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Author Topic: What Do You Do to Avoid Photographing?  (Read 3581 times)
richard laughlin
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« on: August 08, 2009, 12:19:08 PM »
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What keeps you from photographing?
Writers are often said to sharpen pencils and rearrange their desk when they are avoiding the blank page.
How long between making images would you say it takes before the "photographer" no longer is a photographer, but rather a photo looker?

In Hollywood it is easy to find a thousand "actors" not acting. Instead they serve drinks, take breaks and smoke away their days. Could they as easily have called themselves "photographers"  

richard L.
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2009, 09:03:54 PM »
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Quote from: richard laughlin
What keeps you from photographing?
Writers are often said to sharpen pencils and rearrange their desk when they are avoiding the blank page.
How long between making images would you say it takes before the "photographer" no longer is a photographer, but rather a photo looker?

In Hollywood it is easy to find a thousand "actors" not acting. Instead they serve drinks, take breaks and smoke away their days. Could they as easily have called themselves "photographers"  

richard L.

Richard, What most of the people on User Critiques seem to do to avoid photographing is cropping and otherwise playing in Photoshop with the photographs they've already made.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2009, 10:44:07 PM »
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Easy. I waste a lot of time each day reading LuLa and the Forum.

(Tomorrow i really need to make those prints I was supposed to make a few days ago!)

Cropping? What's that?    

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k bennett
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2009, 08:02:11 AM »
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In my job, there are so many things that *have* to be done that prevent me from actually taking pictures. "Managing" my email. Answering the phone. Coordinating my schedule. Calling subjects. Editing photos. Fixing the archive. Sitting in meetings. Who has time to take pictures?

I say this only partly in jest.

Merlin Mann has an excellent essay on just this topic:

http://www.43folders.com/2009/08/04/enough
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2009, 07:16:47 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
Richard, What most of the people on User Critiques seem to do to avoid photographing is cropping and otherwise playing in Photoshop with the photographs they've already made.

LOL, excellent point! Some "photographers" seem to enjoy playing with their computers more than taking photographs!

Peter
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alainbriot
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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2009, 11:43:18 AM »
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Quote from: PeterAit
LOL, excellent point! Some "photographers" seem to enjoy playing with their computers more than taking photographs!

Peter


Maybe we should also talk about what kind of photographs are being taken.  Taking photographs while endlesly testing equipment, for the purpose of finding out which lens is the sharpest or which camera has the highest resolution ad nauseam, can become a way of avoiding, or endlessly postponing, taking "real" photographs . . .

And, we can also talk about the solution, the cure to this malady.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2009, 11:47:42 AM by alainbriot » Logged

Alain Briot
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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2009, 03:19:58 PM »
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Good point, Alain. Those folks are the ones Ken Rockwell calls "measurebators." They post their comments on Leica User Forum, Nikonians, Rangefinder Forum, etc., etc. They're too busy measuring equipment and discussing the results of their measurements actually to have time to make photographs, though they do, occasionally, post a picture of a brick wall or two.
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Ray
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2009, 04:23:16 AM »
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Quote from: RSL
Good point, Alain. Those folks are the ones Ken Rockwell calls "measurebators." They post their comments on Leica User Forum, Nikonians, Rangefinder Forum, etc., etc. They're too busy measuring equipment and discussing the results of their measurements actually to have time to make photographs, though they do, occasionally, post a picture of a brick wall or two.

To be fair though, this situation arises because we have not yet reached the level of sophistication whereby all the equipment we buy has already been tested in accordance with an international (ISO) MTF standard.

We already have standards for exposure sensitivity. Imagine what it would be like if we didn't. When a camera model deviates from that standard and claims a sensitivity of ISO 100 when it is really ISO 80 or 75, it is usually picked up in a good review. It's something one needs to know.

Fortunately, the true sensitivity of a particular camera model does not seem to vary much from copy to copy.

The same can not be said for lenses. Here is a source of endless dispute. Which lens is sharper than which? There's no definitive answer because the best copy of one lens is often sharper than the worst copy of a much more expensive lens.  

Perhaps one could say that the cheaper the lens, the greater the quality variation amongst differnt copies from different batches, and the more expensive the lens the less variation.
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Jeremy Payne
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2009, 09:27:12 AM »
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I'm not sure why we need find fault with those who want to understand, in depth and detail, the capabilities of their systems ... nor with those whose diligence and effort uncovers these boundaries.

I think it is presumptuous to assume that one who cares about such things does not have the time or inclination to use the camera in pursuit of its more traditional and 'worthy' purposes.

I'd like to thank all the obsessive freaks who have done all the tests I have neither the patience or skills to perform myself.
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Rob C
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2009, 09:34:24 AM »
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Quote from: Ray
To be fair though, this situation arises because we have not yet reached the level of sophistication whereby all the equipment we buy has already been tested in accordance with an international (ISO) MTF standard.

We already have standards for exposure sensitivity. Imagine what it would be like if we didn't. When a camera model deviates from that standard and claims a sensitivity of ISO 100 when it is really ISO 80 or 75, it is usually picked up in a good review. It's something one needs to know.

Fortunately, the true sensitivity of a particular camera model does not seem to vary much from copy to copy.

The same can not be said for lenses. Here is a source of endless dispute. Which lens is sharper than which? There's no definitive answer because the best copy of one lens is often sharper than the worst copy of a much more expensive lens.  

Perhaps one could say that the cheaper the lens, the greater the quality variation amongst differnt copies from different batches, and the more expensive the lens the less variation.





Ray

Ainīt that the truth!

And perhaps it has become worse since the advent of digital. I canīt remember a time pre-digital when there existed such an animal as a duff Nikkor. I could consult my weekly British Journal of Photography magazine, read reviews of relevant pro lenses from the principal makers and trust what Geoffrey Crawley had to say about them. And buy in confidence.

For purely personal and dumb reasons I exchanged my entire Nikon armoury some years ago in quest of a Pentax 67 ll solution to dwindling stock returns. Just as digital was starting to make its name known. Anyway, on realising my error, I bought back in to the sytem and into some surprises. The 2.8/135 that replaced the vanished 3.5 version wasnīt as crisp; the 1.8/50 that replaced the 2/50 had a wobble in the front as does a replacement one; the F4s would never engage the film under at least three attempts to load (resulting in a return to one of the last F3 bodies in stock). My latest and recent  disappointment was the af 2.8/24-70mm that wasnīt useful at the wide end and lasted a month, mostly in a box, until I returned it and took an af 2.8/180 in its place.

Iīm now thinking about a D700, mainly because I want to regain the use of my very good 2.8/24mm Nikkor as a wide, and not just have it be an equivalent to 35mm on the D200 which, otherwise, I find to be a very nice machine/lens combination.

Iīve looked at alternatives for the '24mm wide on FF' within the D200 format, but they all seem to preclude front filters which make them useless in my seaside location. Also, getting back to the point you made about QC, it has become a nightmare and I would hate to have to start doing a regular return-to-dealer routine with a company with whom I enjoy a long and good relationship; easy to piss people off and co-operation is a valuable commodity today...

I donīt condemn people who pixel-peep and test lenses with the help of brick walls; far more realistic a test than any commercial target print. And they do show up lack of good geometry if itīs there. Neither do I accept the argument that film was forgiving and digital isnīt and, thus, no comparison can be made between old expectations and current: my observations are made via scanned 35mm transparencies, so both the old science and the new are up there, side by side on the monitor. And the old with Kodachrome need blush over nothing.

Going out and shooting pictures is all very well, but doing that without confidence in your tools isnīt such fun either, and totally pointless.  And that is something that I do find to be a new departure in pro level photographic gear; never felt it in my youth...

Perhaps, if sales slump further, lens makers will have time to reintroduce proper and tight QC and not feel the temptation to push out everything that tumbles off the production line. So I would like to hope!

Perhaps thatīs what will bring the surviving MFD world into line.

Ciao

Rob C
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RSL
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2009, 10:20:20 AM »
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Quote from: Ray
To be fair though, this situation arises because we have not yet reached the level of sophistication whereby all the equipment we buy has already been tested in accordance with an international (ISO) MTF standard.

We already have standards for exposure sensitivity. Imagine what it would be like if we didn't. When a camera model deviates from that standard and claims a sensitivity of ISO 100 when it is really ISO 80 or 75, it is usually picked up in a good review. It's something one needs to know.

Fortunately, the true sensitivity of a particular camera model does not seem to vary much from copy to copy.

The same can not be said for lenses. Here is a source of endless dispute. Which lens is sharper than which? There's no definitive answer because the best copy of one lens is often sharper than the worst copy of a much more expensive lens.  

Perhaps one could say that the cheaper the lens, the greater the quality variation amongst differnt copies from different batches, and the more expensive the lens the less variation.

Ray,

I can't argue with the idea that we need better and more standard quality control at the production end, but achieving that isn't going to change what the "measurebators" do. These guys aren't really much interested in photographs. What they're interested in is camera gear -- to have the latest and greatest and to tell everyone about it. I like fine equipment too, but it seems to me that becoming familiar with what you actually have in hand is more important than spending your life concerned that you simply won't be able to be Henri Cartier-Bresson until you have the new Leica M9.

Rob,

I'm sorry to hear that your 24-70mm f/2.8G was bad at the 24mm end. The 24-70 is my favorite -- tack sharp at all of its focal lengths on a full frame Nikon, though I'll admit that at 2 pounds it's not something you carry around all the time. Last week I walked the 2 1/2 mile Vindicator Valley trail up near Cripple Creek with the 24-70 on a D3 -- totaling about 5 1/2 pounds -- over my right shoulder and a carbon fiber tripod in my left hand that tops out about 3 pounds. The trail runs past a number of abandoned turn-of-the-century gold mines.You start out at about 9,990 feet, climb about another 600, then descend about a thousand and end up climbing back up to the trailhead. I was tired by the time I got back to my car, but I got pictures and I was glad I had the 24-70 with me. If you do Vindicator with primes you need to carry a bag of them, and I haven't found a prime that can beat the 24-70.

Good grief! I sound like a measurebator.

[attachment=15950:Vindicator_Mine.jpg]

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Justan
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2009, 10:28:09 AM »
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I suppose if one makes a living by taking photos, they will spend the majority of their work time doing that.

If one makes their living by producing prints, then taking photos will be a smaller portion of their time.

If one enjoys experimenting, then that is what will take up their time.

And so on.

The key thing is to follow in the footsteps of those you desire to emulate. It doesn’t matter what the rest of humanity does.

BTW, the writers I know don’t sharpen pencils, they use a computer and spend time researching info related to the topics which they are thinking of addressing. Some watch videos of news footage, films, or House reruns, some like to get loaded. A career is what you make of it....
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Rob C
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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2009, 12:23:00 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
Rob,

I'm sorry to hear that your 24-70mm f/2.8G was bad at the 24mm end. The 24-70 is my favorite -- tack sharp at all of its focal lengths on a full frame Nikon, though I'll admit that at 2 pounds it's not something you carry around all the time. Last week I walked the 2 1/2 mile Vindicator Valley trail up near Cripple Creek with the 24-70 on a D3 -- totaling about 5 1/2 pounds -- over my right shoulder and a carbon fiber tripod in my left hand that tops out about 3 pounds. The trail runs past a number of abandoned turn-of-the-century gold mines.You start out at about 9,990 feet, climb about another 600, then descend about a thousand and end up climbing back up to the trailhead. I was tired by the time I got back to my car, but I got pictures and I was glad I had the 24-70 with me. If you do Vindicator with primes you need to carry a bag of them, and I haven't found a prime that can beat the 24-70.

Good grief! I sound like a measurebator.

[attachment=15950:Vindicator_Mine.jpg]



Hi Russ

Two points: the 24-70mm was being used on a D200 which is cropped frame - God alone knows how it would have fared on a full-frame; secondly, that kind of walking, just by being above a few thousand feet, would kill me with my heart history. By the shore is another thing, as long as itīs in the Med winter and not these humid, oppressive summers! I have to admit, though, that when I ordered the 24-70mm I had no idea of just how huge it is in life. Certainly not the walkabout option I had fondly imagined... Odd that Leica M triples seem to be so much smaller, but that could be in my imagination too.

Given the power to turn back the photographic developments clock, I think that I might, by now, have actually bought an M model, which I never did in my working days because exact framing was ever important to me. Today, with the digital option, even I have to say the day of small film cameras is long gone. But it would have been nice to stroll with an M in hand; most everybody I know who had one sort of wishes theyīd kept it instead of trading it in against more pro digital stuff that their work demanded. But the finance isnīt always there to allow sentimentality.

Anyway, your shot with the zoom looks perfectly crisp to me!

Rob C
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2009, 01:42:17 AM »
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Quote from: richard laughlin
What keeps you from photographing?
Writers are often said to sharpen pencils and rearrange their desk when they are avoiding the blank page.
How long between making images would you say it takes before the "photographer" no longer is a photographer, but rather a photo looker?

In Hollywood it is easy to find a thousand "actors" not acting. Instead they serve drinks, take breaks and smoke away their days. Could they as easily have called themselves "photographers"

I guess that this rely depends on one's personnality. Being one who always find the grass greener elsewhere, I prefer to remain on the amateur side of the photographic fence, because I will always like my hobby a bit more than my full time job (although I like that too)... this allows me to pick photograph taking as the thing to do when avoiding doing these things I would need to do as a full time photographer (mostly the non picure taking part of the job)

Put in a slighly different way, the net result is that taking photographs is what I end up doing when I avoid to do these things I should be doing but don't want to do and don't really to be doing since I am not a pro.

So the best way to avoid not taking pictures is clearly to not be a photographer.

Does that make some sense?  

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
Rob C
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2009, 03:05:06 AM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
I guess that this rely depends on one's personnality. Being one who always find the grass greener elsewhere, I prefer to remain on the amateur side of the photographic fence, because I will always like my hobby a bit more than my full time job (although I like that too)... this allows me to pick photograph taking as the thing to do when avoiding doing these things I would need to do as a full time photographer (mostly the non picure taking part of the job)

Put in a slighly different way, the net result is that taking photographs is what I end up doing when I avoid to do these things I should be doing but don't want to do and don't really to be doing since I am not a pro.

So the best way to avoid not taking pictures is clearly to not be a photographer.

Does that make some sense?  

Cheers,
Bernard



In a split infinitive kind of a way, perfect sense!

;-)

Rob C


Health Warning: this is a joke and not to be taken as an attack or the throwing of a first stone.
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