Can’t we all just get along?

This is an open letter, just something I feel like I need to get off my chest. It’s not directed at anyone specific, and if it somehow upsets you, maybe you need to examine why that is on your own personal level, because this is just my general and personal OPINION about something I find discouraging in the photography community.

I hope see the day when all photographers realize that self confidence and self entitlement aren’t the same things. When appreciation replaces criticism. When photographers can feel comfortable exploring all aspects of this art form that we share a love of… So in that spirit, can we please get over this “straight out of the camera” snobbery?

Too many times I’ve seen self-righteous posts about how post-processing photos somehow degrades the “art” of photography. How you’re not really a photographer if you can’t get a perfect image “in camera”. And that’s just wrong and judgmental.

While I will agree that some people may being doing themselves a disservice by not learning how to use their equipment to it’s fullest, the truth is that no matter how accomplished you are, there are perfectly valid reasons to post-process photos.

And here’s the thing, IT’S NOT NEW! Yes, we work with digital files now, and probably something like Photoshop… but that’s because we’ve moved into the future. I assure you there were myriad techniques used in the darkrooms when all we had was film. Just because we are now post processing on the computer does not somehow invalidate post processing. In most cases, the core features of photo editing software were designed to be the digital equivilent of those darkroom techniques.

I will fully admit there are things that I do not care for. I find over-the-top HDR to be an annoyance and hard on the eyes, for instance. But I accept that it is a quite popular and is now considered to be a photography related art form, and would never seek to belittle someone for their choice to use it, or presume to claim that I’m somehow a more worthy photographer because I don’t use it.

My advice, intrepid photographers, is to worry about your own creation of art, enjoy the art of others that speaks to you, don’t let anyone lead you from your own path, and don’t try to dissuade anyone from their journey. You do you, and don’t worry about the opinions of others. Teach when you are asked for knowledge, but don’t presume to lecture where your opinion was not asked for… because it’s just that… your opinion. No more or less valid that anyone else’s opinion.

Just love the art.

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