I sometimes come across some wildlife photographers during my birdwatching. Modern warriors with long camo canons, with multiple shots firing every second that make it sound like a bad day in Iraq. 200 shots later, yep I should have a good one! Not good enough? Photoshop will make that perfect! Was any skill or talent really used? Were the camera and computer the real photographers?
I feel sorry for the professional photogaphers who really do know their stuff and make a living out of it. With so many award class photos out there taken by the advanced cameras and computers, the pros must really have to work hard. That special shot is now needed, of a lion dragging a gazelle while a croc pulls at the other end and a vulture sits on top, during a beautiful sunset and a bushfire in the background at an African waterhole.
High class photos now flood the internet and blog sites, with some animal species it seems like only the background or angle changes. They all start looking a bit the same.
Don't get me wrong, people going out in the fresh air doing nature photography is great. Many would say it increases our appreciation of nature, but I'm not so sure. The general public still seems very ignorant of ecological processes and issues, even after the hundreds of television nature programs and David Attenborough films over many years. Some photographers I know have no idea of what animal or plant species they are taking a photo of, it's just a nice photo!
Do many modern photographers really care about nature or is it just the quick photo? The early nature photographers carried their big film cameras into remote wilderness areas and developed a real love for these areas, often fighting intense campains to save these places.
The Ansel Adams, the Olegas Truchanas, early great photgraphers who knew how light, film and camera worked. They did not fire off 200 shots to get a good one and then play with it in Photoshop to make it perfect! They had to know their art, and photography is an art. They often had one shot and you had to get it right! Film was expensive and you didn't know what you got until you developed it.
A challenge for modern photographers - put your camera in manual, take one shot per minute and don't play with it in any form. Maybe even just take black and white. See how good you really are.
I have seen many poor, often blurred photos on blog sites, but with many followers leaving comments on how wonderful the shot is! Have we become use to our pizza diet of photography? Many of these people even copyright their photos. Why? Do we have a false sense of how good we are?
Actually, unless you're a professional why copyright and lock your photos away? I have many slides and photos and jpegs that just sit stored away. Who see them? Usually after an intial showing to family or friends they just sit there getting old. When I die someone will probably throw them out or just delete them! So much for my precious photos. If photos are on the web, maybe it's better to share them and if someone use them so what? They may just remain in use long after you're gone.
Yes photography is fun and a great hobby at what ever level you're at, but maybe we should learn how to be a good cook, instead of just ordering a pizza and thinking we made a great dinner.
Please leave some comments about what you think on the modern digital nature photography age.