Posted by: travelrat | May 18, 2012

A Sort of Sign

It’s not really a ‘silly sign’, but it was painted on the pavement in North Terrace, Adelaide. Now, I use a ‘real camera’ … in fact, I probably have the only mobile phone in the free world that doesn’t take pictures. But, I disagree with the statement here. To my mind, the difference between someone who ‘makes images’ and someone who just ‘takes snaps’ is a question of attitude, not equipment.

The word ‘photography’ comes from two Greek words meaning ‘light pictures’ … and you don’t actually need a camera of any kind to make them; you can do it by swinging a penlight on the end of a piece of string over a piece of photographic paper, if you like. Or, you can make a simple ‘pinhole’ camera from a few pieces of cardboard and some ‘Chiefy Tape’.

In fact, the word ‘camera’ was, originally, in full ‘camera obscura’ … which is Italian for ‘closed room’. Maybe you’ve seen a full-size camera obscura, in which an image of the scene outside is projected on to a screen within the closed room. That’s ‘photography’, too, even though it doesn’t produce an image you can print, and stick in an album.

I did visit the website, in case there were any profound thoughts on the subject there. No chance! It led to the site of Olympus Australia … and, since I’ve used Nikons since the mid-70s, I wasn’t really all that interested.

See my latest article at



  1. Yes, it’s about attitude. Of course, a photographer also understands the capabilities of whatever tool they happen to be using. (I always smile when I see people using the flash to take pictures of distant buildings or concert stages, for example).

    • Hi, Caitlin!

      I wonder if the purpose of such a controversial statement was simply to get eyeballs on their web page? If so, they certainly succeeded in my case!

      I remember once being caught without a camera. I dived into a nearby shop, and bought a cheap disposable … and sold three of the pictures I took with it.

      ‘If someone cooks you a delicious meal, you don’t ask what kind of oven they used’

  2. Hi Keith,
    No you are not the only one that has a mobile phone without a camera. 🙂

    Yes the sign on the pavement is just another tricky way of advertising, but I love your statement above in comments:
    “If someone cooks you a delicious meal, you don’t ask what kind of oven they used” that is so true. 😀

  3. I can trump all of you – I don’t even have a mobile phone. LOL. I agree with everyone – it’s not all about the camera. It is attitude, your eye, being aware of the way the light falls. I know some people with cameras worth thousands of dollars and they still chop people’s heads off in the photos. Go figure!

    • Someone came to a camera club I used to belong to once, and showed us some stunning slides he’s taken with an old Halina with fixed focus, two apertures and three shutter speeds.

      His wise words: ‘Having a Porsche doesn’t necessarily make you a good driver’

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