The Virus I recently came across a user on DPReview.com who likes making comments about others in a very technical, emotional, and manic way. I don’t know what he does or what credentials he has, but he has over 23,000 posts on the forums. If you post that much then you either should be a professor or you’re someone who takes minimal photos with hardly any experience at all. This user made an attack on me stating, “A good portrait photographer (a real artist) knows that, and that’s why 99% of the real artists use stopped down lenses and selects the background accordingly so that it is not disturbing, or invisible if needed.” Just by making that statement we can assume that he is in fact no “real artist.”
When reaching the level of being an artist, we have a mutual respect among each other, recognizing that there are no rules when it comes to art. His view of what makes an artist real or what qualities a true artist possess has no meaning in regards to art, it only defines and sheds light upon his massive ego. He also made another remark of, “Why? Does the truth hurt? Could you please explain what is a personal attack in the above sentence? Isn’t composition a VERY important part of photography, ESPECIALLY for an artist?” Again, composition is subjective so how can it be within his school of thought to set the rules for the entire general public.
By rule of what this user states, one can assume that a real artist should only be recognized according to his rules. If they don’t meet the criteria he has provided, you must not be a real artist. Well heck, let’s just remove 99% of all works of art because they don’t meet this person’s standards.
An Important Message From Me To Everyone Don’t let anyone tell you about your art, regardless of if you are a photographer or not. We all have different styles and approaches to art. Anyone can be a photographer. All you have to do is pick up a camera of any make/model and shoot at least once. To be an artist is different, but there are no rules to art so stop listening to what anyone else deems acceptable. Just do it because it moves, and express yourself in a manner that frees you as a person. It’s also not a bad idea to ask for advice, but don’t take photo critiques and apply it to all of your photos.
Remember, your photo is of your own creation. If I looked at 100 random photos and picked out three that I knew were yours, then you’ve made your mark. It’s your signature! So please… stay away from this dangerous form of advice known as the “The Virus.” Eventually you will get caught up and lose yourself and your art will be their art, not your own.
Bruce Lee said it best, “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.” His own heritage stopped him from teaching his own style of Kung Fu, but he defied it and opened minds like a wild fire. Be remembered for your struggles and triumphs, not the negative ideals thrust upon you by others.
Initial Thoughts I am, and have always been intrigued by the mirrorless and interchangeable world. Nikon has a fairly new system under the name of Nikon 1. Back when it was released a few years ago, I took a look at the offering of lenses and I to be honest, wasn’t too impressed. The smaller sensor didn’t bother me too much because this was the system I wanted the Sony RX100 to be.
The Drive During the announcement of the Nikon 1 V3 I decided to revisit this smaller system. I saw the 32mm f/1.2 lens and I think I almost fell in love with it. However, I was still unsure of the Nikon 1 system. The DPreview.com forums didn’t seem to have many positive comments about the Nikon 1, but that didn’t stop my curiosity. I was determined to find out if I would like this mirrorless system enough to get the 32mm lens.
Went For The Purchase I ended up purchasing the Nikon 1 J1 in red with the 10mm and 10-30mm kit. Being that it was a little over $300.00, I thought it was a good deal. It was pretty small and an attractive kit, but when I attached the 10mm to the body, it wasn’t as small as I thought. The Lumix GF3 with the 14mm f/2.5 lens was about the same size of the Nikon J1 with its 10mm f/2.8 lens. Right now there is no size advantage to both systems with similar lenses.
Being fairly close to resting on the borderline of disappointment, I went ahead and took a few shots to try out the camera itself and I didn’t think it was all that bad. I choose the J1 because of the price point and I didn’t want to invest in the Nikon V1. The J1 was supposed to be smaller, and that’s what I wanted. Plus I needed to see if Nikon’s strategy with the J1 to bring on point-and-shoot consumers would make sense in this camera model. After fumbling through and trying to figure out the custom settings I found the camera to be annoying. I knew that I wasn’t going to get any professional setup with the J1, but it didn’t hurt to hope. At least it wasn’t lacking staple modes like Manual and ISO control within the menu system.
The Real Measure Of A System
So for me a critical measure of any camera system is the 50mm prime offering for the camera company. Why do I believe this? Because the mystical idea that the 50mm is a staple for all photographers needs to be tested. I think that since a camera company knows this, the 50mm at any price point should allow for trust to be instilled in the buyer, that this starter prime lens is the measure of a company’s ability to make amazing lenses. If Nikon can’t make a 1 series 50mm(18.5mm) lens that is no less than amazing then I shouldn’t continue investing. Needless to say I purchased the 18.5mm and was pleasantly surprised. The lens was very light and capable. I was happy that Nikon didn’t cut corners with a key item in their lens line up.
What’s next? Since I was satisfied with my own initial assessment of the Nikon 1 system from the J1 and the 18.5 I was ready to consider the purchase of the 32mm. Within minutes I made the purchase and the lens arrived in a few days.
I recently attended an anime convention at the National Harbor. The event is Katsucon 2014, and it was the 20th anniversary. It was a pretty cool experience and I got to take a lot of photos. This was a real test for my new Sony a7 with the 35mm. I also brought my Olympus E-M5 with the Leica 50mm attached. What a beautiful combination to have and I think it was the perfect gear for that day. Full coverage here!
Thank you for all of the love and support from my fans and clients. I started my professional photography venture in 2008 and it’s been five years strong. This year will bring some amazing and exciting opportunities!