Rush Hour in Chama

3 Ways of the Realist in Photography

If you have  a pessimist photographer and an optimist photographer it only makes sense that you can have a realist photographer.  What is a realist?  A realist is a person who does not care if the glass is half empty or half full.  A realist knows that you will still have to wash the glass.

While everyone has their own unique personality, there are 3 major types of realists when discussing photographers.

The Materialist-   The photographer concerned with the method taking pictures that are identified necessary to be creating a real picture. Similar to the philosophy of  materialism, the photographer looks at an abstract photograph and claims that it is not proper photography because the subject is not identifiable as the focus of the photograph. These photographers want subjects.  While they still consider a photograph a vehicle for emotion or thought, this is always secondary to the subject being photographed.  A materialist will still use Photoshop only when necessary to highlight that centered subject.


The Scientist   -The Scientist is a non-emotional photographer.  He or she is much more interested in the technical aspects in the field of photography.  This photographer will take endless mathematical calculations to determine the proper lighting, proper distance to aperture ratio and so forth.  They have successfully memorized every f-stop and shutter speed on their camera and the effect each has. To this type of photographer, photography is not an art,  it’s a science and a camera is only a tool that can show you that particular slice of time.


The Rounder-   The rounder is a photographer that believes that the way to shoot photography is by rounding things off.   These people believe that there is a science to photography and there is as much art as emotion. Rounders want to use multiple methods for taking pictures.  A rounder would use a large aperture to make the background out of focus but attempt to adhere to the rule of thirds or the golden ratio. However, even though a rounder may use light metering or the rule of thirds, they won’t believe they have a good shot until they see it on a larger computer screen or after post-production.  A rounder will also take more than one picture of a subject, from different angles, to make sure it has the best lighting .  They often ask themselves, “What if I do this with the camera, light, subject?”


The thing to remember about the realist photographer is that they are in all of us.  The Scientist who has a bad day can easily become the Tech Hater.  A Rounder with a heavy dose of caffeine can become a Bingo Photographer.   We never stay as one type of photographer forever, but that we move from pessimist to optimist to a rounded realist depending on the stimulus around us and our personal reaction to it.   Always be creative and you will avoid the pitfalls of the optimist, pessimist, or realist. I believe that if photographers understand their own quirks and exceptional talents then truly meaningful conversations will exist as artists, businesses and as people.

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