Can you really become a Great Photographer?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by cguaimare, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. I have read a lot of book. I have learned a lot of techniques, tips, ideas. I have seen hundreds of pictures and I have tried to understand why they are good and why I liked them. But I feel that I am still a beginner. And not a good beginner but a bad one. I still see the top pictures, the top portfolios and I can not understand how they are SO GOOD! The macros are incredible sharp, the landscapes just marvelous the portraits perfect. Then I see my pictures and well they just look so so.
    It makes me wonder... perhaps those people were born that way and we lesser mortals can only dream about becoming as good as them. Any ideas? Do you agree?
     
  2. I think that as photographers we are constantly learning and improving. I look back at my own photos a year ago and cringe. It was before I learned some new techniques had a really good lens, good equipment and really knew what I was even doing. I think that as long as we keep our minds open to new ideas and to learning new things we have nowhere to go but up. :)
     
  3. I look at work I did last WEEK and cringe. Nowhere but up is right.
     
  4. Carlos, I think you've asked a really profound question. I do think there is a lot to be said for innate talent/creativity that no amount of learning can accomplish. That said, such talent certainly needs to grow with a lot of learning accompanying it.
    I don't know that you'll get terribly far trying to emulate the top PN photos. I think instead of comparing yourself to others, you might consider developing your own vision and passion. I think that's usually what separates the greats from the rest. They appreciate what others do, they learn from others, they are influenced by others, but they pay attention to their own voice and desires. Usually, they NEED to photograph. It's not a matter of wanting to be great. It's a matter of having to get something off their chest. If you've got something you really need to get off your chest, and you choose photography as your outlet, you may just find the talent inside necessary to do it.
     
  5. I think this chart is pretty accurate. I feel that my photography progress has plateaued over the last year until I compare photos from 12 months ago, 24 months ago, etc.
    I've also realized a lot of what I need to work on is post processing and studio lighting for the type of shots I want to take.
     
  6. Photography is a skill you can improve on by going out and thinking what might make a good or great image.
    If you were to buy a piano, it is unlikely you would become very good in a very short time -- unless you happened to be a gifted person in the musical arts.
    Practice your photography, and continue to learn.
     
  7. It depends on what one means by "Great". If you mean it in the sense of world-class greatness, it's possible. I mean, it's possible you could win the Lotto, too.
    I think there are intangibles, some genetic, others by chance or magic, that live under the large umbrella we call 'talent'. Those are like a 'given', and subject to the times and circumstances where they land, but whatever we have, we can develop and hone it to maximize it. That has a huge potential, and is left up to us to make the most of it.That takes a lot of work, all of it with zero guarantee of greatness.
    There is a universe of photography. Many kinds, and no one is great at all of them. You can be a great illustrator, documentarian, diarist, artist, family photographer/historian, and everything in between. Don't underestimate nor overestimate yourself, just go about doing the work as best you can.The rest will take care of itself.
    [Can you become a great basketball player? Surgeon? Architect? Writer? Driver? ]
     
  8. For some real insight into this topic, read the book:
    Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking,

    by Bayles and Orland.
     
  9. What makes photos "great"? Is it having other photographers tell you so? Is it having your images hanging in a gallery or winning awards? Is it making a paycheck with your camera?
    Greatness for me is unexpectedly seeing a photo I took hanging in a place of honor at a friends house. Sure, seeing my photos on the news stand in national magazines was neat (though cashing the checks and paying rent was probably neater). But nothing in photography gives me the same thrill as knowing that an image I took ended up being important enough to someone I care about that they, of their own accord, decided to hang it in their house or put it on the mantle.
    And by those standards, I am a great photographer. My images bring joy to some of the most important people in the world to me, my friends and family.
     
  10. Josh said it well.
    A lot of celebrated photographers aren't that good. I've seen better stuff from amateurs on PN. Strange world but there you go.
    Keep practicing! Eventually you'll have your 'eureka' moment. Just keep looking at other people's photos - something will sink in eventually while you're out taking your own.
     
  11. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    Two things.
    First do you mean that you want to become a great photographer in your own eyes? Or do you want to be considered a great photographer by others? The two are different.
    Second, what you consider great is a moving target. The better you get the more stringent becomes the qualification for greatness, as the what you see and how you see things will change.
    Hopefully you will ask this question for ever and will perennially fail to become satisfied. For there is more greatness born of a strong desire to improve than there ever is from trying to capitalise upon complacency.
     
  12. Great responses.

    What are your motives? How do you see, do you have a vision? What drives you internally?

    If you don't know what you're looking for or where to find it, it is hard to create any kind of art. Direction is critical.

    Do you admire any photographs greatly? Try to reproduce them in effect. That is a great way to begin building your
    own eye. Master musicians spend years playing and learning to play their favourite pieces.

    I believe we ALL have the ability to create inside of us. We just need to find the triggers and exploit our passions with
    a bit of direction.
     
  13. I think Josh addressed the "greatness" question quite elegantly. To that I'll add this. Talent, while I agree exists, is highly over rated. Far more important on the path to good photography is what I call the Five P's - Passion, Preparation, Practice, Patience and Persistence.
     
  14. Greatness is seldom the result of a single grand leap and most often the accumulative result of a multitude of small steps forward. I would suggest setting a less grandiouse goal than " greatness" and when you have achieve one goal move on to another. In this way if greatness does come it will sneak up on you without your having noticed its arrival.
    You say you look at the work of PN's top photographers and their macros are sharper than yours. This is not the result of divine intervention or some innate talent. There are no doubt issues with technique and gear and software applications which differentiate their work and yours. If you want to know how someone has achieved a certain result one of he benefits of PN is the ability to directly ask the photographer. My experience here has been that most people ore forthcoming and helpful in this regard.
    Given your description of what you have been doing to improve your photography, reading, study the work of other etc. you seem to be on the road. Perhaps you are just being a bit impatient. I would also suggest that you spend as much time as possible with the camera in your hands as studying books is fine but the application of the study is the only way to get better photographs.
     
  15. I teach photography, and photographers.
    I was working with a night class and set a weekly photo task. The students brought their images in on laptops for group review the following week.
    One inexperienced middle-aged woman flicked through her selection on the laptop as she tried to find the image she thought was best, and as she did so I noticed a 'special' looking image and asked her to go back so I could see it.
    It was wonderful. She'd used a simple cheap digital point'n'shoot in her local village hall in a remote glen in the highlands, whilst supervising a children's play group. The camera had been placed on a fireplace on one side of the hall and a slow shutter speed image captured the other side of the hall, tall windows, stag heads on the wall between the windows with pictures of the laird of the glen underneath, and in the foreground all ghostly and wispy were a group of children playing. As they were moving they had only faintly registered on the image but they were there, obvious but ethereal.
    What this images captured was a timeless view of childhood in a rural village hall, the wispy children representative of all the children who'd played there in the past and who would play there in the future. In my opinion it is a wonderful documentary image that any magnum ace would have been proud to capture.
    When all this was pointed out by me, the class agreed, and the very bemused but embarrassed photographer admitted that she was intending to delete the image because it wasn't sharp!
    It was 'only' a medium size and quality jpg but I took it with me and produced a stunning archival b&w print from it which I gave to the photographer at the next class. She was nearly in tears. Her classmates were astonished at the quality of print that this simple cheap ordinary camera had produced.
    The point of all of this? As has already been pointed out by others, greatness is a relative term and sometimes it can be easily missed. Delete at your peril!
     
  16. jtk

    jtk

    fwiw My own difficult and answerable questions include: "Why make this photograph...what do I want?" "How can help my human subjects be more expressive?" "How can I be more aware of light when I'm focused on something else?" Those are real questions. If I wanted to be better technically, that would be easy. I can't imagine wanting fame.
     
  17. If you want fame and fortune there are probably easier ways to get it. If you enjoy photography just keep making photographs and learning, and you will keep getting better.
     
  18. Carlos: reading your post carefully, it seems you're aware of differences in technique that are nagging at you (sharpness in macro images, for example). That sort of thing absolutely can be taken on board and incrementally improved by anybody. If you can see that your own image isn't as sharp, or well lit, or toned as well as you'd like, then you know you have work to do on specific things. Those things don't bother people who don't notice them - and the fact that you do notice them means that you're already thinking about an aspect of your photography that the vast majority of people never do. Over time, you can pick away at the little (and sometimes big, fundamental) stuff that is distracting you in that regard. But you have to make a serious effort on each little thing (a couple of months, working on macro focus technique, with hundreds or even thousands of images dedicated to that one issue ... or an entire month of weekends spent only learning to use a single reflector to influence the way that a face looks in window light).

    But those craft/technique issues are certainly secondary to having something to say. Photography is communication. When you are working on subject matter that's important to you, your motivation is significantly different than when you're just using the camera for the sake of using the camera. The irony is that when you start photographing something that - as a subject - is truly compelling to you (and perhaps to the audience with whom you're sharing the results), you'll find that some of the technique issues are actually secondary. If you care about the subject, you might find yourself very well pleased indeed with a technically "imperfect" photograph.

    Perfection in technique can certainly overlap with inspired communication (and that can be a truly sublime combination!), but I'll take the inspired/inspiring photograph over the painstakingly executed one almost every time. Both of those things together can certainly play as "great" for some audiences, but that's entirely subjective.

    Regardless, the fact that you're even thinking about whether and why you find a given photograph (yours, or someone else's) to be effective ... you're already on the right track. It's a lifetime of advancing, stagnating, and advancing again.
     
  19. I can not understand how they are SO GOOD! The macros are incredible sharp, the landscapes just marvelous the portraits perfect.​
    It seems to me that part of the road to becoming a great photographer (don't claim to have got there myself, but have looked into the subject quite a bit!), is about realising that great photography isn't about incredibly sharp macros, marvelous landscapes, and perfect portraits. It's possible to learn to do these things by learning to do a few tricks and putting some effort in. It's amazing craft, but it's a bit like very skilled knitting - most people can learn to do it if they want to.
    Fred said it best:
    I think instead of comparing yourself to others, you might consider developing your own vision and passion.​
    By all means, learn the tricks - produce punchy, sharp images that get praise and points among clubs of photographers. That means you're a competent photographer. And then take the next step, which is about learning that really great photography isn't about getting top-rated on PN, it's about seeing the world in your own way, developing your own style, having your own signature, doing something that others haven't done before. You have to do things that you know aren't going to get adulation, just because they are the right thing to do. Then you just might be on the road to great photography.
    So I think first you have to understand the popular game of camera club photography, street photography, pretty landscapes etc., see the numerous accepted styles that most people are striving towards, then try to step outside it and move on from it into your own world and do your own thing. Which is much, much harder than it sounds.
     
  20. But those craft/technique issues are certainly secondary to having something to say.​
    Oh, and while I was typing, Matt also posted something I agree 110% with, sort of what I was struggling to try to say.
     
  21. SCL

    SCL

    There's a world of difference between "skilled" and "great", and it often gets blurred until the passage of time sorts things out. True mastery of a craft, and repetitive production of masterful and insightful images regardless of the subject or circumstances is the my measure of photographic "great", perhaps even genius. Alas, most of us won't reach that pinnacle...but we may well achieve very good skills. Think of your own circumstances as a physician...you may accomplish meaningful, talented results again and again....but does that put you in the "great" category....with those who are Nobel laureates in medicine? Probably not, but that doesn't diminish what you have achieved, and presumably you have continued to hone your skills, just as serious photographers do. Practice, practice, practice gets most people to new levels of achievement....in photography as in other areas of life. Don't worry that your photographic skills don't yet match somebody else's...just keep working at it, read, absorb, experiment, analyze results and try again and again. Most of us can become "skilled" at photography...only a select few "great".
     
  22. Hi Carlos:
    I'm right there with you.
    I joined photo.net just recently to be able to get the critiques and insight that can help me grow as a photographer. I'm a guy who trys to fix things afterwards and needs to learn how to do it right in the camera. Fixing photos afterwards is not good, unless you work for Adobe.
    Do you look at your photos and judge them immediately after shooting? Writers can't proof-read immediately after writing something because the brain needs to shift from writer to reader mode. I wonder if the same is true in photography? As John MacPherson did with his student's photo, I sometimes need to print a photo to appreciate it.
    I looked at your portfolio and was impressed. You must be Canadian to be so self deprecating, eh?
    I like the chart that William T. linked to. I've seen it before. I particularly like the HDR hole. To me, HDR is to photography what black velvet was to painting. Yes, it has its place, but I'm glad that we aren't bombarded with HDR Elvises. Old trucks, cars and buildings in HDR are enough! Yet, lots of people liked and bought black velvet paintings of Elvis. Go figure.
    This feeble attempt at humour leads to this last point. If a photographer does not enjoy what they are doing, why do it? Do you need to be a great photographer to enjoy photography and appreciate what you have done?
     
  23. First do you mean that you want to become a great photographer in your own eyes? Or do you want to be considered a great photographer by others? The two are different.​
    Fully agree!
    Carlos, I like the children section of your portfolio, small as it is.. and many of your single photos.
    I've found photography is one of the few fields where people get better with age, maybe it has to do with wisdom? If you want your image to be great to someone else, you will have to communicate in the other person's language, have to understand his/her limitations... Some people do this naturally, others need to learn. From my observations, the great masters often seem to be ones who have been forced to learn (and therefore probably ended up knowing a great deal more than those to whom it comes naturally). Some books that may help:
    Within the frame -- David duChemin
    The spoken image -- Clive Scott
    On looking at photographs -- Bill Jay
    Many books by Andreas Feininger
    For me, studying philosophy and psychology helped more than actually taking pictures to define my communicational abilities. Look at the picture you've taken and feel what message is the strongest. Build up on it by hacking away all distractions. Even if you don't feel what you wanted to say, it'll help define your feelings so you wont get distracted while shooting or editing. One image will not show the world, and will only increase ambiguity for the viewer if you try to make it so. But, one image can show a minuscule part of it, with everything in the image supporting that message. Simplicity is balanced out by the idea that more support for the message makes the message stronger.
    All that of course only makes for a great image. To be considered great by others, it has also to be physically seen by others' eyes. There are Van Goghs and there are Leonardos... compromises... compromises...
     
  24. What's wrong with sucking at it, as long as your having fun. Does everyone have to be great?
     
  25. Excellent response from Josh.
    What makes me happy in my photography? The process. Creating a vision or scene in my mind and being able to nail it and translate it to paper (or project, or slide show, or wall hanging, or whatever). I am also just tickled pink that my grandmother wants me to lead a project for her wall art in her new patio home. When my aunt saw the photos (she didn't know they were mine) she had wonderful comments. Only then did she find out I took them. That makes it rewarding for me. If anyone came down the line and wanted to pay me or hang anything in a gallery, that would be icing on the cake, but it's not my final goal or destination. I just love the hobby and creative process.
    I will brag a bit and say that I have somewhat of a natural eye for good composition. Before I even started photography, I would spot something and comment on how much of a beautiful photograph it would be. So, I think I always did have an eye for creativity. Certainly, to be sure, I was able to add to that through books and classes. Even learning more on how to take some of my natural love for creativity and extend and expand it.
    I was severely lacking in the skill of learning my camera, though. In my first days, weeks, months, and years of photography I always knew what I wanted to make. It was hit or miss and I would be excited when I 'hit'. In the early days, getting it right was usually not my skill, but a mistake or happy coincidence. It took me a long time to learn how to make an effort and MAKE the photos I wanted.
    As someone said, I can look back and see my work progressing. What looked great back then, looks awful to me now. What looks great to me now will probably look awful a year from now. It's always marching forward - which I am greatful for and enjoy. When it comes to the bottom line, however, my skill was only improved by practice, practice, practice. Some reading, some classes, some equipment, but just getting out in the field and learning from mistakes and fiddling with the buttons.

    It takes time. But I do love the process!
     
  26. THANKS EVERYONE. You are very kind John and Indraneel. I will take a look to those books. And yes I think I want to become skilled and not great nor famous. I have asked some questions to photographers in photonet that I admire. Thanks a lot again to you all!
     
  27. Remember what Henri Cartier-Bresson said - your first ten thousand photographs are your worst.
     
  28. I'm 50K and counting and they're still bad as hell.... ...err..umm... HCB was a film guy, wasn't he?
     
  29. I really admire some to the great landscape images I've seen on Photo.net and other places. I'll never be able to achieve those kinds of shots, but it has nothing to do with lack of talent or equipment. It has everything to do with the fact that I don't care enought about this type of photography to do what's necessary to get these types of results - Im not prepared to get up in the middle of night and hike out to these scenic areas so I'll be ready for just the right light and then do it over and over again until the conditions are absolutely perfect. I'm pretty lazy compared to the photographic greats. Sure, the greats have got skills and talents, but I think what really separates them is a level of determination and desire that most of us don't have. Really, pretty much the same as what separates the great from the merely good in most walks of life.
     
  30. Indraneel, you got a belly laugh out of me with your last comment. Haven't had one of them for a while. Thanx.
    I looked at your work. You're self deprecating too. Are you Canadian, eh?
     
  31. HCB was wrong. My first 10,000 were my best. I was free and young and passionate, and not caught up in what other
    people thought.
    Bruce - I couldn't agree more. I don't have the courage for street photography, I am far too lazy to hop on my bike and
    travel 300km just to see a sunrise and even with the photography I do, which I used to be very good at, nowadays the
    idea of walking up to strangers and asking them to sit for me is for some reason a negative experience, and the
    people I know are so conservative these days that they simply don't want to be phtographed.

    It takes extreme perserverance (spelling sorry?) to make a real, lasting career in photography. Especially nowadays.
    Much of my benign photography would be met with an evil eye these days not because it is evil, but because every
    day that goes by sees photography as being more and more evil because the world has changed, gotten very uptight,
    and photographers themselves have helped to cause that by way of being less than noble. Paparazzi, Hollywood starlets and creeps on
    cellphones are at the top of that list. It makes doing art very hard unless you're willing to hire an aspiring model or
    actor, which I'm not willing to do because there is no poetry in that most of the time.
     
  32. "It makes doing art very hard unless you're willing to hire an aspiring model or actor"
    A lot of the subjects of my photos have come from an occasional craigslist ad I post. Just regular folks. Individual aspirations.
     
  33. Thanks John...
    Are you Canadian, eh?​
    No, just Indian...
     
  34. JUST Indian? There's that self deprecation again. By the way, we have the Indian equivalent of the Oscars happening in Canada this year. I could not be more proud. Indian cinema is fantastic!
     
  35. Hi Indraneel You are just an Indian and I am just a Venezuelan :) ... but your pictures are really good. Wow photonet and the people that comes here are really the best!
     
  36. Can you really become a Great Photographer?
    Sure you can.
    And there are many interpretations and levels of what is great. Ultimately, you have to decide when you are there, when you are pleased with your shots.
    I do like Josh's comment about his Photo being displayed on the wall of someone who means something to him. It doesn't get better than that. The best compliment of your closest peers.
    What is a Great Photographer, brings to mind the conversation in a Peanuts Cartoon between Schroeder and Lucy about Beethoven being a Great Composer. And Lucy says how can you say someone is great who hasn't had his picture on a Bubble Gum Card. It is open to interpretation and opinion.
    Your Photo does not have to be Photo of the Week, or make the cover of a big magazine, it just has to be something you look at and really like. It does not have to be the sharpest most vivid shot taken with a $5000 camera and $2500 lens and be 28 mega pixels. It could be from a used $20 camera and be 1 mega pixel and be an amazing shot.
    Look at the shots you like, the stuff that makes you think it is a great photo. Learn what it takes to accomplish this type of shot. Shoot, shoot, shoot....always look for something new or a new way of looking at something old, observe the details, angles perspectives, composition...try taking at least one photo a day in your own 365 project. Try to take one interesting shot a day. It does not have to be of an Eagle pulling a fish from the lake or a glamorous super model. It could be of a yellow or red Lego piece sitting on a wood table and the sun shining in the window, but study the shot, try to make it the best Lego on a wood table in the sun shot you can. Experiment with depth of field. lighting, exposure, color and B&W. You will find after 365 days you will have learned a lot from the experience. Just keep shooting.
     
  37. I'm a better photographer
    Than I used to be,
    And that's good enough for me!
    :)
     
  38. For me "great" means infamy, like the masters Bresson, Karsh and the like. I don't think even 'celebrity' photographers like Dave Hill and Lachapelle are great, they are celebrities. I get nods from my peers and internet sites lie flickr and facebook where people take a look and 'like' a photo so that pleases me and makes me think its not all crap, but to be honest I mostly hate every picture I take. Even if I think it was worth shooting it at the time, a few days or month later.I'll tell myself, it sucks. :) The hardest critique is and should be yourself. And when it gets too intense, weird or makes you a little nuts, its time to put the camera down for a bit. Sites like pn are good to help your sense of aesthetics and the forums are good places to ask questions and learn, but the popularity factor and seriously ineffective ratings system..leave room for improvement. Sometimes I look at the categories and see the same names over and over again..great shot! How many times do your eally need to hear that? As for greatness..I leave it to the masters and just enjoy a pleasurable pastime and if one of my buddies says that's a nice shot, it gives me encouragement to keep on spending big bucks on digital equipment in the pursuit of a 'great' shot or one that I WILL think is great anyway. :)
     
  39. I, too, believe that you can become a greater photographer - the mechanical stuff can be improved, the technical pieces can be honed to a razor edge, the "rules" can be learned and augmented. However, I believe that photography is an art-form - for me, you need "the eye" to be even an excellent photographer (let alone "GREAT".)
     
  40. Some photographers are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.
     
  41. Costa Manos (Magnum Photos):
    'Photography has become so easy, I mean everyone can take an automatic camera and take pictures. Making great pictures is almost impossible, it's very, very difficult, it takes a lot of work, a lot of time, a lot of patience. And so I think photography, can be, you know, a fool's paradise.'
    Which sounds harsh, but I'm sure he includes himself as someone who finds it 'almost impossible'. Taking a perfectly exposed, critically sharp, well composed shot (according to the standard rules) may be technically challenging, but it's something most experienced photographers with decent equipment can manage at least some of the time. A 'great' photograph may (or may not) be all of these things, but of course it's much more than this, and much less common. Whether the ability to make one is 'natural talent' or just the application of Manos's 'a lot of work, a lot of time, a lot of patience' is open to debate (perhaps talent is the ability to do the work, take the time, and have the patience).
     
  42. Ben Myerson rocks! +1
    Thanks John and Carlos, I'm not self deprecating, merely deprecating. For me... the sky is never blue enough, the grass never green, too little contrast in the world, except where I want subtle tones and pastel tints... Nowadays, I look at a picture from my camera and am sad at the sorry state of the world and it's creator. Then I begin to improve upon it the way I feel the world should be..... It never works out, hence all the deprecation... but then, I'm not a happy man.. but I'm getting there... two steps forward, one step back.. two steps forw....
     
  43. Ben Myerson rocks! +2
    Destiny does not always call you to greatness at a time of your choosing or convenience. :) But when it calls be ready.
    Ever been some place and seen something like a landscape that was perfect, but you didn't have your camera. You got your camera and went back but it was not perfect any more, the light was different, the sky was different, the festival was over, that fat lady had sung and gone home and you were there photographing the empty stage. Sometimes, it is just like that.
    Some great photos are a matter of being there at the right time to catch the perfect image, knowing how to use your camera and being prepared. Sometimes it's planning, sometimes it's luck.
    One of my favorite photos entailed getting up at 4:30 am to be out on a cold lake at sunrise to catch a fisherman out on the lake in his boat while there was a special light. It didn't take the most expensive camera or lens. I shot it with a Digital Rebel XT. It is one of my favorite photos.
    I could have slept in till 8am and been on the lake at 8:45am and seen the same fisherman and boat but I never would have captured that magical light.
    Keep your camera with you to catch the lucky shot, plan to be some place when the magic is happening, and in some cases you can create your own magic with proper lighting and skill.
     
  44. Thanks for your kind words Indraneel and Mark, there's are two old sayings in photography Mark that your post reminds me of "good photographers are early risers" and " the best camera is the one you have with you"
     
  45. We live and learn, I suppose. As long as we get better, it doesn't really matter at what pace we progress. I'm sure talent is very important when we are talking about beeing truly good (not celebrated, mind), but what is more important, I think, is drive. Wanting to go that extra millimeter to get a better photograph is, I think, really important.
     
  46. I believe you can learn and implement technical prowess. Esthetic however, is the distillation of a lifetime of perceptions rendered through elements discovered, assembled or created.
     
  47. Don't know how anyone would go about becoming a great photographer, but I can say with certainty every photographer and P&S'er posting their images online is now seen worldwide and forever with just an image search and a click or finger tap away.
    THAT'S what's great!...and the fact this very question can now be asked and answered on the same level of scale which probably wasn't even considered possible 20 years ago.
    But Shawn raised a good "realistic" point about this level of global awareness toward modern photography affecting the freedom to create art with the camera.
    For instance I like to shoot interesting looking scenes I spot around my small town most folks overlook. Stopped by a taxidermy shop I always pass by every month to get permission to take some pictures. I've never been or seen the inside of one of these places before. It was operated out of an odd but interesting looking rustic building painted in a hippy/bohemian/western style motif like some old barber or tattoo parlors I've seen.
    To my surprise the owner didn't want me taking pictures especially of the interiors because of concerns over his client's privacy of not having pictures of their stuffed trophies winding up on the internet. Had a hard time understanding the reasoning behind this since no one's name would be associated with the images.
    I think the internet is spooking way too many people unnecessarily. I mean it's just a picture. It's not like I'm going to become some "Great Photographer" from those shots.
     
  48. Who or what decides who is great ?
     
  49. Who or what decides who is great ?
    History. Work as hard as you like, feel what you feel, share what you share. Unless you touch others it goes nowhere. You might find a better way to push it but the best sells itself. Sometimes this means 'going viral' - touching many and other times it means strongly affecting one. Consistency may turn the fluke into a series, chance may play its part but the stuff that stops you in your tracks is a good place to start. For all the technology, a good dose of humanity may be a key component. Greats are of their time, before or after but they are never the same as the crowd - simple derivatives need not apply.
     
  50. Who or what decides who is great ?​
    Really good and well connected publicists, agents and investors?
     

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