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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 05 Oct 2014 (Sunday) 02:49
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Is it okay to "just" be a photographer these days?

 
78962
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Oct 05, 2014 02:49 |  #1
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I've seen some REALLY pretentious and snobby people on the internet, youtube etc where they have some weird standards for photos. Mainly it's about how much weird things you add to the photo with photoshop, or how you have to have a bunch of different external lights in your photo. They make it seem like you're not a good photographer if you don't "create" something.

Don't get me wrong, I am great at photoshop and can do any of those fancy things...but it takes so damn long and isn't really gratifying to me.

I really just am thinking about people who took pics in the 60s and 70s and 80s and 90s and they really just went out there with a camera and took a photo of something interesting. I'm not talking about not creatively developing (either in the darkroom or lightroom) but they weren't adding a ton of stuff with photoshop.




  
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blksporty
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Oct 05, 2014 04:18 |  #2

I not only think it's "OK", but I think that it should be that way except in certain instances. I shoot mainly sports and try to keep the end photo as close to "what I actually saw" as possible. I do use Lightroom to correct color balance many times because I shoot indoors a lot and have trouble with lights cycling. I think that many photos I see are way over processed. If you are trying for some modern art type photo then do what you want, but for depicting the actual sceneā€¦.keep it simple. Just my thoughts, YMMV


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bk2life
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Oct 05, 2014 05:25 |  #3

i shoot for me, not anyone else, unless they are paying me to shoot for them.


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moose10101
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Oct 05, 2014 08:52 |  #4

78962 wrote in post #17194409 (external link)
I've seen some REALLY pretentious and snobby people on the internet, youtube etc where they have some weird standards for photos.

I think the key word there is "some". Some people use a photo as the starting point for creating something that may no longer look like a photo; nothing wrong with that. Some people try to minimize manipulation; nothing wrong there either. Some people even refuse to do basic cropping; that's cool too. I hear that some people take all the color out of their images. :eek:

If you let the opinions of "some" people on the Internet bother you, you'll never get out of bed in the morning.




  
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DoughnutPhoto
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Oct 05, 2014 08:55 |  #5

78962 wrote in post #17194409 (external link)
I've seen some REALLY pretentious and snobby people on the internet, youtube etc where they have some weird standards for photos. Mainly it's about how much weird things you add to the photo with photoshop, or how you have to have a bunch of different external lights in your photo. They make it seem like you're not a good photographer if you don't "create" something.

My opinion is a radical chance from these guys online. I think external effects can take away from a photo easily rather than adding to it. Stuff like "OMG this picture is so great because of the thin DOF!" just don't do it for me. I spend my time and attention on lighting and composition. If a photograph needs a certain technique, either in-camera or in post, I will use that but that doesn't make me a better or worse photographer.


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urbanfreestyle
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Oct 05, 2014 09:13 |  #6

I've been complimented on my natural style, a lot of my clients don't like the oversaturated, HDR, etc look. they just want a real photo.


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20droger
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Oct 05, 2014 09:16 |  #7

moose10101 wrote in post #17194691 (external link)
I think the key word there is "some". Some people use a photo as the starting point for creating something that may no longer look like a photo; nothing wrong with that. Some people try to minimize manipulation; nothing wrong there either. Some people even refuse to do basic cropping; that's cool too. I hear that some people take all the color out of their images. :eek:

If you let the opinions of "some" people on the Internet bother you, you'll never get out of bed in the morning.

And in some cases, maybe they shouldn't get out of bed. It'd make it loads easier on the rest of us.

My cohort and I are a photographic team. We are "purists." We do our best to get it right in camera so as to require as little post processing as possible. When we have a shot that requires no more than a little sharpening and conversion to JPEG, we feel we've done it right.

We shoot for fun, not profit. However, hundreds of our shots have been sold, so I guess we are "professionals" in that sense.

We like bugs, and seem to have a knack for finding new ones and/or capturing better images of old ones. We specialize in macro shots of insects and other small critters with a controlled depth of field encompassing the whole critter, but no much more. Many of our shots have been purchased by or donated to professional entomological organizations.

However, we never shoot with image sales in mind, and we never shoot on a for hire basis. We shoot for ourselves. If a shot turns out to be saleable, fine. If it doesn't, also fine. The joy is in the capture, not the sale.




  
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airfrogusmc
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Oct 05, 2014 09:20 |  #8

78962 wrote in post #17194409 (external link)
I've seen some REALLY pretentious and snobby people on the internet, youtube etc where they have some weird standards for photos. Mainly it's about how much weird things you add to the photo with photoshop, or how you have to have a bunch of different external lights in your photo. They make it seem like you're not a good photographer if you don't "create" something.

Don't get me wrong, I am great at photoshop and can do any of those fancy things...but it takes so damn long and isn't really gratifying to me.

I really just am thinking about people who took pics in the 60s and 70s and 80s and 90s and they really just went out there with a camera and took a photo of something interesting. I'm not talking about not creatively developing (either in the darkroom or lightroom) but they weren't adding a ton of stuff with photoshop.

I guess Jerry Uelsmann didn't happen? :lol::lol::lol:

Ansel Adams is also considered a purist (whatever that means) but he purposely exposed his film correctly for the way he processed the negative and then printed the print (the zones system) which usually changed the scene to the way it looked to Adams as he saw it in his minds eye which was not the way it looked in reality (whatever that means).




  
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Oct 05, 2014 09:35 as a reply to  @ airfrogusmc's post |  #9

Well, I'm an amateur, so I mostly agree. The only thing is - I've seen some stuff here that is really artistic and beautiful. Some people with a camera are more like artists trying to capture a starting-point for their creation, than people trying to capture reality.

I don't have that "touch" of vision/madness - but I do appreciate it in others when I see it.


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airfrogusmc
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Oct 05, 2014 10:21 |  #10

As always taking the photograph is just the first part of a process that includes exposing, processing and then printing. They are all important and to fully express ones vision. They are all equally important. It's nothing new.




  
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Tedder
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Oct 05, 2014 11:21 |  #11

78962 wrote in post #17194409 (external link)
I've seen some REALLY pretentious and snobby people on the internet, youtube etc where they have some weird standards for photos. Mainly it's about how much weird things you add to the photo with photoshop, or how you have to have a bunch of different external lights in your photo. They make it seem like you're not a good photographer if you don't "create" somethingā€¦.

I've seen much the same attitude among the self-declared purists.

People tend to measure others against their own standards as a method of elevating themselves.


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airfrogusmc
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Oct 05, 2014 11:27 as a reply to  @ Tedder's post |  #12

"Somehow 'purists' have confused photography with some sort of a bizarre competition that comes with an undefined set of rules...." - Bill Frakes




  
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Echo63
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Oct 05, 2014 11:37 as a reply to  @ airfrogusmc's post |  #13

20droger wrote in post #17194728 (external link)
And in some cases, maybe they shouldn't get out of bed. It'd make it loads easier on the rest of us.

My cohort and I are a photographic team. We are "purists." We do our best to get it right in camera so as to require as little post processing as possible. When we have a shot that requires no more than a little sharpening and conversion to JPEG, we feel we've done it right.

We shoot for fun, not profit. However, hundreds of our shots have been sold, so I guess we are "professionals" in that sense.

We like bugs, and seem to have a knack for finding new ones and/or capturing better images of old ones. We specialize in macro shots of insects and other small critters with a controlled depth of field encompassing the whole critter, but no much more. Many of our shots have been purchased by or donated to professional entomological organizations.

However, we never shoot with image sales in mind, and we never shoot on a for hire basis. We shoot for ourselves. If a shot turns out to be saleable, fine. If it doesn't, also fine. The joy is in the capture, not the sale.

And that is the key to avoid getting "burnt out"
Shoot for fun, for the thrill of the hunt (for new bugs, or a new frame of an old bug)
and if people buy the images, great, it pays for equipment, or fuel, or the time spent enjoying yourself.


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sandpiper
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Oct 05, 2014 11:46 |  #14

78962 wrote in post #17194409 (external link)
I really just am thinking about people who took pics in the 60s and 70s and 80s and 90s and they really just went out there with a camera and took a photo of something interesting. I'm not talking about not creatively developing (either in the darkroom or lightroom) but they weren't adding a ton of stuff with photoshop.

Well, not with Photoshop because it didn't exist, however there were plenty of people making images by combining parts of several negatives onto one print in the darkroom. It was no different to today apart from requiring a LOT more skill, so it was less prevalent simply because it was less easy to do. People have been manipulating their images almost as long as photography has existed, it didn't start when Photoshop came along.

Personally, I tend to keep my images pretty straight but I have no problem with those who wish to create fantasy images from several shots. This is an artistic medium and it is the end result that matters, not how you got there and certainly not how realistic the end result is. There are many painters out there who produce work intended to portray the subject as it was, that doesn't make the likes of Dali or Picasso any less of an artist because they chose to produce work that was not accurate to reality. Why should photography, as a means of artistic expression, be any different? If somebody wants to be a purist and produce straight work, that is their choice. However, they should accept that other artistic views exist and there is nothing wrong, or "cheating", about producing work that involves considerable manipulation, if that is what somebody wants to do. That works both ways of course.

Obviously different standards apply to photojournalism, where altering the image is a big no-no.




  
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airfrogusmc
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Oct 05, 2014 11:47 |  #15

I shoot commercial/advertising to feed the family. That's the job. I shoot my personal work for me and that is the work that is just for me. But it is a process and i will use all the tools at my disposal to get my work to a finished point in both my professional work and my personal work.




  
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