by Damian McGillicuddy Published 01/10/2010
As an 'old hand' in this industry, (I know I just don't look old enough!) it constantly amazes me how photography seems to have wandered 'off track' and lost its way, with practitioners giving up a huge amount of control over to automation and then wondering why their work fails to stand out? Maybe they NEED to spend a few more thousand and upgrade to a more 'pro' body?
I'm sure you all know what I actually believe regarding this matter. Being good at something is rarely down to the equipment and is generally all about the knowledge and the skill in applying that knowledge. There are salient reasons that the professional drivers get the 'reasonably priced' car around Top Gear's test track quicker than anybody else - and I'm fairly sure that there isn't an engine swop involved!
The more I teach and the more I speak to photographers, the more I'm absolutely convinced that if you desire to 'get on' in photography, (and make a rewarding career or a more fulfilling hobby), then there is no automated solution that will be better than just learning how to do something properly. You have to be prepared to put the time, effort and expense in to get better...AND the only shortcut to this is paying an expert to hold your hand and guide you through the maze.
You'll find one of my favorite images from the day rendered below, and without wishing to appear as if I'm 'bigging myself up', I think its fair to say it's well executed and nicely polished and looks fairly 'big budget'. The reality is very different, as I'm certain the delegates will testify. This edgy urban fashionesque portrait was done and dusted well within FIVE MINUTES! OK, if that's the case the kit used to capture must be virtually state of the art then? Well actually no! It was nothing out of the ordinary. All quality equipment but not the latest, greatest or most expensive!
Ok, let's use a typical McGillicuddy analogy to really get the message home. Let's say as a kid you can run faster than the majority of your mates and this talent is acknowledged by your peers, will it get you to the Olympics? Sadly the answer is probably not.
Now if your PE Teacher at school identifies your particular skill set and encourages it's development, we could be on a different path altogether! To make it to the pinnacle of sporting competition you'll have to progress through the levels of town, county and country athletics. Almost certainly as your skills increase you'll be handed on to a coach who's skill set is greater than your existing coach's and they will push your development exponentially. Now the encouragement and support from your childhood 'bezzie mate' will no doubt help you through personal doubts, getting up to train on cold wet mornings and keeping the dream and effort alive but I'd seriously doubt it alone will get you to the Olympics. I hope you get my not so subtle point, just cause you've bought a tracksuit doesn't mean you'll break the tape ;0)
Team McGillicuddy, now more than ever, are dedicated to helping you achieve your photographic goals be they to help you, learn to earn or for the pure delight of photographic development. Rise to the challenge and check out the workshop section of the website, get your camera out and your trainers on and together we'll strengthen our little bit of photography. Or would you rather just sit back, bitch about why the judges got the mark for your latest 'creation' oh so wrong as the judges are obviously so 'last year'! or are you going to 'grow a pair' and actively construct a plan to put the effort in to be the image maker you dream of being - your choice...period!
The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
You have 326 days until The Societies of Photographers Convention starting on Wednesday 20th January 2021