So What’s It All About Ken?

Photography spaz Ken Rockwell is a leading light of the pho­tog­raphy blogging scene, and lords knows has plenty to say about pho­tog­raphy. Mostly, I’ve noticed, about what pho­tog­raphy is not about.

First and foremost, it’s not about your camera. “Your equip­ment DOES NOT affect the quality of your image.” Emphasis his. For example.

It might just be about lenses , but not very many. It’s not about lens caps.

It’s not about tripods. Or bags.

It’s not par­tic­u­larly about software (he still uses iView and Photoshop proper, god help him), nor does a fast computer help. And colour man­age­ment isn’t useful for managing colour. Incidentally, his site looks kind of washed out until I apply colour man­age­ment to my screen.

Megapixels don’t matter, with which I am in absolute agreement.

Frankly, nothing new is good.

It’s not about shooting raw. In fact, this whole digital thing is for suckers. “Shoot film, which I also find to be far less of a hassle than dicking around with raw files”. He’s serious.

And as of last week, perhaps having run low on things for pho­tog­raphy not to be about, it’s not about your subject.

Here’s another secret: in pho­to­graphic art, it’s never about the subject. It’s always about the under­lying com­po­si­tional struc­ture. Subjects that may be there are chosen because they support or create a struc­ture, not the other way around.”

And that folks is why there is so much boring, de-​​contextualized, dis­en­gaging but tech­ni­cally com­pe­tent fluff in the “inter­esting” category at Flickr.

By the way, I highly rec­om­mend Ken Rockwell’s site for his digital camera rec­om­men­da­tions, which tend to be prag­matic, concise and on-​​the-​​money in a way that no other pho­tog­raphy site I’m aware of manages. Somehow, it’s about the camera.

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