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Old December 21st, 2011, 05:18 PM
A.Niada A.Niada is offline
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Is the photographer dead?

In an age where everyone owns a camera and anyone can publicise their work, what is a photographer?
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Old December 21st, 2011, 11:01 PM
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ShelgrenPhoto ShelgrenPhoto is offline
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Re: Is the photographer dead?

Firstly, I do think that the 'professional photographer' term is getting tossed around way too loosely these days.

I've been a 'photographer' for about 5 years now, and would hardly call myself a professional (for arguments sake, I am excluding a 'professional' as being an accredited Professional)...yet, I seem to know or have seen way too many people who call themselves photographer's, whose skill level I would rate at my own.

That being said, I think the true meaning of the word is dead, but what is it really to be a photographer? Just because you own a camera? Just because you are slightly interested in photography and have enough disposable income to buy a $2,000 body? In my opinion, no.

To really be a photographer, it takes a desire to always learn, to have an eye for solid compositions, images that clearly and artistically tell a story. That's a photographer.

Unfortunately, as has I stated, I think many people have lost site of this fact.

Just my opinion anyway.
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Old December 21st, 2011, 11:32 PM
suci suci is offline
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Re: Is the photographer dead?

Interesting subject and yes it has been debated many times. On an other Forum the consensus seemed to be that anyone with a camera is a photographer.
I totally disagree. Just because George Eastman devised a method for anyone to just push the button and Kodak doing the rest the masses owning those cameras were no more photographers then they were before Kodak.
Anyone can just push the button nowdays and do it with results Eastman couldn't even dream of. And a lot of them depend on technical wizardry with no input from their own selves.
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 12:46 AM
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Gary_G. Gary_G. is offline
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Re: Is the photographer dead?

There is a difference between taking a photo and making a photo... to my mind taking a photo uses the many years I have learned about how to compose a shot. Taking the time to shoot and capture what it is I want the image to look like.

Many will take hundreds of shots hoping that some of them will come out the way they had hoped only to find they have lots of shots, but no photographs. Then open up photoshop to make some of those look like it should have when they first brought the camera up to their eye.

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Gary
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 09:26 AM
Robertq Robertq is offline
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Re: Is the photographer dead?

I think the encroachment of Photoshop has killed a lot of real photography. There is a tendency to take a picture and then manipulate it to a degree which makes it bear no resemblence to reality. Many of the pictures you see offered to critique are totally difference from the scene that was viewed.
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 12:18 PM
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Sasquatch Sasquatch is offline
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Re: Is the photographer dead?

On the contrary, I think the Photographer is alive and well and ready to kick some butt! Look at all the cool stuff that's now available to us or will be shortly in the future. Years ago we couldn't dream of having such things.

Sure, photography itself has changed dramatically in recent times and the major players have given everyone the opportunity to take quality photos for relatively low cost. I try not to get all too tied up in labels and titles. Is it that big a deal if the guy that just picked up his first camera from Target refers to himself as a photographer? By Websters definition he probably is. Heck, I own a bike and Lance Armstrong owns a bike so I guess that makes us both Cyclists.... But I would believe most folks are keenly aware of the difference.

In the photography realm, to me the only time would really matter is if you are hiring someone to actually do photography for you. And, IMO this is where it becomes your responsiblity to make sure you are hiring who you think you are. Like anything else if you don't do your homework you get what you deserve.

And the Photoshop thing doesn't bother me much at all either. Back in the day folks would manipulate their film in an attempt to alter the look of things that they had captured to achieve a desired affect. I don't see this being much different other than the toolset involved to make it happen. Some will disclose it and others won't. Don't really see this as a show stopper.

Bottom line is that I like to look at photographs, all kinds of photographs. Of course some are going to be better than others, I recognize that. I enjoy seeing things or places that I know I will never get to visit personally in my lifetime. I care more about seeing those things and what they mean to the people that took them rather than if someone slid the exposure slider up 20% and added some sharpening in PS. In the end it doesn't matter to me what title the guy or girl who posted those calls himself.......
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 01:16 PM
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mrchile mrchile is offline
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Re: Is the photographer dead?

I agree with John. I think the addition of digital cameras and photoshop has increased the number of serious photographers. These new tools have allowed more people to have a way to learn, and practice. Both in the taking of pictures, and in processing them, where they would not have been able to before.
I put myself in this group.
And no matter what anyone says, very rarely will Photoshop, (or any other editing software), be able to make a lousy photo look good, even if it can make a little better.
There will always be those who pursue their interest in a meaningful way, and those who will take no more than a casual interest.
Places like this forum certainly help show us how many people have become interested, from all measures of skill and desire.
It makes little difference what meaning I attach to the word, since others will likely attach another meaning.
The only thing a can say with certainty, is that I consider myself a photographer.
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 02:28 PM
Russ Russ is offline
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Re: Is the photographer dead?

As Janos eluded to, this is a legit but too frequently asked question. It usually garners a reply or 2 that suggests the Photoshop is ruining photography.....bunk! That's merely a "who moved my cheese" reaction! There IS lots of junk being produced using Photoshop....but not because of it. Photography is much more, and always has been, than merely thinking about and then pushing a shutter. Its always included modifications either pre, during (in camera), or in post processing (film or digital).

In my estimation the question is far too broad. After all, does every person who gets a drivers license quickly become an expert driver.....heck no! Some never become even decent, let alone good. Some get good at driving certain vehicles under certain conditions...but take that flatlander and put him/her behind the wheel of a big rig on icy roads in the mtns and its frightening.

Having access to and using a camera makes one a photographer....in the broadest sense. When some start introducing concepts such as QUALITY of results, that's an entirely different question. Re "professional" photographers, they most correctly are simply paid for their work and its PRESUMED that to be paid one must produce good results and therefore be an expert at photography. I've seen too many "results" that would contradict the absolute correlation between being professional and being expert.
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 02:40 PM
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agiledogs agiledogs is offline
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Re: Is the photographer dead?

Photographer are well and living. What is changing is their medium and working environment. As technology improves only the quality level in terms of color, exposure and such will be perfected automatically over time. What will always be at the heart of photography is composition within the frame and how various elements play off each other.

At one of my dog trials I overheard one Person with a big tripod, gimble head and a very nice canon system a 1dsMk3 and a 300mm lens (likely a f 2.8 lens). Comment that 1 particular dog was moving to fast for him to catch. I seem to have no problems catching that particular dog with my gear d300s and 180mm f2/8. Earlier he was passing out business cards.

I think I would have done fine using his equipment as well. Any how saw this guy for 2 trials and have not seem him since.

Now he may be a good professional at some subjects, as he certainly had some very nice equipment. But he was clearly out of his element and thus his work did not look professional. (at least what I saw of the previews on his LCD). out of focus shots, bad composition, bad exposure)
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 04:31 PM
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Re: Is the photographer dead?

I totally agree that digital vastly increased the number of interested photographers. And by extension the number of serious photographers. The original members of some if not all on line photo forums were people whose interest was revived by digital. And they were doing things I could not come close to with film and the wet darkroom. The original question was a general query, so I also agree with the second poster saying that the term "professional" is tossed around much too loosely nowdays.
Photoshop is not a problem, it's a great tool to make a photo fit what one has actually seen and occasionally enhancing that vision also. Nevertheless anyone spending some time on photo forums knows people who own a 2000 dollar camera, have a computer with zigabytes of drive, the full version of Photoshop and ask question that betrays the fact, that they haven't got an idea what to do with all that.
Digital made Photography extremely inexpensive. Software, hardware, cameras printers are cheap by the standards of a few years ago.
A decent enlarger went for a minimum of a thousand bucks, a roller transport print processor was 3 to 5 thousand. And there was long hours to spend in the dark with smelly chemicals.
One had to be dedicated to do all that.
I fully agree that digital and Photoshop is a Godsend to photographers. But it also increased the number of ignoramuses, with visions of grandeur. Sorry that's just how I feel
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