Now here is an outstanding thought ...

Started Jan 8, 2018 | Discussions thread
OP MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 43,159
Re: Certainly off the wall

SimonOL wrote:


You obviously don’t appreciate self depreciatory humour. I was responding that I personally failed all the criteria that the posted had asked me to prove “by providing” and therefore could not prove it by image examples as was suggested.

I will take my hat off to anyone that actually could in a meaningful way .... (as if anyone cared).

I still assert that my three point assertion is valid and would appreciate some proof that having just one of the attributes “in spades” will not need the slightest assistance from either of the two others. There is always the “lucky shot” that everyone is entitled to.

Perhaps you should look at this propostion a bit more seriously as I believe that it is the core of the whole “serious amateur” photographic ethic and why we spend so much time fretting over more and better gear and even the very best (and cheapest) manual focus lenses.

If it is off the wall then we may well spend the rest of our respective photographic careers wondering whether some new gargleblaster sensor or wingdong lens will suddenly give us the image of a lifetime that will be our defining moment in posterity.

Perhaps the only sane photographers are the ones using their mobile phones - no “cost”, point, press button, ... wonderful, ... click click and it is on social media and they are a star for a few minutes and then it is all forgotten.

No need for: great and expensive gear, photographic talent, a good photographic opportunity (a selfie will do when you are stuck). My theory crumbles to dust, no need for these things and the mobile phone user “fails on all criteria” and quietly smiles to themself.

Consider it “philosophy” if you must as that is always off the wall

I think it's entirely possible to take great photographs with a mobile phone (although ones with a half-decent camera aren't exactly cheap so not sure about the 'no cost' aspect). I believe that you must at least have a modicum of photographic talent to take a compelling image no matter what gear is involved.

I used to buy lenses based on their touted IQ (read 'sharpness') but have come to realise that ultimate IQ really has very little to do with creating a great image.

Sure, there are certain genres when pixel-level sharpness from corner to corner and perfect correction of distortion, aberrations, flare etc are desirable or essential to the creation of a 'perfect shot' but whether that shot is compelling or makes the viewer feel anything other than "Oh, that's a great lens. I want one!" is dependent on the tastes of that viewer and the talent of the photographer.

Personally, I'm always on the look out for lenses that give a certain look - something unique or unusual that the lenses I've already got don't provide. I don't suppose many would categorise quite a few of my lenses as 'great gear'. What it does for me is to provide the potential to create something a bit different.

Gear matters in that it gives us potential to take a great shot in a wider range of conditions (eg. fast lenses for low light, fast AF for tracking fast moving objects, better sensor performance at high ISO (SNR) to retain detail in low light, high dynamic range sensors for a wider range of possibilities in PP etc) and make the creation of a shot possible when it would not be without that gear. It can be very important but...

As with all things artistic, the beauty of an image is in the eye of the beholder and composition and a 'good eye' will always trump every other aspect of photography IMO.

Thanks Simon, thoughtful post.

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Tom Caldwell

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