Today I took a breather. I wanted to have a look around at what's going on around me, who's doing what etc etc. It just makes me think though how many others are doing the same thing as me. Sitting on youtube, watching tutorials, listening to other people's opinions, reading other people's blogs.
Photography is an immensely popular past time. So I guess for me it feels like sometimes photography is something we ALL do and love - as much as I love producing images I feel like there are literally thousands of others who have been there before or are experiencing what I am doing now.
So what makes me different from the rest of you? Nothing. I get so insanely jealous and critical of other people's work that it totally does my head in. What is that? Why can't I just be happy holding my camera and making the images that I see? What is this incessant need I have that I have to do something no one has ever seen - and when does that outweigh who I really am as a photographer? When do my images that are 'iconically' me stop being me and when do they start being photos for the sake of exploring new boundaries or pushing new limits. I know that most of my ideas and thoughts have been done before, I just mean the inner struggle of what it means to be a good photographer that has his/her own style/brand.
My honest feelings are that I am no where near where I want to be. I also honestly feel like I am hindered by my gear - I am shooting on a D300s with 50mm 1.8's and 35mm 1.8's when I should be shooting on full frame bodies with 35mm and 85mm 1.4's and a nice 14-24 2.8. But then I read the pro's blogs and they say that equipment is bullshit… Here we have a society driven by consumerism telling everyone you need the best gear to make the best images (Even Nikon said it last week on facebook - "a photographer is only as good as the equipment he uses" ?!? Who says that?!?) - then you have the pros saying all you need is an iPhone.
So what is it? I was supposed to have a day of relaxation and all it has ended up in is frustration. I'm frustrated by the thousands of different views by so many people, professional, amateur, beginner. I'm frustrated by the overflow of online forums and galleries where people post hundreds of photos per minute in a hope that we get a lucky break somewhere. I'm VERY frustrated by the camera companies who mislead people into believing that anyone can be a photographer if you buy their gear. I myself find this very blog disheartening because I only have 3 people subscribing to it and actually wonder whether anyone reads this at all. I'm not looking for a guilt trip, I'm just venting! ;)
What I find terribly frustrating is a very clear line in the sand between professional and amateur. The pros are more than ever so guarded about their profession because of the overflow of amateurs now entering the arena to take on the older boys and girls. I don't know what it's like for the rest of the world but in Sydney, well, Australia, I have no pros to aspire to, no one is as willing to talk and share like people like Chase Jarvis or Zack Arias or Jasmine Star. There is no one like that here in Australia.
With all of these people, pro, amateur, popular, unkown, where do I fit into all of this? Where do I sit? Pro? Amateur? I don't know. No professional recognises what I do - I have no status in the pro photographer's world yet. So when do I stop pushing my shameless self-promotion in people's faces just to get recognised? Where does all the noise stop and my photography is about me and no one else? That is probably my greatest frustration. The amount of crap I hear from all sides and not enough ENCOURAGEMENT. Too much biased opinion and not enough critical thinking. You cannot even begin to understand the amount of loneliness I feel from my peers. That alone makes me wonder if it's all worthwhile - it's all good when friends tell you great things, and I appreciate that so much, but other people who are photographers telling you that you are or you aren't on the right track - it helps so immsensly…
Ok vent/winge over. Sorry I put everyone through that!
And in celebration of taking shit images, here is one from my plethora of shit stock. Enjoy... or not.
|this was 3 months ago - crappy, grainy, random focus, badly composed, badly lit shot. |
Dont worry I slapped myself after...