Professional photographers are being incresingly challenged by amateur photographers who’s passion and devotion not driven by commercial objectives result sometimes in more unique, honest and fresh photographic creation. On the other hand non-photographers quite often mistake their good technical skills, expensive equipment and ability to imitate works of others with genuine talent, creativity and thought-provoking practice of professional photographers.
I think non-photographers and the general public most often associate professional photographer with well skilled and equipped craftsman. Technically perfect photographs of visually stunning subjects are expected in relation to professional photography creation, anything else is treated with ‘anyone can do it’ attitude.
My thoughts I shared on the course forum in relation to the article on Poynter.org: http://www.poynter.org/2011/damon-winter-explains-process-philosophy-behind-award-winning-hipstamatic-photos/119117/ (Links to an external site.) about the use of smartphone by Damon Winter to photograph soldiers during their mission:
"Authors must have a right to choose tools they work with and they don’t have to explain themselves why. The audience has a right to accept that choice and its outcome or not. Winter’s decision was autonomous, deliberate and in my opinion totally justified. Even if it was not justified it would be still his decision about his own work. It is not equipment making the difference between an outstanding photographer and the rest of the world, it is his passion, determination, dedication, vision and talent which does not come together with the instruction how to use a photographic device."