“In the end it’s all about making yourself happy.”
– Kirk Tuck, the Visual Science Lab, Monday Feb 28th.
Kirk said he was taking a couple of weeks off from his blog to finish writing his latest technical photography book, which is to be on the topic of LED lighting. After a week of absence from the web I guess he needed a break from writing the book, and it seems he went out and bought a new lens, hooked up with a model, and shot a few thousand frames to see how the new lens would perform.
This resulted in two posts in quick succession on his blog, both being some of the best writing I have seen from him. These articles really connected with me. So I felt a need to share links and quotes here.
The first article appeared to be on the topic of lens testing. From my perspective however the central message of this post was not really about lens testing, but photography in general, and something every photographer needs to remember, you cannot take a nice picture unless there is something nice in front of your lens.
In the context of lens testing this is about getting out, and using a lens out the the real world. In the general context of photography it is central to understanding how to take beautiful pictures. Buying the latest most expensive camera equipment does not make good pictures, finding interesting subject matter to photograph is the first, and likely the most necessary requirement to make a beautiful photograph.
Kirk’s second post was a bit of a rant but it was again really about how to take beautiful photographs, and a key message being it is you who has to decide what is beautiful, not some external judge or jury. You need to follow your own lead, and do what you want to do, not what somebody expects you to do. The second post is the source of the quote at the top of this post, my blog post, about Kirk’s blog posts. And it is the answer to so many questions that people ask me such as why don’t you sell your pictures, why did you take that picture, and why are you carrying that tripod?
So why do I do all of this photography stuff? Why don’t I spend time trying to monetize my photography? Why am I shooting the way I am? Why am I writing this blog? In the end I am just making myself happy.
Island in the fog, Aug 20, 2010