Tuesday, February 19, 2008



I never knew what was photography, until I laid my hands on my DSC H5 in August 2006.

Now I know what is Photography, and more than that I know how much I don't know in it. I realize that I have a Camera that is actually "just a toy" to many photographers. I understand its capabilities and limitations.

Alright. That was the disclaimer.

After buying the camera, I have been claiming myself as a Photo-enthusiast. I've started browising Flickr Explore and read through loads of EXIF data only to realize that I couldn't set a f16 in my Camera. I keep experimenting with every possible setting on my camera. One more thing I started to do, is to participate in Forums that talk about photography.

Here's where the world looked new to me.

There are like four (or five) forums where I have subscribed and watch people talk about different techniques of photography. If you aren't listening to any of them, there's four words for you - You are missing something.

These forums have members from pre-mature Kutti photographers like me and ranges upto people beyond PC Sriram's band. Members who take the Sun every evening and post it on the forum and ask for feedback. Members who constantly criticize those photos to be crap. Members who keep asking for organizing photoshoots and never turn up.

Besides anything that I'm about to complain about, I should confess I have learnt a lot from these forums. People have cared to educate me.

But a major portion of the group is All-talk ! They talk too very much about aperture settings, f-stops, EV levels, "Sigma/ Tamron lens is good - Nikkor is all expensive and crap" and all such talks. Whenever I listen to these people, I set a reminder to browse through their photographs. And they turn out to be a big disappointment. They talk of a lots of rules. When I show them a photograph, they tell me "its good. But the composition could be better". I ask, "What do you mean by that ?". They tell me "well, in photography the most important thing is...."...... uh oh ! What have I started ? Empty words.

Once I met a person from the Studio, who was a professional photographer. We had a good interaction, and he taught me by holding hands as to How to compose a frame. He also shared the same thought as I do. A lot of people talk about photography better than taking good pictures.

It is not a mistake. They hold the right to talk. And may be they are right. But I get fairly irritated. All i know is that there's a lot I have to change.


Anonymous said...

But this happens in each and every section of arts. To that Fact though Mr. Subuddu has got evry knowledge of south indian classical music and comments about it he was not a successful singer. To my knowledge "As heard" he has given only one or two concerts but not as other professionals... So people know to critise but cannot do it when it comes to reality. We comment about cricketer.Usually We talk about tchnicalities of cricket if a mistake is committed by a player..but on field he is the one who faces it... Hence it happens everywhere

Manki said...

Anonymous poster has echoed exactly what I had in mind. I am a software developer. When I see others' code or my code written a few months ago, I can find a lot of badly written spots. Learning and practicing is a continuum. As long as we keep learning from our and others' mistakes I think we are making good progress. Also, I think that those who criticize must really be passionate. If you get to interact with the critics like you did with your Studio friend, I guess you would learn from them too.

"If you aren't listening to any of them, there's four words for you - You are missing something."
Well, we miss a hell lot of things in life. It's better to not worry about things that we miss and focus on whatever we have in hand right now :-)

All the best, Kutti Photographer! :-)

DD said...

This is probably the classic difference between a critic and an artiste. Take a movie reviewer for example. He may write some great reviews and point out lots of flaws, but if he makes a movie, that would still have flaws, maybe a lot of the same ones he had pointed out someplace earlier.
Anyways, in an offline mail, send me the forum links :)

Keerthi said...

Anon and Manki and DD,

Im not talking about a critic, or asking feedback about my photos. Just everyone cannot be a critic. Probably everyone can criticize, but not all of them are critics.

Im talking about guys, who for a particular mood of shot has the right apertures, exposures and all other parameters known.. and have a right equipment.. and still the photo looks dull and uninteresting. Why ?

Dont think about this like batting cricket or singing. The parameters are known and the equipment is available. It is only the moment of click.

Why ?

And Manki, "You are missing something" was meant to be satirical. Thanks for your wishes.