The AFMA myth.

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
OP Distinctly Average Contributing Member • Posts: 585
Re: The AFMA myth.
1

jrkliny wrote:

DavidArmenPhoto wrote:

Distinctly Average wrote:

I really wish it was just a matter of intelligence. I know plenty of people,who,are very smart, but not technically minded. I am sure you have also met people like this. One chap I know often phones me up when he has go in a mess with Lightroom and has no idea about Photoshop even at a basic level. Before retirement he was an account lawyer at senior level, but technology just seems to be something he struggles with. Even his iPhone he gets his wife to deal with. It is really not uncommon for the older generation who have not grown up with computers and the like to struggle like this. He is an excellent photographer though with a real eye for composition that I envy.

Anothr chap I sometimes assist has learning difficulties after an industrial injury. He really enjoys his photography but again struggles to grasp the more technical aspects.

Photographers who are new to the game often have a really steep learning curve. There is a lot to get to grips with. For some it is the technical stuff that is hard. I find that part easy but really struggle with the creative aspect. I don’t have the imaginative mind that many on the forums possess. I can document what I see, but don’t have that imaginative and creative spark that many on these forums possess.

This post really resonated with me as I have felt exactly the same way. I am an engineering student and have always been technically minded. I have always enjoyed photography but I have felt that my creative side needs a lot of work because even though technically minded people are able to take great photographs, artistically minded people are always able to elevate their photographs to have meanings, something I have always struggled with.

A great many photographers were attracted to the medium because of the technical aspects. That was certainly true in the past, but is a lot less so now that cameras are so advanced. That said, creativity, using photography to communicate and to express feelings, and shooting with artistic intent can be learned, taught and practiced.

Many of us spend a great deal of time understanding and discussing the technical aspects of our gear. That would be like a painter talking about brushes or paints. How many of us spend time in a study of composition? Composition is part of the visual language we use for communication. It includes, light/dark, shapes, lines, colors, centers of interest, everything in and excluded from our images and how all the parts relate to the total image. When it comes to composition most photographers seem to be stuck on the rule of thirds and even then have little idea of what it means or historically where it came from.

Personally I have spent way more than 10,000 hours in individual study, taking courses, and applying my knowledge and skills. I am just beginning the journey. Many people seem to think these skills are somehow innate. Perhaps the interest and the passion are innate, but the work and effort are not.

I partly agree with you that to some extent it can be learned. I too have watched many videos, reviewed thousands of images and read loads of books. I still do not find it easy and never will. It is a challenge I relish though and spend hours with my camera doing all sorts of photography as long as it does not involve direct interaction with people (I may be a little asp but decided to no have the evaluation) and work hard at it. My kids however it does come naturally, even from a very young age. They seem to find composition easy and have the imagination that kids have and some of us loose as an adult. I cannot for instance close my eyes and visualise anything but darkness, and I do not see images in my dreams. I cannot picture something, instead I get ideas based on how technically difficult it may be to accomplish. It is probably why a lot of my photography is based on trying to capture specific moments in nature or sport.

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