Or on seeing one too many cell phone photograph with burnt-out pixilated skies and yellowy clouds.
Or the camera may or may not be the issue, but your photography just sucks. Period.
Or "Don't do it. There are way too many photographers."*
I’ve heard there is a (not so) secret code
That Bresson, Capa, Adams put on record
But you don’t really care for photography, do you?
It goes like this
You gotto take your pick
40 fans on Facebook
Or 40 hours (or years) to get to that place, that light, that look–
There’s no other way, that’s how it’ll be for ya.
Baby, others have been here before
Felt the same way, gone through all this before.
Photography is a way of shouting, of freeing oneself,
not of proving or asserting one's own originality.**
It’s not that “awesome!” or that “like”
It’s not as if you’ll get any real insight.
True photographs can’t be explained or contained in words***
I just wanted to be the one to tell ya.
Maybe Photoshop is your saviour and God above.
But all I’ve learnt and seen in the real world,
If your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough****
And no God can then ever hope to save yea.
You may post it on Facebook, or tweet it all night
200 comments on Flickr but you do know the next line:
It doesn’t mean a thing, if the photograph isn’t good.
That’s all there is to say to ya.
I tried my best to tell you what I know
Even though my words are always easy to ignore
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And I know it will all go wrong
The seduction of the "likes" on your Wall
The ego lift, the inevitable (painful and lonely) fall.
You’ll stand alone before the mirror one day
And then whom will you look up to, to save ya.
After Hallelujah a song by Leonard Cohen with apologies.
*Nan Goldin in Guardian– Don't do it. There are way too many photographers. Try to draw or get politically involved in something that matters. And unless you need to make art to stay alive, you shouldn't be making art. Read the rest here.
**Photography is a way of shouting, of freeing oneself, not of proving or asserting one's own originality. It's a way of life. – Henri Cartier-Bresson
***A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words. – Ansel Adams
**** If your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough. – Robert Capa