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Pros are ace, amateurs are not......

losbarbados 6 236 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2011 7:09PM
I'm wondering where I fit in with those stereotypes?
I'm 100% amateur,
and I'm looking to purchase a new lens, a 50-200 f2.8 because I feel it will improve my pictures.

Now do I buy the latest kit to magically improve my pictures.

Well, I use an Olympus 620 - because it feels comfortable.
I currently have the Sigma 50-200 f5.6 which does ok, and I want to upgrade to the Oly version, although the Mk1, non SWD will do.
I had a little windfall and bought the 150mm Sigma f2.8, because I looked through my old images and the focal length on the vast majority of pictures was - you guessed it 140mm (thats 150 and a step backwards in my book)

So I buy the kit - and use it, and I know it will improve my pictures, simply because t will make them sharper.

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ade_mcfade 11 15.2k 216 England
3 Mar 2011 8:26PM
.....I think you answered your own question Wink
ade_mcfade 11 15.2k 216 England
8 Mar 2011 1:22PM

One of the differences between amateurs and pros is:

Pros try to do more and more with less kit.
Amateurs end up doing less with more and more kit.


Pros look for creative ways to improve their images.
Amateurs look for the newest camera or lens to magically improve their images.

I saw a perfect illustration of this yesterday at focus

was there with my mate Steve (currently hobbyist) - not seen him for a while and for ages he was going on about "the new 1Ds 4 and the new 5D mark 3" and how he was thinking about changing from canon to nikon and about 1000 other "kit related" things, then proceeded to go around all the kit stands looking at kit and buying bits and bobs. I asked him when the last time he went on a shoot, he had to think hard, and was a while ago Wink

I got in there and walked around all the seminars, talked to a few album suppliers, chatted to Pete for a while and didn't even pick up a camera body or look at kit. Bought the Freelance Togs Handbook 2011 and that was it. I'd been on 4 shoots in the last 3 days - with an old 5D Wink

Nothing at all wrong with either approach of course, but was amused to see how right Paul's comment was, from personal experience!
peterjones 13 4.3k 1 United Kingdom
8 Mar 2011 1:45PM
dunno about pros being ace, amateurs not ..... given similiar circumstances amateurs can produce the goods just as well as the pros ........

However ........ pros have to produce whatever the circumstances, my specialisation are weddings: all the pictures taken have to be good; a wedding photographer doesn't have the luxury to sort out the best 1% and delete the rest; wedding photographers have to produce when the wind and rain is horizontal, when it is pitch black, when the sun is pouring down and there is no shade; when the bride, groom and guests don't want their pictures taken; when the bride and her mother are having a screaming row; when the officiant has a hissy fit; when the hair and make up lady is late; when there is a dead body in the road etc. etc. All these things have happened to me including the last.

As for the kit; when on the job it doesn't matter which whizzbang bit of kit you use you have to be able to use it on auto-pilot; fiddling with the camera or finding the instruction booklet doesn't go down well with clients.

The vast majority of weddings go without a hitch of course but you have to be prepared just in case; I confess to defining professional and amateur not as one who earns money or not but more an attitude of mind.

In most fields amateurs and pros compete on level playing fields; natural history and landscape come immediately to mind; many many amateurs are contributing to stock libraries successfully and continuing to annoy the full time professional fraternity by being successful at weekends photographing weddings ....... that's where I started Grin

whipspeed Plus
11 4.2k 22 United Kingdom
8 Mar 2011 1:59PM

Quote:However ........ pros have to produce whatever the circumstances

Same for sports, if you're booked for the job, you have to produce a shot of every rider if shooting a time trial and good shots of the bunch and finish if a road race, whatever the conditions.
Last year at one race, when the weather was to say the very least wet, a semi pro came up to me and said he was giving up as the weather wasn't right and he couldn't get any shots, but obviously if you're booked, you've got to stay & get the job done.
adrian_w Plus
8 3.5k 4 Scotland
11 Mar 2011 12:15PM

Quote: ....but obviously if you're booked, you've got to stay & get the job done.

Thats what you get paid the mega bucks for. Smile
whipspeed Plus
11 4.2k 22 United Kingdom
11 Mar 2011 2:33PM
Mega bucks!!!! Oh how I wish Smile Probably don't earn enough to dry my clothes in the tumble dryer sometimes Grin
HappyBaer 5 21 3
24 May 2011 8:04AM
Contrary to the spirit of being grumpy - I am an amateur, (my wife tells me that I just don't charge enough or negotiate very well, so unless she runs that side, I will remain one!). However, I rather like doing work for clients.

There is something very satisfying about being given a brief, and having to use imagination to surpass expectations, yet remain within the constraints. It is much more fun than silly competitions where people try to split hairs about exactly what they would have liked to see in a shot that they would never actually pay any money to buy Wink
24 May 2011 9:47AM
As a designer who is also a keen amateur, I like the fact that I can combine the two disciplines myself without paying for a professional, I don't have a studio, I do everything myself from home or outside and genuinely proud of some shots I have I taken, I do have the added bonus of knowing Indesign and Photoshop, Illustrator etc. So if anyone needs advice (Pro or Amateur) drops us an email.

Pro or amateur why does it matter, as long as you enjoy your profession or hobby surely that is the main thing, it doesn't make me any less of a person because I don't choose to make photography my main career.

Quote:What about the in betweeners?

Never watch it! Wink
ade_mcfade 11 15.2k 216 England
24 May 2011 10:35AM

Quote:Pro or amateur why does it matter, as long as you enjoy your profession or hobby surely that is the main thing, it doesn't make me any less of a person because I don't choose to make photography my main career.

it doesn't really matter as you say

though I started the thread because there's this underlying current on the site that divides the 2 - it assumes that pro's are all fantastic and never make mistakes, whilst amateurs are the opposite. That's why I started it - get a more open discussion rather than having it just hinted at all the time.

The truth is that neither is true - sure there are lots of pro's out there doing "ok" photography because that's all the breif/budget requires. Whereas there are amateurs on here who will spend hours photoshopping on one shot till it reaches their idea of "perfection" and get stunning results.

I've got a job shooting an industrial complex tomorrow - think its a waste disposal site. Having seen the work on my website, they want a mix of my HDR and creative flash stuff to give them something new for their website and literature. To fit the budget, I've to shoot and edit everything in 2 days - if I go over, that's money lost - so the emphasis is on getting the best possible quality at speed. Its different to an amateur where you cherry pick the best few from a shoot and spend lots of time tweaking etc.

The Inbetweeners is fantastic... never cringed so much in my life !
Pro's are Pro-Active? Wink
Carabosse Plus
12 39.9k 269 England
24 May 2011 11:56AM

Quote:I've got a job shooting an industrial complex tomorrow - think its a waste disposal site

When you think of the 'glamour' of being a pro photographer just think back to this quote! Wink
ade_mcfade 11 15.2k 216 England
24 May 2011 12:09PM
it's going to be a bit like those shoots everyone does at Grosmont - only with huge hose pipes, large road going tankers and things like that, rather than old steamers and oil cans

maybe it'll be a new niche on EPZ Wink
Paul Morgan Plus
14 17.4k 6 England
24 May 2011 3:58PM

Quote:I've got a job shooting an industrial complex tomorrow - think its a waste disposal site

Should have asked them if they would be interested in a calendar as well Ade, waste, strobist and models Smile

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