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Author Topic: Bullying as a substitute for Argument  (Read 34872 times)

shadowblade

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Re: Bullying as a substitute for Argument
« Reply #240 on: April 09, 2015, 12:12:56 pm »


Lol, more words weren't needed :D

At this point, for his wordy "opinions" to carry weight, he needs to post some macro shots to illustrate if he actually knows what he's talking about regarding this discipline.

I'll bet not, which brings us full circle to the points of my rebuttal.

I don't even own a macro lens and have no intention of ever shooting macros. Unless images of tumours taken through a microscope count.

But technical and scientific matters are provable and do not rely on 'attacking the man' or appeal to authority.

For instance, I can prove that, shooting at small apertures, you're not running into equipment-related resolution limits, because your resolution is limited by diffraction rather than by digital quantisation. And that, at wider apertures, your depth of field is so exceedingly small that, for all but ultra-thin subjects that lie parallel to the sensor plane (e.g. microscope slides) the vast majority of your frame will be out-of-focus anyway, with resolution limited by focus rather than by resolution. And that you can substitute flash for high ISO, since it's ultimately about the number of photons you collect versus the weighting you assign to each photon. And that it's possible to do that with macro photography, since the distances involved are small enough that putting an off-camera flash within an arm's reach of the camera with the right modifier can simulate every possible position of the sun, plus more.

None of this requires any experience in macro photography at all - merely knowledge of simple physics.

What sort of live-subject macro photographer doesn't use flash anyway? All the ones I know carry multiple flashes and miniature softboxes, which they position around the subject to simulate whatever lighting conditions they want.
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Isaac

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Re: Bullying as a substitute for Argument
« Reply #241 on: April 09, 2015, 01:18:49 pm »

At this point, for his wordy "opinions" to carry weight, he needs to post some macro shots to illustrate if he actually knows what he's talking about regarding this discipline.

I'll bet not, which brings us full circle to the points of my rebuttal.

In a way it does bring us full circle - you've made more than a dozen comments, none of which show photographs just wordy argument.

Incidentally, I think outdoor macro photography quickly becomes more difficult at slightly higher magnification (> 0.5) than the "macro images" you posted.
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armand

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Re: Bullying as a substitute for Argument
« Reply #242 on: April 09, 2015, 02:42:37 pm »

I am pretty useless at painting and decorating but I sure as hell know the difference between a good job and a bad job when I ask someone to do it for me and am fully capable of explaining precisely why I am not satisfied. His replying 'show me how good you are' would be totally irrelevant.
On the other hand I would not be the one to come to to ask how to prepare the wood prior to painting.

So many aspects of photography are subjective and in that respect if someone can explain to me why they think it is good or bad, or why it 'doesn't quite work' I will listen and decide myself if it chimes with what I was trying to achieve - but that does not negate their views.

Exactly!

armand

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Re: Bullying as a substitute for Argument
« Reply #243 on: April 09, 2015, 02:49:15 pm »

Today I decided to learn swimming. I contacted two instructors.

The first one took me to a pool and showed some basics and said that within 12 sessions, I should be able to do all basic strokes.
The second one sent me a 7000 word email about buoyancy, viscousity,  drag, surface area and some other impressive words.

I think I will go with the latter.

Do you want to learn how to swim for pleasure/ necessity or competitively?
For the first part you might be better served with her first while for the latter if makes sense to go with the 7000 although it doesn't mean he's good enough for the job, only that he seems to have the proper theoretical knowledge.
Sometimes a combination is even better, start with the first and continue with the second.

LKaven

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Re: Bullying as a substitute for Argument
« Reply #244 on: April 09, 2015, 03:58:54 pm »

If Only Michael Phelps' competitors spent their time reading 7000 word emails instead of you know... actually swimming and all that.

Now here, you've said it.  Because this is exactly what they do.  Few people understand things like viscosity and energy transfer better than Michael Phelps' trainers.  Phelps knows how to surf his own wave for maximum harnessing of his own energy.  It's all part of "actually swimming".

John Koerner

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Re: Bullying as a substitute for Argument
« Reply #245 on: April 09, 2015, 04:45:06 pm »

In a way it does bring us full circle - you've made more than a dozen comments, none of which show photographs just wordy argument.


But I did post 4 photos; where are your photos, Isaac?

All I've ever seen from you are words.



Incidentally, I think outdoor macro photography quickly becomes more difficult at slightly higher magnification (> 0.5) than the "macro images" you posted.

You are correct. I have several natural light stacks, that are 1:1 - 2:1, etc.

But first I'd sure like to see yours.
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John Koerner

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Re: Bullying as a substitute for Argument
« Reply #246 on: April 09, 2015, 04:55:40 pm »

How so? You're shooting at apertures so tiny that your resolution is limited by diffraction much of the time. Either that or so little of your subject in focus that the resolution barely matters, since it doesn't matter how many pixels a blur is divided into.

You've obviously never heard of stacks taken at optimal aperture.



How high are you talking? The limits of usability, with the right camera, now run into the tens of thousands. You can take photos of things you can't even see with the naked eye.

With my camera, ISO is unusable at over 640. With my same camera, I can take a perfectly usable landscape shot at ISO 640, but with a macro shot, no way.

Perhaps, with a better camera, I could go up to 1600 shooting macro.



Besides, your subjects are tiny. You always have the option of illuminating them with flash.

I realize this, but ultimately I don't like flash. I like the pastel look of natural light.



On the other hand, try lighting up a mountain or making the night sky shine brighter, or producing a fill flash that can light up a landscape so that you don't need as much dynamic range.

It is easier to take a long-time-shutter shot of a mountain ... than it is a tiny subject, blown-up 2x lifesize, with moving antennae, in a soft breeze ...



Besides, where's your 'skill' now if you feel that you're constantly running into technical limitations? Oh, that's right, 'skill' does absolutely nothing when you're up against a technical limitation, since it can't make gear do something that it technically can't handle.

This is true. There are certain situations my camera can't handle. There are certain situations no camera can handle.

But I have learned what situations my camera can handle, and choose photograph within those parameters.

The best way to take good photographs of nature is to be in the position to take them.
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John Koerner

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Re: Bullying as a substitute for Argument
« Reply #247 on: April 09, 2015, 05:15:30 pm »

What sort of live-subject macro photographer doesn't use flash anyway? All the ones I know carry multiple flashes and miniature softboxes, which they position around the subject to simulate whatever lighting conditions they want.

I realize that most macro shooters use flash; my own preference/style is natural light.

It is my belief that, when you nail a shot using optimal natural light, it is more aesthetic and pleasing to the eye. (At least to my eye.)

It is a lot more painful to accomplish, but very satisfying when you do.



I don't even own a macro lens and have no intention of ever shooting macros.

Which pretty much clears the air of many of your thoughts on the subject natural light macro, high ISO, etc. :D

In short, I do agree that mechanical limitations are, well, limiting. By definition.

But all cameras have limits.

The most important thing to do is to know how/when to operate what, within your camera's limitations.

The biggest boon to a person's nature photography is being out in nature, lol, with a decent camera/lens combo, and understanding his subjects.

This will trump the "good equipment" of a guy studying charts, buying expensive equipment, but only shooting the flowers in his backyard ...
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John Koerner

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Re: Bullying as a substitute for Argument
« Reply #248 on: April 09, 2015, 07:08:05 pm »

And if we thought that was important, we should have dismissed you for thinking that close-up was the same as macro :-)

Macro has to do with images at 1:1 or higher magnification.

Of the images I posted, 2 were at or near 1:1, and therefore qualified as "true" macro images.

All were taken with a macro lens.



See how that works, you haven't seen my photographs and yet you can still see that I was correct ;-)

Lmao, touché.



I need to get some of this stuff before attempting any more close-up outdoor photo stacks - the air breathes too much.

No one said they had to be recent images ... so nice way to evade any kind of counter-scrutiny.

Very honorable of you.

Jack
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Isaac

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Re: Bullying as a substitute for Argument
« Reply #249 on: April 09, 2015, 08:24:01 pm »

Macro has to do with images at 1:1 or higher magnification. Of the images I posted, 2 were at or near 1:1, and therefore qualified as "true" macro images.

At best that would make you half-right :-)

All were taken with a macro lens.

Which matters not at all.


No one said they had to be recent images ... so nice way to evade any kind of counter-scrutiny.

Very honorable of you.

iirc No one said you had to post images (or asked or suggested).

Is it "honorable" of you to do something of your own free will and then start insisting that others be compelled to do what you freely chose?

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Iluvmycam

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Re: Bullying as a substitute for Argument
« Reply #250 on: April 09, 2015, 08:33:26 pm »

OP, just ignore em.

When I would not send in photos to another forum, this is what they told me...

"Your a phony...your all talk...you don't know how to take photographs."

When I did send in photos...

"Your a troll...your looking for attention...your trying to boost your website traffic...your an egomaniac."
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synn

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Re: Bullying as a substitute for Argument
« Reply #251 on: April 10, 2015, 03:48:05 am »

I had my funa nd now I am bored with this thread.
To me, getting photography advice from a desk jockey will alwaybe like getting sex advice from a celibate priest. Oh wait...
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hjulenissen

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Re: Bullying as a substitute for Argument
« Reply #252 on: April 10, 2015, 03:53:27 am »

...Which goes to show that knowing and doing are not the same thing, and that 'useless' theory is anything but useless.
The Internet contains many theoretical statements that appears to be of little practical _or_ theoretical value.

Just like there are many practical experiences that appears to have little relevance to anyone but the person who reported it.

-h
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shadowblade

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Re: Bullying as a substitute for Argument
« Reply #253 on: April 10, 2015, 07:50:37 am »

I had my funa nd now I am bored with this thread.
To me, getting photography advice from a desk jockey will alwaybe like getting sex advice from a celibate priest. Oh wait...

My mechanic doesn't actually drive a car. Most pilots aren't aircraft engineers, and most aircraft engineers can't fly planes. Most artists don't know the chemical composition of paint or how/why it adheres, and not many artists can paint. Actors often can't direct, and directors can't act. Many photographers have no idea how to optimally colour correct and print their photos, and many printers are poor photographers. And one of my good friends - a gynaecologist - is a man.

If I want to know about composition, technique, etc., I'll ask an artist. Although I have a pretty good hand on it myself anyway. If I want to discuss how a camera actually works, I'll talk to a physicist or electrical engineer. Just because you can take a pretty picture doesn't mean you have any special knowledge of how the whole system works.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 07:52:26 am by shadowblade »
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shadowblade

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Re: Bullying as a substitute for Argument
« Reply #254 on: April 10, 2015, 08:52:07 am »

You've obviously never heard of stacks taken at optimal aperture.

I've done it myself with landscapes at long focal lengths.

Which still doesn't address the question - how are you impacted by resolution any more than any other field of photography? How large do you make these macro prints?

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With my camera, ISO is unusable at over 640.

There's something wrong with your camera.

Even my old 5D2 was usable at well over that ISO.

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With my same camera, I can take a perfectly usable landscape shot at ISO 640, but with a macro shot, no way.

Perhaps, with a better camera, I could go up to 1600 shooting macro.

How is ISO 640 usable for landscape but not macro? Either it's too noisy or it's acceptable. And landscapes have minimal tolerance for noise, since it is often highly visible against skies, lakes, etc.

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I realize this, but ultimately I don't like flash. I like the pastel look of natural light.

You realise you can get the same appearance using flash and a softbox?

Light is light - it doesn't matter whether it comes from the sun, is reflected off the moon or comes from a flash. The source doesn't matter - the only things that matter are its direction, intensity, colour and relative size of the source. All of these are completely adjustable with flash.

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It is easier to take a long-time-shutter shot of a mountain ... than it is a tiny subject, blown-up 2x lifesize, with moving antennae, in a soft breeze ...

That works for the mountain. Still doesn't work for the night sky (unless you're trying to get trails) or the DR of a landscape.

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This is true. There are certain situations my camera can't handle. There are certain situations no camera can handle.

But I have learned what situations my camera can handle, and choose photograph within those parameters.

The best way to take good photographs of nature is to be in the position to take them.

That was never in contention. Obviously the best way to develop skill is to practice.

But the questions in contention here are:

1) The argument that photographers who produce great shots are more knowledgeable and more qualified than scientists with knowledge of optics, electronics and data processing to talk about technical aspects of cameras and photography, even when all they do is click a button and may know nothing about how light is refracted through a lens and focused onto a sensor, turned into photoelectrons, then read and quantised into a RAW file, which is then interpolated into an image.

2) The argument that skill allows you to bypass technical limits of your camera.

You've said yourself that you choose to avoid situations your camera can't handle.

That's the point of getting a better camera - to be able to handle those situations. Because there are plenty of great scenes out there which simply require a camera that's better in one aspect or another in order to photograph them. No amount of skill will let you photograph live music in extremely dark venues with a 5D2, for instance (at least not without the tartan banding pattern or without clipping all the deep shadows to black in order to avoid it). You can't solve that with skill. You can solve it, however, by buying an A7s. No amount of skill will allow you to photograph a scene with 14 stops of DR and moving elements if your camera can only handle 11 stops. You can solve it by using an IQ280, D810 or A7r. And no amount of skill will let you take a motion-blurred photo of a waterfall if you don't have a tripod or some other kind of support.

There are many things in photography for which gear is the solution, not skill.
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John Koerner

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Re: Bullying as a substitute for Argument
« Reply #255 on: April 11, 2015, 10:08:26 am »

I had my funa nd now I am bored with this thread.
To me, getting photography advice from a desk jockey will alwaybe like getting sex advice from a celibate priest. Oh wait...

That pretty much sums it up ...
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John Koerner

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Re: Bullying as a substitute for Argument
« Reply #256 on: April 11, 2015, 10:40:01 am »

I've done it myself with landscapes at long focal lengths.
Which still doesn't address the question - how are you impacted by resolution any more than any other field of photography? How large do you make these macro prints?

I am not going to debate this topic, because you have (self-admitted) zero experience in taking critical macro shots.

Resolution and sharpness are everything in macro shooting. If you are taking a photo of land, with trees on it, the leaves of said tree are but tiny flecks in your image; meanwhile if I am taking a photo of only that leaf on the tree, you're seeing every vein, sometimes even the cells, of the leaf (depending on how close the shot is). The difference in need for detail/sharpness is astronomical.



There's something wrong with your camera.

Even my old 5D2 was usable at well over that ISO.

Or something more forgiving in what 'you' find acceptable ... or both.

Usable/acceptable, according to whom?



How is ISO 640 usable for landscape but not macro? Either it's too noisy or it's acceptable. And landscapes have minimal tolerance for noise, since it is often highly visible against skies, lakes, etc.

Again, usable/acceptable according to whom?

Noise on a landscape image is oftentimes not as noticeable (with mountains, rocks, trees, etc.) as it is in an ultra-close macro shot of a small subject, where bokeh (a smooth, creamy background) is one of the most coveted/desired elements to the shot.

Of course, you wouldn't know this with your zero experience shooting macro ...



You realise you can get the same appearance using flash and a softbox?

"The same," according to whom? Whose eyes?



Light is light - it doesn't matter whether it comes from the sun, is reflected off the moon or comes from a flash. The source doesn't matter - the only things that matter are its direction, intensity, colour and relative size of the source. All of these are completely adjustable with flash.

Light is light? Really?

Then why do we have the concepts of optimal light vs. harsh light?

Why do sunsets/sunrises make things look so much different than mid-day?

I do agree that some absolute masters of flash photography can create even, pleasant, very well-controlled results with the use of flash ... but I disagree that they look exactly the same as natural light shots taken in optimal lighting conditions.



That works for the mountain. Still doesn't work for the night sky (unless you're trying to get trails) or the DR of a landscape.

I could see that.



That was never in contention. Obviously the best way to develop skill is to practice.

At least there's something we agree on ...



But the questions in contention here are:
1) The argument that photographers who produce great shots are more knowledgeable and more qualified than scientists with knowledge of optics, electronics and data processing to talk about technical aspects of cameras and photography, even when all they do is click a button and may know nothing about how light is refracted through a lens and focused onto a sensor, turned into photoelectrons, then read and quantised into a RAW file, which is then interpolated into an image.
2) The argument that skill allows you to bypass technical limits of your camera.

Yes.

1) Yes. Many of the people who can post all of the technical data imaginable on lenses, etc., still cannot produce an award-winning photograph. Conversely, many of the people who may not be at the forefront of pioneering new photographic technologies can still produce awesome, saleable photographs. The best wildlife photographers I know are constantly out in the field taking photographs, not reading charts, posting links to DXO marks, etc.

2) No one ever made the argument that skill allows you to 'bypass' the technical limits of the camera, so nice attempt at building a strawman to kick later. What was said was, photographic skill allows a man to take great photos even with so-so cameras, so let's try to keep our discussion honest, okay? ;)



You've said yourself that you choose to avoid situations your camera can't handle.

Yes, as does everyone, since all cameras have their limitations.

How many people bring Hasselblads to sporting events ... or hiking up steep mountains, etc.



That's the point of getting a better camera - to be able to handle those situations. Because there are plenty of great scenes out there which simply require a camera that's better in one aspect or another in order to photograph them. No amount of skill will let you photograph live music in extremely dark venues with a 5D2, for instance (at least not without the tartan banding pattern or without clipping all the deep shadows to black in order to avoid it). You can't solve that with skill. You can solve it, however, by buying an A7s.

To some degree this is correct: you have to buy the right tool for the job. In some cases, the right camera back can solve a problem. In other cases, like the one you mention, getting an f/1.8 lens could solve the problem, or maybe a camera back. Some problems can be solved with skill, experience, and (always) good choices ... including, at times, the choice of a different camera.



No amount of skill will allow you to photograph a scene with 14 stops of DR and moving elements if your camera can only handle 11 stops. You can solve it by using an IQ280, D810 or A7r.

Rubbish. A camera of 11 stops can still take a perfectly wonderful photograph of the same damned thing. How do you think award-winning photographs have been produced for decades before cameras achieved 14 stops of DR?  ::)

Maybe when viewed side-by-side with a higher DR camera, the difference can be seen, but to say "no amount of skill" could produce a great image with an 11-stop camera is sheer nonsense. If it's a beautiful image, and well-composed, 99% of the people seeing the image would applaud it and never know the difference. It is OCD, pixel-peeping insanity to think otherwise.



And no amount of skill will let you take a motion-blurred photo of a waterfall if you don't have a tripod or some other kind of support.

I've already stated a person can get better results through the right lenses, and the right accessories, than by worrying about changing his camera back all the time.



There are many things in photography for which gear is the solution, not skill.

Agreed. But that still begs the real question, which was who do we listen to? The photographer who can apply his gear correctly, any gear, and produce great results ... or do we listen to the person who "bought the latest gear" ... but who still can't produce a great image with it?

Jack
« Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 10:44:16 am by Jack Koerner »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Bullying as a substitute for Argument
« Reply #257 on: April 11, 2015, 11:03:36 am »

Hmmm...why does "arguing with a doorknob" idiom come to mind?  ;)

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Bullying as a substitute for Argument
« Reply #258 on: April 11, 2015, 11:26:20 am »

Presumably because name-calling amuses you. Oh, it was a rhetorical question :-)

Name calling wasn't my intention, though the full idiom ("...and loosing") might have led you in that direction. What I see is two (or more) otherwise bright guys arguing and parsing each other's lines ad nauseam. Futility of arguing with a doorknob comes to mind in this case, not the level of intelligence (un)necessary for it.

shadowblade

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Re: Bullying as a substitute for Argument
« Reply #259 on: April 11, 2015, 12:02:53 pm »

I am not going to debate this topic, because you have (self-admitted) zero experience in taking critical macro shots.

Resolution and sharpness are everything in macro shooting. If you are taking a photo of land, with trees on it, the leaves of said tree are but tiny flecks in your image; meanwhile if I am taking a photo of only that leaf on the tree, you're seeing every vein, sometimes even the cells, of the leaf (depending on how close the shot is). The difference in need for detail/sharpness is astronomical.

Clearly you know absolutely nothing about landscape photography.

You might want to see every vein on a leaf at 5cm distance.

I want to see every leaf on a tree or every pebble on a beach at 50m distance. And print the whole thing 3m across. Resolution is everything in landscape photography.

How many macros do you see printed 3m across? An image of a spider or insect at that size would be scary.

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Or something more forgiving in what 'you' find acceptable ... or both.

Usable/acceptable, according to whom?

According to general consensus.

If your opinion is that modern-day cameras cannot produce a decent image at ISO 640, then you must consider most of the professional photos you've ever seen to be garbage.

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Again, usable/acceptable according to whom?

Noise on a landscape image is oftentimes not as noticeable (with mountains, rocks, trees, etc.) as it is in an ultra-close macro shot of a small subject, where bokeh (a smooth, creamy background) is one of the most coveted/desired elements to the shot.

Of course, you wouldn't know this with your zero experience shooting macro ...

Once again, you've shown your complete ignorance of landscape photography and printing.

Landscapes often have one, huge area of largely-continuous tone - the sky. Noise is extremely visible there. Doubly so for the huge prints landscape photographers often produce.

Noise in smooth, out-of-focus areas isn't a problem. It's out of focus anyway, so you can blur it out easily in postprocessing

Even if it were not for noise, you lose 1 stop of DR for every stop you go above the base ISO. You can't often afford to do this when shooting landscapes.

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"The same," according to whom? Whose eyes?

According to the camera. And according to basic physics.

The physics of light is an objective science, not subjective opinion. Which is something artistic, non-scientific types don't tend to understand very well.

If you have flash of the same relative intensity (taking into account source distance and the inverse square law) from a source of the same relative size (again, taking into account source distance and the angle subtended by the source from the position of the subject) coming from the same direction as the sun, then the light reflected from the subject will be identical from the flash will be identical to the sunlight reflected from the subject. Since the light reflected from the subject is the same regardless of whether it comes from a flash, continuous lights or the sun, the light arriving at the sensor will be the same.

This is used every day by special-effects directors in the film and television industry. If you couldn't recreate natural light using flash, then greensceening wouldn't work. You wouldn't be able to have actors walking through 'natural' light on an alien planet or in a spaceship. But these effects work because you can use artificial light to exactly recreate the illumination from natural light.

A camera doesn't care what the source of photons is. A photon from the sun is treated no differently to a photon from a flash, or one that's been reflected off the moon or from a reflector. All it does is count photons.

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Light is light? Really?

Then why do we have the concepts of optimal light vs. harsh light?

The photons are still the same. The difference is their directionality - whether they're coming in almost parallel (direct sunlight, gridded softbox or beauty dish) or at all angles (ungridded, large softbox or overcast sky) - their colour (adjustable via white balance or via filters) and the relative size of the source (that's why softboxes come in different sizes).

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Why do sunsets/sunrises make things look so much different than mid-day?

Due to the direction of the light (the colour being easily compensated for with white balance). Mid-day means overhead light, which means short/minimal shadows; sunrise and sunset mean long shadows. Also because of the changing atmospheric conditions, particularly the amount of water vapour, dust or clouds in the air.

If your subject is small enough or your flashes, stands and modifiers powerful and large enough, you can create the exact lighting conditions of sunlight from any time of the day, any day of the year, with any sort of cloud cover.

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I do agree that some absolute masters of flash photography can create even, pleasant, very well-controlled results with the use of flash ... but I disagree that they look exactly the same as natural light shots taken in optimal lighting conditions.

Firstly, what are 'optimal' lighting conditions? I don't believe that's a technical term. Is it something that only occurs on one day a year? In which case, you may as well throw out most of your photos and only shoot on that day. Or is it a range of lighting conditions? In which case, it's easily replicated.

Secondly, with enough flashes and modifiers, you can easily make them look identical. The smaller the area/subject you're trying to illuminate, the easier it is.

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Yes.

1) Yes. Many of the people who can post all of the technical data imaginable on lenses, etc., still cannot produce an award-winning photograph. Conversely, many of the people who may not be at the forefront of pioneering new photographic technologies can still produce awesome, saleable photographs. The best wildlife photographers I know are constantly out in the field taking photographs, not reading charts, posting links to DXO marks, etc.

So? That's not the question. The question isn't 'who is the best photographer'. It's 'who/what can you trust with regards to technical information about cameras.'

It was implied by you, and others, that artists will know more, since they shoot better photos.

Half the photographers I know barely know what's inside the camera, or even how autofocus works, let alone the more theoretical stuff. They couldn't tell you anything about the technical side of photography. All they do is use the equipment, and produce great photos.

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2) No one ever made the argument that skill allows you to 'bypass' the technical limits of the camera, so nice attempt at building a strawman to kick later. What was said was, photographic skill allows a man to take great photos even with so-so cameras, so let's try to keep our discussion honest, okay? ;)

Skill is meaningless if the great photo you have in mind is beyond the technical capabilities of the camera.

You can take a great shot with an iPhone, if all the conditions are right. You can also take a terrible shot. You just won't be able to do it in the dark, if the subject's moving, if the dynamic range is too great, if the angle of view required is too small or too great... and, once you get that shot, you won't be able to print it very large either, due to the resolution and image quality. Every step of increased technical capability - increased ISO capability, increased DR, increased frame rate, improved AF, increased resolution - allows you to take that great shot (or that terrible shot) in a wider variety of situations, and do more with it once you've taken it.

Better equipment allows you to apply your skill in a greater range of conditions, to take whatever photos you normally do. There's nothing more frustrating than having a great shot in mind, being on location with the sun and moon in the right place and the cloud cover just perfect, and not being able to take it because your equipment can't handle the situation (e.g. the 5D2 or A7r and moving wildlife, or high-DR scenes with lots of deep shadows with a Canon sensor) or not being able to print it at the size you want because the resolution isn't there.

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Yes, as does everyone, since all cameras have their limitations.

How many people bring Hasselblads to sporting events ... or hiking up steep mountains, etc.

I upgrade my equipment to bypass these limitations.

Often this means hiring yaks or mules to carry heavy equipment.

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To some degree this is correct: you have to buy the right tool for the job. In some cases, the right camera back can solve a problem. In other cases, like the one you mention, getting an f/1.8 lens could solve the problem, or maybe a camera back. Some problems can be solved with skill, experience, and (always) good choices ... including, at times, the choice of a different camera.

If a 'problem' can be solved with skill or experience, then it's not a technical problem. It's just that you're crap.

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Rubbish. A camera of 11 stops can still take a perfectly wonderful photograph of the same damned thing. How do you think award-winning photographs have been produced for decades before cameras achieved 14 stops of DR?  ::)

By not taking scenes with 14 stops of DR that can't be corrected with filters or multiple exposures in the first place.

There are heaps of good shots you can take with a 10-stop camera. There are also heaps that you can't. With a 14-stop camera, you pick up lots of great shots that would have been missed with a lesser camera.

As a good photographer, you still pick up plenty of great shots with just ten stops. And the ones you pick up are just as good. Just that you pick up many more with 14 stops.

Think about it. How many great sporting shots have been taken throughout history? Plenty. How many of these were colour shots involving fast action in dark conditions with no flash? Not many, until high-ISO cameras allowed these moments to be captured well. How many shots of the Milky Way against a landscape, without star trails, have you seen taken on colour film? Again, likely none.

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Maybe when viewed side-by-side with a higher DR camera, the difference can be seen, but to say "no amount of skill" could produce a great image with an 11-stop camera is sheer nonsense. If it's a beautiful image, and well-composed, 99% of the people seeing the image would applaud it and never know the difference. It is OCD, pixel-peeping insanity to think otherwise.

You've missed the key part of the statement. No amount of skill can produce a great image of a 14 stop scene with moving elements with an 11-stop camera. Unless you like to have highlights and shadows blown to white and black respectively.

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I've already stated a person can get better results through the right lenses, and the right accessories, than by worrying about changing his camera back all the time.

That's still equipment. Not skill.

And most professionals and advanced amateurs already have the right lenses and accessories for their type of photography. These things tend to stick around between bodies and you don't change them every three years. If you already have the lenses and accessories (e.g. cube head and sturdy tripod for landscapes), the one thing that you can upgrade is the body.

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Agreed. But that still begs the real question, which was who do we listen to? The photographer who can apply his gear correctly, any gear, and produce great results ... or do we listen to the person who "bought the latest gear" ... but who still can't produce a great image with it?

Not the 'person who bought the latest gear', but the person who knows how equipment works, knows how an image is formed and knows the technical side of cameras. If I want to improve the technical quality of my photos, or if I want to know how adjusting one aspect of camera performance will affect the overall image, these are the people I talk to. Even if they can barely take an in-focus selfie in green box mode. Not the artist who clicks a button and takes great photos, but has no idea how what he sees through the viewfinder turns into the file he gets later in Photoshop.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 12:24:23 pm by shadowblade »
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