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Author Topic: Discontent  (Read 4111 times)

Rob C

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Discontent
« on: November 18, 2017, 09:28:23 AM »

From the volume of traffic of people seeking advice on this, that or the other system of cameras and lenses, would anyone agree that this is a curse not of indecision, but of far too much choice?

Strikes me that were the same effort expended on shooting and getting familiar with what one actually owns, then peace of mind and better pix may well be ours for the having...

For example, because of old eyes I now use af on the couple of lenses that I have with it - and they also get more use because of that. So far, old D200 and D700 that my cameras are, I'd be fibbing if I claimed to have missed focus because it, af, was too slow. No, where it hits me is in subjects through glass, where the system can sometimes be confused between the real subject behind the glass, and either a reflection or dirt on the glass pane. I'm sure nothing faster would fix this; one lens, a G Nikkor, let's me do a manual focussing override to compensate, but the other one, a 180mm, does not, and requires I select focussing method prior to use and so isn't as user-friendly.

These problems don't mean one has to change entire systems - one just has to make the best of what's to hand. Companies obviously hope you disagree!

Rob

KLaban

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2017, 09:51:21 AM »

Were it not for the volume of traffic of people seeking advice advice on this that or the other system of cameras and lenses this website simply wouldn't exist and you and I could be shooting and getting more familiar with what we actually own.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 09:54:51 AM by KLaban »
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RSL

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2017, 11:02:54 AM »

Hi Rob,

You know as well as I do that a lot of this has to do with a love of gadgetry. "I've gotta have the new NiCanon doohoppy so I can see how it actually works." As I've mentioned several times and you've mentioned several times, real photography hasn't much to do with gadgetry as long as you have gadgetry adequate to what you're trying to do. A real pro can shoot a wedding with the least capable semi-pro camera on the market today, and do a great job. The reason I know this is that my down-the-hall pro friend in Colorado Springs used to do stunningly beautiful weddings with what's nowadays way-out-of-date stuff that no current amateur would even consider.

But what the hell, I'm subject to the same urges, so I can't knock it. I just bought a good-looking Rogue flash grid because I want something that'll throw a more controllable red or blue splash on the background next time I do headshots. The next time I do headshots probably will be a couple months from now, if ever, but man, now I'm ready! Feels good.

churly

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2017, 11:48:48 AM »


But what the hell, I'm subject to the same urges, so I can't knock it. I just bought a good-looking Rogue flash grid because I want something that'll throw a more controllable red or blue splash on the background next time I do headshots. The next time I do headshots probably will be a couple months from now, if ever, but man, now I'm ready! Feels good.

Russ - I often don't agree with your politics but I do greatly admire your enthusiasm for photography.  It does feel good to be ready.  :)
Chuck
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Chuck Hurich

Rob C

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2017, 01:43:46 PM »

Were it not for the volume of traffic of people seeking advice advice on this that or the other system of cameras and lenses this website simply wouldn't exist and you and I could be shooting and getting more familiar with what we actually own.


I thought you and I were already very familiar with what we have?

The big problem with photography sans client requirements in the driving seat is that the seat is then usually too far removed from the motivator pedal. Changing the shape and brand of the pedal solves nothing: you gotta shift the seat.

But I'm not sure LuLa wouldn't exist without the gear blood. I may be the odd one out, but it's the now and then jewels of conversation that draw me in. I like to see photographs from people with a keen sense of design, imagination and the ability to surprise me and be different. That's not so common.

But anyway, the site has a very good set of minds, too, who can and will help people solve technical problems as they come along. Strikes me that's more interesting and useful than feeding GAS. But then, I feed a white horse carrots most days...

Anyway, the point I was considering was about the huge volume of competing stuff out there which simply exists to make people feel inadequate unless they have the newest toy. The removal of pleasure with the substitution of doubts and anxieties. Folks shouldn't confuse new with better for them.

Russ: extending one's toolkit is no sin; constantly changing it is.

IMO

Rob

KLaban

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2017, 02:13:51 PM »

I think it's strange that our own GAS isn't as smelly as that of others.
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Rand47

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2017, 07:10:00 PM »

Rob,

EXACTLY - the worst of today’s tools so far exceed anything I had access to since my beginnings in the 60’s that I could probably go into a camera store, put on a blindfold, throw a dart at the camera counter and walk out with something that exceeds my ability’s abilities (and my spelling prowess) - no matter where it landed.

BUT - on the amateur (and by that I mean those who ‘love’ not ‘not very good’) side of things, there has always been a coterie of folk in love with the both the technology and the beauty of cameras and lenses as functional pieces of art.  I just wish I had the money to indulge in a suite of Leica stuff, and Phase One stuff, and, and, and . . . .

We have a riches of choice today, way more than we need... and the desire of acquisition is less easily sated these days because unilike your example of the epitome of the 500 Hassy - which one might finally achieve and then happily own and use as “the best” for years on end - that “joy cycle” is now down to about 12 months between one “latest and greatest must have” and the next.

Rand
« Last Edit: November 19, 2017, 04:23:34 PM by Rand47 »
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Rand Scott Adams

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2017, 09:12:49 PM »

We have a riches of choice today, way more than we need... and the desire of acquisition is less easily sated these days because unilike your example of the epitome of the 500 Hassy - which one might finally achieve and then happily own and use as “the best” for years on end - that “joy cycle” is now down to about 12 months between one “latest and greatest must have” and the next.

Rand
I recall once near the end of my film days realizing that of the five cameras I owned at that point, not one had been manufactured in the preceding twenty-five years. I started doing digital in about 2004 and in the thirteen years since then I have owned at least eight cameras (currently just two).

Sigh!
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-Eric Myrvaagnes (visit my website: http://myrvaagnes.com)

Redcrown

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2017, 01:32:31 AM »

"Volume of traffic (and people)?" I bemoan the decline of both, in quantity and quality. I remember the good old days, 10 years ago, when you had to time your postings carefully to get good exposure, because they would get pushed off the front page in only 2 or 3 hours. Back then it was bothersome to wade through a couple hundred topic lines each day to find ones of interest. And then, the ones of interest could keep you occupied for hours. Now I can scan all new traffic on the 6 forums I monitor in about 5 minutes a day. I'm baffled by those who complain about "off topic" threads in forums that now have such low traffic.

"Far too much choice?" I imagine many photogs have other "hobbies". How does the amount of choice in those compare to photography? What's your experience? There are only 2 other hobbies in my house. My wife's hobby is marine aquariums, and I'm a former smoker who became a vaping geek.

The number of people, the number of forums, the forum traffic, and the plethora of hardware surrounding the marine aquarium hobby is some X factor greater than that of photography. I'd guess 3x to 4x. Curious note - I browsed one of her primary forums recently looking for something specific but I could not find it. I could not find any threads about Trump or Climate Change.

The vaping industry is only about 10 years old, yet it has eclipsed photography by another X factor. Number of forums, traffic, people, all greater. And choice? It's the wild west. For hardware, at least a dozen major companies and 3 times that in smaller startups. About 99% of hardware makers are out of China, and they are introducing new products at a rate that is staggering. Because it's China, there is no respect for copyrights or trademarks. Hardware companies use common product names, and fakes/clones abound. So, if someone says, "Have you tried the new eGo-C Twist", you gotta ask, "Which one".

Other companies make the e-juice that goes into the vaping hardware. Most of these are country bound (USA, Euro). There are hundreds of them in the US, maybe thousands, and most are very small outfits (1 to 5) people. They produce thousands of flavors. And now, DIY is taking off big time. You can buy your own raw ingredients and make your own juice. There is one recipie trading site that has over 88 thousand recipies on file. Most of those have multiple "reviews" by others who have tried them.

Too much choice in photography? It's relative, I think. Not too much for me.
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Rob C

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2017, 05:19:58 AM »

I think it's strange that our own GAS isn't as smelly as that of others.

We become immune!

;-)

Rob

Rob C

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2017, 05:29:59 AM »

I recall once near the end of my film days realizing that of the five cameras I owned at that point, not one had been manufactured in the preceding twenty-five years. I started doing digital in about 2004 and in the thirteen years since then I have owned at least eight cameras (currently just two).

Sigh!

Sigh, indeed!

The only reason I lost my 'blads was because I listened to others (for once!), such as my stock agency, who declared that going to 6x7 made pictures sell better. Sadly, I did this just before digital came along with its atom bomb.

I do wish I had done what I have since suggested others do: sell nothing! I may not have stayed with film, but a digi back would now have seemed like an interesting avenue... however, starting over is out of the question. I remain with the three cameras I have: the two digis and the almost unused F3. In a thousand years it will be in a museum. The other pair? I doubt it - more likely landfill.

Rob

Rob C

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2017, 05:59:47 AM »

"Volume of traffic (and people)?" I bemoan the decline of both, in quantity and quality. I remember the good old days, 10 years ago, when you had to time your postings carefully to get good exposure, because they would get pushed off the front page in only 2 or 3 hours. Back then it was bothersome to wade through a couple hundred topic lines each day to find ones of interest. And then, the ones of interest could keep you occupied for hours. Now I can scan all new traffic on the 6 forums I monitor in about 5 minutes a day. I'm baffled by those who complain about "off topic" threads in forums that now have such low traffic.

"Far too much choice?" I imagine many photogs have other "hobbies". How does the amount of choice in those compare to photography? What's your experience? There are only 2 other hobbies in my house. My wife's hobby is marine aquariums, and I'm a former smoker who became a vaping geek.

The number of people, the number of forums, the forum traffic, and the plethora of hardware surrounding the marine aquarium hobby is some X factor greater than that of photography. I'd guess 3x to 4x. Curious note - I browsed one of her primary forums recently looking for something specific but I could not find it. I could not find any threads about Trump or Climate Change.

The vaping industry is only about 10 years old, yet it has eclipsed photography by another X factor. Number of forums, traffic, people, all greater. And choice? It's the wild west. For hardware, at least a dozen major companies and 3 times that in smaller startups. About 99% of hardware makers are out of China, and they are introducing new products at a rate that is staggering. Because it's China, there is no respect for copyrights or trademarks. Hardware companies use common product names, and fakes/clones abound. So, if someone says, "Have you tried the new eGo-C Twist", you gotta ask, "Which one".

Other companies make the e-juice that goes into the vaping hardware. Most of these are country bound (USA, Euro). There are hundreds of them in the US, maybe thousands, and most are very small outfits (1 to 5) people. They produce thousands of flavors. And now, DIY is taking off big time. You can buy your own raw ingredients and make your own juice. There is one recipie trading site that has over 88 thousand recipies on file. Most of those have multiple "reviews" by others who have tried them.

Too much choice in photography? It's relative, I think. Not too much for me.

I'm glad you wrote that.

For some time I have been imagining that it's my own imagination saying much the same thing. The main loss, in my opinion, is the professional one. There was a bunch of good pros posting both copy and images, and that livened up the whole show. The input of the late founder, Michael, was also very important, as were his straight remarks and views and, best of all, his great photographs. He knew what he was doing, and did it very well, posting some of the most remarkable landscape photos I have seen - and I'm usually neutral to landscape pictures, which is not the same as being disinterested in the real thing.

Not quite sure why we lost many of the pros, and I don't think that either pro or am has anything to do with competing hobby choices. Options always abounded, so it has to have been something else caused the drift... perhaps people simply don't like to write. Nothing will survive on the efforts of perhaps a dozen regular contributors because those same people do not write for echo: they write for continuity of discussion. Where different reasons pertain - such as in the few political threads - then yes, echo and affirmation is the number. But it's not enough to keep the photographers hooked.

In some ways, I suppose that the photographic equipment plateau has removed the sense of urgency some felt regardng their gear. If equipment is the primary interest, then it's understandable that traffic falls. A very brief look at the photo-art section shows that few are interested in learning or talking about other photographers; the interest seems totally focussed elsewhere.

It isn't surprising that if one is already able to photograph perfectly well, then the interest will perhaps lie in other places, and thus in the lives and works of those better-known photographers one has come to admire and respect through life's exposure to them. But, if one no longer reads magazines and sees the work, then the appetite is lost and, slowly, the entire appreciation of what was out there will atrophy.

BrownBear

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2017, 09:09:00 AM »

There's also a whole lot of pursuing the veritable Joneses.  You're simply NOBODY if you're not using the latest and best gear.  Get a bunch of photographers together and what do they talk about....  The subjects and locations and events we love most, the "real" reason we take photos?  Maybe... a little.  But no one sits forward in their chairs, raises their voice and gets energized till they start unzipping their camera bags to see who's better than the rest.
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KLaban

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2017, 09:37:55 AM »

There's also a whole lot of pursuing the veritable Joneses.  You're simply NOBODY if you're not using the latest and best gear.  Get a bunch of photographers together and what do they talk about....  The subjects and locations and events we love most, the "real" reason we take photos?  Maybe... a little.  But no one sits forward in their chairs, raises their voice and gets energized till they start unzipping their camera bags to see who's better than the rest.

Now, there's my nightmare.
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pegelli

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2017, 10:01:07 AM »

There's also a whole lot of pursuing the veritable Joneses.  You're simply NOBODY if you're not using the latest and best gear.  Get a bunch of photographers together and what do they talk about....  The subjects and locations and events we love most, the "real" reason we take photos?  Maybe... a little.  But no one sits forward in their chairs, raises their voice and gets energized till they start unzipping their camera bags to see who's better than the rest.
The problem with most stereotypes is that they are usually wrong ;) Undoubtedly there are groups like you describe, but the majority? I don't think so.
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pieter, aka pegelli

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2017, 10:48:58 AM »

The problem with most stereotypes is that they are usually wrong ;) ...

The problem with the above statement is that it is actually wrong: stereotypes exist for a reason and they are usually right ;) The application of a stereotype to every single member of the group, without further analysis, is what is often wrong.
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pegelli

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2017, 10:56:25 AM »

The problem with the above statement is that it is actually wrong: stereotypes exist for a reason and they are usually right ;) The application of a stereotype to every single member of the group, without further analysis, is what is often wrong.
You're right, sematically speaking then. Hopefully most people understand what I meant without having to explain themselves further ;)
And I would go even further than you: applying the stereotype to every group (in this case every group of photographers) is wrong.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2017, 11:11:34 AM by pegelli »
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pieter, aka pegelli

Rob C

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2017, 01:16:33 PM »

Ah, Keith, a group of photographers. The one group of which I would really like to have understood the workings of, was the Bailey, Donovan and Duffy one.

Volumes have been written about them, but so much of it comes across to me as smoke and mirrors. Did they actually have a very friendly relationship devoid of rivalry, or did they, as did lesser groups, hold hands just to stop one another dipping pockets?

Perhaps in a big city overflowing with clients, and where work probably goes round and round within a small group, it could happen; in mine, the atmosphere was patently veiled hostility out of fear of being undercut on many fronts, including sabotage via model, where the better ones were beholden to photographer boyfriends and if you used them, you automatically gave them access to your own clients... not a very savoury situation.

The worst photographic experience outwith the preoccupations of the pro world is finding oneself in a group - even of two - trying to "be creative" together and converse at same time. It's an absurdity. It's as confusing as going on double-dates must be, not that we did that, I hasten to add. Not in my cultural genes.

Rob

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2017, 01:43:39 PM »

I was at a local bar during a concert and was shooting occasionally. A member of the public asked me what I am shooting with, Canon or Nikon. There was another photographer there too, and we talked briefly.

She, looking at my gear:  "85/1.8?"

Me: "Yep"

She: "35/1.4"

Me: "Sigma?"

She: "Yep"

She: "But I don't like it, I am going to exchange it for Canon"

Ah, those deep thoughts that bond the brotherhood and sisterhood of photographers together ;)
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Rob C

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2017, 03:37:19 PM »

I was at a local bar during a concert and was shooting occasionally. A member of the public asked me what I am shooting with, Canon or Nikon. There was another photographer there too, and we talked briefly.

She, looking at my gear:  "85/1.8?"

Me: "Yep"

She: "35/1.4"

Me: "Sigma?"

She: "Yep"

She: "But I don't like it, I am going to exchange it for Canon"

Ah, those deep thoughts that bond the brotherhood and sisterhood of photographers together ;)


Yes, and it represents a lot of what goes down in place of conversation... but that's hardly exclusive to photographers. Glad I'm not a member of a golf club. Maybe it's why people get stoned. What else to do on social gatherings of some types; how else to escape but remain politely present?

My own gamut of interpersonal, social conversation revolves around the tablets I have to take and when a particular restaurateur decides to reopen. It's a regular, popular topic and one needs to be really determined in order to get one's own list into the conversation. People are so selfish.

That's a reason that I now feed a white horse with carrots. The horse has more to say.

:-)

Rob
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