everything is amazing and nobody is happy

I saw this on Terry Moore’s blog the other week and it cracked me up. In a way, it’s also a followup to my last post 🙂

A good laugh.   Course it’s highly applicable to photography as well. Think about it – we photographers complain so much… (yeah I’m guilty of it too). We complain about our gear – this lens isn’t sharp enough, this body doesn’t have good enough “per pixel” sharpness, etc… We complain about the industry, we complain about being undercut, we complain about our clients demands.   But maybe we should just stop and consider:

Take the lowest-end DSLR on the market today. You know, the camera that you subtly look down your nose at – the one you upgrade out of the second you have the cash.  Now consider that a photographer from just 50 years ago or so would probably have given his entire life savings for a camera like that.   From his perspective, can you image a camera that

  • automatically focuses at the tough of a button – even tracking moving targets
  • can change focal lengths at the twist of a ring
  • can automatically meter a scene, based on any number of parameters
  • can take (effectively) *unlimited* number of photos without even needing to be reloaded
  • can display the photos instantly, and even transmit them across the entire globe for anyone to see
  • can take photos in color, or black and white (or both) and even video in practically candle-lit conditions

Can you image how amazing that would seem?  For all my recent posts on film etc… I get the feeling some folks think I am some kind of Luddite who thinks the those durn digital cameras are killin the art of photography.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I think digital technology is amazing!  I think it’s incredible how every day practically there is some new technology that gives us more (photographically) than ever before.   Just think:

100 years ago, “taking a picture” involved a cartload full of fragile equipment an in-depth knowledge of chemistry, and exposure to dangerous and toxic materials.

Now I can have a camera that takes a thousand pictures at the touch of a button and fits in my pocket.

Incredible isn’t it?

5 thoughts on “everything is amazing and nobody is happy”

  1. I completely agree with you… Today’s technology is wonderful and we just can’t see that, we’re always complaining about something. Just take a look at the past and you will inmediately figure out what really matters in photography…

    Great post!!

  2. I hope you don’t think I’m criticizing you Ed, because that is not what I’m trying to do. I think you are right though. We all try to find things to complain about. I think that’s human nature. I also think that those kind of feelings run deeper than in artists than they do in other people.

    Anyway keep up the good work.

  3. Absolutely Stephen – I agree with you 100%. I completely think it is part of human nature – and arguably not a bad one as one could make the case that if everyone were satisfied with everything 100% of the time there would be no drive for invention and innovation.

    It’s just nice to sometimes look back and realize just how good we have it!

  4. “I also think that those kind of feelings run deeper than in artists than they do in other people.”

    This statement couldn’t be further from the truth. Period. Artists I’ve met have always been more capable to slow down and appreciate the small things. That’s a main goal for an artist, being able to slow down and capture an emotion or a truth in a way that is often overlooked. I’m not saying they don’t take things for granted, that is human nature, but they get a lot closer than other demographics.

    I’ll tell you who you’re describing, technology buffs. nerds.

    And it’s a very easy and horrible thing to mistake a photographer and a nerd. I feel sorry for you.

  5. Brandon.

    Its sad that you make such judgments about people. Oh well. I have spent years among and working with artists. I am a classically trained musician and I also spent many years in art school studying fine art painting and photography. Sorry, but the nerds I know don’t care.

    What I was saying, until it was taken out of context, was that most artist tend to have deeper emotions. If you are not passionate then you fail as an artist. I will stand by that statement 100%. What I think many artist complain about is not necessarily the tools themselves. What I think they are really complaining about is their inability to create their true artistic vision. That is why good artist are always trying to advance, and sometimes that comes out as complaints against their tools.

    Yes, everyone is going argue that the tools don’t make the artist, but sometimes they can limit the artist. If you give me a pencil, I will make you a great piece of art. However, I won’t be satisfied because I want to put color into it.

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