What makes a photographer a Master Photographer in today's day and age?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by itsanaddiction, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. itsanaddiction

    itsanaddiction TPF Noob!

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    I was once told that photographers were masters because their prints were perfect on so many different levels - composition, lighting, printing quality, etc.

    With mainly everything being digital these days, what makes a photographer a Master Photographer? Fewer people print - so you can barely say printing techniques - anyone can learn to photoshop what they want, etc. So what makes one a master?
     
  2. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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  3. itsanaddiction

    itsanaddiction TPF Noob!

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    thats not what i meant. i didn't mean degree wise.
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Marketing I'm sorry to say. Your skills may make you an incredible photographer, but to be remembered you need to release expose your name. Photography used to be an art reserved for the artists who dedicated their life to it, like Ansell Adams. But these days with about half of the worlds population owning a camera, about half of the camera owners calling themselves photographers just to belong to a group despite only taking snapshots and posting on flickr, the only way to be remembered as a photographer is to market that image.
     
  5. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    actually, these still today are the deciding factors (of course the list is not complete), ... why do you thing digital has changed anything there?

    In addition to that, to be considered to be one of the great ones, you have to be different, have your own style, do something others don't.

    Anyone can learn the darkroom just as anyone can learn photoshop. It is just that only few people do really learn it :lmao:

    And digital printing these days is also an art in itself as you can see by the many poor prints ;)
     
  6. bapp

    bapp TPF Noob!

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    My opinion of a master has less to do with the technical side or marketing as it was mentioned above and more to do with ideas.

    Any body can become a technically superb "photographer" however that certainly does not qualify them as a master. Most of the photographers I have researched who are regarded as masters certainly have the technical side of photography nailed, however it is not that which determines their status. It is there ability to convey information and ideas that others cannot that is recognized by the critics of the world.

    Even those who do not produce technically perfect images can still be regarded as masters. Henri Cartier-Bresson for example, didnt even print his own images.

    The idea that marketing some how determines a master is nonsense all the promotion in the world will not allow you into that elite group if your pictures are poor.
     
  7. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I dont think you get the master status till you are either dead or, near dead. I think that you reach that if you shoot pics that affect people, when they view them. It isnt a case of just shooting good or, great pics but, phenomenal ones.
     
  8. dipstick

    dipstick TPF Noob!

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    Anyone can learn to push the buttons in PS, but that does not mean they have the right visual understanding to make their images better. In my opinion there is no difference if people use PS or a traditional darkroom to make their prints.

    But photography is a process that consist of a lot more than just making the final print. Although the workflow is digital nowadays, the criteria for mastering photography has not really changed.
     
  9. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Aren't these two statements mutually inclusive. How can an artist be recognized by the critics of the world if some amount of marketing had not been employed.

    The pigeon-holes of good, poor, ugly, distasteful, irrelevant, awesome, beautiful, inspiring, repressive or any number of subjective terms can be cast on any of the purported masters are all equally inconsequential unless a recognition exists. This recognition, for lack of a better term, is marketing.
     
  10. bapp

    bapp TPF Noob!

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    My point was based on a previous comment that marketing was what determined a "master". I was stating that no amount of marketing can put you into that category. For lack of a better phrase "you cant polish a turd".

    Obviously for a photographer to be known as a master they will need recognition, but if nobody had ever heard of Ansel Adams and he put all his photos in a loft he would still be a master!!
     
  11. JC1220

    JC1220 TPF Noob!

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    If you are talking about any other type of photograpy other than fine art, have all the ideas you want. Otherwise, truely fine art photography has nothing to do with ideas, nor did the masters such as Weston, Callahan, Coburn, White have any intention of conveying ideas with their photographs. One of the primary reasons they are considered Masters is/was their ability to connect with the viewer through their photographs, stir a deep emotional response not unlike what they felt when making the picture and their ability to see completely is what sets them apart.

    Leave the notion that art is about ideas in school.
     
  12. bapp

    bapp TPF Noob!

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    I agree with some of what you are saying...

    "It is there ability to convey information and ideas" my quote

    By information I mean this to include emotions created by there work. By ideas I include the initial process of creating an image, be it fine art or not, photographs are created.

    I really do not know enough about fine art or fine art photography to comment fully. I do know that creating an image requires thought processes regardless of it's genre.

    I find it impossible to believe that Weston shot those stunning portraits without a thought of composition view point tonal range a message or emotion to convey!! Surely it would have been integral to the whole process?

    But then again that could be why I am not a "master"
     

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