Photo Forums… The Gladiators
I have had the opportunity of being present to witness the activities on several photo forums over the past few years and it has been a revelation to say the least.
A photo forum is a place where those interested in “Photography” gather to discuss topics related to photography.
Hmmm… Well let me be quite frank. For all intent and purpose (and this is a generality) the photo forums are more akin to fans cheering for their favourite teams. The frenzy is often similar to those watching a heated football match between two arch rivals, with a packed stadium of fans frothing at the mouth screaming, we will “Kill You”. We are the Best!!!
The classic argument on most of the generalist photo forums is that of the “we are the best and your team sucks”. Now what I find really curious, is that in many cases, I could quite easily take an identical image stick a different brand name on that image and those who are on the team of that image will find some very good reasons why that image is better than the identical image with a different brand name on it.
Why do I know this. Because I have done just that. Not only did I do this but I did so confronting a “Professional”.
I had a hell of a good time. I presented certain images that were shot with one brand and called it another brand and visa versa. Well wouldn’t you know it? I new within five minutes where his bias was and how to play with it. Was one of the most amusing moments I have ever had with a “Professional”. Now this pro was not really a photographer, but a professional critic of camera equipment. In fact this person reminded me of another professional that I had the unpleasant experience of communicating with on another forum. Of course, I am no longer welcome on “That” forum. But, knowing what I know now, it wasn’t really an issue as what that individual had on offer was utterly irrelevant.
It is also quite interesting to note, that those who are actually working at and loving their craft are the ones that rarely get in to heated arguments regarding the “Which Brand is Better” scenario. Why? Because they have other more important things to do. They are content with using their tool to express themselves and are content with the gear they have chosen. They also know a very special secret. Hanging a 30,000€ Hasselblad around your neck will not guarantee that your images will look like a 30,000€ image.
I like photographers who talk about photography. I like artists who talk about their art. I like Chefs who speak passionately about cuisine and I love people who do what they love.