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03-24-2013, 09:53 AM - 1 Like   #61
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These discussions always point back for me to the old belief that 90% of the pictures we take can be captured with 90% of the cameras available. It's the remaining 10% of the photographs which require more sophisticated hardware. It's difficult to properly meter an available dark scene if a point-and-shoot camera lacks exposure compensation or a full manual mode. I knew a guy who had bought 100% into the "it's not the camera..." philosophy who couldn't understand why his point-and-shoot shots of his son's high school basketball games weren't what he wanted them to be.

I also think about the extremes. There are the photo-art shamans and gurus out there doing their thing brilliantly with Instamatics and there are rank-and-file guys shooting rubbish with Hasselblads. We're all somewhere in between there. There are so many different levels to photography ranging from the extreme technical end such as exposure metering or the mechanical means for attaining the exposure value you believe to be correct to the mystical end of the spectrum where the art is made via composition and choosing that appropriate exposure value. Gear has little relevance to the subjective side of making art but it is certainly important to the objective side of technical mastery. It's simply pure coincidence that 90% of the cameras can capture 90% of the photographs. My Purdy paint brushes can apply paint to my house very nicely but I wouldn't use them to duplicate the Mona Lisa.

I guess my question though is what's wrong with photographers being interested in the gear they use? I own at least ten different hammers ranging from a tack hammer to two different sledgehammers to a wire wheel knock-off hammer for my MG Midget. Could a master mechanic remove a wheel knock-off from my MG using a tack hammer? I have five or six different circular saw blades in my workshop plus at least four different handsaws. You must actually use both crosscut and ripping handsaws to understand the differences between them and the need for having both available. Can a fine cabinetry carpenter create high quality furniture using nothing more than a coping saw? Would he or she want to do so? I use crosscut and ripping handsaws plus a back saw, coping saw, and a wonderful Japanese pull saw. And those are all just for wood. My wife and I have collected maybe a couple dozen board games over the past 25 years. Who wants to play the same board game on every rainy or snowy evening for the rest of their lives? Why would I not be interested in different types of camera gear for my needs? Am I ever going to make a huge lateral trade on camera gear such as moving to Canon? Nope. No ill will toward someone who does though. It sure seems like this is a question of breadth vs. depth in our interests in photography and I wonder if the folks following the "it's not the camera..." philosophy are more highly focused on one style of photography, portraiture for example, than I. Let's just say there are a lot of nicely captured daylight landscape shots out there and it's not really due to the camera gear being used.

Finally, there is such a thing as buying a new piece of camera gear to open new channels for creativity. It's not guaranteed or anything but it does happen. There are also distinct benefits achieved from using proper gear for a given task. It's not necessarily an issue of build quality or resolution from sensors or format size but more often a combination of all of those factors and more. Still, I'd lay odds on any professional photographer seeing a more deliberate and focused line of creativity derived from the use of camera gear intended for his or her pursuit. That's the main reason we have Leica around. Sure, an artist can create photographic art using an Instamatic but that Instamatic art will never stray beyond the technical capabilities of that camera.

03-24-2013, 01:20 PM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by B Grace Quote
These discussions always point back for me to the old belief that 90% of the pictures we take can be captured with 90% of the cameras available. It's the remaining 10% of the photographs which require more sophisticated hardware. It's difficult to properly meter an available dark scene if a point-and-shoot camera lacks exposure compensation or a full manual mode. I knew a guy who had bought 100% into the "it's not the camera..." philosophy who couldn't understand why his point-and-shoot shots of his son's high school basketball games weren't what he wanted them to be.

I also think about the extremes. There are the photo-art shamans and gurus out there doing their thing brilliantly with Instamatics and there are rank-and-file guys shooting rubbish with Hasselblads. We're all somewhere in between there. There are so many different levels to photography ranging from the extreme technical end such as exposure metering or the mechanical means for attaining the exposure value you believe to be correct to the mystical end of the spectrum where the art is made via composition and choosing that appropriate exposure value. Gear has little relevance to the subjective side of making art but it is certainly important to the objective side of technical mastery. It's simply pure coincidence that 90% of the cameras can capture 90% of the photographs. My Purdy paint brushes can apply paint to my house very nicely but I wouldn't use them to duplicate the Mona Lisa.

I guess my question though is what's wrong with photographers being interested in the gear they use? I own at least ten different hammers ranging from a tack hammer to two different sledgehammers to a wire wheel knock-off hammer for my MG Midget. Could a master mechanic remove a wheel knock-off from my MG using a tack hammer? I have five or six different circular saw blades in my workshop plus at least four different handsaws. You must actually use both crosscut and ripping handsaws to understand the differences between them and the need for having both available. Can a fine cabinetry carpenter create high quality furniture using nothing more than a coping saw? Would he or she want to do so? I use crosscut and ripping handsaws plus a back saw, coping saw, and a wonderful Japanese pull saw. And those are all just for wood. My wife and I have collected maybe a couple dozen board games over the past 25 years. Who wants to play the same board game on every rainy or snowy evening for the rest of their lives? Why would I not be interested in different types of camera gear for my needs? Am I ever going to make a huge lateral trade on camera gear such as moving to Canon? Nope. No ill will toward someone who does though. It sure seems like this is a question of breadth vs. depth in our interests in photography and I wonder if the folks following the "it's not the camera..." philosophy are more highly focused on one style of photography, portraiture for example, than I. Let's just say there are a lot of nicely captured daylight landscape shots out there and it's not really due to the camera gear being used.

Finally, there is such a thing as buying a new piece of camera gear to open new channels for creativity. It's not guaranteed or anything but it does happen. There are also distinct benefits achieved from using proper gear for a given task. It's not necessarily an issue of build quality or resolution from sensors or format size but more often a combination of all of those factors and more. Still, I'd lay odds on any professional photographer seeing a more deliberate and focused line of creativity derived from the use of camera gear intended for his or her pursuit. That's the main reason we have Leica around. Sure, an artist can create photographic art using an Instamatic but that Instamatic art will never stray beyond the technical capabilities of that camera.
nicely put
03-29-2013, 08:49 AM   #63
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These are some of the first photos that my niece took just a few minutes after picking up the little Canon P&S that I gave her. I was really proud of her and I think she did really well. They are simple but they show real talent and I hope that she continues.



03-29-2013, 11:29 AM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by john5100 Quote
These are some of the first photos that my niece took just a few minutes after picking up the little Canon P&S that I gave her. I was really proud of her and I think she did really well. They are simple but they show real talent and I hope that she continues.
My friend's (then twelve years old) daughter once showed me her "portfolio" (because she knew I was a "photographer")

The girl had taken photos on her phone camera, and edited them, and created a slide show in Powerpoint complete with transition effects and borders.

I was amazed.

I kept encouraging my friend (her mother) to buy her a good camera to allow her obvious skills to blossom, but apparently they don't want to encourage her photography. Pity.

She's in high school now. Apparently she is the designated photographer during vacations.

03-30-2013, 08:10 AM   #65
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Maybe it is the camera? If you shoot with a camera you love, and therefore shoot often and plentiful, like the proverbial "blind hog" that sometimes finds an acorn, you are bound to get a keeper once in a while!

Then again, maybe it is the subject? If you shoot interesting or lovely subjects, your odds of "approval" seem to skyrocket, don't they!

I think I have discovered my true calling in photography......Toy Cameras! I'm no Pro, never gonna be, but I love to shoot. I have a K5 (love it!) and some of the finest lenses made to fit it, both the 360 and 540 flash units, and a ton of other great (and expensive) gear.
The camera I use the most? Toy Camera X10 and since last Wednesday the new X20. For some reason, I just love shooting with these little marvels...I get excited when I hold them in my hands, and more excited when I start clicking away with them. You guys are good, I love what you do, some of you are my favorite shooters and I look for and admire your work.....but I think I am a Toy Camera shooter. Do you still like me?

Best Regards!

My new X20 is Silver and Black, and that's what I attribute to its fantastic abilities for such a small little thing!

Could be just the subject though?

X20---Lacie
[IMG] [/IMG]

[IMG] [/IMG]
03-31-2013, 12:10 PM   #66
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The camera make/type/model is superfluous to me - it's the image that counts

I also appreciate when someone post really great images from different cameras as it opens my eyes to possible future purchases

So ja really cool pics from your "toy" Rupert

Taken with a Nikon D5100 16-85 VR and a Hoya Polariser filter - oh yes I did clone out the flare in the final display image;-)


Last edited by dylansalt; 03-31-2013 at 12:16 PM.
03-31-2013, 12:23 PM   #67
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I like the toy camera concept. Nice theme for a book. So many people believe that a high end camera makes perfect pictures, but the real processor is in the eye of the photographer. Just look at all of the wonderful pictures that we have that were made using an old Brownie Box Camera....those were pin hole cameras! I am a fan of fine cameras however, but just because they intrigue me. Modern DSLR cameras too complex for me to figure out. I just do my best. I just took this one with a P&S.



Not a great image, but it does kind of bring a tear to my eye.

Here's another:

The printing on the plate next to the couple was just a happy accident.


Last edited by stepmac; 03-31-2013 at 12:30 PM.
03-31-2013, 12:35 PM   #68
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How time marches on! Remember when you couldn't buy one of these things for $300!? Now the little Cabbage Patch Doll reclines in a junk store, and costs about $5. I like the heart.

04-01-2013, 05:19 AM   #69
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A great photographer can take an award winning caliber image on any phone camera, toy camera, Holga camera, or whatever is given to him.
04-04-2013, 07:49 PM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote
A great photographer can take an award winning caliber image on any phone camera, toy camera, Holga camera, or whatever is given to him.
And any half-ass photographer can mess up the best of opportunities with the finest camera in the world, and blame the camera every time! I know!
Regards!
04-04-2013, 08:08 PM   #71
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But great photographers can use the best tools to get results even more amazing and unique than with a phone cam. Also depends on the genre of photography.
04-04-2013, 08:14 PM   #72
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In most cases, I definitely agree that the photographer is the one who makes or breaks the shot. Here is an exception--the first shot was taken with my iPad and the second with my Canon S90 compact.



04-04-2013, 08:22 PM   #73
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It's been a while, Heather. Welcome back. And yes, that's one practical example of what I meant.
The tool is important as well, but thesedays, people are trying to compare dSLRs when between them there really isn't much they can't do. It's when we break it down to the physical qualities of the camera that we realise that the differences are more fundamental (sensor size/quality, lens quality) than the finer details (fps, extreme high ISO performance, AF speed).
04-05-2013, 07:00 AM   #74
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The old saying, about the camera you have with you being the best is so true. If you find one that you always want with you, you have found your magic camera. It can be any brand or any size or shape, but if it is with you always and meets your needs, you will be a happy shooter! I'm a happy shooter!
Regards!
04-06-2013, 05:52 PM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
In most cases, I definitely agree that the photographer is the one who makes or breaks the shot. Here is an exception--the first shot was taken with my iPad and the second with my Canon S90 compact.
The exception to your exception would be that if you had the iPad, you would use it to take a subject matter within it's own limitations. A good photographer wouldn't just use the lesser means for the fun of it -- they'd know exactly how to use it, when to use it, and when not to.
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