Beginner What is a good photographer?

OP
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Jamesev
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#41
By making sure they over ride what the camera thinks the exposure should be and steer it towards the correct or optimal exposure, which may or may not be the same thing. Fortunately, exposure isn't just a technical decision, the shutter release person, with sufficient skill, can always add value, even if its only to check the camera has got it right.
very much so, so part of the thing that makes a good photographer is to know what the camera is doing and when to over ride it. Of course you can understand and think the camera has the correct settings but it still requires something that the camera can never do, compose correctly.

Seems like theres been some really great input into the original question.
 
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Matt
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#42
For me being a good photographer just means getting the image that you wanted, however it is achieved.

So an understanding of the camera settings, composition, editing etc are all required

Beyond that anything else it too subjective.

As mentioned before you can quantify in all sorts of other ways, success/fame etc.
 

sirch

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Chris
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#43
Just writing out shopping lists with a pencil, or using a word processor to write letters doesn't make someone a "writer", and similarly everyone that takes a photographs is not a photographer. So I am excluding the millions of people who take billions of photographs every day of their cat, their breakfast, their child looking cute, a holiday sunset, a majestic view from their hotel bedroom, themselves and the multitude of other subjects recorded every day as digital mnemonics. That is not to deny the value of these images, I just don't believe they show the level of intent or the emotional and intellectual commitment to the photograph, that would justify the taker being called a photographer.
That has to be one of the best succinct summaries of "what is a photographer" that I have seen. The analogy with writers works really well.


Yes, my view does rely on people being honest with themselves and not suffering from any kind of delusion as per the guy doing 'jobs' and the "amazing shot" b*****ks on FB et al certainly doesn't help that. Any appraisal of work to determine what's 'good' requires a degree of honesty both from the photographer to be truthful about what they were trying to achieve and those doing the appraisal. I take your point though and agree, it does require a baseline of competent, as well as the imagination to picture something in your mind to start with.
It’s not just about personal honesty though, I might genuinely think that my photo is good but I might be lacking the knowledge and skills to be able to discern between good and not-so-good. However that opens up a whole new can of worms because if we are taught that a certain set of features make a good photograph then we can rule out a lot of possibilities. Clearly judges of photographic competitions have an idea of what good is but I often feel that those definitions of good lead to a set of images that can be rather formulaic. They might look “nice” in a calendar or on the wall but apply those “rules” of framing, sharpness, exposure, lighting etc. to a war photographer or to someone using intentional camera movement for example and you could be ruling out a lot of powerful and interesting photos.

This is what makes bodies of work important, by looking at a collected set of images shot with an intention, presented with a consistent theme and style allows more creative techniques to be assessed. One good ICM shot could be a fluke but a collection of good ICM photos demonstrates that it was intentional and that the photographer has developed a skill for that technique.

Personally I am very rarely happy with the shots I take but for me that is a good thing, it keeps me motivated to do more. If I was consistently churning out photos that I thought were good I would probably loose interest.
 
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