Have you been brainwashed about photography? What me? How absurd!
I’ll bet you have been, and it’s so deep you don’t even know it. Just like the Matrix, it’s all around and so “real” that we think this is “reality.”
Right about now you’re thinking, “come on Marc, what the hell are you talking about?”
Ok, alright, let’s jump right in, are you going to take the blue pill and forget, or the red, and find out just how deep the matrix goes down the rabbit hole? (or is it the other way around?)
Here’s the first thing you’ve been to lied about: To take a great photograph you need the newest, fastest, highest- ISO, multi-media camera out there.
To that I say, as my friend Guy Kawasaki is fond of saying, Bull Shitake!
Look at all the great photos that were taken pre-digital with fixed, low ISO, no-trick cameras.
But before you miss my point and think I’m just some old geezer who’s stuck in the glories of film and can’t go with the flow of digital, that ain’t what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about what’s really important in photography, versus what we’re being brainwashed into believing to fuel the consumer-driven industrial-photo-complex, that needs you to discard your “old” equipment that you bought just 3 years ago and shell out big bucks for the new version. That’s crap and I bet you’re starting to see just how deep this rabbit hole is (hint: this is much more than about photography, but we’ll leave the rest for another day.)
Let’s start with the basis of it all. Who makes the picture, you or the camera?
Hint: Bambi Cantrell said, “people take pictures, cameras don’t!”
How often do you need to be able to jump to 25K ISO or shoot at 8 frames per second? Show me your great photographs where this really mattered.
Now look, I love new cool stuff as much as anyone, and shoot a lot of photos on my iPhone, but I don’t kid myself into believing these will ever be great. Just because it’s been proven that you can do a fashion shoot with one, doesn’t mean you should.
I believe in using the right tool for the job. Learn your camera so well that using it becomes instinctive and get out and focus on what really matters: You, your camera, your subject and how to put them together in a frame that tells a story. Do you have this simple equation mastered?
If not, let’s get out of the Matrix for just a moment and do this for yourself, and no bull shitake about how you’re too good already to need this exercise.
1. Go over to your nearest drugstore and buy a disposable camera. You know the ones that you take back and they develop the pictures?
2. Now visualize the photos you want to make with it.
3. Then go out and make them. You only have the 12 or so exposures it comes with, no cheating
4. Post your best in our Photo-Dojo.
I will pick the best over the next 2 weeks and I’ll announce the winner August 1st. The winner will win a 38mm Diana F+ Super Wide Lens, cool eh?
And stay tuned for further installments on the Maxtrx, and how to get out.
(and I can’t wait for wisecracks from those deep in the Matrix!)