Photography - Trainable or Talent?


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lilboytoy

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Feb 20, 2006
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#1
Would just like to throw this question out - would you say that photography is an abstract skill whereby practice can only do so much, or it is something that can be trained?
 

#2
The simple answer is both.

As with every skill, everyone starts off with varying degrees of potential in composing a picture. Some better some, some worse but you get better when you shoot more and see other people's pictures.

Photography also has a technical aspect, in terms of shutter, aperture and lighting and that needs to be trained whether through an instructor or self-study

You study and train more, you get better at it
 

BlueBull

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#3
Even with training/potential/what have you, the most important thing is practice. Practice, hands on, and actually taking photos.

Lots of people go about buying the latest and 'bestest' gear, reading lots of books/magazines/websites/etc, talk about photography like they are experts but in the end, actually seldom take much photos. I know some people who are like this.

Dun be mistaken, I understand not everyone got so much free time to go photo shooting. But whenever got chance, practice.
 

Redsun

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Nov 27, 2005
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#4
No matter how much people teach you,or how much you learn from others.it does not help if you don't go out n shoot.You cant expect to read and study(rule of thirds,hyperfocal length blah blah)and become a good photographer.Heard this from someone before"Your first 500 photos will be crap" :bsmilie:
 

jmmtn4aj

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#5
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/qanda/index.html#g

Any advice for a photographer wanting to enter the profession?

Desire and drive count, but professional photography is a competitive business, and for every successful photographer there are dozens looking for work. Training can only help to fine-tune a natural “eye,” and although a prospective photographer may have a true passion for the art and craft, if he lacks that eye no amount of training or desire can compensate. Many people must be content to be advanced amateurs rather than professionals.
 

pai

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Nov 24, 2004
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#6
both lah.

talent determines your potential. hard work and practice will determine how much of your potential you realise.
 

kcuf2

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Dec 29, 2005
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#7
To a certain extent, photography requires talent. Let me illustrate to u the path that a photographer takes.

level 1:
the newbie have the intention and decided to pursue further into photography. He begin to search internet sites and read books for photography info & see what camera is best for him. Of course if he plans to start with slr, he will also find out wat lens and other equip are necessary

level 2:
with his new arsenal, he reads the manual & he begins to explore every function of the cam and shoot everything inside his house. The next day, he takes his camera out and shoot everything. this carry on for weeks and even months whereby he takes his camera out and shoot everything he likes.

level 3:
after a matter of weeks and months, he begin to think deeper abt his photos. Compare the photos taken to that seen online, in books and elsewhere and see what aspect is he poor at. He then read up further to improve his techniques and try to take even better photos.

level 4 - the crucial level:
2 kinds of people will emerge from this level onwards, or perhaps earlier.
Slowly and slowly, he begin to realise that no matter how he shoot, his photos are not as pro and not as good as those by the real pros.
the 2 paths that the person will go into is as follows
a) admit that he just have no talent in photography, and leave the camera in the dry cabinet, only take out to shoot as and when he likes, but at no longer the level of passion when he first started out

b) this guy will start to examine other ppl's photos. This guy will finally understand that when looking at a photo, the shutter speed used, the iso used, the apeture used, the white balance used etc. are not important. the guy will finally understand that there are many ways to create the same picture. This guy begins to think more in depth into the art of photography.

level 5:
Not every one can attain this level. those who can successfully move to this level are those who had in level 4, experiment with different ways and methods to imitate & try to recreate the same photos. From experimenting, he has discovered in the process the many ways and angles to look at an item, and thus a masterpiece is created. - this is wat people call trainable talent

How a talent differentiates from a trainable talent is that, the talent requires less experimenting and less time etc. to come up with the picture. This is not to say everyone will be equal, but i believe if one puts in the hard work, gifted talents can be "created".

level 6: the highest level of photography
Reserved for me.
 

#8
Whatever techniques you read and learn be it from here, books/magazines or websites, be sure to find time to put it into practice. There are those who learn then don't shoot or learn, try to shoot then give up. Learn, don't give up, practice. Sooner or later, the camera and lens will be second nature to you, you know all its small problems and how to counter it, how to best to use it etc. Actually, if you have all the leisure to shoot something and are not on a payroll or event where timing is not so crucial, I find using primes forces you to think of composition and move more than zooms. (Thus this helps train you faster)
 

espion

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Aug 25, 2005
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#10
The ends of photography is to be considered to answer the question, and also presumably the question is about making good photographs.

If for example photography is something you do when you are a tourist, and a good photograph is that you have not missed any shot of any visited place, eg for reasons due to flat battery or running out of memory, and that you have included everyone in the party that wanted to be seen at that place, then I am sure such a 'talent' is easily trainable.

But on the other hand if the ends of photography is art, and even so, original art, then most would say it is not possible to train a Picasso or a Van Gogh. You can study Warhol or Klimt even imitate their works successfully, but you can only be as good - as others deemed them good - as those you imitate.

For anything trainable must, by necessity, be from something already known. And knowledge - that which is already known - is essentially a form of summary of what works, for example, and perhaps condensible as rules. But only genius and prodigy can demonstrate what rules can't summarised and that there is more to be known or knowable. (This does not mean that anyone who break rules is a genius.)

And then good commercial photography is what your client pays you for, regardless of any inherent artistic merit or lack, ie the one who pays is always right, what he/she says is good is good. And that is certainly trainable.

And finally practice is entirely irrelevant to the question. Sure you need practice to be a tourist photographer or a commercial one, and it may lead you to discover that you can break rules and still make things work, but a 5 year old child playing Mozart never practiced.

PS: One thing is very certain: knowing how to use a camera is not the same as making a good photograph.
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#11
both....

some are very talented. I admire them.

some gone through many years of hard work and shows good results. I admire them too.

and obliviously some are hopeless.
 

Agetan

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2004
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#14
I think Photography is trainable...

I don't believe in Talent, but once you know the knowledge in Photography, all you need to do is to bring out your talent is you HEART and SOUL.

Don't shoot with your head alone, use your heart to "Feel" the shots and that will bring the talent out of someone.

Regards,

Hart
 

waileong

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Feb 5, 2003
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#15
Would just like to throw this question out - would you say that photography is an abstract skill whereby practice can only do so much, or it is something that can be trained?
An analogy is like driving. When you start out, you have to be conscious of everything-- the clutch, gear, accelerator, signals, etc. Once you have enough practice, most driving is automatic-- your body knows what to do when you want to stop, start or turn. Once you reach this stage, you can think about bigger things-- like how to get from point A to point B in the fastest possible time, or which route has the best views, etc.

And most of us are capable of becoming competent drivers. However, not many of us can become Michael Schumacher, even if we trained for the rest of our lives.

Why? Because he has the talent, the X factor, that we and most of his competitors lack or do not have as much as him.

So it is with photography. Much can be learnt and imbibed, but to reach the highest level of skill, the person must have innate talent.
 

#16
To a certain extent, photography requires talent. Let me illustrate to u the path that a photographer takes.

level 1:
the newbie have the intention and decided to pursue further into photography. He begin to search internet sites and read books for photography info & see what camera is best for him. Of course if he plans to start with slr, he will also find out wat lens and other equip are necessary

level 2:
with his new arsenal, he reads the manual & he begins to explore every function of the cam and shoot everything inside his house. The next day, he takes his camera out and shoot everything. this carry on for weeks and even months whereby he takes his camera out and shoot everything he likes.

level 3:
after a matter of weeks and months, he begin to think deeper abt his photos. Compare the photos taken to that seen online, in books and elsewhere and see what aspect is he poor at. He then read up further to improve his techniques and try to take even better photos.

level 4 - the crucial level:
2 kinds of people will emerge from this level onwards, or perhaps earlier.
Slowly and slowly, he begin to realise that no matter how he shoot, his photos are not as pro and not as good as those by the real pros.
the 2 paths that the person will go into is as follows
a) admit that he just have no talent in photography, and leave the camera in the dry cabinet, only take out to shoot as and when he likes, but at no longer the level of passion when he first started out

b) this guy will start to examine other ppl's photos. This guy will finally understand that when looking at a photo, the shutter speed used, the iso used, the apeture used, the white balance used etc. are not important. the guy will finally understand that there are many ways to create the same picture. This guy begins to think more in depth into the art of photography.

level 5:
Not every one can attain this level. those who can successfully move to this level are those who had in level 4, experiment with different ways and methods to imitate & try to recreate the same photos. From experimenting, he has discovered in the process the many ways and angles to look at an item, and thus a masterpiece is created. - this is wat people call trainable talent

How a talent differentiates from a trainable talent is that, the talent requires less experimenting and less time etc. to come up with the picture. This is not to say everyone will be equal, but i believe if one puts in the hard work, gifted talents can be "created".

level 6: the highest level of photography
Reserved for me.
Level 7: You are so good that you hire people to shoot for you. :)
 

Michael

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Apr 5, 2005
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#17
I think Photography is trainable...

I don't believe in Talent, but once you know the knowledge in Photography, all you need to do is to bring out your talent is you HEART and SOUL.

Don't shoot with your head alone, use your heart to "Feel" the shots and that will bring the talent out of someone.

Regards,

Hart
the heart and soul thingy... that is called talent...
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
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#18
Level 7: You are so good that you hire people to shoot for you. :)
I tot it's YOU'RE so good that you start a website writing about vapourwares and make ppl believe that you're a GOD.
 

Yezrah

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Jan 18, 2004
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#19
Level 7: You are so good that you hire people to shoot for you. :)
True. The highest level of photography is to shoot without a camera. Meaning someone do the dirty job and good pictures are still captured. This level of photography is beyond training and talent already. It is simply your destiny or just not meant to be. ;)
 

raynce

New Member
Jun 10, 2007
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#20
well i think if u hav talent u will be faster to get into this line. trainable? sure ... or else u just use a point and shoot and set mode to auto and snap. no need train. lol.
 

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