Now before I start I am a keen photographer but I admit an amateur one. I don’t have the best eye and am not having a dig at anyone in particular but something struck me today…
I am very lucky to be able to walk to St Paul‘s and enjoy a wander around during my lunch break. Today the weather was clear and bright and I decided to go for a stroll (although I stroll most days regardless of the weather).
I stopped in the park behind St Paul’s and it struck me how many people/tourists were out taking photos. Indeed I was one of them:
On such a lovely bright day it would be mad not to take advantage of such great light – especially in London in January!
What struck me was the amount of people wobbling on the top of buses, walking with their cameras above their heads or just simply pointing and shooting with no thought whatsoever. It made me think about just how many crap photographs are taken every day?
We all know that apps such as Instagram don’t help as everyone believes their blurry vignette shot is an arty masterpiece when in fact it’s usually a blurry wobbly mess (I am as guilty as the next man on that one).
Back in the days of film we took time and care to take photos. Lots of people didn’t even have cameras as it was an expensive hobby but now in this digital age we all seem to click at random and hope for the best. I used to love waiting to get my photos back from the chemist to see how good they were, I always put some much care in the 24 shots I got per film and each one was precious.
I don’t protest to be a serious photographer but the shot above was taken with some thought. As I visit St Paul’s often I just wanted a photo that showed the lighting, the stunning Wren architecture and the fact it was winter so I framed my shot behind a dormant tree.
I shudder when I think about just how many photo’s were taken just around St Paul’s today and I reckon the majority were taken with no thought or planning. Just how many crap photos do people take on average and what do they do with them?
I doubt everyone filters through all their photos and it scares me to think that some poor friend or family member has to see hundreds of shit shots when they get home or worse on their Facebook photo page or whatever.
To cap it all the worst crime today was the amount of tourists out taking photos with their iPads. Now I got flamed a bit for my comments about this on Twitter today (although most seemed to be on my side of the argument).
I know some people may not have a separate smartphone or camera, I know they may be conserving their phone battery etc but how on earth can you take a good photo with an iPad?
It’s cumbersome to hold as a camera. The camera quality is ok – not great. The screen is really reflective in bright sun light. For example there was a guy today taking a photo of his companion, she was sat in front of St Paul’s and he was trying to take her photo. This is obviously a momento of their time in London – something you believe they will want to treasure… However the sun was behind him and you couldn’t see anything on the screen because of the glare. I bet most of his photos were out of focus or wobbly. Such a waste. If he had a small compact camera he would have been able to see immediately what he was shooting and had a half decent shot. He probably stopped at his hotel, flicked through his photos, saw they were out of focus and deleted them… But then I doubt that actually happened at all.
I cannot imagine travelling somewhere foreign and hedging my bets on shots taken on an iPad, without thought or through some low quality arty app. Why spend all that money and just have blurry pixellated photos for your momento?
I just hope when you take photos that you take care to compose your shots and think about them. If you don’t, I hope you have the decency not to subject your loved ones to all the hundreds of blurry shots you took…
Update: as if to feed my post I found this posted online today. Kevin Russ shot stunning photos using just his iPhone. It’s not the equipment. It’s the photographer.