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Thread: Photographers Notebook, Page 1

  1. #21

    Photographers Notebook, Page 1

    To all....thanks for your warm response to my first post. I am encouraged to do much more. Right now my problem is to structure what I have to say to you, because there is so very much...it challenges me to organize my thinking.

    On another subject, I have noticed that many send good wishes with the phrase "Good Light". I really like that myself, but want to change my tag line to "Fresh Eyes"...meaning, 'may you have the wisdom and awareness of the light around you and may you use it to your artistic advantage and thereby see the world anew with a new spirit of awareness and adventure'!

    For me....any light is good light. Knowing how to see it and use it is another thing. We will work on that in my future posts.

    Blessings...and thanks.

    Fresh Eye's, Richard.

  2. #22

    Photographers Notebook, Page 1

    Fresh Eyes looks good if you lose the apostrophe.

  3. #23

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    Photographers Notebook, Page 1

    Henry,

    it would do no good to discuss what the term "pro" connotes to me personally, if I changed the term to "hack". I'm sure the term has different connotations to different people, which was my point. If some people are offended by that, I think their skin is a little thin.

    Jay

  4. #24
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
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    Photographers Notebook, Page 1

    Richard - thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm confident that opinions on the issues you discuss here and in future "Notebook" posts will vary. But, the real value, I believe, is in the sharing of different perspectives, and the potential for mutual inspiration that results from the discussions.

    As to the terms "pro" and "amateur", I'm not sure that they have great relevance within the context of this forum. While numerous participants here make all or a portion of their living through their photography, most seem far less insistent on wearing the "pro" mantel than I've noted on other photo forums. Perhaps it's the shared joy of large format that superceeds the need for classification.

  5. #25

    Photographers Notebook, Page 1

    "Your second example would be called a "pornographer" not necessarily a "photographer" the spellings are close but very have different meanings." --Henry Ambrose

    I agree, Henry, but the "not necessarily" is a big qualifier, and I'd bet in polite company, the pornographer always calls himself a photographer. Actually, as it slides down the "decency scale", it's hard to tell where to draw the line. Weston, Witkin, the Playboy photographer, the Hustler photographer, the hardcore internet pervert... And there are amateur counterparts to each.

    Just semantics, but semantics that I hope would give us some separation.

    (I don't photograph nude women. I don't know any...)

  6. #26
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Photographers Notebook, Page 1

    "it would do no good to discuss what the term "pro" connotes to me personally"

    Just curious....If that is the case then why post your definition of pro and amatuer, as you did to contrast someone else's definition, in a discusion forum?
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  7. #27

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    Photographers Notebook, Page 1

    Well, I tend to agree with his statement as it stands, "amateur"ish attempts to do something imparts the idea of lack of knowledge or skill so the perception has (in coomon use) that implication or context.

    Carry on by all means, we are all waiting to see what appears next.

  8. #28
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    Photographers Notebook, Page 1

    I think the terms "amateur" and "pro" today are virtually meaningless in any sense but one that says "pros" do it as a "business" and "amateurs" do not. Truth be told, I suspect many "amateurs" would describe themselves as such because they haven't been able to make enough money at it ....

    This issue is perhaps not the word "professional", but the word "amateur". "Professional" has within its basic definition the implied ability to do whatever at a level of quality (or quantity or whatever commercial attribute is the business essence) necessary to be successful at it as a vocation. The word "amateur" however is mostly used as a counterpoint or the antithesis of "professional", which therefore has the underlying implication of not having the implied ability to do whatever at a "professional" level. The only significant arena that comes to mind where "amateur" seems to effectively connote capability are the Olympics, where there is explicit recognition that the "amateur" athelete is dedicated to purity of purpose [insert gagging noises here...].

    There doesn't seem to be a good generic word for someone who pursues something for its own intrinsic merits: hobbyist, enthusiast, amateur, fan, fanatic - they all imply something weak or abnormal about the pursuit... Aficionado, connoiseur are better, but have a class association which may not be comfortable for some.

    I considered trying to coin "avocateur" - but realized that resembles "provocateur" which brings us back to narrowing the vision to a particular bias, of a type that encourages lawmakers to make bans, and would seem therefore to be counterproductive.

    The better answer, is to drop the use of the word "amateur" altogether. We are all photographers and some of us are "professional" photographers, meaning we are in the "profession" of making photographs. Not all photographers are professionals, but all photographers are "amateurs" in some definition and context of the word.

    Photographers, whether professional or not, demean themselves by referring to themselves as "amateur photographers" because, like it or not, the word has multiple connotations. The problem is, is that people too frequently use the term to denigrate their ability relative to a perceived peer standard. Self-deprecation may be a mark of humility, but it shouldn't be mistaken for lack of self-esteem. Peer standards are illusory - many of the photographs of the body of work of those currently held in high regard are not necessarily good photographs technically, nor even within a particular context. Its the association that makes them worth something presently, not their intrinsic qualities.

  9. #29

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    Photographers Notebook, Page 1

    (I think the terms "amateur" and "pro" today are virtually meaningless in any sense but one that says "pros" do it as a "business" and "amateurs" do not. Truth be told, I suspect many "amateurs" would describe themselves as such because they haven't been able to make enough money at it .... which is precisely the point . . . the terms "amateur & pro are used to define the ability to make money at photography" as well as "the ability to produce good photgraphs".
    Few of those known as great artist were particularly wealthy by it, in some art forms, their work never reached that status till after they were gone.

  10. #30

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    Photographers Notebook, Page 1

    Interesting; let me turn your attention to a debate that's forming up in the NPS (National Park Service) world: in it, the term "Commercial" (much like "Professional") relates to whether the Photographer brings "disruption" to the Park, with "prop, model or set". Further, in NPS Reference Manual 53, permit requirements for a 'commercial' photographer are stipulated as:

    A commercial photographer who is not using a prop, model or set, is staying within normal visitation areas and hours, and is not significantly interfering with normal park visitation, is generally exempt from film permit requirements.

    So, perhaps the definition of "Professional" revolves around how much disruption is caused, or, in another sense, how much 'excess-baggage' (toys) are brought to bear.

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