Everybody can takes photos
2023, April 11
That's great news.
The reason for this post is to remind me that this isn't fully true.
Although everybody can take photographs, not everybody can make images.
There is still a difference between photo takers and image makers, between photographers and happy clickers, between camera gear and smartphones, between technical possibilities and ergonomics.
Many people use their great smartphone camera's. But most of them are not thinking anymore what they want to capture. A lot of people don't see the benefit anymore using a "real" camera. I agree, if it's working for you, just do it. And also use all the benefits of the creativitiy apps provide to express your final images.
Don't worry that smartphone photography is a competition for photographers. Having a great camera in your pocket doesn't make you a good image maker.
When I look at my own childhood photos I also see a big difference over time. My father went from an ordinary simple compact camera to a SLR camera. Not that he is a photographer, but you saw a difference in his images. More often there was a good image in between. Not because the camera was better. Simply because there was more thought about it. Same with the post process, although my parents didn't do the developing themselves, they made a selection which photographs came in the family book. Nowadays they only use a smartphone and their shots only exists on their phones.
If you can keep the image making mindset in smartphone photography, it's good.
But be warned, I see photographers reaching for their smartphones and losing their true love of image making. They think they are suddenly more creative because they shoot "differently". Of course anything new stimulates new thinking. But it can also quickly reappear when it becomes a habit again. You then have to ask yourself whether that new way has made the habit really better.
For not photographers, the smartphone photographs all look the same. A digital bokeh where you see the digital manipulation from the smartphone camera software. Although it isn't a deal breaker for most people. All their photographs have the same sort of color/contrast/exposure settings. And that makes sense, the way these photos are made is intended to please the masses.
Things that are sometimes quick and easy don't always get better. I have plenty of examples that I try at home with the family. A simple thing, movie night, we buy a 2nd hand DVD, annoyed by the slow startup before the menu comes on screen and we can watch the movie. In the meantime, let's read the back of the DVD one more time.
Yet this way of watching a movie is different from streaming it. When we stream something, everyone prefers to watch what they bingewatched on their own device. They are deposited by other messages and it is a solo activity.
It's the same as listening to a new album on vinyl instead of streaming. I don't skip the numbers, I'm listening to the whole album, also to the numbers I don't like, which sometimes even become the more favorite ones.
I'm not going to be hypocritical, I use it all. But you shouldn't always follow automatically. Don't forget the real reason what you want to do and what you want to achieve.
Back to image making, for me smartphone photography is not working.
Although I'm a snapshot photography, and a smartphone would work just fine, I don't like the ergonomics. I want to have a camera in my hand, it challenges my creativity and it works faster. And sometimes it surprises me how I managed to get something on it in a lomography way.