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My name is Helen and I am a Photographer living in England. I started this Blog on the day that my Grandma died, three months after my Father died and several weeks before a third funeral. Initially it was a very personal way to stay connected to the people I'd lost and it helped, it really did. But writing and taking pictures everyday has opened back up a creative side that I had lost during the everyday. A big thank you to my followers, to those who take the time to comment and to new visitors, I hope we will become Blog friends too...

Friday, 16 September 2011

the techy stuff

I went to have a look at a new Photography Gallery on their opening day in Leicester. I had to get there a little early as I had commitments later in the day but the people madly dashing around in the crazed last hour before opening said it was fine to come in. They took the time to point me in the direction of the pictures and one by one they hurriedly introduce themselves. All men I noted, not really giving that fact a huge amount of attention and then in walked my brother, looking every inch the part, jeans, black shirt, pale linen jacket, camera bag slung Cooley over his shoulder. The men I was talking to swarmed to shake his hand, engaging him in conversation, no longer even making eye contact with me. I could have walked away and no one would have even noticed. Photographers sexism? I don't know but it was odd, the total shift of mood and energy, suddenly, just like that.
Its funny because its something I've been giving thought to, especially after reading another post about the two types of photographer. I'm not about the technical stuff, ask me what settings I had my camera on when I took a certain photograph and I wouldn't be able to tell you. I could tell you what the wind smelt like, what noises were around me, how I felt, what I saw, basically the whole experience of taking the picture but not what ISO I used. My brother on the other hand is all about the techy stuff. I'm impressed. Hes read the instructions, he knows stuff and as I stood and listened to them all I realised that, clique I know but they were men and they had all read the instructions. I guess they assumed that as a girly I knew nothing about the technical side and therefore I was 'not a proper photographer' so didn't waist their time in including me in the conversation. felt odd!
Obviously I know some 'stuff' I do look up in the manual if I'm struggling or read advice on blogs or the Internet but its not to me what the experience of capturing the magic is all about. I'm going on a walk with them all on October 2nd, http://worldwidephotowalk.com/ think I'll take my friend, she can out techy the lot of them :o)


  1. I think there's a lot of sexism in photography that usually goes unnoticed. I got into discussion with the man selling me my train ticket one day when I was travelling into London to teach a class. He asked me if I was having a day out, and when I said I was working, he asked me what I did. Despite the fact that I said I taught photography, he then asked me if I was the model. He seemed very taken aback when I said, no, I'm the tutor! But if you look in any photography magazine dealing with portraits or figure work, the photographers will be male and the models will be female. I rarely see anything else. And almost all the adverts for gear show men using it, not women.

    I think there definitely is a techie divide between male and female photographers, too; I see it in my classes all the time. I obviously don't mean that women can't do the techie stuff, but they're much less interested in it than most men and see it purely as a means to an end.

  2. do you know your right, I'd never noticed it before and i have to say i've let out a little groan,as having spent years in a male dominated job (Architecture) I'm not relishing the idea of yet more eye rolling and blonde comments in this pursuit. But joy of joys I listened to an interview with Tim Walker (Hugely successful Fashion Photographer) "i wasn't interested in getting a camera and understanding f stops and deapth of field, I have a camera thats incredibly simple and i just drag everything infront of it and create a set"
    so maybe its not a boy/girl thing but a creative/technic thing. I think the debate could run and run

  3. although listening to the interview again i notice all of his assistants interviewed are also men...