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  1. #71

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    what makes a good photographer ?

    i dunno, maybe coming to the realization that a camera, lenses, paper, film, filters &C &C &C are just tools to show how s/he to see the world - kind of like the way a bird who feeds its young - a photographer can eat (up) her/his reality and then spits it out for us to see (what it is inside their head.)

  2. #72
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
    Someone who allows technical perfection (or the illusion thereof) to overwhelm the message of the medium. Someone who mismatches the medium to the message - there are some images that were better paintings, drawings, or sculpture. ...

    A bad photographer is someone who fails, and doesn't even realize it.
    Good thought here. Do you know of any specific examples (rhetorical question - PLEASE do NOT name names here!)?

    I've been searching my memory ... I think "overwhelming the message with the concern for technical perfection" is certainly close ... but I cannot think of ONE "bad" photographer, if the evaluation is done by the consideration of their WORK.
    Personality, integrity, the desire to "get ahead over the bones of others" ... I've seen a lot of that, but I still cannot directly link the idea that "their work is `bad', ergo, they are `bad' photographers."

    I have seen a lot of "dead" photographs, where there may have been (n.b. "may" .. I really don't know) an unreasonable amount of attention to getting the photograph technically perfect, to the point of elimination of the human ... read: aesthetic ... quality.

    There is a second question raised here: How do we - or anyone else, KNOW when a photograph "fails"? --- or, "succeeds"?
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  3. #73
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    If he were a photographer, I'd say Thomas Kinkade would qualify.

    I don't think mastery of the craft is a prerequisite for being a good photographer, and lack thereof is a prerequisite for being a bad photographer. Henri Cartier-Bresson is certainly a great photographer in that his images resonate emotionally with so many people, and not just photographers. He was hardly a master of the craft side of his photography, however. Another example would be David Hockney (who is more of a painter than a photographer anyway). He took the constraints of the instant polaroid form and used them to his advantage, creating a very distinctive signature style.

    I think the reason we have a hard time finding real examples of "Bad" photographers according to my proposed definition is that almost by definition, they are unmemorable. Their work, however technically perfect, is so emotionally void that we intentionally forget them. If I were to be barbarically cruel, I could probably name a few classmates from various photography seminars and courses who would fit that definition in my book. However, it would take an excess effort of memory, because they were so banal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    Good thought here. Do you know of any specific examples (rhetorical question - PLEASE do NOT name names here!)?

    I've been searching my memory ... I think "overwhelming the message with the concern for technical perfection" is certainly close ... but I cannot think of ONE "bad" photographer, if the evaluation is done by the consideration of their WORK.
    Personality, integrity, the desire to "get ahead over the bones of others" ... I've seen a lot of that, but I still cannot directly link the idea that "their work is `bad', ergo, they are `bad' photographers."

    I have seen a lot of "dead" photographs, where there may have been (n.b. "may" .. I really don't know) an unreasonable amount of attention to getting the photograph technically perfect, to the point of elimination of the human ... read: aesthetic ... quality.

    There is a second question raised here: How do we - or anyone else, KNOW when a photograph "fails"? --- or, "succeeds"?

  4. #74

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    If you are a commercial photographer, the only person who can answer that question is the client. Do you deliver the goods? Are they happy with what they paid for? But, a good architectural photog might be a lousy portrait photog. If you do this out of individual passion, you and maybe your peers, family, friends have to love your work. You have to want to grow. Each day, learn something new, try something different. ..ie, I work for a 77 year old architect and when he goes out to a job site, he still gets giddy over the structure going up...like a school boy! For ourselves, its passion...its seeing an image before setting up the tripod. ...sorry, just ranting here.

  5. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    What makes a good photographer?

    Passion.

    MIchael
    Michael

    I would say the ability to put passion in ones images is more true than passion alone. Passion and no skill amounts to luck

    Phill
    It is not tradition that secures the survival of our craft, its the craft that secures the survival of our traditions.

  6. #76
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
    If he were a photographer, I'd say Thomas Kinkade would qualify.
    Qualify for which side? - `Good' or 'bad'?

    I think the reason we have a hard time finding real examples of "Bad" photographers according to my proposed definition is that almost by definition, they are unmemorable. Their work, however technically perfect, is so emotionally void that we intentionally forget them. If I were to be barbarically cruel, I could probably name a few classmates from various photography seminars and courses who would fit that definition in my book. However, it would take an excess effort of memory, because they were so banal.
    I agree. I contemplated, "What is an example of a 'bad' photograph/er" and I recognized the difficulty for that very fact - it leaves no impression - has no effect on .. my "me-ness". It is apparent that what does 'impress" me may NOT have the same effect on others .. therefore there really is no set standard of "goodness" to judge a photograph.

    The process where we stand a chance of affecting someone else -- I can only say that over many moons in photography and art - I've found it happens as a result of passion.

    Apparently passion is contagious - work done with it will have a greater probability of evoking passion in another than work done without passion.
    That "contagion" is NOT 100% efficient ... many times it does work done with burning flames of passion will have no effect on some particular person. Such are the fortunes of art. That is not to say that it is not a successful (`good') photograph - it only illustrates that we are all different in the way we perceive art.

    What makes a "good" photographer? ... It all starts with, and the basic, most important ingredient - the 'base' of it all is PASSION. With it, as long as we still have it, we can do nothing other than succeed; without it we are doomed to inevitable failure.

    I have read here that simply answering "passion" is too simple. I'll take exception to that. It is easy to type the word, it is supremely difficult to grasp its meaning and to apply it to its intended use. It is probably the most complex answer possible.

    So - what doe we do when we assume the role of "Critic"? Do we - should we, try to nurture and support the passion of those seeking our help; or do we waste the opportunity to truly HELP our fellow beings in this arena by squelching their core passion by carping over "defects" in their work? - Defects that will, along with the work itself, be soon forgotten?
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  7. #77
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by philldresser
    Michael
    I would say the ability to put passion in ones images is more true than passion alone. Passion and no skill amounts to luck
    Phill
    Or .. when it works is it MAGIC?

    To tell the truth, either way, with or without "skill", it is still Magic.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    Qualify for which side? - `Good' or 'bad'?
    That should be obvious- BAD. His work is trite, assembly-line, cookie-cutter, and exploitative (of his audience). It is incapable of evoking an emotionally rich or diverse response, or engaging the intellect. Gee, d'ya think I don't like Thomas Kinkade? I see him as an example of commercially successful "art" that is devoid of meaning, kind of like poster prints of cars that teenage boys put up in their bedrooms to indicate that they're "grown-up".


    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    So - what doe we do when we assume the role of "Critic"? Do we - should we, try to nurture and support the passion of those seeking our help; or do we waste the opportunity to truly HELP our fellow beings in this arena by squelching their core passion by carping over "defects" in their work? - Defects that will, along with the work itself, be soon forgotten?
    Being a critic is always a challenge. I say there's no harm in bringing up "defects" in someone's work if it is done in a positive manner. If someone comes to you for advice about their work and you fail to offer it, I'd say you are doing them a greater disservice than if you tell them about everything you find problematic with their work.

    There's diplomacy and then there's brutality -you can tell someone they need to improve xyz about their photography, and here's how, or you can tell them that they suck and should sell their camera and take up chess as there's a better chance of them beating Kasparov than of taking a competent photo. I'd always opt for the diplomatic solution unless you're really itching to burn a bridge or two.

    To be quite honest, if you are playing the role of an educator, sometimes there's even a place for the "sell your camera" comment(although not in such harsh language), if the person is obviously struggling repeatedly to grasp basic concepts, and finding frustration at their lack of progress without understanding WHY they lack progress. You might encourage them to find another creative outlet at which they will be happier and more successful.

  9. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
    . . . kind of like poster prints of cars that teenage boys put up in their bedrooms to indicate that they're "grown-up".
    Umm, if I still have those posters on my wall, er, what does THAT mean!??
    Robert Hunt

  10. #80
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhphoto
    Umm, if I still have those posters on my wall, er, what does THAT mean!??
    Assuming you're over 21, that you have a car fetish

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