The Tale of the All-Knowing Photographers


Peter Pickering

4/30/20242 min read

Once upon a bustling cityscape, in the heart of a lively street photography community, there existed a peculiar breed of photographers. Let's call them the "All-Knowers." These were the folks who strutted into every meet-up with their chests puffed and their cameras slung like trophies around their necks.

Now, the All-Knowers were a spectacle to behold. With a swagger that could outshine a peacock, they dispensed photography "wisdom" as if they were sprinkling diamonds from the heavens. And oh, how some members of the flock hung onto every gem that fell! You’d think these nuggets were the sacred secrets to capturing life itself.

But here's the thing—photography, much like life, is an endless journey of discovery. True photographers know that the moment you think you've learned it all, you've actually stopped learning. However, try telling that to our dear All-Knowers. No, sir! In their glossy-eyed view, they had reached the pinnacle of photographic enlightenment.

They loved the sound of their own voice almost as much as the click of their shutter. Smug smiles were their standard expression, a testament to their self-declared superiority. It’s almost charming, in a way, if you squint hard enough and tilt your head slightly to the left.

Among the community, though, were the Quiet Observers, the ones who knew that every shot, every frame, every light, and shadow held a lesson. They understood that the joy of photography wasn’t in proclaiming victory atop Mount Know-It-All but in the humble trek through the valleys of continuous learning.

Among the community, there were moments of amusing enlightenment—like when the All-Knowers spoke confidently about "bokeh," using it to describe the simple blur in the background of a photo. However, they missed the mark slightly; bokeh isn't just any blur—it's about the character and quality of that blur, shaped by the lens’s design. It was always a little entertaining to hear them use the term to merely denote blurred backgrounds without appreciating the nuances that bokeh actually involves. The Quiet Observers would smile to themselves, recognising the mix-up but appreciating the journey of learning that everyone was on.

But the Quiet Observers never burst the All-Knowers' bubble. Why spoil their fun? After all, everyone’s journey is their own, and who were they to judge? Perhaps, deep down, these All-Knowers were just searching for validation, a way to bolster their fragile egos.

So, the Quiet Observers tread lightly, channeling their inner Cartier-Bresson, walking humbly and embracing the endless road of learning with modest grace. They smiled, nodded, and sometimes humoured the All-Knowers, all the while snapping their candid shots, capturing life one true moment at a time.

Because, in the end, the real joy of photography isn’t about reaching some grand epiphany. It's about the journey, the countless faces, the myriad moments, and the infinite lessons that await with each click of the shutter.

So, to all the aspiring photographers out there: keep shooting, keep learning, and let the All-Knowers have their stage. Sometimes, the best stories are found not in loud declarations, but in the quiet details of the world unfolding before your lens.

© Peter Pickering 2024.

The Tale of the All-Knowing Photographers