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12-28-2011, 09:38 AM   #76
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My advice ?

Buy the very best lens you can afford, hold it, caress it, gaze lovingly at the blades deep within that crafted perfection of wonderful curved glass, marvel at it's ultra fast aperture, ever so gently finesse the focus ring, buy a velvet bag for it and lavish it with love ...... and if, and only very occasionally, you mount it and use it for photography, well so be it

12-28-2011, 04:12 PM   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Buy the very best lens you can afford, hold it, caress it, gaze lovingly at the blades deep within that crafted perfection of wonderful curved glass, marvel at it's ultra fast aperture, ever so gently finesse the focus ring, buy a velvet bag for it and lavish it with love
You forgot the display case with mini-spots, the IR anti-theft system, the guard dogs -- and the insurance coverage.
12-28-2011, 08:58 PM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
You forgot the display case with mini-spots, the IR anti-theft system, the guard dogs -- and the insurance coverage.
Dang ..... knew there was something else !
12-28-2011, 11:47 PM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by D4rknezz Quote
Now in terms of PP, you need to know what you are looking to accomplish in your pictures. THere are tons of tutorials out there that goes to explain a lot of things in a lot of different direction, but may not be what you need. In terms of PP for your own photos, a lot of times you only need to know several things, very well.
Thanks for the good response. Lots of other good info here also.

12-29-2011, 07:21 AM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I can think of specific situations where a gang of toggers are shooting the same action at the same time in the same light; one gets a Pulitzer prize, and the rest are forgotten.
I'm not sure what that proves. The subject was the same for everyone, right? How could it then be the determining factor in why one person got a Pulitzer and the others didn't? I should also point out that there are as many or more specific situations where great light takes very mundane subjects, whether it's a dried seed pod...an old person's hands...or, as in this past month's contest, all sorts of random things and makes them good photos. If you truly believe subject is #1, you need to change your mantra...we're not capturing light, we're recording subjects.
12-29-2011, 08:04 AM   #81
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
I'm not sure what that proves. The subject was the same for everyone, right? How could it then be the determining factor in why one person got a Pulitzer and the others didn't?
My point was that the PHOTOGRAPHER trumps subject and light, as well as gear.
12-29-2011, 08:15 AM   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
My point was that the PHOTOGRAPHER trumps subject and light, as well as gear.
Okay...but you quoted what I said about making light #2 on the list, instead of subject. I didn't dispute that photographer trumps both.
12-29-2011, 08:54 AM   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
My point was that the PHOTOGRAPHER trumps subject and light, as well as gear.
I agree.

The enigmatic Mr. Rockwell has an essay that I mostly agree with:
Your Camera Doesn't Matter

Of course, he is the same person who extolls the virtues of a Leica M9 plus $10,000 or so of Leica lenses!

I wish I could say that I am a good photographer after over 40 years of trying. But, alas, while some might consider a select few of my photos to be above average, I simply have not attained the upper tier. It is not keeping me from indulging myself by buying lenses ---- perhaps in the vain hope that somehow or another a different lens will do the trick.

FYI, I am currently reading an excellent book, by Bruce Barnbaum, "The Art of Photography." Maybe I will learn something from it that will magically transform me!

12-29-2011, 08:56 AM   #84
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
There is a hierarchy of elements necessary for photography. In decreasing order of importance:

1) photographer -- if you don't know what you're doing, nothing else much matters
2) subject -- a perfectly composed+exposed shot of boring crap is still boring crap
3) light -- we capture light, not subjects; without adequate light, nothing else helps
4) lens -- light can be captured with various lenses; selection *might* be important
5) camera -- a box for hanging lenses, but many modern cameras are very similar

Yes, for some subjects and situations, the choice of lenses may be critical. For others, not so much so. For many, it really doesn't matter. It's up to the togger to decide what matters and what to shoot with. Many scenes can be shot just as well with an old US$20 MF folder as with US$10k of gear. Prize-winning (and published!) shots are made with Holgas and Nokias. Specialized situations may demand specialized tools. Other scenarios don't. Such is reality.
There's a lot of subtext under "photographer". If one doesn't have the interest, passion, willingness to work, experience of human life, etc, they may not be able to produce compelling images that excite emotions in others. I once gave a favorite book of mine about photography to a relative of mine, who returned it a month later asking what they should learn out of it. Noone can "make" someone else a great photographer or give them the art. You either have that drive to work at it, or not . I just took the book back and kept my mouth shut.
12-29-2011, 04:20 PM   #85
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I can think of no better way to answer this question than to point out how many of the most memorable and powerful photographs in history were created with cameras and lenses that would be considered mediocre, at best, by today's standards. That is because the photographers had vision and knew how to achieve that vision at all steps of the image making process.

Rob
12-30-2011, 09:21 AM   #86
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All the above is true, and the quality photographer will usually beat better quality glass in the hands of a lesser photographer.

But don't forget, photography isn't all about producing great photos (something that most of us will never do). It's also, and probably more so, about producing memorable photos for the family album that remind us of nice and/or important events in our personal lives and travels. Good cameras and lenses definitely help with that if you have even a basic knowledge of photography - and once you have those things, everyone should be able to create better photos than before, with practice.

I think most photographers will benefit when they acquire better quality glass and cameras, and doing that for small but satisfying gains is probably a lot easier for most of us than learning to become a great photographer for potentially much larger gains.

Last edited by Dave L; 12-30-2011 at 09:37 AM.
12-30-2011, 01:31 PM   #87
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A funny thing happened with recorded music. Since the advent of commercial recording, roughly in the 1890s, a major goal was increasing fidelity -- until the 1990s, with the advent of MP3 files. Sounds recovered from old 78 rpm discs may have greater fidelity than modern streamed audio. Why is this acceptable? Portability, convenience, the ability to carry a huge music library on a chip and listen to it in non-pristine environments. Fidelity is important, but it isn't all-important.

I can draw a parallel with photography, and blame a similar culprit: the net-web-cloud-etc. A major chunk of popular photography now occurs with tiny P&S cams and cam.phones, often seen only on that device's LCD screen, or at best on a webpage at 72 DPI. Much other photography is only seen on limited-resolution screens or paper periodical pages. When was the last time you produced a large photographic print for close inspection? What portion of you photography produces such prints?

Yes, there are markets for high-fidelity recordings and high-resolution imagery, and for the devices that produce and reproduce them. But these are a small proportion of the total media mix. Most reproduction need merely be good enough, not great. And considering the vast amount of family documentation burnt onto Polaroids and Kodacolor and Super-8, standards for such need not be high. Better is nice, yes, but accessibility is more important.
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