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Why does photography attract Techie people?

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Westers  93905 forum posts Burkina Faso1 Constructive Critique Points
11 Mar 2006 - 9:45 AM

Probably going to make a load of enemies with this one but what the hell.

Ok, so what is it about photography that attracts techie people?

For me the camera is a tool like a paintbrush is to an artist. I really couldn't give a damn about circles of confusion (or whatever they're called), and understanding the technical architecture behind camera/lens designs really doesn't make me take better photos.

I thought photography was about creativy; a right brain kind of thinking (with a hint of left brain). So why does this creative hobby attract so many people who want to argue the minutiae of lens and camera design when it really doesn't matter?

I mean, you don't find this with artists or knitting circles?

Or do you?

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keithh e2 Member 1023194 forum postskeithh vcard Wallis and Futuna33 Constructive Critique Points
11 Mar 2006 - 9:54 AM

I wouldn't worry, Ian. Once upon a time there was a man called Ansel Adams, a well known pre-tech techie who espoused the Zonal System. Many of his contempories applauded this highly technical way of taking snapshots and that applause resounded down the decades to this day....while of course most people hadn't got, nor cared less, what the old duffer was rabitting on about.

MattB  8251 forum posts
11 Mar 2006 - 9:56 AM

Quote: So why does this creative hobby attract so many people who want to argue the minutiae of lens and camera design when it really doesn't matter?

Because in my opinion it does matter. The better the kit, the better your start point for making a great picture. I think....

keithh e2 Member 1023194 forum postskeithh vcard Wallis and Futuna33 Constructive Critique Points
11 Mar 2006 - 10:01 AM

The start point to a great picture is you and your eyes.

ahollowa  101070 forum posts England
11 Mar 2006 - 10:05 AM

With out the techies that are interested in the hobbie you would all still be shooting box brownies. Some may say that would be better. Not me my foot firmly with the techies. I would love to be a artie sort but I'm not so this is my outlet into creativity leave me alone I'm having fun!!!!



David_c  9244 forum posts United Kingdom
11 Mar 2006 - 10:06 AM

isnt digital partly the answer ? dave
i'm assuming you are asking a question and not just stirring up techie bashing ......

vambo  8151 forum posts United Kingdom
11 Mar 2006 - 10:07 AM

The more you understand, the better you can be and that applies as much to what you choose to shoot as it does to what you shoot it with. In my opinion, while in the limit the tech minutiae do make a difference to a few individuals, for the great majority of people (myself included) any modern SLR/Lens is more than adequate. Lack of technique is the limiting factor.
Better kit can give you slightly more options at shooting time - assuming you know how to use it. But it doesnt make better pictures.

11 Mar 2006 - 10:08 AM

So why does this creative hobby attract so many people who want to argue

'Cos you can't beat a damn good argument! Smile

Tho' what photography has got to do with eyes, I've yet to work out! Smile

11 Mar 2006 - 10:10 AM

I have to agree with the first post - I had the pleasure of knowing a photographer sadly now passed away, who had a long career as a photographer, including primarily working for the BBC, he always carried a standard point & shoot in his pocket, and he himself would point out the fact that some of his greatest photographs (and I assure you he had a lot)were captured on this the cheapest pice of kit he had. To him it was all a matter of being at the right place at the right time and having an eye to see what other people might not. Personally I think you can have the best kit available, but it will not make you a good photographer, if the eye to capture the moment is missing.

Chris_H  101472 forum posts1 Constructive Critique Points
11 Mar 2006 - 10:11 AM

I kind of agree with what you are saying though Ian, in my opinion 90% of people who seem to spend half of there time arguing about the finner technical stuff seem to be crap at taking pictures, although the other 10% are excellent, if you can take pictures and you know about the technical stuff then you are going to get even better results.
Hyperfocal focusing etc if you get it right is going to improve your photography improve your so its worth using it if you can.

A lot of people are obsessed with kit and the finner details, but if you go back through the years they had to be, photography has got easier as cameras do more stuff for you.
With reagards to better kit gives you a headstart I would disagree, better knowledge gives you a head start.
If I was new to photography I would much rather spend money on a course/workshop to learn the basics than I would buying all the best kit.
The photographer I assist at wedding was in a camera shop a few weeks back a guy came in to bring a 1Ds MK2 camera back as he said the pictures were soft, he had never used a DSLR only a compact camera before, some people think buying better kit makes them a better photographer.

You only have to look at some good pictures in the past, Last year I saw a number of A4 sized prints made from glass plates around a 100 years ago, the sharpness and detail was stunning.


11 Mar 2006 - 10:11 AM

I first picked up a camera at aged 9.
I didnt get my engineering degrees until I was 21 and 22.

I was crap at art at school apart from the year they did still life when I came top of the year. Funny that I could be crap at everything except noticing the detail, angles, shadows etc of everything in front of me.

On Friday I got a call from a mate of mine who has been a pro photographer for over 20 years, previously with own studio etc etc. We usually meet up for coffee and have a yarn every week or so and he handed me his D2X, Ipaq, G4 and said - here see if you can get these talking to each other. 20 mins later - sorted.

Maybe I just like the technical side of things Wink

Whenever I was a software engineer it was useful to have an appreciation of how things worked in the background for that one day in a million you might actually have to know these things. Right now I have no idea how many megapixels my 1D2 has 7.9. 8.3, 9, 10, 12? no idea. I think its about 8 something but there you go.

I dont know the actual frame rate, its about 8 something? I do know however that all those megapixels and that frame rate will under certain circumstances get me a photo that wont be possible on a 6MP, 3 FPS camera, once in a while. So once in every while knowing the architecture, knowing how the sensor is put together, which colours are more sensitive, how hot pixels develop, how quickly things write to cards, and the whole mechanism of what happens from when that impulse leaves the back of my eye to the image appearing on the laptop, might just make the difference.

Then again, maybe its just me Wink

I used to fish a lot and used to read a lot of articles about oval filament, carbon weave versus kevlar, using rubber instead of plastic lures or which particular shade of orange mayfly would go for depending on barometric conditions.

Takes all sorts.

ljesmith  101092 forum posts United Kingdom
11 Mar 2006 - 10:17 AM

In my experience the more you can learn about the technical side of photography the easier it gets to ignore it and concentrate on taking better photographs.

In my experience.

SuziBlue  1116195 forum posts Scotland10 Constructive Critique Points
11 Mar 2006 - 10:19 AM

LOL Mark .. well for a start I defy you to have a blindfold strapped on, be spun round and then asked to take a decent picture. Although, what comes out could possibly end up being an abstract or avant-garde candid .. Wink

I think there are techie sides to all creative pursuits - and vice versa. Someone might be interested in the frequencies of a piece of music and enjoy its patterns on an oscillator, and compose music with that visual screen in mind, whereas someone else might scratch notes on a stave in a freezing garret by the light of a guttering candle and hear the whole piece in their head.

Look at the precise work of Escher, and compare it with that of someone like Pollock, or Turner.

I've got an eye for a picture, but it doesn't always necessarily follow that I can translate that into a photograph, or even that I want to. Sometimes it comes out as something else, like a painting, or a story, or a poem. Granted, it helps me if I can learn as much as I can about a camera, but if what I'm looking at doesn't grab me in some way, I'm not going to take a photograph that I'm happy with.

11 Mar 2006 - 10:19 AM

Neatly put, Luke! I did get wrapped up in the technical - now I push it to one side. Sadly, the artistic side remains elusive! Sad

Edit: That's me, Suzi - carried away with the oscillations! Shame its a camera I've got! Sad

c_evans99  117013 forum posts Wales1 Constructive Critique Points
11 Mar 2006 - 10:24 AM

In defence of pere Ansel (though I think he's had a malign influence on landscape photography in general), the zone system was effctive in its time when working with LF film/plates with limited exposure latitude and precise control of contrast was very necessary. Utterly tonto idea with miniature film tho where you can bracket to your heart's content... of course this is probably the sort of techie knowledge that pisses off the 'artistic' Smile

Do we have a romantic notion of artistic ability, that there is somehow a wellspring of genius from which great art emerges effortlessly? Painters for example go through a great deal of 'techie stuff' preparing surfaces, paints and brushes etc before a stroke is laid down.


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