Sometimes, close is good enough

Discussion in 'Photography' started by DBLEXPOSURE, Jul 7, 2005.



    Pardon me for thinking out loud while I wait for the laundry to dry so I
    can turn in for the night.

    Been reading allot on the photography groups lately. Been caught up in
    some hot debates over film vs. Digital, how many pixels can dance on the
    end of pin, ya know , stuff like that. It caused me think some about my art
    and how I do it, am I doing right? If I only hadn't cropped that one and
    tried to get an extra two inches out of it when I printed would I now be a
    rich man? Would I now be getting call from New York to come shoot gorgeous
    women on lavish sets.... Doubt it.....

    I understand that some people have to understand every aspect of
    photography down to the third place right of the decimal point. I really do
    understand how one can be driven crazy if they do not know exactly how many
    pixels or dots end up on the printed page. Someone actually was talking
    about photons scattering in the film emulsion, I suppose it happens. I
    imagined the boys a Sandia National Laboratory loading the accelerator with
    some Kodachrome E100G. Doubt it....

    Then I decided to go and have a look at the greats, Avedon, Adams,
    Capa. Really spent most of the day wondering through old photographs on the
    net. Quite enlightening. I'm pretty sure Capa set his camera to f/8 and
    1/125 and then looked for cover. He created some of the most compelling
    photographs ever. Adams on the other hand pioneered the world of exposure.
    His images, however wonderful, are not nearly as compelling as Capa's. Oh
    but wait, these guy all shot on film... Never mind, there stuff was all

    Ever heard of Jay Maisel? If not you can look him up. I really enjoyed
    this quote of his, "If the light is bad I just turn the ISO up to 400. I
    got a picture, you didn't",.

    Best tutorial I ever heard, "set that thing to 1/125 and then turn this
    thing until the light turns green. and, oh yeah, here is where you focus"

    Where the hell is he going with all this babble??

    Well, I have had the opportunity to look at some of the more enlightened
    individuals photos. You know the ones that argue every point made on the
    forms down to the third place right of the decimal. Some good shots some
    bad shots for the most part okay but nothing we will see hanging in the New
    York institute of phography any time soon. The words however are very
    resounding and seem to come from deep cavern of photographic knowledge.
    perhaps a secret book the rest of are not allowed to read.

    Film Vs. Digital, Who cares! Read your owner's manual and go take some
    pictures! Quit worrying so much about mega pixels. Grab a 99 cent roll of
    Wal-Mart special and go get some shots. Sure, the film is crap, just means
    you will have to overcome that with composition and emotion... Put that
    $800 gadget in the closet for a while run down to the gas station and pick
    up a couple disposables and go out and learn how to compose a shot... Make
    us feel something.

    In My Humble Opinion...
    DBLEXPOSURE, Jul 7, 2005
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    Guest Guest

    I was surprised to find out how much equipment I own, a Hasselblad, a Nikon
    F3, a Canon 1ds, an EOS 3, a Konica Hexar, a Contax G2, 3 EOS 5's, lots of
    lenses, a Powerbook, and all of the rest of it, but one of my favourite
    pictures I ever shot was taken on a Lubitel which cost me £12 and a roll of
    HP5. If there is a point to this, and I'm not sure there is, it is that
    equipment doesn't matter as long as you get a result.
    Guest, Jul 7, 2005
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    grolschie Guest


    Personally, I don't care how the image was created/captured or what the
    medium is, just as long as the end result grabs my mind. Whether 35mm,
    medium format, dSLR, pinhole, webcam, oil paints, water-colours, pencil,
    charcoal, magic marker, crayons, custard, ketchup.....etc, etc... ;-)

    grolschie, Jul 7, 2005
  4. Film Vs. Digital, Who cares! Read your owner's manual and go take

    Yes indeed!

    Some time ago I read this: "Data (pixels) captured in a CCD is an
    analog process. They are stored as a minute voltage level in a
    capacitive junction associated with each pixel. The voltage level
    stored between black (no light/no voltage) and white (saturated pixel)
    is a few hundred millivolts. Typically between 10 and 350 mv." In fact,
    I've read a lot of stuff like this. It's not that the exactness of
    science and the complexities of film and digital photography don't have
    their place, it's just that the average amateur photographer can't
    possibly keep on top of all the specialised fields without blowing a
    bundle of brain cells.

    Not only that but there are countless photographic experts out there
    who have commendably analysed huge mountains of facts and interrelated
    data yet, oddly, fall into different camps and argue over their
    findings - a bit like the squabbling politicians who always seem to
    know better than the equally well informed opposition. So what
    dedicated amateurs are really aiming for are reasonably sharp, tonally
    rich prints that are the result of excellent SLR technique. Take a
    balanced, sensible approach, push the quality as far as you can and
    need to according to your budget and don't get too absorbed along the
    way with the complex technicalities of photographic science. You will
    get prints you are very pleased with.

    It's a fact that the modern amateur often has to be familiar with
    computers and the daunting demands of image-editing software. There is
    a lot to keep your eye on! But you can break it down a couple of ways:
    a DSLR, reasonable quality lenses (no need for top quality here -
    really!), a reasonably powerful computer, software that's good enough
    to do your images justice and finally, a method of getting good quality
    prints; if you stick with film, you need an SLR and a powerful computer
    preferably attached to a decent 35mm scanner. You can of course convert
    a room into a wet darkroom if you prefer, but the digital darkroom is
    very convenient and if you wash regularly it should smell a lot better
    too. It's not necessarily true that a well-specified and solidly
    constructed computer for precise image-editing is a mere doorstop after
    2 or 3 years. And even if that was the case, computers are becoming an
    integral part of the home and constitute an important investment for
    all the family.
    Sharp Shooter, Jul 7, 2005
  5. DBLEXPOSURE, just read your post for a second time...

    Sometimes it's worth turning the computer on!

    Sharp Shooter, Jul 7, 2005

    Steven Woody Guest

    good article! i has only one camera and has no plan to buy another until i
    know how to take a great shot!

    Steven Woody, Jul 7, 2005

    Scott W Guest

    There is another aspect to this whole thing that does not get talked
    about that much and the is how much fun do you get out of photography.
    I want several things out of photography, I want to capture the look
    and feel of what was going on in our lives and I what to have fun doing
    it. There is a school of thought that you take the camera you have,
    with its limitations, and get the best photos that you can within those
    limitations, this is not for me. Whereas I would like my photos to be
    well composed and interesting to look at my goal in photography is not
    to try and simply get good photos, I want to be able to capture what is
    going on around me. As I look around me I like to be able to capture
    whatever grabs my fancy. Putting this another way, I want to first
    decide what I want photos of and then work on getting the photo, I
    don't want to go through life searching for photos that match my
    camera. So the fewer limitation my camera places on my the more fun I
    am having using it. There are things that I look for in a camera that
    help with this, an important one is how fast does the camera turn on,
    what is the shutter lag, how long do I need to wait for the next shoot,
    how low of light can I shoot in, how much dynamic range of light can I
    deal with, what range of focal lengths can I shoot at. I don't want
    to be an Adams I have no interest in it, I think rather as a
    photojournalist documenting my life and those around me. Image quality
    is important to me but in the end I would rather get a poor photo of
    something that has meaning to me then a great photo of something that
    does not.

    For me that camera matters a great deal, the less if limits what photos
    I can get the happier I am.

    This is what matters to me, others will have different goals in their

    Scott W, Jul 7, 2005
  8. I think you just discovered the big issue ....

    Photography is an ART, but the equipment and technology is so vast with so
    much to it that this tech is a science. Art and science don't mix well in
    the human mind any more than oil and water mix.It is very difficult to think
    artistically, and scientifically at the same time, and to rapidly switch
    because these concepts are handled by separate hemispheres of the mind. As
    in all art, the truly accomplished "Go with the flow". What this going with
    the flow is a state of mind where the person is doing what they are doing on
    a sub-conscious level, following their instincts and are just "Letting it
    happen". Let me mention some examples ...

    Just walk up to any golfer, and praise their skill lavishly and then tell
    them that there has always been a great debate about whether it is better to
    inhale, to exhale or hold your breath when making a golf swing. Likely he or
    she will have never paid this technical minutia it any attention at all and
    now, suddenly instead of just going with the flow, their game is off as they
    try to figure out what they do with their breath when they golf.

    A pianist who is improvising isn't running a billion calculations through
    his head on a conscious level, he's just going with the flow.

    Try to read a highly fascinating technical article and then turn around and
    immediately come up with a highly charges love poem or saying like this one
    I made up one day ... "Fear not the day of tears, rather fear the day when
    you can't cry.", "Do not fear pain, but fear the day when you can't feel the
    pain of others."Pursue compassion and mercy before great learning, fear to
    become jaded."

    This field can be daunting I just read through a manual for my new camera
    and I read a lot of words that said nothing. I read the manual properly, but
    in all my life, I've never seen so many words utter so much, and say so
    little! Now I have a renewed sense of empathy for that poor fellow who asked
    a question here and someone had the termacity to say "Read the manual" in a
    rather unfriendly way.

    A cook, no matter how skilled isn't at their best if they are not putting
    their heart and soul into what they are cooking.

    How very narrow our choice of art and music styles would be if it weren't
    for those willing to push the envelope, those willing to challenge the
    "Current Wisdom" and forage wildly in an entirely different direction to
    discover something truly touching?

    A photography who has their mind full mundane facts, figures and logical
    formulae, might well walk right on past an jaw-dropping scene, or end up
    missing something really special because it's not "Technically correct".

    I thank you for reminding me, very early, when I was about to get all caught
    up in the minutia of photography that photography is an art, involving the
    heart that is senstitive to what is beautiful or rare around us. Thanks for
    reminding me this before I got entangled and jaded. Somehow all this reminds
    me of the movie dead poets society.

    I salute you.
    Garry Freemyer, Jul 7, 2005
  9. Interesting point right off the bat. Perhaps the litumus test for
    determining if you will come away with some awesome results is to ask
    oneself ... Am I enjoying myself? Am I having fun, or are there a few dozen
    bundles of braincells sending out a distress signal?

    In fact, I don't think I've seen anyone who was enjoying their work that
    came out with a bad result, unless the easil tipped over, or the sneezed all
    over their camera lens and forgot to bring the cleaning kit.
    Garry Freemyer, Jul 7, 2005


    And thank you!

    One remark to add. Yes, I do agree with the left brain right brain comment.
    But from time to time the two will come up something truly magnificent! I
    wonder how Da Vinci and Michael Angelo found compromise with both
    hemispheres. I also think of the Hubble. Such a techy giant, full of
    numbers further than 3 place right of the decimal, some of the most thought
    provoking images created in our time..
    DBLEXPOSURE, Jul 7, 2005
  11. Yep, absolutely. There are those rare ones who can combine them both. More
    power to them.

    I read my post just now, and I noted the numerous spelling and grammar
    errors. One would think that I learned english from the K-mapart school of
    English from Master Yoda.

    Posting replies first thing in the morning while you have that half
    resurrected feeling leads to errors, and errors leads to minor embarrassment
    and embarrassment leads to much entertainment. LoL!
    Garry Freemyer, Jul 7, 2005


    DBLEXPOSURE, Jul 8, 2005

    Kez Guest


    well said
    Kez, Jul 8, 2005
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