Real Photography - my take in some blurry seascapes

Hamish Gill

Tech Support (and Marketing)
I thought I would respond to the recent topic about real photographers with an example of what I see as real photography within my own work.

Real photography for me is summed up almost entirely by intent. That is to say, if a person picks up a camera and imagines what they are going to take, then fulfils that by following through by actually taking the imagined photo, then that makes them a real photographer rather than just someone who takes photos (snaps).

As an example, inspired by some images sent to me by 35mmc regular David Hume, I went to the beach today with it in mind that I was going to take some impressionistic photos (read blurry) with my Pentax Q and the 11.5mm fixed focus toy lens. I had an idea of what I wanted to achieve, then followed through with that intent. When I got home, I cropped, colour tweaked and generally buggered with them until I was happy with them.

These are a couple of the results


You can find the rest here

To me it matters not the approach, the camera, lens, medium, amount of post process etc. What matters is creative intent and photographic satisfaction with the outcome. That's what makes a real photographer to me.

(Just for clarity, this isn't intended to disregard your thoughts, @Stephane Tougard, I do respect them for what they are, I am just sharing my view as part of the discussion)
I like your definition a lot, Hamish. I think it is also highlights the issue around taking a stack of shots on some sort of programmed setting and picking what seems to be the best and then stuffing them through a filter to get something that either you like, you think someone else might like or will buy. Intent is the key here and you have achieved your vision (although it will be interesting to see what you can achieve when you progress from toy lenses! ;) ).

And a fine set you have created. I like that shaft of light in the first (or attempted alien abduction of your dog!).

I can see why some professional photographers will grab a whole bunch of images of some event or other as they will be hoping to catch some that the other photographers present missed and that can be sold. With digital capture it is a cost-effective solution and a might even on occasion capture something 'special' image-wise. I always think back to the last UK Olympics with he chap who covered some track events with a Speed Graphic. All of his captures were more interesting that those of the 'proper' sports photographers alongside him (Okay, I know he was a sports photographer as well and it was set as a challenge).
I like this kind of blurry! Years ago, I used a Pentax K-01 (their only APS-C mirrorless camera - weird but cool). I had the kit 18-55mm lens which is a bit 'mmm... ok I guess..." but it did fine for me at the time.
Anyway I had a bit of a craze for this kind of effect and found that using that cheap kit lens wide open, if I intentionally near-focused it gave a rather similar flavour of blur and assorted other aberrations.

I especially enjoyed using it in combination with the random 'cross processing' in camera effect. 😁
I like this definition too. Have an image in mind and have the intent and knowledge to get the image you imagined. Of course, there are certain categories of photographers, such as sports photographers and photojournalists, who have to react in the moment rather than pre-conceive an image. For them, it's either know their gear well or spray and pray.

The set above is a great demonstration of the fact that tack sharp is only one possible option for a good image. ICM is another counter-example.