If You're a Good Photographer, Can You Photograph Anything Well?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by astrostu, Dec 3, 2007.

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If you're a good photographer, can you photograph any situation / scene successfully?

  1. Yes.

    10 vote(s)
    20.0%
  2. No.

    31 vote(s)
    62.0%
  3. It all depends ... and I'm explaining below.

    9 vote(s)
    18.0%
  1. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    I was watching an episode of Judge Judy and she made a comment along the lines of, "A colleague of mine used to say that if you're a good judge, you can try any case without knowing what's really going on. Until now, I believed him." The case in question was about the particulars of a street basketball game.

    So I was wondering if you think the same is true in photography: If you're a good/great photographer, do you think that you can successfully shoot any scene or situation and do a good job?

    This is obviously subject to some personal opinion on what a "good/great" photographer is, or doing a "good job" is, but I'm curious as to what people think.
     
  2. cameramike

    cameramike TPF Noob!

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    personally i think everyone has their strong points. And since photographing a person can be totally different then photographing a building you cant say that some one is perfect at every type of photography. they may be extraordinary at a certain part and just very good at the rest. something along those lines
     
  3. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    I have to say no, and this is why we have different types of photography. I know some landscape photographers that could not shoot a model to save thier lives and vice versa
     
  4. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I guess it depends on how ell you are talking. There are different skills for shoting different things. You can probably do a passable job at most any type of photography if you are relly good at one but really probably just passable.
     
  5. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Define well. Well as in a serviceable/saleable image? Or well as in the image could auction at Christie's for 1 Million plus? I voted no, I will most likely never have an image auctioned except at maybe a Salvation Army charity event. And for an ever so slightly lower total dollar figure. :)
     
  6. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    There was a thread on APUG a while back about a photographer who sold some Ciba print to a museum for $1m. The general sentiment on the board was that it was a relatively average shot.

    Anyway, I think a good photographer ought to be able to photograph anything well. Perhaps someone who produces mind-blowing portraits couldn't produce mind-blowing landscapes, but they'd at least be able to compose and expose one well.
     
  7. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think that I am "good" (certainly not great, or even very good, but good) at some things, but put me in a studio dealing with models and I would be a completely useless.

    Multi-flash setups? Horrible.

    Landscapes? Not good at all.

    Street photography? Nope.

    Sports? You betcha.

    Animals? Sometimes, not nearly as consistently as I would like though.

    There are many people who are good at everything... but that makes them EXCELLENT photographers, not merely "good" ones.
     
  8. Patrice

    Patrice No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'll vote with a qualified yes. If you are a good photographer, good meaning a thorough working knowledge of the technical aspects of photography, then yes, you should be able to deliver a well exposed photo of almost anything. However, if your meaning of good is being able to create images that evoke emotions, then I would agree with most of the responders in that you'll be great in your specialization, but you might be only passable in other types of photography.
    BTW, Judge Judy is wrong, it is precisely because judges are not well versed in everything in existence that courts make use of expert witnesses.
     
  9. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    I would say: NO. Different types of photography require different skills, knowledge and experience. They even have different standards and different requirements in the area of attention to detail.

    Journalistic photography involves knowing what is going to happen before it occurs and being in the right place at the right time to get the shot with the right lens and accessories. It involves fast composing, framing, adjustments and shooting, changing on the move, and shifting to another location and position. These are not the skills that most studio photographers would have.

    Portrait and fashion photography require attention to the smallest and most minute detail and total control. The eye for minute detail in portrait photography is learned through a lot of experience. Most of the weaknesses that I see in this area do not display these skills. A natural look is used as an excuse for poor quality photographic work. Nevertheless a top quality portrait or fashion photographer could not necessarily handle sports photography.

    Sports photography requires great planning, the perfect location, great framing and composition and superb timing to the fraction of a second. Certainly not a skill that is necessary for most product photography.

    Product and advertising photography requires technical excellence in lighting, sharpness and colour and considerable creativity and postprocessing to achieve a high level of success but speed in composing, framing or shooting is most often not essential.

    Scenics require a variety of lenses and filters, ideal natural lighting, a perfect location and the perfect mix of shapes and elements to provide a great composition. A scenic photographer certainly has less control over his/her subject than a portrait photographer, for example, but a scenic photographer does not require social skills to the same degree.

    So, a good photographer in one area is not necessarily great in all areas unless he/she is widely experienced in all areas which is unusual since most like to stick to the area that they feel most comfortable with.

    skieur
     
  10. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I think I can do a good job to the the average joe six-pak's eyes.

    I don't think i can do a good job to a photographers eye.

    overall, I think I can do at least passable for everything.
     
  11. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    I know some fantastic fashion photographers who are horrible (being nice saying that) at landscape. I know some wonderful landscape photographers who are horrible at portraits.

    I wouldn't call either of those two categories anything below 'good' at what they do so I voted 'no'
     
  12. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No.
     

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