Is it a good picture? Many years ago I followed a photographer that was on the cutting edge of photography. Or at least he was for that time. He shot many of the rich and famous and was very in demand for his “look”. Then started a web site that I belonged to. I followed all his teachings on all things from equipment to lighting to posing. He had a lot of good ideas and I truly respected him and his teachings.
After following him for many years I got up the nerve to post a image for him to critique. Well was I disappointed when this person that I respected tore my image apart. He really had nothing good to say about the image and I was shocked. After recovering from this I did some research as to what I did wrong. I was a shocked to see that I did nothing wrong. The image that I posted was perfect in every way from what I learned from his teaching.
Are you sure?
I said nothing then a few months later this person posts an image that was identical to mine. Same make up of people (4 brothers), same pose and same lighting. He went on about how good his image was and how much the client liked it. After a day I posted my image in the thread and commented on how I got slammed for doing the same thing, nothing. Other posts were added after mine but this teacher said nothing. I lost a lot of respect for this person because of that. I did continue to follow him till his death and I like to think that I did get something from what I learned.
Then today I am working on the computer and across a news feed comes a picture. It was posted by a large photography magazine, about a upcoming seminar. This picture is EVERYTHING that we tell people not to do. But this group is pushing it as the greatest image ever so they can sell this seminar to people! The picture is shot at noon or shortly after, poorly cropped, bad shooting angle and I can go on and on. The only thing that is correct is that the subjects are doing something that is cute.
Is it truly good?
This type of bending the right and wrong of photography bothers me BIG TIME!! If a picture is not perfect we should not be selling it as it is, NO MATTER who took it or what it is promoting. Likewise if a picture is perfect but shot by someone that is not famous then we should be accepting it as perfect and ignoring who it is shot by. I have gotten on this band wagon before and probably will again. Not every picture shot by a famous photographer is amazing. Just like not every picture shot by a regular person is bad. I know many everyday photographers that shoot amazing pictures, they are not members of a group, they do not shoot 365 days a year, they do not have a specific camera make – BUT they are good!
I know it won’t happen BUT I hope in the future that we get back to quality art and ignore the name behind it.