If you can take amazing pictures, then that makes you a photographer. Post-processing makes you an editor, and although thats what it takes to be photographer nowadays i.e. be both photographer & editor... It wasn't like that back in the day. And you have to agree...
Nope. Don't have to agree.
A photograph is a thing. The person who makes the thing is a photograph-er. The thing is not made until the image captured by the camera is made visible on the paper or other viewing surface. This "making" consists of the entire process from choosing/arranging/lighting the subject, adjusting/aiming/operating the camera and doing what one will to get it onto the paper. Ansel has already been mentioned as an example of a "back in the day" photograph-er who certainly made use of his dark room, his enlarger, and whatever other tools he chose, to create his "art". The photographs thusly made have been greatly admired by many, and few of the admirers fail to call him a "photographer", rather than an "editor". (Ansel the dodger/burner?)
Adams and the numerous other "photographers" one could mention as widely recognized and acclaimed, used the tools available to them in their time, just as we do today. I don't doubt that they would envy us our new tools.
It hardly seems appropriate to try to differentiate a carpenter from a measurer, a sawer or a hammerer. Perhaps we should further distinguish him as a laser level technician, an adhesives applier, or a plumb(vs. apple)-bobber.
Are we having fun yet? :-)
Larry - I need to totally disagree with you. Photography is the skill of producing photographs. There is a big difference between a photograph and digital picture. "digital art" produces stunning pictures - which more often then not do NOT reflect anything real.
Photography as I understand it - is about recording a real moment or object in the most accurate way.
Yes I understand that some tweaks can be allowed - but these should be minor and unnoticeable. The "photo" should remain something real that the photographer saw. Photography is about VISION - NOT about enhanced photoshop / lightroom skills.
My 2 cents
With all due respect (uh oh) I think this is a misunderstanding of what happens when a picture is created - especially in a digital camera (although as others have pointed out, film wasn't necessarily 'truer' in any sense).
Your camera records the world in a partial way. The choice of lens, the sensor, the in-camera processor and software - all are making choices about how the light is recorded, altering it. It's arbitrary to say what happens in the camera is fundamentally different to what happens when the file is transferred to a computer. One is not 'truer' than the other. Both devices - camera and computer - are making decisions, or implementing decisions made by the photographer.
Now I happen to try to make most of my photographs look as much like the world as I saw it (with the exception of depth of field, which has no real correlate in human vision (except maybe when I don't wear my contact lenses). But that is a stylistic choice - and indeed one that requires a lot of fine postprocessing, in my experience (mostly to try and mitigate or overcome the limitations of the technology). But that style is no more or less photography than one departing from what I may have seen - not that others necessarily know what the scene looked like to me anyway.
It's a rather strange myth that has developed - maybe it's always been there in photography - that some pictures aren't real pictures. Of course, where one draws the line between a photograph and photo-art is itself arbitrary, and we'll all choose different places along a continuum (for me, it would probably be the creation of a scene whose elements could not have been so arranged in the real world).
To end my rambling, I'd say: you use the word 'accurate' without acknowledging that it is not an objective term. You seek to imbue some pictures with an authenticity, whilst denying it to others, but that is based on a subjective assessment. And terms like 'vision' don't really clarify anything. Sorry.