Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What is to blame if not the equipment?

The question is a rhetorical one. That means, it doesn't require you to reply because it's so damn obvious what the answer should be.

It may come as a surprise to many, but there really isn't anything wrong with criticism. We could all do with a healthy dose of it, and similarly, we could all do with some serious listening and understanding of criticism levied at us. Unfortunately, it isn't always the case. In particular, photographers might be a rather sensitive lot. Visit any forum on the topic, and the gallery sections will have all asunder gushing and ranting about every single image that is pasted on the virtual walls.

Captures are 'wonderful' and 'well-seen' with 'great' photos around every chipped corner you care to peek over at.

It's downright sickening. It's the bullshitters bullshitting bullshitters and worse of all, bullshitters spilling diarrhea all over themselves.

I have a theory:

It's because a hell of a lot of people pay a hell of a lot of money for equipment. They do so because they think somehow that the gear would somehow magically transform their pale pathetic efforts into instant works of greatness. Go to a weekend fashion show at a mall or shopping centre and the number of tele-totting muppets is astounding, all cramming together in clumps of congealed testosterone, hoping to catch a nip-slip or a touch of VPL, before rushing back to Photoshop the crap out of barely visible cleavage. How many of them get anything good? It's another rhetorical question.

Is it the marketing? Or just the instant gratification possible with digital? It's neither. If there wasn't a market, there would be the marketing. One could argue otherwise, but I'm inclined to think that as a species, we like to compete, and owning gear and shooting shots is just another form of competition. Simple, but true. The answer, I believe, is down to sheer laziness and self-delusion. Add to those abstracts the simple phenomenon of mass-confirmation of positive memes, and the deluding just feeds on itself.

So the numbers mean this and that, and the sensors are so big or so small, but all that counts for sweet-nuck-futs if you haven't got an eye, and a brain to process what it sees. Do I think I'm a hot shot? Hell no. But I can admit it and that I have a lot to learn.

Signal Hill, Kota Kinabalu, April 2009
Nikon D700, Nikkor AF-S 17-35mm/F2.8

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