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 John McCallum; 02-20-2006 at 11:08 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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???
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
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.
Originally Posted by Ray Heath
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..
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Originally Posted by Ray Heath
likely the most concise, clear, and true answer available.
Originally Posted by blansky
Well, I dunno Dave. Personally I don't mind reading these discussions, as long as there's a few reasonably thought out posts. Good subject to revisit.
Originally Posted by John McCallum
That don't bother me at all, I have posted my opinions, and my answers, which are every bit as valid as anyone one else that chooses to post on a thread, or am I mistaken? and certain peoples opinions have less validity that anothers, my opininon is, it is a redundant question that has no right answer, that is all..
BTW I know a few Passionate photographers who couldn't photograph their way out of a wet changing bag.