huthe technology trap
hunter or are you a sculptor?
here is some good advice. i have received at one pointThe Evolution of an Artist:
The sketches and photographs are examples of how the evolution from crude imagery to fine art evolves in several stages of competency in handling the technical difficulties before creativity has a chance to emerge. This does not allow us to clearly conclude which came first, creativity or craft. Was it the hidden artist, unable to communicate the vision due to the lack of technical competency? Or, was there first a competent craftsman, who was no longer satisfied with technical perfection alone, and finally realized that creativity was the next necessary step? The sequence is irrelevant; only the final level of pictorial maturity is of importance. Ultimately, creative vision and exalted craftsmanship are both characteristics of the person we call ‘artist’.
Many people are first attracted to photography by the exciting technology, the lure of sophisticated equipment and the pride of its ownership. They are also intrigued by the challenge of control and enjoy mastering the equipment and materials to achieve technical excellence. Thanks for all that ingenious modern technology, designed to fit hand and eye. There is a great appeal in pressing buttons, clicking precision components into place and testing the latest materials. The results can be judged or enjoyed for their own intrinsic photographic qualities, such as superb detail and rich tones, but we need to avoid falling into the technology trap.
The hesitance to blame initial failures on one’s own way of doing things is a common pitfall. The common resistance to making test strips is an excellent example of this aversion. Rather than solving the real issues, there is a tendency to hunt after the latest and greatest inventions. Hoping that the next camera, lens, film, paper or miracle developer and another electronic gadget will fix the problem often only leads to more disappointment. It is far better to thoroughly understand already existing equipment and materials before spending significant amounts of money and endless hours to buy and test new products.
However, even photographers who have honed their skill and achieved the highest level of craftsmanship need to consider making the final step. Tools and materials are vital, of course, and detailed knowledge about using them is absorbing and important, but don’t end up shooting photographs just to test out the machinery. Try not to become totally absorbed in the science and craft of photography, which is all too common, but put them into perspective as merely the necessary means to create your own images and eventually reach full pictorial maturity.how do you feel about that?
I would agree with this overall. It's a balance. Clearly, the endless pursuit of better tools and techniques is a problem. But I would also like to point out (again and again) that an interest in the craft and technique of photography does not preclude being creative and making great art.
Perhaps we should differentiate between the pursuit of equipment and the pursuit of technique/craft (and knowledge). Some great images require lots of technical skill. Others require little.
All makes sense to me.
This is the route I say I've taken. I set aside seeking technical perfection (for me technical good is enough)... Creativity is where I want my growth to come.
Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht
It was a sad day when I realised my fancy new light meter didn't immediately make my photography awesome... Currently I believe the biggest contributors to creative success are persistence, having a camera with me, and general observation of the world around me.
huthe technology trap
It probably stems from our pasts, gathered around the fire, comparing flintknapped tools and arrow heads, comparing basket weaves and pottery, and all the trades in between to "upgrade" to something newer and hopefully better from another person, group, or a whole other region through long trade routes.
Technology makes us who we are in a sense, being able to utilize tools, and understanding their methods of application. Some would say its in our nature.
I'm pretty guilty of this, reading reviews, testing, taking things apart and figuring out how they work, always on the search for new things and more information online and in books. Photography is probably one of the few fields I think you can blindly stumble around, and with enough persistence get results, but why do that when we live in such times where so much information is easily accessible and much of it for free.
It's good to utilize what you have, and really learn it, but only you can say at what point you have really understood it. I guess the best thing is to try and live within your means, and understand photography is and will be a money pit, and you have to judge if it's worth it all. and sometimes it's not always about the results, but the process and trip there that really counts.
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I *like* playing with technical toys and exploring their capabilities. I try not to confuse the results with capital-A Art; sometimes I might stumble over an aesthetic success while trying out a new tool or technique, but on the whole, the endless quest for cool things to play with is a separate goal from the pursuit of artistic transcendence. I'm not really very good at the latter, but dang, can I ever play with cool toys!
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
I suppose it might be partly due to the fact I 'learned' photography at a university's art dept that cameras. etc are not toys to play with, but are tools of self-expression. The results of using the tools are what is important, not the tools themselves. Same with craft. I really never thought otherwise.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.