Friday, February 13, 2015

I Love Photography But..

When you tell someone "I love you but.." this is usually a red flag, and sometimes a sign that the first clause is actually not true. And yet, it's (yet another) common refrain. I love photography but I don't know what to shoot. I love photography but I don't think my camera is good enough. I love photography but I'm creatively dead. I love photography but I don't know how to start a business.

All of these may be signs that you don't love photography at all. They may be signs that what you really love is the idea of yourself as a photographer. You envision yourself as the steely-eyed photojournalist, Leica in hand, capturing the details under fire. You're the sensitive artist, capturing the personality of your subjects in entirely new and profound ways.

Quite likely, you love cameras and shiny gear as well.

There's a good chance that you don't much love the actual work of getting it done. Crouching behind a ruined building with a Leica while someone shoots at you is, surprisingly, not very fun at all. Capturing personalities in new and profound ways is, it turns out, pretty hard.

Add to this the mass of trivia that other camera enthusiasts seem to think is important and the whole thing becomes quite daunting - how can I capture the personality when I have to calibrate my monitor first and what the hell is white balance, exactly, anyways?

Perhaps I am privileged. I love photography but I don't have nearly enough time to make more than a modest dent in the backlog of stuff I want to do. So I've always got stuff to shoot, work to do.

But that's how it is.

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