Why we have to stop obsessing about IQ....

Started May 16, 2012 | Discussions
Isabel Cutler
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Why we have to stop obsessing about IQ....
May 16, 2012
Cimarron
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Re: Why we have to stop obsessing about IQ....
In reply to Isabel Cutler, May 16, 2012

You're absolutely right. Many of the classic photos we've loved over the years are technically lacking in image quality, by pixel-peeper standards.

But there's a difference between being an artist and being a technician.

Isabel Cutler wrote:

...we have to get down to photographing every day life.
http://extras.denverpost.com/archive/captured.asp

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Detail Man
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Re: Why we have to stop obsessing about IQ....
In reply to Isabel Cutler, May 16, 2012

Bear in mind this sobering clue surrounding how people judge their own "IQ":

One of the main effects of illusory superiority in IQ is the Downing effect. This describes the tendency of people with a below average IQ to overestimate their IQ, and of people with an above average IQ to underestimate their IQ .

Also bear in mind this sobering clue surrounding how people judge other people's "IQ":

His studies also evidenced that the ability to accurately estimate others' IQ was proportional to one's own IQ. This means that the lower the IQ of an individual, the less capable they are of appreciating and accurately appraising others' IQ. Therefore individuals with a lower IQ are more likely to rate themselves as having a higher IQ than those around them. Conversely, people with a higher IQ, while better at appraising others' IQ overall, are still likely to rate people of similar IQ as themselves as having higher IQs .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusory_superiority#IQ

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jalywol
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Re: Why we have to stop obsessing about IQ....
In reply to Isabel Cutler, May 16, 2012

Those are phenomenal, thank you for posting the link!

-J

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Karl R. Josker
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Re: Why we have to stop obsessing about IQ....
In reply to Isabel Cutler, May 16, 2012

Isabel, great to hear from you again! And I could't agree more. Photographs don't have to be technically advanced or perfect to be powerful.

I often recall a wedding I went to; in the center of every table in the reception hall, were a few disposable cameras, guests were invited to use them and leave them for the wedding couple. Well, an eight year old boy took one, and used it up. The images he took were far superior to many of the big dollar outfits other people used. Thinking about it, I concluded that he wasn't constrained by theory and rules. He just did it. The results spoke for themselves. They weren't technically perfect, but they were memorable. They captured the joy and happiness of the occasion. They were photography at its' finest.

A lesson learned.

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peevee1
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Re: Why we have to stop obsessing about IQ....
In reply to Isabel Cutler, May 16, 2012

Well, the primary quality of an image is a subject matter. Which is as boring in most modern pictures as a grey wall. It is what we pay for zero cost of digital film.

From the technical standpoint, human eye has only 7mpix "almost-Bayer" sensor with 6.5EV static range.

On the other hand, many people just like to root for their chosen team in some high-stakes game, be it Red Socks or Olympus.

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phototransformations
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Re: Why we have to stop obsessing about IQ....
In reply to Isabel Cutler, May 16, 2012

It seems likely that these photographers also cared a out the technology of their times and tried to find the best equipment for the type of shooting they were doing, doesn't it? Caring about your equipment's capabilities and shooting meaningful images don't seem to me to be mutually exclusive pursuits. Do they to you?

Isabel Cutler wrote:

...we have to get down to photographing every day life.
http://extras.denverpost.com/archive/captured.asp

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Photohobbyfun
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Two types that obesses about image quality...
In reply to Isabel Cutler, May 16, 2012

There are two types of people that obsess about image quality. Note that the word "obsess" is NOT interchangeable with the word "cares".

1. Professional studio photographers. People that actually making their living doing studio photography.

2. Amateurs.

Out of all the pro's I've met, none of them except a few of the studio photographers cared to talk a whole lot about image quality. The majority believed that the photographer was more infinitely important than the camera. It really is only the amateurs that obsess and fight over these things.

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vincent filomena
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Re: Why we have to stop obsessing about IQ....
In reply to jalywol, May 16, 2012

Thanks: Just Beautiful; A treat !

Vjim

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Steve_
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somewhat hilarious
In reply to Isabel Cutler, May 17, 2012

"Reproduction from color slide"

Why did people shoot slides? Primarily, control of certain aspects of what we know as IQ, as well as higher potential IQ. Real photographers have always cared about IQ. I find it's the amateurs who like to fancy themselves something more that make these 'IQ is irrelevant' claims, wear their beliefs like a badge, and seek to strike down the opinions of anyone looking to do their best not just in their photography, but also in their selection of gear.

The purchase of a fine camera like an OMD or D800 doesn't make you a real photographer, but neither does slagging off IQ in order to play the part of some kind of demi-God whose supreme artistry overwhelms technology.

And those are great shots. They would have had a lot more impact if you let the atistry stand on its own merit rather than looking to use it as a vehicle to carry on your crusade.

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forpetessake
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Re: Why we have to stop obsessing about IQ....
In reply to Isabel Cutler, May 17, 2012

Wow, no fat children

Isabel Cutler wrote:

...we have to get down to photographing every day life.
http://extras.denverpost.com/archive/captured.asp

Isabel
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MichaelKJ
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Re: somewhat hilarious
In reply to Steve_, May 17, 2012

It is one thing to care about IQ and an entirely different thing to obsess about differences in IQ that are meaningless for 99.9% of photographers.

Kirk Tuck has a well thought article about 4 feet by 5 feet images that were printed from a 6MB sensor. He ends his article with this observation:

When Joe McNally shot a spread for Nat. Geo. with a Nikon D1x (5 megs.) he broke the acceptance of digital barrier for everyone else working in print. Since then countless great images have been done with 6 megapixel cameras and, at the 2000 Olympics, most of the shooters were using 4 megapixel Canons and 2.7 megapixel Nikons. The pictures were stunning. The world gasped. No one asked for more. The artists had done their work...

http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/2012/05/havent-digital-cameras-just-gotten-good.html

Please get back to us when you can post photos that exceed those that are referred to in Kirk Tuck's article.

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Steve_
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Re: somewhat hilarious
In reply to MichaelKJ, May 17, 2012

MichaelKJ wrote:

Please get back to us when you can post photos that exceed those that are referred to in Kirk Tuck's article.

Funny, they don't seem to be your photos, either. But somehow you are entitled to an opinion. Strange how that works.

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Great Bustard
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All you need is a cell phone for pics like those...
In reply to Isabel Cutler, May 17, 2012

Isabel Cutler wrote:

...we have to get down to photographing every day life.
http://extras.denverpost.com/archive/captured.asp

...and, to be honest, the IQ of a cell phone puts those to shame. So, I guess what you're saying is that a cell phone gets the job done for you. Fair enough. Not for me, though.

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D200_4me
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Point and shoot
In reply to Isabel Cutler, May 17, 2012

I had a point and shoot once that made good photos. I'll take all the IQ I can get, but at some point you have to actually go make some photos and stop crying about better, better and better high ISO performance, etc, etc.

Oh !%@!....lost shadow alert! Someone call the dynamic range police!!!

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amalric
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Evoking feeling is far more important...
In reply to Isabel Cutler, May 17, 2012

than the last refinement in IQ. PJ using slides always knew it in film days.

it is heart rending to see noobs groping in the dark these days, or spoiled millionaires grabbing multi-system cameras for thousands and thousands.

These images instead point to the very social necessity of photography, which is documenting the basic human condition.

The last IQ refinement applied to brats and poodles comes as the very last.
But of course one needs guts, that cannot be easily be bought in the market.

Therefore we should have a bit more respect for our tools, before declaring them obsolete, and work more at real communication i.e. content.

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Thomas Kachadurian
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Re: Why we have to stop obsessing about IQ....
In reply to Isabel Cutler, May 17, 2012

Isabel Cutler wrote:

...we have to get down to photographing every day life.
http://extras.denverpost.com/archive/captured.asp

Isabel

Based on these photographs it's clear this photographer DID obsess about image quality. Do you have any idea the skill it took to make these early color images.

Look at them. They are outstanding in many ways.

A little obsessing is a good thing for photographers who want to stand out in our modern world of careless images.

Tom

http://www.kachadurian.com

Call me crazy. I happen to like photos of cats.

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Archiver
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Re: somewhat hilarious
In reply to Steve_, May 17, 2012

Those Depression era photos are amazing, Isabel. Thanks for posting that.

But it does make me ask ... "what cameras and lenses were they using???"
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Jogger
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Re: Why we have to stop obsessing about IQ....
In reply to Isabel Cutler, May 17, 2012

Not sure what your point is; if colour photography were available to millions of others at that time, then these would not be so special.

Isabel Cutler wrote:

...we have to get down to photographing every day life.
http://extras.denverpost.com/archive/captured.asp

Isabel
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