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Author Topic: Wake up Call  (Read 3753 times)

Rob C

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Wake up Call
« on: December 15, 2019, 04:36:25 pm »

http://leicaphilia.com/what-i-dont-want-for-christmas/

My alternative place for photographic ruminations. Lot's of good sense.

:-)

Ray

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Re: Wake up Call
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2019, 08:34:21 pm »

Quote
I’m sick of technical squabbles and little minds arguing irrelevant issues as if they were a matter of great import. News flash: the camera you use doesn’t matter. Not one fucking bit. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you stop obsessing over whatever new technological gimmick Leica or Nikon or Fuji is selling you, the sooner you’ll open yourself up to what really matters, the things that will make ‘your journey’ better. One thing I have learned is this: equipment is irrelevant. Nobody’s photographs got any better, or any worse, because of the equipment used.

Rob,
I think you are going overboard to the polar opposite of the 'obsession with technical issues' that you are criticizing.

There's no way that I would be interested in going back to the days of film with heavy, bulky MF, or Large Format cameras. I recall in the 1980's I lost interest in photography for a while, until a colleague in the Public Service where I was working, brought to my attention a new Pentax camera that had an autofocus system.

Since I'd experienced some difficulty with the slowness and/or inaccuracy of manual focus with moving subjects, I decided to buy the revolutionary Pentax ME F, and my interest in Photography was renewed. My interest continued as Photography progressed into the digital world, making it possible to process the RAW data on a desktop computer, instead of inside a smelly and unnatural Dark Room.  ;)

However, I do understand if one's main motivation in Photography is to imitate 'art', taking street photographs that look like a Manet painting, then issues of resolution, dynamic range, fast and accurate autofocus, are not particularly relevant.

But what might be relevant is the focal length range of the lens attached to the camera, and its weight.

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Rob C

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Re: Wake up Call
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2019, 06:35:02 am »

Rob,
1.  I think you are going overboard to the polar opposite of the 'obsession with technical issues' that you are criticizing.

There's no way that I would be interested in going back to the days of film with heavy, bulky MF, or Large Format cameras. I recall in the 1980's I lost interest in photography for a while, until a colleague in the Public Service where I was working, brought to my attention a new Pentax camera that had an autofocus system.

Since I'd experienced some difficulty with the slowness and/or inaccuracy of manual focus with moving subjects, I decided to buy the revolutionary Pentax ME F, and my interest in Photography was renewed. My interest continued as Photography progressed into the digital world, making it possible to process the RAW data on a desktop computer,
2instead of inside a smelly and unnatural Dark Room.  ;)

3.  However, I do understand if one's main motivation in Photography is to imitate 'art', taking street photographs that look like a Manet painting, then issues of resolution, dynamic range, fast and accurate autofocus, are not particularly relevant.

4.  But what might be relevant is the focal length range of the lens attached to the camera, and its weight.

1.  Those words are not mine; they are a part of a complete feature from which that you have selected a part... That said, I agree with the guy in his overview about the equipment junkie mindset: it solves nothing for you if you do it in order to improve your abilty as photographer. Sharp snaps were made in the past, too, decades before af was invented. That said, af helped me a great deal too during the period when I had cataracts, especially before I knew that they were my problem. But all I needed was the central af spot as in my old Nikon cameras - the D200 and D700. I have never even tried using the other af areas -why would I? Simple is best.

2.  I never had such problems with a darkroom; if anything, it was a nice place to get away from everything and concentrate on the work. But then, I was ever a bit of a loner. The lightroom, for want of a better word, has altered the game completely, and brough dishonesty to the fore. At a stroke, it ruined the belief in good photographers. For all we know today, we might just be looking at good tech guys saving both the day and the ass of some celebrity snapper who never learned how to do it properly. I still admire good photographers, but less so manipulation heroes. Shit, even I can do some of that kind of stuff. Good photography depends on seeing pictures, not messing about for hours later trying to make something out of rubbish.

3.  That's one pleasant part of photographic art, but not the whole of it. Resolution is always a factor because you never know the future of a picture (why I stopped making cellpix), but unless you are also a commercial creature, it makes no real difference. Dynamic range is mainly a digital awareness problem; films like the slower Kodachromes and Velvia always did have limited DR, and folks just learned how to use them properly. The real problem that these things offer today is that digital can't cope with burned out highlights in the same pleasant manner as could film: the effects of over exposure are so ugly with digital.

Also, it appears to me that many people today talk a lot about af and accuracy, yet still shoot the majority of their pix with medium apertures of around f8 or so, where af is largely immaterial because of the natural DOF.

4.  Yes, that is absolutely the case. And weight is why I no longer bother with a tripod.

I wish that I had a camera that looked like an M3 and weighed no more, but was actually an slr with a pentaprism. I know, impossible.

;-)

KLaban

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« Last Edit: December 16, 2019, 09:40:27 am by KLaban »
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chez

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Re: Wake up Call
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2019, 10:14:33 am »

And yet I see many of you sitting at a computer and discussing the latest gears.
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KLaban

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Re: Wake up Call
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2019, 10:23:02 am »

And yet I see many of you sitting at a computer and discussing the latest gears.

I couldn't give a flying fuck about the latest gears.
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Rob C

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Re: Wake up Call
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2019, 11:09:44 am »

I couldn't give a flying fuck about the latest gears.

Wait, do they make an automatic box for Cavemen?

Have to admit, if that elusive set of numbers comes together, I could still be very tempted!

;-)

Rob C

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Re: Wake up Call
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2019, 11:12:34 am »

Preaching to the converted.


Yep, but it doesn't negate his argument - or mine!

;-)

KLaban

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Re: Wake up Call
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2019, 11:16:28 am »


Yep, but it doesn't negate his argument - or mine!

;-)

Agreed.

;-)
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Wake up Call
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2019, 11:58:05 am »

I couldn't give a flying fuck about the latest gears.

?

Haven’t you just recently switched from Leica to Nikon Z, itself the very latest gear!?

BJL

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Re: Wake up Call
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2019, 12:13:55 pm »

Rob, I like your reply in that forum far more than the article’s clichéd, wildly exaggerated repetition of that “only the photographer matters, not the camera” mantra. For example, my mix of long-lens subjects and hiking to reach them would not be met by either a phone-camera or any 35mm format kit.

I propose two slightly milder dogmas:
- So-called street photography can mostly be done with any gear including a phone; in fact a good phone camera might be today’s Leica as the best tool for the task.

- _Most_ subjects of interest to _most_ photographers can be handled fine by any recent ILC, whatever kind of viewfinder or sensor it has — but many of us have our edge cases (wildlife, huge prints, fast action in low light, etc.) and those are what decides if our current gear is sufficient, and if not, what the most worthwhile upgrade options are.
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KLaban

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Re: Wake up Call
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2019, 12:38:59 pm »

?

Haven’t you just recently switched from Leica to Nikon Z, itself the very latest gear!?

Due to a serious eyesight problem I switched from an antiquated camera I loved but could no longer focus to a camera I could.

Hopefully it'll serve me well for the next 10 years.
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KLaban

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Re: Wake up Call
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2019, 12:42:06 pm »

Wait, do they make an automatic box for Cavemen?

Have to admit, if that elusive set of numbers comes together, I could still be very tempted!

;-)

An automated Caveman? Really, Rob, that would be an anathema.

;-)
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Rob C

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Re: Wake up Call
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2019, 02:05:38 pm »

?

Haven’t you just recently switched from Leica to Nikon Z, itself the very latest gear!?

Gear; gears.

Keith made an automotive jest.

:-)

Ray

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Re: Wake up Call
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2019, 08:34:27 pm »

The camera is a tool, and like any other tool that advances in capability due to technological progress, the latest development might help one to do one's job (or hobby) better and more efficiently.

If it doesn't, it might be because the person is stuck in their ways, and/or is simply not interested in exploring the potential benefits of the new or improved features.
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BJL

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Re: Wake up Call
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2019, 08:51:38 pm »

The camera is a tool, and like any other tool that advances in capability due to technological progress, the latest development might help one to do one's job (or hobby) better and more efficiently.

If it doesn't, it might be because the person is stuck in their ways, and/or is simply not interested in exploring the potential benefits of the new or improved features.
Or in some cases, the technological advantages may have no practical, visible effect, for a particular photographer’s artistic or professional purposes. Like 16 vs 14 stops of DR when the subject brightness range of their chosen scenes is a more typical 10 stops or less, or 100MP for portraits where more than 20MP only adds details of blemishes, pores and veins on eyes that are then best edited out, or ISO 100,000 for someone who works with stationary or slow moving subjects.

Many photographers, even talented and demanding ones, have no use for the equivalent of a 200MPH truck that can pull a five ton trailer, even it can be afforded.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2019, 10:50:06 am by BJL »
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Ray

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Re: Wake up Call
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2019, 02:02:01 am »

Or in some cases, the technological advantages may have no practical, visible effect, for a particular ohotographer’s artistic or professional purposes. Like 16 vs 14 stops of DR when the subject brightness range of their chosen scenes is a more typical 10 stops or less, or 100MP for portraits where more than 20MP only adds details of blemishes, pores and veins on eyes that are then best edited out, or ISO 100,000 for someone who works with stationary or slow moving subjects.

Many photographers, even talented and demanding ones, have no use for the equivalent of a 200MPH truck that can pull a five ton trailer, even it can be afforded.

Of course, and I think my statement, "...or is simply not interested in exploring the potential benefits of the new or improved features", covers all those points. If a photographer is not interested in photographing birds, or the moon, or the stars, it's understandable he would not be interested in a new, long-telephoto lens with improved image stabilization, improved resolution, or lower weight.

Likewise if he's not interested in shooting video, then a new model of DSLR or Mirrorless with improved 4k video capability, would likely have no appeal.

However, a camera with 16 stops of DR might have noticeably cleaner detail in the 10th stop, than a camera with 14 stops of DR. That is something to be determined.
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Martin Kristiansen

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Re: Wake up Call
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2019, 02:25:15 am »

Equipment can be fun. Obviously it’s not the be all and end all but why the disparaging  fuss about being interested in it? All from an anti technology blog that takes as it’s name a piece of equipment that in its day was cutting edge technology. If you don’t care about cameras why rabbit on about all the Leicas you own and the first one you bought and still own?  I mean who cares right?
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Commercial photography is 10% inspiration and 90% moving furniture around.

Rob C

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Re: Wake up Call
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2019, 04:08:38 am »

Equipment can be fun. Obviously it’s not the be all and end all but why the disparaging  fuss about being interested in it? All from an anti technology blog that takes as it’s name a piece of equipment that in its day was cutting edge technology. If you don’t care about cameras why rabbit on about all the Leicas you own and the first one you bought and still own?  I mean who cares right?

The very simpe answer is this: Tim, the owner of that web site, happens to be the best writer on the psychology of photography, and several other things, that it has been my luck to discover on the web.

On top of this, in the best traditions of money and mouth, he has also managed to produce a wonderful back catalogue of photographs - he's currently producing a book of "road" shots made from a car, that are stunningly evocative of all sorts of emotions and things that, perhaps especially for non-Americans, draw a wonderful picture of the American ethos. I write non-Americans, because I firmly believe that living somewhere generally makes you blind to it and its peculiarities: you think them the norm, which for you, they are, but not so for outsiders. It was what made Klein Klein: a New Yorker, he lived in and saw Paris before he returned and shot his New York book. Are citizens of Tokyo stunned by their city? Do Ventians go ooh! and ahh! every time they see a gondola? How many Indians look in awe at the Taj Mahal if they live in its shadow, seek a ride in a flea-infested rickshaw if they have a car, risk diarrhoea from street crap if they have their own kitchen, or give a damn about black holes if they live in Calcutta?

As for who cares about which cameras the blog's owner has/had? he does; also, the fact that he knows them rather well is interesting for people who might be thinking of buying one just for the hell of it, even if just to put on the shelf. At least they aren't foisted out there as ancient relics pretending to alter your life for the better the moment you put your money down.

The site is free, and you actually do learn something new now and again. Which is cool. And nobody is forced to read it.

BJL

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Of course, and I think my statement, "...or is simply not interested in exploring the potential benefits of the new or improved features", covers all those points.
"not interested in exploring" does not cover _all_ those points; it ignores the possibility that some _have_ explored and assessed those potential benefits—perhaps by looking at the specs and what others have achieved with the new gear rather than acquiring it themselves—and have decided that the potential benefits are negligible or non-existent for them. As surely as in the film era many of us explored the potential benefits of upsizing from 35mm to 645 or beyond—and decided that the potential benefits were not significant for our purposes.

Your wording seems to confuse carefully considered choices with lack of interest, but perhaps you are just not expressing yourself clearly. For example, would you describe the decision of many quite dedicated photographers to not acquire gear in a larger format than their current one, even as it becomes a bit more affordable, as always being due to their being "not interested in exploring the potential benefits"?

For example, I have explored the potential benefits of a 36x24mm or 44x33mm or 54x40mm format kit and decided that it would be a net "dis-benefit" for my photographic objectives.

On the other hand, the better AF and IBIS of newer models does tempt me!
« Last Edit: December 17, 2019, 11:18:52 am by BJL »
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