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I've been reading your comments about my post earlier today titled, "What they're not telling you about HDR" and it reminded me of something that happened to me on the golf course.

I was on vacation playing a round with my brother Jeff and my cousin's husband a few years ago. The starter asked if he could have a single join our group to make it a foursome and we said "Absolutely!." My brother and I are casual golfers --- perhaps not the most talented or serious guys out there, but we always have fun and a lot of laughs. The guy who joined us was equally untalented but he was very serious. No joking. No smiles. No fun. We tried to lighten him up a bit. It didn't work.

When we got to the 1st green his putt was about 9-inches short of the cup, and I said. "it's good by me" (the international signal for "it's a gimme" [that's a putt that's so short that you don't make the guy actually putt it, unless of course there's money or drinks on the line, in which case you make him putt if it's 2" away). Anyway, he ignored my gesture and putt'd it in. Next hole, same thing, and again and again and when I saw him address the ball to make a 3" put I finally I said  "Seriously --- you don't have to putt that ---  it's good." He ignored me, but he paused long enough to look up at me and glared, "This is how the game is played." 

I wanted to let him know that for a guy scoring in the high 90s, he sure knew the rules pretty darn well. My point was: this guy is a crappy golfer. So am I.  So we're not out there to win championships. We couldn't win a beer off a guy on crutches. We're hacks. Casual players. We're playing for fun. It's OK to smile. Laugh. Or even take a gimme when its offered. 

Photography is the same thing. We're not all shooting for National Geographic, or doing high-end commercial work, or on assignment for some important client. It's OK to do an HDR shot here and there, just for fun. It's OK to over-process them sometimes. It's OK to look at other folks HDR shots and not get upset or angry or go all "serious" on everybody and it's OK to let them "do their thing" while you do yours.

At the end of the day, it's OK to just have fun with your photography, and we should be able to do it without having the "HDR Police" tell us how they feel about it. You'll find life is a lot easier all the way around if things like how someone post-processes THEIR images doesn't make YOU really angry. Keep that in mind next time you're about to rail someone for their HDR processing, or when you're about to get all serious on a less-than-mediocre golfer from Florida for inviting you to take a gimme. ;-)
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93 comments
 
Life is too short to get so serious about something you do for fun
 
Well said.. typed.. put, well whatever. 
 
I couldn't have said it any better if I tried.
 
Well said Scott. The same sentiment has been expressed before of course, but not so eloquently.
 
If you started an "HDR for Fun" group, I'd consider joining.  I'd like to step up my photos without getting too serious, yet enjoying the learning process  Is there such a group out there already?  From, Still Point-N-Shooting in HMB CA :)
 
+Scott Kelby I have a simple solution for you. Change that H to a K, When looking at a KDR you know right away if it's good or bad. Problem Solved. :)
 
I was surprised at some of the comments. Really impassioned, and some of them down right rude from both sides.
Whatever gets you through the night and doesn't hurt anyone else is good in my book.
 
What a terrific post, Scott. You have summed up why I love shooting with my iPhone and playing with a bunch of apps, posting to Instagram, etc. Just having fun with images that I created. I'm no golfer and I'll never be a Scott Kelby, golfer or photog, but I can create images. I can play with them. Share them. Have fun with them. That's what it's all about. Excellent post!
 
+Scott Kelby like the way you think, about photography.  You and yours have a great weekend!!
 
Great illustration ....it's tiresome to deal with those Debbie Downers lurking around...life's too short to sweat the small stuff. :O)
 
Beautifully put. Of course, I can say that because my sum total contribution to photography is a silly webcomic... :)
 
Tee up Brother!  Less whack at some!!
Nicely said.
 
There are 9 billion people on the planet. Why let a small handful get you down. Shoot what you shoot and don’t let them shoot you down.
 
As with many disciplines in the art world, increasing insistence on following the rules have petrified a sense of life and wonder into stagnant forms. Jazz is this way. And so is film and photography. People need to loosen up and re examine the idea of fun, trying things out, going down the less traveled road. That's one of many ways art can evolve.
Ken Z
 
Yeah!! let 'er rip!!!! Take 9 exposure bracketed shots and see how much fun it can be!!!!
 
Same rules apply to photography as to my architecture, "If you don't like it, you  don't have to look at it"
 
And that is why you are my photography guru!
Well said Scott!!!
 
I think this guy was right on. If you bend the rule at golf, what's next? If the cashier at Starbucks slips that 20 in her pocket and stands 3 inches from the cash drawer, is that a gimmie? I think St Andrew rolls over in his grave every time someone takes a gimmie. We need more seriousness in this life. To many people think life should be all fun and games. 

That was a TOTAL JOKE. I am with you Scott. Everyone needs to just relax and go with the flow more often. Life is to short to be a jerk, or be mad at everyone. To quote the Joker "If you have to go, go with a smile."
 
Great thoughts Scott.  That attitude works well for many things in life besides photography and golf.  Have a great day... and that putt looks good to me.
 
That makes so much good sense Scott. You should give yourself a pay rise. BTW, I love your blind critiques on The Grid.
 
I play HDR golf. I bracket my putts and combine them into a single stroke on the score card. 
 
That's the best golf tip I have ever read, Kevin!
 
I totally agree with you Scott
 
Well said, couldn't agree more. People just need to take it easy some times. 
 
Love this post. If you're a full time hobbyist you should be having fun and that fun shouldn't be affected by others
 
And if you're a part time hobbyist (pro) you should still be having fun
 
From what I've observed, it's how you, +Scott Kelby, actually live your life and what makes your videos and books so much fun. One can't really escape who they are. 
 
Hahaha, right on Scott.  As an avid high handicap golfer and hobbyist photographer I couldn't agree with you more. I certainly put lots of time, energy and money into my passions because if I am going to do something, I want to do it well, but always with the understanding that I am doing this because it gives me pleasure.  If others share my joy at what I play or create, then great, but if not, then still great.  I learn, have fun and move on.  Reminds me of Voltaire's quote that "Perfect is the enemy of the Good".  
 
dont think you could have put it any better +Scott Kelby. people get way to bent out of shape over something that is not even important to them. its about what the artist wanted to create, not what the audience thinks.
 
Excellent post, Scott. Too many people focus on what everyone else is doing and miss opportunities to push themselves and artists. HDR Police, gear snobs and others waste a lot of energy that could better used.
 
Thank you for this post, +Scott Kelby! I was around the dog show community for a long time, and the same mindset prevails.  American Kennel Club specification sheets, size restrictions, medical history, DNA tests...these are all required for title as purebreds.  There's clearly a place for this, as it's a multi-billion dollar industry.  But sometimes, you don't need a perfect-spec pure breed. Sometimes a wonderful, attractive (to you) hybrid is exactly right.
 
Well put +Scott Kelby . I see photography as something that is always progressing and HDR is just one of those natural paths. It's +Trey Ratcliff that inspired me to pick up a camera after 15 years without taking a shot.
 
HDR is cool to look at. It seems to occupy a really nice space on the surreal bridge, between photography and illustration, and it is an evolution of art.
 
+Scott Kelby Well said on both.... golf and HDR.  Make yourself happy with your photography and let the rest fall where it may. 
 
Exactly... there's nothing worse than the crappy golfer pretending he is Tiger Woods. Nice shot anyway
 
You know it never ceases to amaze me how some folks seem so compelled to voice their opinion on other peoples work. Whatever happened to 'if you have nothing nice or constructive to say then don't say anything'?

Now there'll always be those comments from folks saying that well if you post it online it's in the public domain and you leave yourself open to comments and to that I say 'Rubbish!' Listen, does this mean that you have a right to come knocking on my door to tell me what you think of how I've pruned the hedges or mowed the lawn in my front garden? The garden is after all viewable by 'the public'

Sounds crazy but what's the difference?

So, here's a suggestion...put all that negative energy into something positive and work on making your own stuff better because slating someone else's work will only make you look bad (note I'm being polite there)

Anyway, let's all take a deep breath, count to 10 and smile...there...feels good doesn't it :)

We're all different ( thankfully), we all take different pictures, we all edit differently...it makes us feel good...what more could we ask?
 
+Glyn Dewis "Don't say anything if it isn't nice" is alive and well thousands of times a day here on G+. Think of all the photos you see that do not appeal to you (to put it nicely) and notice that they often get no comments, or certainly no bad ones.

I'll +1 or say something nice if I like or agree, but am silent otherwise. I'll be you do the same, and it's also true for thousands of Scott's readers.

It's just hard to hear the silence, especially when some idiot in the back row is shouting.
 
Dear +Scott Kelby,

This is the internet.  Everything on the internet is serious business.  On the internet you'd better have the right body and lens and guitar and amp.  You better follow the rule of thirds and not use the wrong software or anything by Microsoft (or lord help you, Fractal Audio).

How dare you suggest to people on the internet that they have fun.  That just isn't done.
 
You play golf like I do, for laughs, fun and a good time!  Funny after nine holes I would be ahead of my ex and his brothers who were focused on winning!
 
Brilliant post....and I am still deciding which part resonates more with me...the short of talent serious golfer or the casual HDR processor who gets an occassional high by crunching the life out of pixels.....we both need to lighten up here :-)
 
So perfectly worded, Scott!  And such a good story to illustrate the point.  
 
+Scott Kelby life is hard enough without people poking at each other about the small stuff. After all this is photography, we are not curing cancer. Have fun, don't like a photo or edit, don't look at it. 

Spend your effort working on your own vision and stop worrying about how some else maybe editing their photos.
 
Gotta second all this positive energy, it's great! 
Why, to use +Glyn Dewis's analogy, knock on my door to let me know I missed a few blades of grass and might have been too light on the fertilizer when, instead, you could go to the next door and spend your energy telling him how beautiful his/her lawn is and finding out ways to apply that to your own. 
If you have the time and energy to gripe and complain, you have the time and energy to search a little farther for something you love and you can spend your time there. You, and the world, will end up in a happier place!
 
Couldn't agree more.....to the 4th in your foursome, as Sgt Hulka said in the movie Stripes, "lighten up Francis". Relax and enjoy life!
 
I totally get it. Now I'm not that great, probably just make the mark with my photography. The thing is, I do get paid to do some photography, mainly headshots and editorial which just hits the mark. When doing that work I'm deadly serious, following proven methods. When I photograph for fun, it's just that fun, trying stuff which may or may. Not work, but it doesn't matter as its just for me. So as long as I'm having fun, why should I care who doesn't approve?
 
Excellent post! Thanks for the reality check. We all need that from time to time. 
 
Perhaps semi-HDR! ;)  Good post, Scott. We have freedom to do with our photography whatever we choose to.  We created it...it's our "baby" so to speak...As the creator, I never need to explain why I take a photo here or there...it's all up to me.  One can like it or not...End of the day though.. It's my choice and everybody else the same  on their creations!  Life is good!  Just enjoy!
 
Play all you want, but if you want to be taken seriously as a photographer listen to the words of my college prof "Never let them see your mistakes".
 
You are so correct. I do portraits, candids and PR shots for one of the largest Graduation photography groups in the US.  Those shots need to be graded to the Nth degree....what I do away from work.....is fun....HDR - oversaturated images - strange lighting combinations - motion blur..whatever comes to me in the middle of the night.....I share them with others, but they are for myself, my family and those that choose to follow me.  I am not a big HDR fan as I think it gets overused, but for the right situation, and used in moderation, can give that extra little bit that elevates a picture to a photograph.
 
+Scott Kelby yeah, but you plug a red Saber into it.  Unless you're in Testament circa 1989, the internet says you're wrong.  Don't listen to me, though, I play Ibanezes through a Line 6 amp and like HDR. 
 
+George Jones I have three Line 6 amps (two at work, and one at home. They sound fantastic at low volumes. And, my favorite guitar to play through them --- my red late 1980s Ibanez. :)
 
+Scott Kelby I'm a recovering Ibanez geek and amp modelling lover.  It's like being the HDR photographer of music :)

Anyway, the point I was trying to make before we fell into guitar geekery is that on the internet all communities devoted to creative endevours eventually descend into a vocal minority telling everyone else that they're doing it wrong because they're doing it differently.  Whether that's HDR or modelling amps.  Mostly I think it's people who want to feel special by making everyone else think they're not.
 
I really do care what others think about my work but if it brings a smile to my face and I like it, that's all that really matters. Of course, I'm not making my living at it so I guess that's easy for me to say. Some of my HDR sucks but every now and then.......... I smile!
 
Bill, I personally like your work (having perused your webpage) that I have seen so far.  And I am sooo in agreement about the 'if it brings a smile to MY face part'.  I take images to remember times and places and events, and when we run a slide show on the big screen when friends and family are over, I can then tell if my pictures tell the story that everyone remembers.  And if someone decides they love the image and wants to purchase a copy, the ability to generate a little revenue is always welcome..... :)
 
+George Jones Boy, I can honestly say that in the circles I'm in on G+ not once has any post incurred negative reaction..even the HDR stuff...early on when I was just learning about HDR.. Good to feel positive about sharing and reaction to that!  Gives one confidence even when it's at best experimental on a photo.  
 
Thanks Dan.....a guy can never have too much luck.
 
How to take a good HDR Photo?
 
Florida, that says all...beautifull beaches to HDR just for the fun of it, I live there.
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