what makes/constitutes a good photographer?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Ray Heath, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    in another thread i've been reading, and became bored with, a pissing contest between, apparently/according to themselves, two experienced photographers

    what makes/constitutes a good photographer?

    experience? lots of money earned? peer respect? self aggrandisement? lots of opinions on any vaguely photographic subject? personal enjoyment/satisfaction? confidence to tacke any photographic oppurtunity?

    who decides? who chooses?

    who cares?
     
  2. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    I sense a can of worms being opened. This could be a good thread, as long as it doesn't degrade into a pissing contest as well...
     
  3. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    thanx
    well said
    i concur
     
  4. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    You beat me to it.
     
  5. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    As has been said, "Can of worms" the only thing I would add....

    Does it matter?

    Dave
     
  6. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    bob, john
    thanx
    that may well happen, it's not up to me

    but how about a reply to the question/s as put
     
  7. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    What makes a good photographer?



    Passion.





    MIchael
     
  8. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Ray,

    This is one of those questions that is an oyximoron, there is no "Correct" answer to the question, it is kind of like the "kobe myosue marue" in one of the Star Trek movies, no correct and no wrong answer, supplying any answer will result in a long, unanswered debate..

    Dave
     
  9. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    You need to have the eyes, to see the things, that spark the passion to make you want to learn the craft, so that others may see.

    Murray
     
  10. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Discuss away Richard, many of us have been through this one before..

    This in my 2324th post, not that the number of posts matters

    And of course, I know that my opinion, will again get me put on a few more ignore lists...

    LOL

    [​IMG]

    Dave
     
  11. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    No, I didn't mean that to stifle discussion, it's just that it IS a can of worms :smile:
     
  12. Nacio Jan Brown

    Nacio Jan Brown Member

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    Joyce Cary's Gulley Jimson refers to an experience that "peeled" his eyes. Along these lines I would say that one type of good photographer is one who shows us something that's been there in front of us all along but, even so, has remained unseen. A prime recent example is Lee Friedlander in his wonderful recent book, "Stems."
     
  13. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    What makes a good photographer?

    Passion and vision!

    Cheers

    André
     
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  15. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Richard,

    I agree 100%, I don't have anyone on my ignore list, but I know a few have me on theirs!!!!

    LOL

    I have always found it better to accept even those opinions you don't like, cause sometimes you go back later and see something that makes sense, I am just old, crusty and been pushing shutter buttons to long, and have watched or been involved in the "what makes a good photographer" debate so many times now, so I guess I am a little slited or hardened to the whole thing.

    Dave
     
  16. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    What constitutes a "good" practitioner of any discipline? As offered above, passion to be sure, but also integrity, skill, talent specific to one's medium, creativity and imagination. Nearly everyone recognizes incompetence, many recognize solid performance, a few recognize all the preceding plus a giftedness way beyond the ordinary. The issue that is more german is who gets to determine the competence of the work in question. When I ask for a critique by posting to that gallery, I am professing a willingness to consider whatever is offered. Unless I request a review by a specified critiquer which isn't an option on this (or any other site I know of), I have to consider all posts.

    Why would this question constitute a "can of worms"?
     
  17. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Not as much as that damn dancing little banana!
     
  18. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    where'd he get the cool fruit ?

    .
     
  19. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    What makes a good car? Which camera is best? Where's the most nice place to take a picture? Which shoes should I wear tomorrow? I mean if you were me?
     
  20. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Awe come on Bill, you don't like nana man, I think he is great

    :D

    Dave
     
  21. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Is nana man available in a funky-dancing-dude penis model? Now how could anybody get upset over that?

    Murray
     
  22. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Well, not so much 'can of worms' perhaps as much as food for lively debate.

    I think it takes.

    - A photographer who can realise into an image, a recognisable and original style or 'vision' of a subject they are interested in.

    - They're very clever if they can do this with a subject they are not personally interested in.

    - Have mastered their craft end to end. Know how to use it to be expressive in a final image.

    - As John mentions, creativity or innovation. At some point, leave behind the heros and develop a personal style. Have the confidence or fortitude or ignorance to develop the style and run with it, continuously.

    - The resulting image has got to move someone who views it. The more, the better. Pluck the emotions and invoke interest/curiosity or repulsion. Or an ahah moment, that lasts.
    Salgado, Erwitt, Nachtwey, Paul Caponigro are very popular and highly regarded, but very different.

    - It takes relentless, passionate application to lift the quality of each high enough.

    Depending on the genre the photographer works in, there'll be a different amount of each but I believe they will all be there. Or then again I might be talking a whole bunch of ...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2006
  23. smieglitz

    smieglitz Member

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    Somewhere in there I think you have to get your hands wet and actually make the photograph, the print. Otherwise you are just a camera operator. You may be a talented and very good, successful, camera operator, but not a full-blown photographer unless you are souping stuff.

    As John said above:"- Have mastered their craft end to end. Know how to use it to be expressive in a final image."

    I think that's among the problems with digital printing. The hands-on wet stuff is missing. To me it is a critical part. I think you need the whole cycle of intent, talented seeing, shooting, processing, and printing to be a Photographer with a capital P. Or maybe that makes you a photographic artist rather than just a shooter.

    Shooter, camera operator, photographer, photographic artist...any difference to anyone else? I mean, anyone can take a picture with a camera. If a casual snapshooter always takes good snapshots, does that make them a good photographer? Does that make them a photographer at all???

    Joe
     
  24. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    c'mon guys
    these replies are mostly disappointing
    how come you, as a group/generalisation will endlessly discuss stuff like i use such and such film/developer/paper/camera/lens/whatever your hobby horse is ad infinitum yet here the best you can do is discuss whether it be a can of worms

    surely there is more to photography/art/craft/any human endeavour than i use blah blah, blah i'm soo good
     
  25. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Rrecently it was told to me that the only real photographers were the young ones coming out of Eastern Europe, and South and Central America that do cutting edge photography. My thought about that was, to get the pitch fork and start shoveling.

    To me it is someone who dares to click the shutter on the camera once they were intrigued enough to see some spark in front of them or an image that they wanted to capture. Then to go further and hone the skills to bring that original vision of what they saw to life. For some it is to use things like densitometers, or spend hours on one image in the darkroom until in their mind it is perfect. The results are always subjective to the next person. Some may like and others may hate it. In the end all you need to please is yourself and tell others to get stuffed if they don't like what you do for yourself. I am not a good photographer, neither am I bad one. I'm me and I'm happy.
     
  26. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Sorry Ray,

    I have heard the question so many times over the years, it has become redundant..

    I have a question for you....Are you a new photographer?

    Are you searching for a style to emulate?

    What exactly is the purpose of your question?

    The reason I ask, is yes, you have opened a can of worms, that has no RIGHT answer, there is NO wrong answer to the question you have asked

    Are we basing on good technical style,

    Are we basing on artistic style

    Are we basing on good darkroom technique?

    What exactly are you trying to figure out, there is no right answer, there is no wrong answer, there is really no answer at all that will define what a good photograher is


    You can be artistic and be sloppy on technique, you can be technically perfect and have no vision, you can take a perfect picture, that inspires nobody, there really is no correct answer to your question..

    Dave