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Author Topic: What makes a photographer, a photographer?  (Read 11134 times)

cheeseheadsaint

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What makes a photographer, a photographer?
« on: January 18, 2012, 03:05:12 PM »
Just outta curiosity.. I've always wondered.. ;D

Let's say you have a person who just set his camera for a shoot. He fiddled with the settings and walked off to blow his nose. Then his kid/cat/dog/friend pushes the shutter button.

The person later post processes all the pictures including the one he didn't "take".

Who is the photographer of that photo?

Just had a curious thought. heh heh
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What makes a photographer, a photographer?
« on: January 18, 2012, 03:05:12 PM »

Orion

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Re: What makes a photographer, a photographer?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 03:27:48 PM »
Well, in your example, it's all in the circumstances. The owner of the camera, which also happens ot be the person that input the settings, is "the photographer of that photo," . . .no matter if a bird comes along and happens to land on the shutter button.

If I were to lend the camera to a person and that individual input settings and then took the picture with my camera, THAT person would be the photographer.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: What makes a photographer, a photographer?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 03:38:36 PM »
Same story if you setup a wildlife trigger and a wild animal trips the shutter.  The deer or whatever is not the photographer!

cheeseheadsaint

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Re: What makes a photographer, a photographer?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 03:53:06 PM »
Well, in your example, it's all in the circumstances. The owner of the camera, which also happens ot be the person that input the settings, is "the photographer of that photo," . . .no matter if a bird comes along and happens to land on the shutter button.

If I were to lend the camera to a person and that individual input settings and then took the picture with my camera, THAT person would be the photographer.

And if, let's say I input the settings, give the camera to another person so they can shoot the photo, do I retain ownership of the photo or no?
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thepancakeman

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Re: What makes a photographer, a photographer?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 04:04:30 PM »
Hmmm...the legal ownership would definitely take this thread in a different direction than I was going to take it.

I have the same question as to what makes a photographer, and how is it different from cameraman or artist?

There are inevitably posts about "learn to use your camera" in various threads.  Does that make you a better photographer or simply a better cameraman? 

Although I don't have any actual first hand experience in the video world, it seems to be that the director controls the "vision", the director of photography controls the detail, the camerman holds the actual camera, and the editor puts it all together after the fact.  All of these elements are involved in "photography" but does one have to be good at all of them to be a photographer?  Or is it simply the quality of the final output? 

What if you suck with your camera but manage to take enough photos that some good ones turn out (and you can identify which ones they are.)  Or what if none of them are any good out of the camera, but you're a photoshop whiz and make something awesome after the fact?  What if you just happen to be in the right place at the right time and can recognize that it's a photo-worthy moment and by luck capture it with a camera?

cheeseheadsaint

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Re: What makes a photographer, a photographer?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2012, 04:12:06 PM »
Hmmm...the legal ownership would definitely take this thread in a different direction than I was going to take it.

I'm curious as to what you were going to say. ;D
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photophreek

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Re: What makes a photographer, a photographer?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2012, 04:15:37 PM »
Settings and the equipment do not make you a photographer.  When there was no digital photography with L lenses and the ID XXX, great photographs were taken.  It's the ability to see, invision the image, how the image is lit and then use the tools (cameras, lenses, equipment) to translate that image you have in your mind into a photograph.  You have to be very knowledgeable about how your equipment works and the lenses you have because it is that knowledge will allow you to select the right lens, the camera and the right light to capture that image that you see in your mind.  In my opinion, that makes a photographer, a photographer.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 04:19:51 PM by photophreek »

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Re: What makes a photographer, a photographer?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2012, 04:15:37 PM »

K-amps

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Re: What makes a photographer, a photographer?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2012, 04:19:38 PM »
Just outta curiosity.. I've always wondered.. ;D

Let's say you have a person who just set his camera for a shoot. He fiddled with the settings and walked off to blow his nose. Then his kid/cat/dog/friend pushes the shutter button.

The person later post processes all the pictures including the one he didn't "take".

Who is the photographer of that photo?

Just had a curious thought. heh heh

If you set the Camera up for shoot... it does not matter who pulled the trigger. YOU are the photographer.

It's kind of like you set up Dominos and then ask a random dignitary to kick off the first tile... who owned the set up?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 05:41:56 PM by K-amps »
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thepancakeman

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Re: What makes a photographer, a photographer?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2012, 04:21:31 PM »
Settings and the equipment do not make you a photographer.  When there was no digital photography with L lenses and the ID XXX, great photographs were taken.  It's the ability to see, invision the image, how the image is lit and then use the tools (cameras, lenses, equipment) to translate that image you have in your mind into a photograph.  You have to be very knowledgeable about how your equipment works and the lenses you have because it is that knowledge will allow you to select the right lens, the camera and the right light to capture that image that you see in your mind.  In my opinion, that makes a photographer, a photographer.

So...photojournalists are not photographers?

bigblue1ca

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Re: What makes a photographer, a photographer?
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2012, 04:35:55 PM »
Same story if you setup a wildlife trigger and a wild animal trips the shutter.  The deer or whatever is not the photographer!

http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photo-of-the-day/tiger-sumatra-winter/

And here I thought the tiger in this picture was going to be rich!  ;) 

unfocused

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Re: What makes a photographer, a photographer?
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2012, 05:49:28 PM »
I'm unclear about what is being asked here.

If I set up my camera and then ask someone else to take the shot, I am not going to claim I took the picture.

If I set up my camera and then ask someone else to take the shot, I do believe I own the picture. (owner but not photographer)

Even though I own the picture, if the picture had some financial value, I would be hesitant to cash in on that value without sharing it with the person who took the picture, as they could very well have a legal right to a share of the profits. People sue one another all the time to get a piece of anything they were remotely connected with and it's almost always cheaper to work that out beforehand, rather than in court.

For me, personally, pictures triggered by infrared or other automatic remote triggers are a bit more grey. I guess it would depend on how much involvement I had in setting up the shot and how much was just chance. I'd certainly own the picture in any event, but how much credit I would take for it would depend on the circumstances.

No clear legal answers because each circumstance would have to be litigated. Which is something I can usually avoid since my pictures have more personal value than financial value.

If you really want to spur some controversy, try getting your head wrapped around these "appropriation artists"

Sherie Levine  http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1995.266.2

Richard Prince http://www.richardprince.com/photographs/cowboys/
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Zdog

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Re: What makes a photographer, a photographer?
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2012, 06:25:02 PM »
Amateurs worry about gear, pros worry about sales, photographers worry about light.     ;D

Axilrod

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Re: What makes a photographer, a photographer?
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2012, 07:02:58 PM »
I'm not sure what you're asking either, but randomly/accidentally hitting a button without any thought on why you're doing it is definitely NOT it.   ;D

Are you high?
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Re: What makes a photographer, a photographer?
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2012, 07:02:58 PM »

Axilrod

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Re: What makes a photographer, a photographer?
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2012, 07:07:11 PM »
Amateurs worry about gear, pros worry about sales, photographers worry about light.     ;D

I like that, but what do you mean by worry about gear?  Like someone worried that they are lacking gear or worried about getting new gear?  Or just putting too much emphasis on gear in the general?  I know a guy that makes stupid amounts of money off stock and he loves his toys.  But he'll admit that his favorite pics were his 5DII/24-70 even though he has tons of other lenses and a that 40mp Hasselblad cam.  That's a pro. 
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dppaskewitz

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Re: What makes a photographer, a photographer?
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2012, 07:48:45 PM »
Amateurs worry about gear, pros worry about sales, photographers worry about light.     ;D

I like that, but what do you mean by worry about gear?  Like someone worried that they are lacking gear or worried about getting new gear?  Or just putting too much emphasis on gear in the general?  I know a guy that makes stupid amounts of money off stock and he loves his toys.  But he'll admit that his favorite pics were his 5DII/24-70 even though he has tons of other lenses and a that 40mp Hasselblad cam.  That's a pro.

I think Zdog is dead on.  I confess:  I worry about gear.  Do I have the right gear?  Can I afford better gear?  Is my lens as good as another lens I might have bought?  What gear should I bring?  How do I carry it?  Etc.  And, yes, I am an amateur.  I will never be a professional.  I already have a different profession.  If I had it (life) to do over again, would I move in a different (perhaps photographic) direction.  Different, probably.  Photographic, who knows?

But, can I become a photographer?  Perhaps.  Someday.  I've been working on it, off and on, for a long time now.  That's why I follow this forum.  I started with a gear issue (when will that 60D come out?).  Now, I follow and try to learn what I can.

Like the guy Axilrod knows, those of my photos that I like aren't dependent upon the gear I used.  Could they have been better technically with better gear?  Sure.  Will anyone else like them?  Who knows?  I'm going to go worry about light for a while and see if it helps. 
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Re: What makes a photographer, a photographer?
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2012, 07:48:45 PM »