A&P Snapshot vs. Photograph?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by friednanners, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. friednanners

    friednanners Sliver Member

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    I'm a beginner and have signed up for a photography class and this is one of our first assignments.

    What's the difference between a snapshot, and a photograph?

    What type of examples could I show my teacher?

    Thanks for any help, I'm really looking to get into photography a lot more..
     
  2. Jonny Chimpo

    Jonny Chimpo OT Supporter

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    Are you serious?

    Could that assignment be ANY more subjective and doomed to failure?
     
  3. UnNakedChef

    UnNakedChef 2jz Sackrider Holder

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    You have to employ a strobist or HDR technique in order for it to be considered a REAL photograph. Anything else is just a snapshot.
     
  4. F1

    F1 Active Member

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    First slap your teacher. Then I would say that a snapshot would be a family in front of some tourist attraction, just a quick unplanned shot.

    A photograph would be a picture that is planned and composed with all the elements of photography (lighting, exposure, etc) to near perfection.

    I guess that's how I would approach it.
     
  5. Jonny Chimpo

    Jonny Chimpo OT Supporter

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    And yet, that would be wrong. Proof:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    These are some examples that jump to mind that are famous. There are also countless examples where the photograph is not famous, and it was completely unplanned, yet it is an utterly fantastic image.

    What makes a photograph more than a snapshot is something far more intangible than composition and technical execution. I've heard about people trying to re-create Ansel Adams work by going to great lengths to duplicate his methods. Every detail is planned, down to going to the exact location on during the same time of year with the same camera, the same film and same processing, only to come away with images that are nowhere near as compelling as Adams work.
     
  6. F1

    F1 Active Member

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    Sure, those are all great snapshots. My point was trying to interpret what the teacher was asking for. It has nothing to do with quality or how famous an image is. A snapshot is a just a spur of the moment picture that can be great or as worthless as a family gathering. The elements of a snapshot can be shitty or perfect. A photograph is prepared like a director prepares a scene in a movie. I still think that's the difference his teacher is getting at.

    Then again, I took photography back in 9th grade.
     
  7. Jonny Chimpo

    Jonny Chimpo OT Supporter

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    You can put all the production an preparation in the world into a photo and still end up with crap.

    I'm pretty sure what the instructor is getting at is an open subjective discussion of what makes a good photo and what makes a bad one. However, using the terms snapshots and photographs is pigeon holing the discussion in exactly the way you are. You say "snapshot" and everyone thinks of their aunt Tessie's 90th birthday party. You say "photograph" and people think Ansel Adams.

    Truth be told though, you can have some spectacular "snapshots" that are photographs people might look at over and over again, and at the same time you can take a "photograph" that isn't worth the paper it's printed on all because of the narrow definition of how much planning and production went into it.

    I think you'd be hard pressed to get many people to agree with you that the images above are "snapshots" and fame doesn't have much to do with it.
     
  8. F1

    F1 Active Member

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    Well you're looking at it objectively. I'm saying that for a beginners photography class the teacher is probably approaching it technically. Technically those are all snapshots that you posted, and are good photographs. Since it's for beginners I think he's just trying to get them to think in terms of what goes into composing a "photograph" as opposed to just snapping random shots all over the place like most beginners are used to.

    Or something, I just remembered that I barely cared to begin with.
     
  9. kristin

    kristin my dog > *

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    I completely agree with what Chimpo is saying, in a real life scenario. However, I'd assume that the teacher wants what F1 is saying. I'd assume that the teacher has gone over the "basics" of photography before setting up this assignment. If not, the teacher is more than likely trying to see what s/he has to deal with in the class.

    If the teacher has already gone over the basics, then go by what the teacher would consider a photograph, based on the "definitions" and examples used in the teaching.

    If the teacher hasn't gone over anything yet, s/he is just trying to figure out what level everyone is on, and what everyone considers a snapshot vs. photograph. In that case, it'll be a little harder to give the teacher exactly what he wants.
     
  10. Hypnos_VI

    Hypnos_VI JENGA!

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    im gonna have to agree with chimpo as well, most of those are all examples of street photography. back in their time [but not exactly refered to as much these days] they were photojournalistic shots. what i think separates them from a snapshot is the emotion they evoke from the viewer.

    sure they may not have gone to great lengths to plan the photo, but they had the had the skills to be able to capture the moment. take the first one, if that was a snapshot, it would be in landscape, they would be tiny in the frame and there would be a lot of background clutter [ever notice people taking snapshots stand way too far away from their subject]
     
  11. Derrict

    Derrict No, I am not Amish OT Supporter

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    A snap shot is something that is a simple shot. It may look pretty but there's no meaning behind the shot. Wow, it's a flower. Lighting looks good, colors are vibrant, image is sharp. But other than that, it's a flower. Nothing more, nothing less.

    A good photograph is something that will draw the viewer's attention, for various reasons, for more than a split second. A snap shot will be given a glance than pass over.
     
  12. 00soul

    00soul halfsharkalligatorhalfman

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    meaningful composition
     
  13. bearsdidit

    bearsdidit OT Supporter

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    lol we had this lecture today for my photo class. hahrharahr
     
  14. Jonny Chimpo

    Jonny Chimpo OT Supporter

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    and?
     
  15. hash browns

    hash browns lolcathlon champion OT Supporter

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    the topic is subjective, but...

    think about the circumstances that a photo is being created and if method is being applied

    a photo that is just being taken for the sake of appearing pretty is likely to be a snapshot. there are plenty of cliched photographs that are largely forgettable when looking at one and then another. there is a brief commentary on this topic called 'scenic fatigue' somewhere on photo.net ...

    on the other end of the spectrum that's been drawn here, for a photo to be a photograph there is method being applied by the photographer, and not all method is in technical photographic technique...

    when method is being applied, it usually requires thinking, forethought to envision the image and the approach to acquiring it and getting desired results

    of course there are exceptions out there
     
  16. bearsdidit

    bearsdidit OT Supporter

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    oh i wasn't paying attention. i was too busy eye fucking all the rude titties in my class.
     
  17. Jonny Chimpo

    Jonny Chimpo OT Supporter

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    :h5:
     
  18. hash browns

    hash browns lolcathlon champion OT Supporter

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    get me some photographs or snapshots of those
     
  19. bearsdidit

    bearsdidit OT Supporter

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    working on it.... :bigthumb:
     
  20. CRC

    CRC New Member

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    photograph: worthy of being hung on the wall, evokes emotion and feeling more then just what is pictured.

    snapshot: none of the above
     
  21. joy division

    joy division New Member

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    no exceptions to this one :hsugh:



    I wouldn't take anything in that class seriously, he's (your teacher) just there doing a job.
     
  22. vwpilot

    vwpilot New Member

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    This is entirely too subjective.

    All those above famous photos are indeed snapshots. They are shots taken in the spur of the moment with no setup and no thought in what is being taken (Although I've heard the Iwo Jima shot was staged after the initial flag raising and therefore would be a photograph and not a snap).

    What if the photographer had taken 15 or 20 different shots of sailors kissing girls that day?

    What if 10 more photographers had taken similar shots of the Tiananmen Square incident or the girl running from the napalmed village?

    Why is the shot of Ali a photograph from that angle and not from another angle taken by another photographer at the same moment but not lucky enough to be in that exact position at the time?

    The aftermath of a photo and its resulting rarity or impact has nothing to do with whether it was a snapshot or not in the specific meaning of a snapshot.

    If you look it up in the dictionary you get this:

    Which specifically mentions it being typically (but not always) by an amateur. Though that doesnt need to be the case, the main part of the definition is a casual photograph.

    If you look on wikipedia for a more common interpretation of the word you get this:

    It refers to it being an unstaged photograph without any real pre-arrangement. It goes on to say they are often amateurish and out of focus, etc, etc.

    However, the basic premise is that its an unstaged and quick shot taken without any real forethought or arrangement.

    Most of those photos exhibits that kind of shot. The fact they may be taken by pros and eventually become famous for their impact shouldn't change the fact they were taken quickly and without arrangement, and therefore, essentially, a snapshot. You can certainly argue to the Ali shot, as in sports you often work and arrange to put yourself in the position for a great photo. So there was likely some thought put into that shot and its not really a snap. Possibly the same with the Einstein shot if that was an arranged photoshoot and the photographer just happened to grab that image during it. But most of those are without setup which is the essential point of a snap.

    In the end you can have wonderful snapshots, such as above and horrible photographs. The definitions of each do not pertain to the eventual outcome and its impact.

    So I'm sure what the teach wants is something to the effect of a snap being the quick family shot on vacation and a photo as being something arranged and planned for.

    However, if you really wanted to fuck with her, tell her that every snapshot IS INDEED a photograph, though every photograph doesnt have to be a snapshot. Since the definition of a photo is an image captured using light, or officially:

    Therefore every snapshot IS a photograph. Its just that better photographs are not considered snapshots.
     
  23. Hypnos_VI

    Hypnos_VI JENGA!

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    i must disagree. you say the iwo jima shot and the napalmed village shots are just snapshots, but you would concider the ali pic a photograph. you say that "as in sports you often work and arrange to put yourself in the position for a great photo" to justify that sports photography is a photograph.

    lemme quote that again

    "as in sports you often work and arrange to put yourself in the position for a great photo"

    lets rework that for a photojournalist shall we

    "as in photojournalism you often work and arrange to put yourself in the position for a great photo"

    how about more generic

    "you often work and arrange to put yourself in the position for a great photo"

    that is what separates your casual snapshot, from the guy who goes out shooting every day with a fully loaded pack, trying to put himself in places where he knows he can get stunning shots.

    would you call this next picture just a snapshot

    [​IMG]

    Title: "Afghan Girl" (detail)
    Photographer: Steve McCurry
    Subject: Sharbat Gula
    Camera: Nikon FM2
    Film: Kodachrome 64
    Lens Focal Length: 105mm
    "Afghan Girl" was featured on the front cover of the June 1985 issue of National Geographic Magazine.

    this guy traveled across the world to put himself in positions where he could capture great shots

    thats all i have at the moment to backup my stance [i just woke up] so ill have to look more. but after reading all thats been written since yesterday the posts that have been posted since yestera say that all sports photography are snapshots. unless you prescibe to the definition above.
     
  24. vwpilot

    vwpilot New Member

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    Technically the two I mentioned were snaps. They didnt pre-arrange to have a village napalmed nor did they pre-arrange the flag raising.

    Especially in the village shot, I dont think the photographer was thinking about where the lighting was and positioned himself in the right position. He didnt think about where the people would be running from or any of that. He was there, they were running he snapped a shot and then he put his camera down to help them out. Hardly a well thought out photograph.

    The results are stunning though, regardless of whether it was well thought out or not. Calling it technically a snap doesnt take away from its impact.

    With the Iwo shot, I'll give it to you that he may have thought about where he was in relation to the light, saw this might be happening and put himself in position to get the shot. If he did all that...great. If he turned around and saw them raising the flag and fired off a shot...its a snap.

    Again, it has no bearing on the quality of the resulting photo, it is just how it happened and what he did to take the shot.

    My sports analogy is only to relate in how you set something up. You cant totally arrange a sports shot as it happens how it happens and you have no bearing on it. You can however, make sure you are in a thoughtful position, set yourself up with the knowledge of the game in order to be in the right place at the right time, etc. Therefore, it can be more of an arranged shot.

    The guy shooting the sailor kissing the girl on the street, I'm sure he didnt arrange that shot, he didnt put himself in that position and didnt think he was going out to get THAT shot. He probably turned, saw it happen and shot. Therefore a 'snapshot.'

    It has a bad connotation in the way we normally think of it, but its not necessarily bad in all situations. Its just how the shot was taken and how the circumstances played out at times. If you didnt thing seriously about the shot before shooting, its technically a snap.

    There can be very good snaps, just as there can be very bad photographs (hell, I can prove the later with no problem. :big grin: )
     

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