P&Shooter vs photographer...whats the difference

Started Jul 12, 2010 | Discussions
vaughanB
vaughanB Veteran Member • Posts: 3,538
P&Shooter vs photographer...whats the difference

Whats the difference between a point and shooter and a photographer ?, I am refered to as a P&Ser which is totally totally fine by me, thats all I do, I compose, judge the light, get the exposure right and point and shoot, and I avoid PP

So what makes a "real photographer" and how does that differ from my P&S travel snaps....any thoughts ?
--
My growing NEX3/16mm collection
http://www.flickr.com/photos/35161694@N03/sets/72157624305011541/

eric burrows Senior Member • Posts: 1,501
Re: P&Shooter vs photographer...whats the difference

If you take the time to compose, judge the light and get the exposure correct then in my book you are A PHOTOGRAPHER !!! To me the point and shooters are the ones who do not consider any of those and just bang an exposure off without thinking about how to take a better shot.
--
eric

IchiroCameraGuy Contributing Member • Posts: 888
Re: P&Shooter vs photographer...whats the difference

I think it is mostly used derogatory for a person who shoots everything auto or just a sneaky way to call someone a foolish beginner who hasn't attained an imaginary high rank yet. Hardly anybody shoots full manual any more. Supposed reason many buy an expensive camera is the need for it's more advanced specification but secretly its because they want every advantage to have an easier time getting a good photograph.

Vision and timing is the only real difference between "P&Ser" and master, making 2 or 3 changes for exposure isn't really any more advanced skill than making one or none.

 IchiroCameraGuy's gear list:IchiroCameraGuy's gear list
Canon EOS 500D Canon EOS M Samsung NX500 Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II +2 more
vaughanB
OP vaughanB Veteran Member • Posts: 3,538
Re: P&Shooter vs photographer...whats the difference

eric burrows wrote:

If you take the time to compose, judge the light and get the exposure correct then in my book you are A PHOTOGRAPHER !!! To me the point and shooters are the ones who do not consider any of those and just bang an exposure off without thinking about how to take a better shot.
--
eric>

Well thats what I would have thought
--
My growing NEX3/16mm collection
http://www.flickr.com/photos/35161694@N03/sets/72157624305011541/

Bengt Westerblad Regular Member • Posts: 216
Re: P&Shooter vs photographer...whats the difference

vaughanB wrote:

Whats the difference between a point and shooter and a photographer ?, I am refered to as a P&Ser which is totally totally fine by me, thats all I do, I compose, judge the light, get the exposure right and point and shoot, and I avoid PP

So what makes a "real photographer" and how does that differ from my P&S travel snaps....any thoughts ?
--
My growing NEX3/16mm collection
http://www.flickr.com/photos/35161694@N03/sets/72157624305011541/

You seems to be an advanced point and shooter according to your description how you work, and this could as well fit on Cartier Bresson's way of shooting and he didn't spend any time with PP in the darkroom either. For me a true point and shooter wouldn't bother with composing the shot, or judging the light and getting the exposure right. I suspect that you are a real photographer, not a point and shooter.

zepzr Senior Member • Posts: 2,012
it's used as an

insult on this forum. Anytime you disagree with someone, instead of saying things like "idiot", "fool" (that can get you banned), some will just say you are a "p&s shooter". The opposite phrase is "advanced shooter." That phrase is used either to brag or to pump up your credibility during a debate. Like this: "hey. I am an advanced shooter and so I am right" (whatever the topic).

vaughanB
OP vaughanB Veteran Member • Posts: 3,538
Re: it's used as an

zepzr wrote:

insult on this forum. Anytime you disagree with someone, instead of saying things like "idiot", "fool" (that can get you banned), some will just say you are a "p&s shooter". The opposite phrase is "advanced shooter." That phrase is used either to brag or to pump up your credibility during a debate. Like this: "hey. I am an advanced shooter and so I am right" (whatever the topic).

Yes, I think we should nail this one, because I think it is used by people who take themselves and their hobby far too seriously, I accept that my mother is a P&Ser because she doesnt consider anything before pressing the shutter button, not even half press to focus, but surely anyone that thinks it through is a photographer ?
--
My growing NEX3/16mm collection
http://www.flickr.com/photos/35161694@N03/sets/72157624305011541/

KEITH-C Forum Pro • Posts: 14,131
Re: P&Shooter vs photographer...whats the difference

The gap between P&S shooter & 'real' photographer is a continuous spectrum not a quantum gap with instant transition from one state to the other. I would have thought that the main discriminator was that P&S users rely heavily on full automation & the move to becoming a more competent photographer comes with the realisation that standard settings or automation is not sufficient for all conditions encountered when trying to get a good image.

Increasingly as Artificial Intelligence is used more & more in cameras to evaluate lighting ,contrast & prevailing WB etc (ie. all the parameters which need to be considered when shooting a photo) then the need for manual human intervention will reduce to virtually zero.

At present the photographer has to make many of these decisions for the camera, for example "This scene is in bright sunlight which is full of harsh contrasts & highlights which may get grossly over-exposed so I will reduce contrast & apply some negative exposure compensation." To some extent some of these decisions can be arrived at by taking a shortcut & using the so called 'Scene' modes which take into consideration some of the common variations from bog standard setups & to extend this approach further some scene modes should ideally have a range of positive & negative compensation settings.

It might be possible for the user to confirm the best successful camera settings for a given scene & for the camera then to record its initial sensor assessment & the settings which worked best. In this way an individual could 'train' his camera to take better pictures according to his own choice of subjects in his own environment. For this to work effectively the camera would need a very sophisticated way of measuring all the individual components of any scene. Some of this thinking , of course, is already incorporated in Scene settings so that for instance 'Snow or beach' scene mode takes into account that most of the image is dominated by highlights & therefore exposure needs to take this into account
--
Keith-C

Henry Richardson Forum Pro • Posts: 21,318
Re: P&Shooter vs photographer...whats the difference

I have seen your photographs and I consider you a photographer. I do think that you have an interest in a very limited style of photography though in very limited conditions and have convinced yourself that no other form is relevant and that the kind you do is the only type camera designers should and will consider. There are many types of photography that I do not do and don't really have much interest in, but I am aware of them and have some basic idea of some of the issues related to taking those kinds of photos and that there are lots of other people who do take those kinds of photos. I certainly respect that and them. Therefore, although there are some camera features that I don't use I fully realize that for some people those features are important and don't discount them willy-nilly.

-- hide signature --

Henry Richardson
http://www.bakubo.com

Gavin 11 Senior Member • Posts: 2,271
Re: P&Shooter vs photographer...whats the difference

Henry Richardson wrote:

I have seen your photographs and I consider you a photographer. I do think that you have an interest in a very limited style of photography though in very limited conditions and have convinced yourself that no other form is relevant and that the kind you do is the only type camera designers should and will consider. There are many types of photography that I do not do and don't really have much interest in, but I am aware of them and have some basic idea of some of the issues related to taking those kinds of photos and that there are lots of other people who do take those kinds of photos. I certainly respect that and them. Therefore, although there are some camera features that I don't use I fully realize that for some people those features are important and don't discount them willy-nilly.

Well said Henry

Vaughan, just for the record I think you take very nicely composed images, but they tend to be landscapes and scenes.

The reason people are getting at you is because you have the attitude, this camera suits me, hence it should everybody, and hence I’m right.

Breaking news the SONY A-230 series of cameras are not as good as they could be, as for that matter are the A-5xx series, though this would be less of an issue if the thicko’s at Sony had released the A-7xx in good time (flame suit on )

Just because you could not get your head around the excellent A-700 does not mean, we should all give up and shoot green square mode on our dumbed down DSLR’s.

 Gavin 11's gear list:Gavin 11's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM +5 more
Robsphoto
Robsphoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,219
Real photography is an art, not a science!

vaughanB wrote:

Whats the difference between a point and shooter and a photographer ?, I am refered to as a P&Ser which is totally totally fine by me, thats all I do, I compose, judge the light, get the exposure right and point and shoot, and I avoid PP

So what makes a "real photographer" and how does that differ from my P&S travel snaps....any thoughts ?
--
My growing NEX3/16mm collection
http://www.flickr.com/photos/35161694@N03/sets/72157624305011541/

I have seen magnificent photographs taken by artistic people who are inspired by a scene and who rely totally on the automatic functions of a simple camera.

On the other hand, I have seen photographs that do not inspire me that have been taken by professional photographers who have all the latest gear!

So, think in terms of the end product, not the camera used! A "real" photographer is one who is inspired by beautiful scenes and who can pass on this inspiration to the viewer.

For example, I was inspired by this wonderful scene, and I hope one or two others may be also!

http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Tahuna-Sunset-1.html

But I realise that not all photographs need to be "inspiring" and that a professional photographer often has to take the photos that clients want, not necessarily the ones he / she wants!

Regards
Rob

Gavin 11 Senior Member • Posts: 2,271
Re: Real photography is an art, not a science!

Robsphoto wrote:

vaughanB wrote:

Whats the difference between a point and shooter and a photographer ?, I am refered to as a P&Ser which is totally totally fine by me, thats all I do, I compose, judge the light, get the exposure right and point and shoot, and I avoid PP

So what makes a "real photographer" and how does that differ from my P&S travel snaps....any thoughts ?
--
My growing NEX3/16mm collection
http://www.flickr.com/photos/35161694@N03/sets/72157624305011541/

I have seen magnificent photographs taken by artistic people who are inspired by a scene and who rely totally on the automatic functions of a simple camera.

On the other hand, I have seen photographs that do not inspire me that have been taken by professional photographers who have all the latest gear!

So, think in terms of the end product, not the camera used! A "real" photographer is one who is inspired by beautiful scenes and who can pass on this inspiration to the viewer.

For example, I was inspired by this wonderful scene, and I hope one or two others may be also!

http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Tahuna-Sunset-1.html

But I realise that not all photographs need to be "inspiring" and that a professional photographer often has to take the photos that clients want, not necessarily the ones he / she wants!

Regards
Rob

I would agree and I think Vaughan has a very good eye.

 Gavin 11's gear list:Gavin 11's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM +5 more
nick_webster
nick_webster Veteran Member • Posts: 7,623
The end result :-) (n/t)

no text here

JaccoW Regular Member • Posts: 344
Re: P&Shooter vs photographer...whats the difference

I think this pretty much sums it up:

"Real Serious Photographers don't work in color. Or if they do, they only work in slide film. Or if they do that as well, they only work in large format. Or, absent that, at least they work in film, because we all know that it's not real and personal photography when you drag that durn, soulless computer stuff into it. Or, if they are so far gone and lost from The True Path (TTP [tm]) that they're committing digital photography, at least they work solely in RAW and never JPEG. Yup, we gotta maintain standards."

From: http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2010/05/do-real-photographers-print.html


--
Roam like a tourist. Shoot like ... someone who is having fun!

 JaccoW's gear list:JaccoW's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS +3 more
Klipsen Veteran Member • Posts: 6,166
Photographer is not a title

vaughanB wrote:

Whats the difference between a point and shooter and a photographer?

There isn't any. Anyone who uses a photocamera to take even a single picture is a photographer - if only of that particular photo.

Point-and-shoot (or snapshot) is more like a style of photography where you don't give it much thought how the picture is framed, how great the DoF is etc.

 Klipsen's gear list:Klipsen's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony a6600 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G +16 more
tom Senior Member • Posts: 2,724
Re: Real photography is an art, not a science!

Robsphoto wrote:

vaughanB wrote:

Whats the difference between a point and shooter and a photographer ?, I am refered to as a P&Ser which is totally totally fine by me, thats all I do, I compose, judge the light, get the exposure right and point and shoot, and I avoid PP

So what makes a "real photographer" and how does that differ from my P&S travel snaps....any thoughts ?
--
My growing NEX3/16mm collection
http://www.flickr.com/photos/35161694@N03/sets/72157624305011541/

I have seen magnificent photographs taken by artistic people who are inspired by a scene and who rely totally on the automatic functions of a simple camera.

On the other hand, I have seen photographs that do not inspire me that have been taken by professional photographers who have all the latest gear!

So, think in terms of the end product, not the camera used! A "real" photographer is one who is inspired by beautiful scenes and who can pass on this inspiration to the viewer.

For example, I was inspired by this wonderful scene, and I hope one or two others may be also!

http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Tahuna-Sunset-1.html

But I realise that not all photographs need to be "inspiring" and that a professional photographer often has to take the photos that clients want, not necessarily the ones he / she wants!

Regards
Rob

To me the "science" of photography comes in understanding how to set the camera / lighting to get the shot you want with the look you want and why, as opposed to seeing something, composing and pressing the shutter and seeing what you got. With film (particularly slide) it was more important, because you either got the shot you wanted or you lost the chance. Some people bracketed everything to try to get choices, and some times that was reasonable (a model shoot where the artistic part was constantly changing).

I was taught by a full time landscape pro who felt that he had 2 major expenses - travel and film/processing costs. He was stuck with the travel costs, but since he used 10s or rolls of film a day (and used slides for his stock submittals and slides for his seminars) he felt he had to control his costs by making every shot count. The only time he would bracket was for sunsets, where there is often no "correct" exposure.

I think Ansel Adams was a person who combined the art and science of photography. He understood the camera theory and practice. He quantified how the different films reacted to light and development. He preplaned his shots, understood exposure (and where to meter). And he worked in a medium that did not lend itself to taking insurance shots. And by doing so he produced dramatic artistic photographs.

Before I started learning about photography, I took some wonderful shots (including one that I have on my wall). However, they were based on luck (that one for example involved the sensitive portion of the metering cell, which I had no idea where it was located, aimed at an area that caused the camera to capture a silhouette of Manhattan in just the right light.) I was never able to duplicate that shot, until I learned about exposure, how camera meters worked, and had a camera where I could control the metering, and the exposure variables. Then I was able to duplicate that type of shot on different subjects, when I wanted.

tom

Henry Richardson Forum Pro • Posts: 21,318
Re: Real photography is an art, not a science!

tom wrote:

Before I started learning about photography, I took some wonderful shots (including one that I have on my wall). However, they were based on luck (that one for example involved the sensitive portion of the metering cell, which I had no idea where it was located, aimed at an area that caused the camera to capture a silhouette of Manhattan in just the right light.) I was never able to duplicate that shot, until I learned about exposure, how camera meters worked, and had a camera where I could control the metering, and the exposure variables. Then I was able to duplicate that type of shot on different subjects, when I wanted.

It is better to know why something happens and how to control it, but a lucky shot counts too!

Back in the early 1970s I was a high school student and really wanted an SLR. I didn't have enough money so I worked and saved. Until I had enough money I read books about photography from the library so that by the time I finally got an SLR (of course, fully manual with stop-down metering) I knew the basics of exposure, apertures, shutter speeds, film speed, dof, etc. already. After school and on weekends I would walk around town for hours taking the occasional photo. I learned a lot from the books, which I continued to read, and learned a lot from actually taking photos too.

It is all so much easier and rewarding to understand this stuff and control it rather than just depend on the camera and be mystified about what is going on. I know people who have expensive camera gear, much more expensive than mine, and it surprises me how little they know and how much they depend on the full auto modes of their cameras. If they are satisfied with their results that is fine, but they often aren't.

-- hide signature --

Henry Richardson
http://www.bakubo.com

tom Senior Member • Posts: 2,724
Re: P&Shooter vs photographer...whats the difference

vaughanB wrote:

Whats the difference between a point and shooter and a photographer ?, I am refered to as a P&Ser which is totally totally fine by me, thats all I do, I compose, judge the light, get the exposure right and point and shoot, and I avoid PP

So what makes a "real photographer" and how does that differ from my P&S travel snaps....any thoughts ?
--
My growing NEX3/16mm collection
http://www.flickr.com/photos/35161694@N03/sets/72157624305011541/

A few years ago (and maybe they still do), the camera companies would advertise cameras with auto exposure, auto scene detection, and auto focus as 'cameras that allow you to concentrate on the composition while taking care of everything else." That's point and shoot (point = composition).

Now P&S has gradations from the person who always gets the tree growing out of Aunt Milly's head (or cuts off the top of grandpop's head) to the person that understands how the quality of the light affects their shot, how the rules of composition work (either by knowing the theory or just having the eye), while relying on camera automation.

I tend to use P&S synonymously with "mass market compact camera user" (for which I will blame the OP). While there is gradation in skill and interest, they are still people who want to use the camera in auto modes (auto, P, or scene modes) and let the camera choose the best exposure, and combination of shutter and aperture. Some are happy with letting the camera always choose the focus. The better ones take care in the composition and timing of the shot.

That gradation also includes people who want to record their memories in photographs, but for whom photography is not a hobby. They don't have interest in camera settings or in screwing around with equipment or PP files. They want to point (compose) press the button and have their memory recorded as they saw it. That's my wife, my sister and most of the people I know. There reason for photography is as valid as anyone else's.

I also think many of us are content to P&S shooters at times. I prefer being a P&S shooter with my A700 when I am using flash. I've done it the hard way, and auto flash exposure is fine with me. For many types of shots (parties, festivals) I was happy with my Minolta film cameras to set the camera on P mode and let the camera decide the type of scene and automatically adjust for the best exposure and DOF. (I've still not enough experience with Sony to know if they kept similar algorithms. But if my tests show they are similar, I'll probably use P for those shots with my A700 as well.)

If you consciously adjust aperture for a certain effect, I'm not sure you would fit the classic P&S definition, but for the types of shots you like, that may be all the manual control you need.

For those who feel P&S is an insult, get a grip. For those who feel people who use SLRs only do so to put down P&S users, relax, take a deep breath and get a grip. I really don't feel that my neighbor with the metric wrenches is trying to be a Euro-elitist. He needs those tools for the work he does. I don't, so I don't have a set (and when I need one I borrow his).

tom

tom Senior Member • Posts: 2,724
Re: Real photography is an art, not a science!

My experience was a bit reversed.

I had been using brownie box cameras (with a crack in the corner), instamatics, and my parent's polaroid (frustration with a dollar sign). I really didn't like the results I was getting (soft, crazy exposure).

I was working my way through college and my job included work as a metallographic intern (photo-microscopist documenting the microstructures (10x - 1000x of metals and alloys). I learned a lot about photography from the metallographers and from the photographer who used to handle the low magnification documentation of components. The shots we took were razor sharp, perfect exposure and focus. I realized that photography didn't have to have that dirty lens look.

I bought a used Konica Auto-S2 fixed FL rangefinder, and started learning about the difference control of focus, shutter speed and aperture meant. I also started my f/16 phase then where everything was sharp including the trash in the background. (that's where learning some art was needed). I read many photo books, and eventually started to understand the part about selective focus, DOF, composition, etc.

As I got interested in more varied types of photography (particularly close up and long FL, but also just trying new things), the rangefinder became too constraining and that led to me buying an SRT-101. I used that camera for almost 30 years before I replaced it.

tom

Dennis Forum Pro • Posts: 20,823
Real photography is a job

I think people make too much of the 'art' side of things. Most pictures taken are not taken by artists. Most are taken by p&s'ers of course, many of them with cell phones. But even out of the many pictures taken by "photographers" (ranging from hobbyists to pros) most are not taken by artists. Commercial photography is all about satisfying clients; it's business.

Craftsmanship fits in there somewhere, and artistry is present in varying degrees, but very few photographers are artists IMO.

As for the whole p&s'er thing, I think there's a degree of relativity involved. In an absolute sense, a p&s'er doesn't think about the process, he just sees something he wants to shoot, points and shoots. I think p&s'ers evolve a little bit toward being photographers - by asking people to move, by zooming, by thinking a little bit about how to get a "good picture". Maybe by choosing the right scene mode.

I suppose someone could be a photographer in their own mind, and relative to their friends & relatives who truly are snapshooters, but still be a snapshooter by comparison to someone who's far more serious about controlling their process & results. Maybe that's it - the degree to which you control the process is the measure of "photographer". If you shoot in P mode because you know you need to shoot fast and know what your camera is going to do for you in a certain situation, and you're content with what it's going to do for you, you're a photographer; if you shoot in P mode because you don't know how to do anything else; you're more of a snapshooter. I say "more of a" snapshooter because you might be controlling other aspects of the process ... paying more or less attention to composition, lighting, jpeg engine settings and so on.

It's definitely not about scene modes versus manual, AF versus MF, etc. It's about how much you think about what you're doing. I've read some excellent advice from Justin (Zackiedawg) on Sony's Cybershot cameras and am sure he's anything but a p&s'er given his mastery of the various features on these cameras.

  • Dennis

-- hide signature --
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads