Our (photographers) taste in photos vs the general public

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
Florida Nature Photographer
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This is ironic
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 9 months ago

Really weird that this happened while this thread was active...

This is a photo I took with my FZ200 in Maine prior to the release of the E-M1. When I first posted it on the Panasonic forum I was surprised at the lukewarm response it received because I really liked it.

This month it fit the requirements of a challenge so I entered it. I placed 6th out of 100 entries. So I'm not sure what you make of that.

My challenge entry is here.

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jackdan
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Re: Our (photographers) taste in photos vs the general public
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 9 months ago

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

jackdan wrote:

I think I have the answer you are seeking. People here are pretty jaded by seeing so many top tier photos, whereas, your friends and family are used to more mundane photos that make yours stand out as being exceptional compared to what they are used to seeing,

There is probably a lot too that, however.. since you made that specific observation...

I know this is my sister and I know it isn't true but she really did say this to me in a recent email... "Your pictures are FAR better than most of the artwork I see on calendars, postcards and even wall art." She was encouraging me to try to make some money from my work.

I know I have a long way to go before I can even consider doing that, but that was her impression.

Keep entering DPR challenges and you will find out just how good you are.

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Dancebert
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Re: Our (photographers) taste in photos vs the general public
In reply to Stephan K, 9 months ago

Stephan K wrote:

MPA1 wrote:

I've often noticed that what wins challenges here is the most 'obvious' image not necessarily the best image.

Also that many posters on DPR overall are more into their gear than their art

I love the technology and design of current gear for it's own sake.

By the way, what is this "outdoor photography" you speak of?

LOL!  It's funny because it's true.

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Dancebert
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Re: Good Question...
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 9 months ago

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

rogerstpierre wrote:

If you show me an image I think: Compositon, Technique, Balance, Mass, Lights, Darks etc. and when I show the same images to a non-photographers they think: Who, What, Where and sometimes When.

But before all of that isn't there a first impression. Don't you almost instantly like or not like the photo?

If one is educated and experienced in the use of "Compositon, Technique, Balance, Mass, Lights, Darks etc.", those elements and more are part of the initial impression. For example, bad composition and bad balance sometimes can be seen upon first glance of a thumbnail size photo.

Like and not like are one way of enjoying images. When I walk through a gallery or scan thumbnails I dismiss some upon first impression. For some I stop, my brain turns off, I take the image in and feel. Later, the brain turns on, usually first looking for a deeper story or meaning. If if have the time or inclination I'll study the composition, seeing how it works to produce, seeing if I can learn something. Last aspect I examine, if I even do it, is image quality - because if everything else works, then the image quality was good enough.
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TheEye
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For an honest opinion, ask...
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 9 months ago

…your mother in-law.  

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gbshooter
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Re: Our (photographers) taste in photos vs the general public
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 9 months ago

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

When I got back from my Christmas holiday I started processing and posting the photos I took while I was gone. I received a lot of very helpful advice which caused me to reprocess numerous photos and rethink some of my "keepers".

Some of the photos that were not well received here I decided to share with family and friends etc. in my Winter Wonderful Land Flickr Slideshow (16 photos) anyway. In some cases you turned out to be right. However, the three photos shown below were very well received elsewhere in spite of the luke warm response they generated here.

The first two are slightly modified versions of my original post. The third I didn't change at all and it ended up as someone's desktop wallpaper at work.

In my continuing effort to learn, I wanted to generate some discussion on why and how photographers' taste in photos might be different from that of the general population.

I mean to address the issue generally and specifically with regard to the three photos below.

Thanks for your sharing your thoughts.

I find it very ironic that one of the first posters mentioned this forum being about gear and not looking at photographs. So much for that idea.

I have had experience as a photographer and photo editor at a newspaper. I have seen the industry change exponentially over the years due to digital photography. Take a few words of advice and much of the constructive criticism that really good photographers have given you on this post.

-  Our photographer's each have about 15,000 dollars worth of gear. Of the 8 staffers, one has been at it 43 years, the oldest at 64, and the youngest for 10 years. They take fantastic photos. They win contests, do lectures, host journalism forums. But you know what gets the most hits on our website?  Dogs, kids, pet contests, and the monthly gallery of criminal mug shots. Don't let the public or your friends be the judge of what makes a good photograph for you. You can listen to their opinion and it should contribute to the overall value of the photo, but don't let them be the judge.

- I reviewed your winter gallery. You know what the common element is besides winter?  Well, you are just pointing the camera. You need to experiment more. Your angle of view never changes. I can't speak to your outtakes, but from what I see you need to spice it up a little. Don't just point the camera, make a photograph. Know that you are not going to take a great photo every time you release the shutter. In fact anyone is lucky to have a keeper ever 30-50 frames or more. When I started this in 1975, I hardly ever thought i needed to take more that one photo. It was going to be great every time. I think you may be there and you need to get beyond that.

- Work a little with crop. The barn has potential. It was obvious to a few on here who cropped in from the left. I would have taken that left two trees out to focus the interest.

- If you are frustrated with your take, leave it for a week or two and come back to it. You would be surprised how removing yourself from the immediacy of your take can help YOU take a more objective view of your photos.

Don't take any of this in a mean or derogatory way. If your goal is to make some money at this, do some self publishing or try some stock agencies. If rejected, go back to work and keep trying. Go through these forums and look at the URLs with the signatures and see what others are doing. You will suddenly start formulating your own unique view. The thing that will make your point of view different and add that WOW to your images. But it takes time and lots of BAD photographs. Now get out and shoot and good luck to you.

Respectfully,

Gary

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brick33308
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Re: Our (photographers) taste in photos vs the general public
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 9 months ago

I have resisted sharing my thoughts on these images because, given our recent exchange, I didn't want you to assume I was influenced by that exchange or even worse carrying any kind of grudge.

However you've received a sufficient number of criticisms so perhaps mine will be received in the constructive spirit I offer it.

Are these horrible photos? No they are not. But is there anything at all special about them? Likewise no there is not. To me they seem like snapshots that people who don't consider themselves photographers (whether pro or, like me, serious amateur) would snap were a point and shoot  thrust into their hands.

As a real photographer (and that is what I think you are judging from some of your other work I've seen) I would expect you would want to put up for display on a forum for and by photographers work that if not your best is nonetheless work that you are truly proud of. And I wonder if that's how you truly feel about these images. If not, then this thread comes across somewhat needy -  desperate for attention. Again, it's not my intent to be rude or inappropriate, but rather to give my honest opinion which you clearly asked for by putting your photos on the forum for the second time with a repackaged request for people to look at them and interact with you.

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Michael Jardine
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Re: Barn: 3 small tweaks
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 9 months ago

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

Boy that was hard for me! I even tried using the angle tool and drawing it down that corner. Even doing that it still didn't look right. In the end I did exactly as you suggested. Without using the lens correction panel.. Is this better?

Looks good to me!

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Jim N'AZ
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To Florida and brick33308
In reply to brick33308, 9 months ago

Yes, I fully agree with your post, brick. Well said.

Due to the volume generated on/in this thread, I will be brief.

The term "analysis paralysis" has come to mind over and over when reading the OP postings. There was a post further up the thread by NewGirlLiz http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53013194 that summed it up quite well too.

Florida comes back time after time asking for advice on the same images, albeit reworked in some way, but he has become so repetitive that I understand his confusion with all the varying opinions flooding in concerning his multiple images posted. His addendum is always marked with "how else am I going to learn?" Methinks, Florida, it is time to sink or swim, but strike out on your own, or you will be chasing your tail forever, photographically speaking, that is

My advice to him would be to back off seeking everyone's opinion upon opinion concerning each jot and tittle and reset his outlook more toward what pleases him, what hits his "wow" button, regardless what we gear heads opine here on dpr. Until he can shoot for his pleasure with some success (because he has no client directing what the final image must be/do) he will forever be mired down trying to please everyone and that is, as we all know, an exercise in futility....

Florida, escape this ANALYSIS PARALYSIS while you can!

Regards, Jim

brick33308 wrote:

I have resisted sharing my thoughts on these images because, given our recent exchange, I didn't want you to assume I was influenced by that exchange or even worse carrying any kind of grudge.

However you've received a sufficient number of criticisms so perhaps mine will be received in the constructive spirit I offer it.

Are these horrible photos? No they are not. But is there anything at all special about them? Likewise no there is not. To me they seem like snapshots that people who don't consider themselves photographers (whether pro or, like me, serious amateur) would snap were a point and shoot thrust into their hands.

As a real photographer (and that is what I think you are judging from some of your other work I've seen) I would expect you would want to put up for display on a forum for and by photographers work that if not your best is nonetheless work that you are truly proud of. And I wonder if that's how you truly feel about these images. If not, then this thread comes across somewhat needy - desperate for attention. Again, it's not my intent to be rude or inappropriate, but rather to give my honest opinion which you clearly asked for by putting your photos on the forum for the second time with a repackaged request for people to look at them and interact with you.

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Michael Jardine
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Re: This is ironic
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 9 months ago

Excellent photo. The reflection makes it. I also like that it's natural. So many 'sunset reflection' photos are way over-saturated and over-tooled. At least, for my good.

Incidentally, my favorite from that entire group is the one that placed 5th. Both of those I would have ranked above the other 4.

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: To Florida and brick33308
In reply to Jim N'AZ, 9 months ago

Jim N'AZ wrote:

Florida comes back time after time asking for advice

...

My advice to him would be to back off seeking everyone's opinion

...

Until he can shoot for his pleasure with some success (because he has no client directing what the final image must be/do) he will forever be mired down trying to please everyone and that is, as we all know, an exercise in futility....

Now that I have settled on the equipment I will use to pursue photography there are many threads on this forum that I find repetitive or of no value to me and I simply ignore them. I do my best to watch for opportunities to share what I have learned about my gear, when I believe it will be of assistance, but spend most of my time reading the threads that discuss photography itself.

It is never my intention to annoy anyone, so if you find my threads in anyway bothersome I beg you to please pass them by on the thread list. On quite a few occasions folks have commented to me both publicly and privately that they appreciate my threads because they learned things from reading them.

Since this particular thread has been popular with others you may not have read all of the messages in it. Earlier I mentioned that I don't take photos to please me, I take them to please others. This thread is serving the purpose for which I started it. It is helping me to learn how I can improve composition, technical use of the camera, post processing, and selection of keepers, so that I can please MORE people with my images than I have been.

I have no illusions that everyone is going to like all of my images anymore than I expect everyone to like me. No one could have time to read all of the messages on this forum but we can choose to read those that give us the most enjoyment and benefit.

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: Barn: 3 small tweaks
In reply to Michael Jardine, 9 months ago

Michael Jardine wrote:

Looks good to me!

Thanks for helping me get it right. I appreciate it.

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: Good Question...
In reply to Dancebert, 9 months ago

Dancebert wrote:

If one is educated and experienced in the use of "Compositon, Technique, Balance, Mass, Lights, Darks etc.", those elements and more are part of the initial impression.

Well, then I expect the day will come when I have that experience myself. I just hope it doesn't hinder my ability to simply enjoy looking at photos.

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: Our (photographers) taste in photos vs the general public
In reply to gbshooter, 9 months ago

gbshooter wrote:

I find it very ironic that one of the first posters mentioned this forum being about gear and not looking at photographs. So much for that idea.

I have always believed that there are quite a few people who use m43 gear that want to discuss photography.

I have had experience as a photographer and photo editor at a newspaper. I have seen the industry change exponentially over the years due to digital photography. Take a few words of advice and much of the constructive criticism that really good photographers have given you on this post.

Thanks for letting me know your experience.

I reviewed your winter gallery. You know what the common element is besides winter? Well, you are just pointing the camera. You need to experiment more. Your angle of view never changes. I can't speak to your outtakes, but from what I see you need to spice it up a little.

Thanks for this. I actually tried to do that this past Friday evening. I posted "experiment" shots in the "This Week Through YOUR m4/3" thread and my posts just kind of laid there. I will keep at it though.

When I started this in 1975, I hardly ever thought i needed to take more that one photo. It was going to be great every time. I think you may be there and you need to get beyond that.

That is definitely not a problem for me. I throw out many hundreds of shots for every one that I share. I often take shots knowing that I will never use them but just want to prepare myself for a similar shot with better subject matter in my future.

- Work a little with crop. The barn has potential. It was obvious to a few on here who cropped in from the left. I would have taken that left two trees out to focus the interest.

Have you seen the improved version that Michael Jardine helped me with. There certainly seems to be consensus on how that barn photo can be improved.

- If you are frustrated with your take, leave it for a week or two and come back to it. You would be surprised how removing yourself from the immediacy of your take can help YOU take a more objective view of your photos.

I also wonder how many keepers are floating around on my hard drive waiting for my post processing skills to improve.

Don't take any of this in a mean or derogatory way. If your goal is to make some money at this, do some self publishing or try some stock agencies.

I wouldn't call it a hope, more of a dream. I want to have fun with this. If that happens down the road, great. I'm not really thinking about it at the moment, however.

The thing that will make your point of view different and add that WOW to your images. But it takes time and lots of BAD photographs.

Trust me. I am taking a lot of bad photos that none of you will ever see.

Now get out and shoot and good luck to you.

I would have been out the last two nights if it hadn't been for the cold rain.

Thanks for offering your advice.

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GeorgianBay1939
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Re: To Florida and brick33308
In reply to Jim N'AZ, 9 months ago

Jim N'AZ wrote:

Yes, I fully agree with your post, brick. Well said.

Due to the volume generated on/in this thread, I will be brief.

The term "analysis paralysis" has come to mind over and over when reading the OP postings. There was a post further up the thread by NewGirlLiz http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53013194 that summed it up quite well too.

Florida comes back time after time asking for advice on the same images, albeit reworked in some way, but he has become so repetitive that I understand his confusion with all the varying opinions flooding in concerning his multiple images posted. His addendum is always marked with "how else am I going to learn?" Methinks, Florida, it is time to sink or swim, but strike out on your own, or you will be chasing your tail forever, photographically speaking, that is

My advice to him would be to back off seeking everyone's opinion upon opinion concerning each jot and tittle and reset his outlook more toward what pleases him, what hits his "wow" button, regardless what we gear heads opine here on dpr. Until he can shoot for his pleasure with some success (because he has no client directing what the final image must be/do) he will forever be mired down trying to please everyone and that is, as we all know, an exercise in futility....

Florida, escape this ANALYSIS PARALYSIS while you can!

Regards, Jim

brick33308 wrote:

I have resisted sharing my thoughts on these images because, given our recent exchange, I didn't want you to assume I was influenced by that exchange or even worse carrying any kind of grudge.

However you've received a sufficient number of criticisms so perhaps mine will be received in the constructive spirit I offer it.

Are these horrible photos? No they are not. But is there anything at all special about them? Likewise no there is not. To me they seem like snapshots that people who don't consider themselves photographers (whether pro or, like me, serious amateur) would snap were a point and shoot thrust into their hands.

As a real photographer (and that is what I think you are judging from some of your other work I've seen) I would expect you would want to put up for display on a forum for and by photographers work that if not your best is nonetheless work that you are truly proud of. And I wonder if that's how you truly feel about these images. If not, then this thread comes across somewhat needy - desperate for attention. Again, it's not my intent to be rude or inappropriate, but rather to give my honest opinion which you clearly asked for by putting your photos on the forum for the second time with a repackaged request for people to look at them and interact with you.

Yes, NewGirlLiz, brick33308 and you shed some good light on factors influencing creative processes.

Most folks who are experienced in the business shield their "creators" from the "focus group" marketers while they seek audience response to products and their characteristics.

My personal experience, running a fairly significant scientific/research/arts organization, confirms that using audience feedback to determine the product leads to mundane outputs with high salability.  (Which is very appropriate in some contexts, not appropriate in other.)

This article about "focus groups" used to seek audience peaking illustrates the point.

Douglas Rushkoff argues that focus groups are often useless, and frequently cause more trouble than they are intended to solve, with focus groups often aiming to please rather than offering their own opinions or evaluations, and with data often cherry picked to support a foregone conclusion. Rushkoff cites the disastrous introduction of New Coke in the 1980s as a vivid example of focus group analysis gone bad.

Jonathan Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of industrial design, also said that Apple had found a good reason not to do focus groups : "They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products."

If a photographer wants to please others, seeking continuous detailed feedback supporting some sort of consensus is probably not a bad strategy.

If a photographer wants to develop his/her own distinct style of representing a scene, it is probably a good idea to study good stuff, learn how to critique others and to learn how to critique self-made stuff.

Overlaid is the maturation factor.  A few years ago, when I first started getting serious, I didn't have much of a clue WHY I liked some of my output (and was unimpressed by most of it.)  It took about a year of hard work - taking many different exposures of one scene - post processing it radically -  reshooting under different lighting conditions - reprocessing - repeat  until I found WHY I like some outputs and not others.

Perhaps the OP is starting to question the effectiveness of C&C in defining his own values in the art.  Another good/big step for him.

I hope that this helps.

Tom

PS   The above hectoring is a good example of analysis leading to paralysis!!!!

t

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: To Florida and brick33308
In reply to GeorgianBay1939, 9 months ago

GeorgianBay1939 wrote:

Perhaps the OP is starting to question the effectiveness of C&C in defining his own values in the art. Another good/big step for him.

Actually, this thread has reinforced, for me, the value of hearing the opinions of those more experienced than me.

If the weather cooperates I will be shooting photos tonight and there are several things that I will be doing differently from what I would normally do. Things that I don't know if I would have ever changed if I just kept shooting on my own, and judging my work on my own, without this kind of critique.

My sincere thanks to all those who have offered their critique. Including those who offered an opinion that differed from a previous poster and those that confirmed what was said in previous posts.

I am confident that I will have no trouble developing my own style after I have learned some of the basic concepts that were expressed to me these past few days. I plan to build a solid foundation of accepted knowledge. Then I can decide which guidelines I will choose to break, and when, in coming to terms with who I will become as a photographer.

I expect it to be an exciting and enjoyable journey and I hope some will enjoy following me as I progress and that they will continue to help guide me.

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brick33308
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Re: To Florida and brick33308
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 9 months ago

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

It is never my intention to annoy anyone, so if you find my threads in anyway bothersome I beg you to please pass them by on the thread list. On quite a few occasions folks have commented to me both publicly and privately that they appreciate my threads because they learned things from reading them.

Since this particular thread has been popular with others you may not have read all of the messages in it. Earlier I mentioned that I don't take photos to please me, I take them to please others. This thread is serving the purpose for which I started it. It is helping me to learn how I can improve composition, technical use of the camera, post processing, and selection of keepers, so that I can please MORE people with my images than I have been.

I have no illusions that everyone is going to like all of my images anymore than I expect everyone to like me. No one could have time to read all of the messages on this forum but we can choose to read those that give us the most enjoyment and benefit.

Where in my or Jim N'AZ's responses did either of us say we were annoyed?? We both simply and honestly responded to your request for discussion on your photos, and if you actually read them with an open mind you will see that they both complimented you in some measure while also providing constructive critique that you profess to desire so that you can improve your skills. In reality, the only "C&C" you want are complements and coddling, and anyone in this thread who has critiqued your work or not provided you with stroking that you obviously desire, you've twisted their response just as you did with me and Jim N'AZ as being somehow insulting or other than what you initially asked for.

Okay, I realize now what your numerous posts are all about - emotional neediness. And what will clearly be to your elation, I will no longer respond to nor even look at your posts that feign a desire for C&C of your work.

I have no doubt you will, as you always do, post another response to my comments, steeped in denial and misdirection and/or claiming that you are once again the victim, thus giving you the last word - and that's just fine with me.

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D200_4me
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I see that too and I try to ignore certain types of people
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 9 months ago

If you haven't already noticed, the internet is full of photography experts that know how to instruct you to make super awesome landscape shots, portraits, 'street' photos, etc.  But don't worry, it's REALLY ok to ignore those people...

I try to avoid sharing much here because most people here just don't care unless it's a pixel peeping example.  I like to pixel peep when deciding on a camera and I mostly just use the official review sample photos to see the noise levels of various models.  So I DO pixel peep when I need to.

Most people in the general public give much more praise or like photos that are generally not well received here.  I've probably deleted a lot of photos I thought weren't worth keeping because in the back of my mind, I assumed my fellow shooters would think they're bad too.  More recently I've had a change of habit.  I tend not to care what other people think.  If I like it, I keep it and don't worry about others thoughts.  Sure, it's nice to have a lot of people like your photos, don't get me wrong, but I'm just saying....if you have a passion and you love what you're shooting, it usually shows and a lot of people will like it...even if it's not your fellow photogs.

Other than specific questions I ask when I need help with something, or if I'm just bored and want to see if there are known issues with certain camera models before buying, I generally don't listen to other photographer's advice.   Why?  Because I do photography for myself, so why should I care what anyone else thinks?     I use the features in the way I want to use them, regardless of how other people say is the 'correct' way to shoot....I process my photos the way I want to, regardless of how others say I should sharpen, lift shadows, lower highlights, etc, etc.  They can do whatever they want, but I'll do what I want.

Having said that....sure, for new photographers that need help with certain things or are still trying to find their artistic place, it's good to listen and try new things.   But for me, I've gotten to the point where I'm very happy with what I know about photography gear and how to get the 'look' I want, even if other shooters don't like how I do things.  Not everything I save is a work of art, but it usually means something to me, or I wouldn't be saving it or posting it.

Ok, you get the point....I guess

Disclaimer:  There's a difference in shooting for yourself vs. shooting to earn a living.  I only have to make myself happy.  That's why I said what I did.   I'm not trying to earn a living from photos.

One more disclaimer:  This is a gear forum so there were naturally be much more pixel peeping going on here, but some people just take it way too far.  Once people start talking about photons and uni-white balance and so on, I immediately go to a different thread because I couldn't care less about those discussion.  I see no point in it.  I think people would be better served by shooting more and talking less about photons.  Maybe then, their posted cat photos will be much improved (composition and artsy stuff like that )

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mh2000
Senior MemberPosts: 2,662
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too flat IMO
In reply to Michael Jardine, 9 months ago

Michael Jardine wrote:

Nice pictures. My favorite was the barn. I made three small tweaks, only one of which really jumped out at me - the vertical lines of the barn, out-building, and water tank were not vertical, and that always bugs me. So I rotated to vertical.

The other two smaller tweaks - purely personal - lifted the shadows to show more of the dark side of the barn, and reduced highlights to show more detail of the snow.

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Michael
www.Qamera.com
www.Qamera.Tumblr.com
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I would want to bring up the barn, but keep the trees darker. I like the trees.

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Moti
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,461
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Re: To Florida and brick33308
In reply to brick33308, 9 months ago

brick33308 wrote:

Where in my or Jim N'AZ's responses did either of us say we were annoyed?? We both simply and honestly responded to your request for discussion on your photos, and if you actually read them with an open mind you will see that they both complimented you in some measure while also providing constructive critique that you profess to desire so that you can improve your skills. In reality, the only "C&C" you want are complements and coddling, and anyone in this thread who has critiqued your work or not provided you with stroking that you obviously desire, you've twisted their response just as you did with me and Jim N'AZ as being somehow insulting or other than what you initially asked for.

Okay, I realize now what your numerous posts are all about - emotional neediness. And what will clearly be to your elation, I will no longer respond to nor even look at your posts that feign a desire for C&C of your work.

I have no doubt you will, as you always do, post another response to my comments, steeped in denial and misdirection and/or claiming that you are once again the victim, thus giving you the last word - and that's just fine with me.

Absolutely true, well said.

Moti

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