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  1. #26
    Senior Member OldSchool's Avatar
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    ps: AV....

    I think it's cool that you are part rhythm unit.
    :^)
    Tim
    Samurai #17 |;^\

  2. #27
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Talent vs. Hard Work

    OK, to throw a monkey in the wrench...

    Back to Michael's quote: "That brings me to the question. I know that hard work and experience can produce a great photographer, someone whose work is admired and recognized. But with people such as Muench, there seems to be this large gap of talent and creativity that just can't be crossed this way. Does knowing that there are people out there you can never match bother you? Do you ever think about the amount of innate talent we all possess and the limits it defines? Do you even agree with my assumption?"

    Having your work recognized means that it's out there for everyone to see. The more it's out there, the more people will see it, right? Some people will like the shot (eye of the beholder...) - thinking in terms of percentages. If more people see it, then it stands to reason that more people (same percentage, higher number) will like it. I suppose getting your work out there in professional situations like gallery shows, published in magazines, books, etc might work the same way. Show it to ten places and you might get one interested - show it to a hundred and maybe that means 10 will be interested. Eventually with hard work and good business skills, you'll probably get somewhere. Suddenly you've been doing it for years and your clients know that you will deliver, making their own lives easier because they know how you work. Client goes to new company/magazine/etc and gets you in there, plus you're still working for their former employer. It's business relationships, and it's how the world works.

    Note that I didn't say anything about how creative or visually exciting the images had to be...

  3. #28
    don't tase me, bro! Asylum Steve's Avatar
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    Re: Talent vs. Hard Work

    Quote Originally Posted by another view
    The more it's out there, the more people will see it, right?...If more people see it, then it stands to reason that more people (same percentage, higher number) will like it...
    Steve, this is definitely a two way street. Sometimes it's exactly the opposite. The higher up the food chain you go, the more likely you're going to be rejected, as you're almost always being held to a higher and higher standard, and are up against better and better competition.

    I've found it's weird the way that works. I've been in situations where I've lost out to "better" shooters (an editor's opinion, btw, not mine heh heh) before. Now I find myself in the maddening postition of being turned down sometimes because my work is TOO STYLISH or ARTISTIC for this market (Central Florida).

    One thing you're definitely right about: the more you get your work out there, the more chance it will be seen by the RIGHT people...
    "Riding along on a carousel...tryin' to catch up to you..."

    -Steve
    Studio & Lighting - Photography As Art Forum Moderator

    Running the Photo Asylum, Asylum Steve's blogged brain pipes...
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  4. #29
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: That's Nice

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo-John
    That's nice. But photography is a form of communication. Are you only talking to yourself?
    Well, yes actually. About 80% of the images I post in the Critique forum have never before been seen by anyone other than me. Even my wife of over 14 years has not seen them. I bring them up here and now in hopes that it will encourage new photographers and allow some meaningful discussions. So, for me and my personal photos, creativity has been for the sake of creativity.

    If my photo doesn't speak to me, it sure ain't going to speak to anyone else.
    Please do not edit or repost my images.

    See my website HERE.


    What's a Loupe for anyway?

  5. #30
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: That's Nice

    Quote Originally Posted by Loupey
    If my photo doesn't speak to me, it sure ain't going to speak to anyone else.
    You never know! I am often surprised by other people's reactions to photos that I took and don't really care about. Sometimes it's interesting to show other people stuff that I don't like to see their reaction. It can be an eye-opening and educational experience. Although I'm a stickler for controling what and how people see from me. I have to admit that I am not always the best judge of my own photos.
    Photo-John

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  6. #31
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: That's Nice

    Quote Originally Posted by Chunk
    Had Shakespeare restricted himself to the criteria of communication that were there in his time, the English language as we know it would be unrecognizable. Take a look at how many of the words in common usage today were invented by him in those few works of art. Any artist limiting himself to a preconceived set of 'criteria' in his/her work is more craftsman than artist. That's OK. The craftsmen of the photo world are absolutely necessary and are usually much more successful as seen by the vast volume of their work available in print.

    Of course I'm not someone who has seriously studied art.
    Actually Shakespeare did restrict himself but it was to the criteria of literature and drama as communication for his period, and my degree covers the languages and literatures of several countries, so I have studied this area as well. Goethe and Schiller in Germany, by the way, wrote plays in a similar style and were similarly famous in their own country.

    Unless you have studied great dramatists, artists, etc. you do not realize that they did indeed follow the criteria and trends of their period. Romantic, Classical, Existential, Modern, Expressionism, etc., those terms come from criteria that defined these forms of art or literature. Having studied movies as well, even these have a structure, formula, and criteria if they have become accepted as "universal" "classical" and great works of cinematic art.

    Ronnoco

  7. #32
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: That's Nice

    Quote Originally Posted by Chunk
    Had Shakespeare restricted himself to the criteria of communication that were there in his time, the English language as we know it would be unrecognizable. Take a look at how many of the words in common usage today were invented by him in those few works of art. Any artist limiting himself to a preconceived set of 'criteria' in his/her work is more craftsman than artist. That's OK. The craftsmen of the photo world are absolutely necessary and are usually much more successful as seen by the vast volume of their work available in print.

    Of course I'm not someone who has seriously studied art.
    Actually Shakespeare restricted himself to the criteria of literature and drama as forms of communication and art for his period. Goethe and Schiller created similar dramas in Germany. Terms such as Classical, Romantic, Existential, Realist, Expressionist, also describe characteristics and criteria that were adhered to by the dramatists, artists, and writers of the particular period. My degree is in literatures and languages, by the way.

    So in order to be accepted as an enduring, world class artist by the majority of your peers and by the public familiar with your art, your work must meet certain "standards", "norms", "criteria" etc. If it doesn't then you and your "art" will be quickly forgotten and you will be one of the many "starving artists" who is not taken seriously by anyone.

    Ronnoco

  8. #33
    Senior Member OldSchool's Avatar
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    A good point, but another subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    That has always been and remains my point. Photography is a form of communication as well as an art form, but both have criteria. The criteria for photography as an art form are the elements of design and composition as anyone who has seriously studied art will tell you. Based on how the eye sees colour, texture, shape, lines, and form, there are also guidelines for photographic communication too. Otherwise it would be impossible to try and explain in a concrete, objective manner why one photo is artistically better than another. At for example, a high level of photographic competition, everyone with a photographic "eye" recognizes top quality photographic art. It is not subjective.

    The reply to some critiques has been when you get through the rhetoric that the photographer was just pleasing himself or doing his own thing or being original,...depending on the rationalization. Others of course, can say that they liked the photo, but my point is that "liking" a photo does not make it great and certainly does not make it "photographic art".

    Great photography is attention to detail and that means every single small detail including for example in portraiture: hair, skin, eyes, makeup, fingernails, etc. as well as the lighting, technical details, and composition and design factors involved in taking the photograph.

    It could be said that talent gives the photographer the "eye" necessary to "see" the photo that he/she wants to create but it is considerable hard work and attention to the smallest detail that allows the photographer to produce results that approach photographic excellence and photographic art.

    Ronnoco

    I own a number of books on photography composition. While some are great on mechanical technique and shooting tips, all have fallen short in their discussions of composition.

    My mom is a retired community college instructor (CCSF) who taught design, figure drawing, painting, etc. (She has not yet retired from painting :^)). Having no formal training in the visual arts myself, I have borrowed her texts to try to learn what my photo-books do not cover. (FWIW, my mom is also my best critic. She doesn’t pull punches).

    Shooting a picture is easy (push the button). Software makes it easier to add some "wow" factor to an image. Digital cameras speed up the whole process. And, we end up with some really prolific hobbyists along with the dedicated artist and professionals (I'm in the hobbyist category BTW).

    A true critique of one's work is actually very labor intensive -- where one addresses balance, color, rhythm, tone, value, …, and how it all goes together. It's way more than the Golden Section. Just like in classical harmony, there are do's and don'ts in composition (like avoid parallel 4ths). Of course, it's ok to break the rules -- if you do so in style.

    So what am I saying is...

    I really enjoy looking at images where someone has pored considerable time putting it all together. And, I appreciate those technical lessons that describe what makes a particular image work.

    Again, another subject.

    Cheers,
    Tim
    Samurai #17 |;^\

  9. #34
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    Re: That's Nice

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo-John
    You never know! I am often surprised by other people's reactions to photos that I took and don't really care about. Sometimes it's interesting to show other people stuff that I don't like to see their reaction. It can be an eye-opening and educational experience. Although I'm a stickler for controling what and how people see from me. I have to admit that I am not always the best judge of my own photos.

    LOL, thats the truth, I have sold a lot of photos I wouldn't want anyone to know I took them! People will buy the strangest stuff! Hey, whatever makes THEM happy!

    JS
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  10. #35
    GoldMember Lava Lamp's Avatar
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    Re: Talent vs. Hard Work

    Talent vs. Hard Work is something I've thought about a lot over the years. I'm really bad at many, many things and really good at only a few. Most of us don't work that hard on what we're good at -- it just comes easy.

    For me, photography is a bit of a tweener -- almost everyone gets better with practice. I won't name names, but I've seen many of the regulars on this board get much, much better over the four years or so I think I've been around. Of course, some were good from the get go, but only a very few have never gotten any better -- at least in my opinion. Obviously, my opinion is subjective, but I think its reliable in this instance.

    The important thing, I think, is for each person to improve and to get closer to undertanding what they want to do and get closer to understanding how to use the tools and make the decisions to acheive that vision.

  11. #36
    GoldMember Lava Lamp's Avatar
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    Re: Talent vs. Hard Work

    Quote Originally Posted by Asylum Steve
    Steve, this is definitely a two way street. Sometimes it's exactly the opposite. The higher up the food chain you go, the more likely you're going to be rejected, as you're almost always being held to a higher and higher standard, and are up against better and better competition.

    I've found it's weird the way that works. I've been in situations where I've lost out to "better" shooters (an editor's opinion, btw, not mine heh heh) before. Now I find myself in the maddening postition of being turned down sometimes because my work is TOO STYLISH or ARTISTIC for this market (Central Florida).

    One thing you're definitely right about: the more you get your work out there, the more chance it will be seen by the RIGHT people...
    Sounds like work. I lost my job through a buyout recently and just got another one. Along the way I ran into a long line of potential employers that thought I was way too overqualified and a shorter list of those that thought I was underqualified until I finally found the righ one. Sort of a three little bears scenario.

  12. #37
    GoldMember Lava Lamp's Avatar
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    Re: That's Nice

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    Actually Shakespeare did restrict himself but it was to the criteria of literature and drama as communication for his period, and my degree covers the languages and literatures of several countries, so I have studied this area as well. Goethe and Schiller in Germany, by the way, wrote plays in a similar style and were similarly famous in their own country.

    Unless you have studied great dramatists, artists, etc. you do not realize that they did indeed follow the criteria and trends of their period. Romantic, Classical, Existential, Modern, Expressionism, etc., those terms come from criteria that defined these forms of art or literature. Having studied movies as well, even these have a structure, formula, and criteria if they have become accepted as "universal" "classical" and great works of cinematic art.

    Ronnoco
    I dunno. I'm working my way through an extensive and meticulously researched biography of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, who is now thought by many to have been "Shakespeare." De Vere was arguably the most educated man in England as he grew up and had remarkable first-hand knowledge of the world outside England. The authors argue that he wrote based on this broad foundation and as a means of self-expression (and sometimes propaganda.) Following the norm and trends to ensure commerical success didn't seem to have been a factor.

  13. #38
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Talent vs. Hard Work

    Quote Originally Posted by Asylum Steve
    The higher up the food chain you go, the more likely you're going to be rejected, as you're almost always being held to a higher and higher standard, and are up against better and better competition.
    I can see this being the case. Hopefully the price of the jobs goes up with the higher standard!

    I was thinking along the lines of some wedding photographers whose work I've seen. They do their job, are completely reliable and know how to run their businesses very well. They've been doing it for years and apparently do well financially, but probably nobody outside their area knows who they are. Their work just isn't that inspiring to me though... Whole different world - they're dealing with people who have probably never hired a photographer before, and may never hire one again. They will talk to other brides-to-be, and recommend a photographer based more on the promptness of returned phone calls, being prepared for meetings, etc than creativity. I'm not saying this is always the case but I'd guess it's more often than not. Very different world than what you're in.

  14. #39
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
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    Re: Talent vs. Hard Work

    The problem is the BS that the photographer has to put up with, and then the politics of the galleries, and the time that you have to spend going to the galleries. One wild life photographer said he has to spend 9 months out of the year promoting him self, and the other three taking the photos.

    Between family and the DAY job there isn't any time..... and very little time to take photographs as is
    GRF

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  15. #40
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: Talent vs. Hard Work

    Quote Originally Posted by freygr
    One wild life photographer said he has to spend 9 months out of the year promoting him self, and the other three taking the photos.
    I certainly hope that he or she is getting paid for these self promotional activities. Otherwise a change in approach is desperately needed.

    Ronnoco

  16. #41
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Talent vs. Hard Work

    Quote Originally Posted by freygr
    The problem is the BS that the photographer has to put up with, and then the politics of the galleries, and the time that you have to spend going to the galleries.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    I certainly hope that he or she is getting paid for these self promotional activities.
    The self promotion and all the business related stuff that needs to be done is why so many people don't do it as a full time pro. I think the nine months of promo/business stuff vs. three months of actual shooting is really just a ratio - you wouldn't put the camera down for nine months at a time. I know some pros, and they spend more time doing this kind of stuff than actually shooting, and that's the point that they're trying to get across.

    As a self-employed business person, you're not directly getting paid for self promotion. You're selling yourself and keeping your name out there so that you will get jobs. When you do get jobs, you have to figure out how much you need to charge to stay in business. How much you charge has little to do with what the equipment and print costs and what another photographer charges (of course you have to look at it from a customer's perspective and can't price yourself out of the market) and more to do with how many jobs you think you'll do per year, what your annual expenses are, etc.

    I like shooting, so I'm doing it as a hobby. I don't want to do all of the stuff that's required for a self-employed person to stay in business, so I don't do it. So much of this is the same whether you're a self-employed photographer, plumber or anything else.

  17. #42
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: Talent vs. Hard Work

    [QUOTE=another view]

    As a self-employed business person, you're not directly getting paid for self promotion.
    QUOTE]

    Why not? I am. I get paid for doing presentations and productions and sometimes both together and related. At the same time, I, of course use these presentations and productions to promote my work. It both widens my focus and ways of making money as well as promoting any facet of my work that I wish to stress. It is even possible to promote products and services after the presentation to individuals who come up to ask questions.

    Ronnoco

  18. #43
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Talent vs. Hard Work

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    I get paid for doing presentations and productions and sometimes both together and related.
    Being out there and working like this has the added benefit of self promotion, but I was talking about making phone calls, updating your website, coming up with a new promotional piece and/or portfolio, reviewing your mailing list, going to Chamber of Commerce meetings, etc. None of those things will directly earn you dollars - and they will usually have expenses associated with them. However, they're necessary to keep your name out there so you can get paid work.

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