Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: « 1 [2]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Something to think about from Edward Weston  (Read 11471 times)
fike
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1373


Hiker Photographer


WWW
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2013, 05:44:56 PM »
ReplyReply

that is a lovely quote and just goes to remind us that there is nothing new under the sun. 

...all things in moderation...that includes new equipment.

I tell people that new gear is fine, as long as it is not a proxy for practice and study and dedication to your craft...and as long as it adds something new to your capabilities.

You can't play golf without golf clubs. 

There are some things that cannot be photographed without certain equipment--wildlife photography is perhaps the most equipment intensive branch of the photography family tree.  Getting good is very hard without at least a reasonably competent telephoto lens.  Otherwise you are permanently handicapped.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, amazing street photography and portraiture can be done with very modest photographic equipment. 
Logged

Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
marcshaffer.net
TrailPixie.net

I carry an M43 ILC, a couple of good lenses, and a tripod.
AlfSollund
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 128


« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2013, 03:53:33 AM »
ReplyReply

Thanks for sharing!

I'm a hopeless amateursih hobbyist, meaning I'm only in it for the fun. Part of the fun is to master the medium. But I also claim the right to enjoy all aspects of the process, such as mastering and discussing the gear. But Weston was of course correct when it comes to the end result, the photo. And I would add that the real challenge is to have some story to tell.
Logged

-------
- If your're not telling a story with photo you're only adding noise -
http://alfsollund.com/
joneil
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 144


This is what beer does to you....


« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2013, 09:24:48 AM »
ReplyReply

  As others have said, I too have resembled that comment.  Smiley

  I think the point that a person "grows up" and becomes a true photographer, pro or amateur, is that time when you buy a camera and/or a lens, and you simply don't give a flying hoot what other people think or say about your gear, or if it makes a top ten list of sharpest lens, etc.   You don't care what the web site or magazine reviews say or what popular opinion seems to be on the message boards, you get to a point where you are comfortable, and capturing/creating your image is top priority. 
 
   I was just taking to a professional photographer the other day.   He pointed out a "new" lens he had bought a year ago, certainly not a top of the line lens by any standard, but not bad either.   He says to me;  " You know, people make fun of me or do a double take when they see the lens I use, but you know what, I pay the rent and buy groceries with photographs I take using this lens.  Further more if I drop or break it, I  toss it right away, but a new the same day and never loose any real downtime."

   Another pro I know uses either Nikon or Canon, they flip back and forth all the time, simply depending on his need at the time.   He doesn't care what brand they use as long as the camera has the features he needs. 

    There is one bit of "gear" advice I was given 30 years ago, that despite all the technological advances I still agree with.   I was taught that 90% of the world's photographs could be improved by using a tripod.  Two reasons.  One, it steadies the camera and makes any lens you use sharper that a jiggy hand held shot.  Even today with IS or VR, i still see "shaky shots" that people take even with the IS or VR turned on,  so I think  that still hold true.  Secondly, using a tripod mounted camera forces you to slow down and think about what you are shooting.

  So the real lesson is, not to always use a tripod, but to hold your camera steady and think about your shots.  In other words, technique over gear wins out almost every time.
Smiley

Logged
250swb
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 214


« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2013, 03:28:49 AM »
ReplyReply

It is an excellent quote, thank you for sharing. But I can't help but think if you dropped it into many 'gear threads' across a wide range of forums (not this one obviously) the reply would be one of two, a) 'who is Edward Weston?', or b) 'His photo's would have looked better in HDR color'. Essentially many people have never known anything other than gear discussions, they have never gone outside the envelope of 'the next lens will make me better'.

  Grin

Steve
« Last Edit: August 31, 2013, 03:33:27 AM by 250swb » Logged

tino tedaldi
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 14


« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2013, 01:37:21 PM »
ReplyReply

...I'm not sure, but I have been told: Terry O'neill only owns a Tripod

TT
Logged
tino tedaldi
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 14


« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2013, 01:42:52 PM »
ReplyReply

..sorry to quote correctly...only turns up on set with a trusty old gitzo....comfortable!
Logged
Ray
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8887


« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2013, 09:09:03 AM »
ReplyReply

Sorry! I can't identify much with this quote from Edward Weston. Whenever I buy new gear, it's always because I've experienced some degree of disatisfaction with my current gear, and discover that the new gear is not only  claimed to address such problem, but actually does address such problems, according to sites such as DXOMark.

For example, my first digital camera, the 6mp Canon D60, had rather poor high-ISO performance. I could see the noise clearly on my computer monitor, even at ISO 400. At ISO 800 it was unbearable. ISO 1,000 was the highest ISO setting. The only reason I ever used ISO 1,000 was to reconfirm that noise was unacceptable, in all circumstances.

When Canon released the 20D some years later, the improvement in high-ISO noise was so significant that upgrading the D60 to a 20D was a no-brainer.

Likewise, when Canon produced an affordable full-frame DSLR, the 12mp  5D, around the same time it offered a good quality 24-105/F4 zoom, the decision was easy to buy both the camera and the lens. The improved results were a joy to behold.

However, nothing's perfect. Despite my general satisfaction with th Canon 5D, there were times when I was really pissed off with the banding and the noise in the deep shadows. I felt that some of my best shots were ruined because I was unable to retrieve clean detail in the shadows.

When Nikon addressed this problem, to a small degree with the full-frame D3 and D700,  and later to a much more significant degree with the D7000 and the D800, then the decision was clear. I now use Nikon equipment.

I hope the point I'm making is clear. I'm distinguishing between a redressing of dissatisfaction with one's current equipment, and the seduction of advertised new effects which may be perceived as cool.
Logged
Peter McLennan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1692


« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2013, 10:04:35 AM »
ReplyReply

Upside down, in the dark, problem.  Grin

Solution:  Fenix E01  : )

Amazon has excellent prices on this invaluable piece of camera gear.  It's an LED flashlight, not much bigger than the single AAA battery that powers it.  I tape a piece of red gel over the business end if I'm star shooting to preserve my night vision.
Logged
Deardorff
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 103


« Reply #28 on: October 07, 2013, 01:29:50 PM »
ReplyReply

Getting and reading Edward Weston's Daybooks is a good way to see what he thought about what he was doing. Worth the effort and time as it gives good insight into one of the photo greats.
Logged
Isaac
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2825


« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2013, 11:49:30 AM »
ReplyReply

"The fact is that relatively few photographers ever master their medium. Instead they allow the medium to master them and go on an endless squirrel cage chase from new lens to new paper to new developer to new gadget, never staying with one piece of equipment long enough to learn its full capacities, becoming lost in a maze of technical information that is of little or no use since they don't know what to do with it." - Edward Weston

"Weston often used longer exposures than Adams did (particularly in his still lifes) and was less likely to use a filter to correct tonality or to eliminate chromatic aberration in his often less-than-perfect lenses. Instead, he usually stopped down his lenses as much as possible, even using black paper with a hole in it in one case to increase the appearance of detail in the finished photograph. ... This limited equipment was occasioned by straitened finances, but Weston made a virtue of necessity by believing that it was best to learn to see in terms of one lens, one film, and one paper, rather than acquiring a smattering of knowledge about a variety of processes. In this manner he felt one could gain an intuitive relationship to the exposure of the photograph."

(My emphasis.)

"Continuity and Revolution: The Work of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston", Diana Emery Hulick, pages 26-27 in Through their own eyes: the personal portfolios of Edward Weston and Ansel Adams.


I really should have wondered more about the background to Edward Weston's words. I do only have a 35mm f1.8 and 85mm f2.8 and one APS-C camera body; and although I am slowly learning what I can do with them, it would be silly to ignore the fact that they were among the cheapest prime lenses for the camera :-)
Logged
kitalight
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 59


« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2013, 09:57:38 PM »
ReplyReply

The change in technology in bodies every few years tempts people to upgrade technology so often that, as Weston observed, it is often too short a period to fully comprehend its potential and to develop "automaticity"....technique without having to think about mechanics...
Logged
Phil Indeblanc
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1107


« Reply #31 on: December 17, 2013, 01:07:44 AM »
ReplyReply

I'm not sure if many have looked at Brett's work, (Edwards older son)...I find it a real joy. I recommend the bio's of the family as well.

I can relate to the quote, and as mentioned, rather timely :-)


If you are in studio and setting up a shoot, maybe it has little relation. But shooting in the streets anything that is at the glimps of a second, knowing your gear second nature is huge.
I'm happy I can pretty much have this setup from the Canon 10D to 4 models between up to the 5Dm2. I'm sure Nikon users feel the same way.

Perhaps partly the Weston quote is as such, since they used the LFormats like most today's photographers use a SLR.....at least on occasion.
Logged

If you buy a camera, you're a photographer...
luxborealis
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1134



WWW
« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2014, 10:54:19 AM »
ReplyReply

"The fact is that relatively few photographers ever master their medium. Instead they allow the medium to master them and go on an endless squirrel cage chase from new lens to new paper to new developer to new gadget, never staying with one piece of equipment long enough to learn its full capacities, becoming lost in a maze of technical information that is of little or no use since they don't know what to do with it." - Edward Weston


Thanks for this quote, Ellis. It's a great reminder of what really counts in photography - the photographs, not the gear. No doubt the circumstances of Weston (limited finances) have a bearing on his comment, as Isaac pointed out.

It's also important to remember the time in which it was said - a time when gear was significantly more expensive compared to average incomes of the time and there wasn't the level of now rampant consumerism we have today that companies now rely on for profits. The photography industry would collapse if today we had to pay equivalent prices (compared to average incomes) for gear. We have also gone through a period of incredibly rapid and unprecedented change and improvements to gear with automation and digital capture. These have all combined to keep many of us spending.

But I fear for the future of a photo industry so reliant on consumerism and upgrading; an industry also being scavenged by phone cameras at the low, money-making end. I'm sure Canikon are not relying on pro sales for their bread and butter.

Case in point, similar to Ray, in the last 10 years I have upgraded my main camera four times to take advantage of the improvements. But, like many perhaps, I have now reached an "equipment plateau" with my D800E, primes, a good simple zoom, flash and tripod and an archival printer. This is a good thing - and one clearly pointed out by Weston - as now, given only so many hours in a day, I can devote more to what counts, photography, and not to gear watching-comparing-buying-learning-fine tuning. I've stopped ebaying and can't yet conceive of any significant purchases beyond a TC. Cameras and lenses have become too darn good at reasonable prices. I suppose I could spring for a carbon fibre tripod, but paying $500+ for a savings of 1kg just isn't justifiable. And even those exotic lenses are now within reach as lens rentals are also much easier to do now than in the past.

Perhaps all we can hope for is that there are enough rampant consumers who don't feel the same way and keep buying to keep the companies we depend on afloat. Sounds crazy, but that's the reality as Nikon has made all the money they will from me for a good few years at least. Now, the only companies who will see my photo dollars are Epson for ink, Moab and Canson for paper and my local framer.

What to do?
Logged

Terry McDonald
Revealing the art inherent in nature
- visit luxBorealis.com.
Have a read of my PhotoBlog and subscribe!
Pages: « 1 [2]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad