A few observations.

Started May 23, 2013 | Discussions
Richard the picture man
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A few observations.
May 23, 2013

I look, I read, but mostly I listen.

One thing I read once (in a Readers Digest I think) was that of all interchangeable lens cameras sold, over 70% were used for up to two months after purchase (probably for a holiday trip) and never used again.

From reading the forums here, those people asking for advice nearly always ask for advice regarding Nikon v Canon. It would seem that other brands do not exist.

Several of these people give me the impression that they truly believe spending more money = taking better pictures. Moreover some of the repliers tend to foster and encourage that belief.

I also get the impression that many newcomers (not all ) have a marked disinclination to actually start their hobby at the beginning. Very few of them want to truly learn about things like  depth of field, perspective compression, Hyperfocal distance, panning, pre focusing etc. It seems as if they want to buy a camera, set it to scene mode and fire away. No wonder they get bored after just a few months.

There are people on this site and of course other sites, giving out advice that is incorrect and misleading. They do not know how little they really know. It would seem that they have not even read the original post and certainly do not understand the original question.

I listen to other people, sometimes in a camera club situation prattling on about how superior their camera is. Only to find that one year later they have left photography for some other hobby.

As someone who has derived enormous pleasure from photography and would wish the same pleasure to all newcomers, it saddens me that we photographers have allowed this situation to develop. Years ago we had the desire and discipline to learn  but not the superb equipment we have now. These days we have the super equipment but very few people with the desire and discipline to make the effort and learn.

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Regards - Richard
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N.B. All my Images, even the bad ones, are Protected by Copyright

Lance B
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Re: A few observations.
In reply to Richard the picture man, May 23, 2013

Richard the picture man wrote:

I look, I read, but mostly I listen.

One thing I read once (in a Readers Digest I think) was that of all interchangeable lens cameras sold, over 70% were used for up to two months after purchase (probably for a holiday trip) and never used again.

From reading the forums here, those people asking for advice nearly always ask for advice regarding Nikon v Canon. It would seem that other brands do not exist.

Several of these people give me the impression that they truly believe spending more money = taking better pictures. Moreover some of the repliers tend to foster and encourage that belief.

I also get the impression that many newcomers (not all ) have a marked disinclination to actually start their hobby at the beginning. Very few of them want to truly learn about things like  depth of field, perspective compression, Hyperfocal distance, panning, pre focusing etc. It seems as if they want to buy a camera, set it to scene mode and fire away. No wonder they get bored after just a few months.

There are people on this site and of course other sites, giving out advice that is incorrect and misleading. They do not know how little they really know.

I listen to other people, sometimes in a camera club situation prattling on about how superior their camera is. Only to find that six months later they have left photography for some other hobby.

As someone who has derived enormous pleasure from photography and would wish the same pleasure to all newcomers, it saddens me that we photographers have allowed this situation to develop. Years ago we had the desire and discipline to learn  but not the superb equipment we have now. These days we have the super equipment but very few people with the desire and discipline to make the effort and learn.

Because when we were younger back in the film days, you actually had to work at just about everything to make something worthwhile, whether it be photography, writing (no computers), repairing cars or actually making something.

Now, we are told by companies and taught in schools that they can do everything for us and look after us. However, when we get these new fangled gadgets, we find that they can't do everything for us and we actually have still to do much ourselves, ie come up with ideas to take photos, have some knowledge and have some input and that makes it all too hard for many and they become disillusioned with their gadget and move on to something easier, like Facebook, Twitter, point and shoot cameras, making sure they hip, ie no substance, just the illusion of looking good.

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Regards - Richard
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N.B. All my Images, even the bad ones, are Protected by Copyright

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Richard the picture man
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Re: A few observations.
In reply to Lance B, May 23, 2013

Lance B wrote:

Richard the picture man wrote:

I look, I read, but mostly I listen.

One thing I read once (in a Readers Digest I think) was that of all interchangeable lens cameras sold, over 70% were used for up to two months after purchase (probably for a holiday trip) and never used again.

From reading the forums here, those people asking for advice nearly always ask for advice regarding Nikon v Canon. It would seem that other brands do not exist.

Several of these people give me the impression that they truly believe spending more money = taking better pictures. Moreover some of the repliers tend to foster and encourage that belief.

I also get the impression that many newcomers (not all ) have a marked disinclination to actually start their hobby at the beginning. Very few of them want to truly learn about things like  depth of field, perspective compression, Hyperfocal distance, panning, pre focusing etc. It seems as if they want to buy a camera, set it to scene mode and fire away. No wonder they get bored after just a few months.

There are people on this site and of course other sites, giving out advice that is incorrect and misleading. They do not know how little they really know.

I listen to other people, sometimes in a camera club situation prattling on about how superior their camera is. Only to find that six months later they have left photography for some other hobby.

As someone who has derived enormous pleasure from photography and would wish the same pleasure to all newcomers, it saddens me that we photographers have allowed this situation to develop. Years ago we had the desire and discipline to learn  but not the superb equipment we have now. These days we have the super equipment but very few people with the desire and discipline to make the effort and learn.

Because when we were younger back in the film days, you actually had to work at just about everything to make something worthwhile, whether it be photography, writing (no computers), repairing cars or actually making something.

Now, we are told by companies and taught in schools that they can do everything for us and look after us. However, when we get these new fangled gadgets, we find that they can't do everything for us and we actually have still to do much ourselves, ie come up with ideas to take photos, have some knowledge and have some input and that makes it all too hard for many and they become disillusioned with their gadget and move on to something easier, like Facebook, Twitter, point and shoot cameras, making sure they hip, ie no substance, just the illusion of looking good.

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Regards - Richard
Happy guy with a K5
N.B. All my Images, even the bad ones, are Protected by Copyright

Yes, I think you are spot on Lance, work is the bit that is missing.

Thing is many people do not realize that work can be fun and very satisfying, and after all fun and satisfaction are what photography is all about.

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Regards - Richard
Happy guy with a K5
N.B. All my Images, even the bad ones, are Protected by Copyright

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Jim Radcliffe
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Re: A few observations.
In reply to Richard the picture man, May 23, 2013

Richard,  Yes.. many consumers seem to believe there are only two brands of cameras worthy of owning, mainly because Canon and Nikon tend to be the only companies who run ads for camera gear on television.  Of course they also see "Pros" using such gear.  Advertising does work, especially on those who don't know how to do their own research, know their needs and what gear will fill those needs.

I used Canon for over 12 years (DSLRs) and switched to Pentax about two years ago.. I was tired of the bulk and weight of the 5D/5DII and the associated L glass.  I wanted something smaller and weather-sealed.

Some consumers (note I said consumers, not photographers) do equate money spent with the quality of the photos produced and in a sense there is a bit of truth... let's face it, L Glass is better than a kit lens and a 5D MKII will produce a better file than one of Canon's compact cameras.

I use multiple cameras:  GF1, GH2, Fuji X-Pro1 and the Pentax K5 IIs... some of the shots taken with the little GF1 are my favorites.  Why multiple cameras?  Well I don't like being tied to one system and I sometimes like to travel very light.  Each camera has it's own merits and shortcomings.  Do I miss the full frame of my Canon 5DII?  Every now and then but not enough to lure me back.  The K5IIs and the lenses I use with it are a fraction of the cost, a fraction of the weight and produce images that are pleasing to me and to my eye, just as good (and sometimes better) than what I was getting from my Canon gear.

The real truth about better photography is that many people spend money on gear rather than spending time on honing their skills, learning to read the light and developing their post-processing skills.  I have photos taken with the little Panasonic GF1 that look better than some taken with my old 5D.  Will a huge print from the GF1 look as good as one from the 5D?  Probably not but unless you are always printing large to very large photos a camera like the GF1 or the Fuji X100 will serve you well.

When you get to sports and action photography you enter another area.. Canon and Nikon are pretty much the weapons of choice there... and I mean the higher end stuff.

I get emails all the time from people visiting my website wanting to know my suggestion on a camera purchase.. I hardly ever suggest anything because I have no idea what their skill levels are in photography.  We've all seen people with top of the line gear who can't produce a good photo and then we see some guy using a Lomo produce an image that blows us away.  It's the photographer, not the gear.

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happysnapper64
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Re: A few observations.
In reply to Richard the picture man, May 23, 2013

The behaviour you describe is not restricted to photography. During my golfing days, now long gone, many would buy expensive equipment in the belief it would make them better golfers. Few took lessons, & many of those that did, gave them up if they did not become club champion after 3 lessons. All blamed the clubs & the lessons, despite the fact they never hit a practice ball in their lives. We all want instant success, but it just doesn't happen like that. Even lots of practice won't guarantee success, it will only make us as good as we can possibly be. In a way, that is success isn't it?

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lee uk.
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gfspencer
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Re: A few observations.
In reply to Richard the picture man, May 23, 2013

Richard the picture man wrote:

As someone who has derived enormous pleasure from photography and would wish the same pleasure to all newcomers, it saddens me that we photographers have allowed this situation to develop. Years ago we had the desire and discipline to learn  but not the superb equipment we have now. These days we have the super equipment but very few people with the desire and discipline to make the effort and learn.

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Regards - Richard
Happy guy with a K5
N.B. All my Images, even the bad ones, are Protected by Copyright

Why are you saddened?  What situation have you - as a photographer - allowed to develop?  You are blameless.  You didn't cause this situation.

People buy cameras and lenses and gear.  They take pictures.  Some stick with taking pictures.  Some move on to other hobbies.  It's no big deal.  It has been like that since you could buy cameras.  "Back in the day" people spent their money on cheap Brownie cameras (followed by Polaroid cameras).  Now they buy a Rebel.  (Not that a Rebel is a cheap camera.  It is just cheaper than a 5DIII.)  In fact I'm glad that there are people out there buying cameras.  The more the merrier.   It keeps the camera companies in business.

I do agree that people in this day and age aren't going to take much time to learn a craft.  I can't do anything about that.  Maybe they will continue to take pictures and get better.  If not they move on to something else.  (I smile when people complain that a camera does not have enough or fast enough focus points.  I had to manually focus my Nikon FM and I still got pictures of an airplane in flight or my son playing soccer.)

I also agree with you that there are people on this forum giving poor advice but that happens on any forum.  The bad advice givers generally get weeded out or called out.  That's the way forums work.

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happysnapper64
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Re: A few observations.
In reply to Richard the picture man, May 23, 2013

Richard the picture man wrote:

Lance B wrote:

Richard the picture man wrote:

I look, I read, but mostly I listen.

One thing I read once (in a Readers Digest I think) was that of all interchangeable lens cameras sold, over 70% were used for up to two months after purchase (probably for a holiday trip) and never used again.

From reading the forums here, those people asking for advice nearly always ask for advice regarding Nikon v Canon. It would seem that other brands do not exist.

Several of these people give me the impression that they truly believe spending more money = taking better pictures. Moreover some of the repliers tend to foster and encourage that belief.

I also get the impression that many newcomers (not all ) have a marked disinclination to actually start their hobby at the beginning. Very few of them want to truly learn about things like  depth of field, perspective compression, Hyperfocal distance, panning, pre focusing etc. It seems as if they want to buy a camera, set it to scene mode and fire away. No wonder they get bored after just a few months.

There are people on this site and of course other sites, giving out advice that is incorrect and misleading. They do not know how little they really know.

I listen to other people, sometimes in a camera club situation prattling on about how superior their camera is. Only to find that six months later they have left photography for some other hobby.

As someone who has derived enormous pleasure from photography and would wish the same pleasure to all newcomers, it saddens me that we photographers have allowed this situation to develop. Years ago we had the desire and discipline to learn  but not the superb equipment we have now. These days we have the super equipment but very few people with the desire and discipline to make the effort and learn.

Because when we were younger back in the film days, you actually had to work at just about everything to make something worthwhile, whether it be photography, writing (no computers), repairing cars or actually making something.

Now, we are told by companies and taught in schools that they can do everything for us and look after us. However, when we get these new fangled gadgets, we find that they can't do everything for us and we actually have still to do much ourselves, ie come up with ideas to take photos, have some knowledge and have some input and that makes it all too hard for many and they become disillusioned with their gadget and move on to something easier, like Facebook, Twitter, point and shoot cameras, making sure they hip, ie no substance, just the illusion of looking good.

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Regards - Richard
Happy guy with a K5
N.B. All my Images, even the bad ones, are Protected by Copyright

Yes, I think you are spot on Lance, work is the bit that is missing.

Thing is many people do not realize that work can be fun and very satisfying, and after all fun and satisfaction are what photography is all about.

-- hide signature --

Regards - Richard
Happy guy with a K5
N.B. All my Images, even the bad ones, are Protected by Copyright

I simply loved practicing when I played golf. Many said practicing was boring, & they only played for fun, yet got really angry & frustrated when they played badly, yet still stubornly refused to do anything about it. I practiced very hard with physical limitations, & achieved a decent handicap. I have tried to adopt the same attitude to photography. I believe we only get out of it what we are prepaired to put in to it.

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lee uk.
There are old pilots, & there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots.

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Shalom2006
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Re: A few observations.
In reply to Richard the picture man, May 23, 2013

I agree totally with you.

Slightly off topic, I used to be a radio ham & remember the guys who would spend thousands on equipment only to sell it six months later when they failed the tests required! I built some gear myself & listening on the bands to learn about the hobby and when I passed the tests spent a year improving my morse code and knowledge of shortwave before splashing out on 'real' gear.

Also I remember the so called 'experts' giving out duff info. It's funny, but hobbies attract all types of people

-

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Steven
Chigwell, UK

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Richard the picture man
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Re: A few observations.
In reply to happysnapper64, May 23, 2013

I simply loved practicing when I played golf. Many said practicing was boring, & they only played for fun, yet got really angry & frustrated when they played badly, yet still stubornly refused to do anything about it. I practiced very hard with physical limitations, & achieved a decent handicap. I have tried to adopt the same attitude to photography. I believe we only get out of it what we are prepaired to put in to it.

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lee uk.
There are old pilots, & there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots.

Yes practice is the key to success, or at least maximum success a person is capable of.

BTW, Lee, an Auster flew over an hour ago, I understand it belongs to a local farmer. I must find out more, you never know a few photos for a ride in an Auster, sounds OK to me.

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Regards - Richard
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SuvoMitra
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Re: A few observations.
In reply to Richard the picture man, May 23, 2013

Interesting thoughts in your post. Although the expectation of instant gratification probably has gone up in all walks of life, unused cameras and unskilled camera owners are not a new thing.

Cameras have been lying around in the homes of unskilled owners for as long as consumer cameras have been available. Most film cameras were used once in a while for trips or special family occasions. Most of the exposures didn't produce adequate prints. The vast majority camera owners didn't learn exposure theory or work to develop photography as an art or craft. Their poor results (and/or gear focus) were not visible to the world via internet sites, that's all.

There are many, many more serious photography enthusiasts working today than anyone could have imagined in the days of film. Together, they spend more time, effort and money on developing their photography than in those days. Also, the sheer quantity of high quality images by amateur enthusiasts today has no comparison in the past.

At the same time, of course, there are many, many more casual camera owners today, and they probably do expect their equipment to carry them more than their counterparts did in the past. The average quality of snaps taken by such people far outstrips what their counterparts managed with film - sophisticated auto modes and digital tech are to be thanked for that.

Photography today is vibrant, democratic and ubiquitous. The quality of the good work is higher. The quality of the bad work is also higher. Top-class skills in the (digital) darkroom and on the (inkjet) printer are much more widespread than in the days of film. The quality of photography that can be seen in international exhibitions run by FIAP or PSA can show anyone who looks just how many creative and skilled amateurs there are who are dedicated to their craft, and who produce simply phenomenal imagery.

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DenWil
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In reply to Richard the picture man, May 23, 2013

Richard the picture man wrote:

I look, I read, but mostly I listen.

One thing I read once (in a Readers Digest I think) was that of all interchangeable lens cameras sold, over 70% were used for up to two months after purchase (probably for a holiday trip) and never used again.

From reading the forums here, those people asking for advice nearly always ask for advice regarding Nikon v Canon. It would seem that other brands do not exist.

Several of these people give me the impression that they truly believe spending more money = taking better pictures. Moreover some of the repliers tend to foster and encourage that belief.

I also get the impression that many newcomers (not all ) have a marked disinclination to actually start their hobby at the beginning. Very few of them want to truly learn about things like  depth of field, perspective compression, Hyperfocal distance, panning, pre focusing etc. It seems as if they want to buy a camera, set it to scene mode and fire away. No wonder they get bored after just a few months.

There are people on this site and of course other sites, giving out advice that is incorrect and misleading. They do not know how little they really know. It would seem that they have not even read the original post and certainly do not understand the original question.

I listen to other people, sometimes in a camera club situation prattling on about how superior their camera is. Only to find that one year later they have left photography for some other hobby.

As someone who has derived enormous pleasure from photography and would wish the same pleasure to all newcomers, it saddens me that we photographers have allowed this situation to develop. Years ago we had the desire and discipline to learn  but not the superb equipment we have now. These days we have the super equipment but very few people with the desire and discipline to make the effort and learn.

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Regards - Richard
Happy guy with a K5
N.B. All my Images, even the bad ones, are Protected by Copyright

When you want rational logical interaction stick to friends you've vetted. Works for me.

"we photographers have allowed" ...that's just silly.  The fact that we all own cameras does not make us "we" in any viable sense. We all own cars  as well.

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SirLataxe
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Re: A few observations.
In reply to SuvoMitra, May 23, 2013

SuvoMitra wrote:

Interesting thoughts in your post. Although the expectation of instant gratification probably has gone up in all walks of life, unused cameras and unskilled camera owners are not a new thing.

Cameras have been lying around in the homes of unskilled owners for as long as consumer cameras have been available. Most film cameras were used once in a while for trips or special family occasions. Most of the exposures didn't produce adequate prints. The vast majority camera owners didn't learn exposure theory or work to develop photography as an art or craft. Their poor results (and/or gear focus) were not visible to the world via internet sites, that's all.

There are many, many more serious photography enthusiasts working today than anyone could have imagined in the days of film. Together, they spend more time, effort and money on developing their photography than in those days. Also, the sheer quantity of high quality images by amateur enthusiasts today has no comparison in the past.

At the same time, of course, there are many, many more casual camera owners today, and they probably do expect their equipment to carry them more than their counterparts did in the past. The average quality of snaps taken by such people far outstrips what their counterparts managed with film - sophisticated auto modes and digital tech are to be thanked for that.

Photography today is vibrant, democratic and ubiquitous. The quality of the good work is higher. The quality of the bad work is also higher. Top-class skills in the (digital) darkroom and on the (inkjet) printer are much more widespread than in the days of film. The quality of photography that can be seen in international exhibitions run by FIAP or PSA can show anyone who looks just how many creative and skilled amateurs there are who are dedicated to their craft, and who produce simply phenomenal imagery.

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Mr Mitra,

It is tempting to assume that the built-in capabilities of modern machines mean that their users have all been seduced into utterly-lazy mode, so that they require instant gratification (and status as an expert) merely by pressing the big green go-button on the gubbins.  But, as you point out, the greater breadth of user-accessible capabilities in modern (digital) photography can also have the opposite effect.  When the auto-button and camera-cooked jpeg are left behind, a great vista of photographic potential is revealed.

We can now control the end-to-end process of photography without the need for expensive and limiting film, darkroom and so forth.  I take pleasure in looking at a number of pictures hanging on my house-walls as I not only took & developed the photos but also printed, mounted and framed them.  I also made the frames and mounts (being also a woodworker).  There is multi-level satisfaction in getting to grips with a craft or two in this way - the process as well as the result are all pleasurable - play, not work.

Moreover, since we can make 99 mistakes in order to learn how not to make that mistake on the 100th & subsequent attempts, with little or no cost, it is possible to learn much more about photograhic techniques than when film and it's costs limited learning experiences for all but the rich or professional.

But many go the opposite way and hope for big green button utopia.  The archetypal example is the gym-membership syndrome.  People decide they want to be fit & 'andsome so they join the gym believing that somehow this single joining-act will be enough.  Alas, after a week of pushing the dumbell and scurrying nowhere on the running machine they realise it takes hard work & the acquisition of some physical skills; and so they abandon the whole idea.

Of course, we lads who are gym-addicts of many decades are grateful, since it is a well-known fact that such gyms can only stay open and offer a reasonable charge if 90% of the new-joiners disappear after paying for one year but attending only one week.  This leaves room for those who do like to go regularly to excite their endorphin-production and become very 'andsome, like moi. 

Perhaps the same happens with cameras?  Huge numbers buy an expensive DSLR and all the bits, even though they are swiftly abandoned to the cupboard when it is discovered that pressing the shutter button is not quite enough by itself to create photographic masterpieces.  The sales of these many cameras keeps the unit cost down, benefitting those who actually do use the machines to make decades' worth of fine images........

So, then....  From the point of view of those who enjoy access to and extensive use of modern tools, it is not sad at all that consumer-addicts contribute their cash to the various gubbins-markets then abandon that particular gubbins to buy another.  They make these tools affordable to the rest of us who rather enjoy play-work.

SirLataxe, being a self-centred little skinbag in consumerland (Adam Smith said it was OK).

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Draek
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Re: A few observations.
In reply to Richard the picture man, May 23, 2013

I agree with everything you said, except the last part: casual hobbyists have existed for as long as photography was first opened up to the public and, in fact, they are often the sources of the best deals on eBay for excellent-condition film cameras. I'd agree the balance has shifted somewhat in recent years though, as it did back when autofocus and autoexposure were first invented.

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Richard
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Why would you care?
In reply to Richard the picture man, May 23, 2013

Richard the picture man wrote:

I look, I read, but mostly I listen.

One thing I read once (in a Readers Digest I think) was that of all interchangeable lens cameras sold, over 70% were used for up to two months after purchase (probably for a holiday trip) and never used again.

I love the freedom that comes with buying something you want and maybe only use it once. Why would you care how others spend their money, either because of jealousy or a desire to control them in some way. That is the observation I come away when I see people who create posts that critisize the way others spend their money

From reading the forums here, those people asking for advice nearly always ask for advice regarding Nikon v Canon. It would seem that other brands do not exist.

For them, they don't, they don't own those other brands but they do know professionals use those cameras and they figure they are a good product... and they are. Someday other brands will product a good product that gains the attention of pros and beginners alike. That would be Sony IMHO

Several of these people give me the impression that they truly believe spending more money = taking better pictures. Moreover some of the repliers tend to foster and encourage that belief.

I don't observe that very much. I do see people spend more money to get better/faster AF, more FPS, FF, fast glass, higher resolution, better noise control at high ISO, more durable build, 100 percent OVF, tilt display, gps or wifi.

And while none of these will make you a better photographer, the do make it easier to capture better images or in come cases to get the shot the lower end units could not get without being a very good photographer.

I also get the impression that many newcomers (not all ) have a marked disinclination to actually start their hobby at the beginning. Very few of them want to truly learn about things like  depth of field, perspective compression, Hyperfocal distance, panning, pre focusing etc. It seems as if they want to buy a camera, set it to scene mode and fire away. No wonder they get bored after just a few months.

But any hobby is that way. You can enter it into any depth you want. Many people get into other hobby's that cost money only for them to find out they weren't really interested or it was too much work. Why do you care?

What I observed in other hobby's is that just like photography, you choose either entry level which if you like the hobby is quickly outdated and you want to upgrade, no one wants the entry level so you lose money by keeping it. The other is you buy the more expensive stuff, then you don't have to upgrade but if you don't like the hobby you don't lose as much selling the equipment for the hobby because the equip is desirable unlike the entry level. Same with photography.

There are people on this site and of course other sites, giving out advice that is incorrect and misleading.

I would agree that this is true to some extent. But my observation is that someone with clue will often correct them or give another perspective, which is what is great about forums.

They do not know how little they really know. It would seem that they have not even read the original post and certainly do not understand the original question.

This applies to you too... Unless you are an expert in the field, it is only then that you only know how much you don't know.

I listen to other people, sometimes in a camera club situation prattling on about how superior their camera is. Only to find that one year later they have left photography for some other hobby.

Again, it happens in all hobby's, why do you care.

As someone who has derived enormous pleasure from photography and would wish the same pleasure to all newcomers,

Maybe their pleasure is the brief pleasure of owning good equipment only to decide that the hobby is not for them. Why try to demean their pleasure, are you saying your pleasure is superior to theirs and everyone has to have the same type of pleasure as you do?

it saddens me that we photographers have allowed this situation to develop. Years ago we had the desire and discipline to learn  but not the superb equipment we have now. These days we have the super equipment but very few people with the desire and discipline to make the effort and learn
Regards - Richard
Happy guy with a K5
N.B. All my Images, even the bad ones, are Protected by Copyright

It saddens me that people feel the need to tell others what type of pleasures they must feel, how much they have to work at something so they can equate themselves to the person critisizing them.

What is really great about photography, is all you have to do is pick up a camera, point and shoot or $7000 camera with a $2000 and press a button and capture a memory or a sliver of time with no expectation of having to work at it, put in effort or be disciplined. You just do it for the enjoyment and pleasure of capturing a moment in time

Regards Richard

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Richard the picture man
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Re: A few observations.
In reply to Jim Radcliffe, May 23, 2013

Jim Radcliffe wrote:

Richard,  Yes.. many consumers seem to believe there are only two brands of cameras worthy of owning, mainly because Canon and Nikon tend to be the only companies who run ads for camera gear on television.  Of course they also see "Pros" using such gear.  Advertising does work, especially on those who don't know how to do their own research, know their needs and what gear will fill those needs.

I used Canon for over 12 years (DSLRs) and switched to Pentax about two years ago.. I was tired of the bulk and weight of the 5D/5DII and the associated L glass.  I wanted something smaller and weather-sealed.

Some consumers (note I said consumers, not photographers) do equate money spent with the quality of the photos produced and in a sense there is a bit of truth... let's face it, L Glass is better than a kit lens and a 5D MKII will produce a better file than one of Canon's compact cameras.

I use multiple cameras:  GF1, GH2, Fuji X-Pro1 and the Pentax K5 IIs... some of the shots taken with the little GF1 are my favorites.  Why multiple cameras?  Well I don't like being tied to one system and I sometimes like to travel very light.  Each camera has it's own merits and shortcomings.  Do I miss the full frame of my Canon 5DII?  Every now and then but not enough to lure me back.  The K5IIs and the lenses I use with it are a fraction of the cost, a fraction of the weight and produce images that are pleasing to me and to my eye, just as good (and sometimes better) than what I was getting from my Canon gear.

The real truth about better photography is that many people spend money on gear rather than spending time on honing their skills, learning to read the light and developing their post-processing skills.  I have photos taken with the little Panasonic GF1 that look better than some taken with my old 5D.  Will a huge print from the GF1 look as good as one from the 5D?  Probably not but unless you are always printing large to very large photos a camera like the GF1 or the Fuji X100 will serve you well.

When you get to sports and action photography you enter another area.. Canon and Nikon are pretty much the weapons of choice there... and I mean the higher end stuff.

I get emails all the time from people visiting my website wanting to know my suggestion on a camera purchase.. I hardly ever suggest anything because I have no idea what their skill levels are in photography.  We've all seen people with top of the line gear who can't produce a good photo and then we see some guy using a Lomo produce an image that blows us away.  It's the photographer, not the gear.

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Jim Radcliffe
http://www.boxedlight.com
The ability to 'see' the shot is more important than the gear used to capture it.

Thank you Jim,  yes they do spend money, but as another poster says, their money helps keep costs down for the rest of us.

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Richard the picture man
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Re: Why would you care?
In reply to Richard, May 23, 2013

Richard wrote:

Richard the picture man wrote:

I look, I read, but mostly I listen.

One thing I read once (in a Readers Digest I think) was that of all interchangeable lens cameras sold, over 70% were used for up to two months after purchase (probably for a holiday trip) and never used again.

I love the freedom that comes with buying something you want and maybe only use it once. Why would you care how others spend their money, either because of jealousy or a desire to control them in some way. That is the observation I come away when I see people who create posts that critisize the way others spend their money

Because I feel sorry that they are missing out on the experiences they expected when they made the purchase.

From reading the forums here, those people asking for advice nearly always ask for advice regarding Nikon v Canon. It would seem that other brands do not exist.

For them, they don't, they don't own those other brands but they do know professionals use those cameras and they figure they are a good product... and they are. Someday other brands will product a good product that gains the attention of pros and beginners alike. That would be Sony IMHO

Yes that makes good sense.

Several of these people give me the impression that they truly believe spending more money = taking better pictures. Moreover some of the repliers tend to foster and encourage that belief.

I don't observe that very much. I do see people spend more money to get better/faster AF, more FPS, FF, fast glass, higher resolution, better noise control at high ISO, more durable build, 100 percent OVF, tilt display, gps or wifi.

And while none of these will make you a better photographer, the do make it easier to capture better images or in come cases to get the shot the lower end units could not get without being a very good photographer.

Yes I can see that but I am still left with the same impression.

I also get the impression that many newcomers (not all ) have a marked disinclination to actually start their hobby at the beginning. Very few of them want to truly learn about things like  depth of field, perspective compression, Hyperfocal distance, panning, pre focusing etc. It seems as if they want to buy a camera, set it to scene mode and fire away. No wonder they get bored after just a few months.

But any hobby is that way. You can enter it into any depth you want. Many people get into other hobby's that cost money only for them to find out they weren't really interested or it was too much work. Why do you care?

It would be selfish to not feel concern when someone wastes money.

What I observed in other hobby's is that just like photography, you choose either entry level which if you like the hobby is quickly outdated and you want to upgrade, no one wants the entry level so you lose money by keeping it. The other is you buy the more expensive stuff, then you don't have to upgrade but if you don't like the hobby you don't lose as much selling the equipment for the hobby because the equip is desirable unlike the entry level. Same with photography.

There are people on this site and of course other sites, giving out advice that is incorrect and misleading.

I would agree that this is true to some extent. But my observation is that someone with clue will often correct them or give another perspective, which is what is great about forums.

Yep, I go along with that

They do not know how little they really know. It would seem that they have not even read the original post and certainly do not understand the original question.

This applies to you too... Unless you are an expert in the field, it is only then that you only know how much you don't know.

Oh absolutely, after fifty years of taking pictures, I know my limitations and weak points better than you or anyone else.

I listen to other people, sometimes in a camera club situation prattling on about how superior their camera is. Only to find that one year later they have left photography for some other hobby.

Again, it happens in all hobby's, why do you care.

It would be selfish to not care.

As someone who has derived enormous pleasure from photography and would wish the same pleasure to all newcomers,

Maybe their pleasure is the brief pleasure of owning good equipment only to decide that the hobby is not for them. Why try to demean their pleasure, are you saying your pleasure is superior to theirs and everyone has to have the same type of pleasure as you do?

No, certainly people do not have to have the same pleasure as me. My pleasure is not superior but it is long lived.

it saddens me that we photographers have allowed this situation to develop. Years ago we had the desire and discipline to learn  but not the superb equipment we have now. These days we have the super equipment but very few people with the desire and discipline to make the effort and learn
Regards - Richard
Happy guy with a K5
N.B. All my Images, even the bad ones, are Protected by Copyright

It saddens me that people feel the need to tell others what type of pleasures they must feel, how much they have to work at something so they can equate themselves to the person critisizing them.

Oh dear it is sad you have not read the first post accurately. I talk about observations, and any criticism is perhaps leveled at  us people who have been using cameras for some time and who frequent this site. We are the ones who have had the ability to help and guide newcomers. After all we choose to answer questions and make comments freely.

What is really great about photography, is all you have to do is pick up a camera, point and shoot or $7000 camera with a $2000 and press a button and capture a memory or a sliver of time with no expectation of having to work at it, put in effort or be disciplined. You just do it for the enjoyment and pleasure of capturing a moment in time

Now that is real good sense, perhaps we are on the same wavelength after all.

Regards Richard

Thanks Richard, that has been interesting reading and maybe I have learned something.

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Regards - Richard
Happy guy with a K5
N.B. All my Images, even the bad ones, are Protected by Copyright

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Henry Falkner
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Re: A few observations.
In reply to Richard the picture man, May 23, 2013

Richard the picture man wrote:

I also get the impression that many newcomers (not all ) have a marked disinclination to actually start their hobby at the beginning. Very few of them want to truly learn about things like  depth of field, perspective compression, Hyperfocal distance, panning, pre focusing etc. It seems as if they want to buy a camera, set it to scene mode and fire away. No wonder they get bored after just a few months.

This has a lot to do with marketing cameras at people who, without this encouragement, would never touch one. But this also happened in the 35mm days. It was commented in the 1960s that professionals could buy affordable gear because the mass market made it affordable.

To be fair, the firmware writers do try to give you a usable picture when your knowledge is non-existent. Still, I have retained my interest in photography for at least fifty years because I tend to make the best of whatever gear is available that I can afford.

I don't have a cell phone for taking pictures, but I do have a take-anywhere 24x zoom pocket P&S. Admittedly, a little knowledge about it does make it more useful, thereby averting the discard-it-after-two-months syndrome.

Henry

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Re: A few observations.
In reply to Richard the picture man, May 23, 2013

Richard the picture man wrote:

I look, I read, but mostly I listen.

One thing I read once (in a Readers Digest I think) was that of all interchangeable lens cameras sold, over 70% were used for up to two months after purchase (probably for a holiday trip) and never used again.

In the absence of any documentation of this "fact", the educated mind should laugh long, hard, and out loud.

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9 years of Fujifilm camera usage, ended by rampant fanboyism.

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Lance B
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Re: A few observations.
In reply to happysnapper64, May 23, 2013

happysnapper64 wrote:

Richard the picture man wrote:

Lance B wrote:

Richard the picture man wrote:

I look, I read, but mostly I listen.

One thing I read once (in a Readers Digest I think) was that of all interchangeable lens cameras sold, over 70% were used for up to two months after purchase (probably for a holiday trip) and never used again.

From reading the forums here, those people asking for advice nearly always ask for advice regarding Nikon v Canon. It would seem that other brands do not exist.

Several of these people give me the impression that they truly believe spending more money = taking better pictures. Moreover some of the repliers tend to foster and encourage that belief.

I also get the impression that many newcomers (not all ) have a marked disinclination to actually start their hobby at the beginning. Very few of them want to truly learn about things like  depth of field, perspective compression, Hyperfocal distance, panning, pre focusing etc. It seems as if they want to buy a camera, set it to scene mode and fire away. No wonder they get bored after just a few months.

There are people on this site and of course other sites, giving out advice that is incorrect and misleading. They do not know how little they really know.

I listen to other people, sometimes in a camera club situation prattling on about how superior their camera is. Only to find that six months later they have left photography for some other hobby.

As someone who has derived enormous pleasure from photography and would wish the same pleasure to all newcomers, it saddens me that we photographers have allowed this situation to develop. Years ago we had the desire and discipline to learn  but not the superb equipment we have now. These days we have the super equipment but very few people with the desire and discipline to make the effort and learn.

Because when we were younger back in the film days, you actually had to work at just about everything to make something worthwhile, whether it be photography, writing (no computers), repairing cars or actually making something.

Now, we are told by companies and taught in schools that they can do everything for us and look after us. However, when we get these new fangled gadgets, we find that they can't do everything for us and we actually have still to do much ourselves, ie come up with ideas to take photos, have some knowledge and have some input and that makes it all too hard for many and they become disillusioned with their gadget and move on to something easier, like Facebook, Twitter, point and shoot cameras, making sure they hip, ie no substance, just the illusion of looking good.

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Regards - Richard
Happy guy with a K5
N.B. All my Images, even the bad ones, are Protected by Copyright

Yes, I think you are spot on Lance, work is the bit that is missing.

Thing is many people do not realize that work can be fun and very satisfying, and after all fun and satisfaction are what photography is all about.

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Regards - Richard
Happy guy with a K5
N.B. All my Images, even the bad ones, are Protected by Copyright

I simply loved practicing when I played golf. Many said practicing was boring, & they only played for fun, yet got really angry & frustrated when they played badly, yet still stubornly refused to do anything about it. I practiced very hard with physical limitations, & achieved a decent handicap. I have tried to adopt the same attitude to photography. I believe we only get out of it what we are prepaired to put in to it.

I was the same when I played golf.

You may remember the anecdote about Gary Player playing in a tournament where he sunk a shot out of the bunker and a spectator was alleged to have snorted, "Gees, you're lucky", to which Gary Player responded, "Yeah, the more I practice, the luckier I get".

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lee uk.
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bosjohn21
Senior MemberPosts: 6,464
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Re: A few observations.
In reply to Richard the picture man, May 23, 2013

Richard the picture man wrote:

I look, I read, but mostly I listen.

One thing I read once (in a Readers Digest I think) was that of all interchangeable lens cameras sold, over 70% were used for up to two months after purchase (probably for a holiday trip) and never used again.

From reading the forums here, those people asking for advice nearly always ask for advice regarding Nikon v Canon. It would seem that other brands do not exist.

Several of these people give me the impression that they truly believe spending more money = taking better pictures. Moreover some of the repliers tend to foster and encourage that belief.

I also get the impression that many newcomers (not all ) have a marked disinclination to actually start their hobby at the beginning. Very few of them want to truly learn about things like  depth of field, perspective compression, Hyperfocal distance, panning, pre focusing etc. It seems as if they want to buy a camera, set it to scene mode and fire away. No wonder they get bored after just a few months.

There are people on this site and of course other sites, giving out advice that is incorrect and misleading. They do not know how little they really know. It would seem that they have not even read the original post and certainly do not understand the original question.

I listen to other people, sometimes in a camera club situation prattling on about how superior their camera is. Only to find that one year later they have left photography for some other hobby.

As someone who has derived enormous pleasure from photography and would wish the same pleasure to all newcomers, it saddens me that we photographers have allowed this situation to develop. Years ago we had the desire and discipline to learn  but not the superb equipment we have now. These days we have the super equipment but very few people with the desire and discipline to make the effort and learn.

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Regards - Richard
Happy guy with a K5
N.B. All my Images, even the bad ones, are Protected by Copyright

Heck I am well over seventy and I still want to learn

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John aka bosjohn21

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