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  1. #1
    Poohblah's Avatar
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    Are you an hobbyist or artist?

    Similar subjects have been discussed under the guise of "What is art?" or "What constitutes a photograph vs. a picture?" and it seems that many responses are superficial, improvised attempts to make the speaker appear superior to the masses of photographers. But I am wondering about your approach, and how you think of yourself in relationship to the camera and the photograph. Are you a businessman or a professional who depends on the camera as the fisherman depends on his tackle? Are you a photojournalist who tells stories? Are you an artist sharing your own story? Or are you a hobbyist who simply enjoys playing with cameras? And, of course, these categories are neither mutually exclusive nor exhaustive.

    I would like to hear your thoughts. In high school I was the hobbyist playing with lenses in the light and paper in the dark. Now the image is my hobby. I am not so vain to think myself an artist; perhaps one day I will be, but for now my aspirations lie in the realm of composition and exposure, not content or meaning.

    And I am not attempting to place a value judgment on being an artist. Quite the opposite, in fact. Sometimes I feel that the discussions in photography forums reduce the spectrum of photographs to "art or not" when in fact photographs can be something else entirely.

  2. #2
    keithwms's Avatar
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    I make photographs simply to express my appreciation for what I see and experience. Sometimes somebody wants a print for free, sometimes to buy, but mostly I do it for my own enjoyment. No expectation of revenue or recognition, though I do show stuff in various places to provide a sort of visual journal of what I am up to. To me, helping others get as much enjoyment out of photography as I get is the best payment of all. In my heart of hearts I am a teacher and a student.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

    [APUG Portfolio] [APUG Blog] [Website]

  3. #3

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    I'm not an artist. I'm a guy who takes pictures and likes cameras. I guess I think of myself as more of a technician than artist. I'm happy when I can take photos like these but I don't feel any constitute 'art'. They lack intent, cohesion, etc:


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/4437036171/


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/4635441553/


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/4593369381/


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelb...7616410312242/

  4. #4
    flatulent1's Avatar
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    I am strictly a hobbyist, nothing more. Just a happy shooter!
    Fred Latchaw
    Seattle WA


    I am beginning to resent being referred to as 'half-fast'.
    Whatever that's supposed to mean.

  5. #5

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    I would say I am more of a hacker than anything else, but if I had to pick one or the other, artist or hobbyist, I would have to say hobbyist.

  6. #6
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    Sure

  7. #7
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    When people would ask me if photography was a hobby or if I was a professional, I would answer that photography was my passion. That always seem to satisfy their curiosity. Now I say that I am a professional artist.
    Last edited by Vaughn; 06-16-2010 at 12:48 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  8. #8

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    I like the passion response. I think I'll use that in the future.

    The implication that I don't like about 'hobbyist' is that you aren't serious about your work, the quality of it, artistic elements, etc.

    I view hobbyist and professional as antonyms, not artist and hobbyist. The hobbyist/professional distinction is about livelihood, not about quality of work.

  9. #9
    Perry Way's Avatar
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    Well, I have mastered other art forms and accumulated some other art forms I haven't mastered along the way.. and in reality I'm a paid technical artist as my day job is computer software development. Even though I haven't sold any print as a professional, I am sure as heck an artist! I was born an artist! Someone mentioned being a hacker. Well, hacking is a process of discovery. It doesn't preclude one from being an artist. Do you think that Renoire or Monet or Matisse or the like didn't hack?
    Impressionism was all about hacking in its early days! (now it is learned the "proper" way through instruction) And now it is sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars, some millions of dollars and nobody disputes that it is art or that it was created by an artist.

    And I think anyone who spends a deal of time pursuing their passions which are creative in nature, that person has every right to verbally announce they are an artist without any doubt or hesitation!

    I love the wilderness and I love my trail cameras, all Fuji's! :) GA645, GW690 III, and the X100 which I think is the best trail camera ever invented (to date).

  10. #10
    Poohblah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Legge View Post
    I view hobbyist and professional as antonyms, not artist and hobbyist. The hobbyist/professional distinction is about livelihood, not about quality of work.
    Right. "Hobbyist and artist" is not supposed to be a dichotomy. Perhaps I haven't made that clear.

    I do appreciate your responses. I am tired of hearing one-or-the-other discussions.

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