Are we kidding ourselves that we are better than we are?

Started 9 months ago | Discussions thread
OP Shockwave Senior Member • Posts: 1,410
You hit the nail on the head
1

afwares wrote:

nixda wrote:

afwares wrote:

Imagine this topic from the viewpoint of an amateur like me...I look at the photos you guys post like a 7-year old looks at a bucket of Legos. The most important element is whether there's an emotional connection or not. Yes, I pay attention to the lighting, and the quality of the composition, and whether the subject is presented in an interesting fashion. But all the technical intricacies over which you agonize...I don't see any of it. Like the recent photo of a silhouette of buildings in front of the Eiffel Tower in dim light...I have no idea if that photo was technically brilliant, all I know is that I couldn't stop staring at it. Whether it was done on a nuclear-powered Fuji Z-Quadrillion or an Etch-a-Sketch, I didn't care, it was just a great picture.

Here's the irony...my lack of experience, my lack of a true in-depth understanding of pixel-level sharpness, chromatic aberration, corner distortion, and all the other things I read about here, it frees me to just enjoy the photographs. What I don't know, doesn't get in the way of enjoying your pictures. Like the 7-year old with Legos...he has no idea of the chemical composition of the ABS from which those blocks are made, he just knows they're colorful and fun. That's me. I'm just dumb enough to not be able to keep up with you guys, so I don't know enough to agonize over reviews and comments and this sensor vs. that sensor, which means I get to just see the bigger picture and ponder over the photos.

There is probably an area in your life where you do ponder the finer details, perhaps in the area that you make your living in, cooking, or some other hobby, some social activity, etc. So you can probably understand why some people look a bit closer into photography. Does it get in the way of things? Perhaps. I can see things getting muddy when one starts getting into them. Been there many times. But when you keep going, they become clearer again. And then we realize that that understanding actually enables a better use of our tools, in this case getting better photos.

My personal pastime with respect to photography is large landscape panoramas. There is simply no way one can pull this off without getting into the technicalities of it. But I would never push anyone into dealing with the technicalities of photography when it's actually not necessary. I do feel however that, very often, those who do not need or want to deal with the technicalities are trying to tell everyone else that it's not needed in general, and in fact they often think they are superior for feeling that they don't need or want to deal with the technicalities.

I'm sure there are people like that, who feel they are superior. I'm sure I've come across people in my life who have behaved that way, we probably all have. But to think this entire thread, or my post specifically, is about avoiding the technicalities, or compromising, or failing to be the best you can be at your craft, is missing the point.

I'll give you an example - both of the following scenarios deal with technicalities, but one clearly seems a better use of time and thought than the other:

- Trying to determine the braking distance of a given automobile from 70 miles per hour on wet pavement

- Trying to determine the braking distance of a given automobile from 70 miles per hour on wet pavement on a road with a 3.6% grade on tires with exactly 95% tread life remaining.

The former is a case of understanding technicalities, the latter is a case of drowning in technicalities. I'll readily concede that not only am I not superior, but I probably know less about photography than 99% of the people here - I'm not joking. I've just never been very good at it, I don't think I have the eye for it. Once in a while I'll get it right and take a decent shot, but very infrequently. But the one thing I have figured out is that the technical capabilities of my camera exceed my skill level and if I'm not taking good pictures it's not the camera's fault. I could be entirely wrong in my interpretation of the OP's thoughts (and if I am, please correct me) but I think the idea is that too many people are focusing on the supposed limitations of particular products when it's highly likely the product isn't the issue. It's like me complaining that Fender Strats aren't fast enough guitars, meanwhile Yngwie Malmsteen can play 16 notes per second on one! In that case, it would be time for me to stop complaining about Fender Strats and go pick one up and practice.

you intepretation was 100% what I meant. Too many people drowning in the technicalities when I don't believe their skill level allows them to take advantage of it.

As a separate example (not related to IQ) I hear people complain about shallow DOF on APSC vs full frame, but when I look at their profile or photos, more often than not, I see that they do not have the skills or knowledge to use DOF properly. It's as if their 70-200 is locked to f2.8 (which is a boring look) because they think that shallow DOF= good photo.

This is how I see the issue here. People complain about x trans vs bayer, or image IQ at base ISO, they complain about any variety of things, but very few are within the realms of being limiting factors. An iPhone is a limiting factor because you could look at an iPhone photo vs Fuji APSC and you could immediately see the diffference, but if it came to pure IQ, if you looked at two images with comparable DOF, would you be able to tell the difference without zooming in 100%? If they are printing billboards, image IQ or sensor size could be a limitation, but how many people who are complaining on the forums have ever had a photo published on a billboard? None I'm guessing. How many have even printed an image larger than A3? maybe 1% at best. I've seen prints at A0 where the image quality at base ISO looks fine so what are these people doing that they need this extended image quality at base ISO?

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