Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I've always found myself having limitations. These limitations have become a piece of who I am and where I belong in the world. But when it comes to art I find myself looking for those kinds of limitations.

Technology is changing our world everyday and it's making the art industry become worse and worse. Professional photographers need to get their hands on all the new software and gear to make the easy dollar. The advancement of technology has many people in the tip of the fingers and they're all dependent on it.

Photography, in my opinion, has gotten worse and worse over the last decade. People seem to think that having top quality equipment and expensive software will help them create "amazing" work. But they forget it's the image they should look at and not the quality of gear they buy. This dependency get's me irritated. And it get's me irritated because this perception of photography has people spinning.

So, I call this the "four year photographer." It happens all the time. A photographer buys great equipment, finds pretty models, gets under paid commissions, tries to make it big moving to the city, can't find work, use their savings to pay rent, go back to their hometown, attempt to recollect their fame, and completely lose interest in photography because they're frustrated.

All the crap they have, couldn't reclaim their fame, got bored and quit completely. And it happens all the time. As far as I see it I'm glad these cycles come around. It's a reminder that I'm not that kind of photographer.

My start was a Pentax ME Super my father owned with a 35mm lens and black & white film. I was introduced to this medium in a Photo 101 type class Thom Halls was teaching. He taught us the basics. You know. Those things you need to learn before you can go out and take decent pictures like:

- exposure dials
- correct exposure
- shutter speeds
- light
- black & white development
- black & white printing
- etc

I was persistent at learning these basics. And when digital photography emerged into the photo program I learned the basics and advancements to make decent photographs in camera and in software.

After years of shooting digital I started getting bored with photography. I wanted to challenge myself and decided on doing a 365 project. Shooting, producing and blogging everyday was key to completing this project and made me think of photographs a different way.

It helped me obtain an incredibly large skill set. However, with the software knowledge I gained, the ability to produce digital images in a small amount of time, and knowing I can salvage a badly exposed picture made photography not as challenging.

So, I made the conscience decision and went back to the basics. I started shooting film again and sold all my digital equipment. I stick to one ASA speed, have no light meter built into my cameras (well.. the medium format is an exception) and take selective pictures.

The shooting, the scanning and working them on Photoshop (cleaning dust and scratches, curves, and sharpening images for possible print) is a slow process, but a rewarding one. The images sort of sits for awhile until it has some relevance to something.

And the fact that I decided to limit myself to something like this makes photography more of a challenge. I don't know why this is, but I'm forced to know if I have the right exposure measurements, if the lens is in focus, if the composition is decent, and if I have enough shots on a 36 exposure rol.

I guess I'm tired of seeing these mother fuckers with loads of money buy all this garbage and think they can make easy bucks. That they think the crap that they have makes them "professional photographers". And those assholes are the ones who are tainting our reputation as artists. As photographers. As the ones who don't have the kind of money and are limited to the small tools they have. But they still continue to make beautiful pictures.

I know I'm ranting, but I think the photographers who continue to hustle with what little they have deserve more respect. They're the ones who should be noticed for their hard work and beautiful pictures. I hope that this whole "Professional Photographers who buy a bunch of shit because they think it will make them Professional" thing will fade. But I doubt that will happen considering how all these companies sell all this crap and it doesn't even fucking work half the time.