A wee bit harsh

I’ve been reflecting a bit more on that last post but one (and the comments it prompted) in which I expressed little sympathy for those pro photogs who are bemoaning the imminent loss of (or substantial reduction in) their livelihood courtesy of the proliferation and popularity of digital cameras.

And it occurs to me that maybe I was a wee bit harsh on them, focussing almost exclusively on their concerns about their loss of future income, and not seeking to delve deeper.

In fairness to myself, that particular complaint is the one that I’ve encountered most frequently so its not unreasonable that I should have homed in on it.

However, after giving it more thought I suspect that the words I’m hearing may not be the whole story.

I’m thinking now not exclusively of pro photographers but of human nature in general.

We tend to be creatures of habit. Of set routines. Such habits and routines, especially when adhered to for a long time, seem to generate a sense of permanence and security. Upon which we begin to depend and from which we take comfort, being lulled into assuming that things will carry on forever just as they are.
That such “security” is completely illusory is entirely irrelevant for we seldom take that into account. Even though, rationally, perhaps we should.

Moreover, I’m guessing that few of us like or welcome forced change, unless it be changing from a bad situation to a not-so-bad one.
And when such change is forced upon us (by whatever means) rather than being voluntarily sought, it will almost certainly (and unsurprisingly) be met by resentment and complaint… all too often outer symptoms of inner stress. And met sometimes even by depression, or worse.

(Of course, the other side of the coin is that when we find ourselves in truly bad situations then we are eager for, indeed practically pray for, change. Any change. Which seldom seems to occur as rapidly as we would wish. How perverse is that?)

Further, when such forced change impacts those things that we customarily perceive as fundamental to our existence (things such as our health, our family, our home, or our livelihood) then its not unreasonable for us to react negatively. Extremely negatively.

So maybe, when pro photogs are wailing about the state of the industry, about being undercut, and about all those damned “amateurs”, perhaps we’re hearing a lot more than purely mercenary gripes, even though the actual words aren’t uttered.

Maybe what we’re really hearing is the anguished cry of insecurity, elicited once again by the uncertainty that underlies all existence. Uncertainty that, I suspect, an increasing number are unable to live with comfortably in this materialistic society of ours. Hence the insecurity. Hence also (touching briefly upon another subject entirely) the thriving of the insurance industry that profits from playing to our fears.

That photographers, many of whom spend much of their time literally recording fleeting moments for posterity and thus (one would have thought) should be more conscious than most of impermanency and ephemerality, react as others should come as no surprise. After all, they’re humans too!

(Well, most of them! 😉 )

In which case, perhaps I need to be a bit more tolerant of all the moaning that I’d casually dismissed as either selfishness, lack of commercial foresight, or lack of the will to adapt.

About fotdmike

Occasional photographer; occasional writer/blogger; occasional activist; occasional computer-geek. Bit of a fool really.
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2 Responses to A wee bit harsh

  1. David says:

    I think you have a point, people seem totally unwilling to accept change as good, even when it actually IS goood, we often preceive this to be a problem with the older generation, especially as the younger generations have had to move at a real pace with modern technological advances and developments, but anyone who is more than just a casual user of Facebook will know that doesnt tell the whole story, obviously as you only use it very occasionally you might have been unaware of the fact that Facebook keep changing the layout and design of the ‘home page’ that users see when they log into their account, for a number of reasons, this ALWAYS results in a barrage of complaints and objections, groups set up to opose the change and ‘give us backt he good old facebook’ they say the new layout isnt as good as the old, the truth is they haven’t had enough time to get used to the new layout, after all if these individuals are to be believed the first Facebook layout was the best and ever since then there has been a gradual and continual downward spiral in the layout of the home page!
    This of course isnt born out by the fact that Facebook still continues to grow in popularity, expotentially, so the changes cant be as bad as people seem to think.
    In fact, keep an eye on Facebook over the next few days as they are about, within the next few hours/day, to make further changes to the home page so be prepared for another barrage of complaints from your friends over on fb!

    • fotdmike says:

      Well, there’s two things here. The easy one first though…

      Facebook? Yucch! It was only with reluctance (and being badgered by a few folk) that I opened an account there… and then promptly stopped using it. Some time later, and again following murmurings from a few friends, I re-activated it and did a few bits and pieces with it. Like linking it to my blogs and setting things up so that links to stuff like uploads to Flickr or YouTube appeared there automatically… when it works. Which seems to be intermittent.
      But I’ve just about given up on it now. I really don’t have much liking for those sort of sites, much preferring to do my “social networking” bit on sites like Flickr and here at WP.

      So if Facebook wants to keep changing its layout… well, that’s fine by me. 🙂

      The second thing’s a bit less frivolous.

      Referring here to people, to what they say and how they behave, I think there’s a tendency for us all to look at, and react to, the way things are presented “on the surface” and forgetting to consider that in very many cases (probably most) what we’re seeing is likely not the real shape of what’s happening.

      I’m aware that I do it far more than I’m truly comfortable with, even though I try not to. Even though I try to “look behind” the words (or the actions) and discern what’s really driving them. Which, again all too frequently, may actually be unsuspected by the person uttering said remarks or acting in a certain way.

      The relevance here of course is to the whole business of folks’ resistance to change. Why do we seem so often, for example, to prefer the comfort of familiarity rather than the excitement of something new?

      And so on.

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