Tag Archives: Opinion

To be or not to be a Professional Photographer

The popularity that a photographer can win depends, most of times, on his experience. This experience is often determined by a “to be or not to be”.

To be or not to be professional, that’s the question!

Photography is an art, and as an art it expresses a message and feelings, that not always have to be understood by all of us. It can happen that they won’t be understood in the way that the photographer himself felt and saw in the moment he took his shot. To talk about professionalism into the art world is a nonsense. Having a title doesn’t mean that you are qualified to be an artist. Besides, it is absurd to talk about “better” or “worse” photographer. Even talking about “better” or “worse” is absurd. Each masterpiece it is so, and each person feels it in a different way. It is the mystery of art, the beauty of it, the special thing about it, the uniqueness that cannot be cataloged or classified, nor indexed, nor fit into the words of “professionalism”.

So, what is the difference between a professional photographer and an amateur one?

If you care so much about that differentiation, please take a look to a photo of each of those supposed-existing categories. Then choose the one that makes you feel more, the one that transmits you more. That one will be the photo of “your” professional. Happy? In this way we have a professional, a person whose photos we can fell are “good” ones.

Can you grasp the absurdity of it? Let’s make another experiment. Put two photos one beside another one. One from a photographer with more than 10 years of experience, and another one from a beginner that has just bought a reflex.

Could you tell me which one is the “professional”?

If we enter into the technical parameters like illumination, sharpness, etc, we can determine who of the two knows more about theory and technical parameters. But if we talk about art, the truth is that those have no meaning. Even the years of experience have no meaning. It only matters which of the two photos is transmitting you a feeling, which one is making you see something beyond the mere image. Be careful because this only happens into our minds, our souls, and it may happen that the person beside you that is looking at the same pictures, thinks that the other photo is the one that transmits more feelings, or even that person can tell you that none of them are artistic.

For that reason we cannot allow this “to be or not to be” to darken and influence our sensitivity when we are appreciating a photo.

Personally I think that a professional is that person that can make, in the best way possible and with the less amount of errors, something that can be defined as “correct” or not. For example, in a wedding, an amateur photographer will hardly obtain the same results as one that has been covering weddings for several years. Here the experience influences. But, beware! The experience doesn’t influence in artistic terms. The experience influences the technical terms. Do you think that to shot a wedding is easy? It’s not! The strength you need during several hours carrying all the equipment, to ignore the sweat, to be uncomfortable or the difficulty of the poses that you have to do to be able to take the shoot, while you try to avoid obstacles and hundreds of other parameters to be able to shoot the moment. Time is running against you, and a second before or after will determine the whole in a wedding. To be able to treat people correctly, to know how to relax the main characters of this event to be able to take part of the photographic game. You have to be able to turn normal people into models for some hours. To be able to achieve this you need experience and professionalism.

In other words, we shouldn’t mistake the words. To be a professional doesn’t mean to be a “better” artist. To be a professional implies that you know how to act efficiently and without errors in a certain landscape, in which its nature dictates the rules that might be followed. Weddings, models, war documentaries, mass media, publicity, etc. You cannot learn it into the books, only with time.

Every professional can be an artist, but not every artist has to be a professional.

What is stupidity? A call to share: “Entropy Of Welfare”

Post updated

Some years ago I was talking with my friend David about stupidity. He told me about the definition of stupidity by Carlo Maria Cipolla, an italian history and economy professor. Cipolla deeply studied the concept about human stupidity trying to define it and creating the 5 laws of stupidity. There are many studies related to this but until now none of them could provide a clear definition of it. Stupidity appears in a subjective and human environment but detailed definitions are hard to achieve.

Anyway, the explanation of Cipolla could be resumed in a diagram representing, that in one word is a way to understand human life.

1. I benefit myself damaging others

Unfortunately this is the common posture in this planet. Everything is based on self profit and nobody cares about the impact of his/her own behavior unto others. Just look around on this planet and realize that the vast majority try to achieve this point. Banks, big corporations and governments, don’t care about the pain in this world, exploiting any resource for their own interests.

2. I benefit others and damage myself

This is the position of the altruist. The good guy, the one that doesn’t care to damage him/herself to help others. Unfortunately people like this is rare and the few ones that exist usually become an object of cult.

3. I damage others and I damage myself

This is the behavior of the stupid. His/her behavior does not create any benefit for anybody. Unfortunately this is the the common result in this world. Almost anybody try to behave as in point 1 but at the end almost everybody ends in this point, doing the most stupid thing: Hurting him/herself and hurting others.

4. I benefit myself and create benefit to others

This is the behavior of the intelligent. This is the goal that everybody as individual and as a group, or as a company or government should try to achieve. It’s not so difficult, just start to share and help others even in small things. Don’t think always and only if the current action will provide us a direct benefit. Maybe it does not provide a direct benefit now, but in the future we will see the fruits of this behavior.

This four points could be better understood in this diagram:

stupidity

Internet and free and open licenses as Creative Commons and GPL are an example of this. In internet the people usually help others, answering questions, sharing information, as programs, movies, music or any other kind of things, including their time.
Sharing with others, helping others even in small things, even without a direct impact in our bank account or any other direct benefit will help to increase the entropy of welfare.
Benefit our environment will benefit ourselves too.

Finally this is an interesting video about stupidity:

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-2599954293614654567&hl=en&fs=true