POLL: How often do you shoot raw images?

Started 7 months ago | Polls thread
phototransformations
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Re: POLL: How often do you shoot raw images?
In reply to Erik Ohlson, 7 months ago

Erik Ohlson wrote:

Very flattering that you two follow my every word.

Perhaps you could find a better use for your time.

What you've missed is the underlying theme: Simplify, simplify, simplify.

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"Measure wealth not by things you have but by things for which you would not take money"
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Erik,

I have to assume you mean well, even here. What I "follow," however, is not your every word but, because it is so galling, your disparaging tone.

That you let us know you like to adjust white balance using PSE and Levels and don't care to use an Action, or prefer to shoot JPEGs instead of RAW, or don't find tripods, macro lenses, and interchangeable lenses useful to your kind of shooting, etc., is your prerogative, of course, and nobody's knocking you for it. There's much to be said for limiting choices and seeing how "less" can be "more." But you don't stop there. Instead, you describe as silly, overly complicated, or a waste of time what many of us do to improve our work or to make photographs we couldn't make with your methodology. These are not neutral terms. At best, the effect is irritating. At worst, it feels condescending.

"Simplify, simplify, simplify" means different things to different people. For me, it means use the tool that's best suited to the job at hand.

In my case, sometimes that's shooting with my cheap Casio point and shoot (when I'm out on a kayak and don't want to risk damaging more versatile equipment). Sometimes it's shooting with my FZ200 (when I'm on a motorcycle trip, don't want to carry heavy equipment, and don't know what shooting conditions I may encounter). Sometimes it's using my m4/3 gear, when I'm somewhere I may never return to and want not only to preserve memories, but also capture unique photographic opportunities I couldn't capture in the same way with lesser equipment. Sometimes it's using a legacy lens with unusual bokeh, when that particular background effect will add to a mood I want to capture. Sometimes it's even using my old Nikon D80, because the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 lens is the best portrait lens I own. Sometimes it's spending hours learning the software techniques for perfecting emulating the way the old master painters created dimensionality that digital cameras can't capture simply by exposing for the highlights and developing for the shadows (my current effort, using the techniques created by George DeWolfe), or it's tweaking the Adobe Camera Raw presets so that I can automatically import my images with the noise, sharpness, clarity, and color balance I view as most natural-looking.

None of this, to me, is silly, too complicated, or a waste of time. It enables me to explore the boundaries of the photographic medium in ways I haven't explored before and to more fully express what my mind's eye sees when I take a picture. I don't view it as different in spirit from the elaborate dodging, burning, and special development Ansel Adams did to shape his images, post capture. (Not that I expect to ever come close to his level of mastery.) Do you think he'd be satisfied only with shooting JPEGs with a travel zoom if he were alive today? Perhaps for some kinds of images, or to see what he could do with only that type of equipment, but certainly not exclusively.

David

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