From a professional point of view, most of our pictures are mediocre, flawed or worse. The idea of “amateur photos” does not sound good.
But digital cameras, web based photo archives and free editing software (like Picasa) change the way we produce and consume pictures. If a thousand amateurs take a thousand pictures each, some of them are bound to be quite good.
We also learn. Since the basic equipment is cheap, and the marginal cost of shooting is nil, amateurs can improve their skills through practice. It takes a good eye + ten thousand dedicated hours to become an expert on photography. It takes a hundred hours of reflective practice, combined with an average eye, to become an experienced amateur. We have limited skills, but are often lucky.
Many amateur photos are actually quite impressive. People who want their work to circulate, put their best pictures on the open web and equip them with CC licenses.
Today, on May 29, 2012, Picasa web albums had about 86 thousand CC photos tagged Kenya. Here are some of them.
We are allowed to use (“quote”) CC pictures for education and other non-commercial purposes. We should provide information about, or a link to, the original, however.
- Mike Cornwell. Africa 2008