bitter and then some

You know, the Internet is a weird place.

There are some things I write that I truly mean.  There are others I write just to poke the flames a bit and start conversations – like my own little message board.

Do I honestly think the Holga/Logo/Diana are bad things to shoot with?  No.  Hipstamatic apps?  Yes.  Strange how that rationale works. (click here to read rant #1)  Three of my top 5 favorite photographers working today, Todd HeislerDamon Winter, and Allison V. Smith have produced really amazing work with their iPhones.  I love every single frame.  Would I ever sit across the table and say that those projects are total rubbish?  No, because they are absolutely not.  They are really inspiring.  They use the tools they want to make the physical borders of the image they create.  Everything else is on them.  What they have that many don’t is the ability to frame up really amazing content within the pseudo-bordered contrains of those apps.  That is what sets that work above the rest.  It’s beautiful work using an app that I loathe with every fabric of my being.  I can admit that.

Do I think that all newspaper photographers should quit their jobs and try freelancing?  No.  Of course not.  It’s more about writing something that sparks the people who need an excuse to do so.  It’s about passing on what I’ve learned quickly to those in need to read it from someone who is doing it right now.  It’s about paying it forward.  (click here to read rant #2)  I love newspapers, and there are some amazing newspaper photographers who routinely make me think, ” My God, they would be killing it outside of that paper,” but I’m glad they aren’t.  They’re creating work that needs to be created in the communities and papers that probably don’t truly appreciate what they do.  They are the eyes, ears, and voice for people who need it.  The list is long, but that’s for another upcoming post (yes, there’s one coming).

These posts are not for blog hits.  I am not bitter.  I am not old.  Unless 33 is old.

I mean, really, I don’t sell advertising on this blog.  Stats mean little to me, although tens of thousands of you hit my site based on the aforementioned posts alone.  You finally out-keyworded “tube socks.”  For that, I thank you.

What I’ve learned from the last month of blogging and saying what I feel is that all of a sudden I become the bitter, cranky photographer trying to suck all the fun out of photography and make people quit their jobs.  Trust me, if anyone did something because I said it, then I would be first in line to kick my own ass.

I love photography.  I love the fact I get paychecks for going out and doing things I would do for free (shhh).  I make rectangles and push buttons for a living.  How great is that?  We learned these skills in Kindergarten…we’re just trading Crayolas for expensive DSLRs.  In the last couple months, I’ve really taken note of the fact that I don’t have coworkers to lean across a cubicle and work something out in my head anymore.  My wife, who is the most beautiful, loving creature on the planet, is an amazing photojournalist as well, but we don’t talk shop as much as you would think.  I don’t think either of us really want to show each other a RAW take.  There’s always the “Hold on, let me edit it down” line before we help each other pick photos.

Since I don’t have unbiased coworkers anymore, what I have is you, Internet.  You are a cruel mistress.  One day, you’ll bless me with waves of adoration, the next you’ll crush me with cries of being bitter.

I need to concentrate on me.  Honestly, 99% of what I write is directed toward me.  Not you.  That’s not me being selfish, just me wanting to ramp up what I do.  Writing blog posts is part of that, because well, it’s fun to get hate/love mail from total strangers with only a common thread of we all play with pixels.

So with that, Internet, it’s on…and also, camera, prepare to be abused.  This is my own personal call-to-arms.

Oh, and Hisptwhatever app, you can still remain unpurchased.  You Flickr, Tumblr, Photojojo, Urban Outfitters cats have fun.  Play, make frames, go out and wow us with work.  I, myself, am moving on and renewing my love affair with the rectangles I’ve known and loved for so long.  I’m done being bitter.  I’m turning this into a positive and making 2011 mine – just not with my iPhone 4, which I haven’t take a single photo with yet (it’s a phone).  I have too much to look forward to, too many rectangles to be made, and a moleskin notebook full of personal projects to start.  Starting tomorrow.

I really want to center-justify this post, but I’ll be nice.

6 comments

  1. Chip – Thanks for saying what I’ve been thinking all along but have not had time to express. Not to mention it’s nice for someone else to be the old & bitter grumpy guy for once. HA! Keep bringin’ it.

  2. I just finished reading your whole blog – and I mean the whole thing. I’ve been soaking in your true words of wisdom about photography one can only have with years of experience in the business. a comment before said “less talk”, but I disagree. Please more talk. Please more words about what it really means being a photographer. and also thank you for impressions of a Florida, that we in Europe have no idea of.

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