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.

Do whatever you like. But whatever it is, do it with passion.
In general, I don't bother much 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 Photoshop to make a (questionably) good photo from a whole bunch of mediocre ones.

Despite that, I'm a great fan of Photoshop, Lightroom and the like these days, and since all photography is trickery and deception of the eye in one way or another, why not use it, to the best of our ability, to create stunning imagery? If people like the results, even better. But remember that it's a tool, not our master. When the tool, and not our own judgement, starts determining how our photographs look, it's time to take a step back. And remember too that the really clever people are the ones who write the software. Their names are only ever mentioned on the Photoshop splash screen. Seetharaman Narayanan, you are my hero...

The trend a few years ago was HDR and tone mapping, which was perhaps my least favourite invention ever, achieving effects previously only available through prolonged use of hallucinogens. My objection is not to the technique itself - which can give stunning results - but to the temptation to overdo it. If an image looks good with the saturation at +6, it must be better at +100, right? Right... Thankfully the current taste has moved on from there, for the most part. At the moment, Milky Way photography is popular - including in my own work from time to time. Who knows where it will go next?

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