Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
NT: No argument there. I'm certainly not suggesting people should simply give up things they aren't great at. Rather that they should be realistic about what they are trying to achieve or accomplish.
I'd agree with all that, and unfortunately I didn't have time to be clearer when I wrote my previous post.

His goals appear substantially more serious than someone just wanting to enjoy an artistic pastime to the best of his ability.
In that light I think I get where you're going, and I'd agree---a lot of people (in photography and music and probably every other art) seem to get bogged down in an overthought, external preconception of What Is Required To Be An Artist, rather than just getting out and doing whatever it is they do. I tend to think that more people perpetrating art that works *for* *them* is a good thing, and asking "how do I find my subject?" seems like a reasonable question to ask en route to that goal.

You know, I think there's a fairly common perception---and I'm not sure if the OP is having this problem or if I'm just going off-topic a bit---that there are "right" and "wrong" choices of photographic subject, that some subjects aren't photographic enough, or pretty enough (or ugly enough), don't (or do) convey an unambiguous Message, and so on. Somewhere out there, there are impassioned photographers of kittens and sunsets, and damn it, they're entitled to find their passion and play it as it lays!

As far as music goes, I still don't think it is much different. Perhaps it is because my background is in orchestral/"classical" music. Anyway that's a discussion for a different thread.
Yeah, I'm partly speaking from the punk/no-wave "anyone can do this" soapbox, and I tend to agree with those who feel that the Western classical tradition has become more restrictive than most of its strongest voices would ever have intended. Photography has less of that problem, IMHO, because of the widespread acceptance of casual vernacular photography, but basically I see a similar dynamic in both worlds.

I've told more than one person "The only people who think they can't play the harmonica are sober", which I think is a good principle to live by in all versions of art.

-NT