“ I am a photographer”, but are they really ?


“ I am a photographer”, but are they really  ?

A very daunting question and yet the answer is simple.  In the days of the Dark Room one had to know what he or she was doing.   Shooting wasn’t that simple and without a thorough understanding of the light, focus, color and composition the pictures were doomed for disaster.  The preview was only in the mind of a trained and skilled professional.  The magic happened in the Dark Room.   The ultimate experience, a moment of intense joy , a picture that developed in front of your eyes, a very exciting moment.  Very little manipulation could be done, only the very best were able to correct and adjust errors.  The Dark Room, a very destructive process, yet a skilled and experienced photographer was able to master the magic.  A very rewarding activity if one succeeded.

The world of one’s and zero’s

In the world of one’s and zero’s things are different, on the spot previews, automated camera’s and endless resources for storage.  Great stuff, and I love it. Digital Processing, what a relief !  Or ?

I can now work in a comfortable office without having to inhale the toxic fumes of the analogue process.  Raw processing with almost unlimited combinations and adjustments, something we could only dream about in the analogue days.

And then came Photoshop, the ultimate creative tool. Now I can manipulate the shots the way I want.  A big belly? No problem,  just apply a smart filter and you have a six pack.  Can it get any better?

If you ask me, yes.  Many of the so quoted  “digital photographers” are very sloppy.  In fact I am not even sure if we could call them “ Photographers”.  See, photography is craftsmanship.  Today to many people shoot without understanding the ligth ,focus and composition. It is all so easy to shoot in Auto mode for one or the other camera setting. Its often all about trial and error.

Who still measures the light with a light meter, who is shooting with a gray card…who is aware of the dynamic range…….? Yes indeed, Very few.

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Recently I noticed a photographer with a 60 megapixel mid format camera. Framing, hmm  … he did not care.   Why should he ?  He has plenty off real estate on the sensor and can afford serious crops in post processing.  Or not ?

Silly, isn’t it. Why buying such an expensive camera if he is going to toss the pixels away in post processing.  A sign of our modern society (wasting resources) or is it just a sloppy photographer.

Models with chipped nails, missing buttons on the blouse etc. No problem, we will correct it in Photoshop.  Sloppy!

Ask why they do not measure the light with a light meter , you will  get a ridicules answer “ We do not need a light meter in digital photography , we check the picture on the LCD of the camera “.  What !  Don’t they know that LCD is not color, contrast nor exposure correct.   Don’t worry they will correct it in Photoshop”. Sloppy !

See, the point is that too many are way too sloppy at the moment of exposure, and I do not know if that is the result of laziness, ignorance, lack of knowledge or education.

Why fake it if you can make it

A crafted photographer will try to create a “technical” correct picture at the moment of capture. Off course he or she will use all the tools available to enhance the picture in the RAW processing and apply creativeness in Photoshop.

Unfortunately to many skip the very basic and start off with a mediocre picture that they manipulate to death in the digital post processing.

It is not because you own a hammer and chisel that you are a carpenter, the same is valid for the photographer.  So, how should I call those people?  Or even better , how should I call myself ?

Thanks for reading,

Steve

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