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Author Topic: Hardware fetishists...  (Read 8456 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2006, 06:32:47 PM »
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Questions about gear only reflect the lack of experience of the asker doesn't it?

In my view, being at the right place at the right time, and picking the right composition among the millions available is what makes 95% of a successful landscape image.

The remaining 5% are gear related, and can of course have a major impact on the technical quality of the image, but that it is mostly un-important when thinking fine art images.

The web is wonderful in this regard, a 800 pixel wide images will basically level up gear differences and allows us to focus on the quality of the vision of the photographer.

I for one disagree with the recent trend for higher pixel counts being shown more and more as the essence of landscape photography. Those who go that route are in fact no different than those beginners asking for gear info. They both hope that gear makes the image when it only contributes to it.

Of course there are valid reasons for desiring better capturing device, and that is large print sizes.

Cheers,
Bernard
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michael
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« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2006, 07:36:34 PM »
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Barnard,

What you write is at odds with decades of common practice.

People have been shooting medium format and large format because for landscape work the higher resolution provided creates an print which even in smaller sizes allows the viewer a greater insight into the substance and texture of the scene.

Even if you've never seen such a print directly yourself, just look at a well produced book of landscape images by someone who has shot 4X5" or larger. Ansel Adams as but one example, simply because his books are ubiquitous. Even in an A4 sized offset reproduction the superior image quality can be seen.

Sorry, but the quest for higher pixel count is simply a desire on the part of some photographers to try and achieve with digital what they used to achieve with medium and large format. And now with cameras and backs of 22Mp and higher it is at last possible.

The debate of "the camera vs the photographer" is tiresome at best. Skilled artists in all pursuits like to use the best tools because they remove barriers to expression and limitations on performance. Why do you think concert musicians buy the best instruments, top golfers the best clubs, etc, etc.

Michael
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Ray
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« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2006, 09:25:32 PM »
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Questions about gear only reflect the lack of experience of the asker doesn't it?

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=64842\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That's a very sweeping generalisation, Bernard. It often takes a certain degree of experience, as well as an interest in, and knowledge of the tools of the trade, to be able to ask a meaningful question.

For example, I might be interested in the fact that a certain photo of yours was taken by a 4x5 camera on Velvia film at f16 employing the Scheimpflug effect using tilt, and I might ask you to provide such details. However, I would probably be less interested in what brand of camera you used, and probably wouldn't ask, because I know very little about 4x5 equipment and what possible advantages one brand or model of 4x5 camera might have over another.

Lovely shots from New Zealand, BTW. It has a reputation for being a very photogenic place.
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macgyver
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« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2006, 11:12:38 PM »
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Everyone has to start somewhere, and I'm willing to bet that more of you than would admit it were once "askers".
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2006, 11:13:42 PM »
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Barnard,

What you write is at odds with decades of common practice.

People have been shooting medium format and large format because for landscape work the higher resolution provided creates an print which even in smaller sizes allows the viewer a greater insight into the substance and texture of the scene.

Even if you've never seen such a print directly yourself, just look at a well produced book of landscape images by someone who has shot 4X5" or larger. Ansel Adams as but one example, simply because his books are ubiquitous. Even in an A4 sized offset reproduction the superior image quality can be seen.

Sorry, but the quest for higher pixel count is simply a desire on the part of some photographers to try and achieve with digital what they used to achieve with medium and large format. And now with cameras and backs of 22Mp and higher it is at last possible.

The debate of "the camera vs the photographer" is tiresome at best. Skilled artists in all pursuits like to use the best tools because they remove barriers to expression and limitations on performance. Why do you think concert musicians buy the best instruments, top golfers the best clubs, etc, etc.

Michael
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Michael,

You missed the last line of my post, didn't you?

I fully understand the value of higher pixel count for larger print sizes, but the ability to print large is IMHO not the most important criteria in determining the quality of a landscape image.

Pushing the point further, I feel that the current trend to over-emphasize this resolution factor is playing again the long fought battle of photography for recognition as an art form. Let me explain...

On the plus side, very large print have a WOW factor to them that helps hanging them in an art gallery or museum.

On the negative side, it seems rather obvious that the current trend favours very expensive high end devices that many talented landscape photographers will not have access to. Right now, we are still at the level of 4*5 resolutionwise. Fine art photographers can still compete at a high, but reasonnable cost. Extrapolating based on the current pace of technological progress though, it doesn't take much to figure out that within 5 years the entry barreer for "top level landscape photography" will be too high for many to afford... IF "top level landscape photography" is defined by the usage of the most expensive digital capturing devices.

I just don't think that this is the way to go. An art form whose practise and value is determined centrally by the ability to compete economically stops to be an art form IMHO.

By the way, I find the resolution displayed in at least some of these Ansel Adams 8x10 images to be rather un-impressive compared to what even a 1ds2/D2x can do. This does actually even show in the "Ansel Adams at 100" monography of which I happen to own a copy.  If I am not mistaken, this book is considered by many as being the best currently in print.

[a href=\"http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0821225154/qid=1147146841/sr=1-7/ref=sr_1_7/103-3871281-3378205?s=books&v=glance&n=283155]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/082122515...glance&n=283155[/url]

Now, I am aware that the grain would probably handle better very large prints that the pixels of a DSLR, but that still wouldn't change the fact that the DSLR image does IMHO probably contain more information (again in some of his images).

IMHO, the bottom line is that:

- His images are amazing subject, light and composition wise.
- His prints are amazing tone wise.
- But I don't find them amazing resolution wise.

Yet they are master pieces, which IMHO tends to support my statements more than counter them.

Would he have used an A75 or P45 if he were still alive today? Maybe he would have but it wouldn't have made his images significantly better IMHO.

Cheers,
Bernard
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2006, 11:25:21 PM »
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That's a very sweeping generalisation, Bernard. It often takes a certain degree of experience, as well as an interest in, and knowledge of the tools of the trade, to be able to ask a meaningful question.

For example, I might be interested in the fact that a certain photo of yours was taken by a 4x5 camera on Velvia film at f16 employing the Scheimpflug effect using tilt, and I might ask you to provide such details. However, I would probably be less interested in what brand of camera you used, and probably wouldn't ask, because I know very little about 4x5 equipment and what possible advantages one brand or model of 4x5 camera might have over another.

Lovely shots from New Zealand, BTW. It has a reputation for being a very photogenic place.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=64863\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You are right Ray, it is indeed too general a statement.

I was definitely once an asker, and still am at times, but I never intended to locate myself on the "those who know" side of the fence.

Now, I am sure that you would probably be able to guess that this or that image was probably taken at about f22 using some front or back tilt but my point was more than the more experience you get, the more you realize that an image is not made or broken by these aspects.

You stop to ask because you start to know, but above all because you get to understand that the essence is not there.

I undestand the curiosity one feels when trying to figure out which of many possible technical options was selected to achieve one result, but I don't see these questions as being very central. To me, these aspects are basically automatical, and even if it takes skills to master them, they are not key.

Pushing the limit, let's locate ourselves in 20 years from now, when Sony will have developped for the growing Japanese elderly hikers market a photographer robot that can go with you to remote places, carry the camera and take pictures for you. He carries a very heavy camera with a 200 MP sensor with 15 stops DR. His images will be perfectly exposed and sharp every single time.

Where I want to concentrate is on the difference I can make compared to that robot photographer that is a World expert on DoF and exposure. That is where true art lies.

I am not denying the fun/interest if chatting about gear, or shooting techniques, but that is in the end only unessential.

Thanks for the comment on the NZ images.

Cheers,
Bernard
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kbolin
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« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2006, 08:46:11 AM »
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Everyone has to start somewhere, and I'm willing to bet that more of you than would admit it were once "askers".
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=64870\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The initial issue wasn't about "asking" but really about being annoying.  When I ask I phrase the question such as:

"Did you use a fairly wide open aperture?  It looks like the depth of field dropped off dramatically... I also notice you have selective focus on this part of the image, did you use a ...... etc. etc."  Or something of the nature.  

I would analyze the image and do my best to figure out how they composed the image, where they were, camera settings, time of day, type of lighting, etc.  Then my questions were really confirmatory rather than simply digging to get an easy answer to what obviously was an impressive image.

Kelly
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macgyver
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« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2006, 12:42:41 PM »
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The initial issue wasn't about "asking" but really about being annoying.
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I agree, and, since I doubt that there is anyone here who is a fan of annoying...
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Andy M
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« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2006, 01:12:58 PM »
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I agree, and, since I doubt that there is anyone here who is a fan of annoying...
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I know a song that'll get on your nerves, get on your nerves, get on your nerves...

Ahem
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macgyver
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« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2006, 05:19:15 PM »
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Digiteyesed
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« Reply #30 on: May 10, 2006, 01:00:42 AM »
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Why do you think concert musicians buy the best instruments, top golfers the best clubs, etc, etc.

Um, peer pressure? I'd love to own the new 45 MP 'blad, but it ain't gonna happen. I buy the best camera I can justify on my budget (Canon 20D) with the best lenses (a few L's) and I get out there and use them as much as possible. I don't beat myself up because I can't afford "the best" as that new swing set I've been wanting for my daughter is important, too. :-)

Besides, I rather suspect that Tiger Woods would still be making old white men cry at the Masters if all he ever used were the bargain clubs from Sears.
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Neutral Hills Stills
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« Reply #31 on: May 10, 2006, 09:40:35 AM »
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Um, peer pressure? I'd love to own the new 45 MP 'blad, but it ain't gonna happen. I buy the best camera I can justify on my budget (Canon 20D) with the best lenses (a few L's) and I get out there and use them as much as possible. I don't beat myself up because I can't afford "the best" as that new swing set I've been wanting for my daughter is important, too. :-)

Besides, I rather suspect that Tiger Woods would still be making old white men cry at the Masters if all he ever used were the bargain clubs from Sears.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=64972\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
You seem to have missed the point. Maintaining the golf analogy, while it's certain that Tiger Woods would still win gold jackets and over-sized checks with a $100 set of clubs, but buying the fancier multi-thousand dollar clubs allows him to fully realize his abilities beyond what the $100 set would allow. The $100 clubs are a limiting factor since his skill surpasses them. With the fancier equipment, he is the limitation in what can be done and not the tools used.

Musicians, Golfers, Photographers, and anyone else in a hobby or profession that is based on the abilities of the individual, buying fancier tools as you progress allows you to push yourself further than what could have been done with the lesser tools. However, a person should only be striving for better equipment if the lesser tools are a hinderance to what they are capable of.

The best tools are not required to be the best, but they sure help in removing creative limitations for those who are able to use them.
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Digiteyesed
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« Reply #32 on: May 10, 2006, 07:40:09 PM »
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You seem to have missed the point.

... snip ...

However, a person should only be striving for better equipment if the lesser tools are a hinderance to what they are capable of.

The best tools are not required to be the best, but they sure help in removing creative limitations for those who are able to use them.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

No, I'd say that I got the point:

[a href=\"http://www.digiteyesed.com/faq.php]http://www.digiteyesed.com/faq.php[/url]
« Last Edit: May 10, 2006, 07:40:57 PM by Digiteyesed » Logged

Neutral Hills Stills
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #33 on: May 10, 2006, 08:48:16 PM »
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...but buying the fancier multi-thousand dollar clubs allows him to fully realize his abilities beyond what the $100 set would allow. The $100 clubs are a limiting factor since his skill surpasses them. With the fancier equipment, he is the limitation in what can be done and not the tools used.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=64996\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

In the case of Tiger, using the best equipment is mostly a way to get sponsor money isn't it?

Cheers,
Bernard
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