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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 02 Jan 2016 (Saturday) 23:03
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Is it ok to take a "snapshot" every now and then?

 
CameraMan
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Jan 03, 2016 12:11 |  #16

Probably not a great example of "snapshots" since this doesn't involve people or really nice scenery. But I think it might prove a point about photography overall.

I've shot weddings, portraits, scenery shots. All using the Rule of Thirds, composition rules, different lighting techniques, etc. I also take personal reference photos for work with my cell phone. I work as an electrician and usually I'm not looking for a nicely composed shot at work. But I am looking for something. Usually for troubleshooting purposes.

In this one I was looking for a certain flex hose. The flex hose runs down a 10" x 6" space which are only accessible through 5" x 4" openings and is about 20' long from this vantage point. Not conducive for peeking my head in.


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This one I needed to find out if the box was wired right by another employee. It wasn't so I ended up troubleshooting and decided to look in this box which was 12' in the air on a wall behind a large and heavy transformer. I could not fit between the wall and the transformer so my next best idea was to take a picture of the box while standing on a ladder. I found one problem with the black wires you see are pulled apart. I was just making sure they were going in the right directions.


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So, I guess you can say that photography for me has become a very useful too at work where photography really isn't emphasized. So capturing the shot you need to get the job done is good enough in some cases.

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gonzogolf
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Jan 03, 2016 12:17 |  #17

PineBomb wrote in post #17842730 (external link)
That's right.

My only problem with snapshots is when others try to compel you to take one--with the expectation of something sublime--despite poor conditions (i.e., "that's a nice camera, I bet it takes great shots," as if the photographer's judgment is completely irrelevant).

That when I tell them if you want the magic you gotta do the work. A great camera doesn't turn a crap backdrop into a field of daisies.




  
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Jan 03, 2016 12:17 |  #18

Can you take a snapshot every now and then? Of course you can.

Snapshots, as the name implies, are just candids. They are taken quickly and with minimal posing. As your photography technical prowess grows, your candids will be better. Taking pics in someones house is always going to involve cluttered backgrounds, beer bottles in the foreground, someone looking at their phone on the periphery of the photo. Take some pics, capture the moment, have some fun.


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Jan 03, 2016 12:21 |  #19
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The truth is that a consummate photographer, one to whom composition and lighting are like muscle memory, will by default take better snapshots, to the point that most of them won't look like snapshots at all. It's just the way of it.

I'm positive that good photographers take a lot of snapshots, they just don't share them on the Internet. Just like a lot of master painters traced rather than sketch their base drawings, even though they didn't mention it or even admitted it.


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Jan 03, 2016 12:35 |  #20

Of course it's fine to take snapshots! Some people make a career out of it, such as Henri Cartier-Bresson.

I do photography for our high school marching band. Because of the situations and available time, almost everything is a snapshot. It's that or I don't get the photo. Mostly they're done with the 5DMIII, though on one occasion I used a Canon ELPH 330. In that case I hadn't planned on shooting, so the only camera I had with me was the ELPH. I could either embarrass myself by using a tiny point-n-shoot, or embarrass myself by being a photographer without a camera. I took the former route, and folks still loved the good photos.

On our recent vacation to WDW, I had both the 5DMIII and the ELPH with me. My wife suggested at one point I just use the little one rather than drag the big one all over the place. While I still used the DSLR, I also used the little point-n-shoot a lot. Here's a bunch of photos from the ELPH that I did in fact put on the Internet. Are they award winning? Are they commercial quality? They're mine, and that's all that matters.

http://grahamglover.ze​nfolio.com/p1024338725 (external link)

Enjoy!


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Jan 03, 2016 17:25 |  #21

Sometimes you want to get an artistic photo, and other times you're just documenting an event. To me, it's no big deal to take snapshots on a regular basis even though I do try to make my snapshots as nice as possible within the limits of what I'm working with (iPhone, P&S, GoPro, etc). I've got a ton more snapshots than I've got meticulously lit and planned images. Some of my favorite images have more to do with emotion than camera settings or any of that. For example, I took the last image ever taken of my Dad before he passed. It's not the greatest image, but he looks happy, and it's the emotional moment that I'll always remember snapping. It was shot on film (in an automatic mode I'm sure) with a borrowed SLR, back when I was a young teenager and had no idea what I was doing. Sometimes you just get it "right" in an image, and it doesn't matter if it's a snapshot or if you had a crew to set it up.


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Jan 03, 2016 17:32 |  #22

CameraMan wrote in post #17842743 (external link)
Probably not a great example of "snapshots" since this doesn't involve people or really nice scenery. But I think it might prove a point about photography overall.

I've shot weddings, portraits, scenery shots. All using the Rule of Thirds, composition rules, different lighting techniques, etc. I also take personal reference photos for work with my cell phone. I work as an electrician and usually I'm not looking for a nicely composed shot at work. But I am looking for something. Usually for troubleshooting purposes.

In this one I was looking for a certain flex hose. The flex hose runs down a 10" x 6" space which are only accessible through 5" x 4" openings and is about 20' long from this vantage point. Not conducive for peeking my head in.

thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by CameraMan in
./showthread.php?p=178​42743&i=i84262345
forum: General Photography Talk


This one I needed to find out if the box was wired right by another employee. It wasn't so I ended up troubleshooting and decided to look in this box which was 12' in the air on a wall behind a large and heavy transformer. I could not fit between the wall and the transformer so my next best idea was to take a picture of the box while standing on a ladder. I found one problem with the black wires you see are pulled apart. I was just making sure they were going in the right directions.

thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by CameraMan in
./showthread.php?p=178​42743&i=i267357589
forum: General Photography Talk


So, I guess you can say that photography for me has become a very useful too at work where photography really isn't emphasized. So capturing the shot you need to get the job done is good enough in some cases.

I do the same thing! I take photos of things a lot prior to working on them, just so I can make sure I get everything back like it was when reassembled.

I've also found that Apple Watches are wonderful for this, since they can remotely display a live preview from the iPhone camera. I've used it for lots of non-photography uses. Just the other day I was replacing a dimmer switch, so I sat my phone pointing toward the light that was switched "on". That way, when I was two floors away in the basement, I could visually confirm that I had turned off the correct circuit breaker when I saw the light go off on my watch display.

It's also great for looking around tight corners and into small spaces. GoPro's on a extension pole with a wifi link to the phone app work well for this too.


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Jan 03, 2016 17:41 |  #23

My personal snapshot rules are:

  • If it makes you happy, just do you best in the situation and shoot away
  • If it makes some you care about happy, just do you best in the situation and shoot away.
  • If you don't want to shoot leave the camera at home.

Many of us here have the advantage of good lenses, the ability to throw plenty on the subject, a understanding of composition and the safety net of shooting RAW. That would seem to present us with at least some modest level of social obligation to record events. I've found, however, that an enthusiastic point, shoot and hope photographer does well enough for us to easily stay on the lens side of things.

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Jan 03, 2016 18:00 |  #24

Hmmm. I have an Android but I'd love to find a device that would work like that with my phone... I'll have to look that up some time. :)


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Jan 04, 2016 04:07 as a reply to  @ CameraMan's post |  #25

I'm glad someone opened this discussion.
Perhaps it will sound funny to someone but I have always looking for the best possible quality of my photos. I was always afraid, that if I show someone a snapshot, I will be listening to comments as: ''You have top of the line camera with expensive lens and all you can do is this? I can do better with my smartphone.''
When shooting events where my friends and people I know were involved I've spent hours by the computer messing and manipulating RAW files to get the best out of them just to show everyone, how nice photos I can make. I think I've lost the main goal, why I've got myself a DSLR – mainly to shoot memory photos and to enjoy doing that.
Lately I'm forcing myself to shoot jpeg snapshots and just do the basic things in Photoshop (resizing, some sharpening, etc) just to teach myself that not every photo is suppose to be perfect.


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Jan 04, 2016 05:49 |  #26

That's where your iPhone/cell phone is handy! I don't take my camera into snap shot situations because I don't want to use it for that; usually snap shot situations are something that I'd rather enjoy by being in the moment, vs. being removed behind a camera. Now a days, I let other people bring out their phones and take the snap shots if they want... it's kind of a weight off of my shoulders not to have to always "be the photographer".

Is it OK to take a photo that doesn't meet your usual normal standard? Yes it is. We are allowed off days if we so choose!


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Jan 04, 2016 10:37 |  #27

Mathmans wrote in post #17843717 (external link)
I'm glad someone opened this discussion.
Perhaps it will sound funny to someone but I have always looking for the best possible quality of my photos. I was always afraid, that if I show someone a snapshot, I will be listening to comments as: ''You have top of the line camera with expensive lens and all you can do is this? I can do better with my smartphone.''
When shooting events where my friends and people I know were involved I've spent hours by the computer messing and manipulating RAW files to get the best out of them just to show everyone, how nice photos I can make. I think I've lost the main goal, why I've got myself a DSLR – mainly to shoot memory photos and to enjoy doing that.
Lately I'm forcing myself to shoot jpeg snapshots and just do the basic things in Photoshop (resizing, some sharpening, etc) just to teach myself that not every photo is suppose to be perfect.

That makes much sense to me!

I actually bought the ELPH 330 a couple years ago to help make myself a better photographer. I had the 5DMIII, but I'd seen videos on YouTube from DigitalRev TV from their "Pro Photographer Cheap Camera" series. They give a real pro a stupidly poor camera (Lego Camera, Buzz Lightyear Camera, Barbie Doll video camera, for example) and tell them to shoot with that. The "star", Kai Wang, is annoyingly vulgar so I won't put a link. Regardless, they've had some really good photographers shooting with bad cameras and they can produce really good results. Anyway, the idea behind the ELPH was that I while I can take a decent photo with the DSLR, if I can take a decent one with the pocket point-n-shoot I'm probably doing okay.

Most of us are amateurs here. I'm an amateur. I shoot for me. Sometimes I take studio photos and pro quality photos. Sometimes they're snapshots. Here are two snapshots from marching band.

The first photo was a Friday night after dinner, but before the kids got into uniforms to go up to the football field. They were a bunch of friends. "Hey, can I get your photo?" I get one second for this, that's it. It's b&w, not because it looks artsy (which it does) but because the exposure was all wrong. B&w fixes lots of problems. Lol!

The second was the pit musicians (marimbas, keyboard, et al) in a huddle before a competition. I saw them and left them alone, but I waited until they were through. When they broke up, I said, "Wait, Alice, don't go yet. Can I get one of all of you together like that from down below?"

She said, "You mean laying on the ground?"

"Yeah!"

"Yes!"

Then it got incredible because they did the peace sign thing all on their own. This was their inner sanctum. I had maybe 10 seconds to get the shot. It was imperfect. I should have had a wider lens. The exposure was wrong and had to be corrected in Lightroom. They put this as a double truck image (spanning two pages) in their yearbook.

In both cases these are snapshots. They're photos that couldn't be staged, and they are imperfect. They're also favorites.

Snapshots? Yeah. No worries!

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Post edited over 3 years ago by bogeypro. (2 edits in all)
     
Jan 04, 2016 10:43 |  #28

I work in IT and it's difficult-to-impossible to view serial# info stamped on rack-mounted server information plates that are difficult to view. I keep a Panasonic P&S in my pocket most days & it really came in handy.

Made the info plates much easier to read not to mention distingushing between 0 and "O", 1 and "I", 5 and "S" and so on.

As far as snapshots, some of the family candids i've captured are more treasured & warmly thought of than the ones i'm more technically proud of. I'm a learning amateur and, while i'm trying to get better based on what I see here, i'm trying to capture moments of people I love.

Snap away.




  
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Jan 04, 2016 11:20 as a reply to  @ mathogre's post |  #29

When I was teaching photography as a grad assistant one of the first things we would do is a walk around shoot. The students would use their 35mm big buck cameras and I would use a plastic freebie that I got with a magazine subscription. It was a good way to demonstrate knowledge over gear, and knock the edges off of the gear snobs. Once the students understood that compositions and exposure trump bells and whistles they were much more open to learning.




  
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Jan 04, 2016 13:10 as a reply to  @ gonzogolf's post |  #30

When I first got into photography, I snapped away at anything I could put in front of my camera; took it everywhere with me, was just happy to be shooting. Now, it's not that I don't like taking snapshots of random stuff around the house, it's that I'm more challenged to find greater composition, that "oh yeah..." moment when you know you've created something above and beyond the million other non-keepers you've shot all year.

Some photos have meaning beyond all of the gear and composition and rules talk we absorb here and on other sites, and those photos are priceless (such as mathogre demonstrated above). Irreplaceable and precious.


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Is it ok to take a "snapshot" every now and then?
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