Something I have been wondering recently. It seems everyone with a dslr that happens to use movie mode now and again is suddenly labeling themselves as cinematographers.
I remember a day when if someone told me they were a director of photography or a cinematographer, they would have shot something real. Back in the days of playing with Sony Handycams, - which at that point they were in the same price bracket as a dslr, The people making short films, and skate videos with them would have never considered themselves 'cinematographers'. Does a dslr with a 50mm f1.8 and the resultant shallow dof warrant the camera owner to label themselves as a cinematographer?
I guess it is an attempt to make people take them more seriously? I'd be happy undertaking 'camera operator' role in my own, or a friends film, and would be happy to shape the visuals in my own style, but would be worried about advertising myself as a cinematographer who is given artistic license to drastically shape the visual aspect of a proper production. I consider myself artistic and have an eye for beauty, and trust my artistic decisions for my own scripts but would not yet label myself a cinematographer.
Reading this initial description on wikipedia, I would certainly not agree that any more than 1% of the dslr showreels you see posted on forums, with the label 'cinematography portfolio' shows the ability of someone I would want to employ to undertake the role of shaping the visual aspect of any film I wanted to produce.
The dop's shooting stuff like Poirot were creating cinematic stuff for tv but even they probably didnt refer to themselves as cinematographers. but more DOP's. So why are 19yr olds labeling themselves as cinematographers? in the same bracket as men we see with A.S.C and B.S.C after their names? just seems mad to me!