Thursday, August 18, 2011


       I'm mostly self-taught so my progression is slow.  I'm okay with that.  My goal in photography is not so high.  All I want is to make pictures worth looking at, or to be more specific, at least be considered worth displaying in the living room.  I don't intend to go commercial or aim to sell my photos.  More like just want to show them off and people go "wow" in an instant.  That's my goal.  I have no reason to hurry up and gain money to get back what I've spent.  That's not how my mind works.  Of course photography burns a lot of holes in my pocket.  In fact, it burned my whole pants.  But as soon as I handed out the money, I've already accepted it as gone for some exchange.  Never thinking of getting it back, instead, thinking of how it'll satisfy me to the extent of forgetting the cash.  As for that cash, I could always just keep my day job and wait for next month's pay.  That's how I see it.

       At first, I was enthusiastic.  I get to finally try out those Aperture and Shutter thingy people are talking about.  I get to take pictures just as how I take them with my digicam, only manual.  Composition didn't bother me much.  Framing, rule of thirds, horizons, lines, whatever those things are, they're all out of consideration since I didn't know those
guidelines exist.  All I know is I like that place, or thing, I shoot it, and I like the resulting picture.  I took a lot of shots of the same frame/subject , stopping up and down on each click until I understood how it affects the shot.  Okay, I get it.
Not-so-public river
2 of the most popular shots I took on my earliest days with my DSLR.

I pretty much like most that I took.  They're my shots after all.  But somehow it's not being noticed much.  I wasn't looking for approval at first.  But I'm just wondering why my pictures aren't getting as much attention as I was hoping for.  That's when I started asking around.  Apparently, my shots didn't follow some guidelines.  Apparently, my pictures are either too busy, or not interesting.  Quite a punch in the stomach, to be honest.  But I'll bite.  I thought to myself, "If I spent this much for a camera gear, I might as well go through all the hooplah everybody's gone through... well except for taking lessons."  I'm not against classes.  I'd attend if it wasn't for the time needed to spend (I work 10 hours a day including a lot of Saturdays) and the language barrier (I don't speak fluent Korean and I don't intend to get formal training for such).  So there I was, searching for forums and asking around again.  Flickr was highly recommended by one person.  It seemed promising at first but really ending up a big disappointment for the first 2 months.  DPReview is another. A very good site.  But sometimes it's disheartening to ask for advise there when most replies are either condescending or just out of the topic.  Not all of them of course.  Then came Cameralabs.  I like Gordon but the activity in there is a little slow.  I read good advises on different threads just as DPReview.  But it's really annoying when the surrounding crowd is 90% pro.  I ended up at Digital Photography School.  A very cool site with a lot of friendly people.  Can't avoid condescending people but they're a lot fewer in here than DPReview forums.

       The fact that I haven't read all the articles and all the threads in DPP, and still I learned a lot, should say something.  At this stage, I've implemented the rule of thirds.  I can see what most people are talking about.  My photography eye is improving and it shows with the comments I'm receiving from my pictures on flickr.  I have evolved.  But now a question starts to linger.  Am I losing myself?  I get the approval and attention I wanted from my pictures.  But somehow, it's starting to feel like school.  Like it's not me naturally but what's taught to me.  I feel like I'm losing what I thought before was good.  And now, nothing but technicals.

Final image.
I'm at my side.
I've executed everything I know with these photos.

       What makes me angry is when people start talking about "breaking the rules" or worse, "What matters is what pleases you."  I hate that.  After all this time trying to get critique from pros to achieve a commercial-esque photograph, that's what they say?  After preaching all those rules they tell me not to bother?  Then comes, "What's important is for you to know the rules so you'll know how to break them 'properly'"... I don't get it.  What's the point?  If in the end it's all up to what I like, what's the point of going through tough criticisms?  If the point is just going out there not minding the rules, what's the point of breaking them?  To break them "properly" just means "it's another set of rules".

       Currently, I'm confused.  The purpose of showing pictures is not for me.  It's for people to say "wow".  Hence, to bother learning all those stuff other photographers preach.  I don't like it when they say "What pleases you..."   What's the point of posting my pictures in public if I didn't like them in the first place?


  1. Ganun! Hmn! Jackson nagiging pro ka na... so post card all the 4 pics here... but love the cat more and the river bank with all those street lights (lovely)...

  2. Ah, really? So that means all what I've learned is working well.