View Poll Results: What Do You Understand by "Get It Right"?

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  • No Further Processing Outside Camera

    5 20.83%
  • Get Composition Right

    14 58.33%
  • Maximal Data Capture

    7 29.17%
  • Combination of any of the Above (pls elaborate in thread)

    7 29.17%
  • Others (pls elaborate in thread)

    0 0%
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Thread: "Getting It Right"

  1. #1

    Default "Getting It Right"

    You often hear people say that you must "get it right" at capture in photography.

    I like to know what do people who hear such things understand by that phrase.

    I can think of a few possible meanings:

    1. Preset all the necessary settings on your camera, including Saturation, Contrast, Sharpening, etc, so that it is right when you see it on your preview screen or on your PC, or even directly print it out to a printer, or send it to lab for film, ie no further processing, other than what goes on in your camera, be it by algorithms or by chemistry. (Capture in RAW is not counted here, as RAW files need processing even to see it on your screen. That you used preset or default settings on your RAW processor is also not counted as that is not how RAW is to be processed, ie if you do so you might as well shoot JPEG or TIFF and save, what to you will be an additional unnecessary step of RAW "conversion".) And the skill of getting it right tantamounts to knowing what settings for what situation, and that is what photography is all about.

    2. Get composition right, meaning to create a picture as it is photographically possible and captured by means of one or more of the following essential elements: Focus, DOF, Placement within frame, Exposure (enough light where it matters), Shutter speed (eg blur or frozen). Whether it is film or digital is immaterial here. Also WB or ISO can be off, but they dont matter.

    3. Maximal data capture, so that you have maximal flexibility in manipulating them afterwards, according to your means to manipulate the, be in in film or digital. So you capture at as high a resolution as possible, and shoot RAW in digital, and ensure no blowout highlights or deep shadows, using a filter to tamper the light to within your camera's dynamic range and so on. Of course to manipulate in film you need access or have a darkroom and all sort of chemicals and so on. For digital you just need to know how to use Photoshop.

    4. Or something else altogether. If so please elaborate.
    Last edited by espion; 6th March 2007 at 01:02 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: "Getting It Right"

    There are no rules.

    Some people might find a blur photo interesting, some people absolutely abhor any photo with blur in it.

    Why bother with rules? And I detest the line that "for digital you just need to know how to use Photoshop". It may be powerful, but there are numerous effects that can never be reproduced without filters. Like IR for one, you can emulate, but the feel is never the same.

  3. #3

    Default Re: "Getting It Right"

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    There are no rules.
    Of course, there ain't.

    The question here is what "get it right" means to you?

    Of course it means different things to different people.

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    And I detest the line that "for digital you just need to know how to use Photoshop". It may be powerful, but there are numerous effects that can never be reproduced without filters. Like IR for one, you can emulate, but the feel is never the same.
    OK. Sure. But that is another interesting question, namely, what does "digital" means to you?
    Last edited by espion; 6th March 2007 at 07:43 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: "Getting It Right"

    It simply means:

    A photo that I can derive some amount of satisfaction and pride from. It doesn't have to always be technically sound, for example. It can be alternative. But as long as it holds a certain amount of meaning (as to how much, it's hard to explain, because you can't measure MEANING).. Whether it's because you feel that it's good, or you feel some sense of nostalgia (personal or not)..

    It's "getting it right" to me.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: "Getting It Right"

    to me it's:

    1. composition (cropping can always be done later, at the loss of maximum size)
    2. exposure (compensating over/under exposure too much will almost always cause something else to give -- noise or wierd colors)
    3. focus -- sharp can be blurred later i guess .... but blurred can never be sharp again.

    my 2 c .

  6. #6

    Default Re: "Getting It Right"

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    ... as long as it holds a certain amount of meaning ...
    I suppose then you mean composition and getting the picture right - WB can be off, not too sharp or too much DOF in the "wrong" places, etc etc, dont matter - as long as it means something to you personally.

  7. #7

    Default Re: "Getting It Right"

    Quote Originally Posted by espion View Post
    I suppose then you mean composition and getting the picture right - WB can be off, not too sharp or too much DOF in the "wrong" places, etc etc, dont matter - as long as it means something to you personally.
    Yes, you can check. A lot of the photos I post white balance entirely out of whack.

    In some sense, you can have shitty white balance, wrong DOF, out of focus photos that are good. Why not?

  8. #8

    Default Re: "Getting It Right"

    Quote Originally Posted by speedblade View Post
    to me it's:

    1. composition (cropping can always be done later, at the loss of maximum size)
    2. exposure (compensating over/under exposure too much will almost always cause something else to give -- noise or wierd colors)
    3. focus -- sharp can be blurred later i guess .... but blurred can never be sharp again.

    my 2 c .
    That's one way of "getting it right" for oneself, namely, right in anything that you cannot recover in post processing, eg, as you said, blur can never be sharp again, but blur can be induced in sharp.

    With digital and when you shoot RAW, the latitude for "wrong" may have increased, and you only need to get "right" for focus*, DOF*, composition (with room to crop if you have pixels to spare). WB, exposure, contrast, saturation, sharpening, etc can all be tweaked in RAW development to a certain extent, namely without inducing noise, which is still rather substantial up to +/- 2EV.

    (*There are developments, known as 4D imaging, where you can set the focus and DOF at post processing, which then leave only composition as something you cannot recover digitally - but then there is cloning and patching ... :-).)

    In film there are of course much lesser latitude to recover anything in chemistry, except maybe dodging, burning and cropping.

    So with digital "right" have become easier.

    Or maybe just as difficult (even with cloning and patching).

    For perhaps the real difficulty is really not technical but aesthetic, and that have been just as difficult, or easy, since the Greeks or humankind itself.
    Last edited by espion; 6th March 2007 at 08:16 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: "Getting It Right"

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    In some sense, you can have shitty white balance, wrong DOF, out of focus photos that are good. Why not?
    Sure. And indeed I have seen good blurr pictures. One of them I saw was in some pizza joint in Serangoon Gardens.

    But who says its "shitty" and who says its "good"?

    For example the word kokogaduurzy means something to me. And to me its a big deal people say kokogaduurzy to each other. But I am sure you think I'm kuku if I go around and say kokogaduurzy to you and insist that you say the same to me, and to others, right? or should it be "right"?
    Last edited by espion; 6th March 2007 at 08:13 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: "Getting It Right"

    Getting it right to me is getting a shot that, upon one look, can trigger satisfaction and have no negative elements that can't be fixed. Composition must be just right. The white balance can be off. Noise can be alittle too high. Or slightly under exposed. (overexposed then can't help liao). But, you can still turn rather boring photos into interesting ones with some post-processing...
    5D MII w/16-35L,Sigma 28-70&Nikkors(35f2,85f1.4,105f2.5,180f2.8ED)

  11. #11

    Default Re: "Getting It Right"

    Quote Originally Posted by espion View Post
    Sure. And indeed I have seen good blurr pictures. One of them I saw was in some pizza joint in Serangoon Gardens.

    But who says its "shitty" and who says its "good"?

    For example the word kokogaduurzy means something to me. And to me its a big deal people say kokogaduurzy to each other. But I am sure you think I'm kuku if I go around and say kokogaduurzy to you and insist that you say the same to me, and to others, right? or should it be "right"?
    You asked me what MY definition of getting it right means.

    By that I assume you're asking me what it means to me, not what it means to others.

    If you're talking about getting it right in a more general sense, there is no answer. I can be an absolute coconut and find an amazing, amazing picture ugly. Humans are so volatile and different and fluid that you will never get all of them to agree on one thing.

  12. #12

    Default Re: "Getting It Right"

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshSiao View Post
    ... no negative elements that can't be fixed ...
    That's one succinct way to put it.

    And that is one approach for a newbie, namely to learn what are "negative" elements, what's fixable and what's not, and thereby know what is "right", the target to get at in their photography.

  13. #13

    Default Re: "Getting It Right"

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    By that I assume you're asking me what it means to me, not what it means to others.
    Sure. I am just clarifying the point.

    And that means you accept that what you have posted as shitty or good, or even meaningful, may not be so to others. We cannot understand you in a word.

  14. #14

    Default Re: "Getting It Right"

    Quote Originally Posted by espion View Post
    Sure. I am just clarifying the point.

    And that means you accept that what you have posted as shitty or good, or even meaningful, may not be so to others. We cannot understand you in a word.
    Something like that.

    Meaning, I can acknowledge that a photo is absolutely horrible in many sense of the word, but I felt that I've gotten it right. I mean, can't photos have any special meaning to us?

  15. #15

    Default Re: "Getting It Right"

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    ... can't photos have any special meaning to us?
    Sure it can. The question is whether you want to tell others about that meaning - if it is significant or edifying for others to know too - or you just want to keep it to yourself. If the latter then nothing matters.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: "Getting It Right"

    For me, getting it RIGHT is capturing THE Moment - freezing a moment in time into eternalty (that is if my Hard disk doesn't fail).

    I am also a firm believer of originality - thus, I always go for minimal touch-ups (for exposure & sharpness). Usually the 1 thing I will play with the most is to convert a coloured frame into B & W to see the effects.

    And I am one lazy bugger who dislikes editing my photos, as I would like to spend that time shooting or fiddling with my cam to learn and understand it more (guess the same way Master swordsmen like to hold, polish & admire their swords, when they are not practising. And not trying to decorate the surrounding environment where the sword is going to be placed at the end of the day - my 0.0002 cents )
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  17. #17

    Default Re: "Getting It Right"

    Results of Survey So Far (20 Votes)

    "Getting It Right" means (by popularity):

    Some Combination of at least two elements of Composition, Max Data Capture and No Further Processing: (30&#37

    Right Composition Only: (25%)

    Get Right Composition and Capture Maximal Data: (20%)

    No Further Processing Only: (15%)

    Composition and No Further Processing: (5%)

    Maximal Data Only: (5%)

    And this can be reinterpreted as at least 50% include Right Composition as at least part of the meaning of get it right, and possibly 80% has this meaning too. 25% (55% max) does so for Maximal Data Capture, and 20% (50% max) for No Further Processing. In other words if you hear someone say get it right, there is a 50-80% chance he means, getting the composition right, and at most 50/50 that he mean either No further Processing or Maximal Data Capture.

    Do you guys think this is a fair reflection of reality?
    Last edited by espion; 7th March 2007 at 10:55 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: "Getting It Right"

    getting it right = getting what i want in every aspect regardless of method

  19. #19
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    Default Re: "Getting It Right"

    agreed with eikin, getting it right means getting the controllable aspects during shooting reasonably satisfactorily regarded by the photographer.

    some of the processible/semi-processible aspects include general exposure, color balance/hues, cropping/horizon correction, noise...

    some of the non processible aspects include composition in terms of perspective and angle, details (blown highlight/shadow), long exposure blurring, optical sharpness...

    there are certainly things that are certainly gone if it is not done correctly when shooting, or rather there are much more work and probably far more difficulty in doing post processing than on shooting. likewise, there are also some fine tuning that is better done on post processing, with more time spend in thinking and viewing, which you may not have the luxury during shooting. of cos, there are some of us who think faster and better when shooting, and some of us not.

    i do not regards the need for post processing as part of "getting it right", unless post processing is seen as salvaging of bad photos, which it should not be. becos bad photos have very limited reversal unless it has great potentials (if it has, it is not a bad photo). post processing is meant for enhancement, and even an opportunity to rethink about your picture, which you may have a different feeling at a different time. photos that do not go through post processing need not be better than those that go through, under different hands. an averagely good photo by a photographer who do not know how to or cannot be bothered with post processing may not be better than a good photo by another photographer who demanded better quality and selective area processing after shooting. of cos, the less the processing the better....

  20. #20

    Default Re: "Getting It Right"

    The way I think post processing is this.

    In film days it was very difficult and expensive so people sticked to standard processes, like the film development lab, and also not unlike the standard algorithms in your digicam processor.

    But still people bother then about film and there are many heated discussions over this film or that film, or slides and so on and so on, as heated as C vs N these days. And some even used expired film.

    Why bother about all these if post processing, albeit chemical, is not important in photo making?

    And people who have access to post processing facilities, move beyond dodge, burn and cropping, and went on to experiment and push processing to all sort of things, eg solarisation, cross processing, and others which I may not be aware. Again why are people doing those things?

    Now with digital all these post processing capabilities are literally in your hands. You can make your own "film" in a sense. Where once you only can argue over Kodak and Fuji, now the possibilities are limitless and you have no more time to argue if you start using them. So are you not going to exploit these limitless types of "films" for your digital pictures?

    And then what if Ansel Adams have lived in these times? And for Adams he develop and print his own pictures. Why?

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