Marnova – of and from a wandering mind…

Marnova's musings on life, media and Mongolia

Creativity without foundation

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Eric Traore for Vogue Paris

Recently, a very pro-active photography forum culled a lot of its members. Not just people that were not contributing, but people that were not contributing extremely regularly ie. every day.  I had previously lauded the hands-on management of the group which requested active participation from everyone. It set a different tone and precedent to many groups, but I had my wrist slapped early on for expanding on a comment on photojournalism which is the single area I have real and unique expertise to offer…it wasn’t a creative enough area of photography to be considered important.  To the moderators, creativity had become paramount. Which I totally disagreed with.

At its most basic, photography records a moment in time and this is what photojournalism is…I didn’t really understand how someone could just dismiss one of the bastions of photography as unimportant.  The very thing that I love about photography is that it requires technical, creative and business skills in equal parts. I do not value one over the other. And there is always more to learn. Whilst I can understand some photographers may prioritise any one of these skills over the others, you cannot just disregard them and call yourself a photographer. Someone who creates a creative image but is not in charge of their camera is an artist, not a photographer.

When the admins got rid of the less frequent contributors (ie. professionals that had less time to spend on the group), it was never really recognised that the group lost a lot of talent and expertise in one fell swoop. It became the blind leading the blind – they sought validation from their own inexperienced peer group. I know that working full-time has little to do with creativity and I fly the flag for The Photographer that is equally The Artist, but I don’t think that the wealth that comes with experience in the field should ever be underestimated. Creative process is important, but not anymore important than being a technical master of your camera or sound business acumen.

I pointed this out before removing myself from the group because I felt it had the wrong priorities and the wrong people were being cut out of the group, leaving people that were far from competent photographers. The moderators’ response was “perhaps those without experience can bring more to the group.” The basic message was that being in charge of your camera or knowing how to do business was not important. I would like to think it was not just their impudence that annoyed me, but the fact that they couldn’t even see what they had lost.


Written by marnova

March 15, 2012 at 3:18 am

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