Is this proof of, "It's the photographer"?

Started Aug 10, 2014 | Discussions thread
bford Senior Member • Posts: 1,489
Re: "It's the photographer" is a condescending and incomplete cliche

Joris1632 wrote:

bford wrote:

The fact is, the artistic and the technical are both important.

I agree, I never said otherwise.

You have downplayed the importance of the technical side of photography. The fact is, the technical side of photography has always been important.

Why is sharper better? What are your universal criteria? Mine are simple, does the shot achieve it's aims or not? Is the aim to convey an emotion or accurately reproduce a test chart?

A sharper lens affects all results, not just test charts. A sharper lens, all other things being equal, can convey more emotion by actually recording more detail. Don't need so much detail for a particular project? The results can be blurred through software. Adding detail when it is not there in the first place though is not possible. A sharper lens also helps a photographer crop more aggressively, potentially saving a shot. A better lens also has less distortion and light fall off, and consistent sharpness across the frame. Most photographer's aims include the technical.

I would sincerely like to know how emotion is conveyed by more detail.

In that case you may as well just take photos of blobs of light and color.

Yes, why not?, - as long as your equipment is up to it!

Would you then like a camera that is designed to be limited to such a type of photography?

Online there are billions of superbly exposed and processed images of everything. A few stand out because they are crafted, "composed" and created by someone's particular vision.

Which is helped further by having technically superior equipment.

Can you give some examples?

More accurate and faster AF is crucial for sports photographers. Being able to discern more detail in your photos because of a better sensor and/or lens is something most photographers, and people in general, desire. A better lens could also lead to less distortion and less light falloff. A more light sensitive sensor will improve high ISO photography.

I SAID 'superbly exposed and processed" meaning of equal technical quality.If you pick a genre like sport which is technically challenging, the outstanding/ prize winning pics are the ones where a certain viewpoint has been chosen, the composition is planned and the photographer has caught a special instant. All his mates with identical gear missed it.

You asked for examples, and I gave them to you. The things I mentioned are purely technical, technical things about cameras that can improve a person's photography.

The art and craft of picture making is often seen as a sort of excuse for sloppy technique but in fact creativity usually demands a very high technical capability.

The technical you speak of is not the technical I speak of. A better word for you to use would be technique.

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No, I mean technical. Many great photographers were technical innovators. Some even still build their own cameras to achieve a particular result.

I don't think there are many "great photographers" capable of making their own multi-element, multi-coated lenses, AF mechanisms, and digital imaging sensors.

You dodge the issue. Art and craft in photography go together, one doesn't exclude the other.

What have I dodged? You spoke about the "technical" and I responded with technical, like I have been throughout the discussion. Perhaps English is not your native language but I believe you're confusing the technical (as in technological) side of photography with technique.

Learning photography is learning to see the world, and to see it through the eye of the camera.

And if your are looking through the eye of a more capable camera and lens then your photos will have more potential of being something special.

Nonsense. Do you honestly believe that?

Of course, otherwise I wouldn't have wrote it. An obvious example of that is a landscape photographer using a Nikon D800 over a point and shoot.

If your ambition is to produce the ultimate corner-to-corner ultra-sharp, noiseless photograph with perfect colour and tonal range then you have a long and weary road ahead because there is always a better sensor or a sharper lens just around the corner. And at the top end, tiny increases in quality come with a huge increase in price.

No, the ambition of most photographers is to improve the technical and the artistic side of their photography,

Oh? I thought it was to make photos, to communicate their unique vision....

Making photos for most photographers entails maximizing the technical and artistic aspects of photography. It's always been that way.

A photographer also doesn't have to communicate anything to anyone. Many photographers take pictures for their own satisfaction and to try and record things as faithfully as to what they experienced. A photo doesn't have to have some deep and philosophical meaning to be enjoyed. If someone were to ask me me what "unique vision" I was trying communicate in a photo that I took I would feel a bit sick. That's the kind of unnecessary and often pretentious talk that many so-called artists feel they need to engage in, typically to try and add value and get validation from others.

otherwise most photographers would still be shooting film using homemade pinhole cameras.

.... not most, but some do just that! Don't rekindle the film/digital wars

Why did you feel the need to say "some" after I said most? That's a given. My comment was correct though.

Why not enjoy whatever you have? Look at some great photos, look at the world. Remember people looking at your pictures are going to see what you saw, not lppm,

You see, that's the problem with people that share your view, and the one expressed in the original post. You someone think that just because people appreciate one aspect of something that they somehow can not appreciate another aspect of the same thing. It's like people that say that those who work more than others are somehow not enjoying and appreciating life.

You've ignored my view so I'll state it again, every photo deserves to be judged on it's own merits, from a proud father's phone snap of his newborn child to brilliant and mysterious images of the Crab Nebula and all life in between. For some the very best technology is critical, for others it don't matter a damn.

No, I have addressed your downplaying of the technical side of photography when the technical, the technological, as opposed to something like painting, has always been a fundamental part of photography.

I enjoy and appreciate what I have, but I also strive to improve upon what I have. Every person that views photos made today with modern digital cameras are appreciating technological advancements that have greatly improved photography, whether they know about the technicalities involved or not.

Yes, that's probably true

Yes? Probably? Do you believe it, or don't you?

and most of those people are very glad of their smartphones!

As a person that continues to put the emphasis on the photographer's skill I find it strange and contradictory that you would mention smartphones in such a way.

Or does every person have the Eizo 27" monitor needed to view this technology at it's best? LOL

The pictures made with today's run of the mill digital cameras displayed on run of the mill monitors make most prints of the film days look like crap.

As to the point of all this; as well as deciding the subject, exposure, processing and printing or sharing, the photographer decides which camera to use. I can only see one conclusion.

What conclusion is that? You lost me.



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