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lemmy
lemmy  61673 forum posts United Kingdom
18 Jan 2013 - 11:18 AM


Quote: But much, much longer to learn how to take a good photograph with it

The thing that most newcomers struggle with most is learning what a good picture is, not how to use modern cameras, which essentially use themselves.

The bane of any professional photographer's life is friend and family wanting opinions on their holiday pictures. Pix of your family are nice for the family but not good pictures as such usually, so there is little that you can give by way of opinion other than 'very nice'. The pictures are good because they are pictures of loved ones and personal. The trick is to produce pictures that speak to people who do not know you or you know them, that express something personal.

To produce good pictures you have to have something to say, something you want to express. Just as most of us people cannot write a professional standard story or a good tune, we cannot take a really original picture either. Cartier Bresson could, Avedon could, Delgardo can because they see the world in their own way, differently from most people and they express that.

Cameras are nothing to do with that whatsoever. The idea that you get the best pictures at a wedding by taking thousands and then choosing afterwards is like cutting up a dictionary and jumbling the words in the hope of getting a story. Modern technology make sit possible but it is a road to nowhere. It is what encourages the chancers and pin money pros to set themselves up in business.

I understand the idea that a better camera makes a better photographer and I like cameras as much as anyone else. But a better high ISO capability is train spotter stuff. My mate Ken, a highly talented national newspaper photographer covered my wedding for me with two Leicas with 35 and 90mm lenses and 400ISO film.

I have superb pictures in a dimly lit building, lively, engaging pictures capturing all the highlights of the day - oh yes, all shot on 4 rolls of 35mm. But then Ken knew how to hand hold a camera at very low shutter speeds, how to shoot pictures watching the subject over the camera rather than through the finder, how to set a distance and not need to focus for the faster happening shots. OMG, manual focus!

I read a very good interview with Mario Testino in the Observer recently. A long piece about his work and how he got to the top. Guess what? Not a single mention of a camera.

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18 Jan 2013 - 11:18 AM

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Focus_Man
Focus_Man  4481 forum posts United Kingdom631 Constructive Critique Points
18 Jan 2013 - 11:45 AM


Quote: The idea that you get the best pictures at a wedding by taking thousands and then choosing afterwards is like cutting up a dictionary and jumbling the words in the hope of getting a story. Modern technology make sit possible but it is a road to nowhere. It is what encourages the chancers and pin money pros to set themselves up in business.

Super description.

pulsar69
pulsar69  91611 forum posts United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
18 Jan 2013 - 1:17 PM

This is all getting a little tedious , to be fair everyone is entitled to their opinion however the weight of an opinion from someone with no experience in wedding photography and in some cases no experience in business is very little. To understand modern wedding photography you need to practise it otherwise your views are pretty much guesswork.

Sooty_1
Sooty_1 Critique Team 31125 forum posts United Kingdom192 Constructive Critique Points
18 Jan 2013 - 1:35 PM

I've shot weddings in both the old days and the modern digital age. And I think it's pretty much spot on. Machine gunning pictures in the hope of getting a few good ones just results in a lot of discarded pictures.
Someone I know (but don't respect much as a photographer) shot a society wedding. He shot over 3500 shots and ended up with around 10 good ones, 25 reasonable ones and a few he included that in my opinion should never have been. That means around 35 from 3500, or a 1% hit rate. With film you'd need just under 100 36-exposure films. Doesn't this mean that less care is taken? If you can achieve your aim with far fewer shots, and you really aren't increasing back up probability (you just make the same mistakes more times), better to save the wear on camera gear and have fewer pictures to sort through. I can easily shoot a wedding on a couple of hundred frames or less.

Nick

pulsar69
pulsar69  91611 forum posts United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
18 Jan 2013 - 2:09 PM

Thats fine and I respect your opinion as a practising wedding photographer ? which i presume you are , I would love to see the comparative results of a wedding shot on less than 200 frames ?

paulcookphotography


Quote: This is all getting a little tedious , to be fair everyone is entitled to their opinion however the weight of an opinion from someone with no experience in wedding photography and in some cases no experience in business is very little. To understand modern wedding photography you need to practise it otherwise your views are pretty much guesswork.

So only the views of wedding phorographers is relevant on whether its the camera or the talent that makes someone a better photographer? Or what other professional have a relevant opinion? However you do state that everyone is entitled to an opinion (rather contradictory).

Personally I don't shoot weddings. I did a few at one point but it wasn't really the direction I wanted to go. These days I work with the happy couple a few weeks after the event to produce dramatic editorial style images that they perhaps want on canvas or large framed prints. This requires a good understanding of location lighting, set dressing, location searching, people skills, business sense, processing skills, directing (clients and assistants) oh, and of course, knowing how to use my cameras and equipment to get the best from them and the results I require. Kinda the same skills you require in wedding photography and many other photographic professions. None of this equipment would be worth it without training, experience and artistic flair

pulsar69
pulsar69  91611 forum posts United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
18 Jan 2013 - 2:17 PM

and for anyone else with opinions who would like to step up to the plate and back them up i would love to see your wedding photos ? mine are plainly accessible through my website and I am paid an average thousand pounds by 40-50 clients every year . who are all happy with the results as the many client reviews on my site will show.

Being part of an online photo community is great and its nice to pat each other on the back and encourage each other even when sometimes the photos are pretty average. I am one of the few on here who has a successful business in photography and in these times believe me if i wasn't any good i would already be gone, if the people on here don't wont to hear the views of professionals practicing what they aspire to then i will happily sit down and not bother as i have plenty of work to be doing !

pulsar69
pulsar69  91611 forum posts United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
18 Jan 2013 - 2:20 PM

sorry but pre-wedding shoots and portrait shoots are a walk in the park ( literally ) compared to wedding photography, not the same ball game at all and I do both.

paulcookphotography


Quote: Sorry but pre-wedding shoots and portrait shoots are a walk in the park ( literally ) compared to wedding photography, not the same ball game at all and I do both.

Actually, shooting after is called post-wedding. And i did not say they were the same, but use the same (or similar) skills that you have mentioned

Nobody has said you dont have quality in your work or that you are not professional. I dont think anyone is attempting to rubbish what you do either. My only issue is your views (or changing views) about what makes a good photographer, that a professional should know his camera inside out, and to a certain degree, what makes a professional

Last Modified By paulcookphotography at 18 Jan 2013 - 3:36 PM
Focus_Man
Focus_Man  4481 forum posts United Kingdom631 Constructive Critique Points
18 Jan 2013 - 2:27 PM

[quote]This is all getting a little tedious , to be fair everyone is entitled to their opinion however the weight of an opinion from someone with no experience in wedding photography and in some cases no experience in business is very little. To understand modern wedding photography you need to practise it otherwise your views are pretty much guesswork.[/quote

In case you have me in mind I was a semi-professional wedding photographer (20 per year)until 1995 and a professional industrial photographer and ran a successful engineering consultancy business alongside from 1995 until retirement in 2005.

pulsar69
pulsar69  91611 forum posts United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
18 Jan 2013 - 2:31 PM

They use similar skills apart from one major one and that is dealing with pressure , which is what separates those who do and those who talk about doing it. I have just last week completed a 'Trash the dress shoot' for a couple who's wedding I photographed , the differences are immense in terms of freedom of location and time in a TTD shoot . there are no pressures on either the photographer or the couple and that makes the environment and job that much easier.

You decided weddings was not the way you wanted to go ? but are happy to shoot the couple afterwards. That was your choice , but it doesn't give you an insight into running a wedding photography business.

pulsar69
pulsar69  91611 forum posts United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
18 Jan 2013 - 2:33 PM

Focus_Man , a semi pro wedding photographer who hasn't shot a wedding in 17 years ! I rest my case. How could you possibly pretend to know my business ? I certainly dont pretend to know how to run a consultancy.

pulsar69
pulsar69  91611 forum posts United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
18 Jan 2013 - 2:34 PM

Lol, someone let me know when a wedding photographer passes through, I have work to do ...

Focus_Man
Focus_Man  4481 forum posts United Kingdom631 Constructive Critique Points
18 Jan 2013 - 2:53 PM


Quote: Focus_Man , a semi pro wedding photographer who hasn't shot a wedding in 17 years ! I rest my case. How could you possibly pretend to know my business ? I certainly dont pretend to know how to run a consultancy.

I know how to run and manage a wedding day, take a set of 50 excellent wedding pictures (not necessary to take hundreds or thousands in the hope of getting a few good ones) and unlike you I know all about DoF FL etc etc etc I also rest my case. Whatever you do you should have a thorough knowledge of photography it seems to me by your questions that you are not at that stage yet. Complete your photographic apprenticeship first then see if you can walk the walk instead of talking the talk.

mikehit
mikehit e2 Member 45766 forum postsmikehit vcard United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
18 Jan 2013 - 3:25 PM

It seems you guys are talking at cross-purposes.
Shooting weddings in the days of film and days of digital I am sure have completely different pre-wedding expectations regards number of shots and different post-wedding workflow - many photogrpahers would pass the film to a lab to develop but now they tend to it themselves. I suspect that many of those who say 'in the days of film I used to take only 50 shots' fail to acknowledge that it was not out of choice, but simply because it was impractical and in many cases bordering on commercial suicide to shoot any more. And although that necessity did teach very important skills, I reckon that the technology in digital cameras (and computers!) enables a photographer to go pro earlier in the learning curve. But that does not necessarily mean the client is being shafted.
And without jumping to Pulsar's defence, I would say that donig 50 a year sounds like competence to me.

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