The Past "Photography" the Future "Imagery" Not for ME!

Started Apr 17, 2014 | Questions thread
CharlesB58 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,290
Re: The Past "Photography" the Future "Imagery" Not for ME!

MoreorLess wrote:

CharlesB58 wrote:

Ansel Adams said "You don't take a photograph, you make it".

For over 35 years I have watched, often with amusement, as people file along making it seem that their is some sort of superior aesthetic in photos that are "OOC". Sometimes such photos can be great. Other times they are crap. Crappier still is the attitude of those who think that because they don't do any PP they are somehow producing better or "purer" photos than others.

That's utter photo-elitist snobbery that pales in the face of the history of great photographs. As I see it, it's an attitude fostered by people who just can't seem to hit their desired goals photographically (someone else's photos are always a bit more eye catching, dramatic, creative or well executed than their own). To recover some pride, they dismiss those photos as inferior because there was varying degrees of PP involved.

Sure, there is much to admire in those who can produce good photos OOC. Are they better photographers?

Is B.B. King a better guitarist than Steve Vai? Is Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" "better" than his Ninth Symphony? Such comparisons in photography, as to whether OOC images are somehow better than those that involve a lot of PP reek of hubris induces snobbery if they are taken too far.

Enjoy how you like to make photos, but leave any implications that your preferred method is inherently superior at the door please.

A big issue I'd say is that there was a very high level of ignorance about the amount of post processing(and indeed things like filter use) that was applied to photography in the days of film.

In the minds of these people I'd guess there confidence in a lack of post processing being an artistically superior route isn't just based on there own output but a mistaken belief that all film photography followed a similar route.

There seems a depressingly similar pattern in these kinds of threads, amateurs in there 40's/50's looking to take some kind of artistic high ground when a quick look at their own work reveals a clear lack of progression over however many years they've been into photography. The reality is that working with a closed mind and a false sense of self confidence can lead to decades without advancement that can be surpassed in a year or two by someone with an open mind and a desire to learn, especially in the digital era where the technical barriers aren't what they were in the past.

I experienced the same attitude during the film era. Then it was often those who shot chromes looking down their noses at anyone who shot color negative film. Chromes were "pure", you had to get the exposure right at the moment of capture, no making adjustments during the print to make up for over or under exposure.

Black and White was another thing entirely, of course, but there were still people who thought that cropping or selective burning or dodging were somehow "cheating". In over 35 years experience in photography I've found that a distressing number the people making such declarations produce some of the most lifeless, uninteresting photos I've ever seen. Yes, there are "OOC Purists" who produce excellent images, but they are in the minority of those making the loudest protests against PP.

What these, and many other people fail to realize, is the best photographs are made by people who realize that it is the image not the process which matters the most.

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If, in my lifetime, I will have produced just one image that makes a real difference in the life of another, I will have achieved my highest goal as a photographer.

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