Thursday, July 15, 2010

Talk Is Cheap

Do you know what is cheapest way to enjoy a hobby such as photography? Talking. Yes, it is true. It happens in almost everything as long as human being is involved. For example, I've met people who loves to be the expert in talking about diving, golfing & etc. I met a lot photographers as such. It is the "Kia Su" behaviour that hides behind the tongue that never cease to put themselves higher than others.

Such peoples' intention are very clear, it is to have their opinions higher than yours. They love to belittle you in a very subtle way. Some of them are so expert in the way they talk, so much so you would felt convinced that their intentions are for your own good. The bottom fact is, "Talking Big" is what makes them feel more superior than you & others.

Here is the list of conversation you could have with someone who loves to talk photography & who loves to "TALK BIG" to have their higher opinions on you. Lets just say that you met a "Kia Su" photographer, and the conversation leads toward what camera you are using now.

Canon? Nikon? Leica? Zeiss?

-If you are shooting with Canon-

They will surely criticize that Canon images are not as sharp as compared to Nikon. Canon's 'L' lenses' quality are not as good as compared to Nikon's. Canon's autofocus is slow & inaccurate as compared to Nikon's. And all the negative things might makes you feel that the Canon camera is a piece of junk & you have made a wrong purchase.

-If you are a Nikon user-
They will start bombard you by saying, Canon's skin tone is far better than Nikon. Canon takes better portrait than Nikon. Nikon's lenses are more pricey than Canon. All they talk about is to make you feel that buying Nikon is the worst decision you had made.

-If you use a entry level Camera-

They will say it feels like a plastic toy.

-If you get a Pro level Camera-
They will say it is too bulky & heavy.

-If you own both Nikon & Canon-
They will say Leica is the best Camera with the best optics in the world.

-If you own Nikon, Canon & Leica-
They will say film is still the best. Film's colors are far miles better compared to any digital SLR in the market. Shooting film discipline the photographer to be a class ahead of photographer who only shot digital. Photographers who shot with digital are so much driven by the latest gears in the market & forget that real photography is about visualization, composition, subject, lighting & etc. It doesn't matter what brands of camera you used. As long as you are shooting with films, your photos will have a certain indescribable tone, color & character to it.

-If you use kit lens-
They will say aperture too small, too slow & lousy bokeh.

-If you acquire a f1.4 lens-
They will say too much dependence on huge f1.4 aperture.

Sounds familiar? The conversation can go on & on & you will feel more discouraged than ever after talking to them. How to "mix well" or get some tiny little nice approval from them? The answer is, if you have the same camera & lenses they have in their dry box. You may ask why? Cause "Kia Su" people will never talk bad about their own stuffs. Even if you have the exact same equipments as this person. Don't faint if the fellow tells you off by saying although you have the same equipments as him, but the photographer who using the equipments are different.

You may not understand everything I wrote above if you are not familiar with cameras & photography. But I'm sure we all have met this kind of person who does not offer much other than criticisms. If you are driving a Benz, they will tell you BMW is better. If you tell them your second car is a BMW, they will very quickly change another direction to tell you that spending your money in investing on houses than cars is a much wiser option. To give them some benefit of the doubt, they are not totally wrong. But the fact is they love to dominate the conversation by putting a front of "I'm more superior than you".

To me, photography is just a hobby although I cherished it & needing it cause it is my "rice bowl" currently. But it can never be compared to my family & friendship. Seeing photographer friends talking bad about each other just because one using DSLR & another using film SLR, one uses photoshop the other not, one embraced it as commercialized & the other not and so on and so forth. Experiencing such encounter in the realm of photography hobby was such an eye opening experience. I thought people with the same hobby should be able to hang out quite well. Like the old saying, birds with the same feather flock together. Maybe some photographers translate the old saying their ways. Like artistic photographers only flock with their kind. Don't mix up film shooters with digital. Wedding photographers cannot hang out with Street Shooters. It does explain why photography can be devastating to friendship. Street photography emphasize being sensitive & approachable when comes to capturing people on the street, so much so we don't offend people on the street the best way possible. Yet what I see is a street shooter was so engrossed with capturing a image of a person on the street carefully, yet offense every photographer friends around him recklessly by labeling them, grading them, naming them.

It is never the fault of photography, cause it's just a hobby created for men. It's never the fault of the camera or lens, they are just tools. It not the fault of the latest DSLR technology, they are just the market's demand. It is not the "magic" of film that create artistic result, it is the photographer's efforts irregardless of what medium he uses.

Film & digital users often loves to tease & criticize about each other. I shoot with DSLR and I may sound bias toward film. But if you ever hear film users often joke about digital user as being gear head, the fact is that extreme film believer is no better. And film cultists who are so engross with their "magical" film often talk & explain about their "magical" film rather let the photos do the conviction. I have a few words (I learned from my 8 years old nephew) to those who loves to "Talk Big".

Matthew 7:3-5 (New International Version)

3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.



Thank God not all photographers are toxic like those 'kiasu photogs'.

Choon Wee said...

Yalor. Sigh......

Photography is a very fun hobby. If someone sees it that way, then just let him be. It's unnecessary to always bombard people with the "Definitions of Photography". Too much of it, then it becomes too "preachy".

I felt so happy to settle within myself. No matter what system I'm in, what cameras/lenses I bought, I shoot or don't shoot. All these are none of others's bussiness.

Trust me. Whether I uses 2 D3s or uses only 'L' lenses. Or I uses the simplest set up. People who wants to judge/label you is still there to do so. So, why bother?