Why Can’t I Just Take Photos?
Do you ever feel like you just want to take the photos? You just want to feel the breeze on your face, click your shutter, and upload your images. You just want to create something beautiful and not have to deal with all the 'other stuff'.
But, at some point, for most of us - you're going to have to think about storing, editing, printing and sharing those photos.
This requires technology. And whilst we certainly can't pigeonhole photographers into categories, many photographers who take mind-blowing images, are often not technically-minded people.
Instead of creating, we need to think about back-up hard drives and raid arrays and organising our files. Then there is Lightroom and Photoshop and what you need both for? Not to mention plug-ins and so many other photo editing tools and software. Should we transfer images via a cable or a card reader?
How about printing? Why are my prints too dark? What colour space do I use? Everyone says sRGB but if you're going to print then RGB? How will I know when I'm shooting what I want to print?! In fact, I've never even heard of colour space – do I change that on my camera or on my computer? How do I calibrate my monitor? Can I do it for free?
And, then there is Instagram and 500px, and Flickr, and Facebook, and smugmug - or should I hootsuite them all?
Let's face it – there is a lot to learn. And, it's not even about the actual photography! Learning is one of the pleasures of photography. But, it's hard. Everyone has a different opinion about what you should be doing. People have their own personal preferences, but which is right, and who do you listen to?
Sometimes it would be nice to just take a photo, give it a quick touch up, share it and then sit back and bask in contentment. Photography should be about the moment – the image – the feeling it gives you and the feeling it gives the viewer. It should allow us to share ourselves and our stories, to create and experiment, and expand our minds. If only we could outsource all the boring tasks! Even if you love to edit there is still a lot of other 'stuff' to clog up your process.
Life is a contradiction, and for many of us so too is photography. The technical aspect vying with the creative. Is it only the truly great photographers who manage both? We think not. It's a personal thing but mostly it's about balance and preference. You can take photos with your phone, edit them with an app, post them on Insta and be completely satisfied. You can also research a location, research time and weather, research gear, spend 2 weeks getting the shot, then another 4 months editing it with sophisticated software and then print it on specialised fine-art paper, store it in a cloud and an array, never share on social media and get the same happy outcome.
Did you know the word technology comes from two Greek words, transliterated techne and logos? Techne means art, skill, craft, or the way, manner, or means by which a thing is gained. Logos means word, the utterance by which inward thought is expressed, a saying, or an expression. It actually sounds like the perfect summation of photography though of course as an image rather than words.
Here at Venture Photography we recommend a one-step-at-a-time approach. Pick the thing that you need to know right now. Have you run out of storage space on your computer – OK well that is an important item to tackle immediately. Do you want a print to give your friends of an image you took at their wedding – visit the print store and ask questions. Do you want to spend time editing or are you happy with a free online program – it doesn't matter as long as you get the results you want. It's also good to find a mentor or join a camera club. Photographers talk and share information all the time. Do a workshop – not only are you learning specific to your requirements, but you are also meeting people on the same journey.
Finally, don't be afraid to ask, don't feel like you are the only person who just doesn't get it. We promise you are not. In fact, most professional photographers are still learning new things and honing their craft only a daily basis. And, remember that all forms of expression are technical in their own way – artists mixing pigment and making paint, or sculptors choosing their tools and technique to suit the stone, writers word-processing and storing valuable documents – the list goes on – art is about the practical as much as the creative.
Just remember to breathe – you will find the answers you seek (if you seek them)!