You know I’m right. 95% of you who are reading this are guilty of this (I’m including myself in this completely bias and made up statistic). I can’t help but notice the growing number of “photographers” and DSLRs in Kuwait. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the reduction of costs for DSLRs and for more people to get into photography, but it’s all gone terribly wrong somewhere. Read on to find out why I’m ranting about all of you jerks, running around with your DSLRs.
Let’s face it. Photography is addictive. I don’t even have a DSLR yet, but I’m snapping pictures that are seemingly eye catching and what I think to be artistic. Now, having said that I don’t justify a few random pics that I’ve taken that after popping open photoshop I think to myself – wow this is a stupid image.
My problem is, maybe the drop in DSLR prices over time has meant that more aspiring “photographers” are having more time to experiment with this piece of technology.
“That’s not a problem” you may be voicing out in rage at your computer screen whilst reading this.
But it is, people aren’t experimenting in photography. They’re experimenting in a trend. Facebook doesn’t make it any better. I see DSLR fanatics (as well as point and shoot and iphoneographers) taking pics of absolutely everything and anything. I understand that they may be using the mentality of “you may find beauty/art in the most unsuspecting photos” but walking around the gulf and taking 100s of pictures of garbage bins and sidewalks is not going to be something “artistic”. It may be, but come on now. Let’s get serious.
Photographers are known for their adventures and capturing amazing images to show us. Images that we would usually not see unless we left the comfort of our own homes to experience it.
I remember the days when people would go out to different countries JUST to photograph images and bring them back. True pieces of art. People would travel to the deserts, jungles, or anything that would provide a special sense of artistic capture. Now the lines have been blurred.
A self photograph whilst in the bathroom is becoming “art” and a bazillion likes from facebook seems to be enforcing it.
Again, you may be thinking “if thousands of likes are happening, truly more people can’t be wrong in comparison to your analysis”. However, we all know that facebook is essentially a popularity contest. It’s not about how beautiful the image is that determines your likes. It’s how popular you are.
I don’t want to see another image on facebook of someone’s meal shot in a DSLR, or another shot of someone’s cell phone by a DSLR. I understand you’re supposed to share stuff on these social networking sites, but seriously… Why put all the effort in showing off your new phone or your dinner? iPhones and P/S cameras are notorious for these kinds of uses.
We’re all guilty of doing it. I do it. But there is a fine line between being guilty of it once in a while and constantly doing it.
It’s as if that first purchase of a DLSR opens your eyes. “Yes, that candy wrapper on the floor is going to be picked up on national geographic best photo of the day”.
Now finally, I do enjoy these random pictures as I actually take many of them. But I don’t share them. I use them to experiment on my camera and that’s it. Do I feel the need to share an “artistic” image of my lunch? No. Do I feel the need to experiment with an “artistic” image of my lunch? Yes, but I keep it to myself as a learning experience. Rarely will I share it with people, unless I feel it has capture something I see as unique. Having said that, not every shot of a hamburger is unique. So relax with the facebook posts and PLEASE STOP LIKING THEM. You only encourage this behavior.
There are much better methods to experiment with. For example, photography contests. If food photography is your thing then I understand but it can’t be that everyone is either a food photographer or shoe photographer. Also, photographers usually have niches and specializations (portraits, scenic, experimental etc). But, all great photography experiments with every kind of aspect of life. This is where you truly learn all the tricks of the trade.
But you must know that you’re going to come up with a lot of crappy shots on the way that stupid people on facebook will like.
There was a recent competition held by the Kuwait Meteorological Department. That is an excellent way to experiment in different photography techniques. Even if you don’t win, you’re learning something new. There are plenty of photography contests online (and for different platforms such as iphones/point and shoots etc). So enroll in those and stop spamming our facebook newsfeeds and twitter rolls with random photos of shoes, food and other crap you randomly feel interested in.
Keep it as an art form. This is because art is beautiful and entertaining.
This social photography that I’m seeing is less on the beautiful end and more on the “entertaining” end. Don’t ruin an art form because you want likes.
Joe “The Ranting Jerk” Pistone