Why Photography Shouldn't Be Perfect

Photography doesn't always have to be perfect. Ian Wong, the former senior editor of DigitalRev TV, departs from the tech-focused company, opening up his own YouTube channel. Instead of focusing on the gear he is using, Wong talks about theory and the emotional process behind his photography.

Usually, accuracy either serves to sell a product or to convey information. Fast food chains aim to have appealing imagery of their products in order to sell their food to the consumer. The salad is supposed to look green and crisp, and small water droplets heighten the understanding of freshness. Journalistic photography aims to represent situations as true as possible, which also requires clear imagery.

Fine art, on the other hand, has always been living off of its irrational and suggestive nature. Art is emotional and is often not served as a straightforward consumable. Art is not always clear; it is supposed to send its audience into different, personal directions.

Today, while taking a walk through Central Park, I could not help but be puzzled by tourists' approach to their vacation photography. Person after person poses in front of the same sights, getting their photos taken. Loosening up and not focusing on a commercial aesthetic might help make vacation shots more relatable and memorable.

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Really insightful video, properly told story. More videos like these and less 'why you need to know this to become good photographer' please!

winston Shaw's picture

Ah!!!!! Passion! And here I was thinking that photography had totally devolved into copycat efforts to mimic whatever is popular at the time. "tis always good to encounter someone for whom making photographic images represents a passionate pursuit of answers to questions that simply can't be answered with the rule of thirds!



Spot on. If a photo doesn't inspire or make you feel something, it doesn't matter how many megapixels or whatever it has.

Aaron Patton's picture

Great post, man. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the pursuit of perfection and miss all the goodness.

Joshua Ball's picture

I think I really needed to see this.... mistakes are part of the art and the more time we spend trying to perfect the art, the less time we have to produce and share it. Great message.

A agree with this post, but, really, it's in praise of film and of shooting without live view and instant review. I also just ordered some Fuji Natura 1600 which looks great. Probably also about normal prime lenses shot wide open at relatively slow shutter speeds. "Imperfections" that great on film seem intolerable in digital. Who has solved this problem, I wonder. Seriously, I'd like examples. Maybe Martin Paar?