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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 07 Sep 2013 (Saturday) 01:45
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PerfectTan
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Sep 08, 2013 14:00 |  #16

onona wrote in post #16278070 (external link)
Who, exactly, is this "general public" of which you speak? You seem to be creating a division between photographers and everyone else, and assuming it's everyone else that likes Instagram.
.

You nailed it right there partner!
I don't use instagram, and never will. I just think the insragram thing is over rated!


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sjones
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Sep 08, 2013 14:24 as a reply to  @ PerfectTan's post |  #17

Instagram provides a set of filters, which operate just like filters or preset actions that you can create or download for Photoshop.

A photograph's worth is not based on the difficulty of its creation; if this were true, then all glass plate photos would be infinitely superior to anything taken by the most expensive DSLR.

The effort, craftsmanship, or perhaps even danger involved in getting or creating a photo can be fascinating and add an additional level of appreciation; but this level is ultimately a separate one. If a five-year-old picks up a camera, inadvertently presses the shutter release button, and the resulting image is actually quite spectacular, then so be it.

As for Instagram in particular, since it apparently offers a series of filters, there is not exactly "one" look, but in general, the process usually adds tint, maybe some saturation, and vignetting, making the photo appear from a particular time period.

Folks have used Photoshop to create similar effects, and just because someone achieved basically the same thing on a camera phone in one step does not, to me, compromise the photograph's visual appeal, should such appeal even exists. Other factors are at play.

That the photograph might be low resolution is absolutely irrelevant if the photographer intended, or at least accepted, that the photo would be viewed mainly on other folks' camera phones or tablets.

The value or quality of a photograph is in no way reliant on its ability to print big, unless, of course, the photographer intends the photograph to be viewed at dimensions that would overtly reveal the photo's resolution deficiencies at normal viewing distances.


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onona
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Sep 08, 2013 14:49 |  #18

sjones wrote in post #16279124 (external link)
Instagram provides a set of filters, which operate just like filters or preset actions that you can create or download for Photoshop.

A photograph's worth is not based on the difficulty of its creation; if this were true, then all glass plate photos would be infinitely superior to anything taken by the most expensive DSLR.

The effort, craftsmanship, or perhaps even danger involved in getting or creating a photo can be fascinating and add an additional level of appreciation; but this level is ultimately a separate one. If a five-year-old picks up a camera, inadvertently presses the shutter release button, and the resulting image is actually quite spectacular, then so be it.

As for Instagram in particular, since it apparently offers a series of filters, there is not exactly "one" look, but in general, the process usually adds tint, maybe some saturation, and vignetting, making the photo appear from a particular time period.

Folks have used Photoshop to create similar effects, and just because someone achieved basically the same thing on a camera phone in one step does not, to me, compromise the photograph's visual appeal, should such appeal even exists. Other factors are at play.

That the photograph might be low resolution is absolutely irrelevant if the photographer intended, or at least accepted, that the photo would be viewed mainly on other folks' camera phones or tablets.

The value or quality of a photograph is in no way reliant on its ability to print big, unless, of course, the photographer intends the photograph to be viewed at dimensions that would overtly reveal the photo's resolution deficiencies at normal viewing distances.

Spot on.


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PMGphotog
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Sep 08, 2013 15:54 |  #19

onona wrote in post #16278989 (external link)
But why does the process ultimately matter at all? What you're describing doesn't really justify the kind of derision with which Instagram is often regarded. To me, the only thing that matters is the final image: is it good, or not? If it's good, I just couldn't possibly care less about how it was shot, I just care about the end result. And if it isn't good, then I don't care because it just doesn't matter.

But then I find a lot of attitudes in the photography world difficult to wrap my head around, like the obsession with gear. Again, I care about the photos, not the equipment used to take them. It's not that the gear is completely irrelevant, but I think gear is only worth discussing when there's a technical fault or some other issue that needs resolving. Other than that, it's simply a tool used to capture an image. Much like Instagram is just a tool.


I'm not obsessed with gear at all ( I know you didn't suggest that but I want to make that point clear ). Likewise I don't have any derision for people who use instagram or any other tool as it happens.

What I personally feel about a photograph is what I was talking about. The process matters to me. Be it a quick edit on a PC or a long time spent in a darkroom. Otherwise to an extent we could just write a programme for a computer to make images and send that out to our gigs/shoots. The results might be brilliant, but then where is the Art?

End results do matter of course. However it's the human element that does it for me ( again a personal thing ). The idea that someone envisioned an image, maybe spent some time thinking on it. Then worked it using their own "presets" rather than an idea of one made by a bit of software.


Tools are what we are talking about here. So to that end what is more artistic/valuable, A mass produced item or something that is hand made?

I did some film stuff, loved it, now I use digital because it's less messy and I can see my images sooner. But I still work my pictures in the same way as I did in a darkroom. Same kind of workflow. If I had the space for a darkroom in my house I'd shoot film too just to make sure I can still do it.

Again just a personal taste issue here, but I know a lot of people who only use "tools" and presets in PS or LR and their images are good, but they are just blandly good based on the tools they used. Apart from framing and focussing ( with a DSLR and a good lens ) all they have done is pretty much what anyone with an eye and a spare finger can do. They don't learn anything and neither do I by looking at the image.


Canon EOS 1000d /60d : 18-55mm IS kit lens. Canon 50mm 1.8 MK2. Tamron 55-200mm F4-5.6, battery grip to make my cam look pro..and 30mm Sigma F1.4 recently added
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NCHANT
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Sep 08, 2013 16:00 |  #20

tonylong wrote in post #16278552 (external link)
Hey, I have an idea!

How about posting a "Before Instagram" and "After Instagram" pics and tell us what you like and don't like?!:)

Here's an example, original shot with 2 fb likes (35 Flickr favs) :

IMAGE: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2880/9180993719_d9dccc570e.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/mikeymack/91809​93719/  (external link)
Waiwera Milky Way (external link) by Mikey Mack (external link), on Flickr

Instagram shot with 18 fb likes:

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5537/9188215165_9dfe0ae4e8.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/61860569@N04/9​188215165/  (external link)
Milky Way (external link) by mmackinven (external link), on Flickr

iamascientist wrote in post #16279038 (external link)
What is the instagram look? I know this is a generalization, but is it considered stuff thats intentionally lo-fi? I didnt see anything like that in your flickr stream.

I keep my Instagram shots on my other account, never mix them.

This post isn't about hating on Instagram, no, I have used Instagram since the beginning and do enjoy the odd filter bash - but in my line of work the end results are actually useless, just a small image to look at ;)

onona wrote in post #16278989 (external link)
But then I find a lot of attitudes in the photography world difficult to wrap my head around, like the obsession with gear. Again, I care about the photos, not the equipment used to take them. It's not that the gear is completely irrelevant, but I think gear is only worth discussing when there's a technical fault or some other issue that needs resolving. Other than that, it's simply a tool used to capture an image. Much like Instagram is just a tool.

How did this become a post about gear?


6D | 600D | A6000 | 10-22mm ƒ3.5-4.5 USM | 24-105mm ƒ4L USM | TM 35mm ƒ1.8 VC | 40mm ƒ2.8 STM | 50mm ƒ1.8 | 85mm ƒ1.8 | 135mm ƒ2L | 200mm ƒ2.8L II | 55-250 ƒ4.5-5.6 II | Sy 24mm ƒ1.4 | Sy XP 14mm ƒ2.4
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onona
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Sep 08, 2013 16:24 |  #21

Pat McGuire wrote in post #16279352 (external link)
What I personally feel about a photograph is what I was talking about. The process matters to me. Be it a quick edit on a PC or a long time spent in a darkroom. Otherwise to an extent we could just write a programme for a computer to make images and send that out to our gigs/shoots. The results might be brilliant, but then where is the Art?

The art is the image. Art is not the process, it's the result. My background is in art (and so is my primary profession); I studied fine arts so my education was all painting, drawing, etc. All that mattered were my final pieces of work, not the process, and especially not the paintbrushes or pencils that I used. Similarly, in an art gallery, what people are admiring are the works of art themselves, not the process that went into them.

With something like Instagram, it's really no different to making levels or curves or hue/saturation adjustments in Photoshop, it's really just a pre-set recipe. But the result is the same.

I do feel that photographers largely tend to obsess over the process, and often to the detriment of the result. Most photo websites are full of photos taken with expensive gear but the photos themselves are mediocre to worse. This is what happens when people become more focused on the process and the tools than the end result.


Leigh
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onona
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Sep 08, 2013 16:25 |  #22

NCHANT wrote in post #16279375 (external link)
How did this become a post about gear?

Wow, it's like you quoted my comment but didn't actually read it.

As for your photos, I much prefer the first one myself, but I can see why the second one would appeal to people who like pretty pictures as opposed to accurate photos of the night sky, since the very bright values really stand out and the colours become more saturated. A lot of people prefer boldness to subtlety.


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PMGphotog
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Sep 08, 2013 16:40 |  #23

onona wrote in post #16279432 (external link)
The art is the image. Art is not the process, it's the result. My background is in art (and so is my primary profession); I studied fine arts so my education was all painting, drawing, etc. All that mattered were my final pieces of work, not the process, and especially not the paintbrushes or pencils that I used. Similarly, in an art gallery, what people are admiring are the works of art themselves, not the process that went into them.

Fair point. However even before I took my first picture I was always interested in the process behind it. Not to the exclusion of my appreciation of the final image, more so to the addition of my appreciation.

If in Art, it is only the final image that counts ( and I'm possibly using an idea that you will have heard several times ) what is the difference between an artist who works on their art, and a monkey that has been handed a paintbrush?


Canon EOS 1000d /60d : 18-55mm IS kit lens. Canon 50mm 1.8 MK2. Tamron 55-200mm F4-5.6, battery grip to make my cam look pro..and 30mm Sigma F1.4 recently added
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/patmcguire2011/ (external link)

  
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NCHANT
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Sep 08, 2013 16:56 |  #24

onona wrote in post #16279433 (external link)
As for your photos, I much prefer the first one myself, but I can see why the second one would appeal to people who like pretty pictures as opposed to accurate photos of the night sky, since the very bright values really stand out and the colours become more saturated. A lot of people prefer boldness to subtlety.

This is my point exactly :) people tend to prefer bold, over saturated representations of an image and consider it a 'great' photo in itself :rolleyes: ;)

Pat McGuire wrote in post #16279460 (external link)
Fair point. However even before I took my first picture I was always interested in the process behind it. Not to the exclusion of my appreciation of the final image, more so to the addition of my appreciation.

If in Art, it is only the final image that counts ( and I'm possibly using an idea that you will have heard several times ) what is the difference between an artist who works on their art, and a monkey that has been handed a paintbrush?

As I am still learning this photography stuff, I am also interested in the process behind an image, gear included on this note (more focal length of a particular lens used, ISO, ƒ# etc etc).


6D | 600D | A6000 | 10-22mm ƒ3.5-4.5 USM | 24-105mm ƒ4L USM | TM 35mm ƒ1.8 VC | 40mm ƒ2.8 STM | 50mm ƒ1.8 | 85mm ƒ1.8 | 135mm ƒ2L | 200mm ƒ2.8L II | 55-250 ƒ4.5-5.6 II | Sy 24mm ƒ1.4 | Sy XP 14mm ƒ2.4
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sjones
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Sep 08, 2013 17:06 |  #25

Pat McGuire wrote in post #16279352 (external link)
I'm not obsessed with gear at all ( I know you didn't suggest that but I want to make that point clear ). Likewise I don't have any derision for people who use instagram or any other tool as it happens.

What I personally feel about a photograph is what I was talking about. The process matters to me. Be it a quick edit on a PC or a long time spent in a darkroom. Otherwise to an extent we could just write a programme for a computer to make images and send that out to our gigs/shoots. The results might be brilliant, but then where is the Art?

End results do matter of course. However it's the human element that does it for me ( again a personal thing ). The idea that someone envisioned an image, maybe spent some time thinking on it. Then worked it using their own "presets" rather than an idea of one made by a bit of software.


Tools are what we are talking about here. So to that end what is more artistic/valuable, A mass produced item or something that is hand made?

I did some film stuff, loved it, now I use digital because it's less messy and I can see my images sooner. But I still work my pictures in the same way as I did in a darkroom. Same kind of workflow. If I had the space for a darkroom in my house I'd shoot film too just to make sure I can still do it.

Again just a personal taste issue here, but I know a lot of people who only use "tools" and presets in PS or LR and their images are good, but they are just blandly good based on the tools they used. Apart from framing and focussing ( with a DSLR and a good lens ) all they have done is pretty much what anyone with an eye and a spare finger can do. They don't learn anything and neither do I by looking at the image.

I understand what you are saying, but if I see a photo that I like, then I like it. If someone tells me a few minutes or so afterward that the photograph is one of those Instagram things, I'm not going to suddenly like it less.

Photography is an oddity. Unless a freakishly gifted person, it's highly unlikely that someone who has never touched a musical instrument is going to sit down at a piano and accidently compose a great piece of music. Yet, with photography, one can create a good photograph without having had to first develop an even rudimentary level of technical and physiological skills.

Yes, the process of photography for my own photography matters, but no, the process involved with others' is largely a backstory, should it actually be known, which is most often not the case.

So where's the art?

The art is in the framing, the decision to point the camera in such a way as to produce a compelling composition; the understanding of the lights and shadow involved, the use of geometry and lines, and the timing of the shutter release. And during processing, it's knowing what and how much to apply to best enhance the image inline with the desired vision. It is a consistency, born out by thoughtful editing not just of the piece but also of pieces displayed. It is the deliberate, even when great luck might still be involved.

To be sure, for most folks, Instagram is a consumer device used to quickly dress up snapshots, and in this sense, that's fine…there's no artistic pretense involved.

Nevertheless, the commercial appeal of Instagram doesn't mean that photographers cannot use it, as with any other tool, to achieve their aims. And if I like the end result, I'm not going to turn around and give the photographer a demerit for using Instagram.

As an industry, photography, from its start, has sought to simplify the process, as clearly illustrated by the development of auto-focus and auto exposure.

And for many serious or professional photographers, this has caused a sort of internal rift, whereby they want to benefit from the latest technologies, especially if it offers greater efficiency and assurance, while at the same time still wanting to keep their craft outside the reach of the masses.

Instagram further undercuts this already tenuous divide, and while certain elements of it might be trendy, as could the whole excessive photographic surge we are experiencing in part because of social media, it doesn't mean that Instagram, as a concept and tool, should be dismissed entirely (and I realize that the OP has made it clear that he does not shun it altogether).


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iamascientist
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Sep 08, 2013 18:07 |  #26

NCHANT wrote in post #16279501 (external link)
This is my point exactly :) people tend to prefer bold, over saturated representations of an image and consider it a 'great' photo in itself :rolleyes: ;)

This is just a matter of audience. The large majority of people prefer the cliche, cute, cushy, in your face, easy to like, easy to understand stuff. Not everyone is highly creative or capable of deep intellectual thought. So is it any surprise that facebook, the largest social media site in the world, and flickr, a site largely populated by photographers, produced different feedback?




  
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onona
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Sep 08, 2013 18:23 |  #27

iamascientist wrote in post #16279692 (external link)
This is just a matter of audience. The large majority of people prefer the cliche, cute, cushy, in your face, easy to like, easy to understand stuff. Not everyone is highly creative or capable of deep intellectual thought. So is it any surprise that facebook, the largest social media site in the world, and flickr, a site largely populated by photographers, produced different feedback?

Right, because Flickr certainly doesn't have any shallow fanboy types at all, does it?


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iamascientist
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Sep 08, 2013 18:26 |  #28

onona wrote in post #16279724 (external link)
Right, because Flickr certainly doesn't have any shallow fanboy types at all, does it?

No it absolutely does, like all other image sharing sites, but its easy to identify the difference between flickr and facebook. For certain most of the stuff on flickr is no better then the stuff on facebook, but its a different demographic.




  
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Sep 08, 2013 19:35 |  #29

sjones wrote in post #16279528 (external link)
I understand what you are saying, but if I see a photo that I like, then I like it. If someone tells me a few minutes or so afterward that the photograph is one of those Instagram things, I'm not going to suddenly like it less.

Photography is an oddity. Unless a freakishly gifted person, it's highly unlikely that someone who has never touched a musical instrument is going to sit down at a piano and accidently compose a great piece of music. Yet, with photography, one can create a good photograph without having had to first develop an even rudimentary level of technical and physiological skills.

Yes, the process of photography for my own photography matters, but no, the process involved with others' is largely a backstory, should it actually be known, which is most often not the case.

So where's the art?

The art is in the framing, the decision to point the camera in such a way as to produce a compelling composition; the understanding of the lights and shadow involved, the use of geometry and lines, and the timing of the shutter release. And during processing, it's knowing what and how much to apply to best enhance the image inline with the desired vision. It is a consistency, born out by thoughtful editing not just of the piece but also of pieces displayed. It is the deliberate, even when great luck might still be involved.

To be sure, for most folks, Instagram is a consumer device used to quickly dress up snapshots, and in this sense, that's fine…there's no artistic pretense involved.

Nevertheless, the commercial appeal of Instagram doesn't mean that photographers cannot use it, as with any other tool, to achieve their aims. And if I like the end result, I'm not going to turn around and give the photographer a demerit for using Instagram.

As an industry, photography, from its start, has sought to simplify the process, as clearly illustrated by the development of auto-focus and auto exposure.

And for many serious or professional photographers, this has caused a sort of internal rift, whereby they want to benefit from the latest technologies, especially if it offers greater efficiency and assurance, while at the same time still wanting to keep their craft outside the reach of the masses.

Instagram further undercuts this already tenuous divide, and while certain elements of it might be trendy, as could the whole excessive photographic surge we are experiencing in part because of social media, it doesn't mean that Instagram, as a concept and tool, should be dismissed entirely (and I realize that the OP has made it clear that he does not shun it altogether).

You know, I agree totally with that. Especially this part

And for many serious or professional photographers, this has caused a sort of internal rift, whereby they want to benefit from the latest technologies, especially if it offers greater efficiency and assurance, while at the same time still wanting to keep their craft outside the reach of the masses.

And yet I still do not prefer instagram type processing :)

Again it's my personal take on it. Nothing more, nothing less.


Canon EOS 1000d /60d : 18-55mm IS kit lens. Canon 50mm 1.8 MK2. Tamron 55-200mm F4-5.6, battery grip to make my cam look pro..and 30mm Sigma F1.4 recently added
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/patmcguire2011/ (external link)

  
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Sep 08, 2013 21:19 |  #30

OP - your flickr image is gray and dull in comparison to instagram's filter.

I find it funny when "serious photographers" are threatened by low resolution pictures which were easy to make. Anything a photo needs to convey and communicated can be done with insta filter and their low res image. Photography is democratic. DSLRs are not required and don't provide extra advantages.


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