The Strangest Thing About Photography

The strangest thing, to me at least, about photography is people’s general attitude toward it (“So you just take pictures?”). Considering the prevalence of photos in modern culture, you’d think it would be different yet people seem to take a sideways glance at it in any vocational sense. Quite similar to the way famous actors are often the subject of great admiration while the kids in school plays don’t always get the same attention from their peers, photos, and those who take them, are very often sidelined in modern popular culture, “why go to school for that? I have a camera right here on my phone.”

Just like everyone thinks that they can sing, and everyone thinks that they are funny, everyone also seems to think that they can take a good picture; so despite the fact that photos in newspapers and other print media aren’t exactly made by handing a camera to someone walking by and hoping for the best it is the attitude of many people that the “equipment does all the work.” Although mechanically, taking a photograph isn’t exactly difficult for a person to do, photography does after all have the most everyman’s appeal of the fine arts, it is much like playing the bass guitar in the sense that becoming fairly proficient is relatively easy, but mastery comes after much time and practice. It’s often missed that photography is both deeply artful and deeply technical, and as cliche as that phrase about a picture and a thousand words and all that is, it’s truly remarkable how much a photo can communicate and I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t want to appreciate that.

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