discussion

Artistic Ability - Are We Born With It OR Can One Practice and Learn It?

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I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, this topic kept popping into my head.  I would see it pop up from time to time on social media, so I figured I would write a post about it. I would love to know what people think on this topic as it’s been so prevalent in my mind over the past while.

Are people just born with artistic ability or is it something you can learn, practice and hone and eventually become artistic? I have asked a few people this question and most seem to be on the side that think people are born with artistic ability. Some are of the other camp as well but the majority seem to think we are born with it. Now even if we are born with it, I think you still have to work at it, hone it and perfect it.

Albeit some people are just born with an innate ability to play an instrument or paint or draw but for the most part I am of the mind it has to be worked at. Now maybe some people are born with some artistic ability in them but I really do believe you can learn how to paint or draw or take a picture if you keep at it and practice and are taught properly. Perhaps not to the skill level of Picasso or Ansel Adams, I think artists like that, of that skill level are far and few between, but I think most anyone can be taught and learn and become an artist to a certain degree.

Let’s start a conversation on this topic, I really and truly would love to know what people think!

What do YOU think?

Better Gear DOES NOT Make You A Better Photographer

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…never have truer words been spoken. This has been a constant debate and topic of discussion among photographers in forums and the like for years upon years. It’s a pointless argument/discussion because it’s neither the camera nor the lens that make the picture, it’s the photographer!

Over the years, I have often heard from many people: “oh I need to buy this expensive camera”, “that expensive lens” or “I can’t create the images I want to because I only have this shitty camera or this crappy lens”.  STOP with the excuses!  Nothing could be further from the truth. You absolutely DO NOT need expensive gear to create amazing images.

I wish I had the money to buy all the gear I wanted but I don’t and I don’t feel that is truly going to help me create better work. I suggest you start out with a relatively inexpensive camera and the kit lens that comes with it. Get to know the ins and outs of your camera.  Practice, practice and more practice with what you have. Master your camera.  Learn it inside out.

You can worry about better gear and spending more money later on once you have worked on and honed your craft.  Learn the basic principles of photography and master the camera you have.  So many people get caught up in spending a ton of money on gear when they are just starting out it and it really isn’t going to make you a better photographer nor is it necessary.

Only YOU have the ability to make YOU a better photographer. So get out there practice, learn and talk to other photographers who have been at this awhile. Take courses, get a mentor but MOST importantly get out there and shoot!

Everyone Is a Photographer - Is Access To Technology Helping or Hurting The Photography Industry?

In today’s day and age, where technology is so easily attainable for anyone and everyone, all of a sudden everybody is a photographer. This is constantly a hot topic of discussion on the internet and it periodically reappears and rears its ugly head. I have heard and read rants from other photographers in the industry about the fact that anyone with a camera fancies themselves a photographer. Even I have been guilty of venting about this very topic.

Digital Single-Lens Reflex or DSLR cameras have come down in price so much in the past 5-10 years that it has made it affordable for everybody from your Grandmother to your Aunt Josephine to Uncle Sam, to go out and purchase a camera and start taking pictures.

The cell phone camera has just exploded onto the scene now as well. We have people releasing books that consist entirely of iPhone photography. Albeit the people releasing the books like that are in fact professional photographers, it is another tool with which people capture images.

I think it’s a great thing that technology has become so affordable in the photography world and more people are jumping on the proverbial photography bandwagon. Although just because someone picks up a DSLR or an iPhone or a compact camera this doesn’t make them a photographer. It takes practice, hard work and frankly you just have to have an eye for it. Can someone develop an eye for “making” a photograph? Personally, I don’t think having an eye for capturing images can be taught to someone. It is innate and you either have it or you just don’t.

Having said my piece, I would like to leave you with a couple questions to ponder: Is the affordability and ease of accessibility to photographic technology helping or hurting the photography industry? Let’s be honest, are we really concerned about the Uncle Joe’s or others that go out and buy a DSLR just because they can, encroaching on our business and stealing work away from us? I think not but what do you think?

Image courtesy of lolroflmao.com