Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's not easy.

Being a photographer is not easy business like some people think.

I am inclined to believe people who are not interested in the dynamics of photography,.... other than, say, looking at a beautiful photograph, ...think taking the picture itself is easy and they could probably do it if they wanted too. I mean, they see a photo of a beautiful mountain with an outstanding skyscape surrounding the mountain, and think "pheh! easy"...

I came across such a person recently in a gallery we were walking through. We were standing side by side looking at a photo of a Sand Cave in New Mexico. The red sand was shining, and a beam of light cascaded from the roof of the cave, sand glitter sparkled in the sunshine, the photographer clearly used a Fisheye lens to capture the greatness of the scene. She causally said " this is gorgeous! but what makes it so special? I could do this if I was standing in this spot". I stood there but didn't say anything about her remark. As we moved from photo to photo, she was exclaiming with enthusiasm about each image, clearly enjoying each shot for it's beauty. But I could also hear her sigh under her breath, and I wondered if she was thinking the same thing, that she could take that shot if she were the one taking that exact image.

At the end of the gallery, the manager came over and asked if we enjoyed the gallery, if we had any questions, and so forth. The woman next to me, as if to prove my observation of her, said, " Why are these photo's so expensive?, I've seen the same type of photo's on-line and I can get them inexpensively or even free" The manger was gracious and didn't flinch, I had to wonder if she was used to this line of query. The manager went on to explain the photographer's impressive resume, the work that goes into each image on the wall, framing and such, and that his work is quite sought after. The woman nodded, and smiled easily. The manger asked this woman if she was a photographer, and if she was interested in the workshops this gallery provides. The woman answered that she only had a Sony point and shoot camera, and that no she wasn't interested in the workshop, she didn't think she had a good enough camera. Then she thanked the manager, and had to leave. It was lunch time.

So, when a person looks at a beautiful photograph,....a work of art the photographer intended to make other people ohhh and ahhh over,....and think they can do the same thing, I wish they would just try.

Like, go to that sand cave in New Mexico, get up at the right time in the morning, chase the light as it's called, trek into the cave and find the right, tight, spot, decide on the correct lens, the right composition, the angle, the right aperture and shutter speed, then take about 3 or 4 dozen shots to get that exact final shot. Meanwhile hoping the light doesn't shift while getting the shot.

Yep, it's that easy to get that shot up on a Gallery wall, and have a person with a P&S say she could do the same thing if she were standing in the same spot. not.

I am interested in the photo workshops this Gallery offers, I would love to know the secrets of getting the most amazing images. I have a blast with photography, I love that it's come into my life. At this point, I have a decent enough camera, but there is so much more to it, so much to learn and do with that camera. I for one, know it's not easy.

1 comment:

  1. Well, if you wanted to introvert her, you could have quizzed her on what lens, shutter speed, f-stop, etc. she would have used to capture the shot.

    There is also being prepared to take a shot when you happen upon one. There's a story I heard about a famous shot Ansel Adams took of the moon rising over Half Dome. He just happened to be driving into Yosemite Valley to have a drink at the Ahwanee Hotel when he saw the moonrise. Since he always kept a camera handy, he just pulled over, snapped the shot, and resumed driving to the bar!