Photography is not elitist!

There are no rules with doing photography besides you have to have a camera and perhaps a subject that you have decided to shoot or one that presents itself or perhaps some random thing which you happen across. No one can tell you that you must,

  1. take a photography class online or at some studio.
  2. walk through some years of practice until you still have not engaged.
  3. pay your price by doing some kind of study or rigorous definition of post processing or shooting RAW or using Photoshop or Lightroom.

You can buy that camera now, head on out, make mistakes, learn, make more mistakes. What’s the goal with photography anyways? You looking to become professional? There’s another track for that. You wanna astound your friends with the photography-foo? Or perhaps what you want is what I want. I want a recording of the places I have been in some kind of evidence or placed in some cloud repository for my enjoyment. Perhaps I want to look back when I am in Cambodia or Malaysia and remember what Hanoi was like.

I only mention this because there are photo sharing groups on facebook and other places where I feel you have some dues to pay before you contribute. So I am here to say there ain’t no dues. You buy the camera, the lens, the bag. You travel. Notice all the You’s. There are no They’s. You may not enthrall millions but the people that matter  are not them.

I bought a camera not to become some world-class photographer. I bought a camera because its a mix of art and science. Its the triangle of things to learn and mistakes are okay. Its okay to over-expose and wonder why. Its alright to back up the photos to some USB drive and always see them but gauge how you have learned or what you spent a evening reading in your hotel room preparing to go the next day. In the spirit of that endeavor, I am the learner forever and the error prone guy that backs everything up to Google Photos. There is no right way to do photography.  The only one way I know of is you have to have that camera. You have to be curious and full of wonder about all those elements like aperture, ISO. But you can set the camera on auto or pick one method like Aperture Priority and get on out there. Sure the mistakes will mount up. Imagine if you don’t though and its all a wanna be moment.

Lost, forever lost.

I only mention all this because I am the consummate learner. I want to learn how to do it. But I want to learn by doing it. I don’t want someone telling me theory of light and shadow. I wanna make my mistakes, make more mistakes; but with the camera in my paws.

So here I am in Vietnam and i joined this or that photo sharing group on FB. Ignore them. Do what feels right to you. I spent the money on a FujiFilm X100F because I felt it was a good learning tool but it also had a great set of references, reviews, and I could buy guides and study.

I think the only way really to learn this stuff is to go out and do this stuff. Now I have been in Japan and am in Vietnam. The opportunities far outweigh the liabilities. If you want the camera, go buy the camera. Buy the memory cards. Do the thing.

I’m happier, more frustrated, reading at nights. Its the way I want it.

Author: Michael Perry

I've been blogging for over 20 years and now am living in Southeast Asia. The blog is about my slow vagabonding wherever I want to go. My home base is in Cambodia but I'm rarely there.