On putting money into 4:3 gear ...

Started May 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
esco
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Re: It will not ..
In reply to Great Bustard, May 17, 2013

Great Bustard wrote:

CharlesB58 wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

In all honesty, how often does the IQ of a photo affect the success of a photo?  According to this poll I started in the Open Forum, most feel it's fairly rare.
 

For me? All the time. I have a magazine manager who expects what I submit to meet certain publication standards. My main client has come to expect photos that are a cut above the "GWC" stuff people were submitting in the past, and certainly expects better results than the cell phone camera shots people like to submit with the idea that because they think it's a great shot of last night's concert, it really is a great shot.

A couple of weeks ago I was reviewing some shots on my lcd during an intermission. A friend looking on saw one photo and declared it "absolutely amazing". At first glance (on that tiny LCD), it was a "killer" shot. Band members all interacting with each other, just the right positions, expressions, lighting. The sort of photo that would make a nice poster to sell as souvenirs. I zoomed in and winced as I saw the softness due to subject motion. I deleted it. He asked me why. I said "Because I owe it to those I take photos of and for to present the same level of professional results they provide."

For me, IQ is a vital part of the success of the photos I take, because I already present aestheticallly pleasing images of interesting subjects (musicians, dancers and actors). It's one of several aspects that set what I do apart from the guy who creeps up next to me with his iPhone to take a couple of quick shots.

Even so, there are times when I submit or publish an image with questionable (to me) IQ because it still works well enough at portraying the atmosphere of the concert to overcome any flaws.

All fair enough to say.  That said, I've seen numerous photos published in NG (National Geographic) that suffered serious technical flaws, such as motion blur that detracted, rather than added, to the appeal of the photo, but did not detract so much, apparently, that NG decided not to print that photo as opposed to any number of other technically proficient photos the photographer provided them.  In other words, scene often trumps IQ.

But, for sure, I've seen more than my fair of photos that looked great on the back of an LCD but were severely lacking on the computer monitor.  However, my question is if differences in IQ between modern systems is such that this is an issue.  For sure, it may be for cell phones and compacts depending on the scene, but what about from mirrorless to FF DSLRs?  How often does the IQ differential between systems really have an impact on the success of a photo?

For some it has a drastic impact. I'm not sure if many people thought it out as well as they should have when answering your poll. For low light event, sports and other highly demanding scenarios it obviously makes a big difference. There are many images I would not have been able to capture had I not had the low-light capability of an FF sensor AND a bright lens along with an AF system that you could trust more than your own eye. Some images I could have scraped by if I had my Olympus gear with me but it would not have been anywhere near of the same caliber, the noise would have added to the image in a distracting way. There are some scenarios where noise doesn't matter or can actually add to the quality but there are just as many where it just doesn't work or where the standards have long exceeded what you're able to execute with your old gear.
That's the thing that nobody seems to bring up is that in some industries on a professional level the standards are raised every time technology allows it to. This is something that many people like to turn a blind-eye to on here, simply don't understand or refuse to accept. The technical AND emotional qualities are both expected at a very high level, there are very little excuses otherwise.
For natgeo there are many many reasons as to why certain photos are deliberately chosen. The photog could be thousands of miles away in a remote area, they could be in a country that is very hostile to foreigners or journalists etc. .there are a million reasons as to why an image may not have been captured in the most expertise fashion. The content in natgeo appears the way it is and there is always very good reason behind all of it. This is journalism after-all, the images in natgeo are more often than not of great technical excellence but ultimately it's the story(both visual and written) that matter the most.

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