Before you begin reading let me assure you this is merely my personal opinion arising from the certain interesting interactions I have had with people regarding photography and fellow photographers.
To begin with let us ponder over the below points
- Buy a DSLR
Design your own logo ; it should look ‘cool’
Click random objects from random viewpoint + Heavy editing on software = macro photography
Click friends photograph (mostly girls) when they are looking their best + heavy editing on software + get as many likes as you can on FB = fashion photography
Click your friends partying + heavy editing on software + apply black/white border = candid photography
Carry you camera around official events + click people attending the event + Click people who are on stage + Heavy editing on software + apply white/black borders = Event photographer
Upload a photograph on FB everyday + get some likes and ‘nice pic’ as comments = good photographer
Talk about photography to as many people and give as much gyan as possible = Amazing photographer
…in today’s digital era , with camera becoming a commodity , it’s that easy to be a photographer…. but it is amazing how people still mess it up….
I recently was talking to an acquaintance of mine , I was asked to tell something that I like doing and I answered that I’m into photography- “ I am a photographer , I really like it , it has been my hobby and passion for quite some time now”. I was expecting a better response than what he replied – “who isn’t into photography these days… so many people post good pictures on Facebook these days…photography is a common art now , its uniqueness and golden time has died ”
The truth about any art is that it can never truly die , it can never truly lose its uniqueness , it will always define its own golden-period. Yes with the advent of digital aids and easy access to social media it has become very easy to publicize and promote ones photography but whether it is your past-time, hobby, passion, art, creativity or mere obsession of getting noticed is a question that is answered by the quality of the art and the thought behind every photograph and not by the number of photos you upload on your FB page or the number of likes you get on them. There are so many competitions these days where the winner (who is apparently the best photographer) is decided by the number of likes he can fetch within a couple of days of ‘uploading’ his art on FB. If only it was so easy to judge photography or music or any art for that matter. I think I should upload a nice painting of mine depicting a beautiful scenery with green grass and blue skies and make a friend upload Rembrandt’s ‘The Night-watch’ on his behalf and see who gets the better likes and based on that we can judge I am a better painter! Of-course that will involve me pinging a lot of my ‘friends’ and asking them to go to the link and ‘like’ my uploaded picture; people who don’t know anything about art/paintings and neither know anything about me would also go ahead and do it just for the sake of avoiding further hassle.
Fellow ‘photographers’ if you are reading this think about these things ….
Do you upload photographs too often on social media , add random poetic quotes as captions and then eagerly wait to see the response without even thinking twice whether you yourself actually like that photograph or whether it is among your best work?
Is the first thing that you do after transferring your photographs from your camera to your hard-disk, is to open Photoshop/Lightroom and start playing around with your photographs?
Do you think your photographs look better after you have added post crop vignette to all your photographs?
There is so much aid to this art from the digital/technology revolution that it is hard to imagine that they can be misused and abused. I am not against the great surge in the number of camera holders or the photographers. Neither am I against people who are highly active with their photography on social media. In fact the greatest boon is that due to such social media and other attention drawing tools people are using their camera’s more and adopting ‘Photography’ as their ‘Likes’ more , but the roots of all such activities should be justified within the dimensions of what you are justifying as your creativity and art. What I am merely musing upon is the fact that the more we get lost into this revolution the further we draw ourselves away from photography as an art. I am no different to others and sometimes I too find myself trapped under the demonic effect and abuse of technology and social media on art and creativity, but what is worth my effort is the time and heart I put behind photography the joy it gives me to capture moments. My photography could live on if there wasn’t a DSLR with me today , if there wasn’t a Facebook today , if there weren’t people to ‘like’ my pictures today; but it would never have continued as my art if I did not have the courage to wait, watch, observe and capture , if I did not have the patience to look at the horizon and admire the beauty that it was signifying, if I didn’t have the experience of looking at a pretty face and understand what sensuality means , if I didn’t have the heart to see loads of stranger rejoicing at some unknown wonder.
My fellow friends and photographers, consider you work as your art , spend more time on improving your art , challenge your creativity and not Adobe’s Photoshop , take time to observe what you observed and not how many people are liking your upload on FB. Get inspired by the art that is behind capturing a picture and in turn inspire moments that are about to be captured.