Art and Photography

Fact or Myth: You need to spend a lot of time to become a good photographer?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 31st, 2017 12:24 am
Tags:
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 4, 2016
607 posts
165 upvotes

Fact or Myth: You need to spend a lot of time to become a good photographer?

When I say a good photographer, I don't mean a pro, but someone who can really put out good images. I known a lot of people who like looking at good images, have basic knowledge on photography and they would like to be able to take photos like the ones they see, but when a camera is in their hands, they don't really enjoy taking pictures in general aside from stuff that are meaningful to them in their lives.

They are not the type who will go take random photos of random things, especially stuff that doesn't mean anything to them in life. So this right here really limits their growth as a photographer because I've always been told the #1 rule to get good is you need to use your camera everyday and take a lot of pictures of anything and everything. But if someone is only using their camera to take pictures once a week or once every couple weeks, do you think it would be possible for them to get good?

They like buying cameras to play around with them and carry them around, and own them but most will collect dust and only be used when they want to capture moments in their lives that they want to save.

1) What are the odds that someone can get good in taking photos if they only use their camera once a week or once every couple weeks and have zero interest in shooting random things?
2) Would you consider them as photography euthusiasts?
3) Is it true that you have to read and read a lot to get good? In other words it's a massive time sink. And most people I know aren't willing to spend hours everyday reading photography verbatim.
Last edited by DiamondDallasPage on Jan 7th, 2017 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
19 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 16, 2011
3930 posts
3479 upvotes
The NORTH
No one will ever grow a skill without practice, you get out of a hobby or skill what you put in.

Unless your an idiot savant....
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 4, 2016
607 posts
165 upvotes
kr0zet wrote: No one will ever grow a skill without practice, you get out of a hobby or skill what you put in.

Unless your an idiot savant....
True but many only want to or take pics of what interests them. Stuff that is a part of their life - family, kids, etc, and not bugs, sidewalks, random people on the street, etc.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 16, 2011
3930 posts
3479 upvotes
The NORTH
DiamondDallasPage wrote: True but many only want to or take pics of what interests them. Stuff that is a part of their life - family, kids, etc, and not bugs, sidewalks, random people on the street, etc.
Then do that. Why do you need a thread too ask if you can be 'good' if your goal is to enjoy taking pictures of what you want to? Good would be relative to the person looking at the photos. If that's you and you enjoyed taking them....
Newbie
Jul 1, 2015
11 posts
2 upvotes
Toronto, ON
It sounds like you're trying to win an argument against someone.

Anyway, to be a good photographer isn't just shooting.. that's actually the easiest thing. A professional shoot for, let's say, fashion photography involves:
(1) sourcing a really experienced model, who can pose and do great facial expressions
(2) set design, costume design. clothes, jewelry, hairpieces for example is calculated for effect.
(3) LIGHTING. This is a crazy technical dark art in itself.
(4) expertise in makeup, and hair. this is huge.
(5) actual shooting skills.
(6) retouching... most professionals actually have mad retouching skills but they still give it to a professional retoucher.

So no... once a week isn't going to cut it. Lol. But yeah, I would consider them an photography enthusiast if they shoot nicely (step 5), without all the rest. As for reading, you do have to learn. Whether in school or watch videos or read.

I hope thsi helps you win whatever argumetn you're trying to win :P
Deal Addict
User avatar
May 5, 2010
1326 posts
645 upvotes
I don't see why someone can't be considered a good photographer if that person only likes taking pictures of thing he or she likes. I love taking portrait because I like interacting with my model and I know they are expecting to be photographed so there's no tension or anything, unlike street photography which I like less because you have to sneak, most of the time, to your subject to get the story telling pictures. Or wildlife where you have to camp in the wild for hours to MAYBE encounter the animal you're looking for. It's a passion for some, but it's not mine.

But all the rest that the people above said is true, it takes practice.

So to answer to your questions:
1- Yes. If they keep shooting once a week or every weeks, they'll still get good, just a hell lot slower than someone who shoots everyday.
2- Yes. In my opinion, if you start taking pictures and a year or longer after, your camera isn't on Kijiji but in your hand, you're an enthusiast.
3- Yes. Read or watch videos, whatever suits that person. I read articles and watch videos on youtube about photography as I'll watch an episode of TV series, I'm entertained as much with both so it's not a chore to learn about what I'm interested into.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2006
7724 posts
1603 upvotes
I recently did a session with my wife with the goal that I will have one good enough shot for a simply work profile. Once I have all the lighting and equipment set up, it stilll took me about 100 shots before we had a few that we could narrow down to be okay. Then, we will needed to fix a bit minor issue in PS for the final worthy one pic which we did get the trumbs up from her friends and colleagues.

The point is it was a one day process for one photo and if you ask photographers, it isn't really out of the norm. Pros could of course do it much faster but they have the experience to allow them to, however the process is still very much the same.

The point is, without the knowledge, practice and experience you will always just be an euthusiasts, there is no way around it.

The saying is, you take a thousand photos, you may get a few good ones. Your odds will get better as you learn more and have more experience but it still takes time and practice to get there.
DiamondDallasPage wrote: True but many only want to or take pics of what interests them. Stuff that is a part of their life - family, kids, etc, and not bugs, sidewalks, random people on the street, etc.
The Devil made me buy it - RFD. :twisted:
Deal Addict
Feb 21, 2013
4515 posts
1437 upvotes
Toronto
I'd like to think that I take decent photos for a hobbyist, but on my recent vacation, a couple people who aren't at all into photography complimented me by saying that they loved my photos, and then went on to say it was because I had a "good camera" (Fuji X-T1) – I guess as opposed to shooting from a cellphone or a point-and-shoot... and it sort of broke my heart to think that the average person just equates "good camera" with "good photos", as if having good gear automatically makes you better.

I may not be a pro or anything, but I put time and effort into photography, I make sure I know the intricacies of the exposure triangle, try to pay attention to good composition, and I try to be patient with my shots, but in the end, a lot of regular people just care about super-sharp, oversaturated photos or shallow depth of field... :(
Gear: Fujifilm X-Pro2 | Canon A-1
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 16, 2011
3930 posts
3479 upvotes
The NORTH
M1GOmigs wrote: I'd like to think that I take decent photos for a hobbyist, but on my recent vacation, a couple people who aren't at all into photography complimented me by saying that they loved my photos, and then went on to say it was because I had a "good camera" (Fuji X-T1) – I guess as opposed to shooting from a cellphone or a point-and-shoot... and it sort of broke my heart to think that the average person just equates "good camera" with "good photos", as if having good gear automatically makes you better.

I may not be a pro or anything, but I put time and effort into photography, I make sure I know the intricacies of the exposure triangle, try to pay attention to good composition, and I try to be patient with my shots, but in the end, a lot of regular people just care about super-sharp, oversaturated photos or shallow depth of field... :(
That's because people don't know any better and assume the camera does all the work. Don't let it get you down, I have photos taken with my first digital camera, a Canon A70 point and shoot 3.2 megapixel from 13 years ago that people assume came from my 7D with L series lense.

Can't believe I remember the model number of that camera....
Deal Guru
Jun 15, 2012
13249 posts
7013 upvotes
Southern Ontario
If you take lots of the same photos on your smartphone using good light/composition and quickly edit them before posting, then when people ask, tell them many are from a phone just like theirs, and sometimes they're from a fancy camera, they'll think otherwise.

Sometimes I then get, "oh, you have a good eye" which I reply, "no, I don't, I simply follow a set of rules over and over again, perhaps taking multiple shots, and editing the best one in an app, and I continually learn about it".

Basically, they get the idea it's not the gear, it's the person and the work behind it.

If their interest is peaked and they say how? I might start with showing them a short video:



Of course there's a million other things you can do to make a compelling image but I'm not out to change the world so if they don't care, I won't go further than "thanks, I shoot a lot with my phone".
Deal Addict
Feb 13, 2007
1169 posts
96 upvotes
Anybody can take a good photo. A good photographer consistently takes good photos. Furthermore, they know WHY they're taking good photos, or why a photo they took isn't working.

That knowledge is where the practice and study comes into play.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 27, 2006
5768 posts
1942 upvotes
Cornwall PE
I don't think it is as much about accumulated time as it is the willingness to rake the time necessary to get a great shot, ie when the light is just right or the best subject matter is about. Just my opinion.
The Children all love the the new down vote button.
My STORAGE SHED!
Linux User 412309
Deal Guru
Jun 15, 2012
13249 posts
7013 upvotes
Southern Ontario
betamaxman wrote: I don't think it is as much about accumulated time as it is the willingness to rake the time necessary to get a great shot, ie when the light is just right or the best subject matter is about. Just my opinion.
That only applies to a certain extent. Experience will expedite the time involved for a landscape photog to know exactly what to do within a 10min window and get several usable shots vs a bunch of testers. Or a wedding photog to work under pressure and improvise where needed while being creative at the same time. There's a lot of unpredictable circumstances that become predictable with experience. Knowing your gear inside out is secondary.

Top