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Author Topic: It's the photographer?  (Read 32540 times)
drew
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« Reply #40 on: December 19, 2006, 06:24:57 AM »
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Isn't this just about trite aphorisms in relation to photography? Go to any camera club and at least one bore is certain to trot one out. Hell, I might even have been guilty of the odd one myself! Besides 'it's not the camera it's the photographer', can I suggest some others and encourage others to contribute;
'the negative is the score and the print the performance' (original attribution, one St. Ansel)
'I am not interested in cameras, especially ones with all those fancy electronics, I use an all-manual......(insert suitable model at this point, e.g. Leica M3, Nikon FM2 or some obscure antique)'
Anyone who thinks the 'rule of thirds' or the 'golden mean' is of any use other than to pad out either spoken or written discussion of photographs.
'A camera is just a light tight box, it is the lens that takes the picture'
Since this is the festive season, can I suggest that any perpetrators of these heinous crimes should be obliged to dress as a fairy and be made to sit on the pointy end of a christmas tree?
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drew
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« Reply #41 on: December 19, 2006, 06:31:55 AM »
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I am warning to my task now. How about;
'the only lens you will ever need is a standard lens'
That must be a variation on 'zoom with your feet'. These people need to zoom their brains!
Or how about;
'I cannot think in black and white at the same time as I think in colour' (bless!)
'real photography has got silver in it'
'digital photography is just zeroes and ones' (or bits and bytes)
'I make Giclee prints'
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« Reply #42 on: December 19, 2006, 07:12:12 AM »
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Besides 'it's not the camera it's the photographer', can I suggest some others and encourage others to contribute;
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=91362\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Adding to the confusion, how about " it's not 'it's the camera it's not the photographer', it's the photographer"?    

Cheers,
Bernard
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Rob C
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« Reply #43 on: December 19, 2006, 08:00:53 AM »
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Adding to the confusion, how about " it's not 'it's the camera it's not the photographer', it's the photographer"?   

Cheers,
Bernard
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Come again, Bernard?

Ciao - Rob C
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svein-frode
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« Reply #44 on: December 19, 2006, 09:15:10 AM »
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A nice little humorous essay not to be taken too seriously... As I see it, what makes a good/successful image is decided by the following factors (no. 1 being the most important factor):

1. Subject (Does it interest the viewer or not?)
2. The Photographer (Does he/she have the skill and vision to capture the subject so it communicates as desired?)
3. The Equipment (Can it technically capture and print the vision of the photographer?)

Of course, a photographer without a camera, or an event (subject) happening without a photographer present will never become an image.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2006, 09:17:34 AM by svein-frode » Logged

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johnll
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« Reply #45 on: December 19, 2006, 04:13:34 PM »
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Great article by Michael, and an excellent shot of the driller.
No doubt there are situations in which the 8-bit JPGs ex-camera will prove a limitation. I was worried about this issue but decided to get a G7 anyway. I have not done any real stress-testing of the issue, but I have found that I can avoid posterization (so far) by (1) converting the JPGs to 16-bit TIFs before doing any editing, then (2) converting to 8-bit at the very end for printing. It may be that this would not work so well for a monochrome image (reduced eventually to a single channel) such as the driller example. Of course, if you blow any highlights in a JPG, they are irrevocably lost, so you have to be careful not to blow anything that you didn't intend to.
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larsrc
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« Reply #46 on: December 19, 2006, 08:55:16 PM »
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When I see a superb fine arts image, the first thought to come to mind is: who's the photographer!
Same goes with my profession in the skilled trades....when I see equipment that's been superbly installed and tuned, the first thought to come to mind is...who's the teck who done the work!
jj
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Not for me, the first thing outside the picture that I look for is "what's the focal length/f-stop/ISO/shutter speed" - these are the "hidden variables" that can teach me something about how to improve my skills.  Also interesting is the way the picture was taken (waiting around for hours, lucky shot, talking with the subject etc).  Knowing the name of the photographer doesn't do a thing to improve my skills (and I don't meet enough renowned photographers in my neck of the woods to get to use it).

But before looking for metadata, I devote some time to analyzing what it is makes the picture great -- are rules followed or broken, what special things did the photographer notice, how does the picture affect me and why.

-Lars
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« Reply #47 on: December 20, 2006, 12:28:33 AM »
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I agree with Michael, really it is not necessary a camera to create an image, the image is created in the imagination. when we utilize the camera, it is to show that image to the others. And our obsession by the gear, it comes given always by the frustration that the image that obtain, is not the one that had imagined
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« Reply #48 on: December 20, 2006, 06:02:42 AM »
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Not for me, the first thing outside the picture that I look for is "what's the focal length/f-stop/ISO/shutter speed" - these are the "hidden variables" that can teach me something about how to improve my skills.  Also interesting is the way the picture was taken (waiting around for hours, lucky shot, talking with the subject etc).  Knowing the name of the photographer doesn't do a thing to improve my skills (and I don't meet enough renowned photographers in my neck of the woods to get to use it).

But before looking for metadata, I devote some time to analyzing what it is makes the picture great -- are rules followed or broken, what special things did the photographer notice, how does the picture affect me and why.

-Lars
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=91507\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I can appreciate that as a photographer, you want to study others work, but it does sound as if you've forgotten to just take the picture in and enjoy it first and foremost?

I agree that 'special things' like 'what the photographer noticed' are key and more interesting to me, than what gear was used.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2006, 06:06:18 AM by brucepercy1 » Logged

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Bobtrips
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« Reply #49 on: December 20, 2006, 10:36:41 PM »
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Not for me, the first thing outside the picture that I look for is "what's the focal length/f-stop/ISO/shutter speed" - these are the "hidden variables" that can teach me something about how to improve my skills.  Also interesting is the way the picture was taken (waiting around for hours, lucky shot, talking with the subject etc).  Knowing the name of the photographer doesn't do a thing to improve my skills (and I don't meet enough renowned photographers in my neck of the woods to get to use it).

But before looking for metadata, I devote some time to analyzing what it is makes the picture great -- are rules followed or broken, what special things did the photographer notice, how does the picture affect me and why.

-Lars
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=91507\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

But that seems to say that what you are looking for is the photographer.

Not his or her name, but the intellect that made the image.
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Rob C
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« Reply #50 on: December 21, 2006, 04:50:40 AM »
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I agree with Michael, really it is not necessary a camera to create an image, the image is created in the imagination. when we utilize the camera, it is to show that image to the others. And our obsession by the gear, it comes given always by the frustration that the image that obtain, is not the one that had imagined
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=91528\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Cesck - Yes, you are absolutely right about the frustration, but that isn't, for me, due to problems with cameras or lenses, but of the total failure of the available members of the female species to approach the levels of perfection enjoyed in my imagination. This is in keeping with the words of Paul Simon in his ode to photography, 'Kodachrome'.

It's somewhat of a disappointment, I have to admit, but then it all comes down to that other huge photographic problem: finance.

Feliz Fiesta!

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #51 on: December 21, 2006, 04:51:52 AM »
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Bobtrips - analysis on the button!

Ciao - Rob C
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jjj
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« Reply #52 on: December 22, 2006, 07:01:25 PM »
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Don't think the essay proved anything. A good photographer produces good pictures with any kit, it's not a cliche, it's a truism. There is a difference. A big difference. A wider range of kit just give a good photographer more scope for dealing with a variety of situations and the ability to meet demands of clients.
Give an average person a 1DsII and some L glass, a good photographer a G7 and the photographer will produce better pictures. What Michael did was simply make an educated decision, based on his vast experience to choose the most appropriate tool for the job. All 'better' kit does is reduce your limitations. Trying to shoot a fotballer at oppoite end of pitch with a compact is daft. You are using the wrong tool, not bad equipment.  But as was touched on above, limitations can make you more creative. Having just one prime lens rather than a plethora of zooms can focus your attention and can stimulate you more. Personaly I find limitations creatively expanding. Quite a few shots in my print folio were taken with an old 2.1M Ixus. They are some of the most popular images.
Give a bunch of people the same kit - a more valid excercise surely and then see who produces the best pics.
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« Reply #53 on: December 22, 2006, 11:18:29 PM »
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Interesting discussion...

I got a simple message out of the article... When it boils down to it, all else being equal, it is the photographer - with no vision to drive it, the camera sits on the table like the inanimate object it is. But, a photographer without a camera is a spectator. Both are required. Different levels of equipment can accomplish different results, with varying amounts of tolerance, depending on the equipment, the subject, and the photographer's skill and creativity. Better gear is generally better at producing "better" images - or, put another way, higher quality equipment is generally more capable of realizing the photographer's vision.

So, it is the photographer... but its also the gear, and many other factors...

I had a discussion recently w/ a friend re: potentially switching platforms, and he asked me "Will having 'x' piece of equipment make you a better photographer?" My answer was no - but having 'x' piece of equipment opens up possibilities that my existing gear cannot currently attain. And that's what its all about, right? Having the right piece of gear to allow you to achieve the vision you have at that particular moment... What seems to separate the "men" from the "boys" is how they deal with imperfect gear and still achieve amazing images...

What do I know, though

Dave
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pixman63
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« Reply #54 on: December 23, 2006, 03:02:19 AM »
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I used to work for a newspaper as a reporter and I'd see our guys at the ball games with two-foot-long lenses on their super cameras, and monopods that probably weighed fifteen pounds, and the next day, there'd be three shots -- a guy going into the end zone, a guy leaping to catch a pass, maybe a shot down the line with a bunch of helmets facing off...in other words, mostly cliches, but done with only the most exquisite (and heaviest) gear. Is it really necessary for a newspaper shot, that is essentially printed on toilet paper? Maybe mobility and lightness would wind up counting for more than 800mm and f4.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=91220\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
 The other week, whilst watching "A Question of Sport" on the BBC they showed a clip from a football (soccer if you must - sigh!) match in which was to be seen a photographer standing behind the goal with a pair of Rollei TLRs round his neck. The contrast with the sports togs these days couldn't be more pronounced.
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Rob C
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« Reply #55 on: December 23, 2006, 04:39:18 AM »
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Yes, the difference between the Rollei-warrior and the current frozen action stuff is as plain as the nose on my face; the tools today are better so the choices are better. The photographers always did their best - their livelihood depended on it!

Another place where the differences show up is in boat/yacht photography: look at olde Beken of Cowes pics and then at the stuff in today's yachting magazines...

Ciao- Rob C
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« Reply #56 on: December 23, 2006, 06:28:10 AM »
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that is one fabulous photo. thanks for sharing it.

no thanks for demeaning it with technical disparagement. on the basis of what: a standardized aesthetic?

ref: http://theonlinephotographer.blogspot.com/...n-internet.html
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Ray
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« Reply #57 on: December 23, 2006, 06:59:39 AM »
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I'm surprised such a basic dichotomy has attracted so much interest. We have craftsmen and their tools. You can't have one without the other. They evolve together. Whatever your skill or profession, you can achieve more with better tools.

There's nothing particularly difficult to understand about this. If your profession is killing people, you can kill more people, more efficiently with better weapons (tools). If your profession is (metaphorically) shooting landscapes and people with a camera, you can do it more efficiently and more effectively with better tools (ie better cameras). What's all the fuss about?

It seems that many readers of Luminous Landscape seem to be desperate for something to discuss. (Okay! So call me a cynic.)
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« Reply #58 on: January 17, 2007, 02:26:32 AM »
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« Reply #59 on: January 25, 2007, 09:11:25 AM »
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Better tools remove limits and allow artists better control of their work.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=96123\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Limits can be a good thing creatively speaking. Having a smaller range of tools at one's disposal can make you use your brain more, rather than simply using the 'normal' perfect tool.
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