Photographers - Making Pictures vs Taking Pictures

Is there a difference between “taking” a picture and “making” a picture? I have heard this debate/discussion a fair bit lately and I find it quite an interesting topic. I would have to say without a doubt, there is a difference. Those two little words are also what distinguishes a photographer from someone who happens to own a camera, a machine operator.
Taking a picture is essentially a snapshot whereas making a picture requires forethought and planning. You have to envision the photograph, think it out, plan. It captures emotion, it makes someone feel something, elicits emotion as they look at the image. The photograph tells a story!
When I first started out in photography back in high school and even into my late twenties, I can see I was only “taking” photographs. When I look back on my work, as I sometimes tend to do, I just want to see how much progress with my style has been made and how much I have improved. I can clearly see a progression or evolution and am not ashamed to admit it. We all have to start out somewhere. Not many people jump right into making photographs, it takes practice and hard work to get to that point.
Look at other photographers work, admire, study it, see what they are doing differently than others. This will help on your photographic journey to “making” photographs. With practice you will begin to develop your own style. Shoot what you love, things you are passionate about. If you are passionate about something you are photographing, it will definitely show up in your images. This will go a long way in helping you with the journey and to define your style.

Everyone Is a Photographer - Is Access To Technology Helping or Hurting The Photography Industry?

In today’s day and age, where technology is so easily attainable for anyone and everyone, all of a sudden everybody is a photographer. This is constantly a hot topic of discussion on the internet and it periodically reappears and rears its ugly head. I have heard and read rants from other photographers in the industry about the fact that anyone with a camera fancies themselves a photographer. Even I have been guilty of venting about this very topic.

Digital Single-Lens Reflex or DSLR cameras have come down in price so much in the past 5-10 years that it has made it affordable for everybody from your Grandmother to your Aunt Josephine to Uncle Sam, to go out and purchase a camera and start taking pictures.

The cell phone camera has just exploded onto the scene now as well. We have people releasing books that consist entirely of iPhone photography. Albeit the people releasing the books like that are in fact professional photographers, it is another tool with which people capture images.

I think it’s a great thing that technology has become so affordable in the photography world and more people are jumping on the proverbial photography bandwagon. Although just because someone picks up a DSLR or an iPhone or a compact camera this doesn’t make them a photographer. It takes practice, hard work and frankly you just have to have an eye for it. Can someone develop an eye for “making” a photograph? Personally, I don’t think having an eye for capturing images can be taught to someone. It is innate and you either have it or you just don’t.

Having said my piece, I would like to leave you with a couple questions to ponder: Is the affordability and ease of accessibility to photographic technology helping or hurting the photography industry? Let’s be honest, are we really concerned about the Uncle Joe’s or others that go out and buy a DSLR just because they can, encroaching on our business and stealing work away from us? I think not but what do you think?

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The Internet - How Did We Survive?

This past Christmas we experienced quite an ice storm here in Canada, leaving thousands without power for a week and hundreds without internet or TV. Let me add that this is not by any means me complaining about what we as Canadians went through as I do realize this is absolutely nothing to deal with in terms of what others have endured in the past.

After said ice storm, my family and I were fortunate enough to only be affected by the latter of the two. This was a mere inconvenience, if you can even call it that, compared to the people that were without power for a week, lost food or had no heat. My parents were among those thousands of people that had to deal with that problem. I did find myself a little annoyed at the fact that I couldn’t just grab my laptop or head downstairs to my man cave and hop on the desktop and get on that information highway otherwise known as the internet. I also know for a fact that I wasn’t the only one feeling this frustration or annoyance as some friends were feeling that same annoyed feeling. My kids were a little more annoyed at the fact they couldn’t watch TV OR connect to the internet.

This unfortunate inconvenience got me thinking about just how dependent we have become on modern technology and more specifically the internet. Seriously, when you think about it in the grand scheme of things this doesn’t mean a damn thing! It is not a necessity or important to life or survival for that matter. Now before anyone goes off about the people who rely on the internet to make a living (stock brokers, traders etc.) that’s a bit of a different animal. For the average Joe that is just surfing the net for pleasure, it’s just not a necessity or an integral part of human survival yet sometimes we feel like we cannot survive without it. Yes at times this has even included me, maybe not to that degree of seriousness but you get the idea.

I guess I am just trying to figure out when we became so dependent on technology? Did society create this need or did we do it to ourselves? Give it some thought the next time you feel yourself NEEDING to connect to the internet.

Thanks to a good friend of mine for planting the seed and inspiration for this post. You know who you are!

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