I’m not a photographer

"I’m not a photographer” was always my catchphrase. In the 90’s I was not a photographer because photographers documented weddings, parties and the world we live in and I didn’t do that. In the 2000’s I wasn’t a photographer because photographers were people who took selfies on smartphones, edited the world on their laptops and set up social media pages to publish their creations.

So if I’m not a photographer, what am I? I have a darkroom in my basement, a collection of film cameras on a shelf in my studio and digital cameras in a cabinet in my office. I get joy from watching an image appear on photographic paper immersed in developer and I like the smell of fixer. I get little if any joy from seeing an instant photo on a digital camera screen. I prefer to see an artwork hang on a wall than appear on a computer screen. I get no satisfaction from selfies or camera phones. I dislike it when people refer to my images as ‘photos’ because ‘photos’ are what photographers make and I’m not a photographer... am I?

I’m sure you’ve heard it said that “everyone’s a photographer” in this digital age. I guess I’m a little old school or maybe its a form of snobbery but I feel that in an ideal world there would be a threshold one needs to cross before declaring oneself a photographer. Maybe we need a new terminology to distinguish those who have done the miles from those who don’t know what an f-stop is.

In this digital world I'm a creative with an identity crisis who makes photographic images. I do so because it's an obsession.

© 2018 Graeme Wienand | www.manyfaces.com.au


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