When you’ve been bitten by the bug…

The photography bug. I don’t know if this applies to the rest of you, but I know for sure I’ve been bitten. 
What is it exactly? Nobody knows, I looked it up in the dictionary but couldn’t find anything relevant so the
quest continues.  What I’ve noticed is a complete change in my personal approach towards photography. 

Before I started taking photography seriously, although this interest somehow always had ‘resided’ within myself, I saw it as a simple way of producing memories in some way. After that I began to see it as something more difficult, something requiring technological knowledge, gear knowledge but above all, something requiring artistic vision & insight. I used to grab a magazine, and flip through it thinking , hmm that’s a nice picture. Nice colors. And that was that. 

Now everytime I see an ad in a magazine, a portrait, fashion spread, my mind immediately pulses at a 1,000 RPM thinking : ‘What was the light setup?’ or ‘What kind of camera did he use? A D3? A 1DIIIs? or was it a Hasselblad?” or even ‘What ISO did he shoot his? Aperture? Must be f/8?” The golden days of looking at a picture with a blank mind are over. Now there’s all these questions rushing through my mind, and the sweet days of creational ignorance are over.  

I caught myself at it again just recently. I was drinking coffee in a coffee shop, right on the corner of one of Antwerp’s fashion streets, when I saw a photographer walk by with his dSlr in one hand, and the camera bag over on his right shoulder. Immediately the frantic questions emergend. D90? D300? Hmm, 16-85? No that wouldn’t make any sense, probably a 17-55. 
There was no stopping it. Right until he turned around and I saw it was a D300+MB-10 & 17-55 2.8. No need to say I was pretty pleased with myself.(I usually am so anyway ;))

Another thing I found, is that when I was doing some other work, I caught myself thinking of possible light schematics, or upcoming shoots, how I would shoot them, in which decor, settings, what gear I would use and all those related topics.

Essentially I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a very powerful addiction, despite the fact that to some it’s a hobby, to others it’s a livelihood, and to others it was something else. 

The real thing is that photography, isn’t about all the technical. Sure, there’s a great deal to it, but we must be carefull never to fall into that pit, because at the heart of it, photography is an art, a craft and if you turn it into something mechanical, almost automatic, filled with routine, it’s bound to lose some of that magical touch.

MM

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