Monthly Archives: March 2009

Recording vs Creating

This is another photography discussion. There’s been a major push in photography since the rather quick rise of digital that photography shouldn’t lie: it shouldn’t create scenarios and the ultimate goal of photography is to record what is seen (I’ve heard this argument tailored down as evidence why we need noiseless ISO 3200 and up on cameras or they aren’t worth buying. Afterall, the world as we see it doesn’t have noise.)

I don’t buy it. If, in fact, all we’re reducing photography to is the technical ability to record a scene as it was objectively, there’s no art to the thing. Not even if the scene recorded is horrendously important for documentation or journalism. Documentation and journalism are valiant goals, but not necessarily art.

Art is the act of rendering a world, not of recording it. An artist weighs the world and then uses the elements of design and composition to present it back in a way that accomplishes a goal. But, the important distinction here is that they selectively record the world. A simple matter of framing can change the entirety of how a scene feels, and the right composition can create stories that weren’t even there.

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Walkabout #1: Follow-Up

Walkabout #1

Walkabout #1

So, the first walkabout wasn’t as awesome-tastic as I would have preferred, what with the nicest sounding morning of the week on the forecast becoming the only rainy day in reality. So it goes. But, Nick and I pressed on despite the rain and I think we didn’t walk away empty handed. Maybe not the most exciting pictures I’ve ever taken, but it was nice to have the challenge. More samples over at the Grimey Flickr.

Next one’s Monday, March 30, 8:00 AM, Indy, South and Meridian. Be there or be rhomboidal.

Pro vs Expert vs Flagship

In photography right now there are three basic ways to descrbie the top offerings from any given manufacturer: pro, expert, or flagship. My problem with the current market is how the term “pro” has come to be used.

Generally speaking, a “pro” camera, if you believe the market definition, has the company’s best imaging hardware and a full metal body with dual integrated grips (vertical and horizontal). I think this is a very commercially skewed take on what makes something a pro body.

Going to the root of “pro” we of course reach “professional.” It’s worth remembering that a professional is a person who makes their living from their photography. To that end, professional equipment really implies durability. Professionals generally are interested in durable equipment, because to them equipment is a tool and part of a cost and return equation. Well built equipment with acceptable performance for their specific needs is a good investment in the long run because the less often equipment has to be replaced the better the expense.

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What Makes a Pro?

OK, so here’s a topic that’s been bugging me for a while, and one I’m going to think about the next couple days and try to come up with some sort of concrete statement, but it really bothers me the way the current photo equipment market handles the idea of what makes something “professional.” As is no secret, I’m a pretty loyal Olympus shooter for a number of reasons, and part of being an Oly shooter and working in camera retail is this sorta disparagement towards small sensor systems. It’s a very strange phenomenon that, I think, over-emphasizes certain aspects of technological development and complete slights the idea of photography as an artistic medium and not just a journalistic tool. (Photography vs photojournalism and The New Realism as I’ve come to think of it is a related topic I’m definitely going to tackle soon as well.)

I’ll be back with more.

Grimey / Roberts Photo Walks

So, Nick (fellow cohort of Grimey Studios and fellow day-job wage slave at Roberts with me) and myself are starting a once-a-week morning photo walk. First walkabout is going to be this coming Wednesday March 25th at 8am in Indianapolis. You in the area? Meet us up at the intersection of South and Meridian. There’s a parking lot there, we’ll be on the corner strutting our wares. In the coming weeks we’re looking to get some local aspiring models out for something handsome, pretty, or otherwise attractive to point a lens at. It’s a big friendly thing, no judging no equipment bashing, just, you know, photography. We’d love to see you there, oh invisible readers.