photographers … so you think P on your camera stands for Professional?

I know, I know .. it’s a funny comment that P stands for professional. But somehow it always irks me to the extent that I just can’t suppress my reply. Maybe it’s the purposeful dumbing-down making it seem okay not to want to know more and continually improve. Maybe that’s what gets to me. Still, I think my reply is more cute.

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your photographs are wonderful – you must have a really nice camera

There is an amusing anecdote doing the rounds as a graphic on Facebook and elsewhere – it’s a quote ascribed to Sam Haskins. Now, if you consider the number of quotes that get propagated on Facebook that are ascribed to Morgan Freeman, I’m surprised Sam Haskins even got a mention. But I digress.

The quote relates a story where a photographer smacks down a socialite in New York for some comment about the photographer’s camera. Well, here it is, and it kinda rankles me …

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Some sayings in photography are thrown out there so often that they’ve achieved a life of their own, and become truisms that are summarily accepted and then perpetuated.
Here they are - the 10 most annoying platitudes in photography

Actually, I was going to name this post clichés in photography, but that would imply visual clichés. But tastes differ too widely, and I wouldn’t want to be the Style Police and dictate to other photographers which subjects and approaches are deemed cool. Besides, I think the world could always use more photos of pretty girls sitting on train tracks.

So here they are – things that make me grind my teeth:

1.   “you have to know the rules to break the rules”
2.   “the camera is only a tool”  /  “it’s the photographer, not the camera”
3.   “zoom with your feet”
4.   either / or  debates
5.   circular reasoning in order to rationalize something
6.  “fake it until you make it”  /  “but everyone started somewhere”
7.   the superiority of film because of some mystical qualities
8.   B&W = art
9.   ambient light purists
10. “don’t worry how it looks now, just fix it in Photoshop later”

And here’s why … Learn more inside…


In trying to get myself up to speed with the technology and options around blogging, the Blogging for Dummies book looked like good entry-level reading. My daughter, Janine, gently teased me about yet another Dummies title on my shelf – but she put her foot down when I had to take her to the hospital for a sprain.  She said it would be too embarrassing if I sat in the waiting room with her, while reading a Dummies book on blogging.  So we compromised …


The following is a review that a fellow wedding photographer, John Michael Cooper, posted on the Digital Wedding Forum in March ’05. I’m re-posting it here with his kind permission, since I wanted his offbeat view and sense of humor to have a wider audience. He is definitely someone to watch, always delivering work that surprises and impresses. Anyway, here’s John Michael Cooper’s review of the D2x .. or as he would have it, his new BigBlackCamera …

Neil van Niekerk

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