Tag Archives: pretentious

The Know-It-All, Blog Commenting, Elitist Photographer

If you spend any time on photography websites and blogs, and especially if you read comment sections, you have probably seen your fair share of “know-it-all” photographers. And let me say, this phenomenon is not unique to the photography world, but it seems there is a higher a-hole ratio within this niche. These comments usually come in the form of simple, to-the-point declarations like, “basic stuff,” or “old news,” or more elaborate and thought-provoking diatribes like, “this post is completely useless, every photographer should already know this.”

But whatever form it comes in, know this: Human beings don’t know things until they do. We aren’t born with the knowledge of our ancestors pre-programmed into our craniums. After exiting the womb, the bowl of noodles between our ears does not automatically assimilate the entire store of human intelligence.

To the “Know-It-All” Photographer, with Love:

See, this is how things work (and I know I need to explain it thanks to your inane blog comment): There was a time long ago when you were born, and like everyone else, you didn’t know anything. Then gradually you learned, and then you learned some more because there were people willing to teach you. This wasn’t always “basic stuff” to you of course, and I’m guessing back when you were learning, you wouldn’t have found it constructive for someone to go around assuming everyone should already know this stuff. Please, tell me if I’m wrong.

Just because you know it, doesn’t mean the job of teaching is over. If the blog you commented on was entirely geared to professionals and know-it-alls like you, then maybe “basic stuff” would be an appropriate comment. Instead, it’s just pretentious and elitist.

So it would seem there are those who get an extra special dopamine rush when they discover they know something that someone else doesn’t, particularly after they proceed to point it out. But this is entirely unimpressive. There are millions and billions of people on this planet learning new things every day, and millions and billions of people who will come along later and learn those things again.

So you know something that someone else doesn’t? Good for you. Bravo. Give yourself a nice long round of applause.


Then get over yourself.

There are those elitists who go around on forums and comment sections, trying to be the internet and topic police, telling people they are “noobs” and to “go read the FAQ,” and “don’t end your sentences with a preposition.” But these people really just clutter things up. It would be easier and better for everyone if they would just answer the question and move on, or better yet (assuming they can’t refrain from smugness), just don’t comment at all.

Posted in Humans Being Also tagged , , , , , , , , |

Ignore The Pretentious Street Photography Critics

Street photography is a snapshot in time, and it captures the human condition as seen through a small rectangle frame. Because this is an artistic expression, street photography critics need to shed the pretentiousness, and instead embrace the artistic vision.

Because the field of view is artificially limited by the lens, the size of your camera’s sensor, and other factors, we are able to make sense of the chaos of the street. The photograph captured by a street photographer can reduce complexity to simple elements, allowing us to focus on the emotion and beauty of the street.

But not every street photograph needs to tell a story beyond the obvious, and not every street photograph needs to evoke an emotion. Yes, some of the best street images do both, but a good street photograph can simply capture the beauty that is a slice of life on the street, and it can serve as a record of how a city or town looked at the time the photo was taken.

So if you are an aspiring street photographer, don’t let the pretentious critics lead you astray, or deter you from your own artistic vision. Street photography is what you make it, and it is not defined by a rigid set of rules created by the self-important. So hit the streets, and capture the things that grab your eye, and ignore the pretentiousness.

Posted in Humans Being, Photography, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , |