"I have a camera so I can take pictures like a Professional"


kei1309

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2010
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#1
This is a real story.

i was at a cafe last night reviewing my F1 shots on my A99, and happened to be sharing a table with a friend of mine, who brought along her teenage friend.

as i was looking through them, suddenly the teen asked to see my F1 and concert shots. so i passed her my camera.

after looking through them, she proclaimed that they were nice, and that she could take the same photo with her compact camera.

and that's the part that annoyed me.

i had spent so much time and money acquiring skills and gear to help me get that shot, and here was a young upstart who thought that her compact could do the job.

keeping a zen-like state, i asked her if she was sure. she said "yes, and my mobile phone can do the same, too".

ok... this level of ignorance was really getting to me.

so i proceeded to explain about the gear i use, the focal lengths, shutter speed, functionality of the camera and use of lighting and positioning, and why her compact camera could not capture the same shots (large aperture to blur the fence, fast shutter speeds etc)

as i explained it all, she started to realize how stupid she must have sounded to make such a bold statement without understanding anything. so i passed her the camera again, and asked her to look carefully at the shots, which she spent more time analyzing each shot.

The reality is this: Pros and Serious Hobbyists spend loads of time and money on getting access to skill sets and equipment to take better/amazing photos.

but there are a group of people who think that photography is easy and that they can do the same, thereby cheapening the art and thinking that there's no need for certain equipment to be able to capture the decisive moment.

and the problem becomes exacerbated with Facebook, Instagram and the like, where people think they're fantastic photographers based on the likes they receive, rather than producing photos that can be truly counted as works of art.

so what i'm asking for is a serious discussion on your thoughts and views on this issue (and that's why i didn't put this in Kopitiam)
 

Likes: keithwee

MarkersNg

New Member
Aug 11, 2013
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#2
I have some friends who think this way too, and I always try to explain things to them but as you mentioned, they think that their oh so godly S4 can do better than my camera, and sometimes when I happen to bring my camera out, they'll take a picture and apply a filter to it, and tell me how they can add a filter from their "camera" but I can't from my camera
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#3
I encounter those too. My usual reply is "prove it first."
 

SilverPine

Senior Member
Jul 8, 2007
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#4
I encounter them also. For landscape photo for example, my simple reply is it required just a bright sunlight, any camera will do. I would not explain in details into GND, ND & CPL filter were needed.

Just wonder for professional singer or writer, need to sing or write in front of that person to prove the skill required? :confused:
 

lewissac

New Member
Sep 20, 2011
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#5
Nevertheless it might still be possible though to get those shot even if using compact or even S4, bla bla bla. We might not know if the user have those skills. Better gears might help achieve it easier.
 

G-man

Senior Member
Mar 2, 2006
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#7
I have encountered such people before. Instead of trying to convince them that a certain level of skill, knowledge as well as gear is required for a certain type of shot, I just keep quiet and smile. Why? Because I cannot be bothered to explain and none so blind as those who would not see.

Usually those who make such bold proclamations are those who already have the mindset of how easy it is to take any photograph. "Just press button only ma" seems to be their belief and philosophy towards photography.

It's just like in design. I once had someone say, "I just need something simple done, like so (shows an example). I have the artwork and the text, just need someone to lay it out." The consistent use of the word "just" already gives an indication of what they think of the work required.
 

wolfton

New Member
Jun 21, 2010
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#8
I agree with Rashkae. Ask the person to prove it first.

I recently came across a Chinese festival while food hunting in Tiong Bahru. As my gears are in "hospital", I was only armed with my iPhone. It was quite a big event, and I thought I wanted to capture a bit of the action. So I whip out my iPhone and tried to take some shots. Firstly, when the iPhone goes on LV, you will see that there is only so much the phone can capture....it is just not wide enough. 2ndly, as I was under shade, the phone will slow down its shutter automatically, thereby creating unwanted motion blur for the fast paced actions. 3rdly, for events like this when u can't go right up to the person's face to shoot, the lack of telephoto ability means you can only take snapshots of what's going on, don't even dream of taking isolated portraiture of people. Not forgetting, the blown out skies and such.

I do believe however, that for people who like to take food shots, the latest models from phone manufacturers will suffice, as there is not as much restrictions when u r shooting. But for F1, or any events, even for street photography (I tried and nearly slammed my phone :p), I will say no way. Not in the next 3 years at least in my opinion. It is unbelievable that people think what a 600mm $10k lens might still find wanting, to be able to be solved by that free phone (highest contract plan) of theirs.
 

tecnica

Senior Member
Dec 26, 2004
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#9
Whatever makes their boats float. Can't be bothered to entertain them anyway.
 

Edwin Francis

Senior Member
Mar 24, 2006
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#10
"keeping a zen-like state"
Haha, congratulations on managing that! Actually, your experience seems somewhat different from the usual blowhard comment, "I could take the same great shots if I only had the same gear."
To claim to be able to take the same shots with compacts and mobile phones showed utter ignorance, yes. But at least she listened and LEARNED BETTER. There are those who will not. For those, it is better not to argue. They will drag you down to their level (of ignorance) and beat you with experience!

Just wonder for professional singer or writer, need to sing or write in front of that person to prove the skill required? :confused:
I get less of this kind of BS as a writer. Perhaps it's just because those who believe they can do it as well do not contact me in the first place, but I do have a pet theory about this.
The public generally sees photographers with a ton of pro gear that they generally don't have access to. They assume that this make the major difference, and that they too could take great photos if they had access to the same gear, and with some experience. They do not see all the work that goes into developing the skills needed.
And if they are on a decent amateur level, the same thing happens when they look at pro commercial photographers -- they don't see the hidden levels of planning, logistics etc, not to mention business skills necessary.

As a writer, my tools are simple, a laptop and a notebook, plus internet access for research and diversions. Just about everyone has access to the same tools, but the majority know they can't produce the same results. Also, it's EASY for them to try, which lets them discover the difficulties first-hand!

The crux of it is that any profession or endeavor that has a high 'specialist equipment count' is going to be seen by outsiders as reliant more on gear than on ability e.g. professional musicians, photographers, and F1 drivers.

It seems less likely to happen to pros in fields with less imposing equipment e.g. writers, painters, cooks.
 

Last edited:
Apr 18, 2009
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#13
your teenage friend will be a great photographer a he/she does not believe in buying high-end gear to take good pictures. ;p;p;p
 

ellery

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Jan 29, 2002
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#14
in photography if you spend enough time on it, it dawns upon you that there are some people with the humongous talent for it, there are some with some talent, there are others who were there when talent was being distributed. In a given situation, the higher the talent the better the result in some cases even gear can not level this off. Talent coupled with the drive to produce images mean that person thinks, plans, works to find ways to produce images that the tools they have can not directly bring them there - then all hell breaks loose - fantastic images out of less than stellar equipment. Clang when he first start out had only one studio light of a low wattage either a 250 or a 500 watt, to be able to do the shot at a suitable f stop and lower iso, he had to work with multiple flashes to build up the exposure. Needless to say he banned the client from being on site during a shoot.

My point is never assume that a younger, using inferior to your equipment person can not produce images. Always ask to see their if they say things like that - some times you will learn a few new tricks from them. Of course some times it just all talk. There is no need to be defensive - yes I know you spend $$$ on gear, on training, on learning shoots so what you think you are the only one to have done this ? Joey L, a brash young commercial photographer in the US turned heads when he started shoot commercial campaign jobs at what 17 - he just start learn a lot earlier some where when he was 11 or 12 he start his first encounter with a camera. He had drive and determination to make pictures, but he did not have the means to buy the best gear or training - a DIY approach with a drive to succeed powered him up. Remember the next young punk kid trashing your stuff may be a Joey L.
 

ricohflex

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2005
3,353
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#15
This is innocence of youth. Which is a precious thing.

Reflecting on the conversation, I think the kid was trying to make small talk. Just chit chatting. No offence intended.

Instead of getting angry, maybe you can steer them the right way.
Guide them so they get into the hobby more seriously.

Cannot blame them for thinking buying a good camera makes them a pro.
Recently Apple's executive gave a talk about the iPhone, in which he said something insulting to photographers.
So the kids are fed this kind of thrash thinking by big corporations, such as Apple.

It is a testament to the phenomenal technological advances made by camera manufacturers. They have managed to make (what used to be) a difficult task (taking a photo) into a simple act that almost anyone can do.
 

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kei1309

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2010
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#16
in photography if you spend enough time on it, it dawns upon you that there are some people with the humongous talent for it, there are some with some talent, there are others who were there when talent was being distributed. In a given situation, the higher the talent the better the result in some cases even gear can not level this off. Talent coupled with the drive to produce images mean that person thinks, plans, works to find ways to produce images that the tools they have can not directly bring them there - then all hell breaks loose - fantastic images out of less than stellar equipment. Clang when he first start out had only one studio light of a low wattage either a 250 or a 500 watt, to be able to do the shot at a suitable f stop and lower iso, he had to work with multiple flashes to build up the exposure. Needless to say he banned the client from being on site during a shoot.

My point is never assume that a younger, using inferior to your equipment person can not produce images. Always ask to see their if they say things like that - some times you will learn a few new tricks from them. Of course some times it just all talk. There is no need to be defensive - yes I know you spend $$$ on gear, on training, on learning shoots so what you think you are the only one to have done this ? Joey L, a brash young commercial photographer in the US turned heads when he started shoot commercial campaign jobs at what 17 - he just start learn a lot earlier some where when he was 11 or 12 he start his first encounter with a camera. He had drive and determination to make pictures, but he did not have the means to buy the best gear or training - a DIY approach with a drive to succeed powered him up. Remember the next young punk kid trashing your stuff may be a Joey L.
You're wayyy off the topic. The topic is the cheapening of the art rather than whether or not the person is talented or not.

BTW, if u read carefully, the subject in question is shooting F1 and concerts
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
19,105
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#17
This is innocence of youth. Which is a precious thing.

Reflecting on the conversation, I think the kid was trying to make small talk. Just chit chatting. No offence intended.
Nope. There are many many many people who think that their iphone/S3/S4 using digital zoom are "just as good" as a DSLR for shooting concerts or F1.
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
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#18
I'm glad to see that the friend noticed how wrong her statement was. That's a good ending of the story and a good lesson for her.
Usually I ignore such statements or simply ask for proof. No point arguing till the cow comes home with people who are so obsessed with their own opinion.
 

TWmilkteaTW

Senior Member
May 30, 2011
2,251
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#19
Life goes on..Usually i just smile and move on.

There are too many people out there who think or still believe.."Anyone can take good picture as long the gear he hold is of certain price or brand"
And yea..those likes or comments on social platform are really just making them even more proud or right. Which in most cases..not true at all. If u are popular among your friend..whatever you post. They will "support" anyway. :bsmilie:
Its alright for me. I'll just keep quiet..but if they ask..i can help..i help. else..yea i rather mind my own business.
 

undergrd

Senior Member
Jun 16, 2007
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#20
I had the same experience where a frez of mine looked thru my pics and said that she can also take the same pics with her smartphone. Initially it sounds provoking but then I just smile and walk away. I think that it is quite pointless to argue or explain too much to someone who doesn't really know much. :)
 

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