I’m going to try to make this real simple. When I began to deal with my fifth mid-life crisis and reconnect with my photography I was being swept along with all the bells and whistles of the digital world, PS actions etc. After swerving in and out of this traffic for a while I careened into some barricades of sanity and I was once again confronted with not listening to my inner voice a little more closely. So, brace up for some reality, feel free to take the grain of salt as needed.
Everyone wants the gear. The camera is simply a means to collect what you see in front of you. All the dials, buttons, and lenses are simply a way for humans to control what the camera sees. It has also spawned a culture of dial spinning, spec lusting hobbyists which are sometimes also professional photographers. [A professional photographer is someone who earns their primary living taking pictures] There is no end to the comparison both subjective and objective analysis of GEAR.
Enter the Photographer 2.0. Assuming one has the skill to take a “competent photograph” there is one more ingredient that is needed and I would dare say will be cropping up on College campuses if we get that far. The making of a compelling photo 101. It will be hotly debated but might be useful in rescuing us from the dreaded G.A.S. [Gear Acquisition Syndrome].
The photographer 2.0 is someone who is even beyond the properly educated, historically aware graduate of the aforementioned 101 course. Perhaps a Eugene Smith minus the self-destructive tendencies. These sort of photographers cannot be manufactured by any course of study. Their job is to recognize and capture without doing too much harm to themselves or others in the process. The story comes first and the gear second.
For those who aspire to the notion of storytelling with a camera, there is only one thing you have to know. Figure out how to get yourself and your camera in the place to make a compelling image. If you can do that without causing too much trouble you might have some longevity in the field. People skills will probably help more than anything to put one in place to push the button.
DISCLAIMER: Certainly there are other types of photography. The taking of catalog photos and weddings and all sorts of things and those have their place and require their own treatment. This short piece is about capturing rare moments.
Photo:The model and the finished product.