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Author Topic: Hardware fetishists...  (Read 7982 times)
Digiteyesed
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« on: May 05, 2006, 01:03:26 PM »
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To the other people running semi-popular Web sites that see a regular volume of traffic: are you plagued by users wanting to know EXACTLY what gear you used to create a certain image? I don't bother to put this information up on my site, and quite frankly, I don't have enough spare time to go back and look at my notes 60 or 70 times a month to keep the hardware fetishists happy. I just had one fellow call me the vilest names by e-mail this morning because of my policy about not discussing what gear I use.

It's not a case of me trying to protect 'my secrets' -- I regularly mentor local photographers and show them exactly how I use my gear -- I'm just annoyed by people who seem to think they can duplicate my work if they duplicate my equipment.

Or am I just being too touchy? Argh.
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Neutral Hills Stills
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boku
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2006, 02:49:56 PM »
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To the other people running semi-popular Web sites that see a regular volume of traffic: are you plagued by users wanting to know EXACTLY what gear you used to create a certain image? I don't bother to put this information up on my site, and quite frankly, I don't have enough spare time to go back and look at my notes 60 or 70 times a month to keep the hardware fetishists happy. I just had one fellow call me the vilest names by e-mail this morning because of my policy about not discussing what gear I use.

It's not a case of me trying to protect 'my secrets' -- I regularly mentor local photographers and show them exactly how I use my gear -- I'm just annoyed by people who seem to think they can duplicate my work if they duplicate my equipment.

Or am I just being too touchy? Argh.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=64603\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You have a well articulated vision - I like your images.

Just ignore the jerks. The world is full of them.

Happy shooting.
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Bob Kulon

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paulbk
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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2006, 03:16:16 PM »
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Sean,
As Bob said above, “the world is full of them.”

There’s a feeling of authenticity to your work. I like it. It suits my style. And more importantly, I like the straight forward talk in your FAQs. You say what many others think but never find the courage to get it out. Bravo!

p
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paul b. kramarchyk
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2006, 07:27:25 PM »
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I used to get questions of that sort but it doesn't happen often. It can get annoying given the right pr**k but such things are easily ignored by hitting the delete button in my email client.

Recently I started putting basic info with each picture but that is due to my site having an educational slant. Allot of the people visiting my site are learning and the basic info can act as a sort of basic guide or at the least settle their curiosity.
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Digiteyesed
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2006, 08:44:56 PM »
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I used to get questions of that sort but it doesn't happen often. It can get annoying given the right pr**k but such things are easily ignored by hitting the delete button in my email client.

Recently I started putting basic info with each picture but that is due to my site having an educational slant. Allot of the people visiting my site are learning and the basic info can act as a sort of basic guide or at the least settle their curiosity.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=64628\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I used to put the info up with my previous site design, but I found that it was adding to the time it took me to update my site. I can barely keep up with it as things sit now (work approx 40-60 hours/week as a PC repair tech and do the photography on top of that).
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Neutral Hills Stills
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sgwrx
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2006, 09:15:07 PM »
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from a newbie point of view, it's quite frustrating when you see a picture you really like and want to know how to duplicate

HOWEVER, i don't think i've ever e-mailed anyone to ask if the info wasn't posted, certainly no website owners.  i may have asked in forums, but people usually post along with photos. if not, no big deal because...

...there are enough websites that post reviews of lenses and compare images.

and how can you tell how good gear is in 200x300 web images!

edit: plus there are SO MANY factors that gear is probably 5-10% of it.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2006, 09:16:10 PM by sgwrx » Logged
Anon E. Mouse
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2006, 11:23:20 PM »
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I can't believe it! Everyone knows it is the gear that makes the picture. So if I want to be Ansel Adams, I just buy the camera, lens, and film and I can take the same pictures as he did. Just fly off to Yosemite and conjure the weather gods to replicate the conditions. This is why photographers are a dime a dozen. They are just camera operators after all. Artist vision is just hogwash as I can copy a picture that has already been made. So stop whining and update that website of yours!
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kbolin
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2006, 12:32:50 AM »
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I can't believe it! Everyone knows it is the gear that makes the picture. So if I want to be Ansel Adams, I just buy the camera, lens, and film and I can take the same pictures as he did. Just fly off to Yosemite and conjure the weather gods to replicate the conditions. This is why photographers are a dime a dozen. They are just camera operators after all. Artist vision is just hogwash as I can copy a picture that has already been made. So stop whining and update that website of yours!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=64638\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Wow... I didn't see this one coming.      We should all enroll in your photography class... I'd love to learn how to conjur up the weather gods!  

I for one take great pride in my work and if someone wants to learn they can certainly ask.  I for one don't share my technical details on the web as I find the site then becomes techy looking.  I'd rather people ponder the image rather than looking at the tecnical details and wonder "why did he use F8?".

My site is under reconstruction    ... when complete I'll share the link.

Anyway... great site Digiteyesed.    

Kelly
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Andy M
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« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2006, 03:19:13 AM »
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Do you not take it as a compliment that somebody has taken the time to e-mail you regarding one of your pictures, and is wanting to learn from you?

I think you're being a little sensitive to be honest. Many people can have exactly the same ingredients as a master chef, but would never be able to produce the end result he/she does.

Why not let them know the equipment you were using? You say time, but I'm sure it wouldn't take you too long to look up which equipment was used. In fact, I'd be surprised if you didn't know off the top of your head given that you've taken the time to place it on your site. And, even if they then went straight out to buy the exact same equipment you used, what are the chances of them getting the same shot? Minimal in my opinion.

What do you have to lose?

Just my two penneth.
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madmanchan
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« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2006, 06:42:02 AM »
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Do you not take it as a compliment that somebody has taken the time to e-mail you regarding one of your pictures, and is wanting to learn from you?

I think you're being a little sensitive to be honest. Many people can have exactly the same ingredients as a master chef, but would never be able to produce the end result he/she does.

Why not let them know the equipment you were using? You say time, but I'm sure it wouldn't take you too long to look up which equipment was used. In fact, I'd be surprised if you didn't know off the top of your head given that you've taken the time to place it on your site. And, even if they then went straight out to buy the exact same equipment you used, what are the chances of them getting the same shot? Minimal in my opinion.

What do you have to lose?

Just my two penneth.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=64644\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The problem is not time but the annoying attitude.  Sometimes people are just curious about the gear used.  That is fine.  But more often than not, there is an underlying implication that the person believes that the image is good because the gear is good, not because the person using the gear is good.  That's the frustrating part.

Eric
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Digiteyesed
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« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2006, 01:00:49 PM »
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I think you're being a little sensitive to be honest. Many people can have exactly the same ingredients as a master chef, but would never be able to produce the end result he/she does.

Now, you see, I actually am a journeyman chef. I no longer work in the kitchen because of a back injury that has left me unable to lug around heavy pots full of liquid. My specialty back in the day was working with sauces. Not once -- EVER -- did anyone ask me what pots or pans I had used to prepare an item. Recipes, sure, but no one ever wanted to know what type of spoon I had stirred the soup with or if I cooked it over a gas or electric burner.

With photography, the gear is the kitchen equipment. The process of creating the picture itself is where you take the fresh ingredients and add your own interpretation. Ask me about that and I get excited -- it really turns my crank.

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Why not let them know the equipment you were using? You say time, but I'm sure it wouldn't take you too long to look up which equipment was used. In fact, I'd be surprised if you didn't know off the top of your head given that you've taken the time to place it on your site.

Honestly, I can't remember that sort of detail -- half the reason I got married is so I can use my wife for short-term memory. I can tell you which of my images were made with digital versus film, but I'm not always clear as to which was made with the Canon 20D, Canon 300D, or the Nikon Coolpix 8800. As to which lens? Could be the 100-400L, could be the 80-200L, can't really tell you offhand. (Side note: I'm a diagnosed schizophrenic, albeit a very high-functioning one -- I'm not exaggerating the memory issue).

I'd have to go to my archive DVDs and look up the EXIF info as I don't keep the originals on my system for very long. They get burned onto three DVDS (2 on-site, 1 off-site) and they're removed from my hard drive. THAT'S what eats up my time.

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And, even if they then went straight out to buy the exact same equipment you used, what are the chances of them getting the same shot? Minimal in my opinion.

What do you have to lose?

Time, more than anything else. If it was only once or twice a month I wouldn't mind. Losing fifteen or twenty minutes a day really starts to add up. Try working 40-60 hours per week as an independent business person, put in another 10-20 hours per week studying to update technical certifications (Windows 2003 right now), mix in husband/dad obligations, and see where you can shoehorn in time for photography.
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Neutral Hills Stills
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Andy M
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« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2006, 04:37:32 PM »
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The cookery analogy wasn't the best, but I still maintain that you should be flattered rather than offended by their questions.

I'm sure I'm not alone in that often I'll see a picture and think; 'I wonder how that photo was shot?' leading to 'I wonder which equipment was used?'. In fact, I'll be honest, I HAVE e-mailed a photographer to ask which equipment was used in a specific photo. Not once did I consider it to be the equipment that made the photo rather than the photographer, and I'm assuming by his reply that he too did not get this vibe.

It's not for me to tell you what to do, but if I were you I'd just  if I received such an e-mail and take each one by its own merit. No doubt, there will be those who think it's the equipment which makes the photograph - I'm sure they're taking their first steps in photography and will soon learn the true nature of photography.
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gochugogi
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« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2006, 10:31:23 PM »
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Hardware fetishists are righteous, especially since there are so many. Gearheads are an important ecomonic asset as they buy lots of expensive lenses, bodies, guitars, amps, golf clubs, airplanes, boats, etc. Their purchases fund R&D, build freeways, feed straving children and save the whales. If it wasn't for them your equipment would cost 100 times more and still be mechanical film shootin' boxes 'o light.

Although they diddle away their time 'n money strokin' their toys, they help make America strong. They are America. Viva la gearheados!
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« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2006, 12:33:46 AM »
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Alain Briot wrote an essay, Of Cameras and Art, which was made available to subscribers of Briot's View about this subject.  After reading it I replied with an email which he published as an essay on his site and can be found here.
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David White
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« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2006, 07:04:20 AM »
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My original reply to this thread was actually superficial. After giving this some thought, I'd like to make some personal observations. These all relate to how mind works, and as we know, everyone is different.

1) I actually get a charge out of people thinking my work is admirable because of my gear. Their lack of insight makes me feel intellectually superior and strokes my ego.

2) I have no fear of duplication because common sense and experience would tell me that isn't going to be possible. Further, I do not have the esteem nor the accomplishment to warrant being threatened. I am no longer in the professional ranks.

3) I also covet gear, but do so in very sublte ways: observe information I glean from this board, look at what fellow shooters are using, and sadly, buy more than I can put to good use.

4) If anyone asked what I used to shoot a particular picture, I would tell them. Simply look up the EXIF. It is nice to make friends that way. If they became insistant or got rude, I would walk away.

5) I would not go through any extra effort to post technical data on my web site. I use Smugmug and this is generated automatically from the EXIF and displayed in non-obtrusive ways.

6) The older I get, the less sensitive I become. Like I said, jerks can be avoided.

7) Given my current employment situation. I must fully retract item 6) above.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2006, 07:07:00 AM by boku » Logged

Bob Kulon

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Play it Straight and Play it True, my Brother.
KenRexach
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« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2006, 10:52:46 AM »
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To the other people running semi-popular Web sites that see a regular volume of traffic: are you plagued by users wanting to know EXACTLY what gear you used to create a certain image? I don't bother to put this information up on my site, and quite frankly, I don't have enough spare time to go back and look at my notes 60 or 70 times a month to keep the hardware fetishists happy. I just had one fellow call me the vilest names by e-mail this morning because of my policy about not discussing what gear I use.

 I'm just annoyed by people who seem to think they can duplicate my work if they duplicate my equipment.

Or am I just being too touchy? Argh.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=64603\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yeah, you are being touchy. In most images there are so many variables that contribute to make an image what it is that even if someone copies the gear you used and settings they wont gte identical or as effective of a result. Either way I dont worry much about telling people. What I do hold back in telling people are ideas / concepts of future projects.

Look at my website, kennethrexach.com ,  in it there are images produced with... Film: Pentax 6x7 positive and negative film, Nikon FM2 pos and neg film; Digital: Fuji S2pro, Canon 10d, Canon 1Dmk2 and Canon 5D, it really doesnt matter what I used, specially for web/portfolio use. If I didnt remember what i used at the time I sure wouldnt be able to tell which gear I used in an image.
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jimhuber
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« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2006, 02:33:42 PM »
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Alain Briot wrote an essay, Of Cameras and Art, which was made available to subscribers of Briot's View about this subject.  After reading it I replied with an email which he published as an essay on his site and can be found here.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=64690\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I love the caption: "This image was photographed by David White with a Gitzo 1327 Carbon Fiber tripod and a Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead". It's as relevant/irrelevant as the camera information, reminding you not-so-subtly that it makes little difference.

I do leave all of the shooting data in the EXIF data of jpegs I post to the web.
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Krug
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« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2006, 03:19:02 PM »
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As a new returner to this after many years I do find it interesting and helpful on the steep learning curve of catching, up on top of the new stuff to be learned for the first time, to have some insight into the what and how of images I am impressed by. I don't for a moment believe that such knowledge would enable me to replicate but it might help me do something else better. I don't know why one would want to replicate but I sure as hell want to learn from those with more knowledge and experience - and perhaps more imagination. I would hope that would flatter but if it doesn't then it is up to you to to withold your own information. Whatever there is no excuse for abusing you.
I'll just look elsewwhere for the help I need - fortunately there are plenty of options.
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fr3d
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« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2006, 06:54:24 PM »
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First of all: I agree that hardware fetishists can be
a royal pain. The topic made me think about the people
who are "camera settings fetichists" so to say

Somewhere on this site - I dont remember
if it was in one of Michaels Articles or
or in Briot's View (?!) - there is the
recommendation not to tell a student what
kind of camera setting was used when taking
a certain photograph. Reason: it doesnt help
the student to take better pictures.

While I fully agree with that, I still
find myself asking "what aperature or shutter
speed did this guy use to take this wonderful
image?". Knowing this, doesnt make be more
successful at taking pictures, but the information
sometimes helps me to see more clearly what the
intentions of the photographer were when he took
a certain shot.  

Maybe its stupid that I'm now guessing camera
settings most of the time correctly when I see
a picture on the internet, but it certainly helps
me by giving technique ideas when I go out photographing
on my own. Sometimes it provieds me with a rule of thumb,
other times with an idea of how to break the rule.
(teachers feel free to kiss me for that one!)  

The other part of photography - the art - is a completely
different thing. I am now just beginning to realize that
it will take years and years of time and alot of
experience to get to a point where most of this forums
members are with their photographic skills.  

Seperating the two things about photography makes
it easier for me to stay focused when I practice this
wonderful craft.

I apologize for my spellos and hope my 2 cents came out cleary.

Wonder what your settings on the issue are
« Last Edit: May 07, 2006, 06:57:24 PM by fr3d » Logged
Ray
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« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2006, 11:39:08 PM »
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It's not a case of me trying to protect 'my secrets' -- I regularly mentor local photographers and show them exactly how I use my gear -- I'm just annoyed by people who seem to think they can duplicate my work if they duplicate my equipment.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=64603\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I only once recall an occasion when someone made a comment to the effect that I must be able to take a good photo because I had a good camera, and I have to confess I was a bit insulted and immediately considered launching into a long explanation as to why this might not be true, but decided against it because I knew the person who made the comment was completely non-technically minded.

I am therefore surprised that so-called 'gear-heads' or 'hardware fetishists', terms which are even more insulting than any implication that it's the camera that makes the photographer, should not be aware that a camera is fundamentally a tool.

Anyone who is interested in the craft or art of photography, whichever way you want to look at it, is likely to have an interest in the equipment used, f stop, shutter speed and ISO etc, and that seems to me a perfectly healthy curiosity.

If I meet someone who is not the slightest bit interested in such matters, then I would assume he/she is not interested in the 'craft' of photography, although they might well be interested in 'art' in general.

We should also not lose sight of the fact that good tools, sophisticated tools, state-of-the-art tools, are almost always preferrable to poor quality, obsolete and primitive tools, both for the learner and the experienced user. Few people would be under the delusion that practising the piano on a Bosendorfer grand (that costs a lot more than a P45) will transform them into concert pianists overnight, but I certainly know which piano I would prefer to practise on, having memories of a harsh-toned, cheap upright when I was a kid.

Finally, modern cameras like the Canon 5D really do enable the photographer to take shots that he/she would never have attempted before, such as hand-held street shots at night, at ISO 1600 or 3200 without flash.
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