RANT: Photography Snobs

I have been thinking about this post for a while now and the discovery of the video below just pushed me to write it. I would like to share some thoughts about a phenomenon I have observed lately and can be summarized in one question: «Why is it that when people really get involved in photography, they tend to forget about the emotional aspect of the art and focus on technicalities?»

Several times in the past have I thought of submitting some of my pictures to be critiqued —in photo magazines, on websites, etc— but I always have the feeling these so-called experts concentrate all of their attention on sharpness, aperture, shutter speeds by blowing up the picture to 100% and pixel peeping, especially in this digital era. What I would actually like to know is why they like or dislike the picture and how it makes them feel. Don’t get me wrong, I know technique is important but choices are made by the photographer and sometimes it just all comes down to an emotion conveyed by the image.

I sort of have the same feeling about those photographers who proudly claim «I shoot film only!» or say things like «digital photography is not photography». What’s up with that? I’ve been in a lab, I’ve smelled the chemicals, I’ve been through the whole process and yet I find photography today to be even more exciting than before. Therefore, I could not agree more with photographer Chase Jarvis who suggests we should drop the term digital from digital photography.

At the end of the day, what ever settings you use, whether you shoot film or digital, the goal is to make a picture and the final result is an image.