Bavarian style

2012, Photography

So much has been said about Instagram and Hipstamatic lately that I feel absolutely no desire to contribute to this discussion. What I do feel however that it might all have to do with the democratization of photography, like anywhere in art.

A couple Bavarian style

Technology is so easily and readily available nowadays. And at a lower price tag too. Now everyone with the will to practice a lot can achieve a reasonably high to very high standard of execution in photography and post-processing. Technology and technical knowledge alone isn’t enough anymore to differentiate. TV shows like The Voice of … or the X-factor proof that there are many gifted people on earth, but to become good you need a drive, the will to learn and practice a lot, and to never give up. But you also need the platform and in photography there have been enormous changes in the possibilities to share your photographs way beyond exhibitions at galleries and photography books.

I guess those who whine now are probably the first to realize these changes, but will be the latest to accept and adapt.

Photograph by Wouter Brandsma

17 thoughts on “Bavarian style

  1. I think you hit the nail on its head. It is a little like kids at the schoolyard, yelling come see us play, but you may only watch.
    Im no fan of the insta stuff out there, but every time I see anyone being satisfied with the output they get thru one of these services, I try to switch my thinking and grateful that I’ve now met one more person I can share my passion with.

    1. Passion is beyond the means you use. Passion goes further than technique, cameras, Photoshop, Instagram, or whatever. Passion ia about the love for photography and the desire to share your passion and enthusiasm. And it is always great to find similar minded people who feel unlimited with current possibilities and freedom.

    1. Thank you Martin. To me they looked like Bavarian elderly. Or at least I say similar people in Günzburg, but I guess you know a lot better as a Bavarian.

      I loved staying in Bavaria and hope to soon post some landscapes from that region.

      1. This was no critics at all … 😉 Just nice to see how you really well did a portrait of “typical” old people living here. I didn’t followed every post … have these photos been done with the Ricoh? Love the way you run your workflow.

        1. The wide shots are all made with the Ricoh GRD3 (since 2010), before with the GX200 and the GX100. For the more normal perspective images I use the Pana GF1 with the 20mm. This particular image I used the GRD3. In fact the image is a post-processed B&W jpeg.

          Günzburg is not really a large place and the city center is rather small, though pretty. It was a Monday morning and not busy at all. Even more so in such circumstances a small and unobtrusive camera makes a lot of sense.

  2. Two thoughts about the Instagram/Hipstamatic polemics.

    Critics say these apps turn everyone into a photographer. Well, I see loads of very “bad” instahips, so apparently it is – as it always has been – still about the person who takes the picture: the photographer. And that’s why a renowned photojournalist can take a powerful Hipstamatic image in Libya, while a
    incompetent, but wealthy “amateur” might produce mediocre shots with a Canon EOS 1D.

    Secondly, I think it’s more about the democratization of information sharing. Yesterday, I went to Rotterdam’s Summer Carnival. And a friend of mine, who participated in the parade, took a phone shot of herself in costume and posted it on Twitter. So, while she was still in the parade, friends and family could see how see looked, and that she was having fun.
    My friend has no clue about framing, the rule of thirds, perspective or depth. She couldn’t care less, she doesn’t aspire to be a photoghrapher (and I guess at least 95% of the people taking instahips think this way). All she wants is sharing what’s going on in her life, and the phone + app are just the tools to do so.

    1. This is also a good reason why Christopher Anderson said it makes good sense to use these platforms too to reach millions of people world wide. People will likely not follow you for the look, but for the compositions and the context shared.

  3. What you’re writing is just so my point of view, Wouter. And if you would not write it down it still speaks loud & clear through your images. And that is what passion is all about. And that makes all the difference in the end. And by the way: An amazing frame, my friend!

    All the best & safe travels, Fritsch.

  4. I love all of the apps for the smart phones. I think it’s wonderful that people who aren’t photographers have access to these. Sometimes I see wonderful work from non-photographer types. I think being creative is a universal need and the iPhone apps make it for easier access. Yeah, there is a lot of garbage out there, but the stories that go with these photographs makes it more interesting.

    1. I totally agree with you Elaine. I personally can’t remember whether there was such a debate when photographers started using Fuji Velvia and polarize filters. Strange world.

  5. Love the portrait, Wouter. Very intimate. I haven’t seen you do too many like this, but your style/feel is definitely there.

  6. Hi Wouter! I start off from the fact that we are all different, all individuals – and some just want fun photos as mementos or to share with friends, while others go for the more serious and maybe arty sides – and I don’t mind at all how any image has been made – if it pleases the maker, its good! If it pleases others too, that’s a bonus!

    And although “photographic quality” is a good thing, I see no reason why it must be universally present. If the picture works, it works >>> eg Robert Capa’s very blurry shots of the D Day landings.

    Good to hear from you! Adrian

    1. Adrian, I agree with you. When you require high standards and expectations from yourself, there is always the potential risk that you demand it too from others. These expectations are however not really realistic. Photography is just too diverse to expect that.

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