I, like many others get into a creative rut. I get stuck and look for a new creative route to take my photography and a lot of times, like many others, look at other photographers works to gain inspiration. And I must admit I've been doing a lot of that lately.
I have noticed on this site and others, that I'm no longer being inspired like I used too. If anything, I'm getting turned off by what I see. I'm no pro photographer. So lets get that out there first, so take it with a grain of salt.
It used to be that HDRI was the hottest thing since sliced bread, and still is in a way, just toned down a bit.. But there were a lot of people going crazy with it. I've been guilty of it too in the past. We are talking crazy halos and aweful looking images that looked anywhere from cartoonish to something completely weird. Some may like that, but some don't.
The other thing I noticed was how prevalent the over use of saturation was. It's everywhere. Rainbows so oversaturated, your expecting to see a unicorn or a leprechaun at the end of it, with a pot of gold waiting for you.
Everyone has a reason of why they do photography. Wether it's a job, all the way down people like me, who do it just because it's a creative outlet and down to snap shooters with smartphones. But what is killing me, and I hate to compare this to porn, is that I get the feeling that a lot of people are pushing the sliders to the extremes just to get noticed. I'd call it shock photography I guess. People pushing more and more, where the norm is no longer enough. To me, it's like comparing actors, politicians and musicians acting badly in public, just to get noticed or stay relevant.
The other thing I noticed is the line between photography and digital editing being blurred. Is it more about being behind the camera or behind the computer? When I see an image taken with a camera and the output looks like fantasy land that would never exist in the real world, is it really photography anymore? Or just a painter who ditched his or her oil paints for a Wacom pad?
Don't get me wrong, everything has it's place and I'm not trying to knock someone else's style. I'm sure there is a purist crowd out there that may say film photography is the only real photography. But seriously. Does photography need to be redefined? How much can you manipulate a photograph taken with a camera before it really isn't a photograph anymore, but digital art?
I've been looking for inspiration and study others work, but I'm no Piccaso with a Wacom, nor do I own one. I'm just really disappointed in a way, I guess. Maybe it's just me. I don't know, but I do know that some of the things I've seen, thats been called "Photography" or in the "Photography" menu, surely doesn't look like "Photography" to me.
I would suggest that if it can't be done with film, then it shouldn't be done digitally, or, it shouldn't be called photography. Things like light painting and compositing can be done with film for example, so I have no qualms with it being done digitally for example. Otherwise, photographs should be regulated and come with a mandatory list of the editing done, like ingredients listed on a can of soup, so you know what your looking at. Just kidding of course. But not really.
I'm done with this rant for now and off in search of new material for inspiration because I just don't have it at the moment. I think everything that can be done with photography has been done to some extent, we just change the way we do it and find easier ways of doing it. I just hope photography remains photography and the rest gets its own folder.