A very optimistic thought; photography is beautiful.
Then, a very simple path we have as visual artists and creators a simple; just make more photos!
Why do photographers have such low self-esteem?
This is a legitimate question. Why is it that photographers have such a low self-esteem? Especially digital photographers?
First, all of these skinny fat losers, with trucker hats and beards, tattoos and not enough time in the sun try to distinguish themselves by shooting film, as a means to obfuscate their own personal insecurities.
Also, the art world is a weird place. I remember reading Howard Becker, his book “Art worlds“, and essentially at the end of the day, art and the art world is just a sociological phenomenon. Therefore to my great appreciation, studying sociology might have been the number one most critical thing for me to succeed as a modern photographer.
The international association of name droppers
A funny phrase from Nassim Taleb. Essentially people try to build their own personal legitimacy as either curators, artists, by trying to name drop all of these obscure artists and painters and photographers.
However, what I have discovered is that anyone who name drops anyone ad nauseam (until you want to throw up) is simply an individual with too much brains, not enough balls.
Maybe it is also a means to have individuals feel not as bad for wasting all this money on art school. It seems that the typical individual who goes to art school or any private school, can easily accrue $200,000 of debt. Certainly when they see somebody like ERIC KIM become so massively successful without all of that training, it makes sense that they are unhappy about it.
How is photography beautiful?
It is simple; when you see a photo that you have shot, and it is beautiful in your eyes, it is beautiful period.
I have experimented a lot myself, and in the quest of making beautiful photos, I have done and tried everything. Simple conclusions:
- The Ricoh GRII, Ricoh GR 3, Ricoh GR 3X; all of these cameras you can produce very very beautiful photos, especially high contrast black and white JPEG photos for the GR III/x. For the OG Ricoh GR II, shoot raw and use the free ERIC KIM PRESETS.
- Another camera that I have discovered which can produce insanely beautiful photos is the Panasonic Lumix G9, in high contrast black-and-white dynamic monochrome mode, with the grain and contrast set to max in JPEG.
Of course film produces magnificently beautiful photos. Yet, if you could produce the same thing in digital, maybe even more beautiful, doesn’t digital make more sense?
For example, the reason why digital cameras are superior to film cameras; the insanely close minimum focusing distance for macro mode! Film cameras cannot do this. Digital cameras can.
For example, the Lumix G9, because it is a micro 4/3 camera, the minimum focusing distance in macro mode is very very close. Being able to shoot these beautiful up close photos of the eyes of Seneca is magnificent.
Or, consider the Ricoh GR 3 or 3X, the macro mode of it is incredible!
So what is the point?
It seems that the bias in photography is this; become a very very famous and successful photographer, get a bunch of social media followers and likes, repeat etc.
Yet, this crusty old antiquated notion must be killed. We must go beyond the basic Parisian notions of success with galleries, solo publications, printed books, fine art print etc. We got to go Musk and Tesla and SpaceX; think carte blanche, think from scratch.
The first insanely simple thought is just make your own photography blog. My new approach is using Amazon Web services, Amazon lightsail and producing a WordPress instance, you can start off free! And after that it only costs $3.50 a month. That is the price of a single shot of espresso. Imagine only drinking one espresso a month! If you cannot afford $3.50 a month, this is weird.
And also consider the great idea that essentially you can upload and post 1000 photos at once, as a single blog post, essentially free! It is 1 trillion times cheaper and faster then printing photos in person.
How did ERIC KIM become such an innovative thinker in photography?
Ultimately at the end of the day, photography is my Archimedes lever. It is the thing I love the most, I am the most passionate about, and thing which is indefinitely fascinating to me.
Ultimately for myself, it is simply personal curiosity which has led me this far. As I write these words I am currently 35 years old, and I started my blog and my website at the age of 18 years old! Just give me three more years and I’ve been in the game for two decades!
Perhaps the biggest way you can reinspire yourself in photography is have a kid, and just hand them your camera at a young age, and see what they could do with it. As early as I could remember, maybe even nine months old, I would let Seneca play with my Ricoh GR three, and then later my Ricoh GR 3X. Now at the age of two years and four months old, I am so surprised that he could pick up my Lumix G9 and shoot photos with ease.
Also, some thing that I have let him do it ever since he was insanely young was take the SD cards out of my cameras, take the batteries out of my cameras, and teach them how to import photos into my iPad using the USB-C to SD card reader for my iPad.
Kids are highly underrated. I think people would be 1 trillion times happier if they had kids instead of dogs.
Why so uninspired?
Truth be told, a lot of modern day life sucks. If you’re stuck in the office all day, or in zoom meetings all day, not only is this bad for your health and soul, it is also bad for your photography.
A simple solution is just travel every once in a while. Even as I voice dictate these words into my iPad Pro, walking around in the mountains of a Hadong South Korea, I love being here.
People waste too much money on their homes, their cars, other silly things. My personal thought is just devote 90% of your money to travel, live nomadically, live abroad, or just shake up things every once in a while. The simplest solution to re-inspire yourself as a photographer is just get your ass into a plane.
Even the airport, an insanely dynamic place which breathed new life into me.
Life goals are important. Why? To dream big and audaciously is not only fun and interesting, but also very creative and imaginative!
For example my new life goal is to inspire the creativity of every single human being on planet earth, all 7+ billion of us. Photography may be the path, as it is the easiest most accessible form of art creation in today’s world. All you need is an iPhone SE and you’re good.
So where should I go?
So many opportunities.
Some places that I have been to which have been insanely inspiring to me include Saigon and Hanoi in Vietnam, Phnom Penh in Cambodia, Dubai, Stockholm, and also Seoul South Korea. Japan is also great, Osaka Tokyo in Kyoto, just watch the new John Wick 4 movie and see the sequences in the Osaka intercontinental hotel. Stunning.
Honestly any place that you go to, any place you travel to which is not your home is good.
Also it doesn’t need to even be a big city. Even retreating to the countryside or the mountain side is good!
All you need is a Wi-Fi connection
As long as you have a website and Wi-Fi connection, what else do you need!
Where will you go next?
Travel with me:
Other creative ideas
One of the richest places to gain inspiration as a photographer is film and cinema. Why? I find the compositions in great films and movie to be much more inspiring than even looking at photos or photo books. Why? The cinematographer and the director has all the time in the world to set up their shots, which means that the compositions they produce are so so so so beautiful and fascinating.
Even John Wick 4– just buy it on Apple TV, and watch the extras. It is so inspiring.
Some sequences that I personally love in John Wick 4 include the Osaka scene, the cinematography of the high-rise office building in New York City, and the sequences in Paris.
Other places to get inspiration
I have a simple thought; if you walk 30,000 steps a day, it doesn’t even matter where you go, and assuming that you have a camera in your front right pocket, or even an iPhone, how can you not be inspired?
A simple solution is get the lululemon license to train shorts, the one with the big front zipper pockets, and just put your camera whatever it is in your front right pocket. If it cannot fit, it is no good.
I think philosophically, a lot of us seek deeper meaning with our art and creativity. In today’s modern day capitalistic world, it seems that the only measures of success include notions of “progress“, growth, increased numbers, money, human heads etc.
For example, a lot of people think that they are progressing in their photography if they’re getting more followers on social media or more likes. Or, monetary gains.
However all of this is in accurate, as the algorithms which govern social media are slanted towards arbitrary measures.
I say, as long as if every single day you’re shooting your photos, reviewing the photos that you shoot, and having fun, you’re perfect!
Share the motivation
If you have a fellow photographer friend or family member that needs a shot of inspiration, feel free to forward this to them!
What do people really think of your photos?
Upload it to arsbeta.com and find out!
Photography fitness ideas?
If you could lift over 960 pounds with your legs, certainly is this will help your photography.
Also, a lot of photographers as well will benefit from just doing basic yoga stretches, like downward up dog, three legged dog, pigeon pose, scorpion pose, mermaid pose. Why? The more agile you become and easier you can squat down all the way to the floor, the more creative and innovative compositions you can make.
The genius is in your legs!
Every day is leg day
Other exercises which can benefit you include very very heavy Farmer’s walks, with the heaviest dumbbells you can muster, whether it be 100 pounds or 150 pounds, lift it up with chalk and see how far you could walk it out.
Or just do very very heavy rack pulls, sumo deadlift form with the mixed grip. Just YouTube or Google “ERIC KIM rack pull” and find out.
The general idea is that any exercise that you do while standing is good for you. Any exercise in which you are lying on your back or sitting is bad.
Just shoot it!
And let us never forget our motto:
When in doubt, just shoot it!
- The best lifestyle is a zen lifestyle?
- New life goals
- The plan for the creative thriving of every single human being on planet earth
Never run out of inspiration
Fortuna adiuvat Fortis.
Fortune favors the brave!
Lady fortune favors the insanely bold, strong, and foolishly brave!