What makes a good photographer?


beakynet

Link Posted 10/04/2008 - 00:15
Mongoose wrote:
About 11 years ago, my Uncle got married. It was a big family wedding. I was quite young at the time so I'm not completely sure if there was a pro photographer or not, I know my Dad was wielding his Pentax P30 and the best glass his lens collection had to offer. A lot of photographs were taken that night with some very fine equipment.

A decade later there is one photo from that night which has been copied more times and hangs on more walls than any other. It is a beautiful candid portrait of the bride and groom laughing at some now forgotten comment or joke. Taken by the pro? no. Taken by my Dad the experienced amateur? no. So who took it?

My little sister, aged 12 with a Pentax P550 35mm fixed lens compact.

You don't have to be a pro to take a great photograph. You don't even have to be a good photographer. All you have to be is lucky. Technique, skill, equipment, practice and all the other things that go with our hobby only serve to reduce the level of luck you need.

This is the kind of story I like! I entered a photo taken by my son (with my K10D) last summer into a competition and he got the London runner up position, invited to a galery show opening and had post cards made of his photo! He was 3 1/2 at the time!
Bodies: K5IIs, K7, MZ5n, LX, MV
Lenses: DA*16-50, DA18-55WR, DA18-135, DAL35, M50 F2, A50 f1.4, FA50 f1.4, DA*50-135, DA55-300, Tamron 70-300, DFA 100 WR Macro, M135 f3.5, Sigma 120-400 APO DG HSM, Tokina 500 f8.0
Flash: Metz 58, Metz 48
Accessories: BG4, Pentax right angle finder, Pentax mirror adaptor lens, O-ME53 Viewfinder Loupe
Auto 110 System: Auto 110, Winder, 18mm, 24mm, 50mm, 70mm, 20-40mm, AF100P, 1.7x telecon

laceylou

Link Posted 10/04/2008 - 08:28
Unlocker wrote:
If your grades didn't depend on this guy, I would say give him a mouthful!

The photographer is a really helpful man, and not at all like this, the one I had the running with isnt the photographer but my lecturer.
(just to clarify )
I am currently studying Textile Design at the University of Derby, graduating in 2009 (hopefully!)

organicimagery

Link Posted 22/08/2009 - 15:09
beakynet wrote:
[quote:1f7ce14ff4="Mongoose"]About 11 years ago, my Uncle got married. It was a big family wedding. I was quite young at the time so I'm not completely sure if there was a pro photographer or not, I know my Dad was wielding his Pentax P30 and the best glass his lens collection had to offer. A lot of photographs were taken that night with some very fine equipment.

A decade later there is one photo from that night which has been copied more times and hangs on more walls than any other. It is a beautiful candid portrait of the bride and groom laughing at some now forgotten comment or joke. Taken by the pro? no. Taken by my Dad the experienced amateur? no. So who took it?

My little sister, aged 12 with a Pentax P550 35mm fixed lens compact.

You don't have to be a pro to take a great photograph. You don't even have to be a good photographer. All you have to be is lucky. Technique, skill, equipment, practice and all the other things that go with our hobby only serve to reduce the level of luck you need.

Sorry for boosting an old thread, just looking at some thoughts of people i like this part
http://www.flickr.com/photos/carlosimagery/ http://twitter.com/foxycce http://foxycce.ontheroad.to/carlo-does-thailand-tour
Karma is Just Cause and Effect - Do Good, Good will Happen

Daniel Bridge

Link Posted 22/08/2009 - 17:53
But while it's resurrected, the whole notion of a professional being able to take better photos than an amateur is absurd. What happens when the professional retires? Are his subsequent photos going to be any worse than before?

Dan
K-3, a macro lens and a DA*300mm...

johnriley

Link Posted 22/08/2009 - 19:23
All very true, but on the other hand if you have a high profile fashion shoot, will you hire Ben Kanarek or a 12 year old amateur?
Best regards, John

jackitec

Link Posted 22/08/2009 - 21:32
The difference between professional photographers and amature photographers is, professionals make there living from it, amature photography is a hobby, they both take great photos, without the amature there would be no professionals, well that's my take on it. I had my own studio for five years and employed 3 staff while I worked full time in IBM, did that make me a professional or a part time professional or an amature photographer?

Snootchies

Link Posted 22/08/2009 - 22:08
This has been an interesting thread to read!

What shocked me the most was the tutor/proffesional at the start of this thread using a D200 - hardly what I would consider 'pro' gear - not that it's a bad camera; but I would'nt start the whole camera rivalry if I was a pro and all I had was a D200 to compare with an 'amateur's' K10D. Quite evenly matched if you ask me....

But enough of this 'keeping up with the Jones' nonesense....We all know it's down to the individual skill rather than the camera which makes the biggest difference, and previous posts here aknowledge that.

In my opinion the difference between an amateur and a pro has far less to do with actual photo taking skill - it's to do with advertising yourself and understanding the market. It's having the right balance between business and photography.

An old school aquaintance of my wife has been a successful pro photographer for a few years now, and I had a look at his website last week. At the risk of sounding terribly arrogant - only one set I saw out of several on his site actually impressed me and made me think to myself that he deserved to be a pro. All of the rest I thought I could do much better myself...but that's not the whole story in what makes a succesful pro. He has other skills I do not have.
Bob

My website (Hadfield Photography)

Pentax Gallery Artist page:link

Flickr Photostream: link
Last Edited by Snootchies on 22/08/2009 - 22:11

ChrisA

Link Posted 23/08/2009 - 00:31
Don wrote:
You can be a great photographer with no business skills. You just can't call yourself a pro, unless you're getting paid.

It's a great pleasure to read your posts, Don.

You have an enviable talent for hitting the nail right on the head.
.
Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
.

Pwynnej

Link Posted 24/08/2009 - 08:48
johnriley wrote:
All very true, but on the other hand if you have a high profile fashion shoot, will you hire Ben Kanarek or a 12 year old amateur?

Very true. Our Ben is a very good salesman and very good at what he does, day in day out. Whereas a junior photographer might take some gems from time to time...

I must admit I do giggle to myself when I go to the wildlife photographer of the year exhibitions and look at the photos taken by the young togs. Brilliant although their images are two remarks come to mind "why are they not at school?", and "they've got a rich daddy" as I am sure they won't get the money to buy DSLRs on their paper rounds
K20D, Z-1p, Z-1
F50 1.7,FAs 24,31,35,50 1.4,77,85,135. DA*16-50. DA*60-250. DA*300 D-FA 100
SA 12-24.
Metz 45 CL-4, AF500FTZ. AF540FGZ.
Some Mamiya and some Nikon

gartmore

Link Posted 24/08/2009 - 10:20
There are photographers and camera owners and that is it.
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

Mongoose

Link Posted 24/08/2009 - 10:34
johnriley wrote:
All very true, but on the other hand if you have a high profile fashion shoot, will you hire Ben Kanarek or a 12 year old amateur?

Well my sister isn't 12 anymore and I can't afford Ben, so I guess I'll just have to hope the situation doesn't arise
you don't have to be mad to post here



but it does help

Marcus1

Link Posted 28/08/2009 - 17:10
Quote:
What makes a good photographer?

For me it would be a photograph, that I took, and that pleases me. I would then be a good photographer. Not yet achieved Just keep trying
K10D 50-200mm, 18-55mm, Battery Grip, AF360FGZ flash, Manfrotto Tripod.
Other stuff includes Programme A, Takumar 70-200mm, Rollei Prega 145AF - Still in its box, Pentax Zoom 105R,Olympus OM2n,a Fuji Digital Finepix.

lemmy

Link Posted 28/08/2009 - 19:43
A professional photographer is booked for an assignment, His job is to produce for his client as good a picture(s) as he can from that assignment.

An amateur can choose what pictures he takes since he does not have a client to please.

A good photographer is simply one constantly who produces impressive pictures in either case.

The professional's output is likely to be more interesting because he will be handed diverse subjects to picture day in and day out and thus make more mistakes from which to learn. And the sheer number of images he makes implies making a greater number of good pictures.

In terms of picture making abilities I have met amateurs every bit as talented as any professional. Amd professionals whose personal work is evrey bit as good as any amateurs.

In truth, the difference between a pro and an amateur is that one earns his living from it and the other does not.
lemmy
My Home Pages, Cartoons and Videos

Xeoboy

Link Posted 02/09/2009 - 19:15
What qualities make a good photographer???


Time and a steady hand and a good eye for what makes a picture worth a thousand words. Honestly most good pros know what aperature to take a picture at to produce the best results.

cabstar

Link Posted 02/09/2009 - 19:50
I shoot professionally with Samsung, I have an agent & my images are published in the music press & online music website, my assignments this year have included Glastonbury Festival, V Festival & last weekends Leeds Festival.

I get to meet a lot of fellow pro music photographers in the press pit & the press tents at these festivals. I very rarely get asked what equipment I use, when I do get asked, fellow pros are very interested in the Samsung camera particularly the DA* 50-135mm lens I frequently use. Maybe music photography is different to other photography I don't know, but the majority of music togs are very friendly & swap a lot of tips & information. The only time I have had problems was at Glastonbury when there where a lot of press / journalist photographers who had no idea how to act in a photo pit or any manners & jumped in front of you to get a shot or most frowned upon in the pit, used a flash gun!!!!

As for pro's being better than amateurs there is no argument. I know amateur photographers who earn larger sums doing other jobs who wouldn't dream of becoming a pro tog but that doesn't mean they can't take a good picture.

I do however see a lot of poor pros around who maybe at best are just good with camera.

When I used to be motor mechanic I wasn't a good mechanic because I used Sanp On tools.... It was due to the 5 years of training!!!

Business skills help make your business successful not a better photographer. Photography is a skill learnt by doing & by trying to improve yourself each time.
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released
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