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RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Your photography, to whatever level, do you consider yourself as taking a photo, or making one?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (30874points) January 3rd, 2014

I heard a story that some American Indians didn’t like being photographed because they felt the cameraman was taking their soul away. I have no idea if that story is true or not. But it’s an entertaining story.

As a professional photographer of 35 years self employed, I’m a bit insulted when someone asks what I take pictures of. I understand there is no insult intended. But I quickly let them know that I make photographs. The subject I shoot doesn’t give me anything to take. I only take away what I make of the scene. Certainly another photographer in the exact situation would make or take away something entirely different, suited to their vision.

I can understand how a phone camera tog might think they are taking a picture. Perhaps they are. But I set up tripod, adjust exposure and focus manually, set white balance and ISO, all for just the image sampling. Then I’ll do the darkroom or computer to finish making the image in final form for publication. This all occurs after scouting the location, hiring models, stylists, and having a preproduction meeting to discuss the purpose of the shot.

Do you take or make pictures?

And just for interest, what to you like to take/make photos of?

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16 Answers

marinelife's avatar

You might make the final images, but you take pictures of real people who have rights to their own image or real places.

ragingloli's avatar

I shoot one.

Katniss's avatar

I take pictures.

hearkat's avatar

I’m a complete amateur who gets lucky once in a while. I take pictures, and most fail to present what I was seeing.

When I consider what professionals like National Geographic photographers and photo journalists do as events unfold, I’d say they capture images. They know how to choose the lenses and set the variables in order to collect the information in a way that best represents the moment.

For those who do portraits and artistic photos with pre-planning, positioning, posing, lighting manipulation, and more extensive post-processing (in addition to lens selection and settings adjustment), I can see calling that making or creating a picture.

zenvelo's avatar

I take a picture with a camera. I used to make pictures in the darkroom, now on a computer.

Kardamom's avatar

I think the term making a photograph, much like making art, rather than just taking a photo or simply painting, or drawing, is kind of a pretentious, frou-frou, hipster term.

As if making art or photographs is somehow different or better (some amateurs are as good or better than professionals) if you are a professional or consider yourself to be an artist. Or worse, an artiste.

Anybody who takes photos, draws or paints of creates sculptures or whatever is an artist, if they say they’re an artist. No education, formal training or salary needed. There are good artists and bad artists.

On the other hand, I’m making dinner, because to be taking dinner would mean that I would be in the drive thru at Jack in the Box.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, that’s easy. I make ‘em. What I did was just make exceptionally good looking subjects. Easy Peasy after that! (Although there were times in my kids life when I had to refrain from shooting them…)

A granddaughter

Daughter and grandkids


Couple more kids And here And Blake


And another

Dutchess_III's avatar

On a serious note, I hired a professional photographer to shoot my son’s wedding. When I got them I was rather disappointed. I felt that he didn’t take any better pictures than I could have taken. In fact, my ex handed Blake, our 13 year old grandson, his camera at the wedding (See pic above titled “Blake,”) and Blake’s pictures turned out better than the pro’s, IMO. But…Blake also has a gift, I think.

josie's avatar

It is an expression of the decades old conundrum as to whether or not photography is art or a technical exercise.
Personally, I believe that I am MAKING a photograph.
Certainly, others may disagree.

deni's avatar

I try to capture what I am seeing, and in a way that the photo evokes the mood I was in at the time, when I look at it later. I mostly photograph nature, specifically the desert—canyons, rivers, mesas, buttes, waterfalls. I use film because I think it holds on the mood better than digital and it feels more personal.

“Making” a photo if you ask me would be like portraits where something about the photo is planned out and unnatural (not in a bad way). Or, like many “photographers” do, editing it to death in photoshop.

Seek's avatar

I record the scene for evidence.

Photography is not my medium. Haha.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Thanks all!

I hear ya @josie.

Looks as thought Fluther has a few sophisti-togs in the lineup. Ya’ll should see some of @Rarebear’s astrophotography. Pretty insanely great actually. The man has quite a technique going, and his execution is top shelf pro.

You could get paid for that kind of work @Dutchess. Just gather up the kids in the neighborhood and get that portfolio going!

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s an idea @RealEyesRealizeRealLies! But…I’d probably land in jail from people getting paranoid.

Rarebear's avatar

For me it’s total “making” rather than “taking”. Astrophotography is hard, and each shot requires sometimes hours of work. Also, a lot of it is interpretation.

Rarebear's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I see it now, thanks. I missed it.

Just to add on what I wrote, astrophotography requires a lot of precision. When you’re taking multiple 10 minute shots of very very dim objects, you need to make sure that your guiding and tracking are exactly right on, and everything is about increasing your signal to noise ratio. Then, when all is said and done, almost all of your data is hugged on the left side of the histogram, so you need to do careful multiple nonlinear stretches on calibrated images, etc.

There is a balance between art and precision. But it’s all work.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Homeless kid

Not really. It’s my grand daughter having a messy day. :D

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