Photographers: worse than DJs?

Man, the more photographers I meet out in the wild while shooting, the more I really like them. Everyone I’ve come across has been lovely – there’s next to no bravado or snottiness in person with photographers I’ve met while shooting. I also do my best to come off right off the bat like a dopey, doe-eyed idiot with a wide-eyed appreciation for the sheer magic of photography, so that helps.

"Light-of-Hope" by Ayie Permata Saya -

“Light-of-Hope” by Ayie Permata Saya –

However, online, it’s the polar opposite. Lemme splain’ – I read this article this morning by Elliot Hook about how focus stacking landscape images would help keep it crisp all the way through the photo vs. throwing down an f/22 aperture. ( This article was totally useful, as it never occurred to me to focus-stack something non-macro (something I will be attempting when I plant my garden, as the bugs are still asleep early mornings and can be shot in multiple frames for good, crisp macro shots.)

"Limestone Pavement" by Elliot Hook -

“Limestone Pavement” by Elliot Hook –

But read the comments. (Note to authors: never read the comments.) Full of assholes telling the writer he’s wrong, or complaining that he only focuses on doing this trick in Photoshop and what about the people who don’t HAVE Photoshop and other cry-cry-crybaby whining.

I left a comment that was essentially “Huh, this is genius, thanks, never thought of this!” So why can’t I act like that as a DJ? (Note: because I hate DJs.)

willy wonka dj

DJs, on the other hand, have a tendency to be superdicks in person more than not (I am not excluding myself here) but in my experience of a decade-plus of DJing, DJs are wonderfully supportive and helpful on the internet. Need a track? Here’s a link. Posted a mix? A lot of positive comments. But in person? They play into your timeslot and move your gear around while you’re playing.

I recently met a DJ/producer/writer on a shuttle bus from LAX. It was New Year’s Day and she was chatty – said she was wiped, was sad about spending NYD alone traveling from a “gig” she had in Dallas. I couldn’t roll my eyes hard enough because it sounded like bullshit from a probably 17th tier DJ (I, myself, was never even a 50th tier DJ, so don’t take that as snobbery).

Turns out the very lovely, friendly, genuine DJ chatting with me was CC Sheffield, the writer, vocalist and producer of one of my all-time favorite tracks, a track I’ve played dozens of times, and a track that helped me through a terrible time in my life after a breakup. Escape Me has 10 million views on YouTube, has been re-released on every major label fourteen times, and was a staple track Tiesto played and toured with for a number of years. WHO’S A DICK NOW?

CC Sheffield and Tiesto preforming Escape Me.

CC Sheffield and Tiesto preforming Escape Me.

After I started laughing to myself about the irony of me rolling my eyes at first and then realizing she was super legit and someone I had tremendous respect for, I got the chance to thank her for writing that song. And then I kicked my own ass for jumping to conclusions and being a dick (even if I didn’t come off that way outwardly.) Lesson learned. Again.

So I can’t figure out who’s worse: DJs that suck in person, or photographers that suck online. I guess the good part about this is that at least we’re not dancers. No one likes dancers.

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5 Responses to Photographers: worse than DJs?

  1. Anonymous says:

    hahahahaha!!!! before doing music I was a dancer and yes it’s a very catty environment full of dj like egos but with moves…

  2. Todd El Chino says:

    You are awesome. I’ve never met a DJ that sucked in person… well unless you mean sucked on the decks, cuz that has happened… (hehe ME)… but yeah, sometimes we assign intent or fill in the story before we should… and can miss out on the best part.

  3. curiousjosh says:

    Interesting observation… I think it relates to *WHO* is commenting on the article.

    Right now photography is a widespread hobby. Everyone has an instagram-phone, and some people don’t understand the difference between a professional photographer tip (like the article you were reading), and a tip for photo-hobbyists!

    So basically you’ll get comments from every hobbyists out there. I’d be curious to read through the comments and see how many of them are signed with names that link back to actual photography businesses.

    • curiousjosh says:

      and related to that… usually by the time someone’s claiming their a DJ, they’ve at least done the work to put together a wide variety of music and spent some time looking towards the professional tools… and are probably more knowledgeable of a path to DJ’ing than phone-camera photographers are aware of DSLR tools… what do you think?

  4. Zin Chiang says:

    Awesome article ~ !
    I guess I’m lucky to have been spared the shitty people. 😀 Most DJ’s and Photographers I’ve met are super helpful and down to earth. My observation is that photography and music are both trades where you can’t survive in alone. I can’t count how many times someone’s lent me a cable, a spare battery, or let me spin a couple tracks during their night so I can get a foot in the door. I’d say they’re a good bunch of eggs if you’re in the right basket 😀

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