Technical perfection is fool’s gold

Rey Spadoni-0590-wm

Most photographers love gear.  Love extracting the highest levels of quality from it.  Love getting more and more and more of it.  This all goes with the territory and so is to be expected.

Knowing this, all those engaged in earning a living and generating profits in any and all endeavors associated with this craft will throw ample quantities of gasoline on this fire.  As a result, we are constantly introduced to:

Infomercials masquerading as content.

Upgraded bodies and lenses that squeeze more megapixels, better low light performance, greater contrast and clarity or any number of other essentially meaningless features into the latest and greatest rendition.

‘Become-a-better-photographer’ training programs (and while you’re at it, regrow hair on your head and get rich quick too).

Post-processing shortcuts (e.g., “presets”) that promise nonsensical one click pathways to artistry.  Ugh.

We photographers are the horses being led to this water.  We are the target market.  We are the fish in this barrel.

Marketers offer these and other measures to show the value of their wares.  More megapixels.  More social media likes.  More usable pixels at insanely high ISOs.  More convenience because of smaller and lighter kits.  More, more, more, more…

more technical perfection.

What’s near impossible to measure?  How about an eye for creating compelling composition?  Or an ability to tell a story by freezing one single instant in time?  Or what about evoking emotion from the viewer?  Or seeing and expressing the movement of light across the ordinary… rendering it extraordinary?  Or how about artistry?

Can’t sell stuff related to those things.

So… what would you rather be?

A consumer?

Or an artist?

3 comments

  1. Rey,

    Could not agree with you more. This final paragraph:

    “What’s near impossible to measure? How about an eye for creating compelling composition? Or an ability to tell a story by freezing one single instant in time? Or what about evoking emotion from the viewer? Or seeing and expressing the movement of light across the ordinary… rendering it extraordinary? Or how about artistry?”

    just really hits home with me. I am constantly surrounded by friends of mine who are constantly buying the newest and best gear possible, but then you look at their photos, and well, they’re….crap. I mean, they ‘look nice’, but they’re all of the same 3-5 things, because that’s all they know. They don’t have they eye, they’re not storytellers, they’re just ‘kids’ with more money than brains, simply looking for the most likes they can possibly receive on social media.

    For the longest time I was using a Nikon D3100 (my first DSLR) and I was honestly embarrassed to tell people. I would often find myself saying that I had a D5200…..why you ask? I really don’t know. I guess I just felt left out with all my friends with their fancy Alpha’s and Mark IIIs 😦 ….but that was really dumb of me, because with my D3100, and my little nifty fifty, I was producing far greater images than them (not to show off or anything lol..). My point here is….NO, you really don’t need the best of the best. At the end of the day, the outcome of the image is ultimately in the hands of the eyes behind the camera, not the camera itself.

    Thanks for the great article. I look forward to following your journey.

    Cheers,
    Anthony

    Like

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