One of Ken Rockwell’s Best Posts Ever…
Ken Rockwell is a very wise, and yet seemingly bored man. He has so much spare time (or money, or both), he acquires and reviews nearly every new piece of equipment to hit the market. His exhaustive research into camera equipment and lenses has allowed Charlotte and I to make some very smart, financially wise, and sound business decisions when it came to equipment purchases that have performed wonderfully. We kind of owe a lot to him.
However, outside of his technical acumen, he also has a pretty witty and dry sense of humor that he sometimes displays in riotous posts like my personal favorite, The 7 Levels of Photographers. (Please read his post before continuing or you’ll be completely lost…)
I think he’s hilarious. And I was so glad to see the Rich Amateur fall lower than us Professionals on the levels of photographer hell. There’s nothing worse than when you’re on location, usually at a wedding, and someone comes up and proudly displays their rig with equipment that you could never afford all at the same time (with cash, I mean. Many of us do get all of it at once and then suffer debilitating debt forever…), and asks, “So what are you shooting?”
“Nikon D300, man”, I say. Then I think, Now go away and take mediocre photographs on your state-of-the-art equipment.
And he wrote what is now one of my most often quoted, favorite-of-all-time-sentiments about bad Rich Amateurs:
“Bad rich amateurs think fuzzy B/W images of poor people are art.”
Wait a minute… I have black and white photographs I took of homeless people back in my LA days. They’re in my personal fine art portfolio. Charlotte has some from Mardi Gras… Hmmmmmmm…
But I reserve my wrath for Ken Rockwell’s lowest level of photographer, the Equipment Measurebator. My toes curl every time someone starts to challenge me based on technical data, graphs, resolution, in-camera processing, etc. Some Measurebators speak as if they think that those camera and lens statistics actually make for automatically good photographs. They think if anybody picked up camera A coupled with with lens B, it would take an amazing image. Wrong. I take amazing images. Not my cameras. And I could do it on any camera (well, digital camera, that is… I would probably fail miserably on a film camera. However, Charlotte “I learned on film” Bundgaard probably could… Do I smell a “shoot-off” challenge anyone?).
It’s just like when Mac user’s open their too-hip yappers. Yes, I know your Mac computer is faster, more stable, and overall cooler than my poor little PC, but what can you actually do on your amazingly cool computer that I can’t? Nothing.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Charlotte and I are making enough money now that in a few years I’m guessing I’ll be posting about how a really great photographer has to have only the finest, most expensive equipment, and you can’t possibly process photographs on anything less that a Mac G6. But until that time, I rail against the elite and the hip… until such time as we are elite and hip.
For anybody wanting really sound advice on equipment, definitely check out Ken’s site. For anybody wanting to grouse about his sentiments on the levels of photographers, write to him. I just think it’s awesomely funny.