There’s a phenomenon that I have seen, which to be honest is concerning me a little.
Recently, I was out in the Peak district with the intention of photographing Back Tor – a subject I’ve never really focused on before, and which has been heavily photographed by other people. So, some creativity was required to make a unique image, and it took a long time of waiting for the correct light and conditions to get the shot.
While waiting, I took a point-and-shoot photo with my phone, no artistic consideration, no planning, or control over the depth of field etc. just a quick “look at where I am” photo, which I put onto Facebook:
Here’s the thing – people on Facebook went nuts for it. Called it “amazing, gorgeous, stunning”. Why? It was none of those things. Just a flat, boring, artistically uninteresting photo of a big rock outcrop. It’s not a photograph I would put on the wall, or an album, anyone could have taken that image, simply by a) owning a phone with a camera and b) being where I was.
I think this is important, and I see it all the time, there is a huge divide between a photograph of a great thing, and a great photograph of a thing – my business is with the latter. The final image I created used a specialist lens and the knowledge of how to use it, plus the combination of 3 filters as well as the experience to set the camera in manual to best make use of the lighting that I waited for 3 hours to arrive – keep an eye on my upcoming Walkabout 2018 series to see the image (don’t forget to follow me if you haven’t already).
And yet a meaningless, artless point and shoot that anyone could make receives acclaim. Does that mean that when I post an actual image that I have hand-crafted with 10 years of practice and it gets called “wonderful” or “amazing”, it’s actually just lumped together with the point and shoot?