An enlightening article :)


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nightpiper

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Oct 20, 2003
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#1
i came across this article post in the dpreview forum. thought i want to share eith u guys as well. :cheers: here it goes, enjoy:

There is a sense of "franticness" in the recent postings on this board, either from people incredibly desperate for the D2x, or from people who are feeling quite anxious about the Canon 20D announcement, and from yet others who feel that Nikon has lost the way and the race to develop what is tantamount to photographic nirvana.

I shared some of this with a friend of mine who is a psychologist, as well as an amateur photographer, and after some discusssion he had this to say......

"Well, I think the whole issue of wanting to buy another camera brand, or feeling that the other brand is better has very little to do with the camera, but more to do with ourselves. When we were at school, or even today in sport, for example, we want to be seen as winners as people. So we support what we see to be the winning team. We generally like to be popular and have friends that are liked by others. Being a winner is important to our own self-esteem. Now if Canon is 'seen' to be the professional's choice and used by people in the know, then we feel that we are somehow not quite 'there' and this promotes anxiety. So, I think it has very little to do with the actual camera, but everything to do with our own level of self esteem, especially from people who derive much of their self esteem from the perception that others have of them. One of the ways that modern society judges people is by the things they own. It's unfortunate, but even in medieval times, it was much the same - whether you toiled in the fields, or owned a castle, gave you a sense of hierarchy in relation to others."

He went on, "Today, brands capitalise on that same need for self esteem by granting the owners of a particular product almost "magical" powers through its ownership. In the same way that a certain aftershave might be promoted subtely as making men attract women, it's probably the same with camera ownership - we somehow feel that ownership will not only give us status, but new and increased powers to be better at what we do. Maybe there some truth in that in terms of technological development, but you also have to ask yourself if Cartier Bresson would have been a better photographer if he had say a Canon 20D as opposed to a manual Leica."

My psychologist friend reached to his bookshelf, and took out a copy of Susan Sontag's book "On photography" and read me the following quote, "Like a car, a camera is sold as a predatory weapon-one as automated as possible, ready to spring. Popular taste expects an easy, invisible technology. Manufacturers reassure their customers that taking pictures demands no skill or expert knowledge, that the machine is all knowing, and responds to the slightest pressure of the will. It's as simple as turning the ignition key or pulling the trigger. Like guns and cars, camers are fantasy machines whose use is addictive.."

But, I said to him, most people will deny they want automation. They want control. "Perhaps that is true, " he said, " but they probably to want to believe that the machine thay buy is not only the best, but will grant them new magical powers of image taking, and give them not only the status that the brand affords, but also results than get praise from their peers. That's probably why people post pictures to these forums. On the outside, or surface, they are saying look at the picture my new Nikon or Canon has taken, on the inside, they are really asking, not for affirmation of the camera as a machine, but affirmation of themselves as photographers. It's just that society doesn't encourage us to ask for affirmation, so we hide behind the camera, to get the self affirmation we require and need as people."

"Perhaps", he said,"that's why people are so often disappointed in their cameras, or looking for faults, or measuring things like focus. Perhaps it's because the promise of ownership has disappointed in that it hasn't made them the better photographers the adverts and marketing subtely promised. So they have to criticise the product because it's so much easier than accepting the inadequacies that lie within ourselves. And that's why they are always looking for the next camera, the next new promise, the next new best thing. And they will always be disappointed."

"And that's enough of that discussion, " he said. " How about making me some coffee..."
 

sehsuan

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#3
i will have to agree that i'm somewhere there too... so i have learnt to curb measurbating equipment... to know what's a NEED, and what's a WANT - even then, a justifiable want, or unreasonable want.
 

jbma

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Dec 28, 2003
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#4
Gotta learn to control your addiction or else your bank coount is going to be zero. Let's face it, there will always be new model coming out. If you succumb to temptation then you are dead.
 

nightpiper

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Oct 20, 2003
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#5
its very difficult to resist. the BUY! BUY! BUY! force is extremely strong in this community. :devil: :devil: :bsmilie:

dark side or light side, take your pick. :sweat:
 

patch17

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#6
hmmm... i've set myself a budget, if the camera, lens or accessory cost more than $100, then there's little chance that i'll buy it. (the last camera i bought that cost more than $100 was my first nikon (F801), which i still have and use.) Since then i've purchased and used different brands and types of cameras for the sheer enjoyment of using different brands and types of cameras to take pictures. and i really couldn't give a hoot what other people thought of the photographic equipment i got in my hands at the moment.

i quite enjoy getting rid of technology every now and then, and letting the brain behind the viewfinder to make the photograph. but hey, that's just the way i think.
 

smallaperture

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Jan 5, 2004
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#7
This reminds me of photogs carrying their camera round their neck, with a long strap, and a big, big lens attached, that hangs down near their groin - a genuine phallic symbol par excellence. So, the bigger the lens, the better they feel.

For me, a smallish F5.6 aperture is enough, compensate by cranking up the ISO. :bsmilie: :bsmilie: :bsmilie:
 

2100

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Mar 3, 2004
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#8
smallaperture said:
For me, a smallish F5.6 aperture is enough, compensate by cranking up the ISO. :bsmilie: :bsmilie: :bsmilie:
Problem is that a lens like sigma 50-500 is long (when extended) and quite wide (94cm width), it still has f6.3 only. :D
 

dkw

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Dec 10, 2003
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#9
Nothing wrong in wanting the newest and shiniest toy...especially one with improved functionality. Don't think they will improve my pictures, but will likely improve my keeper rate.
 

zaren

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Oct 27, 2003
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#10
dkw said:
Nothing wrong in wanting the newest and shiniest toy...especially one with improved functionality. Don't think they will improve my pictures, but will likely improve my keeper rate.
doesn't an improvement in your keeper ratio imply an improvement in your pictures?

:dunno:
 

dkw

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#12
zaren said:
doesn't an improvement in your keeper ratio imply an improvement in your pictures?

:dunno:
Big difference! If you like to shoot sports for example, fast accurate focussing and high ISO performance will improve your keeper rate, independent of your photographic skills. Having a highly functional camera does not suddenly make you a better photographer, or make your pictures better. You can still be doing poor compositions, use flash inappropriately, use ambient light wrongly etc. On the other hand, if your camera/lens can't focus fast, or you can't use high ISO, no matter how good your skills are, there are certain conditions that will kill your ability to get acceptable shots. Hence the utility of a highly specced camera, to improve your KEEPER RATE! You can do a search on DPReview or FM forums, this is a well discussed topic.
 

Jun 27, 2002
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#13
smallaperture said:
For me, a smallish F5.6 aperture is enough, compensate by cranking up the ISO. :bsmilie: :bsmilie: :bsmilie:
Sometimes I feel you dun know what you are missing with the great bokeh and isolation of focal point.
But then again, you dun shoot what I shoot. Anyway ignorance is a kind of bliss.
 

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