I like photography; I just don’t particularly care for yours. The technology of cameras, the creativity of post-processing and the skill of finding the perfect composition is something that I am interested in. I enjoy photography as a hobby.
I don’t enjoy looking at photography as art. It bores me. Instagram entertains me but I don’t necessarily subscribe to the great Internet photographers for inspiration. The footer of F-stoppers and the over-processed glossy photos does nothing for me.
I like to look at photos from people I personally know. But looking at strangers photos on social media is not that interesting to me. I enjoy creating photos for friends and family. I have no interest in ever being a professional or selling my services as a photographer. My work bears that out. It is laughably amateurish and somewhat pretentious as an artistic wanna-be.
My sole reason to visit photography websites is not to be inspired by someone else’s work but to learn techniques that I can use for my personal photography. I purchase courses on how to do this or that with Adobe’s over-priced and over-rated cloud photography suite. The editing process is fun while I create to suit my taste. To study at a tutorial and figure out how to apply a technique to my efforts, is my jam. Seeing the author’s outcome is not something that would necessarily impress me.
Photography as a hobby will always be my choice. It should remain fun and interesting. I never want it to be a tiresome slog of daily deadlines for overbearing clients.
Learning New Photography Techniques
It’s possible my lack of interest in photography as art will necessarily limit my abilities. I couldn’t tell you the name of a single photographer besides Ansel Adams. Looking at a coffee table book of landscape photos doesn’t necessarily inspire my next vacation. Rather, I look at a how-to book of photography tricks and try to figure out how to replicate that cool shot.
I saw a photo of the moon and wondered, how do I get a photo like that? Since I enjoy photography as a hobby I went out one night with my crappy 300mm lens and crop sensor camera and played around for an hour with ISO and shutter speed and nailed a few sharp shots. I uploaded the image into Lightroom and fiddled around with the exposure and such and had it spit out a photo my friends and family could give a thumbs up to. Two years later I haven’t taken another moon photo and nobody has revisited that photo.
I saw a post about steel wool photography and decided to give it a go. It was easy and for all but photography nerds is pretty much a crowd favorite. My people are pretty impressed while I smile and think a three year old could do it. I drag the chain and steel wool around different spots and sling it around to create cool light missiles. But if you’ve seen one steel wool photograph over a broken down metal building or in a graffiti tunnel you’ve pretty much seen them all. So I just look at mine.
We Are All Photographers Today
It’s not to say that your stuff isn’t great or interesting. It’s just that everyone is a photographer.
I’m not a pixel peeper and I certainly can’t tell much difference in this photo of the Grand Canyon or that one. Your photo of that magical reflection high in the mountains is incredible, but so was the hundred others I’ve seen posted up.
As anyone who reads this would recognize, photography is not my passion. Photography is my hobby. I don’t feel compelled to fill my Instagram grid with photos. I’m not unfulfilled if I haven’t photographed anything in a week.