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06-28-2007, 02:20 AM   #1
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Touchy subject!

Feel free to flame me as I am pretty sure this is a quite controversial statement. To my dismay I see more and more discussions on photography forums (this one and dpreview for instance) where the photographer is pushed more and more to the background and both the equipment and the PP software that were used to produce the image take on a much too important role.

I see amateur photographers discussing extremely expensive lenses as in "nice shot, was this the Sigma 10-20mm?" and loosing sight totally of the creative sides of the image. One would start to think that it is impossible to "be a photographer" without spending a large percentage of ones income on hardware and changing that hardware every 2 weeks or so.

Same goes for software. If you do not run a $1000 package like Photoshop CS3, you obviously are not worth a second look. I have nothing against commercial software although I primarily use open source myself, but I have seen people shouted down for using Paint Shop Pro because it only costs $100 or so.

Is it just me or do any of you feel the same? I am just a photo enthousiast and I enjoy making pleasing images, no more, no less. Sometimes I luck out, sometimes I hit the button. Thank god this is not my livelyhood. Should I feel ashamed for not jumping on every new camera and every worthwile lens, however fantastic they might be? Should I have an issue with not using THE image processing software everybody seems to use? (without asking the question whether it is used legally in all cases)

Am I just blowing this up out of proportions?

Mike

06-28-2007, 02:43 AM   #2
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Mike

Blowing out of proportions ? No I don't think so.

I'm a lucky one the software I use is through an academic licence, and CS3 is only 300€. What makes me think why they sell it so high in other cases. If I couldn't get it, I would more than consider "The Gimp".

Then a Dslr isn't cheep, the lenses aren't. I got the k10d and this will be for the next years my camera. Even if they bring out a 20MP monster that goes to an 6400iso.

Ronny
06-28-2007, 03:52 AM   #3
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Totally agree on TS.

I think the creative aspect is the most important one in photography. A way to express oneself. That's it. They made great looking images back in the 70's. So how come we need the 1d mark III and otherwise can't make anything decent?
06-28-2007, 03:54 AM   #4
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Actually, it's everybody, not just photographers. When it comes to non-photographers, there have even been jokes made about it. One goes...

The photographer was showing pictures of the
wedding at a bride's home when the hostess
said, "That camera takes such beautiful pictures!"
The photographer politely thanked her.

Later, when he was treated to dinner as a part
of the evening, the hostess asked, "Are you
enjoying the meal?" The photographer smiled
and said, "Delicious! Those pots and pans in the
kitchen certainly cook a good meal."


And, no, you're not blowing this out of proportion. We use a lot of equipment in our vocation or avocation. As such, it's very easy for some to focus only on the equipment without really seeing the photographer managing it all. Those people (non-photographers) then go on to think photography is all so easy, simply requiring enough money to buy the right equipment. Of course, once those people get that equipment, they cannot understand why their pictures are still lacking. What they're missing are the skills to properly manage that equipment and, once that is accomplished, the creative skills necessary to see and take good pictures. I believe both skills can be learned, with the commitment to learn the main thing ultimately separating the photographer from the non-photographer.

However, you're right to also point out that many photographers also get caught up in the same focus on equipment, with not enough attention always paid to the creative skills. Since I've never owned a lot of equipment, and have even reduced much of that over the last few years, I'm as confused about it as you are. Perhaps it's a status thing for these people, as in my lens is bigger, faster, or whatever, than yours.

stewart

06-28-2007, 05:01 AM   #5
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I tend to bring the smallest and lightest lens when I go out for a walk around. Fa 43 or Fa 77 tend to be the choices often.

It is the lightweight and ultra image superiority that make us pentax users. Majority of people tend to equate camera size and weight to the equivalent status of the photographers in general. But I am already over that stage - heavy lenses and cameras are really just too heavy. It is the image quality that counts in the end...

Post processing of photographs is essential though ... If the tools are available, why not use it? Not every photo needs a touch of PP but PP to improve image quality does not hurt. Unless a personal philosophy of being a realist, it is harmless to do PP to achieve one's desire effect to deliver a theme or a message. This is all fun and acceptable.

Post processing is actually quite difficult though (at least for me).

Cheers

James
06-28-2007, 05:14 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Post processing of photographs is essential though ... If the tools are available, why not use it? Not every photo needs a touch of PP but PP to improve image quality does not hurt. Unless a personal philosophy of being a realist, it is harmless to do PP to achieve one's desire effect to deliver a theme or a message. This is all fun and acceptable.

Post processing is actually quite difficult though (at least for me).

Cheers

James
No harm intended but I think (or assume) that you have just proven my point. You are simply assuming that, just because someone claims not to use Photoshop, he doesn't do PP. If you go back to my original post and reread, that's not quite what it says.

I've seen people using Paint Shop Pro, the Gimp, Corel, Digikam, Cinepaint, KRita and others to produce stunning results. They definitely do "a touch of PP", to say the very least.

I agree with you totally on the point of PP being necessary and adding to the final appeal of the image.

Mike
06-28-2007, 05:33 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by newmikey Quote
No harm intended but I think (or assume) that you have just proven my point. You are simply assuming that, just because someone claims not to use Photoshop, he doesn't do PP. If you go back to my original post and reread, that's not quite what it says.
I did not mean any harm either. The softwares did cost a lot and I tend to buy older versions photoshop or use trial softwares. I realised all my images need "touch up" These people you talked about by rating other people's photography with their equipment or photo editing programmes do not deserve our attention really. :ugh:

I am not saying you are wrong. I found a lot of images without PP can be stunning too

Cheers

James
06-28-2007, 06:21 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
I found a lot of images without PP can be stunning too
That's not what I meant James, PP is almost mandatory with DSLRs, but can be non-Photoshop.



Thanks for reading and responding!

Mike

06-28-2007, 06:45 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by newmikey Quote
Feel free to flame me as I am pretty sure this is a quite controversial statement. To my dismay I see more and more discussions on photography forums (this one and dpreview for instance) where the photographer is pushed more and more to the background and both the equipment and the PP software that were used to produce the image take on a much too important role.

I see amateur photographers discussing extremely expensive lenses as in "nice shot, was this the Sigma 10-20mm?" and loosing sight totally of the creative sides of the image. One would start to think that it is impossible to "be a photographer" without spending a large percentage of ones income on hardware and changing that hardware every 2 weeks or so.

Same goes for software. If you do not run a $1000 package like Photoshop CS3, you obviously are not worth a second look. I have nothing against commercial software although I primarily use open source myself, but I have seen people shouted down for using Paint Shop Pro because it only costs $100 or so.

Is it just me or do any of you feel the same? I am just a photo enthousiast and I enjoy making pleasing images, no more, no less. Sometimes I luck out, sometimes I hit the button. Thank god this is not my livelyhood. Should I feel ashamed for not jumping on every new camera and every worthwile lens, however fantastic they might be? Should I have an issue with not using THE image processing software everybody seems to use? (without asking the question whether it is used legally in all cases)

Am I just blowing this up out of proportions?

Mike
Depends on how big is your 'forest'.

If it, say is on the order of a small city park, then yes, the emphasis on PP and pricey equipment is out of proportion to the more artistic elements. If it's on the order of a national preserve or sanctuary or even continental sized then 'No', you got it wrong.

As wide flung and pervasive as one might think the internet to be, it's really only a very small percentage of the population of photo enthusiasts and barely a drop in the grand scheme of life. The loudest elements on this internet beast, are in fact less than the error in measuring global photographic statistics. Much less.

Step back a couple giant steps and take in a bigger point of view.
06-28-2007, 08:00 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jfdavis58 Quote
Depends on how big is your 'forest'.

The loudest elements on this internet beast, are in fact less than the error in measuring global photographic statistics. Much less.

Step back a couple giant steps and take in a bigger point of view.
Now that's is a refreshing view if I ever saw one! You know what? You are absolutely right, I just never thought about it that way!

Thanks.

Mike
06-28-2007, 01:13 PM   #11
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Yes, some people get hung up on the tools, and some don't. Pentaxforums is a good example. I have yet to see ANY posts here where someone blasted someone else for their choice of camera, or post processing tool. So, in my opinion, not a problem here...

Last edited by MRRiley; 06-28-2007 at 02:40 PM.
06-28-2007, 02:41 PM   #12
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That reminds me...

This reminds me of the story of a New York photographer who could afford the newest 'Blad Digital system with 45 megapixel back and didn't get the job competing against this guy who came in with his portfolio and all of his stuff was shot with an Olympus 4 mega pixel Camedia. Now that is a true story. He liked what he got from that point and shoot. It is like Terry Richardson using a $75 Canon fixed focal length 35mm auto focus camera for all of his shoots and getting over $25000 per day not including rights. NO the gear doesn't do it....
06-28-2007, 03:08 PM   #13
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PP done to this image

It either had low or no sharpening - I cannot remember, since the border is created by a script.




Proof that nice images can be had with LITTLE or NO PP.... and I did a composition crop... oh nooooo.....

Cheers,
Marc
06-28-2007, 11:45 PM   #14
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OT: Marc, that's a lovely frame on that image (and a great image too ofcourse). I especially like the way there is this translucent blurred edge that eases the eye into the picture. Any change you might want to share your script? Is it a bash script or something photoshoppy?

Mike
06-29-2007, 01:33 AM   #15
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I too have become somewhat dismayed at the constant talk about equipment = and I do understand that this is somewhat of a equipment oriented forum.

I am still looking for a place that discusses composition, lighting, exposure, subject matter and visual impact with the same vigor that "My Sigma/Tamron/BigFella-ski f 0.1 5million mm pancake" does. I understand peoples fixation on animals, bugs, flowers etc. I am a confirmed pealing paint and garbage can photographer - rust ---- oh rust --- makes me go weak in the ---- knees - must shoot - now old paint with rust -- just hand me a empty SD and get out of my way.

I have all the equipment I can use at the moment - it is really nice stuff - but after all it's about the image --- it's all about the image.

PDL
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