I thought of compiling a list of things that people say or do related to photography that really gets me going mad. I maintain my calm but my insides all start burning. So here is a small list of these annoying little things that people do or ask –
“How many megapixels is your camera? I am planning to buy a camera or I have bought a camera with so many more megapixels.”
No matter how much photographers try to educate people about megapixels, no one seems to still understand. Higher megapixels sadly still excite people. The worst part is that even a lot of photographers with their new and shiny DSLRs also boast about this. I use an old Nikon D200 with 10MP and have large posters printed from the photographs taken on it. I wonder when will people understand megapixels. (Megapixels)
“Should that empty space in your photograph not be filled with something? It looks too empty.”
Negative space is rarely understood by even the best of the photographers. So maybe I should go soft on non-photographers who comment in this manner. Once people have enjoyed the main subject, this question almost always comes up by ‘experienced’ viewers. (Negative Space)
“Your photographs are beautiful. You must have a very good camera.”
I guess that Van Gogh was really lucky to have the best paints and brush. Mr. Shakespeare too must have had a great pen.
Found an interesting anecdote on internet – ‘A photographer went to a socialite party in New York. As he entered the front door, the host said ‘I love your pictures – they’re wonderful; you must have a fantastic camera.’ He said nothing until dinner was finished, then: ‘That was a wonderful dinner; you must have a terrific stove.’ – Sam Haskins
“Which phone should I buy for doing some serious photography?”
Hello. Did someone just say which ‘phone’? If you want to do serious photography, get a camera. Phones have their limitations. That said, yes, the phone cameras can be used to create great photographs (Phone camera for photography) but get a camera if that is your main purpose.
“I visited this beautiful exotic location and here are my photographs. I am an advanced photographer now, am I not?”
A beautiful landscape will look beautiful. There are places around this world which are blessed with such natural beauty. Just being able to travel to that destination and click photographs does not make you an advanced photographer. It makes you a traveler and a lucky one at that. I do love to see photographs of those far off exotic locations but these are not the photographs that make a lasting impression on me.
“Hello. I am a photographer too. I bought this top of the line Nikon DSLR and I have this wonderful super-expensive lens.”
You are rich. Buying a camera makes you poorer by the amount you paid to the camera company. It also makes you a user. A consumer! Owning a camera does not make you a photographer. (Who is a Photographer?)
(Bird captured by an amateur snap-shooting photographer using a Canon Powershot SX130 IS compact camera. Opposite to what consumers of expensive photography equipment try to show, it is the photographs or the end results that show the quality of a photographer.)
Coming to another aspect, here is a list of things that people do which really upset me-
Further editing of photographs.
This is what many users do when I give them their photographs. A lot of photographs get posted on social media sites with weird saturated colors. Some increase the contrast and sharpening to an extent that the photograph is not even recognizable. Use of so called ‘cool effects’ is another seriously annoying thing.
The photograph of mine on the front page of the site was given to me by a friend. To fit the image into the site’s theme, I had to work on it but I did share with him the photograph and get his approval before making the page public.
Casting every photograph in the same die.
The worst part is that even photo-printing shops try to equalize all the photos to the same tonal values killing any drama that might have been there by the interplay of light and shadow. (To an extent this is understandable if you look at the lots of under or overexposed images that people still churn out and give for printing.) Recently this happened with me when my photos were printed by a professional printing service for a photography exhibition (see the image below). Lesson learnt – Get my printer repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
(The image on the left has angel’s face lighted up by the sunlight.
The one on the right is without any kind of drama and looks bleached.)
Buying a camera for the sake of showing off
Now this is yet another category of rich individuals. First there are the ones who buy the cameras and consider themselves as photographers (as I have already pointed out earlier in the article). Now these are the second category of people who buy the camera and don’t even use it properly. Sure, Hasselblads, Leicas and all the exotic cameras can be purchased if you have the deep pockets but buying them to show off to your friends, colleagues, other photographers… that is going too far. Anyway, at the end it is your money so do as you like.