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This thread was locked on 2013-05-21 05:43:46. Reason: Enough. Learn how to disagree without taking so many cheap personal swipes at each other.
Forums > Digital Art and Retouching > TALENT is BS Search   Reply
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Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,386
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


I don't believe in talent I believe in being intelligent, HARD WORK and dedication.

http://www.worth1000.com/artists/NataliaT

Those are the things I did when I started - Talented? I don't think so.

I show you mine, show me yours. Show there's no such thing as talent and we all sucked in the beginning.

x
May 17 13 03:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leonard Gee Photography
Posts: 16,032
Sacramento, California, US


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:
I don't believe in talent I believe in being intelligent, HARD WORK and dedication.

Both.

I've seen hard work and dedication fail. No vision, no taste, even no technique. But they worked very hard and were "dedicated". Sad.

Don't underestimate yourself. Talent takes time to develop sometimes.

May 17 13 03:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Click Hamilton
Posts: 34,136
San Diego, California, US


Maybe it's like being lucky vs. making your own luck
May 17 13 03:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,386
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Leonard Gee Photography wrote:
I've seen hard work and dedication fail. No vision, no taste, even no technique. But they worked very hard and were "dedicated". Sad.

They weren't intelligent
They didn't accept and embrase criticism

There's a million reasons - lack of talent is not one.

Vision/taste you adquire like a paladar. The more wine you drink and the more you ask about that taste, the more you learn. You develop an eye like you develop a paladar, if you eat mc D every day, it doesn't matter how much you eat, you won't learn a thing.

May 17 13 03:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Peano
Posts: 4,106
Lynchburg, Virginia, US


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:
There's a million reasons - lack of talent is not one.

Hmmmmmmmm . . .

May 17 13 03:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
A-M-P
Posts: 17,911
Orlando, Florida, US


From 2007

When I first started photography shooting my sister as my only subject those were my first couple of shoots

Photography and retouching by me. Yes the retouching was pretty awful.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/080630/00/486862a9d45f7.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/080612/00/4850acec2539c.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/080611/12/484ffba872512.jpg
May 17 13 03:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,386
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


noise removal plug in?
May 17 13 04:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ruben Vasquez
Posts: 3,088
Puyallup, Washington, US


I'm lost. How is talent bullshit?

It's one thing to criticize innate talent, or talent that you're born with sure, everyone struggles in the beginning but talent can be developed and grown. But this doesn't mean that everyone will be equally talented. All things being equal, there will be those who have a higher aptitude for any given artistic endeavor with comparatively little effort while others will struggle despite their best efforts.
May 17 13 04:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
A-M-P
Posts: 17,911
Orlando, Florida, US


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:
noise removal plug in?

I don't even remember I know it was surface blur with the last 2 with the first shot I had mistakenly shot it at ISO 400 and I was dead set the shot was ruined because of noise even though there was virtually none. I was definitely tripping so I'm pretty sure I most likely use a noise removal on that one.

May 17 13 04:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
A-M-P
Posts: 17,911
Orlando, Florida, US


Ruben Vasquez wrote:
I'm lost. How is talent bullshit?

It's one thing to criticize innate talent, or talent that you're born with sure, everyone struggles in the beginning but talent can be developed and grown. But this doesn't mean that everyone will be equally talented. All things being equal, there will be those who have a higher aptitude for any given artistic endeavor with comparatively little effort while others will struggle despite their best efforts.

Our crafts are pretty technical I guess talent/Vision can be tought if you study it enough and are smart enough to grasp it. for example if you like a photo if you study it enough and are intelligent in your execution it should be no problem replicating it.


Is not like singing if you don't have a voice no matter how many lessons you wont be a good singer.

I'll admit Im not a great photographer because I am lazy.

May 17 13 04:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,386
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


A-M-P wrote:
Our crafts are pretty technical I guess talent/Vision can be tought if you study it enough and are smart enough to grasp it. Like if you like a photo if you study it enough and are intelligent it should be no problem replicating it.

Pretty much...

May 17 13 04:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leonard Gee Photography
Posts: 16,032
Sacramento, California, US


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:
They weren't intelligent
They didn't accept and embrase criticism

There's a million reasons - lack of talent is not one.

Vision/taste you adquire like a paladar. The more wine you drink and the more you ask about that taste, the more you learn. You develop an eye like you develop a paladar, if you eat mc D every day, it doesn't matter how much you eat, you won't learn a thing.

Intelligence & talent. That's a different story. But I can tell you one story about wine tasting. I have a friend that cant' tell the difference between Gallo and a good wine. He has millions and has friends who can afford the best. Buying and being exposed to expensive wine is not an issue. He goes to parties and dinners with the best wine money can buy, but he can't taste the difference. He's also one of the smartest people I know.

Intelligence may have something to do with it. But you also must be able to grasp much more. Seeing color and using it, feeling how the image should look. Then there are the "idiot savants", they have mental problems, but can listen and play back any music they hear. Creativity is funny. There is the mental process and there is the creation of the work. They are different things.

The research on luck totally debunks it. It was discovered that lucky people have two characteristics that "unlucky" people don't. One, they are more optimistic. Two, they notice clues that other people don't notice.

May 17 13 04:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ruben Vasquez
Posts: 3,088
Puyallup, Washington, US


A-M-P wrote:
Our crafts are pretty technical I guess talent/Vision can be tought if you study it enough and are smart enough to grasp it. for example if you like a photo if you study it enough and are intelligent in your execution it should be no problem replicating it.


Is not like singing if you don't have a voice no matter how many lessons you wont be a good singer.

The technicality of photography and retouching is one aspect that I love but content reigns supreme. The ubiquitous technically perfect but boring image comes to mind. Imitating is easy. Creativity is a talent that's far more challenging to learn.

May 17 13 04:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
StudioKawaii
Posts: 26
Los Angeles, California, US


It reminds me a of quote from Gary Player.  After sinking three difficult puts, the person he was playing with said to him "I’ve never seen anyone so lucky in my life."

Player responded "Well, the harder I practice, the luckier I get.”

I feel the same way about talent. 

As a photographer you can now shoot 1000 shots and one of them is bound to come out looking pretty good.  I don't know that many photographers who can shoot one or two shots and get what they want from the image pretty much every time.

That skill is the result of hard work, practice and dedication to your craft.

I don't think there are any short cuts.
May 17 13 04:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Click Hamilton
Posts: 34,136
San Diego, California, US


It's harder for those who don't have talent to compete with those who do.

However, like potential, if we don't make something out of it, it's pretty useless.
May 17 13 04:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,386
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Leonard Gee Photography wrote:
Intelligence & talent. That's a different story. But I can tell you one story about wine tasting. I have a friend that cant' tell the difference between Gallo and a good wine. He has millions and has friends who can afford the best. Buying and being exposed to expensive wine is not an issue. He goes to parties and dinners with the best wine money can buy, but he can't taste the difference. He's also one of the smartest people I know.

Did he TRY learning the difference or is he a party drunk?


Leonard Gee Photography wrote:
Intelligence may have something to do with it. But you also must be able to grasp much more. Seeing color and using it, feeling how the image should look. Then there are the "idiot savants", they have mental problems, but can listen and play back any music they hear. Creativity is funny. There is the mental process and there is the creation of the work. They are different things.

Creativity I won't discuss, it's an even broader concept. Bot none of the things you mention need "talent" you learn about color theory and you apply it, with the eye you develop by LEARNING about traditional art.



It was discovered that lucky people have two characteristics that "unlucky" people don't. One, they are more optimistic. Two, they notice clues that other people don't notice.

Don't believe in "luck" or "lack of luck" either.

May 17 13 04:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,386
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Ruben Vasquez wrote:
The ubiquitous technically perfect but boring image comes to mind.

Nature vs Nurture, someone born into a family of artist will have a better start. Mozart comes to mind smile

May 17 13 04:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,386
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Click Hamilton wrote:

Thank you smile

So far ONE showed how their "talent" started!

Don't be shy!

x

May 17 13 04:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Click Hamilton
Posts: 34,136
San Diego, California, US


The problem with using the word "talent" is that by definition, it means a natural aptitude.

Whatever we have or don't have, we can build upon our strengths and avoid our weaknesses.

Very few people have it all.
May 17 13 04:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ruben Vasquez
Posts: 3,088
Puyallup, Washington, US


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:

Nature vs Nurture, someone born into a family of artist will have a better start. Mozart comes to mind smile

I wonder what my excuse is then. I consider my aunt, my cousin and my sister to be far superior artists than me.

May 17 13 04:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,386
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Ruben Vasquez wrote:

I wonder what my excuse is then. I consider my aunt, my cousin and my sister to be far superior artists than me.

You say that and you don't see it? I recommend therapy smile

May 17 13 04:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ruben Vasquez
Posts: 3,088
Puyallup, Washington, US


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:
You say that and you don't see it? I recommend therapy smile

I think I misunderstood. I guess we're just our own worst critic.

May 17 13 04:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Designit - Edward Olson
Posts: 1,626
Eureka, California, US


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:
I don't believe in talent I believe in being intelligent, HARD WORK and dedication.

http://www.worth1000.com/artists/NataliaT

Those are the things I did when I started - Talented? I don't think so.

I show you mine, show me yours. Show there's no such thing as talent and we all sucked in the beginning.

x

Talent exists. I see it often in people, in the way they approach tasks, that cannot be taught or learned by others, not with years of trying. That you have not seen it or believe that it can simply be trained is not disproving its existence. That you learned how to retouch images doesn't meant that others don't have talents which made it easier for them.

I wouldn't necessarily call retouching images a talent. I would consider someone a talented retoucher who had an extraordinary sense of proportions, or an innate sensitivity to colors.

Talent is innate. No one can choose what they are talented at doing.
Talent is separate from training. People can train to do things that talented people do second-naturedly. Some people could train forever and never be able to demonstrate the abilities that others have without trying.

Frankly, I would figure that a person who questions the concept of "talent" simply hasn't found theirs yet. But some people obviously excel through the methods you mention. Not having a talent doesn't meant that you can't be successful, possibly moreso than someone who had it easier because of their talent.

Talent will only take you so far, I think the saying goes.

[Edited]

May 17 13 05:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WIP
Posts: 15,112
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom


Not a huge amount of talent in retouching or button pushing that's why so many do it but how many can paint like Rembrandt..... that takes talent.
May 17 13 05:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


Talent is what raises anybody above the level of "competent", "proficient" or "good enough".

Natalia, don't underestimate your own talent. Just because somebody's first efforts aren't outstanding doesn't mean they don't have talent - we all have to start somewhere.

Talent is accelerated by hard work and ability to embrace criticism, of course, but without talent all you have is competent but uninspired medocrity, particularly in artistic fields such as photography and retouching.

And yes, retouching (in my view) is very much an artistic pursuit. It takes an artist to know what looks 'right' or 'cool' as opposed to what is merely technically correct.



Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com
May 17 13 06:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
digital Artform
Posts: 49,326
Los Angeles, California, US


c_h_r_i_s wrote:
Not a huge amount of talent in retouching or button pushing that's why so many do it but how many can paint like Rembrandt..... that takes talent.

Now, now. Just because the shutter button is easy to push doesn't mean there isn't at least a little bit of art in photography.

May 17 13 06:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,199
Atlanta, Georgia, US


c_h_r_i_s wrote:
Not a huge amount of talent in retouching or button pushing that's why so many do it but how many can paint like Rembrandt..... that takes talent.

In Rembrandts time the technical skill to paint was far more common, you are over valuing it (because you never tried?).  The talent to make the right image in any media is an entirely different skill then how to actually work with the media.  Physical dexterity isn't really a talent...

May 17 13 06:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
fiona Quinn photographe
Posts: 287
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand


Hmm I disagree in some ways - I teach workshops in fashion photography and one thing you can't teach is for someone to have a creative eye - they either have it or they don't they can be great at all the technical stuff but lack a creative aesthetic and cant "see" what is missing. I define this as "talent" its what separates the good creatives from the great. I have worked with retouchers who are very experienced and have put the hours in and are very skilled and dedicated but are in my opinion not as talented as those who just have the ability to take things to the next level and who understand light and nuances in a creative way.
I do think putting in the hours and being dedicated will help you to craft your skill but some people just have that extra element of creativity that in my opinion makes them more talented.
May 17 13 06:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gulag
Posts: 1,219
Duluth, Georgia, US


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:
I don't believe in talent I believe in being intelligent, HARD WORK and dedication.

http://www.worth1000.com/artists/NataliaT

Those are the things I did when I started - Talented? I don't think so.

I show you mine, show me yours. Show there's no such thing as talent and we all sucked in the beginning.

x

Not necessarily. Art history is littered with dusts of many failed artists in their own time but now considered art geniuses. Vincent van Gogh, and Paul Cezanne were stupid, lazy and undedicated? Some may be able to develop their skill set well enough to make comfortable living but that doesn't mean they have become "talented" in the classical sense. What sets geniuses apart is pure talent. How about examples, such as Caravaggio , and Johannes Vermeer?

May 17 13 06:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 9,728
Santa Ana, California, US


I really disagree that there is no such thing as talent.

I've seen images taken by kids that have virtually zero technical skill and the images might even be devoid of technical correctness, such as exposure. But there exists a captivating motion, balance, juxtaposition of elements that make the image interesting to look at. To me that's talent.

They can then learn about the technical and using available better tools, the assimilation of which (specific technical learning ability), is another talent.

Talent combined with education and application results in what is viewed as a desirable result and then the person gets to be labeled as 'talented' by the public.
May 17 13 06:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,386
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Gulag wrote:
Not necessarily. Art history is littered with dusts of many failed artists in their own time but now considered art geniuses. Vincent van Gogh, and Paul Cezanne were stupid, lazy and undedicated? Some may be able to develop their skill set well enough to make comfortable living but that doesn't mean they have become "talented" in the classical sense. What sets geniuses apart is pure talent. How about examples, such as Caravaggio , and Johannes Vermeer?

You know their names, how can you say they didn't succeed? smile

People equate success with money, I don't.

May 17 13 07:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Photons 2 Pixels Images
Posts: 16,997
Berwick, Pennsylvania, US


I agree to a point and disagree somewhat also. Art isn't something that you can completely render down into equations that can be memorized. Even if that were possible, memorizing isn't understanding. Knowing what to do and when to do it is good. Knowing WHY, though, allows more freedom of expression, more creativity. Different areas of the brain have been shown to be responsible for different aspects of thinking. Those areas also develop differently in different people. This is what allows for levels of talent between people.

Math is another example. Some people, no matter how hard they try, can't grasp mathematical concepts. For others, like me, it comes naturally. I never studied for a math test in my life and had nothing lower than a 3.6 up through Calculus. I didn't have to memorize equations. I understood the concepts well enough that I could "reinvent" what I needed to solve the problems.

I get the equation part of art. I don't get the concepts, though. I know the rules of color theory, tones, perception, lines, angles, composition, etc. I can even regurgitate some of the reasons people give for the "rules" associated with those aspects. I don't fully comprehend the whys of all of them, though. I see images that bend or even break those rules and to me, they are phenomenal pieces of work. I see others that follow the rules and think "Eh....it would look better if they did break a rule or two." Comprehending the rules...and I mean a raw, internal comprehension...allows one to know when to break those rules and why it's OK to do so.

All that being said, a person can improve their work through practice, study, devotion, and experimentation. For me, experimentation is my only means for rule breaking. Trial and error. I try. I evaluate. I react to the evaluation. I learn things that work and things that don't. I carry that experience forward. I build on what I learn.

And now.....my samples from long ago and more recent....

OLD
http://model-citizens.com/MM/Old.jpg

NEW
http://model-citizens.com/MM/New.jpg
May 17 13 07:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gulag
Posts: 1,219
Duluth, Georgia, US


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:
You know their names, how can you say they didn't succeed? smile

People equate success with money, I don't.

What I typed was "failed artists in their own time."

Money = or  success is up to everyone's interpretation, of course. Like this guy firmly believed...

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8131/8745897044_7ce05b98d8.jpg

May 17 13 07:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
AKMac
Posts: 304
London, England, United Kingdom


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:
I don't believe in talent

I have a challenge for you Natalia. Can you give a definition of 'talent' and, at the same time maintain that it doesn't exist.

May 17 13 11:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Krunoslav Stifter
Posts: 3,843
Santa Cruz, California, US


Talent is highly overrated. If you really look underneath the surface you will find what "talent" is, but you really have to look. Just food for though,  The Talent Code, by Daniel Coyle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dY7QNxXbziA ...plenty of material on that topic from people who were curious to look what is the hype really about.

"Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect."
Vince Lombardi

There are so many circumstances that effect you since you are a child and too many choices that effect your results, choices that any of us are free to make. If you were to study any "talented" person thorough enough you would find explanations for every choice they make and how every circumstances ultimately led them to where they are now. And it would stop being magical or "talented". It's like when a magician explains the trick, your perception changes and you are not impressed anymore.

By why bother. It's so much easier to simply call it "talented" isn't it. Magic is so much more fun and it's such an easy way out. But it can be dangerous as well. It alienates people, creates wrong expectations, fills egos and it's always a good excuse. So by all means, use it - just makes sure you know why you use it.

"If you knew how much work went into it, you would not call it genius."
- Michelangelo, on the paintings in the Sistine Chapel, as quoted in Speeches & Presentations Unzipped (2007) by Lori Rozakis, p. 71.
May 17 13 11:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gulag
Posts: 1,219
Duluth, Georgia, US


Krunoslav-Stifter wrote:
Talent is highly overrated. If you really look underneath the surface you will find what "talent" is, but you really have to look. Just food for though,  The Talent Code, by Daniel Coyle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dY7QNxXbziA ...plenty of material on that topic from people who were curious to look what is the hype really about.

"Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect."
Vince Lombardi

Highly overrated? Just google Carl Friedrich Gauss and Blaise Pascal instead. And talent can be cultivated for almost everyone? here is this guy's observations:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7363/8725280584_d7f6122b42_z.jpg

May 17 13 11:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Krunoslav Stifter
Posts: 3,843
Santa Cruz, California, US


Gulag wrote:
here is this guy's observations:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7363/8725280584_d7f6122b42_z.jpg

I rest my case.

May 18 13 12:08 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Lohr
Posts: 494
Los Angeles, California, US


Ruben Vasquez wrote:
I'm lost. How is talent bullshit?

It's one thing to criticize innate talent, or talent that you're born with sure, everyone struggles in the beginning but talent can be developed and grown. But this doesn't mean that everyone will be equally talented. All things being equal, there will be those who have a higher aptitude for any given artistic endeavor with comparatively little effort while others will struggle despite their best efforts.

+1

May 18 13 12:14 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Lohr
Posts: 494
Los Angeles, California, US


Krunoslav-Stifter wrote:

I rest my case.

+1

May 18 13 12:14 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
FKW
Posts: 194
Jakarta, Jakarta, Indonesia


This may called a journey to find my genre
2009
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3765/8749090451_2c2ff1eac8_z.jpg

2010
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130106/14/50e9f75fc817e.jpg

2013
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130503/06/5183ba5e263cb.jpg

very confusing
May 18 13 12:43 am  Link  Quote 
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