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Author Topic: The Perfect Photogragh  (Read 27971 times)

stamper

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The Perfect Photogragh
« on: August 10, 2015, 06:27:29 am »

https://luminous-landscape.com/the-perfect-photograph/

I can't help thinking that the article won't help anyone become a better photographer. Why? Because we live in an imperfect world and all photographers are themselves imperfect and they use imperfect tools to capture an imperfect image. So why should we be expected to try and process an image to perfection?. I think it is futile to try and only lead to frustration. IMO processing to an "acceptable" level would be a better method. "Acceptable" to the photographer's ideal way of thinking and not trying to please others. Pleasing others should be optional.

bns

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Re: The Perfect Photogragh
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2015, 07:38:42 am »

I like this brief article quit a bit. It reminds you of the need of reaching higher all the time. The examples shown are the proof.

cheers,
Boudewijn Swanenburg

Paulo Bizarro

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Re: The Perfect Photogragh
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2015, 08:23:30 am »

Perfection does not exist anywhere anyway, in any field. I agree to have in my mind a goal set as to "try and achieve the best I can", but perfection? Nope, it does not exist.

Wonderful photos in the article.

Isaac

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Re: The Perfect Photogragh
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2015, 11:26:51 am »

So why should we be expected to try and process an image to perfection?. … IMO processing to an "acceptable" level would be a better method.

The article does not say anything about trying to "process an image to perfection". The article does not say anything about "processing".

The point is "… to capture quality rather than quantity, think about composition and how the subject and the light work together in harmony."
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GrahamBy

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Re: The Perfect Photogragh
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2015, 11:56:33 am »

Would anyone think it possible to speak about a perfect musical composition? There are formal rules of harmony, counter-point and so on far beyond what has been formulated for visual images, and yet people keep writing stuff...
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amolitor

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Re: The Perfect Photogragh
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2015, 12:10:26 pm »

There are indeed formulaic rules for music, and they produce the most boring crud ever.

Sensible texts on composition will talk about dissonance and how to use it, and how cultural norms will be relevant, and how they have evolved. And, I suppose, a bunch of other similar topics.

Even simple things like equal temperament are a modern conceit, which (the experts agree) would have sounded intolerably out of tune to Bach, who was an exponent of an intermediate idea, "well temperament" which rendered all keys usable, albeit different from one another. Personal taste, modulated and informed by ambient cultural taste, is the name of the game.
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Isaac

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Re: The Perfect Photogragh
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2015, 12:21:34 pm »

Would anyone think it possible to speak about a perfect musical composition?

Would anyone think it possible to speak about a perfect musical performance?
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dreed

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Re: The Perfect Photogragh
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2015, 01:08:47 pm »

This story reminds me of a quote from "Tron Legacy":

"The thing about perfection is that it's unknowable.  It's impossible, but it's also right in front of us all the time." - Kevin Flynn
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 01:21:49 pm by dreed »
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Michael LS

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Re: The Perfect Photogragh
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2015, 01:48:39 pm »

If we wish to make good Art, we will need to hold our photos to a certain set of standards, our own standards, of course, not someone else's. I don't believe "Standards" are the same thing as "Perfectionism", although they have some crossover.

Nevertheless, if we have an authentic inner need to produce images that are at least a cut above average, it would be better to be a neurotic perfectionist than a camera-toter with sloppy thinking. At least perfectionism is the sign of an individual with higher creative brain functions. The problem comes in if one allows perfection to cause "paralysis by analysis".

Beautiful work by Nigel Turner, I must say. Thank goodness for Standards...or Perfectionism?
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florianf

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Re: The Perfect Photogragh
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2015, 02:37:02 pm »

Hello,

and thank you for your thoughts - they made me think about perfection. Although I can, to some extent, understand your quest, I think it is futile. THE perfect photograph does not exist; just like THE best camera, best food, or best anything does not exist. It is a little bit the same as with the best camera - it is the one that you have with you. You can create a perfect photograph at a particular location under particular conditions. The next day, the perfect photograph may be all different, taken under different conditions. In my opinion, there are many different perfect photographs.

Also, how would you know that you have created the perfect photograph? Do you think there is only one perfect way to photograph a specific subject? Once you have created the perfect photograph, would you always consider it THE perfect photograph? Does your appreciation of your photographs not change depending on your mood and interests at a particular moment in life?

All the best,

Florian.

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David Horn

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Re: The Perfect Photogragh
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2015, 06:51:27 pm »

Perfection does not exist. Perfection implies no room for improvement. Even Ansel Adams, the photographer we most think of as a perfectionist, would continue to improve his prints from old negatives over scores of years.
All we can do is strive to be better.

But there is a trick - be more selective, and weed out your lesser work. Be your own toughest critic.

In 1988 I attended the Ansel Adams Gallery Photo workshop in Yosemite. Attendees were asked to bring a portfolio of their own work.
I presented my portfolio at a group session. The leader of my group was William Neil. After reviewing my work, William suggested I refine the selection. I took out several items that I though were less good than others.
William then said to me "Now you have just become a better photographer".
I never forget this advice.

But while I am the subject, I think that another good way to improve is to join a photo club and participate in photo contests. You can learn a lot by listening to the judge's critique, and also get inspiration from other photographer's work.
Also attend talks and workshops, go to galleries, and WORK HARDER to get good images and improve them in Post.

David Horn
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Tarnash

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Re: The Perfect Photogragh
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2015, 07:35:21 pm »

I see notions of `perfection' as highly subjective and `aspirational' rather than necessarily`achievable'.  The desire to reach the unreachable may seem futile but it certainly motivates me to do better, to look for ways to improve, to hone and craft my vision/skill.  For me `good enough' is never quite good enough and I can certainly identify with the original authors ideas and goals.  I can also appreciate how striving to achieve the impossible or unattainable might seem futile and be demotivating for some.  I guess it depends on your personal philosophy and/or beliefs and, as in most things, the ability to achieve an acceptable balance is perhaps what's most important.  So, yeah! I capture some quite good images but hey!  I'll do better next time.  Thanks for the piece, it's good to know I'm not the only one!     
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Isaac

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A title to misunderstand: The Perfect Photograph
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2015, 07:59:38 pm »

Perfection does not exist.

THE perfect photograph does not exist

Perfection does not exist anywhere anyway, in any field.


1) These seem to be responses to the title of the article, not to the other 700 words.

2) Given the subjective nature of our judgements about photographs, why shouldn't someone regard a particular photograph as perfect ?


I can't help thinking that the article won't help anyone become a better photographer.

In spite of the anecdote the author told of the workshop attendee who "wasn’t shooting ‘crap’ anymore" ;-)
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stamper

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Re: The Perfect Photogragh
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2015, 03:25:51 am »

The article does not say anything about trying to "process an image to perfection". The article does not say anything about "processing".

The point is "… to capture quality rather than quantity, think about composition and how the subject and the light work together in harmony."

Isaac every image you, and others, have seen has been processed. Either processed digitally in camera, film processed by a lab, or processed by the photographer on a computer. It is part and parcel of producing an image. No processing no image. You might not have tried to process an image but I am surprised that someone with your book knowledge doesn't understand that?

stamper

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Re: The Perfect Photogragh
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2015, 03:30:13 am »

Quote Isaac Reply #13

2) Given the subjective nature of our judgements about photographs, why shouldn't someone regard a particular photograph as perfect ?
 
There will always be something in an image to nitpick. Just look at the critique section for evidence. ;) ;D

mecrox

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Re: The Perfect Photogragh
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2015, 04:50:41 am »

I loved this article since the take-away seems to be slow down, make more effort to look at what is in front of you, think carefully about light and composition before even getting out a camera and then only take the shots that really matter to you. Leave the rest behind. That's the best way to have a more satisfying time anyway. Perfection itself must be terribly dull. Being perfect means no more mistakes which means no more learning and nothing unexpected, so chances are one would end up complacent, unadventurous and dim with it.
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dreed

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Re: The Perfect Photogragh
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2015, 05:05:01 am »

In the story it mentions that to shoot less and strive for quality over quantity.

This assumes that you know what you seek in terms of "quality" and that you are capable of achieving it. That (understanding what you like) is a journey unto itself, separate from seeking perfection.

Taking lots of different pictures, even in different settings, is important because it helps you (the photographer) understand how you respond to different environmental stimuli. The downside is that you end up with lots of pictures that you need to delete but those that you don't become something for you to review and build your own understanding of photography.

Part of that journey is also building an understanding of how your equipment behaves and responds to different scenarios.

Take fewer, better, pictures, sure, I'm up for that.

But of what? When/where? How? Using what?
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stamper

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Re: The Perfect Photogragh
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2015, 09:52:46 am »

One doesn't need to seek perfection in order to slow down, take fewer images etc etc. Telling someone that perfection is possible will/can end up causing frustration.

Take fewer, better, pictures, sure, I'm up for that.

But of what? When/where? How? Using what?

That is the frustration I feel as well. :(

NancyP

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Re: The Perfect Photogragh
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2015, 11:18:39 am »

I am not into perfection, that can backfire. My goal is "As good as reasonably achievable" by me, with the knowledge and equipment on hand at the time. And some shots are "record" shots - these are to remind myself to go back when the light is better (landscape image I have in mind), or to identify some organism that has had some properly composed shots already (these ID shots are not necessarily aesthetic, I want to be able to view identifying features not demonstrated in the "nice" photos, butt shots on an insect or bird, boring but necessary leaf structure, etc).

I am an amateur, it's all about process and learning, about photography and about the world at large. I do see improvement over time.
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