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Who Exactly Is a Photographer?
Posted By Andrea Weckerle On January 28, 2007 @ 9:00 pm In Art of Photography | 1 Comment
There’s an interesting conversation
going on at Lightstalkers.  Matthias Bruggmann  writes that he’s been working with the curatorial team at Musee de l’Elysie  in Lausanne, Switzerland, on the “We Are All Photographers Now!” exhibit.
“We Are All Photographers Now! The rapid mutation of amateur photography in the digital age”  is being shown from Feb. 2 through May 20 and seeks to answer the questions:
If you’d like to participate in this exhibit, go to the image upload form.  One hundred images, chosen at random, will be displayed for an entire week and subsequently archived in the permanent collection of the Musee de l’Elysie.
Noting the name of the exhibit, Andy Levin  writes,
My own opinion is that the title is mistaken. It should be “We All Have Cameras Now,” rather than “We Are All Photographers.”
I play piano, I am not a musician. A person will a cell-phone takes pictures, they might be, but are not necessarily photographers. People use pens, they are not awarded the title of writers.
In some cases of tremendous events, like a Katrina, or a Grozny, any picture by any means is usually a meaningful document. But the idea that that makes someone who clicks a cellphone a “photographer” is in my opinion a miss-use of the word that contributes to the situation that we had with Reuters, where of course, the untrained stringers were manipulating images, and possibly setting up pictures as well.
we think there’s a shift going on. what we realized while doing the show is that it maybe isn’t as clear-cut as we’d like to think.
No one i spoke to which took part in getting this up is naove enough to think we’re bringing any answers. But i do think we’re asking a certain number of interesting questions.
Bob Black  adds:
for me, the distinquishing features between “pros” and “amateurs” have always been not only nebulous but, for the most part, pretty empty and superficial. For me, a great image is a great image and this is the result always of a strange serendipitous alchemy of collision: the luck of the moment married, often, to the skill/training/awareness of the camera bearer. pros make great significant photos and also amateurs make great stuff, pros make derivative shit and so do most.
we all are becoming photographers, maybe maybe not, but we all increasingly experience life as somehow hollow without the availability of the photo, camera, etc
So the question is, who may call themselves a photographer, and who decides? What do you think?
[tags]photography, photo blog, bruggmann, citizen photojournalism, andrea weckerle[/tags]
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URLs in this post:
 Tweet: https://twitter.com/share
 Lightstalkers.: http://www.lightstalkers.org/
 Matthias Bruggmann: http://www.lightstalkers.org/mattbr
 Musee de l’Elysie: http://www.elysee.ch/
 “We Are All Photographers Now! The rapid mutation of amateur photography in the digital age”: http://www.allphotographersnow.ch/
 image upload form.: http://www.allphotographersnow.ch/form.php
 Andy Levin : http://www.lightstalkers.org/andylevin
 Bob Black: http://www.lightstalkers.org/bobblack
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