Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Take the 2-minute tour ×
Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Has anyone ever invited amateur and pro photographers to take pictures of the same environment (or people) using the same gear to compare the results? If so, maybe results of such experiment are available on some sites for everyone to see?

For example how would fashion magazine photos would look like if they were taken by amateurs, or how would a pro take a regular picture of a person on the street with amateur gear.

share|improve this question
3  
It is a powerful exercise to have different people photograph the same subject, regardless of whether they are professional or amateur. It is surprising (and stimulating) to see the many different interpretations of the same subject. But, sticking to your question, the biggest difference between professionals and amateurs lies not so much in their cameras, but in their lighting and studio equipment. This is a decisive advantage for things like fashion photography. –  labnut Jan 15 '11 at 22:08
    
This is a perfect answer for your question miningindustrialphotographer.com/crappy-vs-snappy –  user19953 May 16 '13 at 4:20
add comment

5 Answers 5

To be honest, a good amateur takes the same or better than photos of a professional. It's 2010 so there's so much information available to the public, and with the falling prices of photography equipment there's really no difference between a good amateur and pro.

share|improve this answer
12  
For a good majority of pros, the difference is less artistic/technical and more just business sense. Most of the work of a professional photographer doesn't involve the camera. –  chills42 Jul 24 '10 at 1:00
    
depends on the requirements of the image. I print platinum with dig negs and the megapixels of a phase one back would be required to do large images (i.e. like 20x24) at 360 lpm with a single image. This is something a pro (i.e. fine arts pro) might do that would be VERY different. Also, the larger cameras and lenses give a different feel on the image. –  Kevin Won Jan 14 '11 at 23:49
    
yes and no. The sole difference between the pro and the amateur is that the pro gets paid for what he does, the amateur doesn't. The pro will create what sells, if that means specific criteria for quality and composition need to be met he'll meet those, whether those lead to an image that taken alone would look "good" or not. Say he needs to create an image that fits on the right side of a page, leaving 50% free on the left for text, of a female figure drawing attention to her clothes. He'll do that despite it not being "correct" according to the books. –  jwenting May 16 '13 at 8:34
add comment

It's a regular feature in several magazines, and occasionally these things happen by chance. For example, I bumped into Will Cheung when I was shooting this -- I'd taken this other shot and Will followed my lead and featured his copy of the photo in Photography Monthly a couple of months later. I was torn between being proud that he'd taken inspiration from my shot, and that he'd stolen my idea...

share|improve this answer
add comment

The only difference between an amateur photographer and a professional photographer is a willing buyer.

While it is true that most professionals use higher end gear than most amateurs, this is not always the case. There are many working photographers who are paid for what they do and many amateurs who produce mediocre content. There are many amateurs who do it purely for the love of it (the latin word amor (love) is the etymological root of amateur) as well as professional who produce outstanding, creative images.

share|improve this answer
add comment

"To be honest, a good amateur takes the same or better than photos of a professional. It's 2010 so there's so much information available to the public, and with the falling prices of photography equipment there's really no difference between a good amateur and pro."

hahahaha. Even though this was posted in 2010, it's still the biggest bullsh*t statement I have ever heard. Even now in 2013.

I see this all the time, over and over and I have experienced many times first hand.

Here is the difference between an amateur and a professional photographer.

Let's setup the same scenario for both photographers. They have the same camera, heck even put the same settings on it and give them the same lens. They have the same model (let's say female) and the same amount of time to photographer her. 2 minutes.

It's a competition. Amateur - On your mark, get set, go!

The amateur will start snapping images placing the subject in various poses (if he/she even knows any) and will grab loads of images and guaranteed some of them are good, maybe even great! 2 minutes goes by fast and he/she captured 50 or 60 images for the client.

Professional - On your mark, get set, go!

"Hello, my name is so and so, what is your name?". The photographer ask a few questions and get to know the subject all the time looking at her facial expressions. The photographer will notice the eyes, the hairstyle and how the subject is sitting or standing. The photographer will tell her the process of his image taking and he/she might even have her turn left and right.........oh no.....time is ticking. It's already 1 minute 30 seconds. The professional will quickly and accurately grab 5 to 6 images, maybe up to 10.

Which experience do you think the model will enjoy more? Which images do you think she will purchase as a wall portrait............and which photographer will bend over and give them all the images on a cd for $25?

There is much more to being a professional than having a good camera and knowing how to use it.

share|improve this answer
6  
I've seen plenty of amateurs who use the second approach — and plenty of pros who fail at it. –  mattdm Jun 8 '13 at 18:37
    
Exceptions are everywhere, though I agree with the part that numerous shots don't make you a better photographer and they don't give you extra time to do some post-processing either. –  kursat Jun 8 '13 at 20:29
add comment

Good question.

As a premise, I say that every opinion is obviously subjective. What I consider "wonderful", may be "ugly" for someone else.

Anyway, I don't know if there's a website with such a comparison, but it's easy to make it: just do a search on Flickr or any other photo sharing service of the same subject with the same camera and gear.

For example, take:

flickr.com/photos/anna_abramova/2351141120/

flickr.com/photos/chanc/4757005099/

(sorry, can't post more than one link for this stupid spam filter)

It's the Colosseum (an Italian monument, if you live on the Moon and don't know it :).

The first was taken with a Canon 5D, one of the best cameras on the market, the second with the less powerful 30D. But, you see, the second photo is much more interesting and visually pleasing.

Or even, you can see here another interesting and suggestive shot. And, believe it or not, it was taken with an Apple iPhone. That is just a cellphone, after all.

So, in my opinion, you can take beautiful shots with simple gear and ugly ones with top-rated cameras. It's the photographer that makes the photo, not viceversa.

share|improve this answer
1  
I think the terms "amateur" and "professional" were in reference to the person taking the photo not the equipment. –  Benjamin Cutler Jan 14 '11 at 22:29
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.