Shutterbugs, Pixel Peepers and Others Who Annoy Me

Kenneth Jarecke
6 min readAug 14, 2018
Cowboys doing cowboy things. ©2018 Kenneth Jarecke / Contact Press Images

When it comes to looking at pictures, the first thing that matters is the picture. Is it any good? Does it trigger a receptor in one’s brain that triggers something else? That’s what good pictures do. They are the smell of freshly mowed grass in the early morning during the third week of August that sets one’s mind to thinking about football.

A picture that can accomplish this gets my attention. If it does that, I might drill a little deeper by thinking about the photographer’s thought process or motivation. I might wonder if I would have done better or worse in the same situation. I also might, depending on the image, try to figure out a technical detail or two. The thing I’ll never do is wonder what camera was used to make the picture.

I bring this up for the obvious reason. A few photographers have taken offense to a statement I made about Sony cameras in an article posted on Bloomberg this week. Unheard of, I know, but it does give me the opportunity to write about something I normally wouldn’t, which is camera gear.

Let me be clear. I don’t care what camera system you use. Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fuji… I just don’t care. Never have, never will. Knock yourself out, I mean literally, for real. Take the freshly mowed grass/football metaphor and run straight into a wall with it, and after you do, don’t tell me it’s actually a simile.

Talking about gear is the kind of stuff that drives me nuts. Sure, there’s a time and a place for it, but my dear photography friends, that time is not “always” and the place is not “everywhere on the entire internet”.

The idea behind this image as shared with the Bloomberg writer; “This photo of the bronc is a good example. I had an idea that a photo would come together there. Those wires across the arena, they were hard to avoid, so the thing to do was incorporate them in to the image, not try and keep them out of it. They lead the viewer’s eye to the bronc, but they also create a visual metaphor. Something along the lines of the cowboy and bronc being a puppet, on a stage, performing for the audience… all the world is a stage, type of thing. (Anytime one can work a Shakespeare quote into describing their work it’s a win). Now, if you put all that intellectual stuff to the side, you still have a peak action moment that works as a straight up sports photo. Add in the random elements that one can’t control, the red shirt, the white hat against a blue sky (that photo doesn’t work as well if he’s wearing a brown or black hat against that sky), the dappled grey horse, and the open mouth of the horse, you have the unforeseen elements, the happy accidents that one needs to make a lasting image.” ©2018 Kenneth Jarecke / Contact Press Images

The picture above was used to illustrate the Bloomberg article.

The caption, as it appeared on Bloomberg, is a source of irritation for some. It reads;

“Taken with a Sony Alpha a7R III on July 4, 2018. Images like this from a Montana rodeo would be much more difficult to shoot using DSLR cameras.”

Another source of irritation is with how I’m quoted in the article which reads,

“In the past, these images would have been made by…

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Kenneth Jarecke

I'm a husband, dad, photographer, a writer (sort of), an occasional rancher and the Founder of The Curious Society. https://www.curious-society.org