Thursday, October 6, 2011

From the inbox

(I don't often publish guest articles but when this one came in I thought it might hold special interest for readers, so I'm posting it here in its entirety. Future submissions can be sent to me here for consideration.)

Photography Passion or a Craze

Nowadays, anybody who is in possession of a heavy weight, costly, big black camera claims that he is a photographer. Photography, trust me is not a pass time, not a hobby; rather it’s a full time job that unquestionably requires relevant training and knowledge. You simply can’t consider yourself a photographer if you are taking shots throughout the day and people greet you with a “What are you capturing?” rather than a “Hi”. Or if you have a huge collection of lenses of all sorts and makes for your camera rather than having a cup-board full of shoes and clothes for yourself. Also photography is not about getting all self obsessed and making poses all day long and capturing them. You cannot claim to be a photographer unless you have all your clicks taken of anything except for your own self obsessed self.

It really is time to consult a good physician if you are translating price of things in your mind as how much would it be equivalent to the price of “Eight 5D Mark IIs” and that instead of grabbing a good ham burger from the fast food outlet you could have bought two monopods in the same cost. There are certain photographers found so much involved in clicking away shoots all the time that their neighbors have to come and admit that they have stopped taking pictures of their kids because they are sure that you must be capturing them too. Girl photographers are observed to have abandoned purses and hand bags. They don’t need them any more as they have their camera bags where there lip gloss and other accessories can fit in with ease.

Nothing affects their love for taking shoots may it be a scary place they are passing by in evening, or even if they have to starve or hold their urines to complete a shoot first which they can’t afford to miss. Some of them even wish they had a built in camera in their bodies installed in place of the retina in their eyes so they were able to shoot the beauty around them without any hitch or delay. These people also pity on other people when they are taking pictures with their common dSLRs in automatic mode. Well although a costly lenses and a hi tech camera cannot make you a good photographer but this much passion and madness can.

About Author
Gabriel Ryan is an artist who is passionate about poster art. Check out his website where you will also find antique posters.


Anonymous said...

Once again, nobody is cool enough to be part of Blake's club.

cybergabi said...

Ah, the arrogance. Must feel pretty good to be so special.

Blake Andrews said...


cybergabi said...

I'm just sick and tired of people dissing other people about not being 'real' photographers - whatever that is. Just because someone is passionate about capturing their world without having a formal education or being able to make a living from international art prizes or selling to collectors doesn't mean they're not photographers.

Some of the work delivered by amateurs is outstanding. Some is boring. But the same goes for people who have a formal photography education. None of us became photographers by visiting photography school. We all became photographers by taking photos. Lots of them. Over and over again. And by exposing ourselves to other people's photography - looking at it, reading about it, discussing it, and trying to understand it.

Photographic output can be disputed: from an aesthetic viewpoint, a technical viewpoint, an ethical viewpoint, an emotional viewpoint, and many more - or simply as a matter of personal taste. Questioning someone calling him or herself photographer just because their output doesn't comply with some dubious standards transported through formal education should put the critic to shame.

(And on top of it, the post is full of grammatical and orthographical mistakes. And lacks style. Which would be forgivable if it wasn't so arrogant.)

Blake Andrews said...

I think I just had an othographical mistake in my pants reading this.

But anyway, if I understand correctly it sounds like you come down more on the side of passion than a craze?

Anonymous said...

Very poorly written. Some sentences make no sense. Was this a joke? The Gabriel Ryan website link was to the Julia Santen Gallery and I couldn't find anything relating to Ryan.

Regardless, it's an old argument about what a photographer is or isn't supposed to be - no different from which camera is better: Nikon or Canon.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who think that some sort of quiproquo is at work here ?

Blake, finally I figured out that your blog resembles your photographs. I say that in the most positive way.

Andrea said...

It's a spam. I've been getting spams that strangely make sense, then they just get strange.

microcord said...

Damn this is perceptive.

Nowadays, anybody who is in possession of a heavy weight, costly, big black camera claims that he is a photographer.

Yes, I know I'm not fit even to look like the truly great photographers of our era, Rodney Lough and Peter Lik.

You simply can’t consider yourself a photographer if you are taking shots throughout the day and people greet you with a “What are you capturing?” rather than a “Hi”.

Oh gods I dream of the day when somebody will ask me what it is that I'm "capturing".

(Ha ha, but that was tongue in cheek, wasn't it? Even I know that you don't capture pictures, you rapture them.)

After that point it all gets rather too deep for me, though I do like the bit about "urines".



Sent from my Anatov wireless device.

Blake Andrews said...


I hate Russia and I hate you. Go to hell.


Sent from my fuck you device.

Jeremy K said...

Uncalled for Blake... Sergei is just stating his opinion.

If I tell a human that his 4-corner
head (nose, 2 ears and back corner)
has only a 1-corner face, the dumb-
ass will say to me - "prove it". He
knows not that his face is a corner.
This goes without saying.




Sent from my Anatov wireless device.

Blake Andrews said...

A lot going on here since I last checked. I'll try to address everything.

First of all, the recent antagonistic comments by SERGIE and "Blake Andrews" are spam. I don't know who SERGIE is but he pops in occasionally and his comments are usually so offbeat I let them go. This one is less offbeat but expresses an opinion that I think some others share. I'm guessing he also wrote the next comment, supposedly from me, but I can't be certain. Anyway I'm allowing all comments to remain just so no one thinks I'm censoring anything, and as an exhibit of the naked aggression which surfaces commonly online. I think people who know me realize I would never write something like that. (Look for the Blogger logo near my name in comments to authenticate.)

About the article itself, I think it is also a sort of spam. I think a primary motivation of the author is to get us to view his poster art site. To use Mr. Ryan's words, he is passionate about poster art, and judging by his eagerness to see this posted he is passionate about it Now. But to me the actual material itself isn't quite spam. After receiving Mr. Ryan's initial inquiry there was some back and during which I directed him to write about specifically about photography. Which he did. And so it seems to me different than normal spam with no specific audience or author.

It struck me while reviewing the piece that I might be dealing with a teen or someone otherwise underdeveloped. Or perhaps a non-native English speaker with poor grasp of the language. If that were the case I would never post this, since that would obviously be mocking someone's inherent traits. But after checking I assured myself that Mr. Ryan was a competent adult, a self described "professional writer", and in fact he was quite insistent that I publish his essay immediately, I think for advertising purposes. And so I complied.

As for the article's contents, I find them incredibly entertaining. I've read this essay multiple times and every single time I still laugh out loud. It's that good. I'm not posting it here to get one up on someone or show that "no one is cool enough for my club", but as an example of the muddled type of thinking that commonly passes for rhetoric online. I'd been reading In the Basement of the Ivory Tower right when this submission came in, and so it seemed a natural fit. It seemed almost meant to be.

After reading Mr. Ryan's essay multiple times I still have no idea what it says or what the main argument is. I think it was mainly designed as an advertising vehicle. So for us to banter about this or that line of reasoning is, to me at least, funny. It's a bit like trying to decode some deep artist statement that's not really designed to be interpreted but just to muddy the waters. And I suppose this is what I see nowadays with a lot of photography writing. A lot of words flying here and there, loosely connected but with no coherent theme.

As for the Quid Pro Quo, while there was no formal arrangement I guess this whole thing could be interpreted that way. If you want to look at Mr. Ryan's poster art site, that's fine with me. I think his article was a good bargain in exchange.

Anonymous said...

I meant quiproquo specifically in the sense it has in comic theater (and was used a lot by e.g. Molière). But maybe it has to be translated otherwise in EN, sorry about that.

What I meant is that there is somewhere a misunderstanding between the content and what it is aimed for, especially when re-posted in this blog - with its audience made of a majority of photographers - which sorts of re-contextualizes the content.

It is actually funny, just like a most quiproquo are intended to.

Blake Andrews said...

I don't know what Moliere meant by quid pro quo. I was thinking of the standard Latin translation, "What for what". As in, I'll give you this essay to run if you include my link.

g said...

It's all downhill from here.