More Americans Becoming Serious Photographers

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by leslie_cheung, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. http://news.yahoo.com/more-americans-becoming-serious-photographers-193239546.html
    Are you a more serious photographer simply by shooting with a dslr?
     
  2. "There is a shift overall in the industry from casual to enthusiast," said Hilton. She also found a big jump in people going from enthusiasts to semi-professionals who earn money as part-time photographers."
    This trend is very apparent in the wedding photography forum.
     
  3. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    I don't even know what a photographer is anymore
     
  4. I have a big camera, and and even bigger lens--so I MUST be good! Ha!
    Actually, with the "I can fix it in 'photoshop' "mentality that is becoming so prevalent, I'd argue society is becoming less serious. Ditto the ever-present smartphone camera for truly casual shooting.
     
  5. Are you a more serious photographer simply by shooting with a dslr​
    Only in the same way that you are a more serious driver if you own a BMW 5 series or a more serious golfer if all your clubs are hand forged out of titanium (or whatever the most expensive clubs are made from).

    People are becoming (or trying to become) part time "photographers" because cameras are getting smart enough that the old "you push the button, we do the rest" slogan is becoming true. Being a photographer is equivalent to being a driver. Pretty much anybody can do it.
     
  6. I can't tell you (you all probably know) how annoying it is when someone says to me "You must get really get good shots with that." It gets really bad when I have one of my bigger lenses.
    Worst is when some clown who doesn't even know how to hold his dSLR wants to be my buddy - because we are both "real" photographers. Usually they haven't even figured out how to keep the flash from popping up or turn off the beeping. Sheesh.
     
  7. Chute of IDC said that people are also starting to buy a once-obscure type of lens (outside professional circles), called a "prime," that doesn't zoom at all.​
    I did not know that. They must be getting REALLY serious...a lens that won't zoom - can such a thing exist?
     
  8. Perhaps a better way to group all SLR owners is to call them "people who take photography seriously", which is not quite the same as calling them "serious photographers." That might be a bit vague for some people to understand the difference, but it makes sense to me. You can take your photography more seriously than the masses, yet not be a serious photographer. I have a prosumer level DSLR, 3 lenses, some filters, and just got a prosumer level monitor for editing and color management. Does that make me a serious photographer or still just a guy who takes his photography seriously?
     
  9. I can't tell you (you all probably know) how annoying it is when someone says to me "You must get really get good shots with that." It gets really bad when I have one of my bigger lenses.​
    Why would that bother you? Isn't getting the best images possible the reason why you have those things? What else would you possibly use them for? Picking up chicks?
     
  10. "I have a prosumer level DSLR"
    Is that like a near-luxury car?
     
  11. it

    it

    opposite is true IMO
     
  12. So photographers will pick the best prime lens for what they are shooting and use what Chute calls "sneaker zoom" — stepping forwards or backwards — to frame the photo. Working within the constraints of a prime lens forces photographers to think about how they compose a shot.​
    Whenever I read or hear "sneaker zoom" or "zooming with your feet", my stomach tightens into a knot. Using the phrase is a very clear indication that the one using it hasn't mastered photography at all; framing isn't the only reason people use a zoom or different focal lengths.
    Also - people using zooms are apparently not thinking about how to compose a shot? Seriously?
    "people who take photography seriously", which is not quite the same as calling them "serious photographers." That might be a bit vague for some people to understand the difference, but it makes sense to me.​
    To me too.
     
  13. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Picking up chicks?​

    I was wondering what it takes. Thanks for passing on the info.
     
  14. Whenever I read or hear "sneaker zoom" or "zooming with your feet", my stomach tightens into a knot. Using the phrase is a very clear indication that the one using it hasn't mastered photography at all framing isn't the only reason people use a zoom or different focal lengths.​
    Just because someone refers to the framing aspect in such a way doesn't mean they are unaware of other benefits of prime lenses. Indeed, the article itself cited one of the reasons primes are being used, namely, "higher image quality". Such quality, we know, includes sharpness, depth of field, speed to get a shot if needed ect. While the article does discuss physical positioning as a means to compensate for a lack of zooming, it notes composition improvement as an incidental benefit and clearly indicates performance (quality) as the general motivation for using a prime.
     
  15. You write funny stuff on the internet.
    You must have a really good keyboard.
     
  16. Thanks for passing on the info.​
    Not so fast. We're still waiting for Joel to enlighten us on that issue. Although his mention of reactions to his big lenses might be a clue.
     
  17. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Worst is when some clown who doesn't even know how to hold his dSLR wants to be my buddy​

    Why do you care how someone else holds their camera? I find it works better to think about what I'm doing rather than putting down other people. If they get the photos they want, where's the problem?
     
  18. >>> Ditto the ever-present smartphone camera for truly casual shooting.

    What's wrong with that?
     
  19. I have never considered myself a serious photographer.
     
  20. I find more people at least those approaching me in my area are probably made more interested in DSLR's by their noticing DSLR user's behavior, different body language, intense focus and slow and deliberate searching about and viewing through the viewfinder that P&S'ers and cell phone-togs don't seem to exhibit.
    Several times people (mostly those well educated) have come up to me asking why I'm not using a tripod or flash shooting in theirs or other's dimly and badly lit establishment or when shooting store fronts, churches and restaurants from the street at night. They ask how do I keep from getting a blurry, dark shot or messed up colors. Then they pause for a while and say..."Is it a skill you've developed?"
    And I say...Uuuh...Yeah? That and on body anti-shake and plenty of post processing on the computer.
     
  21. I see a lot of "casual" DSLR users while I'm out these days. A common conversation I've had involves the DSLR owner indicating they have a new baby and they bought the camera "to get really good photos". The majority I have observed are simply using the camera in its full auto mode like a point and shoot.
     
  22. I am not American, but i can say that i have become a much more serious photographer since i have stopped using my DSLR, I am back to using a fully manual camera.
    The issue for me is that so many people think they are photographers because they have a DSLR, truth is you have to understand photography first and foremost. To Many people relying on a tool that does it all for them, and as one person said overusing the Photo processing tools. the result is absolute garbage.
    Its garbage because garbage in = garbage out. Cameras without " true photographers" create garbage.
     
  23. "The majority I have observed are simply using the camera in its full auto mode like a point and shoot."​
    Nothing wrong with that. Some cameras beloved by "serious" photographers also feature excellent point and shoot auto modes that deliver results folks like. Per KR's advice, I really like Nikon's green Flexible Professional mode and use it a lot. Makes it easy to bias the apparatchik and shudder speed by twiddling the thumbscrew, and the explosion compensation via the front twirly thingie.
     
  24. Right, Lex...and remember to pack spray to eliminate those shudderbugs.
     
  25. The mark of "serious" photography, going back to the film days, has always been the single-lens reflex, or SLR, camera.​
    The mark of "serious" photography, is a seriously good photograph. Numerous combinations of skill, talent and gear can get you there, or not. I've seen very serious people with the latest and greatest gear consistently turn out crap images and I've likewise seen casual shooters with limited gear and knowledge create some fine images.
    That advancements in cameras make it harder to take bad photos is a good thing. If taking fewer bad photos inspires some people to learn how to use the tool then some of them will eventually take good photos, which is a good thing.
    Big fluffy dogs are much better chick magnets than fancy cameras or good photos.
     
  26. I wonder how many of them would even be around with out Photoshop software
     
  27. I'm glad my open question was more or less rhetorical as reading this thread, I now feel more like Eric~
    I don't even know what a photographer is anymore​
    Except I'd add serious...I don't even know what a serious photographer is anymore. Photographers are like drivers these days, as Bob pointed out.
     
  28. "Photographers are like drivers these days, as Bob pointed out."
    I'd say the label "Photographer" is more akin to "Guitarist" than Driver.
    Both are elective activities, both can be high art or purely an enjoyable hobby, and both can be as difficult or as simple as you're willing to go. Guitars and cameras are also similar in price spread, availability and relative popularity.
    Whether you enjoy screaming "vocalists" pounding clipped square waves out of a guitar with the amp turned to 11, or Andrés Segovia, and everything in between, there's something for everyone to participate in.
     
  29. Which "Hilton" said this, was it Paris ?.
     
  30. "Whether you enjoy screaming "vocalists" pounding clipped square waves "
    Pardon me.. "clipped square wave" is a little redundant... as he rose and stood up to explain. :)
     
  31. I am not American, but i can say that i have become a much more serious photographer since i have stopped using my DSLR, I am back to using a fully manual camera.​
    So why not use a DSLR manually? My twirly thumbscrew thingie stays parked pretty much on the "M." Works for me.
     
  32. The mark of "serious" photography, going back to the film days, has always been the single-lens reflex, or SLR, camera.​
    There was photography before the SLR - all of it "not serious", seriously?
    And what about those who use(d) view cameras - not serious at all or super-duper serious?
    My twirly thumbscrew thingie stays parked pretty much on the "M."​
    Ha, mine is on S(erious)! And since I am an A(mateur), I ever set it to P(rofessional).
     
  33. Are you a more serious photographer simply by shooting with a dslr?​
    My DSLR does not make me a "serious photographer"...
    It is because I take my photography seriously, and want to improve my skill at it that I chose to purchase a DSLR!
    The right tool for the job...
     
  34. Ha, mine is on S(erious)! And since I am an A(mateur), I ever set it to P(rofessional).​
    Heck, I'm a professional, and I find the (P)rofessional mode too scary to use! The camera gets all uppity and does all sorts of stuff I don't like, as though it thinks it is the photographer -- and that I'm just a semi-intelligent automated bipod device that transports it around and points it towards the subjects it wants to photograph! ;-)
    Oh, and Dieter, I think people who use view cameras are there just to amuse the serious photographers with SLRs and DSLRs. ;-)
     
  35. Serious? Not me! Is there a club for frivolous photographers?

    I've heard, too, that dogs serve as excellent chick magnets (for those who are interested). --Sally
     
  36. Photographers who use view cameras are too serious to be taken seriously.
     
  37. "dogs serve as excellent chick magnets"
    Note to self: start appreciate being called a dog. :)
     
  38. Many people I think are just impressed with big cameras and they simply assume that the user is a good photographer who knows what he/she is doing. I've been offered paying gigs on the spot while shooting my Mamiya RZ67. There were from total stranger who had no idea what I shoot or if I actually was any good or not. I also think standards for excellence have also declined considerably. We have a very busy mini lab where I work and I occasionally am called in to work there to fill in for another employee sick call. I see people getting 16x20 and larger prints made from what I can only presume must be point-n-shoots or older, low megapixel cameras. I would never accept the poor quality personally, but I know the limits of what my own cameras are capable of doing. One guy with his girlfriend had a printed a 11x14 print of the Eiffel Tower at night. Even at this size his picture was a horrible pixelated mess with camera shake added in for good measure. I cannot recall what camera he used but I explained to him the basics: Camera with larger sensor on a tripod manual foucus (his auto focus ended up focusing on some trees in the foreground) and so on. He was open to my suggestions and realized how he expected too much from his camera, but he's one exception. I see many poor photographs coming out of our printers and people seem to be OK with them.
     
  39. Millions of people buying DSLRs means camera companies with money can innovate and compete on price/features/etc.
    Elitists, on the other hand, do not innovate at all.
     
  40. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I see many poor photographs coming out of our printers and people seem to be OK with them.​
    "Poor" is only relative to how you see them. For many people, it's about the memory far more than the technical quality. It's why I have soft and faded prints from years ago of relatives hanging in my home. People like the mnemonic value. It's more important that people have feelings about photos than skip them because they aren't technically very good.
     
  41. Excellent point Jeff. I didn't think of that because I haven't had any coffee yet this morning :)
     
  42. To paraphrase Gordon, it's the PHOTO, stupid.
     
  43. Maybe it's the Zoombie Apocalypse, and they're all headed for PNet...
     
  44. Zoombie Apocalypse​
    No... No "zoombies" in that pack! They've discovered this new kind of lens called a "prime." Only we old geezers/geezettes still use those old zooms! :-D
     
  45. Oh, damn, that's right! Then, it must be the dreaded Primevil 'Pocalypse.... 8-( )
     
  46. Don't worry, William. It's easy to outrun them. They move very slowly, via sneaker zoom. :p
     
  47. They move very slowly, via sneaker zoom​
    Its "a very clear indication" that zombies haven't "mastered photography at all".
     
  48. I think that for many people just the willingness to shell out a lot of money for an DSLR shows that they want better quality photos than they are getting from their P&S or cell phone. That alone shows a degree of seriousness. They don't have to become dedicated hobbyists or pros to become "serious" photographers. They just have to show a real interest in taking better photos and part of that can be using a high quality camera like a DSLR.
     
  49. Mark, you're probably right about that, but I think it's a case of "be careful what you wish for". Most of them will quickly discover that there's a lot more effort and a steeper learning curve involved in getting the results they want with a DSLR, which means there will be a few more used DSLRs on the market further down the road.
     
  50. In my view, people with smart phones are serious phoners. Haven't used a cell cam yet but plan to when I get serious about phoning.
    I mostly use a pocket cam. Seriously.
     
  51. http://whattheduck.net/strip/625
     
  52. >>> I think that for many people just the willingness to shell out a lot of money for an DSLR shows that
    they want better quality photos than they are getting from their P&S or cell phone.

    I think that many people who upgrade from a lesser camera, shelling out money for a dSLR, believe they
    will become a better photographer as a result.


    That is is very debatable. There's a huge difference between making "photographs with better image quality" and making "better photographs."
     
  53. It's interesting that this type of discussion never occurs in the amateur/professional astronomy community.
    People do things for their own reasons and their quest for knowledge and betterment should always be encouraged regardless of experience, budget, age, approach, or rate of progress.
     
  54. I don't think there is anything wrong with the premise of the article, I just find the writing in the article to be very poor. There were several things that irritated me about how uninformed the writer of that article is. First the idea that SLR type cameras are the sign of a 'serious' photographer or that it has been the standard. I don't think the type of camera is important rather the photos produced and the effort put into the craft. Not only that but the author is completely ignoring rangefinder, TLR, and large format style cameras. All of those have been and currently are used to produce amazing work.
    Second the idea that primes are 'obscure'. I am not that old and I remember that the inclusion of zoom lenses as a kit lens is a relatively (to the age of photography) a recent development. Primes were the standard for a long time, everyone remembers the days of the nifty fifty.
    The article is interesting and the shift from casual to enthusiast is interesting. I do think as others have mentioned that there might be a correlation between people willing to spend more money on photography and an increased interest in getting good results and being more enthusiastic about photography. Though there is not a direct connection between better photograph = more enthusiastic. In our increasingly consumeristic and status driven society there are more and more people who buy a better camera just because.
    I would be interested to see if there is also an increased amount of people attending photography workshops or taking photography classes at schools. That would be a more accurate measure of weather or not more people are beginning to be more serious about their photography.
    The end result is that this article feels like it isn't written for an uninformed enthusiast as much as a 15 year old who hasn't done any research into photography and has no recollection of what photography was like before digital.
     
  55. Photography comes and goes as a popular hobby. I remember when the Canon AE-1 came out and everyone had to have one. Later the Canon Elph became very popular. Then digital P&S's became very popular. Now DSLR's are very popular. I see a lot of young parents photographing their children with DSLR's. They like them because they have virtually no shutter lag or next picture lag. These parents are tired of missing shots of their active children because of those lags. Even if they put their DSLR's on full auto they'll get fewer missed pictures.
    Living in NYC I see lots of tourists and many of them are using DSLR's. Does that make them more serious about photography? It probably makes many of them more serious. Some just put them on full auto and hope for the best, but I'm sure that many of them put in the time to learn how to use them and to learn more about photography in general. Most may never become as serious about photography as most of us are, but they don't have to.
     
  56. Lowly evolved but serious photography.
    00acNj-482497584.jpg
     
  57. I don't think there is anything wrong with the premise of the article, I just find the writing in the article to be very poor.​
    That sums it up. GiGo (Garbage in garbage out). You aren't going to be able to draw any insightful conclusions from something that says, "The mark of 'serious' photography, going back to the film days, has always been the single-lens reflex, or SLR, camera." By this metric Ansel Adams for most of his career was not "serious." Why people spend any time reading beyond a sentence like that let alone searching for meaning within it I will never know.
    It's interesting that this type of discussion never occurs in the amateur/professional astronomy community.​
    Astronomy is blessed to be a field that started off in modern times as a science. If you go to a local star party and start talking about the Hubble Telescope no one is going to get angry and call you a pixel peeper. No self respecting astronomer would get on the internet and berate people because they think a pro using an iphone 4s as their sole tool to do astrophotography is a bit hackish and gimmicky. But "artists" know better I guess. You can speak objectively about optical equipment with astronomers and no one gets offended like they are the sole shareholder of Apple. Try that with an "artist." Frankly I'm glad there are "pixel peepers" at NASA.
    I've attached the Hubble deep field picture. The "pixel peepers" at NASA spent billions on the Hubble telescope. Then they pointed it to an "empty" patch of deep space and took a picture with a ten day exposure. Great equipment. Wonderful technique. Terrible composition. What were they thinking? It's a shame they obsessed so much about equipment. If they were true "artists" and used an iphone there is no telling what they would have accomplished. Instead they got a picture where every point of light, save for one, represents a galaxy. I wish they had been more "artistic" and come up with an awe inspiring image that has "impact" and fundamentally changes our view of our universe. It's a shame. [/sarcasm]
    Per the photo.net Terms of Use, do not post photos that you did not take.
     
  58. the author is completely ignoring rangefinder, TLR, and large format style cameras. All of those have been and currently are used
    The short article discusses trends of what Americans are doing in general. These things are generally irrelevant and a waste of real estate to that issue.
    First the idea that SLR type cameras are the sign of a 'serious' photographer or that it has been the standard.​
    Most 'serious photographers' use SLR/DSLR cameras. It may not be indicative that someone using one is serious but it is arguably the workhorse standard of pros and advanced amateurs even though other cameras are used.
    Second the idea that primes are 'obscure'... ...Primes were the standard for a long time​
    If they were not standard, they were obscure to some extent. Again the article is not about us. Its about what people, in general, are doing.
    You aren't going to be able to draw any insightful conclusions from something that says, "The mark of 'serious' photography, going back to the film days, has always been the single-lens reflex, or SLR, camera." By this metric Ansel Adams for most of his career was not "serious."​
    For the most part, it was the SLR being used and recognizing that is not, itself, a claim that other photography was not serious.
    Yes the article is flawed but, you guys are reading way to far in to it.
     
  59. If they were not standard, they were obscure to some extent. Again the article is not about us. Its about what people, in general, are doing.​
    If you go back to your parents' house and rummage around in the closet you will find a prime lens. I grew up in the old days... 1980s and the only lenses my dad owned growing up were primes. He couldn't afford zooms. As someone else previously stated someone from the Justin Bieber generation wrote this article from a perspective of extreme ignorance and then made some absurd generalizations. It was a poorly researched and written article and it can be safely ignored.
     
  60. Old Days! 1839 was the Old Days. Anything written here can be safely ignored. What's a "Just and Beaver" sonny?
    When my dad retired, way back when, he bought an AE1 with a nice tele, prime, and other accessories He took a couple of rolls threw it in the closet and forgot about it. I recently gave all to a young photo student with a large tattoo on her back. Didn't know what TX meant. Never got a look at the whole tatoo.
     
  61. Old Days!​
    Calling the 1980s "the old days" was a bit of humor to show the absurdity of the article. Primes are not some archeological relic from the distant past. Anyone that says that identifies themselves to me as a Justin Bieber aficionado that can't see two inches beyond their nose... because there is an iphone blocking the view.
     
  62. Anything written here can be safely ignored.​
    I guess the question is why do you read what's posted here... and then respond? As with any gaggle of primates some will have a clue and some won't. I've gleaned a lot of information from the primates here that have a clue.
     
  63. If you go back to your parents' house and rummage around in the closet you will find a prime lens.​
    Acknowledging that rummaging though closets of parents homes may be needed to find any prime lenses isn't exactly conducive to to your argument that prime lenses are commonplace fixtures for most consumers.
     

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