Note: Wow, this is a tough one. I’m not sure who my audience is. Really, though, the assignment is to write a post “that someone in particular will see (and appreciate).” The idea is that even if we are writing just to write, which to me means writing to either express my thoughts or to figure out where they are going, there’s some particular person or class of persons we are speaking to. I don’t know. Maybe this is one of those instances where I’m just trying to figure out where my thoughts are going. I hope to know by the end of this post who I am writing it for. At this point I don’t feel overly confident of that.
Photography, Guilt, and Self-Appreciation
It’s a beautiful, cold, sunny, snowy day and I’m feeling guilty about not being outside with my camera attempting to make some snow images. Ever since I decided to get more serious about my photography I’ve been fraught with guilt. (I’m so excited to have an opportunity to use the word fraught!)
As a component of my resolution, I have reactivated my membership in the Fine Arts Camera Club and have begun attending meetings of the Evansville Photography Group. Both of these groups meet once a month and have Facebook pages where members can post their work and share and discuss all things photographic. I’ve learned a lot from these folks so far and have enjoyed the learning and the gatherings. And their work is inspirational. And it’s also intimidating – both in terms of quality and quantity. Hence the guilt. I feel guilty about not sharing my work. I feel guilty about not taking more images. I feel overwhelmed about the vastness of what I have yet to learn about equipment, procedure, post-production, software. Gaaaaaaah! And, of course, I’m afraid that if I do share my images they won’t be good enough.
One of the first things I learned when I began taking photography classes is that it’s not about the camera, it’s about the image. In other words, vision trumps equipment. Now, I’m not sure if my instructors and book authors really believed that, or if they just wanted us to get hooked before we realized how expensive this hobby (or profession, in some cases) really is. The digital divide does exist in photography. Now that we’ve graduated from film to digital photography more and more of the control of the ultimate image moves from the photographer and the darkroom to the camera and the computer. Cameras and software are changing and improving almost moment to moment. If your camera, like mine, is seven or eight years old, its sensor has been surpassed dramatically by more recent models. And if you are, like me, still on a sharp learning curve with photo editing software use and acquisition…well, you get the idea. And the new stuff is EXPENSIVE. And my old stuff was EXPENSIVE, so I don’t want to have to replace it all.
So, that was a long rant and sounds way more negative than I usually try to be. When you really get down to it, the main problem with my photography is that I don’t do enough of it. We all know that in order to be good at something you have to do it and do it and then do it some more. Right Malcom? [As an aside, in seeking out a link to Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule, I found far more links to sites that “debunk” it. However, I hold firmly to my belief in its value in principle…with certain modifications like adapted practice, obviously. I’m sure even Malcom knows that.]
So there are a couple of solutions here.
1. Focus, excuse the pun, more on making photographs.
2. Continue to learn from and be inspired (not intimidated) by my fellow photophiles in the groups that I joined.
3. Continue to learn more about the software and equipment that I currently have and use.
4. Don’t be so dang vain about sharing.
Well, there I went from “what on earth can I write about” to self analysis. And really, although this is MY blog, I don’t want to be entirely “I” centered. That’s just boring to that unidentified reader I am supposed to be writing for today. Which brings me to the realization that this post was mostly written for my most appreciative reader – myself. Nice job, Jeanne! If you’re still with me, thank you! I’ll try to be less self-centered next time. I promise.