This hobby can be pretty polarizing, and that’s before we’re even shooting glass or water. HA! But seriously, the massive variety of camera makers, camera types, styles of shooting, and personal preferences gives rise to countless way-too-loud opinions. The sad truth is that a lot of people who like making photos are rather opinionated.
This can be annoying on its own, but what’s worse are the jerks who like photography so much they’ve decided to run their very own photo geek websites. These blogs and lifestyle sites are under constant, immense pressure to “publish or die”, and if you spend enough time in this hobby you’ll quickly learn that the culture of quantity over quality is painfully pervasive.
After a few years of running my own site and producing what I consider to be high quality material, I’m often annoyed at the many articles I see shared that contribute nothing to the hobby whatsoever. Or worse, articles that actually discourage people from enjoying photography through their promoting of snobbery and elitism. The result of my annoyance? I’ve made an exhaustive list of the top five types of articles that photography culture blogs need to stop publishing – now!
“This is Better Than That” Articles
I recently read an article about how film is awful and digital is the best. It was posted on one of the most popular sites around. It was vacuous, pointless, and only served to promote the writer’s own work. So, you don’t like film? Okay. You should write about that, and hopefully that’ll discourage someone who may enjoy film from ever trying it. That’s good work. Additionally it might be useful to pen a piece on why Nikon is better than Canon. It’ll be helpful for impressionable Nikon shooters who could use a little something-something, and it’ll really put those Canon guys in their place. And once you’ve published that Pulitzer candidate we should start brainstorming about why Pentax users are the worst.
Poorly Written Opinion Posts
Nothing can replace good writing. If you’re running a website or blog you should probably know how to craft a compelling paragraph. And yet… How many articles have I read that are confusing, disjointed, and offer no basis for the opinions set forth in the article? Worse still, how many articles post erroneous information as fact, or regurgitate second-hand anecdotal tales without so much as even a cursory fact-check? I can’t even begin to say, but I do know I just read a review of the Mint InstantFlex that confidently stated that the camera’s lenses are made of glass, which they’re not (I asked Mint). I don’t mean to be a snob here, but I feel that people who make money by getting folks to read their words ought to have the decency to ensure that those words are worth reading. Do your research. Use correct grammar. Have some respect for us readers.
Articles that Discourage People
I just read a post about all the questions new photographers need to, apparently, stop asking. According to the writer of this wretched article, the worst thing someone can do in life is to ask someone in-the-know to pass along their wisdom. Want to know how to play the piano, and happen to be married to a pianist? Better Google it, you idiot, or risk being the most annoying person in the world. People ask me every single day which camera they should buy. I answer them as best I can, and don’t hate them for it.
But wait. Come to think of it, I might just agree with the author of this article. Yes. All of us photographers who were born with the instinctual knowledge of ISO should just sit in our darkrooms alone, shooting photos that we never show anyone. That’ll ensure we never have to talk to anyone about anything. [/sarcasm] And let’s not forget the time I accidentally stumbled upon a “Reasons your Photography Sucks” article. Yes. This was an actual headline of an actual post from an actually terrible photo blog. And just how does that help the hobby? Anyone?
Articles About Leica
I’m just sick of them.
“Top Five” Articles
These kinds of articles are the worst. You know the kind. Some jerk puts together a lazy list compiling the five best Leicas, or the five best film cameras, or the five best places to eat poutine while taking pictures of poutine. There can’t be five best anything! There’s only one best. It should be “The One Best and Four Not-as-Good Whatevers”.
God damnit, I hate them- wait. Wait a minute.
Oh, to Hell with it. Carry on.