Things about photographers that tick me off: From a photographer's point of view.

Started Jul 24, 2013 | Discussions thread
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StayClassy
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Things about photographers that tick me off: From a photographer's point of view.
Jul 24, 2013

*All pictures in this thread were shot with my Sony A99.

So I'm writing this because of an experience I had today at B&H. While waiting on line for the used department to scoop up a 35-105mm Minolta lens for my A99, a Canon guy started to guffaw at my A99 hanging around my shoulder. Mind you, I have never been formally trained in the art of photography. I don't really understand the rules of thirds. I'm what I like to call a "mutt photographer"- someone who looks at the picture through his viewfinder, and composes on what looks the best to him. Which brings me to my first point:
1) The brand doesn't F*&%$#G matter, it's the man behind the lens that does!

There is an insufferable attitude with most photographers that the gear = photographic skill. That couldn't be further from the truth. While the camera does have some importance in terms of performance (ISO performance, noise capabilities, OSS, etc.), a crappy camera can return better shots than the most expensive setup with someone with little to no skill. It's a lot like being a motorcycle rider: you can have an 1100cc Kawasaki, and some guy on a 400cc Yamaha can still outpace you. Why? Skill of the rider, not so much the ability of the bike. However, when a photographer believes that they are truly "skilled", they bring me to point #2:

2) You are not the best, and being famous/highly paid is nary a mark of success or skill.

As a 22 year young, inexperienced photographer (in terms of years on this planet), I'm still coming across situations where the perfect moment eluded me simply because I made a bad judgment call on my settings. I don't claim to be the best, nor do I claim to be "good". I only claim to be "competent". Yet, time and time again, I run across photographers who insist that because they are working for (insert company here) or that they have (insert trust fund here) in the bank, that they are superior to you and therefore, have credible information. Now, I'm open to tips and pointers. But when the person giving those tips and pointers has the attitude of someone who you'd swear just fell out of Prince William's porcelain throne, you can't help but just blank them out. Why? I'd rather learn the hard way, practicing and perfecting my art the hard way (shot by shot). Being someone of status and credibility is a very respectable thing, of course. However, if pop music is to teach us anything, it's that talent often comes second to who you know. Why would photography be anything different? So let's move to point #3:
3) Once you have enough skill, equipment does matter. But for reasons you might not think.

You'd be forgiven if your first thought was, "wait, didn't you just say that equipment doesn't matter?!". That still holds true. But there is a certain point where you reach a level of photographic ability that warrants you having to purchase a better camera and lens for better DOF/high ISO/OSS capabilities (among other features). But this brings me directly to my last point:
4) You don't know me from a hole in the wall, so how can you judge me based on my brand of camera?

Miss Universe, 2013.

So now that we've established that skill versus equipment are linked, but not to the degree that most photographers like to pretend it is, why do many photographers still insist on judging someone based on their brand of camera? If I bought a camera, it is most likely because that camera has certain features which suit my needs. At that point, can't we just agree to enjoy the art of shooting photos, and not shooting at each other because you're afraid that someone else might have a bigger lens than you? One of my fondest experiences was shooting a concert alongside a Canon buff with the 1DX. We spent the latter part of our pre-concert setup with me silently ignoring his sales pitch on how the 1DX is superior to the Sony in every way, and ended with my photos being picked for internal use. Why? I chose equipment that suited my style: EVF for the ability to change settings on the fly without needing test shots, Full Frame for high-ISO handling, and the ability to shoot with vintage Minolta glass, which saves me money but gives me great optical ability. Sure, the 1DX outclasses my Sony in almost every category, but in reality, the world doesn't work on spec sheets.

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When people ask me whether I'm a photographer, I tell them that I'm more of a time artist. After all, my art is my ability to freeze time and capture a moment forever.

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