Episode 187: Are You an Artist or a Technician?

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Are you all about the art you create, or all about your camera gear?

Artists are all about what they create, they don’t care what tools they or someone else used to create something; They’re concerned with the art itself. Artists are all about vision: the ability to see something that hasn’t been created yet, and then making it happen in a beautiful, colorful and creative way. Artists don’t care about the process; the final art is all that matters to them, whether they shoot Fine Art, Landscapes, Portraits or any other genre of photography.

Sure, if they see something really cool the artist might ask another artist how he or she got that effect, but they don’t spend much of their time blabbing about tools or techniques when they could be making more art, or exchanging ideas instead. An artistic would rather be creating or talking art with their artist friends, whether they are fellow photographers, sculptures, musicians or any other type of artist.

As an artist, we force whatever tools we have at our disposal to create what we demand: to take what’s in our mind’s eye and fix it in tangible form. Once we have accomplished this then we can share it with the world and if we’ve created a good artistic vision, then hopefully it will move the audience as well.

To an artist, their work is them. Theirs work is their vision realized. They are their work, their art is part of their soul, their art is important, while the tools they used to create it are irrelevant.

Artists are consummate technicians, possessing the ability to make our tools do exactly what we need them to do — but the tools are just an enabler; never the end result.

If you poke fun at my camera, I take it as a compliment because it means I’m able to work around bigger roadblocks than the next person to get the results I want.

Technicians, on the other hand, are all about their tools. Poke fun of a technician’s tools or how he uses them, and he’ll take it personally. To a technician, he is his tools. His tools are a physical extension of his body, so say something good or bad about his camera, and he takes it personally.

Never confuse a technician with an artist. Technicians are just about the tools, while artists are about what they can create with those tools, how they can bring their vision into reality.

I realize that this is why some people take it personally when someone pokes fun of a camera or piece of photo gear. But, unless you’re they guy who designed it, if it’s something you merely bought instead of created yourself, who cares? Technicians do, but not artists and a technician can get pretty riled up about it, so be careful, you don’t want a black eye.

What makes a good tool to a technician (shadow noise, resolution, frames per second) is totally different than what makes a good tool to the artist who actually sees and uses it as intended to create their art. An artist is more concerned if a camera or film renders colors as they want it rendered, which is why so many artists like specific camera systems like those that love the Fujifilm X and GFX Series because of the beautiful Fujifilm film simulations, and how well the camera gets out of the way so they can concentrate on their image, instead of having to concentrate on jockeying around a camera.

It’s never about numbers or specifications to the artist,  it’s only about how well something actually works, and how the images look to the skilled eye. Any idiot can run controlled tests in a lab (and they sure do), but that doesn’t tell you anything about how good the images look when they come out of the camera.

I made this episode to help other artists by sharing what I’ve learned to save us all time in selecting and using the right tools so we can get down to business. It’s never about what’s the best camera, it’s about what camera makes it the easiest and fastest to create what we need to create. Artists like to make things; we couldn’t care less about buying more cameras. I can’t help it if technicians run amok on the Internet researching more toys to buy solely for the sake of telling everyone about it. I have made fantastic images that have made money with film cameras, point and shoot cameras, my iPhone and iPad, my DSLR’s and now my Mirrorless systems as well. 

I have primarily shot with either Fujifilm or Canon as I love their colors the best. Now that is my personal opinion. I have shot with Yashica, Pentax, Olympus, Panasonic, Nikon and Sony cameras as well, and although all of those companies make great cameras, I prefer Fujifilm and Canon for the way each of these systems render colors. Since I started out in the film days, I fell in love with Fujifilm Provia and Velvia film and I love that my GFX 50R can still give me those colors and that my 50R is Medium Format so it has LOTs of detail and Dynamic Range. I also really LOVE the Rangefinder styling of the 50R as it takes me back to the days of shooting with film cameras.

I have my Canon gear to use the majority of the time as I love Canon’s color profiles as well and the vibrance I get from their sensors. My Canon cameras have GPS capabilities that the Fujifilm systems do not have, which is handy to have for my landscape work and especially my Forgotten Pieces series as I spend too many hours on the road and shoot too many buildings in a single day to remember where they all are, so geo-tagging them with my Canon is so handy and it’s not practical to geo-tag my images using the Fujifilm app on my iPhone and having to manually refresh the GPS data and manually sync it to my camera every time I take a shot.

So, wrapping up this episode, show me your art, join the Facebook Group for the show and post your images there. I want to see your ART, not your camera gear. If you would like a creative critic, post them with CC please and myself or one of the other Professional Photographers in the group would be happy to give you feedback. The last few years I have tried to get past any picking on the technicians for constantly buying new cameras and lenses all the time, if they have the money to burn, then more power to them, but they never seem to understand that no camera, now matter how much money they spend on it is going to make art for them or make them a better photographer.

If you want to become a better photographer and artist, then stick with what you have unless it is holding back your skills and creativity. Spend your time practicing your art and your skills, take some workshops or photography classes and you will be pleased with the results you get and your artistic ability will grow.

Also be sure to join the Liam Photography Podcast Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/liamphotographypodcast/ You can reach the show by call or text @ 470-294-8191 to leave a comment or request a topic or guest for the show. Additionally you can email the show @ liam@liamphotographypodcast.com and find the show notes at http://www.liamphotographypodcast.com.

You can find my work @ https://www.liamphotography.net on and follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @liamphotoatl. If you like abandoned buildings and history, you can find my project @ http://www.forgottenpiecesofgeorgia.com. and http://www.forgottenpiecesofpennsylvania.com.

Please also stop by my Youtube channels Liam Photography

Forgotten Pieces of Georgia Project

Forgotten Pieces of Pennsylvania Project

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