I wrote an article a year ago about photoshop and photography. The big issue was whether you were a greater photographer if you didn’t use photoshop. I got positive response and lots of comments.
A year later my point still touches something within me.
I see discussions on a daily basis that highlight that you´re a great photographer only if you capture emotions; shoot something different; never use photoshop; only shoot in manual. Even more weird, that your’e great if you only appreciate photography that no one else does.
To be blunt, I think they are all wrong. There is so much more to it. The above reasons are only excuses for not seeing the big picture.
I often hear comments like “He/she is not a great photographer, he/she only goes to interesting places and has a bit of luck. How hard could it be to put a small soft-box on a lizard?” But, isn’t that exactly being a great photographer? Isn’t that a part of the job — to find great places, be patient, give it your all?
Isn’t it also our job to get our work shown, published or noticed? Let’s face it, if no one discovers your work, who are to decide wether you are great or not? Your mum?
You do not become a great photographer only by composing a great picture and pressing the button. You have to give it all of your attention. It involves location scouting, composing, camera technique, processing, editing, marketing, story telling, having personal skills and more. The most important thing is to have patience. Without patience you are nothing. You probably will get an emotional and economically ride of a roller-coster to achieve those skills and experiences. But without those experiences you are not there yet. Give it more!
Face it, being a great photographer is a competition. Why? You have to be better than someone else to get noticed. Is that something bad? On the contrary — it evolves us. It pushes our craftwork forward. It makes us stay on edge and it brings out the nerve and energy we need to push the boundaries and create something new. If you let it, it will take you to new territories and it will be the biggest eyeopening experience you ever had.
Do not be narrow-minded. Open your eyes and look at it from a bigger perspective. Being great takes more than being good or satisfactory. Photography covers more than just one subject. Like your school grades. Try to pass all of them. Have I passed all of the subjects in photography? No, far from it. But i’m trying. And trying is the key to success. Patience!