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Why I Bailed On Google+

November 10, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

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I finally pulled the plug on Google+. I've been thinking about doing it for quite some time, but I kept telling myself that I needed to give it more of a chance. Lord knows, there are plenty of photographers who are in love with Google+, so I figured there must be something to it. But the over the top quality of so much of the photography there finally got the better of me. The last straw was a post by a well-known photographer in social media circles that showed the before and after versions of one of those over-processed images that drive me crazy. The before shot was truly a bad photograph. Taken directly into the sun, it's not surprising that the before photo had little to no contrast with no details visible in the shadows or highlights. The after version was basically a painting that was done on the structure of the before shot. There was really nothing left of any substance from original shot in the final version. After reading all the positive comments I finally decided that this was just not the right place for me. I found myself getting irritated far more than I ever got inspired by the photos on Google+. I think it's important to look at lots of great photography, not so that you can copy it, but so that you can learn from it and take inspiration from it. Conversely, I think it's important to distance yourself from dreck. So that's what I'm doing. Now before someone gets all ticked off, let me be the first to state that not every photograph posted on Google+ is awful, just the majority of them are. Remember now, this is my blog, so these are all my opinions, plain and simple.

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Certainly I post process my images. If you shoot in Raw, you have to do some level of post processing. And of course, if you're making a black & white version of a Raw file, you have to do that in post (unless you own that really expensive Leica monochrome camera, the name of which escapes me). That doesn't make me a hypocrite. I strive for honesty in my photographs. I believe the world is a beautiful place and that it doesn't need me to create some fantasy world that I paint over the top of my photos. I never was any good at painting or drawing anyway. Unfortunately, the social media photography world is moving toward just this kind of awful imagery. I say it's awful because the fact is, it really is awful, just like the glow in the dark fuzzy artwork that hung on the wall at the Blue Ox Inn. The amped up HDR dreck that gets all the plusses at Google+ is no better than that Elvis print from the starving artists sale down in the parking lot out front of the Piggly Wiggle store. Just because it sells doesn't make it good or something worth aspiring to or drawing inspiration from.

So that's my rant for today. Thanks for bearing with me.


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