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Thread: Talented? Gifted?

  1. #1
    Captured's Avatar
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    Talented? Gifted?

    What makes you say: Wow, that person is "talented", or that he/she is "gifted"

    Can one become talented or gifted (through learning) or does it just come naturally?


    What is the difference in your opinion of a Good photographer vs. a "talented/Gifted" one

    I guess these are just questions I've been thinking about- more so about myself. I wonder if I have potential? Will others see me as talented? Or will my photography just be considered pretty good, but nothing Great and remain more of a hobby of mine?

    Wondering how/when others have started, and how they've progressed. What kind of obstacles have you faced?

  2. #2
    rob marshall

    Re: Talented? Gifted?

    I think a really good photographer is one who can express something through a camera. All the rest of the stuff - cameras, lenses etc is all very well, but I see lots of photographers (none here, of course ) who are very technical, have expensive gear, and know all of the theories, but rarely take a decent shot. I try really hard on the expression side. I mean, I think about it, about how shots should look and what it is I'm trying to put across. I try to create something different. I think if you do that, and couple it with some technical knowledge and decent gear, you are well on the way. But it has to be the creative/expressive side that counts the most.
    Last edited by rob marshall; 2nd February 2011 at 08:36 PM.

  3. #3
    jiro's Avatar
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Talented? Gifted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captured View Post
    What makes you say: Wow, that person is "talented", or that he/she is "gifted"

    Can one become talented or gifted (through learning) or does it just come naturally?

    What is the difference in your opinion of a Good photographer vs. a "talented/Gifted" one

    I guess these are just questions I've been thinking about- more so about myself. I wonder if I have potential? Will others see me as talented? Or will my photography just be considered pretty good, but nothing Great and remain more of a hobby of mine?

    Wondering how/when others have started, and how they've progressed. What kind of obstacles have you faced?
    This is my personal opinion so please bear with me on my comments:

    1. I think the term "giftedness" encompasses a very broad range of analysis and interpretation. If I would probably narrow down some of the prominent 'traits' or 'characteristics' of some gifted people, they have a VERY HIGH DEGREE OF INTEREST on something. They also tend to show a very deep level of emotional attachment to something that interests them. In short, they are the emotional type. Being attached to their emotions, they tend to display this heightened feelings through the medium that they are comfortable with. A lot of them can be found in the form of Arts like music, paintings, photographs, dance, calligraphy, sculpture, or anything that requires something inside to be expressed on the outside.

    2. A good photographer knows all the basics of photography. Composition, use of colors, leading lines, contrast, combination of elements, juxtaposition, tension, rule of thirds, and others. But sometimes the work of a good photographer somehow lacks something... the connection. It's more like an exercise of the rudiments of photography, but then seems that the connection between the image and the viewer is not there. I can't say that only gifted ones can connect their work with their audiences. What I can say is "A good photographer with a very heightened sense of emotional attachment to his images can easily connect his concept or idea to the audience." You can feel the emotion in his work, whether it be solemnity, sorrow, a fleeting happiness in the eyes of a young person, or anything. That is why visualization is very important in photography. Without that personal vision, it's being simply interpreted as snap shot, not a moving image. I can't remember who wrote this idea but what it says is that "if your image is really that strong, even without a title, your audience can immediately connect with the idea that you want them to know about your work." The title just somehow seem to give a hint about your work. Right now, I am reading Ansel Adams autobiography and what I noticed is that he just labels his work as "Rose and driftwood", "Half-Dome", "North House", etc.. Plain and simple, but you can have the idea on what he wants you to see by the way he exposes and composes his images.

    Now, a talented and gifted photographer, in my own understanding, is a person who is simply sharing who he is inside with the his moving images, something moves you when you see his work. Can a good photographer become a 'talented' photographer?... of course! It would take some time but once he connects with his inner voice and finds out who he really is as an individual, his values, his concerns about life, then his transition from being a regular guy with a camera in his hand to a guy that expresses himself with his images will be seen. You will know it once you get on that level. Others will just confirm it to you.

    As for your last question, I have no answer to that... because only you can answer that. Only you can tell if you want your photography to go further, or as you have said "remain more of a hobby of mine."

    I started holding a camera in the year 1995. Bought myself a Nikon N70D. Being a regular small-income guy, I can't practice photography much because developing and printing is expensive. On a 36-roll of film, I'd be happy to get 1 or 2 decent shots that is acceptably "exposed". Sold it after 2 years due to financial issues. Stopped holding a camera since then. I only picked up a camera again last November, 2010 when I got the chance to buy a used Nikon D70 (what a funny coincidence from my old camera, N70D to D70 ) off ebay. All I did was shoot, shoot, shoot. Analyzed my work regarding exposure, composition, post-processing, etc.. Lastly, I tried to ask myself "what does this image say about me? What idea do I want to share with whoever will see this? Is it that strong enough or just plain mediocre?". Not to equate myself with the late Ansel Adams but I would like to quote his words regarding his intensity to critic himself and his standard in making his images - "Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop." Wow, imagine that coming from a very well respected photographer.

    I'd say "Learn the basics, go to the more advanced level (probably pertaining to post-processing), master the use of your camera and whatever lens you have right now, and shoot, shoot, shoot. Be your own critic. Lastly, don't wait to be labeled as a gifted photographer. You will always know it when you're there. When the spring comes, the grass will always know spring is in the air and they will come out from the ground to grow. If photography is the medium where you can express your self fully, it will just blossom into you... naturally. When, I don't know. But it will, eventually. Good luck, Krisztina.

    Sorry, I write too much.
    Last edited by jiro; 2nd February 2011 at 07:24 PM.

  4. #4
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Talented? Gifted?

    Echoing what Willie has said above, I would suggest reading four articles in another website.

    Between April and July 2009, Alain Briot had four papers published on the Nature Photographers website.
    Finding Inspiration
    Exercising Your Creativity
    Developing Your Vision
    and
    Achieving Your Personal Style

    They four were four parts of one series. Reading them, for me, was one of 'lightbulbs coming on' events. Essentially it didn't tell me anything that I wasn't feeling and that I knew, somehow, was the way to be thinking. But I didn't have the vocabulary nor the understanding to have expressed these thoughts. Briot set out for me what it was I was trying to understand and express about how I wanted to feel and about how I wanted to develop my photography.

    And if you accept what Rob and then Willie say about the root of the 'talent', the 'gift' being deep inside ourselves, then you will find Briot's papers enthralling and eye-opening.

  5. #5
    Captured's Avatar
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    Re: Talented? Gifted?

    Don't be sorry, Willie. I am glad you wrote all that you did.
    Very helpful, Thank you, Thank You!!
    I took a deep breath, and exhaled slowly. I have a new mindset now.
    I must be patient and definitely don't want to give up, as challenging as it will be- finding myself and expressing my vision.

  6. #6
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: Talented? Gifted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captured View Post
    ...finding myself and expressing my vision.
    That's exactly the gist of it.

  7. #7
    Captured's Avatar
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    Re: Talented? Gifted?

    So far, I know for sure how much I love my daughter and want to share with the world the true beauty(inside and out) I think she possesses.(hehe, and she's only 16 months old) She has inspired me, has given me purpose and lifted my spirits- a true gift! Don't know what I'd do w/o her...I think I'd still be lost and wondering what I'm meant for in this world. ( not that I know really what that is now...but she sure has made my life better by being apart of it)....

  8. #8
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: Talented? Gifted?

    I remembered a toothless, bald-headed monk I came to know when I visited China before. He told me... "TO BE is always a tension. Just be." Hope you can show us some pictures of your lovely daughter in the future.

  9. #9
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Talented? Gifted?

    Hi Krisztina,

    Welcome to the CiC forums from me.

    I guess these are just questions I've been thinking about- more so about myself. I wonder if I have potential? Will others see me as talented? Or will my photography just be considered pretty good, but nothing Great and remain more of a hobby of mine?
    I would counter that with; what does it matter?

    Take the pictures, enjoy the experience, the learning and don't get hung up on introspection (if that's the correct term) because it is rarely productive, whereas practice is.

    You'll learn more from the 'failures' you post here than the successes, so don't struggle, be bold, be brave, post what you have and listen to the good folks here when they offer advice, heed that, be it direct (about an image) or indirect (like go read this tutorial) and you will progress.

    Follow your heart, take pictures of things you enjoy and understand, your daughter will do nicely

    All the best,

  10. #10
    Captured's Avatar
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    Re: Talented? Gifted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Krisztina,

    Welcome to the CiC forums from me.



    I would counter that with; what does it matter?

    Take the pictures, enjoy the experience, the learning and don't get hung up on introspection (if that's the correct term) because it is rarely productive, whereas practice is.

    You'll learn more from the 'failures' you post here than the successes, so don't struggle, be bold, be brave, post what you have and listen to the good folks here when they offer advice, heed that, be it direct (about an image) or indirect (like go read this tutorial) and you will progress.

    Follow your heart, take pictures of things you enjoy and understand, your daughter will do nicely

    All the best,
    I LOVE CiC already.So glad I joined. Your responses have touched my heart ( I guess I'm emotional, kinda teared up there for a bit) THANK YOU!!!
    and yay, I can't wait to take more pictures and post them here on CiC.

  11. #11
    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: Talented? Gifted?

    Krisztina, if you could see the pictures I started out taking four years ago, you would have thought, well, there's a person with not much talent. But I just didn't know anything. Four years later, you might say, well, there's a person with a little talent . . . Just dive in and learn and enjoy, and I promise you, you will progress and it will make you happy in the process. Be patient with yourself, and be open to learn whatever anyone has to teach you, then take what makes sense and make it your own. Before you know it, you will be on your way to having a vision, a style -- something that's your own. Welcome to CiC.

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