The delusion of the all-powerful superiority of "skill"

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
Ad12 Regular Member • Posts: 477
Re: The delusion of the all-powerful superiority of "skill"

Andy873 wrote:

You know how it is, or maybe you're still in on it, but tell me what you think regardless.

It's the idea that you can take good photos absolutely anywhere if you have "skill", and what you are taking photos of do not matter in the slightest.

Often times I see people ask stuff like, why don't my photos look as amazing as the ones I see on Instagram? Often the answer is that you simply aren't at the same exotic location, or your wife isn't as hot as that influencer. But no these answers are like taboo, which makes me sick, you must lie like everyone else or get banned.

Yes of course skill makes a difference, we've seen those videos on Youtube where they give some famous photographer a hello kitty camera or whatever and they can still take a few good photos. However notice three very important things:

  1. Those photos aren't nearly as good as what's in their portfolio.
  2. You don't see them do those videos in some random suburban residence, they are always in interesting places like London or New York or Hong Kong. And when they are actually at a boring place like Calgary, their photos often suck.
  3. They sometimes invite hot professional models or otherwise attractive/interesting people and/or pro lighting to help out.

There's a reason models are hot, not all of them are your conventional Victoria's Secret girls obviously, but that's just because they are hot to audiences other than young men. Or they're some old Asian person with a crap load of wrinkles on their face, in which case it's because they look exotic and unfamiliar, which make them interesting to look at.

It's very much like this, what determines the area of a rectangle? Is it length or width? Where some people argue that it's entirely dependent on length and not at all on width, which would obviously just be stupid.

BTW, the "old masters" have you ever considered that part of the reason is because they are photographing a world completely foreign to us? If I could send my mother back in time with her iPhone she would suddenly be taking better more interesting photos. You know what I think? In terms of pure skill, we have countless modern photographers just as good or better than the "old masters". Sure it's much more difficult to gain skill when you're the only one in the world doing it, but that's really another issue. If we were to transport one of those old masters to modern times without anybody knowing, it's not a sure thing he'd ever be more than just one among many decently successful photographers.

While I won't rule out the possibility that there's gonna be some composition of my dirty toilet bowl with the potential of selling for $500 million dollars at an auction, but if I wanna be known as a good photographer, I sure as hell will go photography an exotic car, expensive mansion, sexy model or anything other than my toilet, and that choice has nothing to do with skill.

I’d argue that choice of subject is an important skill in itself.

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