What Is A Snapshot

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by PapaMatt, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. PapaMatt
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    PapaMatt New Member

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    I know this subject can be subjective but what do you think means Snapshot is to you?

    Some thoughts?

    Is the word Snapshot a derogatory remark?

    An informal picture taken of the spur of the moment?

    Lack of thought to composition, exposure, lighting etc?

    or are they just candid shots.

    Moonrise by Ansel Adams was a spur of the moment out a car window, was that a snapshot?

    The reason I ask also is because I posted 2 photos asking for C&C on my shapshots and received some remarks about calling them snapshots!

    I would like to know what you think a SNAPSHOT is?


  2. 2WheelPhoto
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    2WheelPhoto New Member

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  3. PapaMatt
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    PapaMatt New Member

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    To me that is subjective also, No matter what I do, I give thought, every shot I take I think about composition, lighting etc. and do the best I can at that moment. Most of the time I can only get one shot kind of candid.

    People have what they think a SNAPSHOT is to them, regardless what the dictionary has to say.

    Thank You for the link
  4. MReid
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    MReid New Member

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    Photo with no planning.....look, snap.
  5. PapaMatt
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    PapaMatt New Member

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    What do you mean No Planing? The photographer did not plan the shot, just took it on the spot OR did not think about light, composition etc. or Did not Plan the subject
  6. Bitter Jeweler
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    Bitter Jeweler Well-Known Member

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  7. pgriz
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    pgriz Well-Known Member

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    We discuss this a lot. I posted the following in another post:

    "
    Snapshot - image taken because the opportunity presented itself.

    Photograph - image constructed to showcase the subject, remove distracting elements (foreground, background) lighting chosen to emphasize the key aspects of the subject... As Keith said, there's prep work involved. And the technical stuff (focus placement, right amount of DOF, appropriate exposure for the subject, right focal length) is there to place the viewer's focus where it needs to be.
    "

    Even if you think about composition, etc. a good image is constructed. Take, for instance, even the presence of ambient light. We all know that the "quality" of the light greatly affects the end result. It is not uncommon for a photographer to come back to a specific location many times to get that special moment of appropriate light.

    Good photographs distill the essence, and eliminate the superfluous. A good snapshot may capture much that is interesting, but on review, will show distracting elments, technical issues, etc. If you then go back and re-shoot, making specific adjustments to eliminate the negatives, and selecting those elements which contribute, you've moved the image-making from snapshot to photographs.

    Snapshots often rely on the context for their meaning: it's YOUR kid, or someone YOU know, or someplace YOU really like. Take away the "YOU" and the viewer is left with... what? What clues have you as a photograher left in the image for a viewer to be able to relate to that image? That's the problem for most snapshots - they rely on the viewers knowing WHO the subject is, WHERE it is, and WHY the image was taken. And if you show the image to someone who has no such connection - what do they then grab onto?
  8. PapaMatt
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    PapaMatt New Member

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  9. PapaMatt
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    PapaMatt New Member

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    Thank you, much appreciated
  10. cgipson1
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    cgipson1 New Member

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    Papa... to me, a snapshot occurs when someone just frames and shoots something, without any thought given to it! A snapshot typically has no real subject, and no consideration given to lighting. Usually framing and composition are poor (or non-existent), and now attention was paid to WB or DOF use. Backgrounds are usually less than pleasing (busy, trees growing out of heads, etc). Often if there are people in the shots.. limbs are cut off, focus is questionable... that type of thing.

    I went and looked at some of your shots ( http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/general-gallery/276541-snap-shots-c-c.html#post2532366) and as you can see, the first one has limbs cut off (big no no!).. and it would have been much improved by being shot in vertical format (Framing issue). Your second shot there, would have greatly benefited from some fill flash (lighting issue) and has her fingers cut off.

    Labeling a thread as snapshots is not a good idea around here, as the word "snapshot" has negative connotations! :) Even a total beginner can take "non-snapshots", just by taking a moment to think about the shot, and how it can be improved!

    Hope that helps! :)
  11. PapaMatt
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    PapaMatt New Member

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    Yes that helped a lot, Thank You very much, NO MORE SNAPSHOTS on this site for me!!!
  12. gryphonslair99
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    gryphonslair99 New Member

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  13. Fred Berg
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    Fred Berg Active Member

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    There are those who will admit to taking snapshots, and those who will claim to be street photographers. Taking a photograph on the spur of the moment, whichever way you view this, is legitimate photography since if you see something worth making a record of on film (or an SD card), then you have made a decision based on your accrued knowledge and experience of what will work and applied that to the situation. The moment you reach for, or lift the camera in your hand to your eye, you are already calculating, thinking, projecting, considering, ergo it is photography. Whether what comes out in the end is any good or not will depend on whether you take snapshots or are a street photographer. Tell people you are a street photographer if you want them to take you seriously. Me, I like taking snapshots.
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  14. PapaMatt
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    PapaMatt New Member

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    Oh I see you TAKE a SNAPSHOT but MAKE a PHOTOGRAPH :lmao:
  15. pgriz
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    pgriz Well-Known Member

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