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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 18 May 2018 (Friday) 23:19
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isn't about time we admit that cameras aren't holding us back...

 
nqjudo
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May 19, 2018 21:24 |  #31

Archibald wrote in post #18628628 (external link)
I understood what you were trying to say, and agree with the spirit of it, from the perspective of serious landscape and studio photography. Of course we need talent and vision to take great photographs. The philosophy can also be extended to other genres that are practiced today.

But things are much different today for almost all of us. Our digital gear gives us big advantages regardless of skill level or knowledge of photography. Photography is fun! Most of the general populace out there today is no more educated in photography than they were a generation ago... but pictures are much better because of better gear.

So - point taken, for the best images we need talent, knowledge and hard work. But many of us don't need to achieve such artistic excellence. We have fun and get the great shots we want.

The original issue was whether the gear we have now is already sufficient. Time will tell, but most likely there will be further improvements that will help us take better pictures. I've already mentioned the weight issue for me. Another thing I would like is bird eye focus. :) It would be marvelous for us birders!! I bet it will be here within 5 years.

I agree with your points except about the pictures being much better. For the most part we have technically better photographs of stuff that wasn't interesting to look at generations of cameras ago. I understand your earlier point about Ansel trying to shoot BIF with his camera. We all need the right tool for the job but in most cases it is overkill. I'm going to repeat myself from an earlier post today in saying that we all have more technology than talent. I've been on these forums probably as long as you and I've seen some good photography but I have yet to stumble upon true iconoclast. You know. One of 'those' guys. An Adams, a Salgado, a Cappa, etc. I don't claim Alex Webb as a friend but he is a friend of a friend and I've met him on several occasions. He doesn't care about noise, dynamic range, charts, graphs, MFA, camera comparisons and neither does anyone in his circle. I guarantee you that he usually uses cameras that are vastly inferior to your 7D2 but I think we would all agree that he does pretty well with them. There are also many notable professionals that use bodies much older than your 7D2 and there is no shortage of pros selling prints and making a good living giving workshops with nothing more than an iPhone. It says an awful lot.

The camera vs camera debate is old and tired. The debate is one fuelled by pride, insecurity, a need to justify excessive consumerism and a good bid of advertising. It needs to be put away. It is nothing but a disruptive, distracting grind. If the tech of it all is what drives someone and that's what they like in the hobby then there's no problem with buying whatever they want but if anyone thinks a camera upgrade is going to make them a better photographer at this point they're on the wrong track. People wax poetic about how great their new purchases are and proceed post images with it that are exactly the same as their previous gear. Purchase will never replace practice if the goal is to improve. I'm not a great photographer but I assure you that time has done more for my photography than anything I've ever bought.


No photographer is as good as the simplest camera. - Edward Steichen.

  
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Archibald
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May 19, 2018 21:46 |  #32

nqjudo wrote in post #18628665 (external link)
I agree with your points except about the pictures being much better. For the most part we have technically better photographs of stuff that wasn't interesting to look at generations of cameras ago. I understand your earlier point about Ansel trying to shoot BIF with his camera. We all need the right tool for the job but in most cases it is overkill. I'm going to repeat myself from an earlier post today in saying that we all have more technology than talent. I've been on these forums probably as long as you and I've seen some good photography but I have yet to stumble upon true iconoclast. You know. One of 'those' guys. An Adams, a Salgado, a Cappa, etc. I don't claim Alex Webb as a friend but he is a friend of a friend and I've met him on several occasions. He doesn't care about noise, dynamic range, charts, graphs, MFA, camera comparisons and neither does anyone in his circle. I guarantee you that he usually uses cameras that are vastly inferior to your 7D2 but I think we would all agree that he does pretty well with them. There are also many notable professionals that use bodies much older than your 7D2 and there is no shortage of pros selling prints and making a good living giving workshops with nothing more than an iPhone. It says an awful lot.

The camera vs camera debate is old and tired. The debate is one fuelled by pride, insecurity, a need to justify excessive consumerism and a good bid of advertising. It needs to be put away. It is nothing but a disruptive, distracting grind. If the tech of it all is what drives someone and that's what they like in the hobby then there's no problem with buying whatever they want but if anyone thinks a camera upgrade is going to make them a better photographer at this point they're on the wrong track. People wax poetic about how great their new purchases are and proceed post images with it that are exactly the same as their previous gear. Purchase will never replace practice if the goal is to improve. I'm not a great photographer but I assure you that time has done more for my photography than anything I've ever bought.

Well, there are different kinds of photographers. There are those who are artistic and don't care about the gear. They do the minimum to understand their camera, and then go on pursuing artistic photos.

Then there are those who are really not very artistic but love gadgets. They buy new gear so they can play with it, test it, try to understand it, and be delighted by it. Since they have it, they go out and put it through its paces and take pictures.

I don't see anything wrong with either type of photographer. Both get a lot of benefit out of their activity.

Of course many of us are somewhere in between. A few might be both. Often we change from being more artistic to being more gear-oriented or the other way. All OK by me.

Back in the film days, I shot manual focus only. Then auto focus was invented and became big. I sneered at it because it was easy as pie to manual focus very precisely in just a jiffy. There was no need for autofocus. It was an unnecessary frill and added complexity and expense. I stuck with my trusty manual gear.

It wasn't until I went digital that I ended up, somewhat reluctantly, with an autofocus camera. It took me a long time, but I came to appreciate the big advantages that AF offered in some situations - such as in focus tracking. Try that with MF. In the old days, some did figure out how to get birds in flight with manual focus. But AF is much superior.

So even if you are the artistic kind and eschew new gadgetry, it sometimes pays to check out new developments, because one or more might open new photographic opportunities for you.


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Canonuser123
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May 19, 2018 21:57 |  #33

Art is very subjective, I think a lot of famous artistic photographers take horrible, ugly photos but that is OK as long as some people like it. That famous tricycle photo by Eggleston is a perfect example of what I would consider a waste of film, I don’t get it but then I don’t have to.

I don’t consider myself to be very good as a photographer but I have been published, I take lots of crappy photos that make me question whether I should be allowed to even own a camera. I own nice cameras because I can and not because I need them.




  
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nqjudo
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May 19, 2018 22:00 as a reply to  @ Archibald's post |  #34

That’s a well thought out and interesting response.


No photographer is as good as the simplest camera. - Edward Steichen.

  
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Bassat
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May 19, 2018 22:32 |  #35

I've been a snap-shooter since my mother bought (gave?) me a Brownie Hawkeye Flash around 1965. 50+ years of practice, moving from MF to 35mm to aps-c to ff digital, then back to aps-c has not changed that a bit. Still a snap-shooter. I just spend a lot more money on it these days.

Here is a snap-shot of our new pups, out on their first walk today. They are 8-week old Golden Retriever sisters, Stella and Wrigley.


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Canonuser123
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May 19, 2018 22:40 |  #36

Bassat wrote in post #18628699 (external link)
I've been a snap-shooter since my mother bought (gave?) me a Brownie Hawkeye Flash around 1965. 50+ years of practice, moving from MF to 35mm to aps-c to ff digital, then back to aps-c has not changed that a bit. Still a snap-shooter. I just spend a lot more money on it these days.


I didn't get my Brownie Hawkeye until 1968, still have one.




  
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sjones
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May 19, 2018 22:56 |  #37

Better technology equating to better photographs is a subjective statement that is not remotely applicable to all of “us”. Personally, and it’s just my opinion of course, I find this assumptive correlation untenable, given that some of the best and most creative work I’ve seen dates decades back. Even in terms of ‘image quality’, I’ve yet to see a modern print that surpasses an original Adams print…maybe equals, sure, but exceeds, nope.

Yes, technology has simplified the process; you know, “You Press the Button, We Do the Rest”, from Kodak, from 1888. Technology has democratized photography, and this is a great thing, and it has expanded the scope of photography. The stunning images coming from the Hubble weren’t imaginable during most of my lifetime. And sure, if you love clear, close up shots of talons clutching a fish caught just milliseconds earlier, then photos that date decades back are probably not going to be your thing. And that’s fine.

And of course, as I think we all already realize, we need at least some type of “gear” to take photos. But where the base line for sufficiency begins is going to differ, and I’ve seen contemporary pinhole camera photos that are as good as anything coming out of any other type of camera; others are free to disagree.

To note, the pinhole camera doesn’t need to take great birds in flight photos to validate its usefulness if the person using it doesn’t take photos of birds in flight. Likewise, I’ve seen great photos taken from a sub-megapixel camera phone, and that these files aren’t great for large prints doesn’t in any way negate these photos’ compelling qualities.

While I’m old enough to have owned a Kodak Instamatic, I did not get into photography until digital came along; I actually “eschewed” older technologies for years until a simpler more convenient medium arrived. I remember some of the first threads I read on this site were about old manual focus lenses that could be used on Canon DSLRs. I wondered who in the hell would do that? And when I finally learned what ISO meant, I couldn’t imagine being stuck with just one choice, at least for 36 consecutive exposures.

That is, my switch to film a few years later was not a stubborn act of dogmatic Luddism but one simply informed by evolving personal preference (one that surprised me). Nor was it some type of prostration to nostalgia. Actually, ironically, technology’s failure to produce an affordable digital rangefinder partially prompted my switch. That the process subsequently proved more fun than digital helped solidify my decision.

As for the simplicity of my current set up limiting my creative potential; no…as much as I actually enjoy shopping for gear, I don’t need new developments to expand any opportunities. At this point, it’s what my brain has to offer (or not) that determines my capabilities, or lack of. In fact, I only use one focal length. And for my style of photography, zone focusing is superior to AF.

I’ve said on this site before that if someone wants to buy 10,000 top end Canon DSLRs to build an igloo, that’s their prerogative. Use what you need or even just what you want for whatever purposes. But I think discussion like this are more important for newcomers who might find themselves getting sucked up into the marketing push to constantly upgrade. You don’t need to be all artsy fartsy to want to take interesting photos, and for those who want to improve, it’s worth understanding that the latest and greatest can often prove to be no more than a dubiously expensive nostrum in terms of expectations.


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Eggleston's photography is superb. Deal with it!
It's the Photographer (external link) | God Loves Photoshop (external link)

  
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sjones
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May 19, 2018 23:07 |  #38

Canonuser123 wrote in post #18628677 (external link)
Art is very subjective, I think a lot of famous artistic photographers take horrible, ugly photos but that is OK as long as some people like it. That famous tricycle photo by Eggleston is a perfect example of what I would consider a waste of film, I don’t get it but then I don’t have to...

Good Lord, more Eggleston bashing on POTN…well, notably and very reasonably softened by “but that’s OK.” Actually, I’m not a fan of the tricycle photo; but he’s got countless others that please my eyeballs, and his control and use of color is exceptional…but yes, the subjectivity of it all! And just to note, my signature regarding Eggleston has been there for some time, nothing personal, or too personal...


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Canonuser123
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May 20, 2018 02:49 |  #39

I don't like his work but I am totally fine with others liking it, it would be a boring world if everyone was the same.
My idea of a good use of color is more like this. https://photography-on-the.net …p?p=17955991&i=​i241106874




  
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Dan ­ Marchant
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May 20, 2018 08:11 |  #40

DreDaze wrote in post #18628206 (external link)
educate me on what i'm missing out on...cause i'm due for a new camera soon...and i'm wondering if it's worth it to bother spending more for the latest, and greatest

Nothing. There are some people who like to take photos and for whom the struggle against the camera's limitations is part of the fun. Others just want to buy new stuff cos they like new stuff, while others still think they can buy their way to better photography.


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airfrogusmc
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Post edited 2 months ago by airfrogusmc. (4 edits in all)
     
May 20, 2018 11:15 |  #41

Dan I think that sometimes people think that using equipment that maybe is less automated or a kit that has less in terms of overall scope is limiting. I would argue that it can be liberating if it is equipment that matches the way you see and work. As Adams was getting out that the more specific your area of expertise becomes the more your equipment becomes tailored to that. The problem I see today with many camera companies is many are trying to be one size fits all and for some that is not the right answer.

Back to Eggleston, whether you like Eggleston or not one thing for sure is he has a style. His work looks like his work and no-one else's. Pulling one piece out of a body of work, bodies of work is what seems to get missed a lot on forums, but is extremely important in places outside forum land, is like pulling a paragraph out of a novel and judging the book on the one paragraph. In my opinion you are starting to arrive when someone looks at one of your images and recognizes that image as yours before he/she sees your name attached to the photograph. If your work looks like everyone else's then how can that be special?

Here is an interesting piece on Eggleston. Whether you like his work or not his importance to photography should be recognized.
https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=mGquEORFxV4 (external link)




  
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May 20, 2018 11:42 |  #42

airfrogusmc wrote in post #18629013 (external link)
Pulling one piece out of a body of work, bodies of work is what seems to get missed a lot on forums, but is extremely important in places outside forum land, is like pulling a paragraph out of a novel and judging the book on the one paragraph.

I just used one example, I think everything I have seen by him is very bad. If you like it great, I think there are many thousands of far better photographers on this site.




  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Post edited 2 months ago by Tom Reichner. (2 edits in all)
     
May 20, 2018 11:58 |  #43

airfrogusmc wrote in post #18629013 (external link)
Dan I think that sometimes people think that using equipment that maybe less automated or a kit that has less in terms of overall scope is limiting. I would argue that it can be liberating if it is equipment that matches the way you see and work.

.
I agree with you, Allen. . It really comes down to having equipment that matches the way one works.

Personally, I want a camera that is as automated as possible. . Why? . Is it because I am not a good photographer and I need a camera to do everything for me because I don't know how to do it myself? . No!

It is because while I am photographing, I want all of my mental and physical faculties to be focused on the subject I am photographing and on what all to include/exclude from the frame and on figuring out what point of view I should capture the image from to give it the look/effect that I want it to have.

These are the important things in the creative process of wildlife photography:

1: . Being in tune with the animal's behavior is crucial to getting the image that is in my mind's eye.

2: . Thinking through the composition and determining how I want the size relationships of the different elements to be and what I'd like to use to 'anchor' the bottom of the frame and what I want immediately behind the subject and how sharp/blurry I want the various things in the frame to be is also crucial to getting that image in my mind's eye to be the same as the one that is captured on my sensor.

3: . Figuring out where I should take the photo from - and then figuring out how to get myself and my gear into that position before it's too late - can be a very challenging task that often involves scurrying up steep rocky slopes or traversing thorn thickets or crossing little creeks or setting up a tripod with a huge lens on very steep slopes - all as quickly as possible and doing so while making as little noise/disturbance as possible so that I don't scare the subject away.

All of the aforementioned is the really important stuff, and what helps me capture my vision. . This stuff is what makes for good photography. . The gear and the settings is not what it's about at all. . That's why I want extremely capable gear that is as highly automated as possible - so that I can use my mind and my body to do all of the other things that I just mentioned and not have to worry about focusing exactly right or getting the exposure just right. . I want the camera to be able to do that so that my mind can be free to do the other more creative, important stuff.

If I have to worry about critical focus, then that takes two or three seconds, and I often don't have those two or three seconds. . Maybe I do all of this over-the-top struggling to get myself into some 'perfect position' on a cliff face of down in a reed-choked swamp, and then the subject turns its head away from me as I am taking two seconds to focus properly. . Damn! . If the camera would be able to focus precisely on the animal's eye, all by itself, instantly, then I would have managed to capture that image instead of doing all of that hard work only to miss out altogether because I took one second too long.

Camera automation is extremely helpful because it will allow me to focus on 'real photography stuff' instead of fiddling with settings and focusing.

But, as you say, Allen, automation may not be right for other photographers and the way they work. . Perhaps for some, the automation actually gets in the way of their creative process. . I get that.

.
--------------- --------------- --------------- --------------- --------------- ---------------

By the way, I do happen to really, really like Eggleston's work. . I often look at his images for long periods of time and marvel over his use of color and composition. It's really great work!

However, as much as I like his work, I have no interest in making images like the ones he made. . He had his own way of seeing - his own vision. . And I have my own way of seeing things. . I want to use my life to record things the way I see them, and have no interest in emulating the work that is done by anyone else, no matter how good they were.

For those who don't like Eggleston's work, I wonder if you are really assessing the images on the basis of composition, or if you are thinking about subject matter?

I mean, I absolutely love Eggleston's work, but I have no interest in the things that he photographed. . I find his subject matter (manmade things) completely and utterly uninteresting. . Yet I love the images he created because of the way he composed them and the way he used color. . If we judge an image based on what it is of, isn't that being a little shallow? . Aren't we supposed to be able to break an image down into various artistic components that are universal to good art, regardless of what the subject matter is? . Isn't that what true art aficionados do?


.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
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airfrogusmc
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Post edited 2 months ago by airfrogusmc. (2 edits in all)
     
May 20, 2018 12:04 |  #44

Canonuser123 wrote in post #18629020 (external link)
I just used one example, I think everything I have seen by him is very bad. If you like it great, I think there are many thousands of far better photographers on this site.

Watch the video. Maybe you will see the importance outside of what you like or dislike. Bad? explain that please. Bad to who; everyone? That wouldn't be an accurate statement. There are many that like his work. You can say that you don't like his work and that is fine. To make a general statement like his work is bad is not anywhere near the truth. There are photographers work I don't particularly like (Witkin comes to mind for me) but I clearly see his importance to photography and I have come to appreciate it over the years. Also you know a Witkin when you see it. One thing that you can't argue is that he (Eggleston) has a style that is his own. Not many here on POTN can claim that. I see a lot of look a like images that are well focused and technically sound but all look a lot a like. In many cases I can't tell one photographers work from another so that means it is ordinary. There are clearly exceptions to this but for the most part it is a sea of sameness. Egglestons work, like or dislike, looks like his work.

I think Ernst Haas one said and I am paraphrasing; he basically said he would rather make crappy photographs that look like his photographs than make pretty photographs that look like everyone else pretty photographs.




  
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Phoenixkh
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May 20, 2018 12:09 |  #45

I agree with both sides of this discussion.

I shoot mostly shoot wildlife: more large wading birds than any thing else. I used a 1D IV for quite a few years, but got a 1D X2 a few weeks ago. I like it a lot. I’m not a professional, but I’m glad I bought it.


Kim (the male variety) Canon 1DX2 | 1D IV | 16-35 f/4 IS | 24-105 f/4 IS | 100L IS macro | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II | 100-400Lii | 50 f/1.8 STM | Canon 1.4X III
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isn't about time we admit that cameras aren't holding us back...
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