Losing the very Essence of Capture....


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Feb 15, 2006
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#1
I was browsing through the web on photograph, equipment and techniques during this cold, wet and freaky month of December in Singapore's HDB flat, and it got me to really deliberate on what makes you take up photography, and invest so much money in the equipment? Is it because you really love to photograph, or it's an avenue to feed your ego ever enlarging ego, or give you a channel to show off, or to post pictures to capture attention of fellow "photographers", or just simply to pass time? Where is your essence of photography?

"Your photo is very nice; which camera and lens did you use??"
When you ask such questions, do you think better camera body can "help" produce better results? Better lenses can "yield" better photos? Better software can "turn" a disastrous picture into a cool and good one?

"What settings did you use to take this picture, what's the technique? The hair is very messy, the horizon is slanted, the light on the left is too distracting, etc etc."
Has technicalities gotten into the way of the actual essence of the photo? Have you ever asked why the photographer took that shot and what he is trying to "say"?

Your photo very nice! The colors are superb!
Or has photography turned into a colour chase, where Photoshop can turn the most "uninspiring" photo into a "colorful" one so that it can solicit praise for the intense colours?

Have people lost the whole essence about photography, which is about the subject, the theme, the people, the place which you want to emphasis?

From the old times where equipment were rudimentary and less sophiscated, when the photographer took great pains to ensure the "intended subject" and "photographic moments" are perfectly rendered... And now, where equipment have reach very acceptable quality regardless of brand, where shutter are macham "free", where "accidental" good shots are possible with such lavishness of shutters. Where holding a "SLR-type" of camera automatically "promote" you to the status of "photographer", and even so, "professional" photographer. Where "bigger" and "more expensive" and "smaller f stops" are the "holy trinity/grail" of some of the "self-proclaimed" photographers?

Whereforth is the "real photographer"? ... What are you thoughts?
 

Dec 5, 2005
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#2
"What settings did you use to take this picture, what's the technique? The hair is very messy, the horizon is slanted, the light on the left is too distracting, etc etc."
Has technicalities gotten into the way of the actual essence of the photo? Have you ever asked why the photographer took that shot and what he is trying to "say"?
Hey, Well said. :thumbsup:
I always like to try understand or find out the message that the photographer wants to convey across to the viewers when I come across lovely picture that catches my attention. Especially those mood or emotion evoking ones.
 

agape01

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Feb 13, 2003
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#3
Unfortunately, what you've mentioned is a Singaporean/Asian mentality.

We are unable to see things more creatively and see what is the essence and message behind each photo.
 

Chris Lim

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Oct 24, 2005
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#4
I was browsing through the web on photograph, equipment and techniques during this cold, wet and freaky month of December in Singapore's HDB flat, and it got me to really deliberate on what makes you take up photography, and invest so much money in the equipment? Is it because you really love to photograph, or it's an avenue to feed your ego ever enlarging ego, or give you a channel to show off, or to post pictures to capture attention of fellow "photographers", or just simply to pass time? Where is your essence of photography?

"Your photo is very nice; which camera and lens did you use??"
When you ask such questions, do you think better camera body can "help" produce better results? Better lenses can "yield" better photos? Better software can "turn" a disastrous picture into a cool and good one?

"What settings did you use to take this picture, what's the technique? The hair is very messy, the horizon is slanted, the light on the left is too distracting, etc etc."
Has technicalities gotten into the way of the actual essence of the photo? Have you ever asked why the photographer took that shot and what he is trying to "say"?

Your photo very nice! The colors are superb!
Or has photography turned into a colour chase, where Photoshop can turn the most "uninspiring" photo into a "colorful" one so that it can solicit praise for the intense colours?

Have people lost the whole essence about photography, which is about the subject, the theme, the people, the place which you want to emphasis?

From the old times where equipment were rudimentary and less sophiscated, when the photographer took great pains to ensure the "intended subject" and "photographic moments" are perfectly rendered... And now, where equipment have reach very acceptable quality regardless of brand, where shutter are macham "free", where "accidental" good shots are possible with such lavishness of shutters. Where holding a "SLR-type" of camera automatically "promote" you to the status of "photographer", and even so, "professional" photographer. Where "bigger" and "more expensive" and "smaller f stops" are the "holy trinity/grail" of some of the "self-proclaimed" photographers?

Whereforth is the "real photographer"? ... What are you thoughts?
This is something definately worth thinking about for many photographers of today. What is the essense within the image. It can be the simple curvature of the arm that adds essense to an image a a mother carrying her child.

Essense is something so simple but so complex. Not many people can see or understand the defination because there is no defination, just how how abstract photography is. More often then not when a photo is composed properly and shot without much thought the essense is stronger. Why? Might be a good question to ponder over as well. I'm not so refering to planned shoots but generally street photography and journalism.


what you've mention about equipment minded individuals are what i call equipment whore. Those individuals are so blinded by the fact that assumingly better technology or a bigger lens can make u a better photographer. I do agree better equipment can help you to produce better image PROVIDED you know what the hell the improvement of these technology is, why and how it can help u better.

Many time people say "I WANT TO BUY A F1.2 LENS!" when i ask why, they reply "BETTER BOKEH, SHOOT BETTER IN LOW LIGHT, ACCORDING TO REVIEW ITS A GOOD PORTRAIT LENS.....ETC" And when i ask in return "Say you shoot in a studio. The usual aperature used is about f 5.6 up. So if i use a 50 f2.8 (example) as compared to a 50 f1.2, but shoot at f5.6 what is the difference?" More often then not they cannot answer. So what does this say? Blind leading the blind. Person A a big lens thats VR. he personally feel its good and posts a good review for it. Person B-Z will all want that lens. Give them a af-s with no VR, less flare, less weight. "NO, VR ALLOWS ME TO SHOOT IN LOW LIGHT". Sorry i think this is not a reason.

But at the end of the day, what can i say to these ppl who have so much cash to splurge? Nothing. Period.
 

#5
Hmm... I thought photography was supposed to be simple and enjoyable... :eek:

Why go into so much technicalities (or philosophy)? Why worry about what others do or what equipment the others have?

Unless you rely on photography for your 3 meals, otherwise I say, don't think so much, just enjoy taking photographs and need not be bothered with what others have to say or what equipment others have... ;)
 

Mar 9, 2006
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Dover Vista
#8
"Your photo is very nice; which camera and lens did you use??"
When you ask such questions, do you think better camera body can "help" produce better results? Better lenses can "yield" better photos? Better software can "turn" a disastrous picture into a cool and good one?

"What settings did you use to take this picture, what's the technique? The hair is very messy, the horizon is slanted, the light on the left is too distracting, etc etc."
Has technicalities gotten into the way of the actual essence of the photo? Have you ever asked why the photographer took that shot and what he is trying to "say"?

Your photo very nice! The colors are superb!
Or has photography turned into a colour chase, where Photoshop can turn the most "uninspiring" photo into a "colorful" one so that it can solicit praise for the intense colours?

Have people lost the whole essence about photography, which is about the subject, the theme, the people, the place which you want to emphasis?
It is true that the essence of a photo is about the subject (let it be ppl, place, animal, object etc...),

However, that essential intention is realized through equipments and techniques. Weak techniques will make the reader interpret the intention wrongly. Say photographer P wanted to capture a romantic moment of a couple, but due to restriction, P had to stand quite far from the couple and P couldnt zoom (due to incapability of equipment), P shot a very big scene; the attention to the couple is now lost because the couple is too small, and P didnt crop to bring the attention back to his main object, which is the couple.

In the example, if P didnt state out the intention, ppl might not see it and they see something else instead. That's where the technicality comes in. Dont you see that if the lens allows, he could have been able to zoom; and whether he zoomed is a matter of technique. Then, when the result comes out, he didnt have enough assessment skill to know that the attention is lost to crop properly.

Equipment wise, i guess is more of curiosity. It's just like you meet your friend and his son, you ask where his son study, just to hv more information, not to judge the son based on the school he goes to. I think the same for "which camera/lens are you using".

My point is technicalities and equipments to some extends help to bring out the intention. So when ppl comment something technical, they want to contribute, to help the photographer. If they dont see the intention, they would ask "what do you want to say"

Besides, in any art fields, when it reach to professional level, little techniques make the difference. I think you have to admit this also. If both photos are about potrait, the one that has better settings, better techniques will have better comment (and by better, I mean better/more suitable for the subject and intention, of course a potrait of a baby would be different from a potrait of a super model)
 

ndroo

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Nov 22, 2003
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#9
"Your photo is very nice; which camera and lens did you use??"
When you ask such questions, do you think better camera body can "help" produce better results? Better lenses can "yield" better photos? Better software can "turn" a disastrous picture into a cool and good one?
When I get a couple of questions like this in a thread of some photos I post, I'll usually delete the thread. Why? Because my camera/lens did better than me :embrass:
 

Yayne

New Member
Jun 5, 2006
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#10
I was browsing through the web on photograph, equipment and techniques during this cold, wet and freaky month of December in Singapore's HDB flat, and it got me to really deliberate on what makes you take up photography, and invest so much money in the equipment? Is it because you really love to photograph, or it's an avenue to feed your ego ever enlarging ego, or give you a channel to show off, or to post pictures to capture attention of fellow "photographers", or just simply to pass time? Where is your essence of photography?

"Your photo is very nice; which camera and lens did you use??"
When you ask such questions, do you think better camera body can "help" produce better results? Better lenses can "yield" better photos? Better software can "turn" a disastrous picture into a cool and good one?

"What settings did you use to take this picture, what's the technique? The hair is very messy, the horizon is slanted, the light on the left is too distracting, etc etc."
Has technicalities gotten into the way of the actual essence of the photo? Have you ever asked why the photographer took that shot and what he is trying to "say"?

Your photo very nice! The colors are superb!
Or has photography turned into a colour chase, where Photoshop can turn the most "uninspiring" photo into a "colorful" one so that it can solicit praise for the intense colours?

Have people lost the whole essence about photography, which is about the subject, the theme, the people, the place which you want to emphasis?

From the old times where equipment were rudimentary and less sophiscated, when the photographer took great pains to ensure the "intended subject" and "photographic moments" are perfectly rendered... And now, where equipment have reach very acceptable quality regardless of brand, where shutter are macham "free", where "accidental" good shots are possible with such lavishness of shutters. Where holding a "SLR-type" of camera automatically "promote" you to the status of "photographer", and even so, "professional" photographer. Where "bigger" and "more expensive" and "smaller f stops" are the "holy trinity/grail" of some of the "self-proclaimed" photographers?

Whereforth is the "real photographer"? ... What are you thoughts?
Disclaimer: I am only an enthusiast in photography :what:

I don’t believe I possess the ‘essence.’ I don’t think I ever will. Someone with essence ranks alongside James Natchwey, a combination of mastery and morality. He inspires because if you have seen Inferno, it’s impossible to believe that a photographer, in the forefront of constant moral terror can remain hopeful. Sigh...

While I believe that the photographer itself is the single, most important element in any shot because it’s not as simple as clicking the shutter, the same eye, paired with a better camera, yields better results. I’ve lost several photos due to focal legth, stability and aperture limits. You lose many moments when you have a piece of mediocre equipment. And when you’ve seriously fallen in love with a hobby, you’d hate letting slip moments you know you could’ve captured with better tools.

I'm not talking about studio, product or wedding photography, more on photographers having to work outside their element. In journalistic, street and documentary photography, the decisive moment is much more critical. Also trains your sense of judgement and speed.

Sipping expensive wine doesn’t mean you have the palette for it. Same for photography, it’s quite sad seeing self proclaimed photographers broadcast pieces that fall below basic standards. People will use their 1Ds only at home and use it for family snapshots around shopping malls. Young punks will carry 350Ds with a standard kit lens, throwing ugly flashes during events and marketing themselves as pro photographers. But then again that is how the lesser world works. The smart exploits the stupids. 3 higher worlds exist, but outside of the kama sutra, you only find it in nirvana or heaven. So why be bothered by places where there’re jails for vices?

As for me, I’ll never discard my old bitch, the Nikon FM10. It’s worth a lot more than the fresher pieces of equipments. I’ll continue pursuing my lust for the L lenses, only because I can afford better things now than during my poly days. Work hard pamper yourself. It’s a little like chasing tail, it’s the thrill of the chase but the first love old stuff remains the best.
 

kcuf2

Senior Member
Dec 29, 2005
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#11
"Your photo is very nice; which camera and lens did you use??"
When you ask such questions, do you think better camera body can "help" produce better results? Better lenses can "yield" better photos? Better software can "turn" a disastrous picture into a cool and good one?
Better lenses definitely yield better photos.
Use lousier lenses and u will get lousy results.


Not to mention most low end lenses have low contrast, poor sharpness, fringing problems. All these problems get in the way of producing good photographs.

If one has to resort to using photoshop to correct any problems, isnt that conceding that low end lens cant produce the image quality of a pro lens?

And not everything can be corrected by photoshop and not everyone can afford the time to photoshop and not every pleasant colours can be reproduced by a low end lens. There IS a difference.

And different cameras obviously have a differential impact on the quality of the pic u produce. Compare a $99 compact camera with a >$1000 dslr.

There is nothing wrong with ppl asking wat camera and lenses are used to produce the pictures. There IS a difference. Period.
 

kcuf2

Senior Member
Dec 29, 2005
1,781
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#12
When I get a couple of questions like this in a thread of some photos I post, I'll usually delete the thread. Why? Because my camera/lens did better than me :embrass:
There is no need for u to delete ur thread or to claim that ur camera/lens did better than u. This is because we need proper equipment to produce our goods.

It doesn't mean that good equipment + good lens = good picture. Wat good equipment does is it helps to give u better colour, better contrast, and lesser problems such as fringing junks & flares. Without even proper equipment, this is like going to fight a world war 3 with water guns....

The ULTIMATE thing to know is that at the end of the day, u still need good skills in framing ur subjects and getting the right exposure to manufacture ur masterpiece. This is the key and the key is YOU.
 

Stereobox

Senior Member
Dec 21, 2003
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Cocteau Twins
#13
I was browsing through the web on photograph, equipment and techniques during this cold, wet and freaky month of December in Singapore's HDB flat, and it got me to really deliberate on what makes you take up photography, and invest so much money in the equipment? Is it because you really love to photograph, or it's an avenue to feed your ego ever enlarging ego, or give you a channel to show off, or to post pictures to capture attention of fellow "photographers", or just simply to pass time? Where is your essence of photography?

"Your photo is very nice; which camera and lens did you use??"
When you ask such questions, do you think better camera body can "help" produce better results? Better lenses can "yield" better photos? Better software can "turn" a disastrous picture into a cool and good one?

"What settings did you use to take this picture, what's the technique? The hair is very messy, the horizon is slanted, the light on the left is too distracting, etc etc."
Has technicalities gotten into the way of the actual essence of the photo? Have you ever asked why the photographer took that shot and what he is trying to "say"?

Your photo very nice! The colors are superb!
Or has photography turned into a colour chase, where Photoshop can turn the most "uninspiring" photo into a "colorful" one so that it can solicit praise for the intense colours?

Have people lost the whole essence about photography, which is about the subject, the theme, the people, the place which you want to emphasis?

From the old times where equipment were rudimentary and less sophiscated, when the photographer took great pains to ensure the "intended subject" and "photographic moments" are perfectly rendered... And now, where equipment have reach very acceptable quality regardless of brand, where shutter are macham "free", where "accidental" good shots are possible with such lavishness of shutters. Where holding a "SLR-type" of camera automatically "promote" you to the status of "photographer", and even so, "professional" photographer. Where "bigger" and "more expensive" and "smaller f stops" are the "holy trinity/grail" of some of the "self-proclaimed" photographers?

Whereforth is the "real photographer"? ... What are you thoughts?
the essence is not to question other people's understanding but your own.
 

Del_CtrlnoAlt

Senior Member
Feb 15, 2003
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#14
i wrote a 4 liner yesterday after my experience at Eye e City pic selection... maybe you guys go think of my explanation for tis verse... haha...

Think before you Shoot
Shoot before you Miss
Miss before you Regret
Regret before you Think


 

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