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Thread: Being ignorant is good (photography)

  1. #1

    Default Being ignorant is good (photography)

    Recently, I found that being ignorant is good at times, some incidents make me thinking if I did the right thing.

    I'm an armature in photography, before getting my m4/3 8 months ago, I'm using pns all the while, never use a DSLR at all. I wanted better photographs and more controls to what I want, started to do research on what is a DSLR other basic stuffs. Then after acquiring a interchangeable lens camera, I learn more and more things, like what is DOF, how to use metering. Then find out what is a good lens, what aperture should I use for a particular shot to bring out my subjects.

    My reason for starting this thread is because of comments about photographs from my colleagues.

    1st incident:
    1 of them bought a DSLR for trip to europe, she know nuts about photography. When she came back, she show everyone her winning shot. It's a cityscape with a building (probably a church) that stands out from the rest due to its height and lighting. Everyone sing praises about the shot and keep saying it's a masterpiece, even after a few weeks. When I first look at it, I shouted out, 'Oh, why is it so noisy!? what was the ISO setting?' Then I find out it's at ISO6400, at this ISO, photo is very noisy, details are lost, colours are washed out. Colleagues don't understand what I mean even when I point out to them, noise is very obvious but they just can't see it. This photo is set as desktop wallpaper in my colleague's workstation.

    2nd incident:
    Another colleague use a sub $300 pns and likes to shoot flowers. Other colleagues and she herself find the shots were excellent, proudly show it to us and put in fb. When I see the photos, I immediately spot some of them OOF, blur due to handshake, artificial colours, very poor bokeh, main object does not stand out due to deep DOF, main object is too dark due to wrong exposure setting.

    3rd incident:
    I've taken some fireworks during NDP preview, all comment it's excellent while I say it's bad. To me they barely pass.

    4th incident:
    A friend with DSLR knows little about photography, acquire a 50mm f1.8 and use it occasionally to shoot portrait (snapshot I would say), photos which I saw was soft and have very poor bokeh due to using it wide open. She find them to be quite good, nothing wrong.

    They tell me there is no difference in quality for photos taken with DSLR and a pns, even if it's shooting the same thing. What I can easily see in most their photos are blown highlights/shadows, artificial colours, poor bokeh.


    I wonder if it's better if I don't learn at all, continue using pns and be easily satisfied with my shots. Anyone got such experience/thinking before?

  2. #2
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Being ignorant is good (photography)

    Well... everyone starts somewhere...

    Either you go with the flow and be ignorant or you improve on your pics and get better.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Being ignorant is good (photography)

    Haha I get what you're saying, but I've learnt to let it go. It's impossible to preach to everyone. Just share with those who have the same enthusiasm for photography, and forget the rest who think their shots are top-class.

    By the way, it's "amateur"
    Exploring! :)

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    Member Jimmy81's Avatar
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    Default Re: Being ignorant is good (photography)

    I tink that on matter what you are doing, be it photography or cooking or watever, you should always strive to improve urself. Dun be so easily satisfied, nv rest on ur laurels, always have the passion and drive to do better, only in this way will you improve.

    That being said, if you feel your pics are better maybe you can show your colleagues your pics, not to show off but more like a sharing session

  5. #5
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Being ignorant is good (photography)

    actually it's rather hard to discuss in depth with ppl who don't understand the technical parts of photography....just take it easy and treat it as a feedback...

    I have a friend who complained to me that a shop owner wanted to cheat her when comparing 2 pro-sumers... my friend was looking for a cam that can give focused subject and blurred background... my friend kept complaining that the shop owner tried to cheat her by saying that the pro-sumer she wanted to get is not able to give sharp subject + blur background because the shop is too small(not enuff space) and thus background is not blurred...as she was so angry, I just chose to smile and let it pass...
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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Being ignorant is good (photography)

    I think you have to identify what is "enjoy photography" and "excel in photography".

    if people simply just want to enjoy photography, let them be, that is their rights.

    if people don't know what are you driving at, so be it, you just need answer to yourself.
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    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Being ignorant is good (photography)

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    I think you have to identify what is "enjoy photography" and "excel in photography".

    if people simply just want to enjoy photography, let them be, that is their rights.

    if people don't know what are you driving at, so be it, you just need answer to yourself.
    hmm. i dunno. i'll admit i was much happier when i was shooting without knowing the techincalities. back then i was more focused on finding weird angles.

    now kinda more focused on technicalities. maybe i needa go back and revisit my past once in a while for ideas too. its a balance

  8. #8
    Member chillicutter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Being ignorant is good (photography)

    i realised that it's all "she" that's having problems....

  9. #9

    Default Re: Being ignorant is good (photography)

    Quote Originally Posted by pchmj View Post
    1st incident:
    1 of them bought a DSLR for trip to europe, she know nuts about photography. When she came back, she show everyone her winning shot. It's a cityscape with a building (probably a church) that stands out from the rest due to its height and lighting. Everyone sing praises about the shot and keep saying it's a masterpiece, even after a few weeks. When I first look at it, I shouted out, 'Oh, why is it so noisy!? what was the ISO setting?' Then I find out it's at ISO6400, at this ISO, photo is very noisy, details are lost, colours are washed out. Colleagues don't understand what I mean even when I point out to them, noise is very obvious but they just can't see it. This photo is set as desktop wallpaper in my colleague's workstation.

    2nd incident:
    Another colleague use a sub $300 pns and likes to shoot flowers. Other colleagues and she herself find the shots were excellent, proudly show it to us and put in fb. When I see the photos, I immediately spot some of them OOF, blur due to handshake, artificial colours, very poor bokeh, main object does not stand out due to deep DOF, main object is too dark due to wrong exposure setting.

    3rd incident:
    I've taken some fireworks during NDP preview, all comment it's excellent while I say it's bad. To me they barely pass.

    4th incident:
    A friend with DSLR knows little about photography, acquire a 50mm f1.8 and use it occasionally to shoot portrait (snapshot I would say), photos which I saw was soft and have very poor bokeh due to using it wide open. She find them to be quite good, nothing wrong.
    1st incident:

    sounds to me like sour grapes, no offense meant. look past the noise and if it's a good composition , it's a good composition. people like their photos, why begrudge them? i'm sure you used to like some of your photos before you took up photography proper. just seems to me that you are adopting an "holier (or more knowledgeable) than thou" attitude to raise yourself up and put others down. or are you unhappy that no one is praising your photos? why do you take your photos, if this is the case? for yourself? for others? to get praise? to seek attention? or to challenge yourself to do better than yourself, everytime?

    in fact, same applies to all. some people attach personal value to the photos. they don't just see the photo for the photo, they attach memories to it, they attach feelings they had when they took it.

    life isn't a photography competition, learn to give and take. just because you set standards for yourself doesn't mean that you shove them down people's throats. also, try to be humble. just because you have some knowledge doesn't mean the auntie or uncle on the street with their crumbly hello kitty P&S can't take a good photo. frankly speaking, i've seen horrible photographers take some nice photos. sometimes it's all about being at the right place, right time, do the right thing. a nice photograph remains a nice photograph, nonetheless.

    when people give comments on my photos, they are expressing an opinion. photography is subjective. it may be the most technically perfect photo, but if they don't like it for even a personal reason, i will accept it. i do think that sometimes photography and knowledge of it can end up making people rigid old sods. for example, i've seen people insisting on rule of thirds for everything, even when it doesn't quite work in that scenario or photo.

    now, before some clowns (or potential personal trolls) point out that i provide critique on people's photos here now and then and seem to be hypocritically therefore setting standards for people: the assumption here is that if you post your photos up here, you want commentary, unless otherwise stated. this is not really so true for things like facebook or office desktops.
    Last edited by night86mare; 4th August 2010 at 11:04 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Being ignorant is good (photography)

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    1st incident:

    sounds to me like sour grapes, no offense meant. look past the noise and if it's a good composition , it's a good composition. people like their photos, why begrudge them? i'm sure you used to like some of your photos before you took up photography proper. just seems to me that you are adopting an "holier (or more knowledgeable) than thou" attitude to raise yourself up and put others down.

    in fact, same applies to all. some people attach personal value to the photos. they don't just see the photo for the photo, they attach memories to it, they attach feelings they had when they took it.

    life isn't a photography competition, learn to give and take. just because you set standards for yourself doesn't mean that you shove them down people's throats.

    when people give comments on my photos, they are expressing an opinion. photography is subjective. it may be the most technically perfect photo, but if they don't like it for even a personal reason, i will accept it. i do think that sometimes photography and knowledge of it can end up making people rigid old sods. for example, i've seen people insisting on rule of thirds for everything, even when it doesn't quite work in that scenario or photo.

    now, before some clowns (or potential personal trolls) point out that i provide critique on people's photos here now and then and seem to be hypocritically therefore setting standards for people: the assumption here is that if you post your photos up here, you want commentary, unless otherwise stated. this is not really so true for things like facebook or office desktops.
    Agree with nightmare. Some photos are taken to be kept as memories which most people do put in FB, desktop background etc. E.g. My gf don't seem those photos posted here [no offence] as anything interesting to some extend even though the photos here alot of them are brilliantly good. To these people who don't have that kind of knowledge of photography or arts of photography. They are easily happy with the photos so long they can see their face and be fine with it.

    Like our parents or grandparents. Whatever photo they take, they will be happy about it. Reasons been they are happy to have a photo to be kept as memories. They don't really bother whether its noise or not blurr or not. If they think can see face and some background they are happy. We can't possible tell them its not good enough, must this and that. These people are just not interested in that. They simply just want a photo to keep as something they can remember.

    To me, What I like to do does not mean/will follow. Its the same thing as some people likes to eat also got standard one. Its possible to make everybody do or like the way you do things not practical.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Being ignorant is good (photography)

    just think of it this way;

    some of my friends are into fashion and clothes (as males). they just have an interest in it.

    so when i go out with them, sometimes they will comment that i dress very anyhow. it's the same logic. do you bother to dress up, match your outfits, or do you just throw on something that seems to match when you go out? do you think you look ok? to the people in the know, who look at a lot of fashion, etc.. you look horrible.

    same logic.

  12. #12
    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Being ignorant is good (photography)

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    just think of it this way;

    some of my friends are into fashion and clothes (as males). they just have an interest in it.

    so when i go out with them, sometimes they will comment that i dress very anyhow. it's the same logic. do you bother to dress up, match your outfits, or do you just throw on something that seems to match when you go out? do you think you look ok? to the people in the kinow, who look at a lot of fashion, etc.. you look horrible.

    same logic.
    cheemology. photos are meant to be shot and kept as memories. nightmare, didnt u mention this photographer whos photos are not wad we define as normal before? the blurry images one

    as far as i know, my photos usually not technically good. but so long as i'm happy, the ppl involved are happy, i think its fine already

  13. #13
    Senior Member limwhow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Being ignorant is good (photography)

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    1st incident:

    in fact, same applies to all. some people attach personal value to the photos. they don't just see the photo for the photo, they attach memories to it, they attach feelings they had when they took it.

    ...sometimes it's all about being at the right place, right time, do the right thing. a nice photograph remains a nice photograph, nonetheless.
    Quote Originally Posted by skylover View Post
    Agree with nightmare. Some photos are taken to be kept as memories which most people do put in FB,.... They are easily happy with the photos so long they can see their face and be fine with it.

    Like our parents or grandparents. Whatever photo they take, they will be happy about it. Reasons been they are happy to have a photo to be kept as memories. They don't really bother whether its noise or not blurr or not. If they think can see face and some background they are happy. We can't possible tell them its not good enough, must this and that. These people are just not interested in that. They simply just want a photo to keep as something they can remember.
    Good points raised.
    I think that is why the TS named this thread: "Ignorant is good..." because as long as the photographer is contented with the emotion evoked within himself/herself by looking at the (technically poorly taken) photo, that is the most important thing.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Being ignorant is good (photography)

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    cheemology. photos are meant to be shot and kept as memories. nightmare, didnt u mention this photographer whos photos are not wad we define as normal before? the blurry images one

    as far as i know, my photos usually not technically good. but so long as i'm happy, the ppl involved are happy, i think its fine already
    the most important question is: what are you shooting for?

    if you are shooting for yourself, and you post up your photos, happy happy... and then when people comment on your photos and you not happy, then you are lying to yourself. obviously you are shooting for others.

    and there is nothing wrong with that. i think it's just very important to be clear on what you want out of this hobby. when it becomes a profession then there are other things you have to look out for, because it also turns into a means to an end.

    there are a lot of unconventional photographers, but i think what the TS is talking about is "laymen". well, i take my parents' (and friends') comments very seriously because they will be honest with me. i won't dismiss it and scoff it off as "i know better", because everyone's opinion, if done with a good intention (positively) is worth something to me.

    someone i know once told me that she didn't feel comfortable commenting on my photos when i asked for comments, because she didn't know much about photography. i asked her if she had a mind, if she had an opinion when she saw a photograph, if she had feelings. she said "yes, i do", and i told her that was enough for me.

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    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Being ignorant is good (photography)

    if we go back to just the statement "being ignorant is good", then I guess I would have to agree with the TS in a certain way.
    The less one knows about the technicalities of photography, the easier it is to be pleased with a photo that captures a certain moment/memory, heck that it's noisy or not too sharp or doesn't have nice bokeh etc.

    So if a person is happy with the photos that he/she takes, all we can do is offer our opinion (if that is what is asked). No need to impose anything on others.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Being ignorant is good (photography)

    I understand some photos are meant to be memories. I do have photos that I like, not because it's technically perfect, but with the people I like and also the place, the moment.

    It's just that for the first case, noise is too prominent and takes over my attention, so much so I can't accept it. If it's me who takes that, I'll delete on the spot and take again. Since objects are static, I can retake as much as I like.

    Other than memories photos, I'm disappointed with myself for not producing any good photos which I can be proud of. I think there's a problem with me.

  17. #17
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Being ignorant is good (photography)

    Quote Originally Posted by pchmj View Post
    I understand some photos are meant to be memories. I do have photos that I like, not because it's technically perfect, but with the people I like and also the place, the moment.

    It's just that for the first case, noise is too prominent and takes over my attention, so much so I can't accept it. If it's me who takes that, I'll delete on the spot and take again. Since objects are static, I can retake as much as I like.

    Other than memories photos, I'm disappointed with myself for not producing any good photos which I can be proud of. I think there's a problem with me.
    Well, if 3 friends get together after a long time in a dimly-lit restaurant, and they only have a PnS.
    So they whip it out to take a group photo of the 3 of them having a great time catching up after so long.

    I would rather a noisy photo of 3 people looking happy... Memories are priceless

  18. #18

    Default Re: Being ignorant is good (photography)

    Quote Originally Posted by pchmj View Post
    Recently, I found that being ignorant is good at times, some incidents make me thinking if I did the right thing.
    Bro pchmj, your essay gave me an impression that you have quite a good knowledge of photography. But I am telling you that if you show some of your images to others, you will also get lots of praises from friends and also some dudes who may think that they know more than you about photography and they think that your images suck big.
    This is life.

    Knowledge is for one to appreciate life as it is, but not to show off that you know more than others.

    Quality is not measured by just the wrong ISO, Focus, cams, etc... Quality is always in the eyes of the beholder, and for the brain to interpret via of your ability to apply with the knowledge that you have.
    always the Light, .... always.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Leong23's Avatar
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    Default Re: Being ignorant is good (photography)

    In some way, I agreed with ts....many time in life, the lesser you know, the happier you are. But after you gain knowledge of something, is about how you going to manage yourself and think outside of what you know.

    I had see many people with passion in photography and trying to improve themselves, but thur their journey, they are blinded with power and praises, eventually they had lost their way and their technically ok photo have no life at all, and sad to said, they only shoot for others, they will not able to understand the joy of photography as a form of expression.....

    They just record the moment, not capturing the emotion.

    Said 30years later, which photo will touch your heart, a award winning macro/landscape/portrait that you spend hours setting up to shoot, or a noisy and blurry photo you taken while having a simple dinner with your family and friends.

    Those in my facebook will know that I will cherish my photo taken with my love one more than all my other works.

    Photography just like any form of art, is a form of self-expression, losing it, you are just a good technician, and never be a good artist. Good technical skill will enable your to express you feeling in the better way.
    Last edited by Leong23; 5th August 2010 at 09:49 AM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Being ignorant is good (photography)

    yup sounds like sour grapes to me.

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