The American film critic Roger Ebert passed away yesterday at the age of 70. For those who are not familiar with his work, he was a film critic for the Chicago Sun Times; in the late 70's he became a tv personality when he and Gene Siskel hosted a weekly tv show where they reviewed two movies each week. Although he was a not a movie maker but a movie watcher (so to speak) he studied the craft. He appreciated great art direction, photography and lighting; he recognized good acting even in a bad film. He also enjoyed all genres of movies. From independent art house films to Eddie Murphy's Trading Places! It was fascinating to listen to him speaking of each movie and their merits. He often found something redeeming about them.
So what can a photographer learn from a film critic? The lesson here is that he enjoyed. He enjoyed being entertained whether it was Ghandi, Star Wars or low brow comedies like Trading Places. He was also absolutely prolific about his craft (which was writing about movies not just watching them). Roger Ebert was diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago. In this past year he reviewed 306 movies! He had to watch each movie, consider what he saw thoughtfully and then write about it! Amazing. What are you doing to hone your photography craft right now? How hard have you worked at it lately?
Many photographers have one niche specialty and they often can't think outside of that. It's a shame, as they are missing so much great photography and so many great photographic opportunities. It's a shame because they are not enjoying photography.
So go out and enjoy everything you photograph and find a different way to photograph it everyday!
To learn more about Roger Ebert follow this link: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/