What makes a good photographer?


simonarthurs

Link Posted 02/09/2009 - 21:39
I've found this thread to be really interesting. My view is this has everything to do with personal attitides and the way you deal with people.

I have spent time with four professional photographers and on three of the four occasions, besides completing the work for the clients, they were helpful to the amateurs who were also present and went out of their way to encourage them without being imposing, taking a genuine interest in others desire to take some good photos. The last guy was my brothers wedding photographer and he was an arrogant ****!

I do agree with the comments about business skills, these help the professional sustain a living from their ability to take half decent pictures that meet the clients brief....consistently.

Most enthusiasts have a particular interest and we take pleasure from this and improving our skills searching for that brilliant shot, if someone likes your photos this is a bonus....

as for the kit.....I don't care, I like my pentax so I'm happy!

my two year old daughter has a kidizoom and I suspect there may be a belter on the SD card already....!

mattox

Link Posted 04/09/2009 - 10:19
An interesting discussion, and something one thinks of over and over again. The difference between an amateur and a pro, is that the pro has time to take his photographs. If you've got the time and the resources to wait for that right moment you'll achieve pro level results. Here's an example; last weekend I went to tuscany with a group of friends for the weekend. I took my tripod, my K10 and filters, and with only a weekend away surrounded by opportunity for landscape masterpieces, with my friends wanting to visit the sites in such a short period of time, I left with no photo's. On the otherhand a pro would spend a week or more in the same place at the same time, dedicate every second to shooting, and walk away with great shots, ready to sell to the public.

Pwynnej

Link Posted 04/09/2009 - 10:32
simonarthurs wrote:


my two year old daughter has a kidizoom and I suspect there may be a belter on the SD card already....!

You might need to get a lock for the bedroom door
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 04/09/2009 - 11:21
mattox wrote:
An interesting discussion, and something one thinks of over and over again. The difference between an amateur and a pro, is that the pro has time to take his photographs. If you've got the time and the resources to wait for that right moment you'll achieve pro level results. Here's an example; last weekend I went to tuscany with a group of friends for the weekend. I took my tripod, my K10 and filters, and with only a weekend away surrounded by opportunity for landscape masterpieces, with my friends wanting to visit the sites in such a short period of time, I left with no photo's. On the otherhand a pro would spend a week or more in the same place at the same time, dedicate every second to shooting, and walk away with great shots, ready to sell to the public.

I'd like to think that this was always true but most of the time it is quite the opposite: get in and take the pictures in the shortest time possible, weddings immediately spring to mind. Another photographer of my aquaintance - think Life magazine covers - will by choice photograph, let's say an American President, and be in and out inside 30 minutes.
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 -

mattox

Link Posted 04/09/2009 - 13:41
Rightly so....however in this case I was refering more to the landscape photography point of view. Sure, if your lucky enough anything can happen. Having said all this, when it comes to quality photo's you've got to know what you are doing in any case, regardless of the equipment you use. For example, my best shots to date were taken back when i purchased my first camera, an MZ with a basic sigma aspherical 28-200mm. I relied on good technique and a keen eye for beauty...However, only selling a few dozen photo's in my life doesn't make me a professional either.

cabstar

Link Posted 04/09/2009 - 16:11
have to agree about lack of time, when I shoot in a major stadium show or festival headliner we are nowadays lucky if we get 3 songs. I know at Leeds last weekend for Radiohead the pros could only shoot from the left hand side of the pit, Kings Of leon I think we where allowed just 2 songs & the light for song 1 terrible!!!!

I guess access also makes a difference, for example the NME photographers get on stage access which already gives them an advantage to other pro shooters.
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released

gartmore

Link Posted 04/09/2009 - 17:16
Cabstar, have you ever come across a guy called Peter Anderson who does a lot for MNE?

Ken
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 -

lemmy

Link Posted 04/09/2009 - 19:10
cabstar wrote:
I think we where allowed just 2 songs & the light for song 1 terrible!!!!

That started happening in the mid 80s. Before that at the Rainbow or Hammersmith Odeon and the other London gigs, you'd be one of only five or six photographers allowed in the orchestra pit but allowed to stay for the whole time.

Plus, no restrictions on their use, full copyright remained with the photog. Those were the days. I stopped covering live gigs when the restrictions started to come in.

A great deal of my library income comes from those gigs still , Abba, The who, Dire Straits, Rod Stewart et al.

I don't know how anyone can make a living from it these days with all the competition climbing all over one another and flogging their work for peanuts. I guess I'm just getting soft in my old age
lemmy
My Home Pages, Cartoons and Videos

Offertonhatter

Link Posted 04/09/2009 - 20:05
interesting thread.

I think I can sum up accordingly

The Pro photographer who totally rubbished the K10D over his D200 is clearly wrong. (and probably jealous)
The camera is only a tool, it's the person who uses it is the creative aspect.
Some Pro photographers clearly do not earn the name, yet some amateurs create stunning images (just look at some of the images on Flickr!)
Pro photographers are only confident due to a lot of practice, which any of us are capable of doing, especially in the digital age (but you have to have the eye first)
Some Pro photographers create stunning images with "humble" equipment (eg. refer to Ben and the images with the K20D as opposed to medium format), yet amateurs will produce poor images with "Pro" kit ( I know a person who has a 1D mk3 and the images are "snapshots" at best)

Finally, Go for the Kit that best suits you, if you have an eye for an image, you will get the shot you desire.

As an addendum, take a shot with different makes (say K-7 with FA50mm F1.4, 50D with EF 50mm F1.4 USM, Nikon D300 with nikkor AF-S 50mm F1.4G and Sony A550 with SAL50mm F1.4) put them through photoshop to tweak, and I bet you wont find much difference in the final results
Some Cameras
Last Edited by Offertonhatter on 04/09/2009 - 20:06

Marcus1

Link Posted 05/09/2009 - 12:28
As an amateur, my photography is a liesure activity. I take a camera with me, not knowing what I shall find. On occaisions I revisit a subject many times, try different angle, lighting etc. Mostly I fail to capture the image to my satisfaction, sometimes I succeed. A proffessional would know exactly what they [or the client] want befor venturing out and usually succeed first time. So what! I have more fun.
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.

cabstar

Link Posted 07/09/2009 - 00:38
lemmy wrote:


Plus, no restrictions on their use, full copyright remained with the photog. Those were the days. I stopped covering live gigs when the restrictions started to come in.

I don't know how anyone can make a living from it these days with all the competition climbing all over one another and flogging their work for peanuts. I guess I'm just getting soft in my old age

I never sign away my copyright to any band, I am under strict instruction from my editor, they don't let us have the rights to their music they don't get the rights to our pics. Some of the photography agreements are unbelievable in what they want from you. I have had to walk away a few times from shoots due to stupid contracts. Bands are slowly realising that if they want exposure then they have to give photographers a break. Scandinavian press have decided they will tell their readers why they have no photos from a current touring artists if right grabs contracts are issued. I think lately Britney Spears has suffered with very negaitive press there.

The competition up here in the North isn't so bad compared to down South. Just got back from a weekend at Bingley Music Live & had a great time along with some cool images. Your right though about people giving their work away for free, which is very frustrating...
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released

hkwiles

Link Posted 07/09/2009 - 13:46
Quite simply .......if you havent got a good eye for a photo and a senses of good composition then No ammount of gadegtry will be of any use. A perfecty exposed "crap" photo is of no use to anyone.

I recently went to nephews wedding and stood behind pro-photographer with my Canon A95 compact. Not only did I get what were considered to be better photos by the couple ( and cheaper..I sent them the jpegs) , I took several candid shots which now adorn their mantelpiece...nuff said.

pride of place goes to a shot ..head and shoulders of bride and groom being showered by white and pink rose petals..

When funds are available K7 is my choice without any doubt and I dont see me wanting to replace it later either.

Howard
Body: K7 of course !!
Lenses: DA18-55WR,DA50-200WR,FA50-1.4
Last Edited by hkwiles on 07/09/2009 - 13:49

lemmy

Link Posted 07/09/2009 - 15:40
cabstar wrote:
I am under strict instruction from my editor, they don't let us have the rights to their music they don't get the rights to our pics.

That's great to hear - if more editors had stuck to their guns like that both the photographers and the bands would have been better served.

For a photographer, copyright is all. I hate it when anyone takes a lax attitude to breach of copyright. It's all the artist (I use the term loosely about myself ) has.
lemmy
My Home Pages, Cartoons and Videos

Anvh

Link Posted 07/09/2009 - 16:51
hkwiles wrote:
Quite simply .......if you havent got a good eye for a photo and a senses of good composition then No ammount of gadegtry will be of any use.

Not really true though.
Gadgets might not help you but their are some proven methods of composing a shot so if you want you can do it all scientifically and get a good composition without the need for you to have a sense for it.

Some simple methods are:
the rule of third
rule of odds
rule of space
And then you can go all crazy


Btw this where the ratio of A-size paper comes from, the golden ratio it's called I believe.
Stefan


K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ
Last Edited by Anvh on 07/09/2009 - 16:54

shutter01

Link Posted 07/09/2009 - 23:33
What makes a good photographer? Certainly not the equipment!and one who make statements like that is no professional.
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