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Thread: Which type of photographer are you? One who prepares, or one who takes randoms?

  1. #1

    Default Which type of photographer are you? One who prepares, or one who takes randoms?

    Hi all, I am still starting out on photography, and I've noticed there seems to be two school of thoughts by photographers around me.

    The first school believes shots must be set-up and well-prepared. If I go out on a shoot, I need to know what I am shooting. I need to know what's my subject, what kind of shot am I aiming for, is my tripod ready, every shot counts towards a final goal. A well-prepared photographer will make every shot count. Use manual mode, make sure your ISO is good, make sure your shutter speed and aperture are right, and SHOOT!

    The second school believes there is no way to know what shots will turn out good or what will turn out bad. Every minute I waste standing there and preparing or thinking is also a shot wasted. In short...go out there and shoot EVERYTHING. A good photographer must have his camera ready to whip out. If I see a kid run by, SHOOT. If I see a a cat stretching itself, SHOOT. If i see a basketball game, SHOOT. If I keep shooting and shooting, I will have 1000 shots. But there will be treasures among them.

    Made this thread because of an argument among two friends who seem to embrace their school to the extreme (or they just want to spite each other).

    School 2: Just shoot lah!
    School 1: Siao. You don't even know what you are shooting.
    School 2: At least I don't need to waste time, I can shoot much more pictures than you.
    School 1: But your pics won't turn out good. If you don't prepare, then you are only going to fail. Don't be nonsense, anyhow take photos is as good as wasting your time.
    School 2: But you cannot predict what situation will happen. If you want to shoot sunset, maybe weather is cloudy. If you want to shoot birds, maybe they are in hiding. If you want to shoot kids playing, maybe you can't find any. Why not just go out there and just take random shots? Maybe you will find something you like.

    Note that no one says I can't practice both way of shooting. I am just curious which school of photography you prefer.

  2. #2
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which type of photographer are you? One who prepares, or one who takes randoms?

    If you can shoot like School 2 with results like School 1. Then you will be

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    Senior Member SilverPine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which type of photographer are you? One who prepares, or one who takes randoms?

    For a good photographer, you would had know what make a good photographic composition or a good moment before you pickup the camera and start shooting. Just need to develop a photographic eye, camera is just a tool only to capture what you see.
    Canon 5D II, 20-35 f/2.8L, 28-80 f/2.8L, 70-200 f/4L IS, 100-300 f/5.6L, 100 f/2.8 Macro

  4. #4

    Default Re: Which type of photographer are you? One who prepares, or one who takes randoms?

    I belong more to School 1. But often feel the results like School 2... hahaha...

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    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which type of photographer are you? One who prepares, or one who takes randoms?

    I am school 2... anyhow whack...

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    You will need both school of thought. In fact it all depends on what type of photography you are talking about. E.g wedding there is always planned shots for nice album and snap shots to capture memorable moment during the actual day. But talking about snap shots which sound like your school 2, you will need to anticipate the moment rather than to wait for it to pass. E.g. getting ready to take the facial expression of the bride when the groom gave a very touching speech in the banquet, knowing where to standby as you have anticipated that the sunbird will land on the same spot again, anticipated that some interesting movement will be happening in the street and getting your camera ready. I guess all these came from instinct of the experience photographer.
    Last edited by subzero; 22nd October 2013 at 02:41 AM.

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    Moderator keithwee's Avatar
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    School 2 as my habit ; I'm the one who got trolled for admitting I will sacrifice technical perfection if that means I have to capture that shot

    Got shot better than no shot at all haha.

    Pretty much end up also on your shooting scope. A person staying long hours in the studio obviously will be a sch 1 person , for people like me who prefer shooting street and candid moments will generally place the camera on A or P mode and just run around like a kid in a candy store , I only use M modes when in e studio or when I'm shooting exposures , which I guess both belong to school 1.

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    Member snowver's Avatar
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    I think u no need to be one, you can be both.
    When I have no idea what I want to shoot, sometimes I will go for random photo walks. This can either turn out super well or a waste of time. Depending on luck.
    On the other hand, when I have an idea of what to shoot, i will bring everything that i need to that location, but it can still end up a waste of time if the condition is not favourable or it does not apear as beautiful as what i imagine it to be.

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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which type of photographer are you? One who prepares, or one who takes randoms?

    I always keep it very simple,
    I go to a place with a purpose, I look for shots which are sellable.
    if I think the shots won't sell, I don't shoot, or don't spend too much time on it.
    if I shoot and don't get what I want, I will come back again another time.


    and if you just take this as past time, than don't have to think to hard, just enjoy at it is.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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    Senior Member richiemccaw1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which type of photographer are you? One who prepares, or one who takes randoms?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    I always keep it very simple,
    I go to a place with a purpose, I look for shots which are sellable.
    if I think the shots won't sell, I don't shoot, or don't spend too much time on it.
    if I shoot and don't get what I want, I will come back again another time.


    and if you just take this as past time, than don't have to think to hard, just enjoy at it is.
    I used to be a School 2 shooter but have started becoming (progressing I hope) a School 1 shooter. Being disappointed at the shots I tried taking of sunrise of late is an indication that I am focusing more on the quality of my pictures than just firing away at will. Even for selfies with my wife, I have come to see the virtues of having one damn good shot than many average/above-average ones.

    In a way sometimes I'm trying to look for shots that will sell, perhaps not to sell, but those would be shots that would be really impressive and I could print those out for the living room.

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    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Which type of photographer are you? One who prepares, or one who takes randoms?

    School 1.

    But I do try to walk around aimlessly now and then, it can give you a fresh angle on things or discover new subjects.

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    School 1. I like to be well prepared and have the right gear for the occasion. But on the street i am prepared to simply snap away, as its easy to miss interesting moments if i wait too long. However is the subject is stationary i prefer to hang and play around with the composition and framing before moving on.

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    Member Mythmaker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which type of photographer are you? One who prepares, or one who takes randoms?

    If you are shooting portraits or landscapes, you have to be school 1. You cannot afford to waste time thinking of what shots you want only when you are there, the model's time doesn't come free Unless you have money to burn of course. Then again, even if you have money to burn, the model will also get tired. A tired person wouldn't look as pretty as she would be when she's wide awake. Take the shots fast and to do that, you need to already know what you want to take before you reach there.

    If you are shooting street or events, you have to be school 2. Afterall, it's the randomness of events that makes it exciting right?
    Last edited by Mythmaker; 22nd October 2013 at 11:41 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Which type of photographer are you? One who prepares, or one who takes randoms?

    School 1 for what I shoot.

    Not doing your research and preparation and then randomly arriving on location where things do not happen(i.e trying to shoot sunrise at a sunset spot or vice versa), is just plain .

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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which type of photographer are you? One who prepares, or one who takes randoms?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mythmaker View Post
    If you are shooting portraits or landscapes, you have to be school 1. You cannot afford to waste time thinking of what shots you want only when you are there, the model's time doesn't come free Unless you have money to burn of course. Then again, even if you have money to burn, the model will also get tired. A tired person wouldn't look as pretty as she would be when she's wide awake. Take the shots fast and to do that, you need to already know what you want to take before you reach there.

    If you are shooting street or events, you have to be school 2. Afterall, it's the randomness of events that makes it exciting right?

    even for event shoots, you need to have a "must shoot list" if you want people to pay you for your services.

    you can get away with this if you just shooting for fun.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  16. #16
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which type of photographer are you? One who prepares, or one who takes randoms?

    some experience photographers seem go out to shoot without any plan, but don't be fool, as they have many plans in their head, including "plan B".
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which type of photographer are you? One who prepares, or one who takes randoms?

    Even if it is a street photos where you would want to record things naturally and there are plenty of unexpected or unpredictable moments that you would want to capture, but that doesn't mean you don't plan... things like...

    1) What you want to wear (very important)
    2) What gear you want to bring with you - lens, camera, flash, filters, etc (if you have 10 lenses, I am hoping you won't bring all 10 lenses with you, right?)
    3) What location you want to go?

    Even when on street, you still do planning and composition along the way... not just pull out your camera and go trigger happy (of course you can.) but even trigger happy, you might still want to think about what you are shooting, what is the story behind your shots and things like that.

    So... I would say... School 2 don't works (at least for me).
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  18. #18

    Default Re: Which type of photographer are you? One who prepares, or one who takes randoms?

    I always have this thought that:-

    Street Photography - School 2

    Landscape Photography - School 1

    (these are the two common theme I go ard normally).

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    Default Re: Which type of photographer are you? One who prepares, or one who takes randoms?

    I guess I belong to School 2 (especially while travelling, shooting events, performances etc.)... Once I feel that the scene is "right", I'll shoot before thinking too much into it.

    For Sunrise and Sunset other than the planning/scouting for locations and vantage points, the rest (composition, framing etc.) is pretty much decided on the scene when I'm there and how I "feel" at that moment.
    Too many great equipments but too little quality photos. [My Flickr] | [My Blog]

  20. #20

    Default Re: Which type of photographer are you? One who prepares, or one who takes randoms?

    i agree with DD123

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