of your own work by how it impacts you as the one who created it! You do not need to be defined by others opinions…
If you desire an image critique then place it in a critique forum but not under false pretense for getting what others might feel is the best one for a selection process or contest…
Some random thoughts on image selections for contests or other selection processes:
I am sure with rest I can come up with a dozen others…
- If your image is crap you already know it… period. If you do get warm huggies from others on a crappy image you KNOW they are lying because you know it is crappy!
- If your image is good you also know it! You don’t need the warm huggies of others to tell you so. If you do then you need to grow up!
- Be confident, don’t ask for opinions for image selections and contests. You come across as a rank amateur. As I said you already know is the image is good by how it affects you as you view it and that is high praise indeed.
- It is too late to look for an image critique for a selection process.
- If you still feel that you need others opinions to define your work then perhaps it is time to sell that fancy DSLR, buy a $100 P&S and get out of serious photography.
Excellent! I don’t mind being asked for help because my work (books) are written for those wanting to learn. But I couldn’t agree with you more on the bullet points. Sometimes a little common sense is all that’s needed. Thanks for the great post!
Gloria, normally I don’t mine either, I love to teach! BUT the case in point is one of a book selection process where members are allowed to submit ! image that will be judged and a group selected for publication. There were several people who posted MANY images and asked for help from other members and the judges in choosing which image to leave! There was a critique forum on the same site where they could have submitted images without asking for specific selection help and gotten a set of good feedback points. The entire process was just wrong…
I should say, youve got one of the greatest blogs Ive seen in a lengthy time. What I wouldnt give to be able to produce a blog thats as interesting as this. I guess Ill just need to maintain reading yours and hope that one day I can write on a subject with as significantly knowledge as youve got on this 1!
brutally honest..and to the point…the truth… really loving your posts. surfed onto your post recently when reading about Fuji as I am in the process of switching from Canon to Fuji (purely for mobility reasons and also for a nerdy desire to use the xTrans sensor).. 🙂
Karthik, Thanks for the kind comment! The Fuji X Pro 1 and X E1 (I have both) are amazing camera systems. I gave up over $25000 in Canon equipment and switched and have been very happy with the decision. I hope that you are as happy as I am with the change!
Will let you know..Thanks for replying…Keep up the blog..this is really education for many who love photography and want to learn and get better…
Changed over to X E1 from 5D MK 2 for mobility reasons ( i’m also an old fart) Find your blog and insights incredibly useful…many thanks
Thanks and welcome to the club!
Thank you for the interesting information on IR, especially with the XPro1.
This page has an interesting juxtaposition of articles. In one you explain that your fine art is in color because that’s what other people want. In another you complain about photographers seeking advice on submissions to contests.
It strikes me that in both cases, the photographer is entering a popularity contest of sorts to get a reward and the photographer acknowledges that their personal taste doesn’t necessarily line up with that of those deciding who gets rewarded.
More seriously, I don’t think photographers are the best editors of their own work. David Hurn addresses this pretty directly in “On Being a Photographer.” Salgado has his wife work with him as his editor for all his books. W Eugene Smith made a big stink about how photographers should be in charge of selection and layout. He was finally given the freedom and it was a disaster. All three of these are Magnum photographers.
Derick, this was a very insightful comment. It is also very true. As a human I tend to flip back and forth (when dealing with other photographers) in my moods and once in a while someone will ask me a question that just sets me off. I am NEVER happy with myself after I have time to sit back and ponder the effects of it!
I am in many galleries in the south and it never ceases to amaze me as to what images of mine that are popular vs. what I personally like. Once in a while the 2 match up but usually not! It is a very harsh learning environment for me and I always ask my customers as to why they will select one image over another.
“If your image is crap you already know it”
Maybe so after 20 years of practice. When I was photographing in high school I thought I was wonderful. I had a mentor that never criticized my work but I noticed his was much better and he taught me how to be better. Now I see that my early work was crap, but necessary.
“If your image is good you also know it!”
There’s a big difference between “good” which is a universal declaration and “I like it” which is personal. Some people like the high-contrast, blown-out highlights of modern portrait photography. To them it is “good” whereas to me it is awful. To me a portrait is “good” when the frame and the photo disappear and you are looking at a person. That’s an effect I rarely achieve.
“You don’t need the warm huggies of others to tell you so.”
You might need or want their cash and they need or want your talent and equipment. I’ll take some warm huggies, too, and so will you.
“Be confident, don’t ask for opinions for image selections and contests.”
It is difficult to ask for opinions from a group. I participated in the Potomac Society of Stereo Photographers. Praise feels good; criticism produces growth. Sometimes I defend my work against the criticism and sometimes I am correct.
A lack of criticism suggests nobody cares.