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Individual Skills versus Technological Advances

May 18, 2009


IMG_3786, originally uploaded by Shear Delight.

If you follow my flickr account you’ve probably seen quite a few kitten photos lately.

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And you’d probably admit these little ones are sooo cute!

This is the second litter of kittens that we have fostered through our local ASPCA (so no we aren’t crazy cat people) and I learned with the first litter that the quality of the photos directly contributed to the speed at which the kittens were adopted. Our first litter suffered through 2 or 3 “photo shoots” but this litter has done at least twice that. I’m not sure why people don’t want them, I’ve photographed them sleepy, playful, sweet and mischievous but I haven’t broken the code yet. So far only one has been adopted :(

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What I do get a lot of is emails from people saying “wow that camera takes great photos, what is it.” The first email didn’t bother me and I took the time to tell her the camera, lense, and flash I use (for the record it’s a Canon Xti, 50mm Canon lense, and Canon 580EXII flash). But after the third and fourth emails I started to get offended. Not one person said you took great photos, what camera do you use or something to that affect. They all seemed to think the camera did all the work. And while I realize that a quality camera can make a huge difference in the quality of the photos it doesn’t take good photos on its own. The photographer determines the composition, the light, the speed, the focus etc. I did all that! But it seemed to me that these people thought if they bought this camera they too would take these types of photos.

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Why does our society place so much faith in or emphasis on technology to solve of our problems, to make us better at things. Shouldn’t we have faith in ourselves, try to hone our abilities versus relying on technology to do things for us? Do you think that we place too much emphasis on the ability of things to make up for our weaknesses?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. rosie permalink
    May 18, 2009 6:57 pm

    They are so adorable, and if I did not already have two living with me now (one more than I am technically allowed), I would not be able to resist.

  2. whatshappeningatmyhouse permalink
    May 19, 2009 11:55 am

    Wow – you take great photos!!!!

  3. June 7, 2009 12:56 pm

    Adorable kittens! I wish I could adopt them all, but hubby is allergic :( . And I dare say you are good at taking photos of cats – they are the most difficult to get right on picture (to capture the essence instead of a big nose or the generic cute kitten).

    Since I commenting the 7th of June, do they have new homes now?

  4. June 23, 2009 11:31 am

    Good luck finding them new homes! Those are some great photos. I foster kittens occasionally as well, and found that good photos were crucial, and photos of the kittens snoozing with our big cats were the ones that resulted in the fastest adoptions – lots of comments about how that made them feel confidant that the kitten would get along well with other household pets.

  5. sendacow permalink
    June 25, 2009 7:15 am

    So cute! What wonderful pics :-) Love the blog :-) You may be interested in the work of Send a Cow – http://www.sendacow.org.uk/ourwork – We are based in Bath, work with rural community groups in nine countries in Africa, providing small-scale farmers with the skills and means to feed their families and earn an income. It’s all about helping to develop sustainable farming methods!

  6. chesherca permalink
    August 3, 2009 8:38 pm

    I totally feel your pain on this one! IT DRIVES ME BATTY when people attribute all of my work to my camera… I learned back when mine were young that kitten photography can be difficult – now I’m working on mastery of my 2-year old, which is even tougher! You take very nice pictures, don’t let ‘em drag you down! Fostering kittens sounds like a wonderful idea! All of the fun of a new kitten without the life-long commitment, AND loads of good karma to boot. ;) I like the way you think! I hope all of your little friends have nice new homes soon.

  7. September 11, 2009 10:47 am

    You may have a good camera, but it takes skill (and really cute kittens) to take those pictures. I know what you mean about technology – I make all my own clothes and I get tired of “what kind of sewing machine do you have? It does really good work” – like it cuts the fabric, feeds itself, presses and comes up with the ideas. Technology is helpful, but it doesn’t replace the skill that’s needed to make the technology look good.

    Good luck on adopting the kittens. If I I hadn’t already passed Philadelphia’s legal limit, I’d consider that little calico myself.

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