Reading magazines and websites, it's easy to think that photography is a discipline restricted to science labs and anger-management forums. The word Art itself is often perceived as dubious and pretentious, as if the sole province of either an 'elite' or a bunch of student weirdos with long hair and no food. Sad, right? As for Creativity, when the concept isn't being trampled to death by the joint forces of algorithmic social ranking and a lab-centered adulation for gear, the word fares even worse in the minds of most photographers. As all soft-skills, it is relegated to the back rows of business and photo camps alike. Well, not under our roof, it ain't. While it's easy to hide behind the unassailable measurements that make or break gear, creativity is the land of the brave willing to face their own demons and open up to the world. Wimps need not apply 😉 If all this hasn't deterred you, you'll love what follows. If it has, please read it again tomorrow.
Ultimately, it's all about creating art. Preferably prints. The word has so many meanings, we prefer to start by giving our working definition of it, then focus on how you can find the liberating joy of bringing art into your life. Creating works of art. Collecting works of art. Health warning: Art is addictive.
Most societies in which a large number of residents are able to afford modern camera gear are heavily productivity-oriented. And there's nothing inherently wrong with productivity. If people had more productive habits and wasted less of their day on social media, they'd have sooo much free time to live and create. But excessive productivity eats into your life, hinders your thinking and favours burnout. Personal creativity to the rescue.
Shock! There's life beyond the rule of thirds. And, technically a file on a screen isn't a photograph. Photography is a craft. Numerous skills are involved, such as metering (now handled 100% by cameras), composition and framing, post-processing, printing. Each is an artform in its own right. You can aspire to master them all or focus exclusively on your favourite. Each step makes a difference and defines your personal signature.
An excessive focus on gear is why so many photographers are sooo bad at photography. Look up to 100 most influential photographs of all time and check out the gear used. Enough said? Still, gear matters a lot. You feel in sync with some, you dislike other. Lens rendering has a large impact on your final image. Plus, for amateurs, gear is fun, so why deny it? 😉 We discuss those considerations in moderate amounts.