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Author Topic: A good photographer is BORN....not made  (Read 14072 times)

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« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2008, 17:34 »
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LOL a.k.a.-tom

You prove my point exactly.

You are starting to sound like Rinder ;) 
   


You know,  I take THAT  as a REAL compliment!!!   Although, I don't know that Rinder would  like to hear that comparison... ha ha ha ha ha ha.... 8)=tom


« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2008, 17:47 »
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I believe that photographers can have an "artist" eye, but stock photography is different.

It is, in mho, knowing what "media" needs to "market" goods, services,etc. - that makes a good stock photographer. Imagination too. And most important - the technical side of the camera. You can have all the "eye" you want, but unless you understand your instrument and light, your stymied.

On the other hand, I come from a family of artists, (published and commercial)
Father - artist,
Mother - no so,
daughter one - artist,
daughter two - no so,
daughter three (me) - artist. 

I am talking about the ability to paint, draw, the fine art stuff. The daughter that is not an artist visually takes after the mothers side of the family, where as the two daughter that are artists look like the father side. Coincidence?  I say genes.

Then again...
My husband - musician,
Mother (me) good ear, can't play an instrument to save my life.
Our Son... picked up guitar,(acoustic & electric) piano,trumpet,sax,flute, etc etc, at the age of 14, (self taught) no lessons, no interest before, never picked up an instrument prior, is 16 now and is writing his own lyrics and music, doing solos in front of large audiences, utilizing tracks of the many instruments he plays and making CDs. His talent is natural.

Too much coincidence here - I say genetics. My son was exposed to (and enjoyed) art way more than music.

Regards
Penny


RacePhoto

« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2008, 20:29 »
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you guys are getting long winded

I resemble that remark.  :)

I wouldn't say I'm good at stock. I don't think my "art" photos are that artistic. Some days I don't feel creative at all. Im actually more of a sports and events photographer.

But if you stand me outside, I can find things to take photos of in a minute. Put me in a room and I'll find something interesting. Maybe not to anyone else, but to me?  ;D I like going for a ride in the country just looking for things to shoot, sometimes I plan destinations and find more things outside of the pre-mapped places.

I played music since I was a pre-teen, multiple instruments. Mom listened to classical, Dad liked jazz. I got a nice mix in the process. Played in assorted types of bands, professionally, for over 30 years.

Does that make me an Art-Teest?  ;) I'm not so sure.

I think the BS and marketing side, which I didn't address, is what makes people money. There's a difference between marketing and sales and making a living, and when someone just does what they feel in their heart. Fortunately, sometimes they are one in the same. Usually not.

The original question was, are people born with a good eye, and can people be trained to have an eye. I say, we are born with a blank brain, (of sorts) and we can be trained. It's just harder to change later, than it is to be formed over an earlier growth period.

With that I say... give a kid a camera! Ask them to show you the world through their eyes. You'll be surprised, amused and it will be educational.


« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2008, 20:49 »
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On the other hand, I come from a family of artists, (published and commercial)
Father - artist,
Mother - no so,
daughter one - artist,
daughter two - no so,
daughter three (me) - artist. 

I am talking about the ability to paint, draw, the fine art stuff. The daughter that is not an artist visually takes after the mothers side of the family, where as the two daughter that are artists look like the father side. Coincidence?  I say genes.

Then again...
My husband - musician,
Mother (me) good ear, can't play an instrument to save my life.
Our Son... picked up guitar,(acoustic & electric) piano,trumpet,sax,flute, etc etc, at the age of 14, (self taught) no lessons, no interest before, never picked up an instrument prior, is 16 now and is writing his own lyrics and music, doing solos in front of large audiences, utilizing tracks of the many instruments he plays and making CDs. His talent is natural.

Too much coincidence here - I say genetics. My son was exposed to (and enjoyed) art way more than music.

Regards
Penny



coincidence is unfortunately discounted way too much -- your anecdotal evidence is useful, but not demonstrative, much less conclusive -  were none of these people exposed to music and art as they grew up?  did none of these people take any lessons, do any study to improve on that initial interest?

the nature/nurture debate continues, but it's rare to find any talent/aptitude that can really be ascribed mostly to genes. 

it's especally iteresting t consider something like photography which didnt exist 200 years ago -- what selective pressures could there have  been to select for an aptitude that had no selective advantage?

s

rinderart

« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2008, 00:09 »
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I think it's a stupid question. Sorry. No camera or photoshop skills will help If you don't see it.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 00:11 by rinderart »

« Reply #30 on: April 24, 2008, 00:19 »
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I think it's a stupid question. Sorry. No camera or photoshop skills will help If you don't see it.

amen

« Reply #31 on: April 24, 2008, 01:45 »
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Just my opinion, I do not claim to be a master or even one of the greats. However, I do aspire to be, and I hope that history will remember me in that way.
But I was born an artist. Whatever the medium, from crayon as a child to camera and computer as an adult, I found inspiration in life, and created art.  You can teach someone to have a more artistic eye, give them a little peek into the way you see life around you, show them how things make you feel, but I believe that the greats are born, not made.  That does not mean someone can not learn to be technically correct, to study composition, and to be quite wonderful.
But to shoot a photograph just because you knew that was the way it needed to be shot, because it felt right that way, well, that's a gift that no one can learn.

« Reply #32 on: April 24, 2008, 03:00 »
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Science says certain types of recognition of art are inborn, therefore defined by genes, like the human preference for symmetry or the rule of thirds.
To express art is a bit more difficult. Even if your brain produces great ideas, you need training in the media you wish to express your ideas with. Training can be learned, with interest, enough time, effort and a good teacher by almost everybody.
Last thing is the great idea itself. Thats where artists are different. They think beyond the norm. And the ability to do so seems to be mostly inborn. So thats 2:1 for the genetics.

« Reply #33 on: April 26, 2008, 18:02 »
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Ever notice how it is always artists who ask this question? Then usually many of the artists will insist it can be learned. After all, they learned how to do what they do, and if they can learn it, and they know what they needed to do to learn it, surely anyone else can learned what they learned with effort, correct?
Perhaps, but maybe not. It is a really difficult question to answer and it is mostly being asked from the perspective of people who have successfully learned an art. It would be interesting to know the opinion of non artists, whether they would have the same opinion as most artists do. I agree that no one can just pick up their artistic tool of choice and be a master, but how many people can become a master with practice? That is almost impossible to answer, but I think having some talent gives one motivation to continue to develop that talent, where as it is much harder to motivate someone who does not learn as quickly. Therefore it could be a self-reinforcing process.


Quote
it's especally iteresting t consider something like photography which didnt exist 200 years ago -- what selective pressures could there have  been to select for an aptitude that had no selective advantage?

Interesting observation, but the same could be said for art of music, or story telling, all of these having been in existence since the first cavemen started making ochre drawings and telling stories around the campfire. What selective pressure was there for these attributes? How does being a good artist help you find food or outrun a sabre tooth tiger, or become more alpha than the guy in the neighboring cave? None that I can think of, and yet they exist.




Last thing is the great idea itself. Thats where artists are different. They think beyond the norm. And the ability to do so seems to be mostly inborn. So thats 2:1 for the genetics.

I agree that originality and uniqueness is what makes a great artist. There are many photographers who IMO have the same level of skill as Ansel Adams or Galen Rowell, or artist who can draw and paint as well as Leonardo DaVinci, but that in itself doesn't make them great. These guys were great because they were originals, they were the first to do what they did.  Originality is what makes greatness.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2008, 18:05 by marcopolo »

« Reply #34 on: April 27, 2008, 16:05 »
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I was not born with a camera in my hand, but I do get a few lucky shots now and then.  Funny, but come to think of it - the more I study and practice, the luckier I get.

(No I'm not full of myself - it was w. eugene smith if I remember who said something like that.  ;))


« Reply #35 on: April 27, 2008, 18:19 »
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I agree that originality and uniqueness is what makes a great artist. There are many photographers who IMO have the same level of skill as Ansel Adams or Galen Rowell, or artist who can draw and paint as well as Leonardo DaVinci, but that in itself doesn't make them great. These guys were great because they were originals, they were the first to do what they did.  Originality is what makes greatness.



I agree with that....  originality or uniqueness will breed greatness.  None-the-less.... that  'talent' (or whatever word one wants to use) was there first.

Posted by: Pixart

I was not born with a camera in my hand, but I do get a few lucky shots now and then.  Funny, but come to think of it - the more I study and practice, the luckier I get
.[/b]

Maybe not born camera in hand Pixart... but your portfolio does not bespeak   'a lot of luck'.    You have the talent,  you are developing it, you're good now and you will become greater as you move forward.  Michealangelo didn't do David  first time into the shop with a hammer and chisel.  8)=tom

« Reply #36 on: April 27, 2008, 18:43 »
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what a great thread.

my eldest daughter now 16, learnt the alphabet and taught herself to read (a biggish part from sesame street :) she hit school at 5 already reading books. I have a degree, masters degree and almost finished phd, I have the more advanced vocabulary but even at 16 she writes better and easier than I ever will, for her it just comes natural and easy. 

my son is in 5 year and sitting with the year 8 maths textbook. skims a chapter of instruction in a few minutes and then does the end of chapter review. occasionally he makes a simple mistake. his teacher complains he doesn't show working, he says he just sees the answer, to show or even do the working is extra work not a process along the way (personally I think he does it, but it is just that fast). I know more maths than him, but I worked hard with lots of practice. as long as he stays interested he will be well beyond what I know with only a small amount of work.

I have done so much logic and problem solving I often get problems and come up with a solution or two and people look at me strange. I try to explain that the answer is really not that hard, and really is obvious that just look even stranger.

makes me also think of movie good will hunting. I think if I was to put 100 hours a week into golf, I dont think I'd ever be as good as tiger woods.

BUT back to photos

Nowadays I look at an area and see the shots (or how a shot isn't going to work) I see more or better than I did a couple of years ago and that was better than a few years before (but it was always there).  The problem I still have is getting my vision of the scene into the camera, and even more so through photoshop.  The vision is there, just have to get the mechanics of the rest of it to happen.

I also look at some pro photographers around the place and see that really dont have it. I looked at a people workshop and come away with if thats what your showcasing then I aint interested.  I looked at studio specialising in headshots and would have cut what they showed in half. beyond bf/ff images there was a lot of images that were just bad artistically.

I started to write that it is all just learnt then editing and changing while I write I seem to have gone the other way. really I feel that you can be extremely good with a lot of hard work but to be in that extreme greatness it is born. I also think everyone has there own talents, my people skills are poor (stereotypical academic :) but my 2nd daughter will know everyone in the room within minutes :)

« Reply #37 on: April 27, 2008, 22:26 »
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Just my opinion, I do not claim to be a master or even one of the greats. However, I do aspire to be, and I hope that history will remember me in that way.
But I was born an artist. Whatever the medium, from crayon as a child to camera and computer as an adult, I found inspiration in life, and created art.  You can teach someone to have a more artistic eye, give them a little peek into the way you see life around you, show them how things make you feel, but I believe that the greats are born, not made.  That does not mean someone can not learn to be technically correct, to study composition, and to be quite wonderful.
But to shoot a photograph just because you knew that was the way it needed to be shot, because it felt right that way, well, that's a gift that no one can learn.

but of course, we have to take this on FAITH, since it's unfALSIFIABLE - anyone who posts here and says they learned photography is immediately accepted as someone who had an innate [unrecognized ] gift!

art is a CULTURAL artifact, CREATED by society, and LEARNED by its members.  some people are more adept than others in exploiting this meme, and again, it's a mix of nature/nurture, but gimme a break from the 'i waS BORN WITH IT' selfpromotion we're seeing in this thread


steve

« Reply #38 on: April 28, 2008, 00:53 »
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Interesting, I first think you need to reread what I said without making assumtions, second this is an opinion thread and that is what I gave.

"I do not claim to be a master or even one of the greats. However, I do aspire to be, and I hope that history will remember me in that way."  Funny that you see this as self-serving, looks to me like I said I am not the one to be the judge of my own work and that if I am ever called or judged to be a master or great, it will be history, (I.E. the claims and regards of others) not myself making the claim. Sounds pretty humble to me, really didn't believe it needed the longer explaination.

I would like to use your post however to futher explain my "opinion", whether you are a great mechanic, mother, painter, ballplayer, you are great when the inspiration drives you to find the craft, not the craft that drives you to be inspired. It is there that defines the difference between a great or master photographer/artist and an artist who produces some really great work.


« Reply #39 on: April 28, 2008, 16:44 »
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An interesting question, and bit of a provocative one too. Thanks for bringing it up.

One of the problems with photography, unlike most other art forms, is that it is very easy to get some sort of result. You can't paint a picture, write a poem or compose a concerto in a few seconds. But you can get a photograph. All you have to do is raise your camera to your eye and press the shutter. It may well be a lousy photo, but it will still be an image.

I've actually had people say to me "Photography's easy. It's just pushing a button."

As we all know, it isn't. Not only do you have to have the skill, you also have to be able to recognise that (as Ansel Adams said) "You don't 'take' a photograph. You 'make' it."

And you've got to be willing to do something about that ... learn the technical stuff, take time to find the right angle or composition, wait for exactly the right light, observe what you're photographing, come up with new ideas, and so on.

And I think that applies to good 'stock' as much as to good 'art'.

I don't know if this is relevant, it's not great 'art', but it's something I took last weekend. Our local archery club had open house. There were many people there with cameras, taking pictures of all the usual things - mainly archers pulling at bows, arrows in targets, smiling family with targets in the background, that sort of stuff. I took those shots too. But I wanted something a little different. All the conventional ones were static shots. I decided to try for a bit of action - to catch an arrow in flight ...



I didn't use 'burst mode' for this. To get it I watched the archer, seeing how he shot to a rhythm, and tried to match that rhythm. Of course, I got masses of 'dud' shots and the whole thing took me a long time. But once I'd got the handle on it I managed to capture the arrow in three different images, and once as it was half-way out of the bow.

I don't think you can teach someone to work like this. No one ever taught me.






« Reply #40 on: April 28, 2008, 17:10 »
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You seem very proud of yourself.

Cranky MIZ

« Reply #41 on: April 28, 2008, 19:07 »
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there was an interesting article in the NYtimes a few weeks ago about a camera that can take pictures BEFORE you press the shutter  - it can take dozens of phoots a second, so you end up with images that took place earlier - perfect for all sorts of sports events.

it does this by caching 60 frames/per second once you activate it;  each minute it throqws away the old 60 and adds the new ones; when you click, the earlier ones are saved.

the down side was this was a feature on a $1000 POINT & SHOOT camera, so would be great for hobbyists.  with any luck it will make its way into real camaeras soon.

s


« Reply #42 on: April 28, 2008, 19:25 »
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I didn't use 'burst mode' for this. To get it I watched the archer, seeing how he shot to a rhythm, and tried to match that rhythm. Of course, I got masses of 'dud' shots and the whole thing took me a long time. But once I'd got the handle on it I managed to capture the arrow in three different images, and once as it was half-way out of the bow.

I don't think you can teach someone to work like this. No one ever taught me.







this was the sort of example i had in mind earlier when i said that claims of pure innate ability are  unfalsifiable -- what you just described seems like a prime example of a LEARNED response - you examined the subject, made some predictions, tested them, and then improved your hypothesis when you got the 'duds'  - resulting in a great shot!

you dont need a teacher to learn - contrast this to what we should expect if this talent was BORN -- you could hand your camera to someone who'd never taken pictures, never seen an archer, and knew nothing of basic physics and they'd still get the shot you did - how likely is that?

steve

« Reply #43 on: April 29, 2008, 01:34 »
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Quote
you dont need a teacher to learn - contrast this to what we should expect if this talent was BORN -- you could hand your camera to someone who'd never taken pictures, never seen an archer, and knew nothing of basic physics and they'd still get the shot you did - how likely is that?

The technique was learned, what wasn't learned was getting the idea to shoot something unconventional in the first place. He said that no one else there thought to try to get a shot like that. This is an example of original thinking.

« Reply #44 on: April 29, 2008, 01:57 »
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You seem very proud of yourself.

Cranky MIZ



I wouldn't say 'very proud'. 'Chuffed' is probably a better way of expressing it.

It's not 'great art' ... it's not even art ... I'll be the first to admit that. And it may not sell at all. Time will tell. But I got a great deal of satisfaction working to capture an instant that  (I don't think) any other photographer there had thought to try for.

Do you have a problem with that?
« Last Edit: April 29, 2008, 01:59 by Bateleur »


 

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