r o b i n   s o m e s   .   t h o u g h t s   o n   p h o t o g r a p h y

Photography is not an arms race, nor is it an exercise in ostentation.

It is an exercise in expression, in taste, in technique, in understanding form, structure, and the laws of physics, in knowing when to follow the rules, and when to abandon them.

In general, I care very little about what equipment a photographer uses, over and above two questions. Is it reliable? Does it do the job required of it? I care even less about software, with the exception of the same two questions. And I'm bored rigid by most modern photography magazines, which are generally about hyper-saturating colours, and using software to make a (questionably) good photo from a bunch of mediocre ones. I much prefer the use of skill and imagination to take one good photo in the first place.

This is a prime example of what I am on about. It's hard to fully describe how I feel about this image; the most prominent features in the foreground are the arse end of an Audi, and a bin for dog turds. Rendering it with gut-wrenching saturation hasn't improved it. The photographer is obviously (from his other work) talented. But... Anyone can press a few buttons in Photoshop or Lightroom; the really clever people are the ones who write the software. Regrettably, it's never their work that is on display.

Compare and contrast. Paul Tyrrell's gallery has a variety of saturated and HDR images, as well as more conventional pics - but each and every one started as a good image, thoughtfully composed, which would stand on its own merits however it was rendered. The HDR, etc., is an add-on to Paul's taste and mastery of the techniques, not a substitute for them. If there is a substitute for that, it doesn't lie in using someone else's programming skills to smear violent colours all over a mediocre-to-bad spur-of-the-moment pic that would've been better deleted.

All in my own opinion, of course - do what you like. But whatever it is, do it with passion.