Craftsmanship and perception

“Compensating for lack of skill with technology is progress toward mediocrity. As technology advances, craftsmanship recedes. As technology increases our possibilities, we use them less resourcefully. The one thing we’ve gained is spontaneity, which is useless without perception.”

The preceding quotation from photographer David Vestal (1924-2013) may sound harsh to some, like the grousing of a grumpy old malcontent - but what he says has merit. In photography, there are no substitutes for craftsmanship and perception, both of which do not come quickly or easily.

In today’s instant everything, hyper connected digital world, there are still some things that must be acquired the old fashioned way. I think that is one of the attributes of photography that appeals to me. Photography requires honest work, commitment and dedication applied over significant chunks of time; we’re talking years here.

Shallow effort will produce shallow results and shallow images. To say such a thing is an abomination in today’s “I want it now” culture, but it is nonetheless true.

Photography: It is what it is.

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