Photographers I hate – 1st part, the newbie amateur

He started taking photos about two years ago. He never before imagined that one day he’ll become a photographer, but as it usually happens, you can’t plan for a passion. Because that’s the only way he can describe it now. It all started when he bought his first DSLR ever, a Nikon to be precise. Because usually once you fall for a camera brand you never go back, isn’t it?


Of course, he had to learn everything from scratch but thankfully there were the tutorials on the internet, the photo-walks during the week-ends with other kindled souls – amateur photogrAphers sharing tips, advice but overall the passion. As much as his full-time job allowed him was devoted to photography. Well, being divorced and single he had total control of his free time and now that he has found his passion, his other love of video games has been put aside.


But you see, he discovered that not only he loved taking photos – other people liked his photos as well. Hey, someone even wanted to buy a print of one of his first photos. So his confidence grew and  almost naturally the idea of starting his own Facebook fan page to share his photos took life, and lo and behold his photo page has now 18K followers.


Things were getting serious, his friend, the professional photographer took him along to some sessions where he could take photos of professional models. What an excellent opportunity! He befriended some if these models and he started doing his own photoshoots. He used to joke how difficult it was to be a photographer, surrounded by semi-nude women.


Because you see, he has somewhat specialized in artistic nudes. He has never been prudish, quite the contrary, so when people started reporting his photos as inappropriate on Facebook, he got quite mad. It is unbelievable the amount of people who become outraged at the sight of a female nipple.


But trouble not always came from the prudish, no. There was the woman who told him she would like to do a nude photo session with him, but did want her photos to be published on his Facebook page. He assured him that whenever he was hired to do a photo session, privacy and use rights were discussed and respected as agree. “What, are you going to charge me to take photos of me naked?” was her surprised reply.


This was ludicrous! Did she thought she was doing him a favor? Couldn’t she respect his work enough and expect him to do it for free?! He complained to his Facebook friends about the whole mess, making sure that in the meantime any other woman who expected him to take photos of her naked for free would think twice before daring to do so.


His Facebook creative friends reassured him it was a very so common problem: people expecting them to work for free (photo, video, graphic design you name it) without realizing they had bills to pay, a family to feed. Oh, did he feel the pain! Well, sort of felt it because he still had his full-time job but hey, he also had expenses, like the internet and travel costs and hey, if his photos were professional quality, he deserved to be paid as such.


And soon he will have extra costs – he decided it was enough of Facebook censorship. Which was only exacerbated by the pettiness of prudish, hypocrite and jealous people. Even other photographers had the nerve to report him.


He was sure that his 18 thousand plus fans will follow him. No, it was not out of a morbid, voyeuristic trait that he got so many views and likes, neither the fact that he had a big network of Facebook “friends” to whom their photos were “pushed” continuously. He will show them. Hey he even got a deal for an itinerant photo exhibition. And yet he still was grateful for the undeserved attention, he had been in the profession for such a short time only! Passion plus talent are on the side of the amateur photographer, brace yourselves professional photographers! Don’t be haters! Welcome the amateur photographer with wide open arms!


Well, it’s true that his photographs weren’t World Photo Press material. Nor he hasn’t yet got viral worldwide thanks to those blogs the kind of “divorce thirty-something man creates whimsical self-portraits incrusting himself in silent movies stills” or the like. Maybe his composition skills aren’t great yet. Maybe his photos are on the burned-highlights side, but is a matter of personal style, you see? And his willing to defend his style till the end.


Maybe one day you’ll get to know his work, is a matter of months. I could, of course, link to his FB page or give you his name but truth is, I despise the man. His photos are as vulgar as himself. He’s congruent in that matter, you have to hive him that. Alas, the quality of his photos doesn’t justify his delusional self-confidence.


I hate him.

Could I’ve been losing interest in photography?

There was a time that I would spend a lot of energy and resources around photography – going to exhibitions, reading manuals, tutorials, magazines, websites, taking photos, butchering photos digitally, posting photos, classifying photos. And then somehow the interest has faded away. I realize there weren’t really lots of new things that I could learn about the basics. That doesn’t mean that I came to master them, but that it comes a point that you have to go beyond learning the theory and start practicing the theory in a more rigorous way. Same with keeping up with new gear – if you don’t plan to use or really need it, you just have to settle at some point with what you have. Other interests come and fill up your free time.

I need to make a conscious effort to make time for photography because I do like taking photos, but it might have to coincide with new travels, new settings. There is also a need to find inner sources of motivation. Probably in the past I relied too much on feedback from others, even though I never had a huge follower base, there were always the odd internet acquaintances – some of them even professional photographers – that would give me an eventual comment or recommendation.

But it might be a good thing after all, if I get back into butchering photos doing it without needing or expecting feedback. At some time I did, and maybe I should start again, posting horrible photos with burnt highlights and clipped shadows, with horrible posterized colors and centered subjects, with no regard to depth of field, sharpness or blurriness for that matter. Ah, yes, to be free and careless, a brut artist. Oh wait,maybe someone will find something to praise there. Oh well, you can never win …


On ‘selfies’

This self-portrait is an homage to the early 'selfie' using the technique of a mirror reflection. The most recent technology allows mobile devices users to shoot themselves while previewing the image to be taken. No more visible cameras and immediate sharing capabilities!

This self-portrait is an homage to the early ‘selfie’ using the technique of a mirror reflection. The most recent technology allows mobile devices users to shoot themselves while previewing the image to be taken. No more visible cameras and immediate sharing capabilities!

‘Selfie’ – the contraction for self-portrait – was declared word of the year 2013 by to Oxford Dictionaries. But apparently people take the term selfie as just a photo of themselves, not necessarily taken by themselves. I’ve also seen the term used for photos where the ‘selfie‘ is accompanied by other people. Do group photos count as ‘selfies‘?

Looks like it’s enough for a selfie to count as one if you can ‘picture’ yourself in the photo taken.

Interesting how photomaton photos weren’t really considered as self-portraits though technically the subject was the one operating the machine. No one said in a form – attach (self)portrait.

Even weirder is the use of the term unselfie – logically, what is not a selfie will count as a unselfie. It is almost like a zen koan:

What is left from a selfie once you remove yourself from the picture?

Removing "your self" from the picture - what is left?

Removing “your self” from the picture – what is left?

Everything changes…

Last week my C:\ drive died so had to replace it. I’ve got a new c:\ with Windows 8, which means I need to adjust to a new operating system. And reinstall all the programs, applications, devices I use. And try to recover my iTunes library. ITunes has also changed lately so I have to relearn how to install everything again. Firefox has been reinstalled and I lost all my marklets, booklets, shortcuts, you name it.

And now Flickr has also changed. Yeah, my photos look better because I’ve uploaded in most cases high resolution versions, but everything is so crowded, or at it least it looks that way to me. I feel like I have to learn everything again, feeling so old suddenly, things changing so fast. It’s been almost 8 years I’ve been on Flickr, I’ve been through many changes since I’ve started. Before it was acquired by Yahoo. And now Tumblr has also been acquired by Yahoo. I loved posting quotes on Tumblr. Will that change too? Am I being left behind by the social media train? One that is biggr, fastr, bettr and ultimately irrelevant?

I’ve never been good at baking or knitting. My hobbies consist of butchering images and posting them on Flickr. And posting quotes on tumblr of articles I found via Twitter. That was so 2010…

But as the Red Queen said “…it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.”




The companion apple

The green apple joins the fetish collection along Ganesha and the orange witch

Someone gave me an apple last week. A green one. I decided I should eat it at some point and left it in my office. Next day I came into my office I saw it and realized I’ve forgot totally about the apple. I came to the conclusion that I was not going to eat it at the office, because somehow the work environment is not favorable for me to eat apples. So I decided to put it in my purse and take it with me back home, where surely I’ll be more in the mood of eating it.

When I was home I saw the apple in my purse and convinced myself that it was not the moment to eat it. So I decided to leave it in my purse to take it back to the office, where surely I’d be hungry at some moment or the other, and then the apple will be there, ready for me to eat it.

Now it’s time to go back home, my work day has finished. I go to my locker, grab my purse and what do I see? My green companion apple, there she is, ready for when I’m ready to eat it. You can see that, even if she’s strong, the travels back and forth in my purse have taken their toll in her smooth surface.

I should really eat it before it goes back to the office, but now the thing has grown into me. It’s like a good-health fetish: “I’m being very health-conscious, see how I have my apple prepared for when I have a little hunger”.

It would be just easier to come to terms with the fact that I don’t like green apples. And then I could let her go, thank her for the good moments we’ve spent together the last couple of days and go on with my life.

And just for the record, I have some chocolates that have been with me since way back, they live in my desk drawer. They don’t go bad, they’ve just become hard and dry, like a bitter old lady. They’re chocolate mummies. Those are my junk-food fetishes, to remind me that I could eat them if I wanted to.

And you, do you have any food companion?

43 folders challenge

I’ve decided to give my 43 folders a chance. As from today and for a month I’ll use them as methodically as I can. At then end I’ll report on how I did.

2007 resolutions

This year I’ll:

  • stop worrying so much
  • remember I have only a limited influence on events
  • focus on my own actions and choices
  • let others live their own lives
  • have fun

What about you?