When I was but a lad learning computer programming in college during the 80’s, I came across a piece of entertaining literature (probably through the resources of CompuServe) that listed a number of assertions about what constituted a “real” programmer. I found the piece highly entertaining as it poked fun at the pretentious and arrogant attitudes prevalent amongst a group of hard core self-imagined “real” programmers at the time. I’ve now learned that the piece was written by Tom van Vleck and was originally titled Real Programmers don’t write specs.
I thought it would be fun to compile a similar list of similarly pretentious and arrogant assertions about what constitutes a “real” photographer. And with many thanks to Tom for the kernel of the idea, here’s the list I’ve compiled with the first and last item directly borrowed from Tom’s original list.
- Real photographers don’t eat quiche. They eat Twinkies. And Szechwan food. (Do not go to eat Szechwan food with a group of Real photographers unless you are prepared to argue bitterly over the last spring roll.)
- Real photographers don’t share details like how or where their photographs were made. If the photograph was hard to make it should be equally difficult to imitate.
- Real photographers only shoot film. There is no substitute.
- Real photographers have chemical burns on their skin and clothing from the harsh chemicals used in their darkrooms. Real photographers couldn’t imagine allowing someone else to process their film or images.
- Real photographers don’t use 35mm SLR style cameras. In fact, no real photographer over the age of 12 uses a 35mm SLR style camera.
- Real photographers don’t use medium format cameras. Medium format cameras are for those photographers who are barely capable of using a 35mm SLR style camera.
- Real photographers don’t use digital tools to catalog their images. These DAM (Digital Asset Management) tools are for people with inferior memories.
- Real photographers don’t make photographs. They make finely crafted pieces of fine art.
- Real photographers have their entire homes and offices exclusively illuminated with darkroom safe lights. You never know when you’re going to need to make a contact print.
- Real photographers think that Photoshop refers to that place down the street where the HoI polloi get their snapshots printed.
- Real photographers know that dodging involves the use of an opaque object and not some silly ball or computer software.
- Real photographers only dream in black and white.
- Real photographers only wear gray shirts. 18% gray colored shirts.
- Real photographers don’t hesitate to admit they use an enlarger.
- Real photographers don’t use TTL flash units. If you can’t use a slide rule to calculate your flash ratios, you shouldn’t be using a flash in the first place.
- Real photographers have no use for managers. Although managers are a necessary evil, they are only useful for dealing with with PR flacks, customers, editors and other societal misfits.
- Real photographers don’t do photo walks. Photo walks are a communist plot put together by a bunch of quiche eaters.
- Real photographers don’t bring brown bag lunches to work. If the vending machine sells it, they eat it. If the vending machine doesn’t sell it they don’t eat it. Vending machines don’t sell quiche.
Well, that’s it for my tongue-in-cheek list of assertions on real photographers. Have some of your own? Here’s the spot to contribute them.