Friday, 6 April 2012

Where has photography gone?

Every so often you stumble across an article or quote that somehow re-focusses you and reminds you why you first picked up a camera. i remember the first time i fumbled around in the dark trying to wind my film onto the spiral, then going through the developing process all the while wondering if i'd creased or miss spaced the film. Then that amazing feeling when you see your images in negative for the first time and it all starts again with the printing. The smell of the chemicals in the dimly lit room, spending hours upon hours forgetting what daylight looks like just to get that one image perfectly printed.... i could go on... 

So many people these days enjoy the title 'photographer', it somehow has become the fall back job of many creative people. The industry is crowded with 'auto shooters' who rely on the camera technology to create correctly exposed images, hiding the fact they know nothing about photography. As soon as an image has been captured its stuck through the "photoshop process' and then quicker than you can blink its online for all to like and praise. But those hollow 'likes' clicked on facebook or the pretentious critiques given on Flickr, all aid the expansion of ones ego. But, really....they mean nothing. 

At the end of the day, why am i doing this? why have i chosen to do this? I know why. Because i have to. i need to capture images and record light, it's part of me, and if no one ever saw what i created thats ok. The years i have invested in learning all there is about capturing light with cameras has generated a pure desire to make this my lifestyle. If no one ever paid me i would still need to do this. 

I read this interview with Mary Ellen Mark and it reminded me of all the reasons why i love photography. No matter the cost, no matter how hard, its worth it. Its not about post production, its all about understanding light, and until you truly understand light, i don't think you are a photographer.

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