Being a geek photographer is different from being a photography geek. A photography geek is some one obsessed with the intricacies of how photography works. In the past that was how light acted on film and how to do development. Now is about megapixels and light sensitivity.
A geek photographer is someone who comes from the world of computers or other sciences and picks up photography as a hobby. I find at the workshops I’ve been part of there are a lot of people who fall into this category, and as one myself, I’ve got some tips learned the hard way.
1. It’s not all about the gear. When you are used to building stuff or solving computer problems, you can get real focused on the technical aspects of photography. But don’t forget that in the end it is an art. An painter needs to understand paint, but only so he can express what he wants in his painting. More megapixles are not going to make up for poor composition.
2. Don’t use technology to correct mistakes you shouldn’t have made in the first place. Which brings us to “I’ll fix it in post.” This is lazy. If you say you shoot RAW because you can fix your exposure if it is wrong, you are trying to fix shooting mistakes with technology. You can’t really fix exposure problems in RAW, you can just make your images lighter or darker. The DOF was fixed at the time you shot.
There are reasons to shoot RAW, mainly that you get a higher bit depth from a RAW file – 14 on my Fuji – which gives you more colors.
There are get-it-all-in-the-camera purists, but really you should get everything right in the camera you can. It is fine to shoot something knowing you are going to do something to it in post. But don’t use tech as a crutch.
3. Maybe introverts should stick to landscapes. This blog isn’t just about photography in general, but the photographing of models. While sometimes they may be inhumanly beautiful, they are still people.
We engineer and science types are notorious for our awkward social skills. I’m not sure we can fix it easily, but try to remember that people need you to relate to them. This is why I talk about building rapport in lesson 6 of my free mini-course.
4. Some things need to be perfect, some not. We geeks also get anal and focused on stuff. It’s what makes us create cool software and other processes. But it doesn’t work the same way with people. Models aren’t perfect and you can’t blame them for their imperfections. Your subjects don’t have to be perfect.
You should strive to make your technique as perfect as it can be, and details matter, but realize you aren’t going to be perfect. Don’t make yourself crazy trying to be.
Who are you?
I sometimes wonder who reads this blog. So tell me are y’all geeks? Post a comment and tell me what your day job is.
BTW, my day job is as a Mac programmer.