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

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by student
    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.
    It's true on what mentioned. The thing about talent is who knows whether you are talented? Sure you may know 2 photographers who have extreme talents in their fields in photography but as mentioned they are not well off. It does not matter if your friend's works is collected by 6000 museums as it does not mean his is talented. With no one talking and marketing your talents, it's as good as no talent.

    Although I personally come from an artist background, (my dad was a painter and my mom is an art teacher) it does not make me a talented photographer. I learn from my mentors in Australia quoting that "Talents will grow gradually. but if not guided properly, you will only waste your talents." Talents are usually discovered by people who knows the market well. It's not only about commercial point of view.

    Seriously speaking, anybody really can pick up a camera and start clicking away.

    Just like for your case, which you specialized in Black and White photography. Black and White Prints are not just sold as raw prints. They have to be mounted with acid-free mounting board, the right frame (colour, texture) and how you actually frame up your photos too. Without some of this, your prints are only black and white prints. Your talents comes in not only in printing a great print but also great presentation. With years of experience that you have, I am sure just by a looking at a print, you will know which mounting board colours, frames and so on will fit your prints. This take years and years to learn.

    Most of us have some talent and most of the time it's only RAW talent. There is always someone out there will groom and tune your RAW talents into great talent.
    Last edited by Pro Image; 26th January 2005 at 05:44 PM.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pro Image
    It does not matter if your friend's works is collected by 6000 museums as it does not mean his is talented. With no one talking and marketing your talents, it's as good as no talent.

    "Talents will grow gradually. but if not guided properly, you will only waste your talents." Talents are usually discovered by people who knows the market well. It's not only about commercial point of view.

    Most of us have some talent and most of the time it's only RAW talent. There is always someone out there will groom and tune your RAW talents into great talent.
    If you read my post carefully, you will realise that I think there is a problem with definitions. Obviously you and I have a different definition of what talent is.

    To me talent is something in the DNA. Some people with extreme talent can take up a guitar and play it immediately. Others need to put some work in. Still others like me, can only play the guitar in rather mediocre manner. Obviously there are degrees of talents. I am no English professor. My son laughs at my English. But it is my understanding that used in such a way "talent" means innate skills. It may need nuturing, but innate skills nonetheless. I love basketball. But I am flat footed and my hands are so small that if I try to scoop the ball with one hand, it will fly off! No matter how hard I train, the physical limits put a contraints on the level I can achieve. So I forget about NBA!

    We are talking about talents PHOTOGRAPHICALLY. This is where I absolutely beg to disagree with you. Photographic talents are there whether one is financially rich or not. Photography talents have nothing to do with marketing! To illustrate. Read the DayBooks of Edward Weston. I strongly urge all serious photographers to read the diaries of Edward Weston. You will find Weston terribly poor. To save money for his photographic materials, he actually ate food that does not require cleaning of utensils! When his son, Brett Weston had a fracture, it was his true friends who gave him money to allow Brett to have his surgery! When he finally suffered from Parkinson's Disease, he was so poor that his floor was filled with the **** of his beloved cats. Such was the poverty of Edward Weston!! Yet who dares deny Edward Weston his place in history in the world of photography!

    You are confusing talent with recognition by the general public. Your mentor is right, but I think you have misquoted and misapplied his statements. He was talking (as far as the quote you gave is concerned) about nuturing talents, such as a coach teaching a player to play basketball better. He was not necessarily talking about success in the wide world. He was talking about RAW talent (your words), nuturing, and directing it.

    Let me talk a little about my friend who has works collected by museums. The fact that museums collect his works is testimony to his talents. The curators could see something that the ordinary eyes could not. They saw the special power of his images and a new way of seeing. Hence they collected his works. But he is not successful commercially.

    I assert my opinion that there is a difference between talent and commercial/recognition(in the marketing sense) success. There are many successful photographers, including some in Singapore who currently are exhibiting here. But real talents? Or marketing? Dont we all have experience as suckers for misleading marketing for poor products?

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by student
    If you read my post carefully, you will realise that I think there is a problem with definitions. Obviously you and I have a different definition of what talent is.

    To me talent is something in the DNA. Some people with extreme talent can take up a guitar and play it immediately. Others need to put some work in. Still others like me, can only play the guitar in rather mediocre manner. Obviously there are degrees of talents. I am no English professor. My son laughs at my English. But it is my understanding that used in such a way "talent" means innate skills. It may need nuturing, but innate skills nonetheless. I love basketball. But I am flat footed and my hands are so small that if I try to scoop the ball with one hand, it will fly off! No matter how hard I train, the physical limits put a contraints on the level I can achieve. So I forget about NBA!

    We are talking about talents PHOTOGRAPHICALLY. This is where I absolutely beg to disagree with you. Photographic talents are there whether one is financially rich or not. Photography talents have nothing to do with marketing! To illustrate. Read the DayBooks of Edward Weston. I strongly urge all serious photographers to read the diaries of Edward Weston. You will find Weston terribly poor. To save money for his photographic materials, he actually ate food that does not require cleaning of utensils! When his son, Brett Weston had a fracture, it was his true friends who gave him money to allow Brett to have his surgery! When he finally suffered from Parkinson's Disease, he was so poor that his floor was filled with the **** of his beloved cats. Such was the poverty of Edward Weston!! Yet who dares deny Edward Weston his place in history in the world of photography!

    You are confusing talent with recognition by the general public. Your mentor is right, but I think you have misquoted and misapplied his statements. He was talking (as far as the quote you gave is concerned) about nuturing talents, such as a coach teaching a player to play basketball better. He was not necessarily talking about success in the wide world. He was talking about RAW talent (your words), nuturing, and directing it.

    Let me talk a little about my friend who has works collected by museums. The fact that museums collect his works is testimony to his talents. The curators could see something that the ordinary eyes could not. They saw the special power of his images and a new way of seeing. Hence they collected his works. But he is not successful commercially.

    I assert my opinion that there is a difference between talent and commercial/recognition(in the marketing sense) success. There are many successful photographers, including some in Singapore who currently are exhibiting here. But real talents? Or marketing? Dont we all have experience as suckers for misleading marketing for poor products?
    Well said.

    Oh btw, I think I read in some thread that someone's selling some 'X-Factor potion' !!! Maybe that'll help.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by renegade
    Well said.

    Oh btw, I think I read in some thread that someone's selling some 'X-Factor potion' !!! Maybe that'll help.
    Adding fuel to the fire...

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cheat
    Adding fuel to the fire...

    oops!

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by student
    If you read my post carefully, you will realise that I think there is a problem with definitions. Obviously you and I have a different definition of what talent is.

    To me talent is something in the DNA. Some people with extreme talent can take up a guitar and play it immediately. Others need to put some work in. Still others like me, can only play the guitar in rather mediocre manner. Obviously there are degrees of talents. I am no English professor. My son laughs at my English. But it is my understanding that used in such a way "talent" means innate skills. It may need nuturing, but innate skills nonetheless. I love basketball. But I am flat footed and my hands are so small that if I try to scoop the ball with one hand, it will fly off! No matter how hard I train, the physical limits put a contraints on the level I can achieve. So I forget about NBA!

    We are talking about talents PHOTOGRAPHICALLY. This is where I absolutely beg to disagree with you. Photographic talents are there whether one is financially rich or not. Photography talents have nothing to do with marketing! To illustrate. Read the DayBooks of Edward Weston. I strongly urge all serious photographers to read the diaries of Edward Weston. You will find Weston terribly poor. To save money for his photographic materials, he actually ate food that does not require cleaning of utensils! When his son, Brett Weston had a fracture, it was his true friends who gave him money to allow Brett to have his surgery! When he finally suffered from Parkinson's Disease, he was so poor that his floor was filled with the **** of his beloved cats. Such was the poverty of Edward Weston!! Yet who dares deny Edward Weston his place in history in the world of photography!

    You are confusing talent with recognition by the general public. Your mentor is right, but I think you have misquoted and misapplied his statements. He was talking (as far as the quote you gave is concerned) about nuturing talents, such as a coach teaching a player to play basketball better. He was not necessarily talking about success in the wide world. He was talking about RAW talent (your words), nuturing, and directing it.

    Let me talk a little about my friend who has works collected by museums. The fact that museums collect his works is testimony to his talents. The curators could see something that the ordinary eyes could not. They saw the special power of his images and a new way of seeing. Hence they collected his works. But he is not successful commercially.

    I assert my opinion that there is a difference between talent and commercial/recognition(in the marketing sense) success. There are many successful photographers, including some in Singapore who currently are exhibiting here. But real talents? Or marketing? Dont we all have experience as suckers for misleading marketing for poor products?
    Okie got it......if you are talking about DNA talent.
    Last edited by Pro Image; 26th January 2005 at 10:18 PM.

  7. #47

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    "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan, 'Press on', has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."

    -- Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States (1923-1929)
    Last edited by Ben1223; 26th January 2005 at 10:25 PM.

  8. #48

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    Off topic!

    President Coolidge was touring a farm with his wife. They saw a rooster making out with several hens. With a wink Mrs Coolidge elbowed the President and said " See how enargetic the rooster is?" The President thought about it for a while and then commented. "Well, if I have several hens, I can also do likewise!"

    Hence was borned the "Coolidge Effect"!

    On a more serious note, it is absolutely true that of the two - raw talent and dogged hard work (enthusiasm, persistence implied), I think dogged hard work is the more important one, if one have to make a distinction.

    But talent + hard work. That is a formidable combination! A lot more, I dare say, than hard work alone!

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by student
    Off topic!

    President Coolidge was touring a farm with his wife. They saw a rooster making out with several hens. With a wink Mrs Coolidge elbowed the President and said " See how enargetic the rooster is?" The President thought about it for a while and then commented. "Well, if I have several hens, I can also do likewise!"

    Hence was borned the "Coolidge Effect"!

    On a more serious note, it is absolutely true that of the two - raw talent and dogged hard work (enthusiasm, persistence implied), I think dogged hard work is the more important one, if one have to make a distinction.

    But talent + hard work. That is a formidable combination! A lot more, I dare say, than hard work alone!
    Just trying to inspire people with little talents (like myself) to 'press on'.

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben1223
    Just trying to inspire people with little talents (like myself) to 'press on'.
    Absolutely! For me too! I think with hard work, we all can make great images!

    But once in a while the true genius comes in and show us things and start something truly new and profound. We do need people like that.

  11. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sion
    Biologically speaking, a talent is being made when a sperm enters an overy?

    For photographic talent, the sperm would contain some trace of silver bromide right?

    Wow!
    And some pixels!

  12. #52
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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 )

    Hi Paul..

    with regards to your postings..my commenst is that there is no such crap things ..no one is in borned with photographic talens...

    whatever achievements that anyone have made through great photographic shots are those through very learning curve....and tons of hard work..

    to be good you need perserverence and willingness to learnt with an open mind and experient..my advise is...dont give up....try harder..

    key pointers ; Learnt..shoot..Experiement...Seek comments....Improvement and Keep Shooting...

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