CRJ Week 3:Rethinking photographers
The topics covered this week were extremely interesting and forced me to think about a subject that regularly becomes a topic of discussion for me. What is it that makes a photographer?
In addition to studying this course I also lecture photography at an FE college in Birmingham, many of the students who attend this college will purchase their own camera to use whilst on the course, a popular choice amongst these students is the Canon 5D Mark 4 (£3,190.00). Usually these learners are unfamiliar with how to operate the camera, and on many occasions are using the camera in auto.
My photographic mentor who is a very experienced landscape photographer, and continues to take outstanding images regularly uses an Olympus pen e-pl3 and a Nikon D80. He is methodical in his approach to photography I suppose formulaic in that he will take photo’s of a subject over and over on multiple days at multiple times judging exposure, light position considering changes of composition before presenting a collection.
Damon Winter is a point of discussion in one of this weeks articles, the article discusses his use of an iPhone and the app Hipstamatic to capture images in a conflict zone (Nahr-i-Sufi) Damon discusses how many of the images he took would not have been possible with a DSLR due to it’s obtrusive nature. The size, lenses and nature of shooting with a larger camera is not appropriate for a variety of situations.
I currently really enjoy street photography; referring back to last weeks discussion we looked at the negative views associated with some photographers and their voyeuristic nature. In my opinion walking around with a large DSLR shooting street photographs would elicit a negative response in the majority of circumstances. Just as with the situation Damon Winter found himself in discretion ensures that the photographer is actually able to capture a candid moment without it being compromised.
Equipment is not what determines whether someone is an artist in my opinion, and whilst I understand the problems with the ability for every person to buy a camera and declare themselves a photographer, but why can’t someone who shoots exclusive with a mobile for instagram be a photographer? Surely the audience reached is more important than means of capturing thew image?
Instagram, Flickr, facebook and other social networks provide a large audience for visual artists and also work as a source of income be it through marketing or image sales for many. This has changed the way that the younger generation of photographers see the medium it has also changed the tools used for creation of content.
A case study to further highlight the change in perception was discussion wit a student in one of my classes who we’ll refer to as NA, NA stated that he is more confident using a smart phone to take photos when on a photo shoot than he s using his DSLR (he has a Canon 700D) he discussed how much easier it is to capture an image without having to think about camera controls, exposure etc. NA explained that the only thing that matters to him is capturing the image. (www.instagram.com/nadil.ahmedd) The standard of Nadil’s images is very high he has a very good understanding of photographic composition and his images are being viewed by his intended audience (he has 4,900 followers).
Photography is about capturing or recording an image and presenting it to your intended audience the means by which the image is captured again in my opinion matters very little.