Taking a good photograph, infact let me go ahead and say making a good photograph [as the pro would say] is just as much of a tough job as carving a masterpiece out of plain rock. Granted that a top notch quality stone and chisel make the job easier but the rock still has to be carved and chiseled. What people fail to understand most of the time is the effort involved in making one such image. That would still be fine if they didn’t come up and say something really stupid but sometimes those very words makes me want to tell them to go to hell!
Here is a list of five most annoying things that I’d never like to hear and a probable explanation to the ignorant critic [The one who usually says these things] why it is so annoying.
1. Awesome camera = Awesome photos; Awesome place = Awesome photos.
Really? Now this would be the most stupid thing to say, ever! I am sure most of us have heard this since the time we have started taking the first of the shots.
This analogy has also been said time and again and yet I would like to mention it here, one more time. For what it’s worth it is like saying to a writer who has written an amazing novel, “wow, it must be one hell of a pen that you used to write this.” The writer’s pen and the photographer’s camera are just the tools. The skill lies with the person not the tools. Even if you get the settings right, which can be done by reading the manual of the camera, what about composition? What about creativity? How can a place or a camera affect the way your mind thinks and preconceives a great shot? Only once you see and envision, you could try and use the camera to capture the thought and beauty. But the point is, to see.
Check out 10 super shots taken from a phone camera proving my point-
So was the airplane invented on the first go or the camera itself invented just like that? It always takes trials and practice to master any skill. Photographers are not born masters; they evolve though practice and learning. So who cares if I take one thousand shots before I get it right. The point is, in the end I got it right.
3. Your photos look fake. Does not show reality of the place
Well excuse me if I have the capability to ignore the bad and only notice the good. If there is garbage lying all around a beautiful waterfall, I choose neither to notice it nor to photograph it. As long as the waterfall is good, I am content enjoying the beauty of it rather than stressing on how dirty the place it. Now that is what exactly I choose to showcase in my photos as well. Are you saying it is my moral responsibility to prepare you for the ubiquitous crowd when you go to see Taj Mahal? Crowd or no crowd, Taj is Taj, always beautiful.
Apart from this, one good trait every photographer picks up after addiction to this hobby is the power of observation. We are always on the look out for something new and interesting. While we are so attentive of the environment and surroundings, we do notice some stuff which might go unnoticed by the rest.
4. Your photos are photoshopped. We like only originality.
Now this is something which is beyond my understanding. What do you perceive as real? How is it assumed that anything that comes out of a camera is real? A camera again, has been built by us and we can choose how to capture a given scene, what colors to capture, what saturation and contrast to maintain, and what exposures to set.
While you see a scene with bright colors a camera with normal setting would never capture it the same way.
Human eye is one masterpiece of a sensor. It can comprehend scenes in low light just as comfortably as it can comprehend a scene with high and low exposures at the same time without any loss of detail. Try as we may, we have not been able to replicate camera sensors to that level of detailing. So what is the next best thing you can do? Tricks and tips – which is where Photoshop comes into picture as a divine blessing.
If a polarizer is used, it reduces the haze and removes the reflection making the picture look better. What if an IR Filter is used? The image is produced capturing the light from IR Rays. Now IR Rays do exist and if human eye had the capability to see IR Rays, then this is how the photo would be. So does this make the photo any less real? This is again like saying Ultra sonic sounds don't exist because you can’t hear them.
Photoshop/Filters are here to help us create something that cannot be captured the normal way. There is photography and then there is digital art. Appreciate each for what it is instead of making snap judgments as soon as you see a picture.
5. You were at the right place at the right time!
Yea right! Once you hold a camera you become a Hogwarts wizard the next moment, apparating and disapparating to the right places at the right times. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it takes meticulous planning and painful waiting to get one good shot. 80% of the shots are not taken by chance. I am willing to give the benefit of doubt for 20% of the photos to account for spontaneity but most of them are envisioned before hand. More often that not, a photographer always has an idea of what to shoot and he/she waits until the same or something better is captured.
I have waited for hours together to get one good shot. I remember standing out in pitch dark bearing Himalayan chill trying to capture the brilliant milkyway. If you have ever taken a night shot or camped in Himalayan wilderness, you’d understand the difficulties involved in taking a night shot as well as doing the smallest task of getting out of tent in pitch dark at 14000ft. The cold just kills but I still did it for I wanted something spectacular. So to put things in perspective, I was not at the right place at the right moment instead I scout for location then wait patiently.
In the end, all I am saying is, photography is a tough job and it is time photographers received their due. I am not saying I am a great photographer nor do I want to be garlanded and felicitated, all I want is for people to understand the intricacies of this art before making a stupid comment.