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11-26-2018, 09:53 AM   #1
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truth time

have you ever blamed the people you photographed for the results?

". . . But the real problem was something I had no control over: the faces. Now, these were attractive people, accomplished in their field, comfortable in their skins. But a camera doesn’t know any of that. It is a pitiless recorder of reality. And if someone curls her lip or puffs her cheeks in a disconcerting way when she makes a certain vowel, well it’s going to capture that.

As I chimped from the first row of the auditorium, I discovered that, although the human face makes many fluid movements when it’s engaged in speech, it can look a little weird when any single one of those moments is frozen. . . . "

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/not-a-pretty-picture-its-harder-than-yo...=.f4dc63823e54


Last edited by aslyfox; 11-26-2018 at 10:00 AM.
11-26-2018, 10:25 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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I agree with the OP.

I worked in the publishing industry many years ago and as a result I do read newspapers, magazines with more than a little interest. I see many pictures in the media, which have been selected by the editors because the expression caught by the photographer...shows the subject of an article...particularly a politician...at a disadvantage.

Usually the person might be grimacing, looking angry, looking befuddled...etc...you get the drift. With the advent of motordrive on press cameras years ago or burst as we now call it...it became far easier to get this type of photo...as chances are somewhere in the series of burst photos of anyone...there will be an expression that does the subject no favors.

This type of photograph may elicit a chuckle or two...or confirm to someone who doesn't particularly care for the subject..that yes...this is an individual (subject) that is no...darn..good.

On the other hand it also has a negative effect on the media featuring this type of photo on a regular basis...it eventually affects their credibility among some of their reading public.
11-26-2018, 10:30 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I agree with the OP. . . .
I think you mean the author of the article printed in the Washington Post, not the OP ( me )

I just read it and posted a link to it, the quote does not relate my personal experiences
11-26-2018, 11:28 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
I think you mean the author of the article printed in the Washington Post, not the OP ( me )

I just read it and posted a link to it, the quote does not relate my personal experiences
Thx. I agree with the author of Post article.

11-26-2018, 12:23 PM - 4 Likes   #5
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Any problems or shortcomings with my photos are invariably due to the “chimp” behind the viewfinder!
11-26-2018, 01:34 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by timb64 Quote
Any problems or shortcomings with my photos are invariably due to the “chimp” behind the viewfinder!
I think that you have hit the nail on the head Tim!
11-26-2018, 01:39 PM - 1 Like   #7
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It's an interesting view, and yet I'm not sure I agree with it completely...

Capturing a moment when someone is doing something unattractive facially is an issue of timing, and nothing more. One of the tricks, IMHO - and it's a significant one - is getting that timing right, and / or taking a burst of shots so that one of them is at just the right time. Another trick is reading the situation such that you feel something interesting or relevant might be about to happen. For a sports photographer, that could be the run up to a potential goal in a soccer game. For someone documenting a political meeting, it might be hearing a pointed question coming to an end, with a response expected from one of the key parties.

I don't have a huge amount of experience in this. I will say though, where people are concerned in anything other than static, posed situations, it seems to me we should treat them like any other fast-moving subject and use continuous shooting to increase the chances of capturing the best moment within a short time span - and to avoid chimping entirely.
11-26-2018, 04:12 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by timb64 Quote
Any problems or shortcomings with my photos are invariably due to the “chimp” behind the viewfinder!
almost 100 % of the time any error with my photography is " operator error "

11-26-2018, 08:01 PM - 4 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
ICapturing a moment when someone is doing something unattractive facially is an issue of timing, and nothing more. .
When I just entered into photography, my main subjects were cats, and the entire family and friends crowds at parties. All of them, all my "models" usually reacted the same on me with the camera - they ran, tried to avoid to be in the frame.
Actually it was pretty good training. I learned a lot about timing. Learned how to make myself invisible and how to be a "predator" to hunt my best shots. Sometimes it was burst mode, but mostly just waiting for the right moment with the finger on the shutter button. Always on the shutter release button.
Only when I became proficient it that technique, I totally absolutely had no idea what to do with someone who actually was posing for me. I could only hunt for the prey, I had no idea what to do if my prey did not run. It's still the big issue, I'm terrible with posing, but good with candids. I believe that the author of that article has the opposite issue.

Last edited by micromacro; 11-27-2018 at 06:28 AM. Reason: typo
11-26-2018, 09:21 PM - 3 Likes   #10
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I have a friend from grade school, a really great guy. In fact, he got an award from the US government for saving $1.4 million on a recent satellite. So lots of people would think he was a great guy. Anyway, if he knows he's in a picture, he immediately puts on a giant fake-looking smile. Not a joke, he thinks that is what he should do. I am uncomfortable with telling him about it. The other portrait mistakes are all mine, though.
11-26-2018, 09:38 PM - 5 Likes   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I have a friend from grade school, a really great guy. In fact, he got an award from the US government for saving $1.4 million on a recent satellite. So lots of people would think he was a great guy. Anyway, if he knows he's in a picture, he immediately puts on a giant fake-looking smile. Not a joke, he thinks that is what he should do. I am uncomfortable with telling him about it. The other portrait mistakes are all mine, though.
But you can sit him down in his study, light him properly, and get the obligatory photo of his giant fake-looking smile, which you know is unusable, it's just to let him cope with the artificial situation. Take another picture immediately he gives up the smile and relaxes. That one's the keeper.

Then ask him questions about his work - thoughtful ones - and take pictures between his sentences, of being in a thoughtful mood. Get him to reminisce about his children, and keep taking pictures. You will get the tender side of him.

Don't fiddle with the camera or gear, don't pause, keep a real, fluid conversation going with him to get authentic expressions. Put his awards and pictures of his family on his desk in front of him, out of shot. Play his favourite music over your portable Bluetooth speaker.

IMHO, this is being a photographer, staring at DxOMark tables isn't.

Last edited by clackers; 11-26-2018 at 09:44 PM.
11-27-2018, 01:09 AM   #12
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Hi folks, thread moved from General Talk to General Photography as no photography related topics supposed to be in GT.

Photography related threads do not belong in Gen Talk - PentaxForums.com
11-27-2018, 03:01 AM - 1 Like   #13
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This is easy to test. Go to any youtube video with a person in front of the camera and just have fun pausing at random times to get the most ridiculous expressions.
11-27-2018, 03:37 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pjv Quote
Hi folks, thread moved from General Talk to General Photography as no photography related topics supposed to be in GT.

Photography related threads do not belong in Gen Talk - PentaxForums.com
whoops, thank you
11-27-2018, 06:45 AM - 3 Likes   #15
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Yup, I blame the model for poor photos all the time. It's supposed to be a collaboration and they are so often insolent - sometimes it even escalates into shouting matches and kicking over furniture.

Self portraiture is tougher than most people think
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