Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Master The Light"

How often has some fatuous idiot told you that in order to be a photographer, you must "Master Light" or something similar? Heck, I've probably done it on this blog.

There's two problems here.

Suppose you have two pictures. One has a random assemblage of junk crammed badly into the frame, but with marvelous dramatic or interesting light. The other has a small grouping of meaningful objects, well-placed in the frame, but the light is, eh, the light serves only to let us see the objects. One of these is a good picture, and the other one isn't. Great content can make a great photograph, regardless of light. Great light cannot save a crummy picture.

Somehow, though, fatuous idiots never say "You must Master The Framing" or "You must Master The Perspective". Nope, it's always the bloody light.

The other problem is that the fatuous idiot always makes it seem like you have to go meditate silently in Tibet for a year before you can begin to Master Light. This is false. It turns out that we have two organs in our face which don't do anything except sense light and keep our eyelids from chafing our brain. Mastering the Light is called "seeing" and many of us do it quite a lot. To be sure, you have to see with some intent and intensity, but for crying out loud, you just do that. Look at some pictures, good ones, and then look at the world.

What you really need to Master is Master Not Looking at 500px for shitty landscapes you can copy. You need to Master Not Trying To Make Amateurish Copies of Second Rate Crap. You need to Master Not Taking Advice From Idiots on the Internet.

Now go away and stop taking advice from me. Git. Go look at some things.

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