Is everyone here a professional now

Started Jun 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
Draek
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Re: It's not about being a professional...
In reply to brianj, Jun 3, 2013

brianj wrote:

So everyone here isn't a professional, what you are saying is that many have become passionate.

That's one way to put it, yes.

Is the quest to become as passionate as your budget will allow?  I guess i am not passionate to such an extreme because I am not willing to sell my kidneys just to buy the lastest and greatest.

Well, that's one of my problems with the average DPR forum-goer; the idea that buying "the latest and greatest" is a significant part of one's development as a photographer.

No, a proper amateur would learn about photography, seek out the work of other photographers (famous or otherwise) as to learn about their vision and styles, develop their own then seek to make it stand alongside that of the photographers he's seen. "The latest and greatest"? hah! as if buying a Stradivarius made you a brilliant violinist; it just puts your mistakes in sharper relief.

I get a lot of fun from just trying to get the most out of any equipment, it could just be an old second hand camera, like the fellow who recently bought a G5 just because he always wanted one.  But what ever it is I am passionate about trying to get it to work the way I want.

I'd suggest becoming passionate about photography itself, as above; mastering gear is quite trivial by comparison. In fact, after the fifth one or so you can do it in about a day without even bothering with the manual.

I mean anyone could re-morgage the house and go out and buy the best and say hey look what this gear can do.  But what enjoyment would that be, its no accumplishment by the photographer.  Someone demonstrated how some camera could produce a beautiful image at ISO54000, so what.

Well... yes. But, again, do not confuse being a gearhead with being serious about photography, and neither requires one to derive monetary value from photography per se and thus being a professional.

The origin of your confusion seems to be the fact that many amateurs do, in fact, keep separate cameras for their "serious" photos (ie, for when they wish to create something meaningful instead of a random snap). But then that's to be expected given that cameras are all different and some will work better than others at certain situations and someone who is serious about their art will choose a better tool for it if available, but that needs not be necessarily a more expensive one—if I'm serious about street photography I'd pull out my compact instead of my SLR because its design and performance is much better suited for it, even if the average gearhead would find the thought repulsive since the SLR's much larger sensor has vastly superior SNR figures to its name.

Now, could I do street photography with the SLR? sure. I could shoot nature photos with the compact, as well. But why would I, if I have the means for a better tool? well, a Nikon D4 and a Leica M would probably be better than my Sony A390 and Samsung EX1, but then I don'thave the means for them no biggie, though; much as how your compositions don't improve by buying a better piano or your worth as an athlete by getting better shoes, their lack only makes my life slightly less efficient, it does not affect the quality of my output.

Well, or "would"; in truth I stopped being a true amateur years ago, and am now nothing but a bored enthusiast who knows a bit more than average due to his past. I am now the guy who moves a meter to the side to take a photo instead of the guy who spends an hour moving furniture around just so it's all "just perfect" for his portrait—but it's because I once was that guy that I still hold a deep respect for those who are serious about their photography in spite (or perhaps moreso because) they don't make a single cent from it.

I am trying to work out why I am becoming a dinosaur and out of step here.

I don't think you're becoming a dinosaur, but I do think you're having quite a problematic misunderstanding.

You know, the most serious photographer I've met started out with just a $100 Sony digicam, and yet her output seldom failed to amaze me. Even today she uses a mere Canon 40D with a bunch of cheap prime lenses, but the effort she puts into her photos—and the brilliance that can be seen within them—is second to none. Well, she's a professional now, but even as an amateur she could hardly be put on the same level as the happy snappers with Nikon D800s and Canon 5Ds you see 'round these parts; there's a very tangible difference between a real amateur and an old gearhead and it's one that has absolutely nothing to do with money, either spent or acquired.

TL;DR: amateurs are just as serious as professionals, but don't confuse either with gearheads; art does not depend on the tools you use.

Brian

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