You Got Gold


Late afternoon glow.

Light.

There would be no photography without it. After all, we know that photography means painting or writing with light. In many ways, this picture is the essence of it. The bushes are wet, the sunlight found the water droplets and this is what we have. I’m sorry to say that even though I compressed the image my own way, WordPress did a number on it.

That’s just part and parcel of the way WordPress treats photographers and our work. If you are a writer WordPress suggests free sources of pictures. They have also created their own library. It’s free too. Why can’t they suggest as a way of community building that writers develop friendships with photographers and do special projects together?

Oh. I know that’ll take time. It’s easy to go to some free stock collection and find a picture that is good enough. It also inhibits learning the necessary skills to collaborate on high end projects. Sure, it’ll work in today’s bottom end print and digital projects. But, who wants pictures or words that are just good enough?

I may be an old dinosaur, but just good enough isn’t good enough. These days everything seems transient. Art, writing, muic, video projects. One day that will change. Mark my words. Covid 19 is the driver.

Eventually, even though new ways of working at everything will open up more time, many people will think, “I just don’t have the time to waste on this junk.” If I’m going to invest two hours or so on a film it had better be worth that. Same with music.

Same with photo books. Very few publishers are printing photo books these days. So, photographers are publishing books that are the visual equivalent of naval gazing. There is a guy online who’s got a little power. I followed him among about 30,000 other photographers.

I finally gave up.

The work he champions are out takes for guys like me. I finally washed my hands of it all when he saw pictures from an old friend of mine. He said somewhat incredulously that “this guy can really shoot.” Gee. Ya think? He’s only been doing it for 50 years. He’s been National Geographic’s golden boy for 25 years.

Even one of my mentors has gotten in the act. He did a short video on Instagram. He discussed another photographer’s book. He asked us to buy it. He suggests we should all buy each others’ books. Huh? Talk about navel gazing.

When I went to the other photographer’s website, the books were for sale. $400. Right. Let’s see. Say there were ten of us. I’m going to invest $3,600 to make $3,600? Now, you understand why so many photographers are broke.

Anyway.

This is not a rant. This is my way of heading back to photo discussions.

I want us all to think about quality and what it means to us. I want us all to understand that unless we have some other source of income, photography was a business.

Was?

Yes, was. I’m not sure how most photographers can sustain themselves during the pandemic era. OTH, you might as well keep going. 40,000,000 people are without jobs. Many of those jose aren’t coming back. Quite a problem, eh?

I can’t stay angry at everything, so…

Stay safe. Enjoy every sandwich.

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