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Thread: Is it true: good photographic talents, have it or dun have it?

  1. #21
    Senior Member The_Cheat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ellery
    It is actual more difficult to make a perfect exactly the same copy than to produce a derivative. There is always some of the thinking/feeling that a photg puts into a strong shot that can not so easily be carbon copied. Think of the imitating as exercises to strength your own vision.
    Excellent point made.

  2. #22
    Senior Member The_Cheat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khairi
    spot on...that's what i always do...

    i'm always into Dadaism, surrealism, subtractions n mathematical approaches of art. those 3 influences me a lot cos studied them in art school.
    Surrealism in photography? Well, other than post-processing, I have still no idea how you would be able to do that. There's a limit to what a camera could do you know...

    But I love surrealism too...

  3. #23

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    cheat: u said "So, when you are appreciating an artform, you are actually training yourself to acquire a certain kind of taste".

    this is basically our human perception of art.... over the ages, the boundaries for many things have become defined.... to paul_yeo, wat he may be doin could also be considered artistic, but not generally accepted by the rest....simply coz it doesnt fit into common perception of "artistic".

    Khairi : "all photog assistant learn from the main photog...and eventually, the assistants dev their own taste and style"

    cannot agree more with u, without knowing wat is expected, having the most unique style in the world will not make a difference....

    wat i believe in is that the world already has our perception of wat is art.. very diff to break out of it.. so kindda stick to it.....

    cheers......

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by fengwei
    Read here:

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/howto.htm

    Although I don't agree some of his points, but mostly I agree

    Cheers and happy shooting ...
    I am reading it. Good material u have there!

    Thanks!

  5. #25
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Witness
    cheat: u said "So, when you are appreciating an artform, you are actually training yourself to acquire a certain kind of taste".

    this is basically our human perception of art.... over the ages, the boundaries for many things have become defined.... to paul_yeo, wat he may be doin could also be considered artistic, but not generally accepted by the rest....simply coz it doesnt fit into common perception of "artistic".

    Khairi : "all photog assistant learn from the main photog...and eventually, the assistants dev their own taste and style"

    cannot agree more with u, without knowing wat is expected, having the most unique style in the world will not make a difference....

    wat i believe in is that the world already has our perception of wat is art.. very diff to break out of it.. so kindda stick to it.....

    cheers......

    Kinda like Singapore Idol hor? LOL.....

    Sorry...can't resist. I have been battling this topic with my offline friends and peers ever so often that after sometime you give up trying to define it. Nurture or Born talented, background, emotional state, experiences...there really is no fixed combination or formula. Anyone says otherwise is trying to sell you another "how-to" BS book.
    Last edited by sammy888; 24th January 2005 at 09:21 PM.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Yeo
    I dun mean that technically sound photographic skills ("correct" exposure, good knowledge of equipment etc)

    but I mean those artistics sense....to produce photos with the x-factor, those photos with impact....

    someetimes me wondering if the way to see things can be trained?

    also, does reading up help? as photography is an art....thus, can creativity be taught anyway?

    (I am asking bcos I think I have no talents in phototaking )
    Just some thoughts for all:

    * Your question is quite similar to asking whether if leaders are borne or made? It could be a chicken & egg question.

    * Some pianists practice their entire life in order to achieve certain skill levels. Then some autistic kid can just come along and play (with their heart) at world class concerts and render the audience in awe.

    * Some of us learn with our minds, some of us use our hearts. Imagine being able to empower the two to transcend our common daily perspectives. Imagine the kind of images you will see the world through the eyes of your lens.

  7. #27

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    I think some people are born with artistic inclinations.
    Some just have more imagination than others.

  8. #28
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    imho, it's a matter of talent+hardwork.... any of them missing = average.
    flickr me....
    exposure medium: 30% film, 70% sensor

  9. #29
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    interesting, i first ask myself this question when i first set my degree aside and embark on building a career in photography. even now, i still ask myself this from time to time.

  10. #30

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    just study a few good examples then u will get the hang of it.

  11. #31
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    IMHO Ellery makes some great points as always especially about what it takes to produce a great shot.

    I am of the opinion that if you don't have the innate talent required as a photographer then no amount of training will ever lift your work to the same level as a 'born photographer' because the empathy just isn't there and it can't be taught.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Petf69
    we are man after all....shoot girls and more girls.....

  13. #33

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    Techniques and technicallities can always be learnt.

    Developing an 'eye' takes a little longer.

    'Creating' goes above all the technical aspects, for the greatest photographs were created from the heart and mind, and soul of the photographer. Cameras, lenses and the understandings of technicalities are, merely tools.



    BTW, did you know that Maitani, the chief designer of the entire OM system once said that the greatest camera in the world ... was no camera at all?

  14. #34
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    Everyone have talent, little, more or overflowing.

    You need passion (IMHO) of that particular topic you are doing to bring the best you have out of that scene. Just like my sister told me to go take photos for Thaipusam at 4am, but I am not interested in such topics (sorry no offence to anything here, just not interested).


    Photography can be compared, to some extend, to idols etc. For example if you are interested in sports (F1) photography, just like you are interested in Artists (5566, F4), you will take the time to take the best picture, not complaining about this or that, but for others they will, coz you simply love it. You got to love what you do to bring the best out of you IMHO. If you tell me the war photographers go to these war zones risking their life but do not love what they are doing (they can simply quit and get another job actually...) why are they there? They enjoy the job as photographer, simply saying

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Yeo
    I dun mean that technically sound photographic skills ("correct" exposure, good knowledge of equipment etc)

    but I mean those artistics sense....to produce photos with the x-factor, those photos with impact....

    someetimes me wondering if the way to see things can be trained?

    also, does reading up help? as photography is an art....thus, can creativity be taught anyway?

    (I am asking bcos I think I have no talents in phototaking )
    LOL, I remember reading abt a pro photographer who once said

    "It is not important to always follow the rules of photography, but before you break the rules, learn the rules first."

    Learn the basics, then with the basic....it up to you How u want to go from there.

    Art is all abt creativity too, but why is it many still go for to schools like NAFA take degrees to learn art, if it "cant be taught"

    The schools teach u the basics, but whether u make it BIG in the world of fashion design and be the next Valentino (For example), its entirely up to you.

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    LOL, I remember reading abt a pro photographer who once said

    "It is not important to always follow the rules of photography, but before you break the rules, learn the rules first."

    Learn the basics, then with the basic....it up to you How u want to go from there.

    Art is all abt creativity too, but why is it many still go for to schools like NAFA take degrees to learn art, if it "cant be taught"

    The schools teach u the basics, but whether u make it BIG in the world of fashion design and be the next Valentino (For example), its entirely up to you.
    Winston, that reminded of a fellow classmate at uni when we were doing darkroom printing. That chap actually underexposed his neg, did a shoddy print and tried to pass it off as artistic to my professor. He got slammed on the spot. "This is your first year and you'd better be learning the basics before even try to be artistic."

    To the chap asking about talent>>

    Talent is latent. Everyone gas got it and so do you. Problem is how much do you really want to develop it. It also depends alot on your learning curve, as to whether you can pick up the necessary skills to be competent in photography, which is essential cos you need to relay what you envisioned into print. Then you also need to expand your visual data on the area of photography u are interested in. For example if you like landscapes, you should be looking at ppl like Ansel Adams and his monochrome prints and understand what makes him excel in his field. Or Ken Duncan who specialises in 6x17 color prints. Ask and try to find out what are their thought processes when they make their prints, what do they look out for, what are the miniscule things they pay attention to that makes their photo stand out. With that kind of mindset, then you go see other ppls works and start to appreciate art. Contrary to belief, art is something that sits in a museum or on a pedestal, or in a room where ppl stand up and clap hands. Art is everywhere. Even my fingers are artistic. Thing is, can you apply all those thought processes of those "artistic" photographers to make something mundane "artistic". When you have reached this level, then go out and make your own "artistic" photos. Van Goh's sunflower was not accepted as artistic when he first showed it to the public. I think ppl even thot that it sucked. But look at it now, worth millions yah? Imagine that a person's vision now considered "artistic" when it was not so earlier. Dun be misguided as what is artistic or not. Most importantly you must be yourself. Sure go see how others do it and learn. Imitate, copy, whatever. But dun stop there. Expand forward and arrive at your own style. Like I said, everyone has got talent, issue is how far do you want to develop it, and not succumb to social perceptions on what is "artistic" and what is not artistic.

    Go shoot.

    -MB

  17. #37

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    Issues like this have been debated to death, and they do not just apply to photography. They apply to science and all forms of art.

    But I prefer to be realistic and pragmatic. CS has many street photographers. Have we got someone remotely the like of Cartier-Bresson? Geniuses are born, and they are far in between. Have we produced a Nobel Laureate? There are many swimmers here who dream of the Olympic gold. And they do trained! How many of us here, while we enjoy swimming, make it to the National team, let alone even dream of standing in the heats of the Olympic events?

    I think I can safely say that there are few here that have true inherent talents to be "special". But it does not follow that we cannot enjoy ourselves and make some images that make sense! With training and perseverence, I dare say that most of us can produce good images that we can be proud of. As one of Singapore's leader once mentioned something like this: "We may not be the top, but we are around there" (don't hatam me for inaccurate quote please!)

    Many of us give ourselves too much credit. It is almost the "In Thing" to say that we want to be "creative", "have our own vision" etc etc. Truth is, do we really have what it takes?

  18. #38

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    What is the difference between a gold medal swimmer and a silver medal swimmer? Does the gold medal swimmer have more "talent" then the silver medal swimmer? Or does the gold medal sprinter have more "talent" then the silver medal sprinter. If the answer is no, then what is it that make the difference? Luck? If it is luck, then what makes the gold medal winner more "luckier" then the silver medal winner? Frankly doesn't it all boils down to training? So, what makes a gold award "photographer" more talented then a silver award photographer? Sure we may not have a cartier bresson amongst us but we did have a russel wong? If Russel wong were to have remained here in Singapore all his life, would he have gotten to where he is today shooting celebrities and all? It's the development of skillsets and the exposure that helps a person build that latent potential in him/her. So really, there is no such thing as talent. Talent is just an explanation for someone who can do something faster, easier then many other who have taken a longer time, but that does not prove that the other person is not talented. Its simply a matter of social perception. Nobel laureates? Sure we do have them in Singapore. Problem is, there is so much competition out there amongst scientist that are gunning for it, that the judges have a hard time figuring out which invention, discovery or contribution is more beneficial to mankind compared to the other on the list. Talent is a social perception.

  19. #39
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    I don't think too much about photography on whether I am talented or not nowadays when I shoot. If you want to survive in Singapore, money is what matters most. Whether you are born with pure artistic talent in Photography or other forms of art that is another stor. It's not what you know but who you know which is more important. The contacts that you know is one of the most important as that is where your photos will be marketed.

    There are always talents all around us but the person who markets your talents is the MOST talented person.

  20. #40

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    A lot boils down to definition.

    To me "talent" is "special". Just because I trained hard enough to have a certificate in life saving does not, in my opinion, entitled me to say that I have talents in swimming. A gold medallist and a silver medallist and a bronze medallist at the Olympics are special people who put in a lot of effort to nuture that talent they have. I personally see no difference with the gold, silver and bronze. But I do see a world of difference between the Olympic medallists and the "gold medallist" in ABC school in Singapore, whose only hope of being in the Olympic heats are in his dreams. Sometimes the difference my be subtle. But often the difference is vast!

    I am of the opinion that almost everyone (short of a total idiot, and there are many around!) can be trained to be a competent heart surgeon. But a really talented one? A really talented surgeon? Few and far between. My standards to call a surgeon a "talented" surgeon is high. Most surgeons are in my opinion, competent and more than able to tackle the jobs they are trained to do. I repeat, it boils down to your definition of "Talent". With HARD Training, I managed to get into college basketball team. But was never the first 5. I was happy to be there, in any case.

    It is true that marketing and promotion is extremely important as Pro Image mentioned. But he is talking about commercial success, not talent per se. I personally know at least two EXTREMELY good photographers who are almost unknown to the public. One has more than 60 museums collecting his prints. The other is so shy of promotion that he actually discourages promotion! And both of these are really quite poor!

    AS to Russell Wong? I have my own opinion. All I want to say is that the strength of his photographs are in the characters themselves. But of course, one do need to have some competence to click the shutter.

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