I spent a quiet day today. No long walks or places to see with the camera. A few things regarding the photography thing occurred to me today as I sat in the room and did some personal stuff.
There’s a wide variance between someone that takes photographs and a photographer. A person that simply enjoys recording the passage of time and space and does that digitally has a need to perhaps learn to do that better because its a part of the human condition to want to get better. Unfortunately, the flip side of that is comparing oneself to some established photographer you happen to see on twitter or facebook. You may think,
why can’t I do what that person does? Am I just not talented or have the artistic or photographic ability?
Then I think some angst and depression sets in. We have lost the sense of fun-ness of the thing. We perhaps get mad or angry or sad that we do not seem to progress. But applying this to me and I have done this; I am not a photographer. I am someone who merely enjoys cataloging his world and travels and does that with a real camera. No one pays me for services nor do I keep a blog with only photographs or submit them or do anything with them. So when I see Person A and her amazing work, I want to suddenly learn. Its like being a child in some ways. You pick up a new thing to do and the next thing is wanting to be good at it.
Often that hobby or pursuit is dropped when you don’t feel you have met the goal or when you measure yourself against some established person you have not progressed. Its a shame really because when I go through with doing the photography on my walks I always wish to do better and sometimes, just sometimes, it intrudes on the fun part of things. But I think; this is part of the human condition. We pick up a thing and want to do it better. We want to get good at it. Then on our blog we can label ourselves as having a Lifestyle, Travel, and Photography Blog. Perhaps we do some SEO (whatever that is) and some ads and some affiliate programs. This blog won’t ever do that. It doesn’t have “wanna be” syndrome.
I faced the same thing with the photography I don’t wanna be a photographer. I want to enjoy it for what it is. So what do you have to learn? Well, enjoying something for what it is and could be does not mean you don’t learn. But learning is one thing when done for your own needs and another when you are doing it to compete. When you cross over to competing, then comes the measurements and perhaps the failures. Its easy to say,
Hell yeah I’m a photographer! I shoot in RAW and have a subscription to Lightroom and Photoshop. I can create tone curves and edit my RAW files like anyone’s business.
I read this blog about having fun doing photography and a pretty well established photographer, perhaps a pro, admitted that he had thousands of images sitting around waiting but yet no interest in doing it. He had lost the essence he admitted. The “why” of it had left. He felt you only get that back with a new camera when you have to figure it out.
What happens though if I drop all that pretense and just say,
I just wanna have fun. Images they be good and bad. My frames will rule or suck. I’ll get better but its based on my own measurement and not comparing myself to person B.
I was guilty of this with the FujiFilm X100F. I wondered how long I was supposed to go about this before I got better like person B or F. Well, the answer is never and I realized it today. I do the photography not to be a photographer but to have fun and learn for its own sake. Just like blogging as I’ve written before. If you sell and have ads and have SEO optimized thangs, good on you. I may stop reading your blogs when the ads get disruptive. I want your words not your ads. I want to measure your writing and not what you wanna sell me by click throughs.
Give it some thought. I have today.