As we move on to our fifth deadly sin – Pride – we need to define this carefully. By pride, we do NOT mean that feeling of accomplishment of a job well done.
An attack of superbia
The work in the context of the deadly sin comes from the Latin word “superbia”, which means haughtiness or arrogance. It is a craving for superiority over others and making them feel inferior.
Photographers who manifest this deadly sin, are, I am pleased to say are few in number, but they are definitely out there. These are the photographers who simply don’t want to learn – they don’t need to… they know it all already. They think that their way is the ONLY way to do something.
I often wonder why photographers with this attitude ever bother coming on workshops. When they do I find myself explaining a concept or technique only to be confronted with someone who tells me that they don’t do it that way and that they don’t want to change either.
It is probably in the area of post-production where this intransigence is most visible. Particularly, with Adobe Lightroom. Like it or not, Lightroom does have a particular way of working, I learned years ago that to get the best out of it, it is I who has to change. Lightroom works best if we adapt our workflow to how it is designed rather than trying to shoe-horn it into following our workflow.
Let’s not get into the argument about whether it is right that Lightroom imposes ways of working or whether it should be flexible enough to adapt to how we want to work and just accept that Lightroom is what it is. If we can’t set our pride aside and work with it we are not going to get the best out of it.
Some things are fundamental to get the best out of the product – such as it needs to be the program that is managing your images – if you try to rebel against that idea you will have lots and lots “can’t find image” or “can’t find folder” messages. When I do any Lightroom consultancy work I spend more time solving missing images and the repercussions caused by them than anything else. Swallow your pride, folks, and work with these fundamentals and don’t rebel against them.
No right or wrong way
Having said all that about Lightroom, there are some areas where there are lots of different ways to achieve your goal, particularly in the area of editing and processing images. You only have to watch my 3-min edit videos (part of my weekly livestream) on YouTube to see that Rick Bradbury and I often take very different approaches.
But yet, with editing as with other areas of photography, you still find people who claim their way is the only way or the BEST way to do it. I’ve lost count of the times I have been told that “frequency separation” in photoshop is the best way to sharpen images. No, it is not. It is ONE way to sharpen images. It may even be the one that gives the most pleasing results. But is it the best way to sharpen images at 1:30 in the morning when you have 100+ theatre images that you have to get edited for a client. No, it’s not. The best way is one that you apply quickly to all your images so that the client can get their publicity done before the show opens in less than 24hrs time.
Strive to be humble
The opposite of pride is humility. Some of the best photographers I have ever come across are actually the most humble.
After all, isn’t humility exactly what photography is about? Humility is all about thinking others are better than yourself, putting others on a pedestal rather than yourself. Surely the aim of any photographer should be first and foremost to make your subject look good – and it is only by making your subject look good that people will think you are good.
It is by raising up others that we are raised up – there is something very Christian in that concept and I suppose as we are looking at “The seven deadly sins” that is quite appropriate.
Until next time, keep MAKING great images,
Do you find the information in these blog posts helpful?
Did you know that Academy members get a weekly Inspiration Sheet with loads more hints, tips and advice than I ever put in the newsletter? Also, each month Academy Members get a downloadable monthly PDF with all of that month’s blog posts in a magazine format that is easy to keep or print for future reference.
So what are you waiting for?
It only costs £6 per month or £60 for a year. Not only does The Academy provide you with regular photography advice, and discounts on training at the studio, but joining the academy helps me keep this blog and it’s associated free newsletter going.