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12-31-2010, 09:27 AM   #1
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Branded a "Soft Shooter" for life

My cousin was sent to Congo many years back to take pictures for National Geographic, he did not have a permanent job with them but through contacts he got this post as a "tryout". When he came back he tells me how the Editor looked at his pictures and then tore them to pieces. When my cousin asked what was wrong with them the Editor or whoever his boss was said that the eyes were soft and that he'd ensure everyone knew what a soft shooter he was. So anyway my cousin became a Manager at an Edition House and make a lot of money now... Can anyone explain what a soft shooter is and how to avoid "soft eyes"? Thanks.

12-31-2010, 09:41 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Google David Hamilton. But not if you're on a public computer.
12-31-2010, 09:51 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Google David Hamilton. But not if you're on a public computer.
Cartier- Bresson could never have shot for the bourgeois folk at National Geographic then
12-31-2010, 10:26 AM   #4
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Advanced Tips for Tack Sharp Images
great tips on how to get the eyes in focus, among other things

randy

12-31-2010, 11:08 AM   #5
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What they basically meant is that you don't have the crisp journalistic style of focusing that they prefer. News and magazines, unless they're high fashion (and even then it depends upon the magazine and the project) they tend to want extremely sharp, very realistic shots.

Mostly I think it's because of issues with printing. Shots that are more crisp give them more depth to work with given the limitations of print work can be hard to work around. It's a bit easier with magazines but newspapers they really want the best, most crisp images possible because their printing and the paper they use isn't the greatest to begin with.

Anything that's less than really sharp will tend to look iffy when printed in a low end magazine or a newspaper. They need all the image depth and sharpness they can get because even the best photography tends to lose some when printed in a magazine, paper, print ad etc. What looks perfectly sharp on photo paper may look significantly less so in your local newspaper or on the pages of a magazine.

I did some digital work with a newspaper when I was in college, internship thing. Even with the pros they liked they'd throw out what I thought were some great photographs sometimes. What looked perfectly sharp to me would actually print up a bit blurred apparently using their print processes. They were beyond picky about which images were fit for use and which were not. Every once in a while they'd make an exception for a shot that was just outstanding in terms of subject if they had nothing better to run, but overall they wanted the best images they could get and they just wouldn't settle for anything less than ideal shots if they thought they could get them.

Last edited by magkelly; 12-31-2010 at 11:18 AM.
12-31-2010, 11:41 AM   #6
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Thanks Randy and magkelly! That was really helpful! Just a question, why do they want the eyes to be really sharp?
12-31-2010, 02:22 PM   #7
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The eyes are the most crucial bit of a portrait.
12-31-2010, 03:18 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Student Quote
Thanks Randy and magkelly! That was really helpful! Just a question, why do they want the eyes to be really sharp?
the old saying "the eyes are the mirror of the soul" most times a person looks at the eyes first (but not always )

glad to help


randy

12-31-2010, 06:28 PM   #9
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If the rest of the picture isn't as sharp you don't sometimes notice that quite as much because like someone said above humans always look first at the eyes in a pic, but if the eyes aren't sharp it usually blows the whole picture. They're the central focus point of almost any portrait, eyes.
01-01-2011, 06:49 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Student Quote
Thanks Randy and magkelly! That was really helpful! Just a question, why do they want the eyes to be really sharp?
My first reaction was very near to Chuck's, except I have always heard the eyes are the window to the soul....and who wants to look through dirty windows? (Or peer into a fogged-up mirror?)
01-01-2011, 07:52 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
My first reaction was very near to Chuck's, except I have always heard the eyes are the window to the soul....and who wants to look through dirty windows? (Or peer into a fogged-up mirror?)
I think you are right on this one... should be windows.

cheers

randy
01-01-2011, 08:01 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by slipchuck Quote
I think you are right on this one... should be windows.

cheers

randy
It's like in that movie about Judge Roy Bean, where he says, "Justice is the handmaiden of the law" and one of his flunkies says, "I thought you said, 'The law is the handmaiden of justice..." To which Bean replies, "Works both ways."
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