What is a photographer?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by AustinBoston, Oct 12, 2004.

  1. AustinBoston

    JPS Guest

    In message <>,
    So, if someone grabbed a camera tossed to them, and just pressed the
    button because it looked pretty, and someone else saw the resulting
    print and asked you, "who is the photographer?", would you answer,
    "there was no photographer"?
    JPS, Oct 19, 2004
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  2. AustinBoston

    bob Guest

    Of course they are. They made a photograph, so they are a photographer.
    Since an accident created the situation that caused them to take the
    photograph, the name can be refined by the use of the adjective,

    bob, Oct 19, 2004
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  3. AustinBoston

    Bruce Murphy Guest


    Bruce Murphy, Oct 19, 2004
  4. AustinBoston

    GT40 Guest

    Whats your point?
    GT40, Oct 19, 2004
  5. AustinBoston

    bob Guest

    According to your earlier statements, your proper response should be "There
    is no photograph."


    bob, Oct 19, 2004
  6. Who is the photographer? NObody asks that question first.
    They'll ask Who took this picture? And if the picture sucks
    they won't ask anymore questions.
    mark_digital©, Oct 19, 2004
  7. AustinBoston

    Bruce Murphy Guest

    That there is no photograph is also true, but that was not what the
    question was asking, was it. Had I given a /reason/ for the "Yes",
    then this would have been it.
    Ah, mindless laughter. The sign of a great argument.

    Bruce Murphy, Oct 19, 2004
  8. AustinBoston

    bob Guest

    Ah, yes, provide only the minimal response, literally ansering the question
    in the fewest words that are specifically true, rather than explaining what
    will surely make the questioner think you are daft.

    There is no argument. My laughter is in response to your absurd position,
    which is that you believe that you alone can redefine a word in common
    usage for more than 100 years to mean something quite different from what
    everyone else in the world believes it to mean. Good luck with that.

    bob, Oct 19, 2004
  9. AustinBoston

    Bruce Murphy Guest

    First misconception. The concept of a snapshot is a relatively recent
    one. As automation and cheapness have enabled people to ignore the
    image when taking what would have otherwise been a photograph it has

    Let's take another example. The people of africa have a word for
    elephant. This word has described the elephants they see for hundreds
    of years. Someone comes along with a *new type of elephant* for
    example an indian elephant which they *insist* the word applies to as
    well. Africans who don't wish to include this new type of 'elephant'
    are to be accused of trying to redefine the word in common usage?

    This is the same case.
    EVeryone else? A simple survey of this thread will show you a dozen
    people who have varying definitions of it, many of them closely allied
    to mine.
    Bruce Murphy, Oct 19, 2004
  10. AustinBoston

    Larry Guest

    This only proves that there are dozens of idiots using

    I'll stick with the dictionary, thanks.

    When you come up with some credentials that claim YOU (or
    your cohorts) get to define words in common use, then MAYBE
    you'll have ome credence.
    Larry, Oct 19, 2004
  11. AustinBoston

    Bruce Murphy Guest

    Indeed, most of whom insist on claiming snapshots are
    photographs. Pity, really.
    Do you genuinely believe that 'common usage' is more important than a
    specific technical definition?

    Bruce Murphy, Oct 19, 2004
  12. AustinBoston

    Larry Guest

    As long as thats what the reference books say. (Websters
    anyone ?)
    Larry, Oct 19, 2004
  13. AustinBoston

    Big Bill Guest

    One *must* assume that, in your example, the Africans in question had
    never heard of Indian elephants.
    When presented with the Indian elephant, they must adapt to the
    concept that here are more than one type of elephant.
    Or are you trying to say that because some Africans may not know about
    Indian elephants, we must redefine *our* way of understanding that
    there are different types of elephants? It sure seems so.

    The idea that the definitions of things like "photograph" should
    conform to your ideas is rather arrogant, considering that the
    definition already exists, and has for some time before you came
    Where did you post the results of this survey?
    I want to see the results of a survey of people here in RPD who
    believe that snapshots aren't photographs.

    Bill Funk
    Change "g" to "a"
    Big Bill, Oct 19, 2004
  14. AustinBoston

    Big Bill Guest

    Where's the specific technical definition of photograph that excludes

    Bill Funk
    Change "g" to "a"
    Big Bill, Oct 19, 2004
  15. AustinBoston

    JPS Guest

    In message <>,
    JPS, Oct 19, 2004
  16. AustinBoston

    Bruce Murphy Guest

    "elephants they see". Reasonable to assume this doesn't include Indian
    More than one type of large animal that's greyish, sure, but why *must* they adapt _their_ word
    Actually I was making a more subtle point, but it appears to have
    complete escaped you. Let's try again in really short words.

    The "Africans" in this case are the people who you keep referring to
    who have been talking about photographs for more than a hundred
    year. "We" don't exist (yet) for the purposes of the example.
    The definition of photograph existed for many years before anything
    that can be considered a snapshot came onto the scence. Consequently,
    you claim that 'photograph' has historically been used to include
    snapshots is flawed.

    That the definition has, in the minds of fairly ill-qualified
    non-specialists (And the idiots responsible for webster do spring to
    mind) who have gone out of their way to break the English language,
    been redefined so as to include all these new things which are like
    photographs, is really of no consequence.

    See, now you're trying to define survey based upon some preconceived
    (And wrong) definition in your own mind about what the word means. IT
    can be used in contexts other than 'sheet of questions asked of
    people', you know. Has been for rather longer than the silly
    questionnaire form arose.

    This is snapshots all over again.

    Bruce Murphy, Oct 20, 2004
  17. AustinBoston

    bob Guest

    Hardly. The concept of a snapshot dates back (at least) to Henri-Cartier
    Bresson's first use of the Leica cameras in the 30's. 2004-1936 = 68
    years. 68 years is almost 50% of the 139 years since 1865. Besides that,
    in it's earliest days, photography concerned itself more with content
    than form. Consider the photography of the American Civil War, the porn,
    and the spectacle.

    Please cite an example of a photographer who was practicing your personal
    definition of photography before about 1894.
    In English?

    Or are you saying that the (hypothetical) Africans have a word for
    elephant in their own language (that they all understand) and that some
    other culture has a different word for two different types of elephants
    and that the other culture wants the Africans to equate thier word to the
    other word in the other culture? Your analogy is so flawed it is useless.
    Unless you can tell me the language that you speak which has a word that
    cannot be translated into English that means "photogapher who cares
    mostly about the composition."

    In your analogy, you are the one who is trying to force the Africans to
    accept a new definition, btw.
    Right then. According to you there are 12 people (out of hundreds of
    millions) using various meanings more or less like yours. Unless one of
    you writes for a major publication or is an established author, your
    ability to change usage patterns is pretty much nill.

    bob, Oct 20, 2004
  18. AustinBoston

    bob Guest

    If the "specific technical definition" originates with you, then yes, I am
    much more concerned with how the rest of the world uses the term than you.

    If you can cite a reference where someone has defined the term as you would
    like us to use it, then after I consult the reference, I may change my

    bob, Oct 20, 2004
  19. AustinBoston

    bob Guest

    It's the one Bruce invented that brings the motive of the photographer into
    play. Specifically, Bruce believes that only somone who holds the artistic
    merits of the image in highest regard qualifies as a photographer.

    Scroll down and read the thread on histograms and weddings and you will
    find that the people who shoot weddings for a living don't qualify as
    photographers under Bruce's definition.

    But neither do any photo-journalists I have ever met. The first rule I ever
    learned shooting for a paper was "Bring back something we can print." The
    second rule was "If you can get a shot that illustrates the story (because
    of it's content), so much the better."

    bob, Oct 20, 2004
  20. Don't be obtuse.

    Look at my definition of a photographer:
    "Anyone who seriously pursues the craft of photography, and all that
    that entails." If you will note, there is no requirement or even
    implication of compentancy in the definition, merely that to be
    considered a photographer one must attempt to learn the craft.
    Whether one becomes good at it or not is irrelevant. Just as with
    carpentry: There are great ones, and good ones, and bad ones, and
    ignorant ones, but they've all STUDIED to be carpenters. If all
    you've done is buy a camera and just started taking pictures
    willy-nilly without so much as an attempt to learn the craft of
    photography, then you are not a photographer. You're a snapshooter
    taking snapshots. And for most people, that's all they want from a
    Stefan Patric, Oct 20, 2004
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