Several weeks ago, RC Concepcion compared looking at people’s 365 projects to “watching a fat man do jumping jacks.”
I took some offense to this, and (despite claims to the contrary) I believe it was meant to offend and discourage amateurs like myself. I’m sure this is all in my imagination: why would RC alienate his audience like this? But at the very least, it showed an utter contempt for anyone taking part in a 365 project.
That said, should I be out riding that bicycle instead of shooting? Probably. Should I at least have on those running shoes and be out for a walk? Definitely. Should I smash that guitar over my gear, and then sell all my gear? Not if I want to get the best price, but perhaps.
The thing is, I enjoy making pictures, I enjoy sharing them, I enjoy having a reason to be creative every day, whether I want to or not, and this 365 project has done a great deal for me.
I’ve looked at, studied, practiced, and gotten better at making pictures that I want to look at; I’ve learned the ins and outs of the D7000 (the parts I use anyway), and I’ve used a broken lens to make pictures that people seem to actually enjoy; I’ve experimented, discovered, attempted, failed, and succeeded; and I’ve (mostly) enjoyed it.
And more than that, I’ve met some wonderful people thanks to this project, including the fabulous curators here at the 365 project, who have given me more encouragement and support than I even hoped for.
And even more than that, I’ve discovered things about myself; I’ve pushed up against my limits; fallen down and gotten back up; faced some of my fears; seen possibilities in myself, and found new things to focus on.
The 365 project has, so far, been (mostly) a joy, so why would I care what some professional photographer thinks about my project? RC has never seen any of my work, and I sincerely doubt he’ll read any of this or see this picture.
And I can understand how a professional photographer might get a bit tired of looking at bad amateur pictures over and over again: I definitely empathize with my painting professor, who must be exhausted by the continuous crop of 1st semester painters by now.
But Mike the painting professor does’t walk into class and talk complete smack about the paintings on display, no matter how bad they are.
So I understand the sentiment, but it’s the delivery that bothers me. Yes, I’m thin-skinned. And, yes, I should grow up (and get myself fitter, if this picture is any indication).
There are much friendlier ways to express disgust and disdain. It may not be completely honest, but you don’t risk alienating ever more of your audience.
And one other thing: RC, when was the last time you shot, purely for pleasure, for 300 consecutive days?
Ok. That’s enough.
I’m not entirely pleased with this picture, but it has a few things going for it, not the least of which: I can cross of one of the things on my shooting list. 😀
D7000. Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 @10mm. ISO100, 1/15th, f/16. Three flashes: the key, an SB700, SU-4’d, with its diffusion panel in place, and at full power, near camera right; the fill, a Vivitar auto 200, mounted on the camera with a Cactus v5 trigger sandwiched in between; the rim, a Toshiba 312 behind the fatty. About 15 minutes of slider play in Aperture, mostly in an attempt to convince myself to actually post this, instead of wimping out and making some pretty macro.
Also, I wrote a much better version of this post, and then hit some strange combination of buttons and lost the whole post. The first version took about 20 minutes; this version took over 2 hours.