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01-17-2011, 09:30 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
I just started a thread for photos taken with camera phones. Post up and show everyone how important the photographer is!

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/general-photography/129637-camera-phone-gallery.html
Hels yeah! I'm there!

01-17-2011, 10:00 AM   #32
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Gear, oh gear, what have you done!
Sometimes, chosing for a camera model can determine the final result.
I really do like my pinhole camera, but I couldn't make a living out of it.
In the good old film days, I had a SLR and a RF camera for the 35 mm format. What I could do with the one could not always be done with the other one.
But at the end I didn't really care, and the prints coming out of my Polaroïd 340 were sometimes of greater value to me…
A camera is just a tool, each tool needs to be handled properly, no more no less.
01-17-2011, 11:07 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by spystyle Quote
I guess this thread really asks the question - how much should we obsess ?
We're gearheads so we obsess about gear, obsessively. But there are various ways to so obsess. We can obsess about The Latest, The Greatest! Or about the adequate. Or about the weird (where I'm at). We can obsess about sensors, formats, films, pinholes, long long long lenses, fisheye optics, super duper flashes, whatever.

We obsess over this stuff in part because it's quantitative and thus easy to discuss -- just plug a number into an argument. "My superzoom is bigger-better-badder-bolder than your superzoom!" Then roll with the numbers. Damn, I've got a database filled with my camera and lens numbers, and I like running those numbers, ooh ooh!

There are more productive aspects of photography about which to obsess. Light. Form. Texture. Meaning. Stuff that has little relevance to all this gearhead analism. There is more to photography than perfect exposures (in fact, there is no one perfect exposure for any given subject). For a 'perfect' image of a Death Valley sunset, use an 8x10" viewcam. For an *exciting* view of that sunset, use a phonecam to shoot a naked silhouette dancing in sharp focus against an obscured background or vice-versa.

This "phonecam vs FF in Death Valley" thang is a strawman argument. No, you probably don't use a phonecam to shoot calendar landscapes (but I can think of situations where that is appropriate). No, you probably don't use an 8x10" viewcam for stealthy street-shooting (although it's been done). Rather, use what tools are available to produce the results you want.

IMHO, we shouldn't be limited by a constricted, constrained, constipated view of what photography is and can do. It's not just shots to be published in NAT.GEO (and some of their images wouldn't pass muster here). Surveillance, science, subversion, safety, silliness, seduction, psychosis, all have their own needs and opportunities. And artistic vision doesn't depend on megapickle counts.

I'm reminded of a story of the early days of Windows. Some shirt at MicroSoft hired Brian Eno to create a mini-symphony to express hope, longing, freedom, an exultation of human spirit, to be the log-on sound-byte for Windows 3 -- and it was to last 1.85 seconds. And he did it. (It wasn't used, but that's another story.) So he easily beat Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler time-wise. Like shooting a sunset with a phonecam...
01-17-2011, 12:51 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gashog Quote
I love shooting with my Droid X and I've gotten some pretty decent photos with it. It has 2 megapixles more native resolution then my S5 Pro! You won't see me covering a :fill in the blank: with it though. The IQ (unless you really nail it) is unacceptable for publication. The plastic protective cover over the (excellent for a) lens the size of a 'BB' is a flair/haze monster. The auto focus and auto exposure is so slow you'd have to catch someone dead asleep to get a candid. You need the world to freeze for 10 seconds. Then you can whip out the phone, boot the camera, compose the shot and press the shutter....at which point, you wait another two seconds for focus and exposure lock. Finally, you get (if you're lucky) a capture. You have very little licence over how the capture is taken.
It's fun, but totally inadequate for serious picture taking.
I think its awesome to have a capable camera phone on hand....

I too have the droid X and am quite fond of it in every aspect. I tried taking some street esque shots in my local mall the other day which did not work so well because I can't figure out how to mute the AF sound. Here's one random shot from the day however




01-17-2011, 01:09 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by spystyle Quote
The difference between a medium format sensor, a full frame dSLR, a small dSLR crop sensor, and a tiny camera phone sensor, will be dynamic range. As sensors shrink the dynamic range gets smaller and smaller. The small camera phones' exposure latitude is probably best served by rainy days.
Therein you have the main issue why an old VGA camera will not suffice for creating any decent imagery. The sensors are minuscule and have hopelessly little dynamic range. Perhaps today things have changed with the newer generation mobile phones, however they'd be more suited to the 'f/8 and be there' instances rather than quality and creative imagery (the 'any camera on your body is better than no camera at all' adage applies).
01-17-2011, 02:43 PM   #36
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LOL, when I said "anything that clicks" I was actually thinking of practical cameras. I hadn't thought of these camera-like devises.

The scale in my mind starts at Medium Format and ends with Kodak Easyshare

OK, have fun!
Craig

Last edited by spystyle; 01-17-2011 at 03:06 PM.
01-17-2011, 10:09 PM   #37
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"A good editor can make a bad film better and a bad editor can make a great film suck". Not sure who said that, but it is true in still photography as well. Better equipment has no bearing on how the photographer SEES in the first place. Equipment only allows the vision of the photographer to be more easily realized.
01-19-2011, 09:25 AM   #38
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Well the camera phone gallery pretty much proves that a photographer can get it done with "practically" anything that clicks

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm

(Oh I'll get flamed for linking Ken Rockwell LOL)


Last edited by spystyle; 01-19-2011 at 10:18 AM.
01-19-2011, 01:18 PM   #39
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One of my friends has a DSLR that pretty much kicks my *ist's arse in terms of capacity. He's not a really bad photographer when it comes to snap shots of his friends, but he apparently has very little native ability when it comes to photography and he's been working at it now for a few of years, trying to get better. It frustrates him to no end that I can literally take a point and shoot 35mm and take better shots than he can of the same thing. Put my *ist in my hands and every shot I take completely outclasses his in terms of outcome.

FYI, that's not my vanity talking. I don't consider myself an experienced photographer, just a student wanna be and he's actually had a DSLR longer than I've had an SLR or a DSLR. Yet, he will sit there and study my stuff trying to figure it out, why his shots look so different from mine.

I do try to show him, help him, but what it basically comes down to is he doesn't apparently see the light or a scene the way I do. He's the same with art and museums. I go into one with him and I'm completely mesmerized and content to look at paintings for hours. He's bored and reaching for his phone to text within 20 minutes, though to his credit he will go with me and try. He's just not much of an artist type though and it shows.

He can run rings around me though when it comes to dealing with cranky people. When I'm completely ready to blow he's still smiling and working things out. He's a born diplomat, which I am definitely not, so to each his or her own talent, you know? We actually do have a definite appreciation for each others better skills. He's the first one to admit that he's not great at photography, and I'm the first one to say that he's better something than me when he is. There's no one uppmanship crap going on with us. We're real friends and we support and help each other, period.

I think it is absolutely about the photographer and what he or she sees. You can have the best equipment on the planet but if you are truly half blind to the light and to composition you won't end up taking much worth keeping beyond a few snap shots of your friends or your pet or whatever. My friend he has made a genuine effort to learn the fundamentals of photography in the past few years, but he just does NOT get how to put it all together and it shows in almost every photograph he takes unfortunately.

This Christmas his Mom bought him a smart phone with a nice little point and shoot camera inside and he's pretty much retired his DSLR in favor of using it to snap his buddies and such. I don't think he meant to, but I think the cell phone cam is just so much easier and comfortable for him it was inevitable that he'd gravitate to using it more and the DSLR less. I'm really hoping that the ease of using it, of not having to think all the time will help him get the whole composition/light thing in time, but even if he doesn't he'll be happy snapping whatever with it.

Some people can get a photographic masterpiece even using a cell phone sure, but I sincerely doubt my friend will ever be one of those people. I'm hoping, but several years later I'm not really expecting it. If I can ever get him to the point where he can take a really nice snap shot most of the time I think he'll be happy.

My Mom was the better photographer in my family growing up. She could take a 110 pocket camera and get something pretty decent out of it. My Dad on the other hand? He was always incredibly lucky to get anything decent and his idea of a good shot inevitably was some wide shot that left you wondering what the subject of the photo was supposed to be or a half blurry photo of the turkey at Thanksgiving or the same Christmas tree year after year. Unfortunately for out family photo books it was Dad that was usually behind the camera whenever they actually chose to go there which is why 95% of our family pics just ended up in the trash not too long ago.

The funny thing is when you look back at the trip to Disney pics that we all took with the same camera when I was 10? The really good ones, and the few unusual ones were actually taken by ME, and not my parents. That was the first time I was ever allowed to use the family camera. I do remember my Mom getting the film back and joking that maybe they should just let the "kid" shoot all the family gatherings from then on in. I sometimes wish that they had because maybe we'd have had something more in the albums worth saving when Dad did his final purge. But 100 pics of a buffet table loaded with food and a few blurry, red eyed-pics of people whose names no one can even remember now that just doesn't make for a great family album. I've seen my siblings pics, same deal, they're okay, some of them anyhow, but they're nothing you'd want to put on a wall to show off.

I have a wall in my place that has some of what I consider my best work to date. As I progress and get better the photos change to reflect my progress. Both of my teachers have actually seen that wall and even the beginning they say there was a sense of composition and a feel for the light. That's not to say some of my earlier shots were not awful, sure they were, but I think I can safely say I have a chance at being a decent photographer someday, that I had a feel for it from the get go and no, I don't think everyone who picks up a camera can say that. If they could my friend, my family, they'd all have tons of great shots to their credit because when you get right down to it they've probably taken thousands more shots than I have. But they don't and when they do have a gathering these days? Inevitably I'm the one they always ask to bring along the camera.

I think you can learn photographic technique but making good pictures is about a whole lot more than simple technique. Anyone can take a ballet class or 60 and learn the moves that make up the dance, but how many of us can step onto a stage and dance in Swan Lake?
01-19-2011, 01:53 PM   #40
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Did you guys see that Peter Luk sold a print for $1,000,000?
I looked at his stuff again. I read that he uses enormous large-pan-format cams with 40MP backs and does like 100 hours of PP.
Pretty impressive images.
He does wilderness landscapes though.
Not my thing.
I like people. I take snapshots and I enjoy freelance photojournalism. I love seeing my stuff in the paper (even if it sometimes has some other SOB's name under it!). I like action and street photography. Once in a great while, I'll shoot a "golden hour" moment but I have to be pretty board to do that.

Peter Luk says (in one of his infomercials!) that his parents gave him a Brownie when he was 8.
Well...there you go!
My parents gave me an Argus Palmatic when I was 7!
01-19-2011, 02:05 PM   #41
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Well, this explains a lot, Gashog. When I was that age, my parents gave me spankings.
Well...there you go!
01-19-2011, 02:09 PM   #42
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LOL! You must have taken some very naughty pictures!
01-19-2011, 02:19 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gashog Quote
Did you guys see that Peter Luk sold a print for $1,000,000?
I looked at his stuff again. I read that he uses enormous large-pan-format cams with 40MP backs and does like 100 hours of PP.
Pretty impressive images.
He does wilderness landscapes though.
Not my thing.
I like people. I take snapshots and I enjoy freelance photojournalism. I love seeing my stuff in the paper (even if it sometimes has some other SOB's name under it!). I like action and street photography. Once in a great while, I'll shoot a "golden hour" moment but I have to be pretty board to do that.

Peter Luk says (in one of his infomercials!) that his parents gave him a Brownie when he was 8.
Well...there you go!
My parents gave me an Argus Palmatic when I was 7!
I actually believe he uses a Fuji 617 mostly (a lot of the pictures of him are with one - he probably has a digital back as well he can certainly afford it even if he uses it like a polaroid lol) and still shoots film frequently, but a full drum scan on one of these images is huge
a lot of his earlier work where he made his name was pre digital and done exclusively on film and in the darkroom. The astounding prices paid are more to do with marketing than his being better than others though. He is a damn fine photographer but there are many good landscape people who shoot as well as him. they don't market themselves as well though

I had a folder at 8, a Zenit at 13 and went on from there

I think the poster above really nailed it though when he talked about the ability to see light and composition, this is not something you can learn it is probably a left brain right brain thing
01-19-2011, 02:31 PM   #44
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Magkelly really closes the loop here. I tried to express this with my earlier post, but Mag nails it. Photography is about seeing the light and the composition. About looking at the elements in the image and deciding how best to render them. Given ANY camera, a talented photographer will be able to make an awesome image with the elements he has to work with. Given the BEST equipment, a photographer with no visual conceptualism will never be able to combine the elements into a good image. And if they get lucky, they may even wind up deleting a good one out of ignorance!

Regards,
01-19-2011, 02:42 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigDave Quote
Magkelly really closes the loop here. I tried to express this with my earlier post, but Mag nails it. Photography is about seeing the light and the composition. About looking at the elements in the image and deciding how best to render them. Given ANY camera, a talented photographer will be able to make an awesome image with the elements he has to work with. Given the BEST equipment, a photographer with no visual conceptualism will never be able to combine the elements into a good image. And if they get lucky, they may even wind up deleting a good one out of ignorance!

Regards,
That's me!!!
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