A good friend of mine sent me a link to a YouTube video from a guy who calls himself the “Angry Photographer”. In the video the guy spends 13 minutes blathering on about how no-one knows how to properly hold a monopod, and with much boasting he demonstrates all of the proper techniques for using one. My friend was curious what I thought of his techniques and whether she should consider using them.
My answer. Ignore the guy. He’s full of shit.
After going to the guy’s YouTube channel, I was amazed to find hundreds of videos from him where he pontificates at length about all manner of photography topics. Most of his videos are in response to other videos or articles he’s seen that he disagrees with. In short, he spends his time broadcasting his angry contempt for the work of other people. That’s pretty sad if you ask me.
I see this way too much and I’m considering seriously cutting back on the amount of time I spend reading articles and watching videos by people who have nothing better to do than sling shit. It doesn’t help me make better photos. While it may be somewhat entertaining to bash camera brands and poo-poo the latest photography trends, I am not leaving the experience happier, better, or more creative. It should stop.
There are people out there producing affirming content that provides great information and meaningful inspiration. One of them is a guy who I was thrilled to hang out with last summer, Gordon Laing. Now here’s a gentleman who brings smart, illuminating insight into cameras and lenses. When I spend time reading his work or listening to his delightfully-accented voice on his podcast I walk away knowing more useful stuff and my attitude isn’t sullied by some machismo bullshit. We need more Gordon and less bluster.
And this brings me to something I have been pondering a lot lately. I spend a lot of time reading blogs and watching videos on my iPad. I like to stay up-to-date on what is happening in the world, but I fear I am too head-down in my devices and not head-up enough in my world. I think I would be happier spending more time making images with cameras than reading about the latest camera rumors. I think I would be more creative if I practiced my craft instead of armchair quarterbacking it.
So here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to read fewer photo news sites and process more photos. I’m going to go out and fly my drone. I’m going to play with my kids. I’m going to work in the garden. I am going to ride my bike. I am going to go out and have some fun.