Monday, January 24, 2011

WHY AM I A PHOTOGRAPHER and WHY IS EVERYONE TAKING PICTURES Of EVERYONE ELSE???????




 I am on the operating table and I look up at the surgeon and realize I'm not sedated. Not great news but then I see he is pointing a Canon DSLR at me and tells me to smile. HUH, smile, what the hell....a Canon??
I frantically look around the room and see that all the nurses and techs are using their Iphones to photograph the doctor, each other and me. I then see my wife, Phyllis, in the back of the operating room and I yell to her for help. A look of horror on her face she runs over to the first nurse puts the nurse's hands down, so she is holding the scalpel in front of her, tells her to look to my right but keep her eyes on me. I realize she is posing everyone!!! What the hell is going on? Then look down at my body and see I'm cut open and where my heart should be is my Nikon D300s, complete with my Quantum Trio flash which at that moment flashes in my face, as I hear everyone say, wait for it....  SMILE. At that point I wake up, sit up in my bed and think that rum might not be good just before I go to sleep.
 The next morning it started me thinking, why am I photographer, why to I have this compulsion to photograph everything around my life. Another question is, why does it seem that everyone is taking pictures of everyone else with their DSLRs, point & shoots or telephones. There must be a reason for this seemingly fast spreading compulsion. I know there is a strong need to create that some, maybe all, of us have but does that explain it? To quote the song, "Is that all there is ?" I don't think so! It can't be, believe me, not everybody is that creative. Have you seen some of the new TV sitcoms?
I have come up with an idea or two, see what you think. Many years ago, starting back in prehistoric times, people were hunters, explorers and discovers. They had to be. You want to eat? Well you better be able to trap or shoot something to eat. There probably were not to many vegans in prehistoric days.
When our forefathers tamed different parts of this country they had to capture their food and explore/ develop new uncharted areas. We are lucky today, we do not have to go out and shoot our dinner and most of our exploring is done on weekend trips to the shore or the mountains. Where we stay in nice comfortable hotels and eat in restaurants. So is this is how we fill that inbred need to hunt & capture?
 We now hunt with our cameras, we take a picture of  a tree with our phone and send it to all of our friends. "See what I caught, look at my picture, look at my picture". Much like when the American Indian would come back to his tribe, riding into their campground as all cheered him for the buffalo he shot. Of course his bounty would feed the tribe and they were actually excited to see it. Unlike with the tree and our friends. I think we still feel that need to hunt and to share our bounty with our friends and family. To maybe get the adulation from our peers. I think this is a possible reason.
 But then we have the group of us that takes it to another level, we have the best cameras that Nikon, Canon, ect. make ( or at least that we can afford), all the lens and flash equipment and of course Lightroom and/or Photoshop. Are we a different group or the same group with a stronger compulsion. Are we still following our hunting instincts or is there something else going on?
I think it is both we have the same instincts but we also have another strong compulsion.  It might be called a god complex, we want to create or improve on what we see. Make that sky bluer, that tree greener, shed 20 pounds off that person, I can do that. "Hmm I think a bird would look good in the sky" or maybe add a few clouds to the sky, I can do that , I am the deity know as PHOTOSHOP MAN or WOMAN.  Believe me this is not a rant on photoshop, I use it and if it is overused is for another post. If we carve out an area with a long lens, eliminating clutter and only showing a part of the whole, we are still improving what we see but only in our image
So is that it, are we fulfilling some deeply embedded need to hunt and share our bounty. Do  some of us need to go further and create /improve, be a god, in our own computer??
Is it something to think about ?
OR I could be wrong, after all, I didn't get a great night sleep.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Let me know why you think you photograph things around you.
Don't forget our contest starts today. The best comment on any current post in the next 10 days wins a free 11X16 limited print.

6 comments:

Patricia Lynne said...

Hmm, you're point on the need to hunt and doing it with our cameras raise a good question. I can see that being a inner driving force to fulfill something most of us no longer do.

JIM said...

Thank You This is actually something I have thought for a while

Sweepy Jean said...

I also like your comparison between hunting and capturing a picture. You can really see it with the paparazzi. But even for the average person, we are trying to capture a moment, which might not be the same as hunting, but maybe gathering?

Ed Lawrence said...

Hi! I like to shoot, both hunting with a gun and with a camera. I bought my wife a Canon rebel and enjoy shooting with her. I like that both of you shoot together and I hope that is how it will be with my wife and I . Thanks for setting a goal for us this year! Great site by the way!Feel free to visit mine:http://gsccos.com/members/upload , it is a Forum where you can post links to your site and more! Bye!

melissa said...

why? to capture a moment... a place i'll never get to visit again... a souvenir :P...

but this time, i see something interesting and my hands itch to take photos...:P my favorite subjects are my nieces... i like seeing them growing up... we'll never be able to repeat certain occasions and NOW is always the time :P

i actually began to understand photographers when i began to listen to their photos...

there are stories behind those photos... and this is hard work too...

hmmm... so whya re you a photographer jim? :P... just kidding...

i appreciate your art jim and phyllis :)

baldychaz said...

I have recently started taking a few photos's. Take the same ones as most i guess birthdays etc. Now just taking the odd one or two of things i see out and about. Sunsets cool looking tree's etc. Your blog inspired me to just get a cheap camera and have a go!