A lively discussion about photography on a friend’s face book timeline made me pen in few of my thoughts. What I write here are my opinion and observations.. Not meant to hurt anyone’s feelings
Gone are the days when very few wildlife photographers in India were struggling to get decent image of animals in their habitat as it involved lots of hard work, hardship and had to face dangers in the forest not to add in the expenses for the films, travel and so forth. In the event they did get their dream shot their only medium to showcase their images were newspapers and magazines or exhibitions that they held to raise fund for their next sojourn into the forest.
Advent of electronic media and social media networks has spurred an increase in the number of wild life photographers who are generally brash young professionals with lots of money to spare who splurge on high end cameras, and big lens. By the way high end cameras and assortment of lenses does not guarantee better images if they are not aware of the basics of photography. A creative photographer can take a great image even with a mobile phone since the end product depends on the composition of the image and the knowledge of photography in general.
Most of the current day wildlife photographers are being driven by peer pressure to get one up on the other person who has posted an Image on the various social media network. Be it wildlife, landscape or the street photography there is an intense unseen competition to get a “wow” image on your face book page. Please note my stress on most… as I do know very good photographers exists among the current lot who carry out their photography out of pure passion and are hardly bothered about the responses they get on the social media networks.
Another trait I have noticed among the current day lot is that there are no dearth Ego issues... and they are very quick to belittle other photographer’s images either the way it has been captured or post processing done. During olden days one needed a darkroom, chemicals and other tools to do the post processing but now all is done with a click of the computer mouse. One needs to understand that all images captured by anyone is first processed within the camera itself based on the manufacturers setting so nobody can quote that no post processing is done . Coming to the post processing the images on a computer where does one draw the line on this aspect. In my opinion there is no issues in doing all the processing required just to make the captured image look good as the individual had envisaged the shot. This may involve even digital manipulations, but then those images would not be accepted for photojournalism or photography contests. Few persons are gifted with good knowledge of creative processing and I have seen them use this tool to bring out “Wow” images that only can be in our dreams and is acceptable to me as long as they do admit to having digitally altered instead of palming of as shot images.
I do know my statement may rake up intense discussions but then here is a quote for you all from a 13thcentury mystic from Persia named Jalal Al Din Rumi and I do believe holds good for everyone in whatever field it may be.
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy”
Enjoy your photography hobby earnestly and I am sure you would feel the joy and fulfillment of capturing your images without any thoughts of what the society or the virtual friends on social media networks think of it.