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I enjoy the work of a number of incredible photographers and, it may be controversial, but I have a thought about the 'norm' of sticking with one genre.


Young woman, Chin State, Myanmar

Most known photographers are known for the genre that they shoot and there are obvious advantages to that - expertise takes 10,000 hours (according to Malcolm Gladwell) so if you want to be an expert in more than one area then that's, well, a lifetime before you would be 'good enough'.


It could be the way that my brain is wired but the thought of sticking to one subject / look / context does not appeal to me, artistically. While the advantage of 'developing a brand that is X' is certainly easier if people come to know you for your edgy macro photography or washed-out wide-vista landscapes, I think that the artist brings more to the picture if they can look at it in different ways. Sticking to a format or a look means that we manipulate what is in front of us to fit with that look; or, we ignore it because it isn't of visual interest to us. Both have the effect of limiting our viewing of the world, and that then limits the stories we can tell.


Catlins Coast

It does all boil down to why you pick up your camera in the first place. I am notorious for taking a camera bag stuffed full of lenses that will cover a range of scenarios. I find it really exciting to go somewhere and to be captivated by a scene that is far different to what I had imagined.



Royal Spoonbill catching lunch

I really enjoy watching talented photographers post a variety of work - through that variety you can see their talent, diversity and creativity. I tend to get bored very easily by those who post the same type of image time and time again. While it may take 10,000 hours to become an expert that doesn't mean you have to become boring.


Anyone else have the same thought?


#photography #photographer #deepthinking