The day that everyone complains about! The “I hate Monday because I have to ‘Adult’ on a Monday…” memes come out of the cyber woodwork, the “Is it Friday yet?” posts emblazon Social Networks like they’re going out of fashion.
I’m a member of a couple of Facebook groups for Photographers, particularly North-East England Photography groups. These groups are designed for Photographers of all abilities and demographics to come together and share their work, gain valuable constructive criticism or simply to interact with people and learn a bit more about their craft. For the beginner, it’s a great place to pick up tips and new skills, find new places to visit and ask “stupid questions” without fear of ridicule. I urge any Photographer who isn’t part of a group or forum to join one now.
When I first joined some of these groups, I immediately noticed the diversity in experience and ability among the members, ranging from the Professionals to the semi-pros to the absolute beginners.
What I also noticed was the amount of respect and encouragement shown by each of the members to each other, no matter how “good” or “creative” their images were; cc was given, if asked for, but nobody ridicules or mocks anyone’s efforts.
I was out on a shoot in the depths of Northumberland the other day and, as you so often do, ran into a fellow ‘Tog. The usual pleasantries were observed and we both went about our business taking shots and not getting in each others way. We both finished at about the same time, so we struck up a conversation about, you guessed it, Photography. I asked the guy in question if he was on Facebook and if he was in any of the Photography groups, to which he replied
“I used to be but I got sick of seeing the same shit all of the time! Christ, how many times can you look at a Lighthouse and not want to put a hole in your computer screen?!”
“I mean a lot of the stuff you see on there is by people who don’t know what they’re doing; either crappy Iphone shots or people with expensive cameras who can’t even use them!”
I was gobsmacked.
He then went on to explain that he was barred from a couple of groups for being “too negative” and for giving unwanted cc to people.
I didn’t believe that for one second………
“They said I was trolling people! If you put your photos up in a group online you should expect to have them criticised if they’re crap. Too many bloody wannabe Photographers out there anyway!”
And with that, he was gone.
My blood was boiling at this point, but I also felt a little bit sad for this guy.
We all had to start somewhere, and that somewhere is taking images that have things “wrong” with them, or are of places that more experienced Photographers will have shot hundreds of times before. Does that mean you have to ridicule people for it?
Most Photographers are decent, helpful people who haven’t forgotten where they came from and will help out their fellow ‘Togs in a non-judgemental fashion. You do, however, get the odd idiot who knows everything and has seen it all before, and simply hasn’t got the time or the patience for anyone else. To Hell with them.
On the back of this encounter, I immediately headed for Whitley Bay, to the place that I took my first “proper” image all those years ago. It was important for me to show the “Troll” that just because something has been snapped a lot, it doesn’t make it less impressive.
St. Mary’s Pano in Blue
So, to the Troll I met the other day (I really want to name him but I’m trying to stay classy) here’s St. Mary’s Lighthouse for you. You’ll have seen it a thousand times no doubt, but here it is again for old time’s sake.
Just be careful you don’t hurt your hand when you smash the screen.
Oh, and before I forget, some unwanted cc for you –
- Clean your lens, it had finger marks all over the glass
- Use your Histogram in camera; it helps you get correct exposure
- Don’t be a D*ck