Sometimes I just sit, transfixed, watching my Tweetdeck columns spin like a never-ending slot machine. Tweetdeck is a Twitter app if you didn't know and, yeah, I probly need to get more of a life. My generally unexciting life aside, I usually have search columns showing on my Tweedeck feed. They search for words like "photography" and "photographer." It's amazing how many folks, world-wide, Tweet their 140 characters with those words included in their texts. So freakin' many!
What am I looking for as I stare at the spinning columns of characters keyboarded in by so many people, most of them photographers and from all over the country? (All over the world, for that matter.) Well, anything that might interest me, catch my attention, appease my appetite for photography-related information.
I also look for trends or common subjects: trends and subjects that seem to have grabbed a bunch of peoples' interests, make that photographers' interests, nearly at the same time and enough for them to Tweet about it.
I find it interesting that more photographers seem more like photographologists than, well, than photographers. Why do I think that? Because the majority of those Tweeting their 140 characters with the words "photography" or "photographer" in their texts appear more interested in the study of the tangible things related to photography, i.e., gear, equipment, and technologies, than the intangibles like craft and technique. I'm not saying there are only a few who are interested in those intangibles, many are, but the majority seem more interested in the tangibles.
And yet, so many of those who Tweet mostly about the tangibles also seem genuinely interested in improving their skills and abilities as photographers. This leads me to deduce that many people believe the tangibles, rather than the intangibles, will make them better photographers. That's exactly, of course, what those who manufacture and sell all those tangibles, things like cameras and lenses and lights and more, want people to believe.
I'm not saying many of the tangibles cannot help you become a better photographer or a photographer who snaps better photos. They certainly can. But they're not going to help you achieve your excellence-in-photography goals all on their own, contrary to what more than a few manufacturers of that stuff would have you believe.
I also find it curious that so many who often Tweet touts about all the latest gear often are the same people complaining the loudest that everyone thinks they're a "photographer" these days.
Well... why is it that? Why do so many people who know so little about photography believe they are photographers? (In a professional or accomplished sense of the word.) I'm convinced it's because too many people are constantly touting gear and relaying and replaying the notion, whether intentionally or unintentionally, that gear makes the photographer. And if gear makes the photographer, all someone needs to call themselves a "photographer" is a war chest full of the latest and greatest gear; not skill, not ability, not experience, just gear.
Anyway, just something to babble on about today while I drink my coffee.
The gratuitous eye-candy at the top is one I snapped a few months ago of a model who goes by the name Ash.