I spend a lot of time on forums, photo forums. Probably too much time. But still, doing so can be an education. Not so much an education in photography but more of an education regarding the attitudes many photographers appear to have these days. You know, their attitudes towards the craft of photography.
These days, especially amongst some new-ish photographers, it appears more than a few of them believe production skills--I'm talking about traditional camera and lighting skills--are way less important than post-production skills. In fact, I read posts by some who say that production skills don't matter much at all. I'm not saying this is true across the board. It's not. But, often enough, it's an attitude I see displayed on one particular (and popular) forum quite frequently.
But here's the deal, leastwise my opinion of the deal:
If you're gonna pursue photography as a career, it's probably in your best interests--aside from the business side of it--to learn all you can about production, i.e, about camera craft and the technical aspects of photographic production. You know, that part of photography when cameras are in your hands. I'll agree that, these days, it's also important to hone your Photoshop and other post-production skills but, for the most part, again IMO, production skills will carry you further as a photographer then post-production skills will.
While it's gotten easier and easier to frost a turd, what with Photoshop and all the nifty actions and cool third-party software available, a turd is still a turd regardless of the frosting applied.
Even if you're so clever with your post-production trickery that you can fool almost everyone into believing your turds are not, actually, turds, there are times when knowing how to produce something that isn't a turd might help you out immensely. In other words, knowing how to capture a non-turd-ish photo matters! Certainly, believe it or not, it matters to many potential clients, especially if you're looking at pursuing fashion, beauty, and/or glamour-and-tease as your photography career choices.
This might come as a big surprise to some but, often enough, when you're shooting in those above mentioned genres, you don't always get to perform the post-production on the images you've snapped. Nope. You're not even given the opportunity to frost those turds!
I know, I know... that sucks! What can I say? Life, and sometimes our pursuits in life, aren't fair. If you're a photographer, make that a fauxtographer, not being offered the opportunity to fix fuck-ups in post really sucks! I mean, how unjust is that? It's a freakin' travesty, right?
You see, instead of you getting to hide your incompetence shooting a camera, someone else processes your work and those "someone elses" also have to fix your fuck-ups. This is not something that makes those "someone elses" too happy. Often enough, and unfortunately for you, the fauxtographer, those people sometimes share their dissatisfaction regarding your work with (Shudder!) your clients!
It sometimes gets worse.
There are also times when you might find yourself shooting tethered. That means you're shooting for an audience, an audience that might include the person who is going to pay you, i.e., your client. Clients, you might remember, are also the people who, hopefully, will hire you again and, sometimes, even recommend you to others.
When shooting tethered, your audience isn't expecting to see a comedy; a comedy of errors, that is-- A photo-shoot version of a French farce played out with a photographer, a model, and a few other "cast" members. They want to see some seriously good work happening on that photographic stage.
Holy crap! Talk about pressure!
When shooting tethered, if your shit sucks, i.e., the stuff coming out of your camera sucks (as evidenced by what the audience is seeing on the screen) the client, along with everyone else, gets to immediately see that your capturing turds.
It still gets worse.
After seeing your turds on the screen, or later hearing from post-prod people that your production work sucks, the client will probably decide that you suck! As a photographer, that is. And then, suddenly, POOF! There might go that full or part-time career in the exciting world of photography you hoped to have had. Leastwise, in terms of shooting fashion, beauty, glamour and tease, and making some money at it.
It's interesting, on some photo forums, that more than a few people who call themselves photographers seem to have a negative, certainly ambivalent, attitude towards the traditional craft of photography.
We don't need no steenkeeng photography skills!
I'm just saying.
The pretty girl at the top is 2003 Penthouse "Pet of the Year," Sonny Leone. I snapped that semi-candid pic of Sonny at a production location last year. That's some whacky wallpaper, ain't it?