When I was seventeen, a few photographers were considered artists, and still fewer thought of themselves as such. Most were just picture takers. And they were happy with that. I loved photography and knew then that taking pictures and doing great photography were two very different things.
I wanted to learn to see. I wanted to understand light, film, optics, and perspective in order to skillfully record emotion, expression and feeling. That is what I understood great photography to be.
Now with all the new technology, it is amazing to me how few real photographers exist amongst all of the countless professional picture takers.
THERE IS ACTUALLY A BIGGER DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PRO AND A REAL PHOTOGRAPHER THAN THERE IS BETWEEN AN AMATEUR AND A PRO!
Ultimately great photography involves sculpting life with light. That makes all the difference between great photography and just pictures... light after all is what we see in the image! Only through the skilled use of light can the sculpture be strong and the sculptor - the "Professional" be considered an artist doing great photography.
Let's hope it gets good ones soon!