"Wealth will increasingly be defined by our ability to go offline whenever we want." - Fernando Gros
0 items in your cart
$0
Blog // Images
November 13, 2009

On Not “Just” Being A Photographer

CNNgo is a very sharp new travel and lifestyle blog from CNN, along a similar line to the CNNtraveller magazine (which I’ve always enjoyed). A few weeks ago I submitted a proposal for a feature on Hong Kong storefronts, with words and photos and this week it went out here. Whilst I’m not looking to […]

CNNgo is a very sharp new travel and lifestyle blog from CNN, along a similar line to the CNNtraveller magazine (which I’ve always enjoyed). A few weeks ago I submitted a proposal for a feature on Hong Kong storefronts, with words and photos and this week it went out here.

Whilst I’m not looking to switch gears and become a journalist, it was a lot of fun to research that piece, do some writing and take some photos out on location around Hong Kong. In fact, it’s just one of a number of things that have made me realise how far my photography has come in the last few months and challenged me about what the future holds there.

Repulse Bay

Whilst thinking along those lines, David duChemin’s blogpost yesterday on Pixelatedimage really caught my eye. He was challenging those of us who are prone to describing ourselves as “…just an amateur photographer.” Commercialising our craft is only one of a number of decisions and ultimately not the most important one.

What really matters is whether we have embraced a desire to grow technically as photographers and more importantly, to grow as people who look at the world in a clear, open and honest way.

“We don’t take photographs with our cameras, we take them with our hearts and our minds. They are a reflection of ourselves, what we are, and what we think.” ~ Arnold Newman.

I love the technical side of photography, buying equipment and learning to use it, getting inside the software, that sort of thing. But, more importantly, I’m just starting to realise that the photos we take reflect the way we see the world. Finding your photographic style is not unlike finding your “voice” as a singer, or your “tone” as a guitarist or instrumentalist.

Great Wall

Responses
Toni 13 years ago

First, congrats on the publication. I’ll try to read it in a bit.

I agree about both the tech side and creative side of photography; in many ways it’s a great marriage of 2 areas that we often perceive as being in conflict with each other. A little like playing electric guitar, it makes me wonder if acoustic players are the charcoal artists of the guitar world.

This post affects me on 2 other levels. Before moving to where we live now I worked as a (moderately) successful part-time professional photographer, doing everything from weddings and portraits through publicity pics to pack shots. Great fun being paid for my time and skills with a camera. At the same time I’ve never considered charging people for my creativity, which is something I’ve always seen as separate from camera-handling skill, and is an area I love to give away. Likewise I’ve never done a paid gig on guitar yet, and TBH never expect to, possibly because guitar is for me, more about creativity than photography.

This is not in any way a criticism, so much as an observation of what your post sparked in me.

Fernando Gros 13 years ago

Photography and guitar-playing are the same in that they are governed by fixed mathematical relationships. You don’t have to understand them to shoot/play at a basic level, but eventually you have to get grips with that fact, either at an intuitive, or explicit level.

I didn’t know that you had worked as a photographer, but it doesn’t surprise me, since you’ve posted some really amazing pics on your blog, from your travels.

Like you, I love to give away creativity. In fact, I’m going to take some time later to write a post in response, because you’ve raised a lot of good questions on this point.

Leave a comment

Enter your and your to join the mailing list.