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Better Cameras DO Take Better Photographs


petebfrance 2 1.3k France
25 May 2012 10:35AM
Well, I think I need a better camera, (to be) a better photographer and better software. Don't forget the software - how many people routinely put their shots they are going to show through Photoshop / Lightroom (or in my case an old copy of PainshopPro)? As it is I'll bumble along.....

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lemmy 7 2.0k United Kingdom
25 May 2012 10:45AM

Quote:As it is I'll bumble along.....


Yes, like that Cartier-Bresson did. An old Leica, a 50mm lens and some film. Pity he couldn't afford some decent gear he'd have taken much better pictures Wink
ade_mcfade e2
10 14.8k 216 England
25 May 2012 10:53AM

Quote:how many people routinely put their shots they are going to show through Photoshop / Lightroom


Everyone

Remember - the graphics tablet is mightier than the lens.

The "online community" photographic "bar" is now set by your prowess in processing - I was on 500PX reading a rant from some european photographer was lamenting the fact that the site promoted over-processing and stylisation over substance via its Editors Choice selections - and whatever else it has on there. Its whereever you look.

Think about it....

How many digital art style shots actually need a perfectly sharp and exposed shot as a starting point, when they're going to have texture layers, cross processing, mud filters and all that gubbins placed on top? Surely an iPhone 4s image will do?

Obviously, a beautifully lit, perfectly focussed shot with a Hassleblad H3 would be a better start point, but is it really needed any more?

Would anyone agree with this statement......

To excel on internet Photographic community websites, invest in Photoshop and Processing tuition, rather than upgrading your kit.
lobsterboy e2
10 14.2k 13 United Kingdom
25 May 2012 10:58AM

Quote:Would anyone agree with this statement......

To excel on internet Photographic community websites, invest in Photoshop and Processing tuition, rather than upgrading your kit.



I would.
lemmy 7 2.0k United Kingdom
25 May 2012 11:15AM

Quote:To excel on internet Photographic community websites, invest in Photoshop and Processing tuition, rather than upgrading your kit.


Yes, provided your kit is up to a reasonable standard.

The only trouble with all the post processing is that it leads to such blandness. There's a kind of photo perfection possible now through correction and enhancement in software. The trouble is, when everything is perfect nothing is exciting.

Imagine Capa's D-Day pictures in colour, perfectly exposed, perfectly sharp, perfectly composed and enhanced, the sea is blue, the sky cloudy, the wave tops prettily blurred as all moving water is nowadays. They would look like film stills.

Instead, they are grainy (bad!), processing was ***ed up(bad!), they are blurred(Bad!)......but they make you feel like you are there (good!)
JackAllTog e2
5 3.7k 58 United Kingdom
25 May 2012 11:16AM

Quote:Would anyone agree with this statement......
To excel on internet Photographic community websites, invest in Photoshop and Processing tuition, rather than upgrading your kit.

Agreed, but also so much of what i really like is processed - there are exceptions but I shamefully admit that most of what i like is created at length rather than just taken.
I say shamefully as for ages i hoped that i could always find a way lighting or staging a shot in a way that did not need processing, i now conclude that this is only possible for some genres and not for all.
I support this needed processing view in the portrait genre with the fact that so many professional photographers I've heard of can't give the client shots straight out of an affordable Camera. I acknowledge that some can and so I still partially aspire to this, however until I can master that LR+elements will always be my buddy.
cameraman 11 227 1 England
25 May 2012 11:20AM

Quote:Yes, like that Cartier-Bresson did. An old Leica, a 50mm lens and some film. Pity he couldn't afford some decent gear


And I thought Leicas were 'decent gear'. Seems like I've been mislead all these years.
lemmy 7 2.0k United Kingdom
25 May 2012 11:28AM

Quote:And I thought Leicas were 'decent gear'. Seems like I've been mislead all these years.


By modern standards crude, clunky and slow. Manual focus, manual exposure with no built in meter, to change ISO you need to change the film and no zoom lenses. I used an M2 with 35mm and M3 with 90mm alongside my Nikons for many years, nice quality but limited even by original Nikon F standards.

I am judging by modern standards - and by those standards few would have the skill to use such a camera. Thus, by modern standards it is not 'decent gear'.
ade_mcfade e2
10 14.8k 216 England
25 May 2012 11:55AM

Quote:I support this needed processing view in the portrait genre with the fact that so many professional photographers I've heard of can't give the client shots straight out of an affordable Camera


Interesting - which professionals are you thinking about ?

Bear in mind that if you shoot RAW you have to do "some" processing to get them into a viewable form.... I've not had many clients who I'd send CR2 files to, they seem to prefer ones they can click on and look at easily.

Also, many clients are blissfully happy with the unedited preview files you send for them to choose from... it may be hard to believe, but often they're not photoshop geeks who are looking for noise and sharpness Wink

Often, getting the shots to the client quickly is the no. 1 priority - esp. with news/sport.

An example...

Runcorn - client's bought a new property and doing it up for office space. Needed shots to make it look better than it currently is - so booked me to do the HDR thing. Needed a sunny day... cancelled the shoot 3 times as April was a washout... Eventually gets there and get 600 CR2 files of HDR triplets... the need the shots the next day for their brochure... With Lightroom V4 and Photomatix V4.2, managed to batch the lot and get the blended and "nearly there" previews delivered the same day (was about 11PM mind.... Wink )

Anyway - got a weekend of drinking to attend now.... so best get packed and off on the road Smile
Carabosse e2
11 39.5k 269 England
25 May 2012 12:08PM

Quote:Yes, like that Cartier-Bresson did. An old Leica, a 50mm lens and some film. Pity he couldn't afford some decent gear he'd have taken much better pictures


His photos may have been technically better with modern digital equipment.

However, he would be living in an age where a middle-aged man sneaking around taking pictures such as this or this , would be in danger of adverse public reaction!
JackAllTog e2
5 3.7k 58 United Kingdom
25 May 2012 12:17PM

Quote:
Interesting - which professionals are you thinking about ?

Also, many clients are blissfully happy with the unedited preview files you send for them to choose from



Good points Ade, and i agree.
My "professionals" are some of the other photographers on model websites that never give the model the shoots on the day, but rather process them then send them on. Similar MO for some of the better club members i know.
And also the TV programs that show the support processing team for the photographer. Where each photographer knows the work that gets out with their name on it will wither increase or reduce future sales.

I also know there are many professionals on epZ and these are why i say " I acknowledge that some can and so I still partially aspire to this " and i only know of these through epZ.

Also your 2nd point - blissfully happy - Frustratingly true, its very rare that a model asks for a shot to be reprocessed despite me telling them i'll do it if they want. And its not that they are unhappy as most times the pics quickly become their FB profile pics and they come back for 2nd shoots.

I've still so much to learn, and also now recognise that some photographers get to a level where improvements are no longer visible to the general public. Yet the general public still buys magazine images that are processed to these very high standards.
I want to be able to see those "improvements" in technique and processing and hopefully one day also contribute to them.
ade_mcfade e2
10 14.8k 216 England
25 May 2012 12:34PM
Really depends on the "use" of the photos

I started out doing the shoot and spending ages editing loads of shots to show clients only for them to choose 1 or 2, all the other edits were wasted time (though they are in the portfolio, so not totally lost time)

Now I'm more likely to "offer" the client (their choice) all the previews to choose from, then edit the ones they select, so 100% of the editing time us used effectively. An alternative is that I choose the agreed "n" photos and deliver those. Either way, I'm trying to avoid wasting time editing stuff that doesn't get used.

Lightroom makes previews easy...

write a nice generic "preset" in Lightroom
when you "import" just apply that
then write an export recipe for "preview", bung your watermark on at this point too, then export the lot

They can then choose their 10 shots, or whatever you've agreed., Do your magic on them in processing and deliver as agreed...


obvious flaws.... unedited watermarked shots can "get out" - you got to make them agree that they'll not use the previews anywhere....
they see rubbish shots in the previews .... if you're worried, go through and score each shot out of 5, just send the 4-5's, maybe the 3's if you're struggling. Can take a long time though.
cameraman 11 227 1 England
25 May 2012 3:09PM

Quote:Pity he couldn't afford some decent gear


At the time he was using cutting edge technology, the best that there was.


Quote:crude, clunky and slow. Manual focus, manual exposure with no built in meter, to change ISO you need to change the film and no zoom lenses


That was the camera of the time, everyone just got on with it and took pictures. Nothing particularly special in using one. I am sure that you, I and many others here started our photographic life using such cameras. It's no big deal. Most of us use the most modern type of camera available, very few hang on to the oldies. Either way, the end result can be good or bad, depending on the photographer's skill and the viewer's perception.
monstersnowman 9 1.7k 1 England
25 May 2012 3:40PM

Quote:Either way, the end result can be good or bad, depending on the photographer's skill and the viewer's perception.

And the viewers perception of the photographers skill ... I have had cause to look back over many old, past celebrated photographers' images and wondered if one of us pitched up with a few of their much published images as our own would they be received as well because some of us have no pedigree. I guess I know the answer, that provenance plays a massive part in some, if not many cases.
Carabosse e2
11 39.5k 269 England
25 May 2012 3:52PM

Quote:I have had cause to look back over many old, past celebrated photographers' images and wondered if one of us pitched up with a few of their much published images as our own would they be received as well because some of us have no pedigree


They sure wouldn't get many votes on EPZ. Wink

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