Seemingly aimless discourse, with a request (Long, and boring)

Started Jan 10, 2005 | Discussions thread
OP Harish Narayanan Junior Member • Posts: 27
Re: Have to say...

Philip Smith wrote:

I really enjoyed your piece. Nothing really happened (don;t take
that the wrong way), but combined with the images it makes for a
really good piece about the solitude of winter. You should be a
writer. I also really liked your images. - especially after having
read the piece first. They are really interesting. I especially
like the deserted playground , Idle hands and Death. Look like
you're getting a lot out of your camera already. You have a great
eye. Keep on using it (or should that be both of them).

Phil

(I'm placing this reply here, but I don't mean it to be just a reply to Phil's post. It is, in general, directed at most people who responded. His was just the first post I started responding to, in detail. As I respond (slowly) to the other posts, I will probably refer back to bits here. I am not doing to be rude, just to minimize redundancy.)

Why thank you Phil. I personally tend to prefer work earlier in the photolog (cheap plug: http://delineate.wahgnube.org/shoebox/blue-tranquility/ ), but that's only because those shots were taken after I'd given myself a lot more time to familiarize myself with older hardware. But that's beside the point. I will reach that point with this camera in time.

And before I begin my real reply, I must say your reply was remarkably astute.

I'll begin with a few admissions. I do fancy my skill as a writer more than I do as a picture taker, but I most fancy my skill in story telling (or making a point) with an appropriate combination of words and pictures. (I honestly believe it's not the pictures, and it's not the words, but the relationship they hold that creates the desired effect – sound familiar?) And this "piece", in some senses, was just that. It was late, and I was just goofing around exercising some underused verbal muscle.

And as others have already noticed, it has little to really do with doubting the hardware or how much I am capable of being "one with" the camera. It's just, there is a constant string of posts all over such forums about how "MY (insert camera here) is the WORST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME", because the user ran into some (mostly easily fixable) beginner's mistake (which they most probably caused).

There have been so many such posts, and corresponding retorts. Some serious, some satirical, some plain mad. I've, for the longest time, relied on satire to express myself with respect to such things (mocking such posts, for instance). But this time, I decided to set a bar a little higher and aim for a lot more subtle jab at the phenomenon. So I spoke about how I, one who admittedly knows little, and has little real experience can work my way around issues in time. (With generous hints of self deprecation and mocking the fact that I went about "solving the problem" in typical "me" fashion. Not trying to shoot more at first, but reading books on optics instead.)

The important thing, however, is that I didn't hang around some forum ranting about it, when, arguably, no one can do anything about my opinion ("this camera sucks"), since I've already formed it and don't plan to budge.

Everybody is insecure about something. Some people know and admit it, some can't see or won't tell. Mine stems from the fact that I am more of a "thinker" than one who goes with the "emotional flow", which is actually a bad thing when it comes to non-rational-science areas. This unfortunately happens to be a major portion of life, including my new hobby, photography. The only place where I am in a safe haven, is in a cozy corner of a room at a lab and things behave the way they "should" - in these little differential equations on pieces of paper.

I ended with the bit about me being "unsure about the sharpness levels", not because I was particularly concerned as to the camera's quality, but to take another subtle jab at what I see some people doing (it is probably the most brought up issue with respect to that camera/lens pair) without realizing. You have real life, the one in which you see your loved ones, that perfect rainbow, the gorgeous droplet of dew on a pretty flower ... . And then you have your picture of it.

Just because the picture has a good chance of being less dramatic than the actual moment, (even if it is equal technically, you are attached emotionally to the real moment in space and time), doesn't mean your camera sucks. It just means it is a picture, and not the real thing, or what you remember of the real thing in your head.

And, on a related note, I tried to demonstrate another aspect of this herd mentality. There you had me, one who had begun to trust his camera's ability (and his ability with the camera), and I still ended up sounding unsure, and asking for reassurance about the sharpness. It's not just coincidence that I happened to bring up the most commonly brought up problem. Even if I, or someone else, is happy with their hardware, reading enough posts about "how their 20D sucks with respect to sharpness with this lens" is enough to make you unsure about your camera's quality.

Just because you can always dream up some standard doesn't mean the camera sucks by not matching up to it.

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