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I was there

By gary_d
This is a copy of my forum post this morning.

I received a PM from a gentleman yesterday pointing out the reasons why my wildlife and bird images are not up to his standard, he set out a list of things I should do to improve.

Whilst I totally agree with the fact that his work is far superior to mine and that the message was sent with my best interests in mind I feel I must draw up my own list as why in my case it is not possible.

All but a very few of my images are taken while out with my dog Patch, most of you know him very well, the reason I go out is for his and my exercise and the photography comes a close second.

I do not have the luxury of carrying a tripod or sitting in a purpose build hide with perfect backgrounds but rely on spotting a subject in the wild and sometimes I get lucky and get close enough to get a shot, thatís if Patch as not already ran in front and scared it away.

I feel I have to write this because not all images should be judged against each other but circumstances should be taken in to consideration.

I except that my level of ability and circumstances means I will never be the best but still enjoy photography and that should be what it is about surely.

This image is a prime example, not perfect but had I not been out with Patch I would not have seen it let alone photographed it.

Rant over.

Regards. - gary

Tags: General Wildlife and nature


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Comments


Jaydee007 9 34 2 England
18 Nov 2012 11:55AM
Photography is about the taker enjoying the experience of catching the event on their camera whatever that event might be. I agree with you Gary. I gave up wildlife as a subject because I knew my photography skills were better than the pics I took Grin

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Hermanus 5 4 South Africa
18 Nov 2012 12:03PM
What a beautiful bird ! Great photo Smile I take photos because I like it and like to share- if people like them, wonderful, if not - we have individual tastes, so what! In a world of individuals comparison is a futile activity Smile
Glostopcat 11 255 2 England
18 Nov 2012 12:14PM
A terrific opportunistic capture Gary, this majestic raptor is posing so proudly for you. Most of my pics are rarely planned either, particularly the wildlife ones, it is only when i go to somewhere like Slimbridge that I have the luxury of setting up my gear for a particular shot.
mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1812 United Kingdom
18 Nov 2012 12:32PM

Quote:Photography is about the taker enjoying the experience of catching the event on their camera

Precisely. I think there is a big divide here between the single-minded specialists (I well remember a pm that I had years ago from one of them, I will quote one immortal line. 'I spend hours building a hide from scratch, I sit in it up to my knees in water for hours at a time. That's real photography, everything else is just snaps'), and those of us who will cheerfully try to extract an image from our day-to-day experience. For me photography is about the feel of the moment , captured by someone who has technical understanding sufficient to convey that experience.
There's a place here for both, but they need to be recognised as different types of photography.
There is a fair amount on the site that is technically superb but leaves me cold. I've said before that I reckon I can often tell when a picture has been taken on a photographer's 'home turf', somewhere that they know intimately and love. Whether that's you out with Patch, Mick at Leith waterfront, Joline by her lake, Sue on Southampton Common. Such images aren't trying to shout out 'Look how clever I am'.
That's the sort of work that I actually enjoy looking at. So don't worry. I think we are all trying to learn, improve. In our own ways.
Moira
mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1812 United Kingdom
18 Nov 2012 12:55PM
PS I've only ever uploaded a handful of images under the Wildlife tag, I can remember them vividly because they were all from experiences such as this - you are out for a walk, and something wonderful happens... A young heron that let me get up close, gulls feeding on dead crabs, gulls queuing up for chips... Your title is spot on. I tend to include the Photo Journalism tag for such images because that's what they are - a journal is after all a record of a day's experiences and observations, whether it is compiled for your own viewing or for publication.
EAS 8 1 13 Scotland
18 Nov 2012 1:00PM
I've always enjoyed taking a stroll about your part of the world along with Patch. Some wonderful "finds" en route for all of us as a result. Since joining epz there's been the odd unpleasant comment in various pfs. I think we should feel rather sorry for anyone finding it necessary to say something hurtful, though I know it only takes one unkind comment to shatter the pleasure of all the other kindly ones. I've always felt if you don't like an image, don't leave any c&c and just move on to what does tick the boxes for you. Please, don't let anyone spoil your pleasure, and indeed ours, with unkindly comments and continue doing what you do so well.

Ann
Hop-A-Long 10 52 1 England
18 Nov 2012 1:02PM
Great shot.

Andy

P.S. Photography is like handwriting, everyone has their own style, if we were all the same there would be no need for sites like this because I could just look at my own photos to see what it is your shooting, that would be boooooring!
I believe in critique of images, it can help a person to grow, but it doesn't mean that the person being critical is correct, it's only their opinion.
Something I was told years ago by an artist, "Opinions are like backsides, everyone has one".Grin
luckybry 8 3 Scotland
18 Nov 2012 2:08PM
giud yin
Rende 10 38 4 Netherlands
18 Nov 2012 2:13PM
Maybe you should see them as candids as opposed to formal studio portraits, and as such they have a spontaneity and value of their own. After all you don't compare a candid with a flash-lit studio portrait. That said, I think it is a lovely, well composed, crisp capture.
Rende
Mrsbass 5 2 1 United Kingdom
18 Nov 2012 2:22PM
Gary, like yourself (with the expetion of a very few) all my potographs are taken whilst out walking in the Peaks or traveling with my husband Mr. Bass. This is the reason why when I manage to capture wildlife it makes the image magical for me. When I look though all my photographs I remember where I was and who was with me - images are fantastic memories of these times, it is nice to be able to share" your moment in time" with like minded others.
I think this is a fabulous shot.
Mrs B.
RonnieAG Plus
8 154 118 Scotland
18 Nov 2012 2:26PM
How much I agree with the remarks above, Gary, and Moira and Ann have put things so well. Therefore I need not add my tuppence worth other than to say carry on exactly as you do, enjoying what you do and allowing us to share and appreciate the results.
And this IS a fine shot, the bird captured in a natural setting and in fine detail.
Ronnie.
lovely capture great looking bird. christineGrinGrinGrinGrinGrin
ValSaxby Plus
12 146 United Kingdom
18 Nov 2012 3:11PM
A great capture Gary - Keep taking them and keep having fun.
18 Nov 2012 3:20PM
Like this Gary, also enjoy viewing your images,
Fred.
mex 9 27 3 United Kingdom
18 Nov 2012 3:26PM
Just av fun, this looks like its in 3D to me very nice.
cheers phil.
18 Nov 2012 3:27PM
I to take photo as i go around in my wheelchair so not to far from the main paths, and i will set up my own props in some places and put feeders out and sit and wait and get a clear back drop and allow me to get close but the best of it all it is all about going out with the camera and having fun and learning .ps a great shot by the way.
jj
barbarahirst 9 27 12 United Kingdom
18 Nov 2012 4:46PM
its all been said ...
but I am exactly like yourself
Jasper87 Plus
7 1.9k 150 England
18 Nov 2012 5:12PM
Amazing 3D effect, Gary. The log is sticking out of my screen and the bird is sitting half way done it.

Dave
Lillian Plus
8 22 17 United Kingdom
18 Nov 2012 5:25PM
Photography is all about what you like and if you put something up to show others..
it is because it means something to you....Gary just carry on taking Patch and yourself for your daily walks,
camera there too and the images you take...a bonus to you and even to us if we are lucky enough to be shown
Some people have tunnel vision, that's their problem not ours!! you have shown us some spectacular images over the years
and I guess some of us can even remember what happened to you on the day..because ...we share!!
A photo to be proud of above and what joy it must have given you!
Lillian
SlowSong Plus
9 7.1k 30 England
18 Nov 2012 5:27PM
Beautiful detail in the feathers Gary. Smile
And you have no need to justify yourself or your images. Each to their own. I hope the person who gave you the advice did it with the best of intentions and that you don't get upset by it.
xxx
18 Nov 2012 7:13PM
i love getting out with my dog but usually forget the camera lol always a bonus when you spot a great shot like this
RockArea 11 18 3 United Kingdom
18 Nov 2012 8:38PM
Your photography brings enjoyment to many of us, Gary, and while the specialists bring their own super images, it's great to see the fine pics you come back from your walks with.

David
Irishkate Plus
7 41 111 United Kingdom
18 Nov 2012 8:50PM
Is this a Perigrine Falcon? Apart from improving my photography by desire,
I've also learned about butterflies, shield bugs and flowers I couldn't name before on Epz.
Whatever the bird is, it is not one you come across everyday so you're right to get excited about it
and the good job you made of capturing it so well.
KateGrinGrinGrin
milky 14 Wales
18 Nov 2012 8:59PM
Great autumn capture Gary excellent work--------Milky
gary_d 10 576 13 Wales
18 Nov 2012 9:04PM
Sorry Kate I don't know either. - gary
18 Nov 2012 10:30PM
i think its great in my opinion if it conveys what you saw and felt then thats all that counts
gary_d 10 576 13 Wales
18 Nov 2012 11:38PM
Thanks Steve
cracking pic Gary keep at it and take no notice of the knockers. You get a lot of pleasure doing what you do how you do it and you get superb results by doing it your way .Your shots are taken as an oppertunist not a planned photo and I think that shines in your work
regards Clive
gary_d 10 576 13 Wales
19 Nov 2012 5:49PM
Thanks Clive
Ade_Osman 14 4.5k 36 England
19 Nov 2012 5:51PM
Work to your own standard Gary even if you aspire to other work.....I'd say it was rather impressive as Patch was in tow.

Ade
AnnChown Plus
8 202 1 United Kingdom
19 Nov 2012 10:40PM

Quote:Great shot.

Andy

P.S. Photography is like handwriting, everyone has their own style, if we were all the same there would be no need for sites like this because I could just look at my own photos to see what it is your shooting, that would be boooooring!
I believe in critique of images, it can help a person to grow, but it doesn't mean that the person being critical is correct, it's only their opinion.
Something I was told years ago by an artist, "Opinions are like backsides, everyone has one".Grin



I love Andy's comment and it sums up exactly what I think. We do what we want to do.
Love your image of this magnificent bird - it's your moment in time and that's what matters - and thanks for sharing your moments with us - I always enjoy them! Smile
Ann
zapar40 7 66 5 Wales
19 Nov 2012 10:49PM
its extra special to go out with your pet and be able to wittness and capture moments in time like this, beautifully shot.

i would miss a shot like this as i would have a plan, stick to that and have the wrong lens on at the wrong time, as i went to penarth one morning for the pier, i had the wider lens on just as a fox in good morning light was staring right at me. no time for a change before he was gone, ah well i still get to see your fab shots. thank you.
ant.
Chinga Plus
7 3 1 United Kingdom
21 Nov 2012 12:55AM
Gary, this is a beautiful shot...
You have some lovely wildlife captures in your PF. It's important to stay clear of having to just follow the "rules"...
I for one think that I would need a university degree to understand the full world of Pixels, ISO's, Depth of fields, Focal lengths, Apertures, and so on... It all leaves me rather "blurred" and the highlight of the day would be gone...
Just have fun capturing them though your lens and never mind the rest! Life's too short... Grin
Warm regards - Isabel
annettep38 Plus
6 218 40 Costa Rica
21 Nov 2012 6:14PM

Quote:Maybe you should see them as candids as opposed to formal studio portraits, and as such they have a spontaneity and value of their own. After all you don't compare a candid with a flash-lit studio portrait. That said, I think it is a lovely, well composed, crisp capture.
Rende


Oh rende has expressed it so well.
Dear Gary, I love your stuff as it looks so natural, not perfect. The perfect also has a place in my heart but it a bit like cooking a perfect meal, you need all the right ingredients, endless time etc. Normal people just do it.
I have once asked Ed why other people always have monochrome (tbh monotonous ) backgrounds behind their flutterbys and ours are usually between oof plants. Took me ages to spot that they actually rub out the b/g . Don't ask me why bother Smile birds and other flying subjects tend to be where they like Smile

I think this is a great shot, you are very lucky to get it. And you carried the right stuff and your dog helped Smile
I think I'm much like you , I always got the camera ready but my 'hide' is a french army camo net. Only since a got it I understand the sense of burkas Smile but I am fat to lazy to carry a heavy tripod and god knows what.
23 Dec 2012 4:08PM
Well that makes two of us - I like your photos!!!
(And would be more than happy to have taken some off your wildlife ones)

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