Photography as per Elliott Erwitt

posted on 20th of december, 2011

Following up on a previous blog (Reflections on thoughts of Ansel Adams), I would like to share a few quotes from Elliott Erwitt and at the same time get up on my soap box and offer my on observations pertaining to these.

To start off with, I absolutely love this one:
“It's about time we started to take photography seriously and treat it as a hobby.”

I did a double-take when I read this. After all the reason I even signed up with a stock agency (and I suspect this is the same for a lot of us) is to try and make some money from my photography! And I am pretty certain that the “hobbyists” amongst us dream of the day when we can stride determinedly into our boss’ office, slap a ten page dissertation on his/her desk detailing all the different types of idiots management is comprised of, how we are now successful photographers, what perversions (I suspect most of these will mostly comprise of anatomically unfeasible feats) they can indulge in with their silly office and inane bureaucracy and exactly how much we hate our day jobs (just in case they missed the point of all of the above).

But then, that is exactly the point isn’t it? Hobbies are what we live for, they are what give us the most pleasure. No one imposes hobbies upon us, we alone choose to pursue them. As a friend of mine says “Work is just work, it pays for what I really like doing and that’s it.” So I guess the quote makes sense. We do best what we love to do. Start thinking of photography as work and perhaps we will start dreaming of the day when we can wake up in the morning, put on a dark suit and a red tie, perform a one hour commute to sit in a 4 hour committee meeting listening to some self-aggrandizing fool telling us how we should “solutionise while blue-sky and 360 thinking out of the box to pick off low-hanging fruit in order to up-skill, synergize, leverage and benchmark our key talent additions.” What the hell? Where is the noose, arsenic, Smith & Wesson and C4? Want to make sure I don’t screw up the last thing I ever do.

So yeah, I hope photography always remains my hobby and that I always enjoy doing it and that my hunger to learn more about it without giving a damn about what anyone else thinks (sorry editors, reject all you want, my pictures are all incredibly beautiful). So what if I am don’t become rich snapping pictures? As long as I love doing it, my soul is enriched and one day perhaps my bank account will be too.

The next two quotes really sum up what photography means to me personally:

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place.... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

“All the technique in the world doesn’t compensate for the inability to notice.”

Somebody once asked me why I like photography. And I answered, that it was the most direct way I knew of communicating who I was and what distinguished me from those around me. I got a blank stare in return. But hey, I love to pontificate (if I wasn’t so turned off by corruption and silly dogma I may have become a politician just to hear myself talk all day long), so I explained.

Whatever is photographed is available for all to look at. Everyone sees exactly the same thing. And yet each individual notices it and observes it differently. The tiny detail that attracts one person’s attention may be totally different from what the other thousands of gazes directed towards the object find fascinating. The photographer captures the peculiarity that fascinates him/her and thus brings it to the notice of all others.

Before I stop polluting this space with my ever increasing verbiage, please allow me to request a favour: Please visit Shadow69 Photography (http://www.facebook.com/Shadow69Photo) on Facebook and become a fan by clicking the Like button. Doesn’t cost you anything and yet it brings me a little joy. Many thanks.

To finish off, some seasonal greetings in line with all the political correctness and the highly protective legislative environment we are subject to.

Happy (fill in the space here).

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally -conscious, socially-responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday practiced with the most enjoyable traditions of religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2012, but not without due respect for the calendar of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make your country great and without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishes.

By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms.

This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/him or others and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. The wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

Best Regards (without prejudice)

Name withheld (Data Protection Act)

Comments (14)

Posted by Shadow69 on December 23, 2011
Thanks Dragos. Did you click on the Like button? I think you see some stuff only if you "Like"the page.
Posted by smartview27 on December 23, 2011
Great site ! Congrats !
Posted by Karenfoleyphotography on December 21, 2011
Beautifully expressed!
Posted by Gelia on December 21, 2011
It is so true! Cool!
Posted by Joezachs on December 21, 2011
Absolutely right as far as the Hobby part is concerned.
Like the present day jargon that goes around in every meeting “solutionise while blue-sky and 360 thinking out of the box to pick off low-hanging fruit in order to up-skill, synergize, leverage and benchmark our key talent additions.”
Posted by Shadow69 on December 21, 2011
Thank you very much to all for your kind comments regarding the blog. Very much appreciated. Please do not forget to show your support and appreciation by liking my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/Shadow69Photo. You will find other material there not available on Dreamstime, and I would also love to hear your suggestions about improving the page and its content.
Once again thank you very much for your kind remarks.
Posted by Egomezta on December 20, 2011
This is a great blog, thanks for sharing.
Posted by Gmargittai on December 20, 2011
The best blog I read here ever, or at least for a very long time. I enjoyed it so much! You must be working at the same company I am working: "solutionise while blue-sky and 360 thinking out of the box to pick off low-hanging fruit in order to up-skill, synergize, leverage and benchmark our key talent additions.” priceless.
Posted by Rosedarc on December 20, 2011
Nice blog
Posted by Peanutroaster on December 20, 2011
Posted by Joe1971 on December 20, 2011
It is great!
Posted by Artalis on December 20, 2011
It's a poetic art, to do with captured moments.

I hope that you enjoy the holidays...
Posted by Davidwatmough on December 20, 2011
Photography is a love affair with life......... Burk Uzzle

Best wishes, David.
Posted by Davidwatmough on December 20, 2011
Photography is a love affair with life......... Burk Uzzle

Best wishes, David.

Comments (14)

This article has been read 1269 times.
Photo credits: Abdul Sami Haqqani.

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