~ by Danie Bester
From myself, and the DPC Team, we would like to wish you a new year filled with prosperity, joy, and breath-taking photography!
You will be ecstatic to hear, that after a short break, Photo Critic, is up and running again, and you can start uploading your photos straightaway! I am sure, that some of you have taken amazing holiday photos, and we're looking forward to see them! At the same time, I would like to remind you, that the coveted Photo Critic Shot-of-the-Year and Photographer-of-the-Year competitions will be decided this month. We will announce the winners on 1 February and we will keep you posted!
The year 2017, holds a lot of opportunities and challenges. With the enormous growth in mobile and digital camera technologies, we can expect even more people to take up photography. The era of the mobile camera, has changed photography forever; we can expect to see millions of images, posted on social media platforms and reaching uncountable viewers throughout the world. Unfortunately, most of these images will be pure junk. Nevertheless, despite all the junk and visual clutter, the standard of photography has improved drastically over the last few years. Between all the clutter, and the top work out there, it has become increasingly more difficult to stand out as a photographer.
Finding your own voice as a photographer is not easy. Especially seeing that some people out there, who never invested time, in studying even the foundational aspects of visual language, think that having a camera in their hands, qualify them as photographers and artists. On the other hand, even seasoned photographers, blame digital advances as the reason they no longer produce, new and exciting work; because "everybody think they are photographers now".
The aforementioned notion is just not true! We now, more than ever, have the opportunity to raise our games! Among all the wannabes and clutter, you can still stand out! You can still make a name for yourself. You can still find your own voice! With so many historical, and contemporary masters' work out there on the Internet, we have sufficient substance to develop and hone our own skill-sets. With digital advances, we can now duplicate and replicate the old masters, while adding our own personal touch to our images. Photoshop and Lightroom are not the enemies of growth. It is us! The world's our oyster. We can do whatever we imagine. The tools are there and ready to use. If we lack creativity, we should rather look inward and blame ourselves. Maybe, we're no longer investing time in studying the art of composition and visual storytelling. Maybe, we lack creative backbone because we're so full of ourselves that we don't think anybody else can teach us anything. Stop blaming the digital age, accept that we are the masters of our own growth. Let us all remain students at heart. Let's embrace the digital advances, the year 2017, will offer us!
In my previous post, I've given feedback on our new Photo Critic network. Liam Beeton, who is partnering with me on the new Photo Critic website, unselfishly worked on the new site throughout the holidays; and in his own words, have done some "horrible leg work". The horrible leg work he referred to, is the stuff you don't see on the front-end, but would make all the difference at the end. We are still months away from launching the new website, but we will keep you posted. In the meantime, please continue sharing your photos and posts on the current Photo Critic website!
I hope that you embrace my new year message, and the opportunities that 2017 will offer. It is important that we all stay motivated, active, and positive. Keep on learning, read interesting books, and get out and shoot more. Let's leave the mediocrity behind and get ahead of the pack. Let's create photos like never before!
If you're up for the challenge, I as the leader of DPC, dedicate myself to assist you, in your quest to step up your photography to a higher level. I promise to keep on improving our courses, while developing new and exciting programmes.
Thanks for the great article Danie, with all the social media around us like you said at times it is quite frustrating to be bombarded with pictures the whole time from so called "photographers". What DPC has done for me personally in the last couple of years has really taught me to appreciate the art of photography and I really am looking forward to doing more courses at DPC and developing myself more as a photographer. With regard to Photo Critc, it is a fantastic platform for one to improve their photography and I urge all the students from DPC to put themselves out there, and learn from their peers.
Thanks for the kind words and feedback Luke!