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A Stolen Art or Shared Talent- Can Anyone be a Photographer?


A Stolen Art or Shared Talent - Can Anyone be a Photographer?

Victoria Carroll

December 2, 2023 


With the continuous development of modern technology, almost everyone has access to a relatively good camera through their phone, which is right in the palm of their hand. Along with high-quality cameras, there is accessibility to editing apps and websites, it almost seems like anyone can be a photographer. But then the question arises- is photography a stolen art or a shared talent? While it is true that anyone can pick up a phone and take a picture, it doesn't necessarily make them a photographer. 


While amateur photographers who are just beginning their journey may not be able to afford expensive cameras and equipment, they will most likely start with their phones and eventually work their way up, and that is perfectly fine. Although it's crucial right now to differentiate a true passionate photographer who understands the practice from someone who has no intention of appreciating the art and education behind it. Claiming to be a photographer simply because they can snap a photo and edit it might not qualify them as a professional. 


A famous author, Sanjo Jendayi said it best, “Anyone can take a photo but not everyone can be a photographer” What makes a true photographer is time and effort, and often investing their own money to be successful. Investing in a quality camera is highly encouraged if one is serious about pursuing photography. Popular brands include Canon, Nikon, Sony, and more. 


There is much skill and education needed to be a successful photographer. While phone cameras can be an exceptional tool and often a more affordable option for some photographers, there is a whole world hidden within a hand-held digital camera. These types of cameras can be difficult to use but just like anything, if there is true passion, anything is possible. 


A huge part of the art is learning and understanding how the camera works and the different parts of it. Below is just a short list of the basics of photography according to CreativeLive.

 Aperture: The size of the opening in the lens. Larger lenses will let in more light, whereas smaller lenses will let in less light. 

 Depth of Field: Refers to how much of the image is in focus. The camera will focus on one distance but there is a range of distance in front and behind the lens that stays sharp. 

 Exposure: How dark or light the image is. An image is created when the sensor is exposed to light, but an image can also be underexposed to light, which is where the term comes in. Exposure can greatly affect the mood of an image, if the image is lighter, it could create a happier, lighter feel to the viewer. Whereas a low-exposure image can create a darker, mysterious, or even sad feeling. 

 Focus: Just like your eyes, when you focus on something close, objects far away will appear blurry, it's the same for a camera lens. You can adjust to be in-focus or out-of-focus, it depends on how sharp you want the image and where you want the viewer's attention. 

 ISO: Determines how sensitive the camera is to light. If the ISO is lower, around 100, the camera isn’t light-sensitive. But, if the ISO is higher, around 3200, that means the camera is very sensitive to light. ISO is balanced with the aperture and shutter speed to get the proper exposure. 

 Shutter Speed: The part of the camera that opens and closes to let light in and take a picture. The shutter speed is how long the shutter stays open, determined in seconds to milliseconds. 


As you can see, photography is not as simple as most think, but if it's a true passion, anyone can learn it. So while the true art of photography can be complex and difficult, all-together it is a beautiful way of capturing life. It should be preserved and the importance of educating on the history and skill is critical to keep it alive. 


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