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View Full Version : SLM's photographic, artistic conundrum/crisis



Sad, little man
April 4th, 2016, 03:39 PM
I think I've come to realize that the reason I hate it when people call me a photographer is that the label of photographer conjures up such an incredibly shitty connotation for me. But yet at the same time, I fully understand why professional photographers are forced to be such crapheads sometimes.

I'm either fortunate enough or foolish enough to have a steady job that pays the bills and then some. I don't have to be hawkish about protecting how and where the photos I take are used, because I'm in no way dependent on them to generate revenue for me to live on. I really detest seeing a photographer's watermark in photos online. To me, doing that does two things.

First off, putting a stamp in the corner of a photo says to the world that you've decided that this photo is good enough that its existence must be controlled, protected, and credited. I don't want to do that. If I take a photo, I want the people looking at it to decide if its good or not. Putting a little mark in the corner is just so desperate to me. It's the epitome of self-validation.

Second, whenever the photo is of someone performing, which I like to take photos of, it just feels like it's taking all of the credit. I can appreciate the work and talent that goes into taking great photos, but at the end of the day, if you took a photo of someone else doing what they do, it just doesn't feel right to me to put your name in the corner. What did you really do aside from show up and take pictures?

Because I don't depend on taking photos for revenue, I want to be better than this. If you want to call taking photos art, then I want to do it and I want people to enjoy it for the sake of what it is, not feel like I'm cramming it down their throats as something that should be worthy of their admiration.

But at the same time, if what I'm doing is something people think is good, I want to be known for it, which admittedly is hard when there's nothing tying my photos back to me once they're dispersed onto the interwebs. One band has used my photos for their own use, and I'm happy about it. I'm just happy that something I made was considered by the people I was taking the photo of to have accurately captured themselves to the point that they wanted it to represent them. But at the same time, no one knows I took the photo.

In a perfect world, I want to be a photographer people want to have take photos of them, but that they can't hire, because it was never about the money to begin with.

Does any of this make any sense?

Cam
April 4th, 2016, 07:02 PM
There's nothing wrong with wanting to be proud of your artwork. There is also nothing wrong with giving your artwork away.

You are insulting the people that do make art for a living by saying things like, "...the label of photographer conjures up such an incredibly shitty connotation..." (So, artists are shitty?) and, "...professional photographers are forced to be such crapheads..." (Not the ones I know.) and, "...Putting a little mark in the corner is just so desperate to me. It's the epitome of self-validation." (So, me signing my work is desperate and self-validating?) Copying an artists work without their permission is immoral, illegal and just not cool. Unfortunately, it happens all too often; often enough that photographers have to put their signature on their photos, lest someone use them without permission.

Just showing up and taking pictures is not photography. Anyone can do that. When you take photos, don't you think about framing, staging, light, action, etc? As you know, there is more to it than just pointing your camera and pressing the button.

Yw-slayer
April 4th, 2016, 08:01 PM
I got progressively more irritated as I read through the post, and decided to stop reading after the "First off" paragraph.

Jason
April 4th, 2016, 08:16 PM
:|

Sad, little man
April 4th, 2016, 08:18 PM
You guys should probably disregard most of the things I say. I'm a very mentally distraught person who occasionally spouts things like this. In my head it all makes sense, but perhaps it has been distorted too greatly by my own imperfect neurological processes as to be of any real use to anyone else aside from a seemingly offensive rant. I promise I'm not like this in real life.

Jason
April 4th, 2016, 08:36 PM
You think way too much.

Sad, little man
April 4th, 2016, 08:56 PM
Yes, but I have a lot to think about.

Yw-slayer
April 5th, 2016, 01:43 AM
One band has used my photos for their own use, and I'm happy about it. I'm just happy that something I made was considered by the people I was taking the photo of to have accurately captured themselves to the point that they wanted it to represent them. But at the same time, no one knows I took the photo.

I did start (but didn't finish) reading the screen again and noticed the above bit.

That's your choice. Me, I'd like a minor credit somewhere in writing, even if I don't think the photo is any good and even though I don't make any money from photography (it's purely a hobby). But hey, it's your photos that you have spent a fair amount of money and time taking. People are entitled to at least claim credit for their photos, no matter how "desperate" you think it is, and quite frankly I think people should.

If someone passes off your work as theirs at work, or their idea as yours even in a non-work context, is that cool? Or is it "desperate" to claim some entitlement to be recognised as the originator of the idea?

Cam
April 5th, 2016, 04:32 AM
I'm a very mentally distraught person
Seek help from a therapist.

Sad, little man
April 5th, 2016, 05:57 AM
Done and done. Only of marginal help.

Kchrpm
April 5th, 2016, 06:41 AM
Keep going until it's of more help. Let go of your ego, don't think you are smarter than them or that they are xyz, just listen and try to take what they say to heart.

I let my friends use my pictures for whatever they choose. If they choose to tag me in the posts, then fine, if not, I will silently enjoy that my work is appreciated, or I will make a silly comment about the talent of the photographer.

But I am incredibly casual and unplanned in most of my photographs, I'm the person that just looks for something that catches my eye and then takes a picture of it.

Sad, little man
April 6th, 2016, 03:55 PM
That's not the issue Keith.

Anyway, I dunno, I'm trying to figure out what my hang up is with photography, specifically photographing people performing.

I mean, yes, photography is art. I guess I just feel like kind of a phony because it seems like it's too easy to be called art. It's too fast and painless to create photos to call them art. Well, I guess in some cases it's not, which then I would understand calling it that better.

When people say how great a photo I took was, I can't help but just feel like anyone could have done it with some basic knowledge. It doesn't take enough effort for me to really consider it art. I mean, writing/performing a song or making a painting, to me those are orders of magnitudes more work and require more talent than photography.

With respect to photographing people performing, I just kind of feel like, without them doing their thing, you would never have those photos. How can you really claim a photo as your own when it was a photo of someone else doing their art?

Anyway, took photos of a band on Friday. Sent them the photos yesterday. They were praised by the band as being "fantastic." The lead singer now has one as her fb profile pic, where it has received yet more adoration from friends.

I am happy, and yet I feel like the Wizard of Oz... Anonymously pulling levers behind a curtain to everyone's amazement.

Sad, little man
April 6th, 2016, 04:13 PM
Maybe I'm not looking at this right. Maybe I'm not taking into account the rigors of real professional photography and all that goes into shooting in a studio.

Rare White Ape
April 6th, 2016, 04:17 PM
Seek help from a therapist.
If he did he would have to change his nickname to happy little man.

Kchrpm
April 6th, 2016, 04:22 PM
"Painting" by itself is not difficult. Having one or two good paintings? Luck or happenstance. Being able to consistently produce quality paintings that are all unique? That is the realm of an artist.

I have taken a few good pictures in my life, maybe a couple dozen out of tens of thousands. Jason could plan something out and take just as many this weekend. He better understands what he wants to achieve, and how to achieve it, and how to let it achieve itself.

If you think it is too easy to take a good picture, then challenge yourself. Come up with your own idea, your own setting, your own mental painting, and then go use your camera to paint it. Don't rely on someone else's performance, someone else's lighting, someone else's clothing and special effects. Get rid of all the things that are being set up for you and go set it up yourself.

That's the art.

Rikadyn
April 9th, 2016, 12:58 PM
That's not the issue Keith.

Anyway, I dunno, I'm trying to figure out what my hang up is with photography, specifically photographing people performing.

I mean, yes, photography is art. I guess I just feel like kind of a phony because it seems like it's too easy to be called art. It's too fast and painless to create photos to call them art. Well, I guess in some cases it's not, which then I would understand calling it that better.

When people say how great a photo I took was, I can't help but just feel like anyone could have done it with some basic knowledge. It doesn't take enough effort for me to really consider it art. I mean, writing/performing a song or making a painting, to me those are orders of magnitudes more work and require more talent than photography.

With respect to photographing people performing, I just kind of feel like, without them doing their thing, you would never have those photos. How can you really claim a photo as your own when it was a photo of someone else doing their art?

Anyway, took photos of a band on Friday. Sent them the photos yesterday. They were praised by the band as being "fantastic." The lead singer now has one as her fb profile pic, where it has received yet more adoration from friends.

I am happy, and yet I feel like the Wizard of Oz... Anonymously pulling levers behind a curtain to everyone's amazement.


Imposter Syndrome. Welcome to the club :P


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZYlQ4Wv8lE

Sad, little man
April 10th, 2016, 04:06 PM
In a way I feel like even more of a fraud than that guy because at least he is actually living off of his photos. I feel like it detracts from people struggling to make a living at photography or any type of art for me to call myself a photographer because I don't have to walk the tightrope of being good enough at it to be able to support myself.

Anyway, someone saw me taking photos at an event last night, and he said he wanted to hire me to take photos of him doing stand-up comedy. I explained to him that I'm just taking photos like this for my own enjoyment. He understood the value in hiring a photographer that isn't trying to make money at it. So, I gave him my contact info.

So up to this point, I have been given a small plastic toy horse as payment for taking one set of photos, and now I have one possible lead for another job. I think I have one of the most successful photography businesses in history, among people who have not and do not intend to start a photography business.

Kchrpm
April 10th, 2016, 04:31 PM
I have "sold" my photography skills for free food #imrichbitch

Sad, little man
April 10th, 2016, 04:59 PM
Now I'm determined to unintentionally have a more successful photography career than you.

Kchrpm
April 10th, 2016, 05:20 PM
In that case, here are your goals:
- Get a free lunch once a month
- Take pictures for a friend, then sell some for $5 each to one of her regulars and split it with her
- Have a bunch of different people tell you they want you to help them make a calendar, and then never follow up on it
- Have a few friends and family ask you to take pictures for them for free at their family events

Rikadyn
April 12th, 2016, 06:10 PM
In a way I feel like even more of a fraud than that guy because at least he is actually living off of his photos. I feel like it detracts from people struggling to make a living at photography or any type of art for me to call myself a photographer because I don't have to walk the tightrope of being good enough at it to be able to support myself.

Anyway, someone saw me taking photos at an event last night, and he said he wanted to hire me to take photos of him doing stand-up comedy. I explained to him that I'm just taking photos like this for my own enjoyment. He understood the value in hiring a photographer that isn't trying to make money at it. So, I gave him my contact info.

So up to this point, I have been given a small plastic toy horse as payment for taking one set of photos, and now I have one possible lead for another job. I think I have one of the most successful photography businesses in history, among people who have not and do not intend to start a photography business.

You might actually enjoy checking out Zack Arias, he started his actual career shooting for local bands and stuff in Atlanta. He's also a really approachable down to earth cat.

Sad, little man
April 20th, 2016, 11:07 AM
The reason I hate myself this week is that I can't really think of another art form outside of photography where the quality of your art is so heavily dependent on the tools you use to make it.

I have spent a lot of money on my camera and lenses now (made possible by a job I have come to hate but gives me ample disposable income), and I feel like this gives me an unfair advantage over people with lesser cameras. So, when people say my photos are so great, I feel like the credit is undeserved because a lot of the quality of the photo came from having a good camera and not my own skill.

Someone said they wanted to make an oil painting of a photo I took. Yay.

Kchrpm
April 20th, 2016, 12:30 PM
So, when people say my photos are so great, I feel like the credit is undeserved because a lot of the quality of the photo came from having a good camera and not my own skill.

There are a couple of ways to think about that.

1) Be grateful that you have the humility to understand that point and continue on your current path.
2) Test yourself by getting/using lesser equipment. DigitalRev has done multiple videos where they give a cheap/old/terrible camera to a professional photographer, who then goes out and takes (mostly) excellent photos with them. Just like giving a fast driver a slow car, they will learn to focus on the finer details of composition and lighting, and not just bathe in the power of their equipment.

Rikadyn
April 20th, 2016, 12:32 PM
where the quality of your art is so heavily dependent on the tools you use to make it.



it's not.

Jason
April 20th, 2016, 02:20 PM
I don't know why I decided to come in here again. Its just pissing me off.

Jason
April 20th, 2016, 02:21 PM
There are a couple of ways to think about that.

1) Be grateful that you have the humility to understand that point and continue on your current path.
2) Test yourself by getting/using lesser equipment. DigitalRev has done multiple videos where they give a cheap/old/terrible camera to a professional photographer, who then goes out and takes (mostly) excellent photos with them. Just like giving a fast driver a slow car, they will learn to focus on the finer details of composition and lighting, and not just bathe in the power of their equipment.

Some of my most popular/liked imagery is done with a $25 piece of shit lens attached to a mediocre mirrorless camera. So I guess by SLM's measure, I'm worthless, because I didn't make said images with even shittier equipment.

Or something.

Sad, little man
April 20th, 2016, 03:49 PM
Jason, you seem to be taking this extremely personally, it's not meant to be, and I'm struggling how you extrapolated all of that from my last post. In fact what you're saying is essentially the complete opposite of what I said in the last post.

I'm saying that I don't feel like compliments I receive on photos are as deserved when taken with a very good camera/lens. Carrying that logic out to the logical conclusion, it would follow that I feel that compliments received on photos taken with a crappy camera/lens would be very much deserved. And indeed, I do think that.

But it seems like you've completely inverted what I've said. How did you get to the conclusion that I would think you were worthless for using cheap equipment?


Anyway, I guess the thing is, I'm a perfectionist about things like this. So for my own fulfillment and satisfaction, I want to capture the best image possible, so I want the best equipment. But then when other people really like the photos, it makes me wonder if they would really think as highly of it if it wasn't taken with the same good equipment. I guess I feel like in an age where almost every photo was taken with a phone, people will admire any photos taken with a decent camera just because of their comparable quality.

I've seen the DigitalRev videos. Yes, the composition of the photos is good, but of course the photo quality is crap. If I'm capturing a situation, I want to do it as much justice as I can. And most of the photos I take are in awful lighting conditions, so just getting any kind of usable photo that isn't pitch black requires good equipment, or a flash, which I refuse to use.

Again, what it really comes down to is that I am an emotionally conflicted individual, and my feelings and opinions should be viewed and dismissed in the same way that random background noise is.

Jason
April 20th, 2016, 04:45 PM
I'm taking it personally because you keep shitting all over photography while acting like you're some sort of godsend.

I think I'll follow your advice and ignore your 'background noise'.

Sad, little man
April 20th, 2016, 05:16 PM
Ok. So is there anything I could say to make you not hate me, or are you pretty much set at this point?

Rikadyn
April 20th, 2016, 05:51 PM
"Best equipment possible"

So when you getting a Hassie or Phase?

Sad, little man
April 20th, 2016, 06:46 PM
The term possible, as used here, is meant in a way that includes within my budget as part of the definition of "possible." ;)

Cam
April 21st, 2016, 05:29 AM
SLM, Jason is annoyed because you keep insulting legit artists, like he and I, intentional or not. Your intent is not relevant.

The quality of an artists work is not measured by their tools.

Mr Wonder
April 21st, 2016, 11:40 AM
Yeah it's pretty easy to see why Jason is upset. You're treating art like engineering, where better tools/materials will often make a better finished product. Art and creative processes just don't work that way. You can practice and get better or develop new skills, but purchasing new gear won't help you at all outside of a very small set of specific circumstances, especially in photography. (Full frame sensors for low light admittedly being one of them.)

I used to be the same way to a lesser extent. It will pass.

Kchrpm
April 21st, 2016, 11:46 AM
Step 1) Realize that you're being a know-it-all-that-knows-very-litte
Step 2) Ask more questions than you answer

Sad, little man
June 2nd, 2016, 06:18 PM
I just found a photographer in Detroit that is so good that I feel like there's no point in me even taking pictures anymore. Anything I could possibly take photos of, he's probably already taken a better one of the same thing. It's sad to have spent a lot of time doing something and feeling like you're getting to be pretty good at it, and then realizing that you're just not even close to good.

Kchrpm
June 2nd, 2016, 08:25 PM
Just because you think someone is better than you at something doesn't mean you shouldn't bother doing it. Do you actually enjoy photography?

Sad, little man
September 5th, 2016, 03:10 PM
Hi, I'm troubled again... I took some beautiful photos this weekend of the milky way and the northern lights. In a few photos, both of them were in the same frame. However, when editing them after the fact, I'm torn between the urge to make them look as amazing as possible, and stay somewhat true to reality. After seeing so many cool milky way photos online and wanting to go somewhere where I could take my own like that, I've come to a realization... I don't think there's any place on earth where the milky way actually looks as amazing to the eye as it does in the vast majority of photos of it. I feel like it's somewhat disingenuous to take these 20 second long photos at ISOs far higher than any film ever made, and then show off the photos as if it's anything close to real life. I mean, it's not. The northern lights were cool, and while admittedly I'm sure they're better on some nights than what I saw, they are definitely not the life changing experience you think you'd have when you see them based on the thousands of photos of them plastered online. They simply don't look like that.

Cam
September 5th, 2016, 05:33 PM
Images do not have to replicate reality.

Rikadyn
September 5th, 2016, 05:47 PM
also a lot of the better landscape astro pics are not single frames, but 20-30mins worth of 20sec exposures and shot from black sites

Yw-slayer
September 6th, 2016, 03:47 AM
Surely the question is: "Who cares?"

Sad, little man
September 6th, 2016, 07:15 AM
Well when you're taking a photo of something that a lot of people have never seen and perhaps will never have the chance to see in their lives, like the northern lights, isn't it a bit disingenuous to take photos that don't actually portray them in a realistic manner? I mean, think of all the people who have gone to great lengths to try to see something like that with the belief that they would see something that looks like all of those photos, when in reality it just doesn't, not to the naked eye.

Kchrpm
September 6th, 2016, 07:26 AM
Fun fact: nearly every single photo you've seen of fancy far-off space stuff is greatly spliced/tweaked, often to represent the UV light and other waves that would not be normally visible to the human eye.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/03/hubble-space-telescope-ultraviolet-10000-galaxies-photo_n_5440225.html

http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1832760/thumbs/o-HUBBLE-UV-900.jpg


The new image, a false-color compilation of shots taken during the course of 841 orbits of Hubble between 2003 and 2012, contains roughly 10,000 galaxies in a vast variety of shapes and sizes.

Cam
September 6th, 2016, 08:01 AM
Again, art is not required to replicate reality.

Sad, little man
September 6th, 2016, 05:24 PM
I would argue that photography is in a unique category of art in that it involves recording reality. The simplest way I can put it is this... No one really cares if someone makes a painting of a woman that isn't realistic, but people reject magazine photos of models that have been excessively manipulated after the fact. And the reason is that photos carry a certain responsibility in that they are presented as a depiction of something real, and I think distorting that to an excessive degree is somewhat misleading.

Kch, I think that distant space photos and other photos that are taken with instruments that are far, far different from the capacity of the human eye are just understood to be a somewhat distorted version of reality. I mean, from some research online, it looks like the equivalent focal length of the hubble telescope is something like 57600mm. A "normal" DSLR lens is around 24-70mm. When you're dealing with photos taken with things like that, it's not even starting off as anything the human eye could ever see anyway, so I don't really have so much of an issue with that.

Yw-slayer
September 6th, 2016, 05:57 PM
Just take whatever photos you want.

Freude am Fahren
September 6th, 2016, 06:27 PM
Is it journalism? No? You're good.

Rikadyn
September 7th, 2016, 05:40 AM
surrealist photographers would disagree with you.

also:
not mine, but M31 with a 100mm
https://www.reddit.com/r/astrophotography/comments/51enh9/andromeda_single_shot/

Cam
September 7th, 2016, 06:14 AM
Photography can be whatever you want it to be. You just cannot harp on others that do not have the same ideals as you.

Now make something beautiful... or ugly.

Kchrpm
September 7th, 2016, 07:02 AM
people reject magazine photos of models that have been excessively manipulated after the fact
They do that because those magazines are seen as not selling art, but as trying to sell an image attainable through a product/service, but in the process are setting unattainable goals for women who are then beating themselves up over it. It's an odd blending point between art, journalism and truth-in-advertising.


Photography can be whatever you want it to be. You just cannot harp on others that do not have the same ideals as you.
QFT. Just like any other art form, it's about self expression. Rather than saying what photography should or shouldn't be, you can say what kind of photography you're most interested in making.

Sad, little man
September 7th, 2016, 07:37 AM
They do that because those magazines are seen as not selling art, but as trying to sell an image attainable through a product/service, but in the process are setting unattainable goals for women who are then beating themselves up over it. It's an odd blending point between art, journalism and truth-in-advertising.


QFT. Just like any other art form, it's about self expression. Rather than saying what photography should or shouldn't be, you can say what kind of photography you're most interested in making.

If I post up highly edited photos of the stars and northern lights taken in a remote area which are enhanced far past anything you could actually see, then wouldn't people similarly strive to go to those places in the hopes of seeing something like that? But ultimately it's unattainable, because even if you drive hours away from civilization in the middle of the night, the sky still won't look like that.

How is this any different from photoshopped models in magazines? I'm basically saying "look what you can see if you drive all the way out here on a clear night." But it's not true. In fact, I myself did this in hopes of both seeing and photographing something like this. And now, I have photos that look like this, but it wasn't really as amazing as I thought it would be.

Yw-slayer
September 7th, 2016, 07:59 AM
No-one gives a shit.

Kchrpm
September 7th, 2016, 08:22 AM
If I post up highly edited photos of the stars and northern lights taken in a remote area which are enhanced far past anything you could actually see, then wouldn't people similarly strive to go to those places in the hopes of seeing something like that? But ultimately it's unattainable, because even if you drive hours away from civilization in the middle of the night, the sky still won't look like that.

How is this any different from photoshopped models in magazines? I'm basically saying "look what you can see if you drive all the way out here on a clear night." But it's not true. In fact, I myself did this in hopes of both seeing and photographing something like this. And now, I have photos that look like this, but it wasn't really as amazing as I thought it would be.

1) Your goal in taking the picture was not selling anything, it was creating a piece of art. That is the major difference.
2) You can, and many do, post the notes of how you created a picture along with the picture. You will see this often in camera reviews, for instance, where the reviewer will specify when an image was edited to taste and sometimes even the specific methods and values of adjustment. Again that is related to commerce of a product rather than simple appreciation of the image.

When the image itself is the final product, do with it what you will, and choose to share your methods based purely on your own decisions. If the image represents an attempt to accurately present a person, location or another object, rather than existing purely on its own, then be considerate of what you do and honest with how you did it.

Cam
September 7th, 2016, 10:13 AM
No-one gives a shit.

We get it. You don't give a shit. If you truly didn't give a shit, you would not be here trolling. :rolleyes:

Jason
September 7th, 2016, 10:15 AM
I knew I shouldn't have opened this.

Yw-slayer
September 7th, 2016, 04:50 PM
We get it. You don't give a shit. If you truly didn't give a shit, you would not be here trolling. :rolleyes:

Ok, maybe I give enough of a shit to tell him no-one gives a shit. :D

Actually, that's probably giving a shit about something else. Whatever.

Yw-slayer
September 11th, 2016, 05:32 PM
http://petapixel.com/2016/06/07/eyes-afghan-girl-critical-take-steve-mccurry-scandal/

Sad, little man
September 21st, 2016, 07:47 AM
Somebody wants to buy my star photos. He wants the digital files to print out as 8x10s. I think I'm going to give him resized photos suitable for 8x10 prints. I don't really want to let the horses out of the barn so to speak by giving him full res files. I've been reading online, and I hadn't considered this before, but a full res file of a good photo should really command a hefty price since is effectively giving someone free range to run off as many copies as they want. But at the same time, I already made it clear that I just do this as a hobby, so I don't feel like I can charge huge prices in this case. So, I feel like resized files for a modest price is a good middle ground.

Cam
September 21st, 2016, 08:59 AM
You are going to let someone else profit off your work? :twitch: :?

Sad, little man
September 21st, 2016, 09:06 AM
No, he wants to print them for his own personal use. He was at the same spot I was at when I took the photos. He did not have a camera, so he offered to buy photos that I took.

Yw-slayer
September 21st, 2016, 09:11 AM
So sell him the photos. At least for how much gas it cost you to get to the place.

Cam
September 21st, 2016, 09:43 AM
Ah, I misunderstood. Yeah, that's cool then. :)

Sad, little man
September 25th, 2016, 08:55 PM
I'm drunk and I'm looking through my entire available history of photos (why do I only have back to 2013? wtf). I feel that there may have been a period of time where I was sufficiently skilled at using a camera where I was taking really good photos but not


I just realized that I'm not going to be able to properly convey what I'm really trying to say here. crap. I'm just going to hit reply now.

Sad, little man
September 25th, 2016, 09:10 PM
I think really what I'm trying to say is that December 30, 2015 was one of the greatest days I've ever lived and I'm just so glad that I have photos to remember it by.

http://gtxforums.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=1952&d=1474863022

1952

Sad, little man
September 25th, 2016, 09:54 PM
As I look through my old photos, and realize what shit they were, I realize that all of the things that are now second nature to me, is the shutter speed fast enough for the focal length, is the ISO ok, is the fstop set to make the photo look how you want it to look, were before things that I was more or less completely clueless about. So, I begin to realize that the things I now take for granted, the things I discount as not really being a skill because they seem so apparent to me now, really are a skill, because I had no clue about them before, and my photos show it.

(Stepping up from a kit lens to a 24-70 2.8 and 50 1.4 din't hurt either, but I digress.)

Cam
December 16th, 2016, 11:30 AM
Dude, I have really been digging the photos you have been posting recently, here and FB. Lots of human interest. I think the framing of your photos could still improve, however. Try to avoid cutting off feet and keep in mind the rule of thirds.

I know you were struggling at first, but I think you made it. Keep up the great work! :) :up:

Sad, little man
January 22nd, 2017, 10:18 AM
I have around 55,000 photos saved right now. For the sake of argument, let's say 90% of those are bad photos, not worth doing anything with. If it takes around 5 minutes a photo to pick out the good ones and edit/crop them to look their best, that's 458 hours of work to edit 10% of those. 458 hours is equivalent to 11 weeks of working a full time job. I continue to take thousands of photos each month.

This is not a hobby or an interest, it's a compulsion.

Cam
January 22nd, 2017, 02:29 PM
That is what produces the best art, my man. Keep it up. :up:

Sad, little man
July 28th, 2017, 10:26 AM
I've come to a tentative conclusion that formal portrait photography is a sham, and you can never elicit true emotions from someone on command.

Kchrpm
July 28th, 2017, 05:52 PM
Which is one of the reasons excellent models and actors/actresses get paid so much.

Cam
July 28th, 2017, 06:31 PM
Just because you do not like it, does not mean it is an illegitimate art form. Kch is right, good actors can make you believe they are feeling emotions.

SLM, you are still hung up on gear. You have boasted in other threads about your awesome lenses and how much they cost. When is it going to get through to you that it is not the tools that make the art? (Rhetorical question.)

Jason
July 28th, 2017, 07:32 PM
Which is one of the reasons excellent models and actors/actresses get paid so much.

Man oh man, the difference between a good model, and an inexperienced one is pretty damned extreme. Being able to just tell someone a certain mood I'm going for, and them emoting it is wonderful. Trying to direct someone is a shit show (I'm sure better photographers than I get better results there)

Sad, little man
July 28th, 2017, 09:14 PM
Just because you do not like it, does not mean it is an illegitimate art form. Kch is right, good actors can make you believe they are feeling emotions.
Never said it was illegitimate, that was your term. I said it was a sham. It's perfectly legitimate, it just always ends up looking fake. I think there's a big difference between actors in a motion picture and models in still photos. I think in a way actors have the ability to much more effectively convey an emotion as compared to a model. With acting, you have all this time and motion with which to convince someone of a real emotion. With a model in a still photo, you get frozen in one instant in time, and anyone viewing the photo can freely study it for as long as they want, and I think that humans are good enough at discerning true emotion from fake to be able to pick up on the fakeness of a model almost every time when they can study something so closely. It's almost like the uncanny valley. It almost looks right, but on a deep level I think we can discern that it's not, and it ends up totally ruining it.


SLM, you are still hung up on gear. You have boasted in other threads about your awesome lenses and how much they cost. When is it going to get through to you that it is not the tools that make the art? (Rhetorical question.)
As soon as it gets through to you that I'm excited about gear not because of what it is on its own, but because of the potential that it has to let me take the photos I want to take.

Sad, little man
July 28th, 2017, 09:27 PM
Case in point... This photo was taken at f1.4 (wide open on that lens,) 1/60 second (about the slowest I can reliably go while hand-holding at 50mm,) and ISO 12800. Any lesser of a camera and lens would have made the photo nearly impossible to take, at least with any detail or quality. A lesser 50mm 1.8 prime would have put me at an equivalent ISO of about 21000, which most cameras would really not look good at, and even mine is borderline at that ISO. I simply wouldn't have been able to take the photo without really good equipment.

http://gtxforums.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=2500&d=1501302423

2500

Yw-slayer
July 28th, 2017, 10:10 PM
I think what he meant was not that it is not a legitimate art form, but that the whole thing is a sham in that the emotions displayed are "not genuine".

However, and even in that sense, I still disagree with his characterisation of it as a "sham". It is possible to elicit certain emotions on demand from someone in a formal portrait session. But maybe he doesn't have the skills/tools to do so at the moment.

Yw-slayer
July 28th, 2017, 10:15 PM
(sorry wrote previous post before I noticed thread had gone on to a new page)

Ah, models v actors and experience v inexperience. So maybe the real comparison is between one and the other in both senses, rather than between formal portrait photography and movies. What if you took formal portraits of an actor? And this doesn't even include formal portrait photos of people who are not models or actors.

JoeW
August 9th, 2017, 08:44 AM
I will comment quickly on the whole "better gear...better photographer" issue you guys seem to bring up on occasion.

Would putting Sterling Moss (in his prime) in a modern racing car make him a better driver? No. But he would be able do things with his talent that he never could before.

Just like modern movie directors. 30 years ago they could envision so many great things but technology at the time made it impossible to turn into a believable movie. Did technology make them a better director? No. But it allows them to finally express their imagination on screen in ways that was never before possible.

So...the gear doesn't make you better. It allows you to express your vision in ways that weren't possible years ago.

The problem is when people get hung up on gear and thinking they are better visionaries because they have better gear. It can also fool you into thinking you know what you are doing. 99% of the people today with expensive DSLR cameras just turn the dial to the green square and press the button hoping for greatness. They don't take the time to learn the craft because the equipment is so foolproof nowadays. My cameras don't have a magic dial with auto modes...I have to tell it what I want. Which is how I like it.

Sad, little man
August 9th, 2017, 06:33 PM
Yes! This is what I'm trying to say! Stanley Kubrick had to get that nutty 50mm f0.7 NASA lens to film those scenes in Barry Lyndon they way he wanted to because, from what I've heard, the fastest motion picture film you could get back then was ISO 100.

But, firstly, I haven't heard anyone call out Stanley Kubrick as being overly obsessed with gear instead of focusing on the art of what he was doing. Second, if you wanted to film something like that today, you wouldn't need to go to nearly those lengths, because we have digital cinema cameras that will cleanly go exponentially higher than ISO 100. I am not chasing after all of this good equipment because I think it will automatically make me better, I'm doing it because of what it could allow me to do, assuming I'm proficient at using it. People that say that it's all about the person taking the photo and not the gear, I'm sorry, but that's just not the case. The equipment has limits, and if what you envision or the conditions you want to take photos in exceeds those limits, you just simply can't take the photos you want to take, no matter how good you are.

Anyway, I'm sorry, but I'm not familiar with who you are or what you do.

Kchrpm
August 10th, 2017, 12:35 PM
Ok, but for the longest time all you said was "I don't deserve any credit for any of this, the camera did everything, I'm not even a real artist, I'm just a hack with fancy equipment."

You said that over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

And when other artists corrected you, you disagreed with them and explained why, in the process explaining why their art was not a result of their own talent, either.

So yes, when you post something praising your equipment, and still have rarely if ever given yourself, the artist, credit for the work you do in making your art, we're going to assume that you still have the viewpoint.

When you shit on other equipment because examples shown were created by tweaking RAW files more than one would normally, rather than just being straight out of the camera with no manipulation over even cropping (because cropping is cheating, according to you previously), yes, we're going to assume that you still have the same viewpoint.

If you can plainly, and repeatedly, say that the artist has at least as much, and commonly more, to do with the quality of a photograph, or any other piece of art, than the equipment, without qualifying it and denigrating yourself in the process, then people will stop believing that you believe the opposite, because you obviously did and said as much repeatedly.