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Old Sep 18, 2018, 8:45 AM   #1
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Default Snapshot vs Photography

I read this piece by Douglas Beasley and enjoyed it very much because it gave me several new insights into creating better photographs.

I would enjoy reading your comments as well. At the end of the article, is a link to the original post along with an APA citation. (Plagiarism is a big no-no for me).

Faithfully yours,
FP



I read this piece by Douglas Beasley and enjoyed it very much because it gave me several new insights into creating better photographs.

I would enjoy reading your comments as well. At the end of the article, is a link to the original post along with an APA citation. (Plagiarism is a big no-no for me).

Faithfully yours,
FP

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TAKING A SNAPSHOT & MAKING A PHOTOGRAPH


There is nothing wrong with taking snapshots. They are a great record of where we went, who we were with, and what we saw. For those who aspire to make photographs rather than take snapshots, here are some guidelines to help tell the difference:
– The snapshot is made by pointing the camera at what one hopes to ‘capture’ + clicking
– The photograph is composed in the viewfinder, even if quickly and intuitively


– In the snapshot what you see is (hopefully) what you get
– The photograph is pre-visualized as to how the scene will translate into a photo


– The snapshot is a record of what the camera is pointed at
– The photograph is an interpretation of what is seen, thought or felt


– The snapshot doesn’t acknowledge the relationship between foreground + background
– The photograph deals with the relationship between foreground and background


– The snapshot is primarily about the subject + is minimally aware of the rest of the frame
– The photograph is responsible for the entire frame and all it’s contents


– The snapshot does not pay attention to the corners and edges of the frame
– The photograph pays extra importance to the corners and edges of the frame



– The snapshot is only about what is visible
– The photograph is often as much about what isn’t seen as much as what is



– The snapshot is taken at the aperture chosen by the camera
– The photograph is made at the aperture chosen by the photographer


– The snapshot has its’ depth-of-field dictated by the cameras’ choice of aperture
– The photograph has its’ depth-of-field dictated by the photographers choice of aperture


– The snapshot has its’ perspective dictated by zooming in or out
– The photographs perspective is dictated by choice of focal length + distance to subject


– The snapshot can be fixed later by cropping, so careful composition is not valued
– The photograph is cropped in camera and can be fine-tuned later, only if necessary


– The snapshot only needs enough light to take the picture, or flash can be added
– The photograph is aware of the quality of light falling on the subject and background


– The snapshot does not go beyond technique
– The photograph transcends technique to reveal vision


– The snapshot is usually a reaction to external stimuli
– The photograph is often guided by internal stimuli


– The snapshot is often taken as a one-of-a-kind reaction to a subject
– The photograph is often made in the context of ongoing concerns in larger body of work


– The snapshots beauty is on the surface
– The photographs beauty often lies below the surface


– The snapshot has no metaphorical meaning, unless unintentional
– The photograph often contains intentional metaphorical meaning


– The snapshots intent is pure in that it is only interested in ‘capturing’ the moment
– The photograph’s intent is often murky in that it understands that nothing can actually be captured…


All of these parameters of what constitutes a snapshot can and will be intentionally used by individual artists making incredible fine-art images, and those adhering to all the parameters of fine-art photographs can be perfectly boring, so there are no absolutes! There is even a wonderful ‘snapshot aesthetic’ in fine-art photography that can be very fresh and vital in its approach.
And even with all of this, it is easy to find examples of fine-art photos made by point-and-shoot and cell phone cameras in the hands of artists, so it is still not technical mastery that makes the difference but the skill, vision, intent and execution of the photographer.

Douglas Beasley 2016
This entry was posted in Articles and tagged Difference Between Snapshot and Photograph by Douglas Beasley. Bookmark the permalink.
http://douglasbeasley.com/2015/04/02...-a-photograph/
(n.d.). Retrieved from http://douglasbeasley.com/2015/04/02...-a-photograph/




Last edited by FaithfulPastor; Sep 18, 2018 at 8:51 AM.
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Old Sep 18, 2018, 11:35 AM   #2
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Whatever the camera its incapable of pointing anywhere by itself. Simply pointing the camera isnt enough to separate a snapshot from a photograph. A bit of thought is needed and executed through manually setting the camera functions. Simply pointing and shooting results in a snapshot. Some snapshots can be spectacular depending on what the lens was pointed at and if the auto camera settings just happened to be on agreeable settings for the scene. As a photographer its nice to have some say in how the scene will look or rather how the photograph will look by choosing the settings that give you what you want. So for me, the difference between a snapshot and a photograph is the difference between simply point and shoot and putting some thought and decision making into the final result. This was a good post. First one in a while. Thanks FaithfulPastor.
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Old Sep 18, 2018, 2:12 PM   #3
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Interesting perspective, if a bit snobbish and self-congratulatory. The term 'snapshot' comes to us from the shooting sports, where, again, the quick action shot is looked down upon as having less quality than a well thought out precision shot at a difficult target. Snapshots are often missed, both by firearms and camera shooters, and there are few who can consistently nail their target in either format. Those who can, make it look so easy that many people seem to think it has less value than the considered, planned shot.

To me, it is the results that count, and metaphors don't translate too well to photographs much better than they do to holes in targets.
Mr. Beasley sounds as if he laments the fact that the mastery of the technical aspects of photography have been so well built into the cameras themselves, that rank amateurs are able to produce (albeit unknowingly) results equal to masters of the craft, so he is falling back on the artistic aspects, with the concurrent imprecision of language.


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Old Sep 18, 2018, 6:36 PM   #4
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G'day FP

Guess that makes me a snap-tographer

Phil
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Old Sep 19, 2018, 9:19 AM   #5
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I tend to think the difference between a snapshot and a photograph is the thought that went into it.

On one hand, there's the person who sees something they find interesting, they grab their camera and hit the shutter and hope they got a good photo.

The other way, is that you think about what would take to get a really great photo that captures the emotion of what you felt when you looked at it, live/in person.

A few years ago, we went to Sea World in Florida. We saw a great show where humans and sea creatures interact with each other.

I knew what was coming, so I thought about how to get a great photo. So I put my camera in burst mode since the action was fast and would only last an instant. I wanted a fast shutter speed so I could freeze the dolphin in midair and also stop the water droplets. Then I wanted to get both the trainer and the dolphin in the shot. I used my longest lens to get as close to the action as I could. A low ISO was needed due to the bright sunshine.

So in my book, I have a pretty good photograph as a keepsake of a great family vacation. My favorite part of the photo, is the trainer. She looks like she's having the time of her life with this flying fish.

Are there technical faults with the photo? YES! There are many. I wish there was more headroom but at least the entire dorsal fin was in the frame as well as the trainer's fingers and toes. The is a lot of blue in this shot and the dolphin is a bit dark. So the photo won't win any awards. But at least, I was thinking.
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Old Sep 19, 2018, 9:21 AM   #6
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Ozzie, I've seen your work. You are no snap-anything. You got serious skills my friend.

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Old Sep 19, 2018, 4:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaithfulPastor View Post
Ozzie, I've seen your work. You are no snap-anything. You got serious skills my friend. FP

Thank you - I am humbled by your honour, Phil
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Old Sep 20, 2018, 7:17 PM   #8
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The photograph pays extra importance to the corners and edges of the frame.

Great shot.
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