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Sunday, November 17, 2013

What Level Are You?

I see this notion that a photographer is at a "level" quite a bit, as if there was a linear progression from one end of the spectrum to another. The implication is almost always that whoever is speaking or writing is at a "higher level" than whomever they are speaking or writing about.

It's utter nonsense. Photography as much or more than any fine art, is a wild collection of mutually orthogonal collections of knowledge. After the photographer has a basic grasp of how to make a photograph with technical details to suit, there are no more levels. Knowledge and skills fan out in all directions at once.

You can be superbly skilled with flash, and useless with people. You can be moderately capable at landscape, brilliant with kids, and completely out to lunch at black and white.

There are no levels here, there is no progression of exams, certifications, or colored belts.

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