Mean As Custard (calico_pye) wrote,
Mean As Custard

A Slur on the SLRs

I was reading an old article on a forum entitled, 'You are not a photographer - you are a teenager with a Nikon.'  There seems to be an awful amount of bitterness from professional photographers that anyone who buys a SLR are considering themselves photographers.  They complain that media-savvy teens buying the digital cams is a trend, akin to "having the best backpack was in the 2nd grade, and the best Pokemon cards were in the 8th grade."

I understand their gripe, but I am unsure as what they expected. One young (and very good) photographer on one of the other pages is concerned that the sophisticated processes of the SLR will make "raw talent totally obsolete." I had noticed the expansion of 'Selfies' on Facebook, plus maybe random photos of bugs hanging off of leaves etc.  Some complained that people were caught up with endless posing and artfully captioned images of a kittens on dust tracks etc. "Where is the drama in THAT?" one said, scornfully.

I own a variety of cameras, one is an old SLR (2006 - in digital-media terms it is practically archaic). The other two were randomly acquired: one was second-hand as its owner didn't have a clue what to do with it; the newest piece of kit is my Smartphone that just has to have a decent camera.  I don't profess to be anything like a professional: I am a keen amateur who likes to experiment with angles and images - how on earth are you ever going to be proficient at anything unless you experiment? I know my SLR pretty well i.e. I know what most of the buttons do, so not quite a newbie media wannabe. I quite like bugs/selfies/whatever the trend - but I also like pictures that depict the human condition, telling stories that are far more poignant than a hundred words of prose.

I understand some of the gripe, that SLRs have become hipster toys that will ruin the progress of quality photography - but it's a bit far-fetched.  I am paraphrasing here, but I agree with one who said that people are at liberty to point their lens at whatever they liked. It's like saying "why buy a flat-screen TV when you can buy the old tube ones?" The thing is, three years after this article, professional photographers are still whining about it.

It's called progress.

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