5D images from India - the best yet

Started Nov 5, 2005 | Discussions
Robert Gonzalez Regular Member • Posts: 433
Re: 5D images from India - the best yet

did he really say that? If so, I'm really disappointed.
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Robert Gonzalez Regular Member • Posts: 433
Re: Not to rain on the parade, but...

Terry L wrote:

I feel very uncomfortable looking at these pictures. I don't want
to be either churish or prudish but I don't find poverty-as-art
appealing. The idea of pointing an incredibly expensive camera/lens
at people suffering such miserable poverty is a bit
stomach-churning.

Perhaps he asked permission and offered payment. I certainly hope
so. Although I'm not sure that an offer of payment might not be an
added insult.

I dont know whether you contribute to their well being or not, but if you dont, then its hypocritical to criticize these pics. These people exist whether you like it or not, I have seen them (been in India) myself, and it is heart wrenching. You cant fix all of it, but making it visible and uncomfortable is a good thing. It allows us to go beyond the abstract "poverty" idea and into a more personal emotional level, which makes us confront the reality of the miserable state of "living" of these folk. It doesnt appeal to you in your surburbinite - cappucino - canon world, but nonetheless the fact that it has had a gut wrenching impact on your little world shows that not only is it art, but is art with a visceral dimension.

I am happy enough with the concept of photographer as voyeur,
provided it is between consenting adults of equal
status/power/wealth etc.

I know, I know ... I should sell all my photographic gear and give
the proceeds to the poor. I'm a hypocrite. I admit it. But these
pics are something that I could not bring myself to do. I am
embarrassed to look at them.

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Terry Lane
terryl@bigpond.net.au

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Gonzomatic

P e n t a x - the whole gamut

Gediminas 8 Senior Member • Posts: 1,133
Re: Not to rain on the parade, but...

tontsdot wrote:

get over yourself. It's not art, it's photojournalism /
documentation of the world in which we live.

If there's no art here, should the images be appreciated as such or are they simply a matter of pointing the camera and pressing the button?

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Gediminas 8 Senior Member • Posts: 1,133
Re: Not to rain on the parade, but...

Terry L wrote:

I feel very uncomfortable looking at these pictures. I don't want
to be either churish or prudish but I don't find poverty-as-art
appealing. The idea of pointing an incredibly expensive camera/lens
at people suffering such miserable poverty is a bit
stomach-churning.

Perhaps he asked permission and offered payment. I certainly hope
so. Although I'm not sure that an offer of payment might not be an
added insult.

These are also my thoughts. Furthermore, while I think some of these photos are quite impressive, most are an example of "easy" photojournalism, i e going to a poor country and clicking away at the ugliest angles of local life so that the (Western) viewer would be shocked. It's yet another cliche of which photography has enough already.

And there's hardly any art in most of such photographs - it's plain photojournalism, which in the West seems to have become a synonym for taking snaps of anything and everything, with little advance thinking.

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Gediminas 8 Senior Member • Posts: 1,133
You nailed it Doctor...

BanLecter wrote:

Poverty and bad news sells,

Exactly.

I personally see these images daily in Bangkok, but am a bit shy to
take these kind of candids.

Same here. I went to Thailand for holiday last year, saw plenty of similar situations but chose not to photograph them as I think it's cheap and may humiliate the subjects.

Went for the other extremity - the tourist postcard style instead:) At least it does not offend anyone.

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Martin Datzinger Senior Member • Posts: 2,248
Excellent!

FF helps for shure. But for some (half?) of these images there would be alternative lenses in the cropped world, too. 35/2 or 1.4, 85/1.2 for instance.

And, these demonstrate that wideangles lenses need to be sharp from corner to corner (or at least in the normally cropped-out areas) wide open to make sense with FF. It's not that everyone composes the subject in the center of the image.

Kind regards,
Martin

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Ian S Senior Member • Posts: 2,257
Re: Not to rain on the parade, but...

I think you are being unfair there. He did not ask for his work to be discussed here. He did not walk quickly by and snap with a long lens, nor did he look the other way. He got in close with a wide-angle lens, which takes a degree of honesty and guts.

Having said that I do not see this as photojournalism as I stated earlier:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1032&message=15772160

Cheers

Gediminas 8 wrote:

These are also my thoughts. Furthermore, while I think some of
these photos are quite impressive, most are an example of "easy"
photojournalism, i e going to a poor country and clicking away at
the ugliest angles of local life so that the (Western) viewer would
be shocked. It's yet another cliche of which photography has enough
already.

And there's hardly any art in most of such photographs - it's plain
photojournalism, which in the West seems to have become a synonym
for taking snaps of anything and everything, with little advance
thinking.

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'To see a World in a grain of sand
And Heaven in a wild flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour'
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KAllen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,882
Re: 5D images from India - the best yet

Isn't it great these people dress up looking so poor and helpless so we can try our new cameras out on them and make judgement as to the quality of the equipment used.

Kevin.

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Gediminas 8 Senior Member • Posts: 1,133
Re: Not to rain on the parade, but...

Ian S wrote:

I think you are being unfair there.

I am sorry, I must clarify. I started commenting on this particular gallery by Juan Rodrigo but continued on the general trend of "poverty sells no matter how simply it is documented" which isn't quite the case with this author (especially now after I've read his comments below).

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steve constable Regular Member • Posts: 185
Re: 5D images from India - the best yet

The biting high contrast is fitting for these images to emphasize the stark reality of the peoples situation. There are so many flat lack lustre images from digital from many people who try to hold onto every ounce of detail captured in the shadows. Shadows create a sense of mystery.

Had these images presented the day the 5D was announced I bet some bright spark on DP would have complained about the cameras lack of tonal range!

It is refreshing to see images presented that do not look typically digital. I accept there are softer subjects which will require a different approach.

jrodrigo Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: 5D vs 20D... any difference?

treemed wrote:

thanks! your opinion definitelly has weight, as i have not used 5D
yet. i'm still inclined to try it as I always loved FF more than
crop.
Regarding lenses, it would be interesting to know if you had any
chance to try new 24-105.

No I didn't try it... But my biggest misktake when I had 20D was to buy 17-85 IS to have a lens for everything. I used it only 3-4 times.

So, I'm not anymore attracted to a lens for everything (teorically because it is f4 and for me this is a bigger limit than to stop lenght at 70 and not having IS)... So, I much prefer 24-70 f2.8L... Quality is also much better.

A detailed test of 24-105 with exemple images:

http://www.caborian.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=414&Itemid=146

Cheers!

jrodrigo Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: Not to rain on the parade, but...

Gediminas 8 wrote:

tontsdot wrote:

get over yourself. It's not art, it's photojournalism /
documentation of the world in which we live.

If there's no art here, should the images be appreciated as such or
are they simply a matter of pointing the camera and pressing the
button?

Photojournalism also cares about aesthetics... A text journalist must care in catch attention, transmit, be trustworthy, be clear, be pleasent... not only write plain texts.

An image journalist should be the same.

Anyway I'm not a journalist... I'm only take photos for myself.

Cheers!

jrodrigo Junior Member • Posts: 25
Have you seen the entire gallery? (not just poverty)

Gediminas 8 wrote:

Terry L wrote:

I feel very uncomfortable looking at these pictures. I don't want
to be either churish or prudish but I don't find poverty-as-art
appealing. The idea of pointing an incredibly expensive camera/lens
at people suffering such miserable poverty is a bit
stomach-churning.
Perhaps he asked permission and offered payment. I certainly hope
so. Although I'm not sure that an offer of payment might not be an
added insult.

These are also my thoughts. Furthermore, while I think some of
these photos are quite impressive, most are an example of "easy"
photojournalism, i e going to a poor country and clicking away at
the ugliest angles of local life so that the (Western) viewer would
be shocked. It's yet another cliche of which photography has enough
already.
And there's hardly any art in most of such photographs - it's plain
photojournalism, which in the West seems to have become a synonym
for taking snaps of anything and everything, with little advance
thinking.

Have you seen the entire gallery? (not just poverty)

http://www.juanrodrigo.com/india

Cheers!

Adam Kozlowski Senior Member • Posts: 1,108
No mate :) I'm serious...

I mean... why do i need all those CDs and vinyls for?

Not behind clenced teeth, really... I just realised that if i want to make high quality photography, i need to have certain equipment. Some folks will say now - it's not the camera, it's the photographer. So i say - the photographer is already here. The camera+lenses is not. I know that great photography can be done with a Lomo or Holga. But that's just not my style. I took a lot of great photos that made money with my 300D and a couple of primes (Canon 100/2.8 plus a whole bunch of M42 primes). But whenever i look at the output of the same primes on film... i know the deal. I have a funny M42 Porst 35-105/3.5 lens. It's very good on 300D, but... kind of normal. However if you shoot with that lens on film, then the "feel" shows up... The way the corners bend the image, the way the DOF changes from corner to corner... It may suck for landscapes, but for portraits... it's very special.

And now this India gallery. I don't believe anyone claiming that such images would be as striking and worthy if they were shot with a 20D and even the same set of primes. Furthermore, only a small part is done with the 24-70/2.8. I don't believe the 24-105 would do the deal as good as the 24-70. Especially on a 20D, which makes you increase your shallowest possible DOF with respect to the same picture taken with a 5D.

That's the key - try to take the same picture with the 5D and the 20D... you can't. That's the whole deal of FF... There are no substitutes. No exact copies. It's a different feel. I don't say that DX/APS sensors are evil. No, they're awesome. They capture indeed the highest quality part of the lenses. It all makes sense. But not for everything.

The claim of Phil Askey about DX/FF and that with wide angles you shoot at really high aperture values, that you don't shoot wide open... it's pointless. Sure it applies to landscapes and architecture. That's why there is the great telecentric Sigma 12-24, which is dark, but it's extremely rectilinear and gives awesome results both on APS and FF. But if Phil says you don't shoot WA lenses wide open... why is there a Canon 24/1.4L? Why is there a Canon 35/1.4L? Why is there a Sigma 20/1.8? Not to mention the 14/2.8 lenses by Sigma and Canon...

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Adam Kozlowski Senior Member • Posts: 1,108
Go on dreaming, like i did... (nt)
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Gediminas 8 Senior Member • Posts: 1,133
Re: Not to rain on the parade, but...

jrodrigo wrote:

Photojournalism also cares about aesthetics...

I guess you should be replying to the poster I was replying to, not me:)

I agree that photojournalism is a demanding and complex field. However, much inferior work is cloaked by the covenient name "photojournalism", like I said above.

Anyway I'm not a journalist... I'm only take photos for myself.

Nevertheless, you are better than many "pros".

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Gediminas 8 Senior Member • Posts: 1,133
Re: Have you seen the entire gallery? (not just poverty)

jrodrigo wrote:

Have you seen the entire gallery? (not just poverty)

Yes, I have (after I read your explanation below). I can see my comments do not apply to you.

Good work!

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TangoMan Senior Member • Posts: 1,611
You think so?

Vidyesh wrote:

The photog seems to have some agenda... to
quickly capture and run away.

I don't think someone shooting with portable softboxes, unbrellas and reflectors is so much of a run away type of photographer...

Look at some of his picture, especially the children and you will understand.

olhovivo Senior Member • Posts: 1,258
The short tele does evidence

some distance to the subject but I don't think he's the hit and run type.
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Cheers,
Ric

cybercare Regular Member • Posts: 386
Re: The best yet? it was sickening...

Do you, those that liked such images or the photographer have no shame?

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