I have spent almost 40 years off and on with my Nikon cameras. I love photography and I have enough good shots to open up a small gallery if I had them printed up and displayed. The problem is that despite my experience and skills, I’m just another good photographer. I don’t meet the qualifications of a great photographer.
So what is the difference between a good photographer and a great photographer?
A good photographer can’t wait to see the images (printed or on a computer) because he or she is pretty sure they got some good shots. A great photographer knows the instant the shutter closes that the shot is great and doesn’t need to wait to see it because it is recorded in their mind.
A good photographer understands the use of light, color, and shadow in photography and seeks to find it in every shot. A great photographer sees the subject for all viewpoints and knows automatically where and when to take the image for the best use of light, color, and shadow.
A good photographer can see the flaws in his or her images. A great photographer knows how to fix flaws in the image in editing so that no one knows he or she made a mistake.
A good photographer can find moments in his or her subjects that express emotion. A great photographer can create emotion in his or her subjects that they didn’t even know they had.
A good photographer experiments with equipment and camera lenses to take his or her images to the next level. A great photographer is a master of his or her images. Extra equipment, lenses, filters are used as needed to make a good image great but are never a substitute for skill and experience.
A good photographer is sensitive to the needs of his subjects, and always places their concerns and ideas first during a photo shoot. A great photographer is a pain in the ass and could care less about the input of his or her subjects. Capturing the perfection of the moment is the first and last concern of a great photographer and everything else is just noise.