What follows is a quick blog after an interesting Twitter convo with other like minded photographers, all of whom are all fed up with seeing pillocks on specific photography blogs.
I guess it has always been this way, since the dawn of time or at least since brands started to become something to measure ones ‘self worth’ against, people have argued over what piece of plastic/metal/thing is better. Nintendo V Sega, Playstation V Xbox, Apple V Windows, Apple iOS V Android…… I could go on but you get the point. In the photography world it used to be mostly Canon V Nikon, but now it’s morphed into all manner of manifestations.
In the last month of so I have been reading a lot of blogs, watched a lot of videos and spoke to a number of people because I am going to ditch my Canon gear for the new Sony A7Rii, research, that’s all I have been doing and in doing so have come across pure vitriol on the blog forums. If someone’s not bashing a camera they’ve not yet used, they are bashing files they’ve not even tried. If they aren’t bashing files or gear they are bashing others that choose to use it. And its hatred written, not a preference, pure hatred for a brand they do not want to use.
But that’s not where it stops, there’s Film V Digital, DSLR V Mirrorless, Film type (fill in the blank) V Film Type (Fill in the Blank), there’s Nikon V Canon, Canon V Sony, Sony V Fuji, Fuji V Everything else blah blah blah blah. OH MY GOD.
……….. and don’t have your photos featured by any of these popular blogs or even newspapers. That 12-year project you poured your life into, “rubbish”. That new technique you tried and caught the attention of the social media world, “rubbish”. The commission you got by XYZ Company that made the billboards, “I could’ve done better than that”. Rarely it appears, does anyone have anything else to say except that they don’t like it.
I love photography, but are “photographers” just the worst? Why, if you are reading this do you feel the need to go online and confirm to the world just how much better your equipment is compared to others? Why do you feel the need to belittle those that are actually ‘doing’? Why if you could do so much better aren’t you doing so?
Constructive criticism is fine, if the person asks for it. I’m not sure when the world decided that telling people that you think their work is sh*t became socially acceptable? And you are telling them, these people would know that their work is about to be featured, and they will be reading the comments, your nasty comments. Your written opinion is the same as going to a gallery, speaking to the artist and then telling them to their face all the things they’ve done wrong, why you would’ve done it better, why the materials/equipment they’ve used were wrong? Yeah, you wouldn’t do that would you? But aaaaah its ok to do it online?! Come on, behave. Its great to have an opinion, but to be so often over the top zealous about it? Do we really need it?
And look, I'm not squeaky clean in all this, I do not love everything thats produced its well documented that I cannot stand HDR and yep, there are photographers I see regularly that produce work that while everyone loves, I don’t, but do I go on the Twitter/Facebook/website and tell them? No, course not, because that’s rude. Of course I discuss it, but most likely with friends or to myself if it’s been one of those days!
The gear V gear argument is the most tiresome for me. There is no denying that equipment is important but its incredibly subjective and just because one camera suits one person, doesn’t mean it will suit someone else. I suspect half these ‘trolls’ aren’t really photographers, or working photographers anyway. Last week I clicked a few links to find an architectural photographer after he bragged and slammed someone else’s work (multiple times)…… he had no website, just a Facebook page filled with photos of birds from his garden, which I guess wasn’t really surprising
Yes, I (we) should and could probably take all these commentators with a pitch of salt, but it always bugs me (and maybe you). If you think that working professionals are standing next to each other on a job bickering about the size of each others mega pixels you are very much wrong, they are thinking, how can I get that shot and get paid! Use whatever tool makes you happy, gets you the results, fits your budget, makes you money and more importantly makes your clients happy, and seriously, please, next time you go to bash someone for not using brand X or to tell them how crap you think they are, ask yourself if you would like to receive that opinion, whether you liked it or not.