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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 13 May 2012 (Sunday) 02:06
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Watching other photographers....

 
jra
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May 13, 2012 02:06 |  #1

Does anyone else enjoy watching other photographers? For some reason, I find it extremely interesting to watch how other photographers work. It doesn't matter if it's a hired pro or a complete beginner, I always find it interesting to see how they shoot in particular situations and how they handle the situation in different ways.
As you watch other photographers, do you notice anything that you generally do differently from the majority of people? For me, it's burst mode....I rarely ever, virtually never, use burst mode (and I shoot a lot of youth sports). I prefer to anticipate the peak moment of action and simply grab that single frame....and that works well for me. On the other hand, I've noticed that many others just love to shoot in bursts.....even when it really makes no logical sense (such as a slow/non moving animal at the zoo).
What are your experiences/observatio​ns?




  
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shayneyasinski
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May 13, 2012 02:12 |  #2

I look for the shot, take the shot folowed by a burst of 3 to 5 to have eyes to clone if I need them.


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FlyingPhotog
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May 13, 2012 02:31 |  #3

You do it the way you do because you can...
They do it the way they do because they can...

You do it the way you do because you want to edit less...
They do it the way they do because they're only filling HD space...


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jra
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May 13, 2012 02:56 |  #4

Please don't mis-understand my post...I'm not trying to say that my method is any better than the rest. I was just making an observation. We all have our different techniques and methods that are unique to our own style...and that was the main point I was trying to make. Considering that photography is a form of artwork, I firmly believe that their is really no right or wrong as long as you're achieving the goals you desire :)




  
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RedSloth
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May 13, 2012 08:23 |  #5

Love doing it.

I picked up a 60D approx 12 months ago as I wanted to get better shots. At the time I thought it was the camera but now I appreciate it is the person behind it. My photography isn't special but after a lot of self-education and practice it is far better that where I was a few years ago.

I am forever watching other photographers. Looking at their kit, whether they know how to use it, how they solve problems etc etc and I ask myself do I agree with their approach / what would I do.

A recent example was attending a friend’s birthday party for his kid. He is a big bloke with a point and shoot. He towered over the kids and clicked. Never occurred to him to get down low to change the perspective, frame the shot etc. When I look back, I was the same a few years ago with my point and shoot and all of my family snaps (whilst I still treasure them) are so very poor. I'm pleased I took the plunge into learning photography so my 'current and future memories' will look better than my passed memories!


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Wilt
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May 13, 2012 12:02 |  #6

jra wrote in post #14423666 (external link)
For me, it's burst mode....I rarely ever, virtually never, use burst mode (and I shoot a lot of youth sports). I prefer to anticipate the peak moment of action and simply grab that single frame....and that works well for me. On the other hand, I've noticed that many others just love to shoot in bursts.....even when it really makes no logical sense (such as a slow/non moving animal at the zoo).
What are your experiences/observatio​ns?

Like you, I prefer to use single shot mode and rapidly depress the shutter button multiple times conciously. However, in attending a baseball game and trying to photograph the batter swinging at the pitch, going into burst mode allows one to capture the ball in flight with the bat swinging thru the air at it...hard to do simply by reflex alone! Even in burst mode, one finds that the baseball is not visible a lot of the times, because it is passing thru the frame between shots even when at 3-5 fps!

I prefer to not watch others shoot in not-optimal manner. Knowing how they might improve their shot (vs. what they are doing) is simply an exercise in frustration.

I do enjoy watching a knowledgeable person at work, but many of the things done by the knowledgeable are not even distinctive actions to an observor, without commentary from that person while they are doing it!

So, in short, what purpose is served?...I need not convince myself that 'I do it better' nor is it purposeful to watch someone 'use a pointless accessory', and I cannot learn the subtleties of technique from 20' away, so what is the point?!


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TooManyShots
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May 13, 2012 12:12 |  #7
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This will end up more of a critique, I bet you. Ok, I shoot moving subjects at speed. Sometimes, even in burst mode, 3 to 4 frames, focus can be off by a little. I shoot bike races and riders tend to ride in pack and at close quarter. This isn't your charity ride. Sometimes, I could only get a clean shot on my 3rd or 4th frame. Clean shot, in this case, there are sufficient distance between the focused rider and the riders in front and the back of him. So that it makes cropping that rider easier in post processing.

Worst technique I encountered is when the "photog" would just point their camera at the field and not tracking its movement. They just snap away and hoping the shutter speed would be fast enough to freeze these fast moving racers. Utter failures, period. As a result, you see shots with a very clear, focused background but with blurry looking racers.


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jra
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May 13, 2012 23:29 |  #8

Wilt wrote in post #14425044 (external link)
Like you, I prefer to use single shot mode and rapidly depress the shutter button multiple times conciously. However, in attending a baseball game and trying to photograph the batter swinging at the pitch, going into burst mode allows one to capture the ball in flight with the bat swinging thru the air at it...hard to do simply by reflex alone! Even in burst mode, one finds that the baseball is not visible a lot of the times, because it is passing thru the frame between shots even when at 3-5 fps!

I prefer to not watch others shoot in not-optimal manner. Knowing how they might improve their shot (vs. what they are doing) is simply an exercise in frustration.

I do enjoy watching a knowledgeable person at work, but many of the things done by the knowledgeable are not even distinctive actions to an observor, without commentary from that person while they are doing it!

So, in short, what purpose is served?...I need not convince myself that 'I do it better' nor is it purposeful to watch someone 'use a pointless accessory', and I cannot learn the subtleties of technique from 20' away, so what is the point?!

I can relate to your take on baseball....baseball and softball have been the most popular sports that I photograph. Capturing that moment with the ball and batter in mid swing can be a very difficult task......but, with lots of practice, it can be achieved at a very high success ratio with a single well timed photograph....some batters are much easier than others to time correctly IME. One of my keys to knowing that I have captured the action at the correct moment is that I didn't see it through my viewfinder. If I saw the ball pass the batter as he swings in the viewfinder, I know that I was either too early or too late with my timing. I know the instant I depress the shutter button if I got it or not....no need to chimp. I've also learned to time the sound.....I can tell just how close I've gotten to "ball on bat" by listening to the hit verses the sound of my shutter. Considering that sound must travel, if I hear my shutter the split instant before I hear the crack of the bat, I know that I've nailed it.....any sound delays on either side easily tell me that my timing was off.
As far as what purpose is served in watching others....I guess that it's mainly curiosity on my part. I just enjoy watching how other people handle certain photographic situations. Everyone approaches things in their own manner depending on their experiences, desires, vision and goals.....and I find that very interesting as an observer. :)




  
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madjack
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May 14, 2012 00:20 |  #9

Wilt wrote in post #14425044 (external link)
Like you, I prefer to use single shot mode and rapidly depress the shutter button multiple times conciously. However, in attending a baseball game and trying to photograph the batter swinging at the pitch, going into burst mode allows one to capture the ball in flight with the bat swinging thru the air at it...hard to do simply by reflex alone! Even in burst mode, one finds that the baseball is not visible a lot of the times, because it is passing thru the frame between shots even when at 3-5 fps!

I prefer to not watch others shoot in not-optimal manner. Knowing how they might improve their shot (vs. what they are doing) is simply an exercise in frustration.

I do enjoy watching a knowledgeable person at work, but many of the things done by the knowledgeable are not even distinctive actions to an observor, without commentary from that person while they are doing it!

So, in short, what purpose is served?...I need not convince myself that 'I do it better' nor is it purposeful to watch someone 'use a pointless accessory', and I cannot learn the subtleties of technique from 20' away, so what is the point?!

Giving advice as to how to make the shot better to the guy who obviously could use the help would be serving a pretty good purpose in my book. I don't know of many people that would not welcome learning something new.

Please don't take this as a criticism because I'm not here to spin anyones wheels. If I saw someone that could use some help I would offer it instead of cringing or getting frustrated. Unfortunately, Im not good enough at photography yet to be able to give pointers but, I have helped more than a few people in areas other than photography.


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tonylong
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May 14, 2012 00:30 |  #10

jra wrote in post #14427563 (external link)
I can relate to your take on baseball....baseball and softball have been the most popular sports that I photograph. Capturing that moment with the ball and batter in mid swing can be a very difficult task......but, with lots of practice, it can be achieved at a very high success ratio with a single well timed photograph....some batters are much easier than others to time correctly IME. One of my keys to knowing that I have captured the action at the correct moment is that I didn't see it through my viewfinder. If I saw the ball pass the batter as he swings in the viewfinder, I know that I was either too early or too late with my timing. I know the instant I depress the shutter button if I got it or not....no need to chimp. I've also learned to time the sound.....I can tell just how close I've gotten to "ball on bat" by listening to the hit verses the sound of my shutter. Considering that sound must travel, if I hear my shutter the split instant before I hear the crack of the bat, I know that I've nailed it.....any sound delays on either side easily tell me that my timing was off.
As far as what purpose is served in watching others....I guess that it's mainly curiosity on my part. I just enjoy watching how other people handle certain photographic situations. Everyone approaches things in their own manner depending on their experiences, desires, vision and goals.....and I find that very interesting as an observer. :)

Hey, that's a good, logical post, it's just that if you put it together with your first post it is a criticism of shooting in the burst mode.

Now, granted that if you have a lot of experience shooting a particular sport you get the knowhow of when you are likely to be able to snap the shutter and get a keeper. But even then, there are moments before and after that instant that may in fact yield something better that you could totally miss...

But also there is the fact that someone shooting baseball for the first time won't have the same experience that you have, no matter how good they are overall at photography. So judging them for using short bursts is, well, not very productive.

Also, at 61 I'm not as steady as maybe I once was, and so when I'm out shooting handheld, which is most of what I do, sure I fire off a short burst so that hopefully at least one of the two or three shots will be crisply sharp instead of blurry from camera shake. Now yes, a lot of times the first of the set will be just fine, because I do work at good technique, but there are times when I have to delete the first and settle on the second or third shot!

And, I've shot sports where the "moment" is just not that predictable, where something can change and you may not get it in a single shot, but in say a three-shot burst you can catch it!


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jra
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May 14, 2012 00:44 |  #11

tonylong wrote in post #14427724 (external link)
Hey, that's a good, logical post, it's just that if you put it together with your first post it is a criticism of shooting in the burst mode.

Now, granted that if you have a lot of experience shooting a particular sport you get the knowhow of when you are likely to be able to snap the shutter and get a keeper. But even then, there are moments before and after that instant that may in fact yield something better that you could totally miss...

But also there is the fact that someone shooting baseball for the first time won't have the same experience that you have, no matter how good they are overall at photography. So judging them for using short bursts is, well, not very productive.

Also, at 61 I'm not as steady as maybe I once was, and so when I'm out shooting handheld, which is most of what I do, sure I fire off a short burst so that hopefully at least one of the two or three shots will be crisply sharp instead of blurry from camera shake. Now yes, a lot of times the first of the set will be just fine, because I do work at good technique, but there are times when I have to delete the first and settle on the second or third shot!

And, I've shot sports where the "moment" is just not that predictable, where something can change and you may not get it in a single shot, but in say a three-shot burst you can catch it!

Great points.....I'm more than willing than to admit that I'm far from anything the world would consider as a great sports photographer. While I like to compare and contrast other methods, I don't want to come across as saying that I've mastered anything. I'm sure that there are far greater photographers out there shooting in a way that is completely opposite of what I do.




  
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tonylong
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May 14, 2012 01:27 |  #12

jra wrote in post #14427762 (external link)
Great points.....I'm more than willing than to admit that I'm far from anything the world would consider as a great sports photographer. While I like to compare and contrast other methods, I don't want to come across as saying that I've mastered anything. I'm sure that there are far greater photographers out there shooting in a way that is completely opposite of what I do.

Well, there you go then!


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primoz
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May 14, 2012 02:49 |  #13

Personally I don't look what others are doing when shooting. I have my own way of shooting and my own ideas when on course. I don't care what others are doing and even less what equipment or settings they have.
On the other side, I still check later on on wire what others produced. And believe it or not, even on higher/highest level this is normal thing to do. Most of us check what "competition" did, just that some admit this, and others don't, but pretty much everyone are checking on others results. ;)


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Wilt
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May 14, 2012 11:22 |  #14

madjack wrote in post #14427697 (external link)
Giving advice as to how to make the shot better to the guy who obviously could use the help would be serving a pretty good purpose in my book. I don't know of many people that would not welcome learning something new.

Please don't take this as a criticism because I'm not here to spin anyones wheels. If I saw someone that could use some help I would offer it instead of cringing or getting frustrated. Unfortunately, Im not good enough at photography yet to be able to give pointers but, I have helped more than a few people in areas other than photography.

The problem when offering any advice is that the advice recipient could either appreciate it or resent your idiocy 'because you think you method is superior' (and sometimes he who criticizes really knows less, while in others he might know more!). Who really knows more, the advisor or the recipient?! I have seen it go both ways, even here on POTN where discussions are known to be part of the participation! We see good advice and we see bad advice, or we see advice which might be both good and also bad in differing circumstances. It is not always that simple.


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Wilt
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May 14, 2012 11:34 |  #15

jra wrote in post #14427563 (external link)
I can relate to your take on baseball....baseball and softball have been the most popular sports that I photograph. Capturing that moment with the ball and batter in mid swing can be a very difficult task......but, with lots of practice, it can be achieved at a very high success ratio with a single well timed photograph....some batters are much easier than others to time correctly IME. One of my keys to knowing that I have captured the action at the correct moment is that I didn't see it through my viewfinder. If I saw the ball pass the batter as he swings in the viewfinder, I know that I was either too early or too late with my timing. I know the instant I depress the shutter button if I got it or not....no need to chimp. I've also learned to time the sound.....I can tell just how close I've gotten to "ball on bat" by listening to the hit verses the sound of my shutter. Considering that sound must travel, if I hear my shutter the split instant before I hear the crack of the bat, I know that I've nailed it.....any sound delays on either side easily tell me that my timing was off.
As far as what purpose is served in watching others....I guess that it's mainly curiosity on my part. I just enjoy watching how other people handle certain photographic situations. Everyone approaches things in their own manner depending on their experiences, desires, vision and goals.....and I find that very interesting as an observer. :)

Good points, jra. I have never loved baseball...it was a slow, plodding game in many cases, with time limit clocks getting involved only in more recent years...I remember once, several decades ago, that it took 5 minutes on the clock to see two consecutive pitches to the same batter! I lacked interest in going with any regularity to games or watching games on TV. But recently in going to a baseball game/birthday party for a close friend, I had not developed the shooting skills you described, so burst shooting was best...seated in right field I was zoomed in on the batter, could not see the pitcher even winding up, and the insight to fire when the batter was at a particular phase of the swing was not ingrained.
But I have seldom otherwise used burst mode. In shooting other sporting events in which I had more familiarity, I would on occasion experiment and find that I ended up with 5-6 very subtely different frames, but it truly did not matter which single frame was chosen; so why bother with zippy-the-chimp shutter releasing and burst mode wearing out my shutter faster?! Many decades of film photographers have shot track and field with film cameras that were not fitted with motor drives that permitted 2fps and critical timing of the shutter was a key skill that a photographer needed to have in capturing pole vaulter, for example, without burst mode.
So while I explained one circumstance for using burst mode, I normally am NOT in favor of using it for my own purposes!


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