2020, thoughts


I’m not active anymore on photography related forums. I don’t read websites like fstoppers, petapixel, dpreview. I am not interested in the latest gear. I have interacted very little or none with peers on Twitter or IG. It allowed me to distance myself from the photography bubble.

You needed to favour Nikon, or Canon. Photography has died, because so many people share millions of photographs a day. Every amateur can become an influencer and share their thoughts and opinions on photography, preferably gear of course. I just don’t give a s&#t about it. I just don’t care.

A lot has happened in the meantime. The Corona pandemic, black lives matter, protests, people believing in conspiracy theories, finding their truths in their own filtered bubbles. And somehow the tech industry is thriving. And I will totally ignore the US elections. It’s not my country, I can’t vote, but it will affect us nonetheless though.

Many of us have been or still are social distancing themselves from friends and loved ones. Many people suffer the consequences of the Corona pandemic and subsequent countermeasures. People losing their jobs, or reduced working hours, money uncertainties. The economy in recession and somehow business thrive unlike ever before. Again it shows me that people base their lives around certainties. Even the young ones want certainties. Going to school, finding a job, making a living, starting relationships, saving money, and making their lives worthwhile.

When uncertainties fill our lives, it becomes clear that many people try to find answers instead of simplifying their lives. And people become strongly opinionated. We are at a point in life that the unbelievable internet revolution also clearly shows its dark side. Discussions becomes shouting, freedom of speech becomes intertwined with opinions. A political correctness on both sides of the aisle forces us into stand-offs. It has become so easy to find your reasoning for your own believes. And we make the mistake of assuming that believes is the truth. When there is unwillingness to listen to others your own believes become useless. It might all seem or purpose a ripple effect, but in the end changes will be minimal and we still need to live with one another.

Instead, maybe it is better to distance ourselves from it all. Maybe it is better to experience the freedom of actually not having an opinion, or at least not share it with others. Often they say the silent majority allowed bad things to happen, but sometimes the silent majority can actually silence fightings. When silence becomes noise too.

Maybe I ramble too much, I will try to silence myself again and focus on photography instead. Still take care, stay safe.

16 thoughts on “Dis—–Tance.

    1. I love photography, but I don’t need the view on gear, technique, and troll armies protecting their views and stream of sarcasm. Instead I want to be inspired. I prefer to focus on what really matters. No easy task, but one worth going for.

  1. Same here, Wouter. I barely follow what’s posted online about photography these days (and a lot of other topics, actually). I deactivated my IG account – I hated all the focus on one-shot wonders, the deluge of ads, the stupid TikTok-esque videos, etc. It has little to do with photography anymore.

    I still shoot a lot, but I share less and less. Only on VSCO (which I use for post-processing anyway) and Tumblr (because of the high quality display of photos). It benefits my photography and my personal style, I shoot purely for myself again.

    1. I can totally relate to that Robert. Thankfully I still see good work on IG, but all the FB-ish crap makes it difficult to enjoy the experience. I loved Flickr in the past before Yahoo bought it. I used Tumblr too, but besides my blog I like a place to share work. And I want to see photographs too. Maybe Tumblr is an option again. And besides the writing I still love to share stuff on my blog.

      We’ve often followed pretty similar paths and you’re one of the photographers I’ve been following for a very long time. We prefer small cameras, I use VSCO as my primary post-processing tool too, and love photography a lot. It is photography first and sharing is no priority.

  2. Wouter, its very good to hear from you again! I don’t believe that photography is dead, it certainly still gives me much pleasure and satisfaction, even though we’re all curtailed by covid. But I do agree with you about staying away from (most of) the internet. My only photographic involvement with the net is via my WordPress blog, which serves my needs very well indeed; all of my posts also go out automatically on Twitter, but that’s it.
    LOL! I would never dream of going on forums, bad news! Also, it simply is not a part of my mindset that there can be people known as “influencers” on the net, that’s a bit like believing that there are fairies at the bottom of my garden! Influencing who??? Certainly not me!!!
    I yearn for the simple life, and photography + FATman Photos is a certain and valued part of that simple life. Stay on the simple road, my friend, take good care of yourself, and stay safe in all this turmoil! Adrian 🙂

    1. I totally agree with you, Adrian. It is best to keep on the simple road. Life can already be complex enough when you add up all the simple things. You stay safe too and take care my friend.

  3. Wouter, very nice words and put very eloquently. I have been reading your thoughts for more than a decade on both photographic and non photographic topics and you thoughts on both are outstanding. Keep writing and Keep well.

  4. Wouter, I like the first image of the trees a LOT. If this image occured while out walking, keep walking! And the composite images are really strong… inspires me! Can you say more about the techniques you use to create the composites? Thanks.

  5. Hi Wouter – it is good to see you posting again.

    It is hard not to agree with most of what you have written. The online world has taken some questionable aspect of human behaviour and amplified them such that it is now hard to find a space where meaningful content and discussion is possible. Aside from the ubiquitous commercialisation, many online discussions or sharing forums are wrecked by the quality of posters whose volume is disproportionate to their value.

    As with you, I have largely stopped posting photographs online this year. However, there are positive things happening outside of the purely online world. In particular, there has been a growth of small publishers with some excellent books (eg Another Place or Cafe Royal) and also a growing number of people publishing zines. The communities building up around these appear to be much more positive and less gear focussed than most online equivalents today.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s