The Best Photographer I Know

My compositional approach to photography (or all creative skills) is to keep one foot rooted in the ancient and one foot planted in the future.

The best photographer I know does not work in the photography industry. He works in construction. He walked away from the trade when a photograph became a lie. The idea of after capture manipulation combined with the layering use of Photoshop killed the art form for him.

Even though he has been out of the industry for well over a decade, he is still the most knowledgeable person I know when it comes to photography. Often when I am troubleshooting a workflow problem he will give me a back-to-basic (back to camera) answer. His comprehension is rooted in the classic approach to capturing an image. Light first, your time second.

He no longer owns a camera or reads current photography publications, nonetheless the depth and span of his craft is well intact.

I have found time and time again the best at their craft do not work in the industry.

When I was playing music on a professional level, countless times I would share the stage with much more established and popular performers. Frequently I found their talents to be superior in marketing than in musicianship. For myself, on numerous occasions, I would meet an older gentleman after a show that looks like he had never even seen a guitar, then watch as he picked up my guitar and listened as he schooled me on what true musicianship is.

Previously I have written about “Natural Depth of Field” and posted a photo and asked the reader to guess how it was taken. The photo received hundreds of hits and only one guess??? Why is before capture thought becoming less and less of creative thought. I am stating a new series that I call “Mystery Gallery”. Photography done in camera, no Photoshop, no layers, no filters, no manipulation or enhancements at all…

Question to the working artist out there: What’s more important to you--the past or the future of your craft?