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#1 Paul Kay

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 01:15 PM

For some time I've noticed that photographic web fora have been veering towards ever increasing technical discussion of the pros and cons of various digital cameras and their sensors, with many of those taking part in the discussions becoming ever more entrenched in their views and backing them up with ever more detailed and complex technical explanations. Often the criteria quoted are based on assumptions that technical excellence and image 'quality' is the ultimate goal of all photographers. Looking at 'your favourite photo of 2008' (http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=27887) here on wetpixel, I am reminded that regardless of the technology it is the image which finally matters most - to be honest it doesn't matter what any of the posted pictures were really taken on because they all are someone's favourite shot from last year!

Don't get me wrong, technique is important, extremely important if you want to ensure getting a specific shot, but it should be an aid to image creation not a hinderance. And just because a photo is taken on an obsolete model, this should not demean it in any way at all. I wonder how many of us really do need the very latest technology and all that this means? Personally, I intend that 2009 should become a year of consolidation - allowing me to concentrate on better image taking and with as little emphasis on the technology as I can manage. I wonder do many people share my views on this?
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#2 TheRealDrew

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 02:21 PM

I wonder do many people share my views on this?


I often think the same thing and technology has its place, but sometimes it seems the forest can be missed through the trees. I think around here the technology discussion is not necessarily missing the forest, but more so that many people are heavily into the technoloigcal aspects without forsaking the art side of things. Very knowledgable people on these things who still take some real great photos, and probably most of the time when in the water they are not thinking of the tech side other than going back to basics ... strobes positoning, ISO, Aperure, Shutter and Composition.

My variation on the same theme - technology in post shooting and looking maybe too carefully at images and video. I often sit and just pick apart the photos to the point where I think every one is out of focus and not sharp as I blow it up to 100% on my computer screen....same for video. Of course when printed or played back on a television at normal viewing distances for both, they are fine. But on that side I think I am sometimes getting lost in the trees.

#3 james

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 02:47 PM

Paul,

With due respect, isn't this a duplicate post from the same topic last year ;-) I agree a revival every once in a while is a good idea.

I'll just say this - it's a heck of a lot easier to make a great image with a 1DsIII than it is with a point and shoot from 1999 (can you say Sony Mavica)!? So technology is important - in some cases just as important a factor as a good eye. Technology is of course NOT a replacement for a good eye.

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#4 freediver

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 04:28 PM

Paul, I think you have placed alot of thought on the continued techno-weenie discussions around gear that seem to pervade various discussion forums.

Technology has it's place, but when the technology becomes the topic of bragging rights, the essence of visual content creation has been lost.

I miss the days of shooting with my film based cameras - you had 36 shots per roll of film, the lenses were the best available (Canon L series and Nikon ED's), and the rest was based upon the technical and artistic skill of the operator behind the camera. Today it's more about pray and spray with the latest and greatest techno gadget than it is about the decisive moment of f/8 and be there.

IMO, most technology has devalued the art of the profession of visual content creation and made users into consumers. 35mm slides were a tangible thing to hold, today it's 1's & 0's. Heard from a client today - his so called G-Raid Raid 1 mirrored array lost both drives in less than 24 hours and may have lost 6 years worth of non-replaceable digital content. Shooting in an "analog" medium like film, that kind of thing wouldn't have happened so easily.

I miss the days of freediving with a Nikonos III and 15mm lens with a roll of T-max 400 (Think of Ernest Brooks III)...

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#5 james

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 04:54 PM

C'mon! Give me one good reason why you'd want to be limited to only 36 frames on one dive. And don't say "it makes me think harder about each photo" because you can do that with a digital camera too - some people just don't :-)

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#6 craig

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 05:19 PM

Plenty of old Nikonos equipment on eBay...

...and RAID is not a substitute for backups.

Some examples of how a little MORE understanding of technology can be helpful.
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#7 deepsea

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 06:24 PM

I have to say that even though I shoot digital and I certainly don't stick to 36 shots per dive however I shoot in the mind frame of film. Having lived in beautiful islands for years, I have not gotten the techno era here and still only use Photoshop and soon Lightroom for the basics.

For most of us the reward is in capturing the image, sharp, in frame and with the right thought process behind the shot, to me you can tell when a photo has been over shopped (sorry like I said no techno wording for me), but I think everyone has their own ideas about how they want to shoot.

I miss Velvia and Provia colours, but hey digital also has many advantages.

In the end its up to the photographer how they capture the shot, good luck to everyone shooting in 2009.

PS does anyone know a good Lightroom book? I guess I need to know a little about whats going on!!!!!!!
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#8 loftus

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 06:44 PM

There are two requirements for taking a good photograph; having a good 'eye' and being technically adept at capturing what you see.
A good eye depends on innate talent and can be improved with training and practice. Technology has little to do with having or developing the 'eye'.
On the other hand, technology can certainly facilitate being more adept at capturing what you see.
Seems to me this is not only a futile discussion with nostalgic overtones, but is no different to music, sport or any other endeavor. A better instrument may not a musician make, but a musician may certainly sound better with a better instrument.
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#9 ATJ

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 06:49 PM

Paul, the only thing that lets your view down is that you list your technology in your signature. This says to me that you think it is important. :lol:

The same discussions occurred 20-30 years ago comparing film cameras and films. The only difference then was we didn't have the web to make the discussions so public and global.

#10 Steve Williams

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 07:42 PM

PS does anyone know a good Lightroom book? I guess I need to know a little about whats going on!!!!!!!

:lol:
Deepsea,
There are two big selling LR books. The first is "Lightroom 2 for Digital Phgotgraphers" by Scott Kelby. It covers everything LR can do and then some in the authors typical style. Very segmented and sort of line by line instruction. Some like it, some don't. The second is "The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book" by Martin Evening. A more intellectual view in my opinion. Much more information on why the software works like it does. I tend to go to Martin's book first when I have a question. But that's just me. I highly recommend you check out the free Adobe TV lessons on video, depending on how you learn you might not need the book.

Have fun,
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Edited by Steve Williams, 01 January 2009 - 07:44 PM.

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#11 Gudge

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 07:52 PM

I miss Velvia and Provia colours, but hey digital also has many advantages.

I know it's even more technology but you could always try DXO FilmPack to give that film look to your shots. Here's a list of film looks available (Velvia and Provia are listed):

http://www.dxo.com/u...able_film_looks
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#12 MikeVeitch

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 12:51 AM

I have not bought a DSLR camera since 2004 or a lens since 2005 :)

Mr Loftus will cringe at that one :(

technology smechnology :lol:

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#13 Drew

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 02:18 AM

The funny thing is a certain NGO whom I occasionally work with asked for my pictures for a certain project earlier last year. They put me in touch with their "picture acquisitions" guy in Switzerland. He sent me his requirements for pics... minimum 4000pixels on the longest side, 3:2 or 4:3 ratio at 300 dpi, no interpolation software. Well I shot the pics with an 8 mp camera (3504x2336) and he told me he didn't want the DONATED(free) pics because they don't fit the minimum specs. I laughed because I couldn't even give my pics away because my camera was puny with too few mp! I almost wanted to go out and buy a XXmp camera to qualify to give my pictures away. So for some, the equipment sometimes counts more than the eye.

I know it's even more technology but you could always try DXO FilmPack to give that film look to your shots. Here's a list of film looks available (Velvia and Provia are listed):

http://www.dxo.com/u...able_film_looks

Just a warning for those considering DXO. They install root level piracy prevention call Interlok software that is a real pain to remove cleanly. Apparently they now use a non-install version but just in case you buy and older version to upgrade. Beware.

I have not bought a DSLR camera since 2004 or a lens since 2005 :island:

Mr Loftus will cringe at that one :drink:

technology smechnology :)

Isn't the real reason because you haven't figured out how to work the DSLR yet? :( :lol:

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#14 Paul Kay

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 02:58 AM

With due respect, isn't this a duplicate post from the same topic last year I agree a revival every once in a while is a good idea. James



Seems to me this is not only a futile discussion with nostalgic overtones, but is no different to music, sport or any other endeavor. A better instrument may not a musician make, but a musician may certainly sound better with a better instrument.


A year ago we didn't have 20MPixel+ cameras!!!

I'd say that we are now lens limited in terms of our ability to produce 'better' images.

I wanted to stir up a few thoughts and hope that Wetpixel doesn't go down the blinkered, 'it must be better 'cos its new with more MPixels' route that afflicts many photo websites.

Discussions like this do need reviving IMHO so that everyone can reassess their attitudes?

Edited by pgk, 02 January 2009 - 03:49 AM.

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#15 DeanB

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 03:22 AM

I've decided not to buy a DSLR until they've reached their techno peak.. then it cannot be upgraded... then i cant be upset with obsolete gear...

Hope the wait isn't a long one... :lol:

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#16 loftus

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 03:57 AM

I have not bought a DSLR camera since 2004 or a lens since 2005 :(

Mr Loftus will cringe at that one :island:

technology smechnology :lol:

Just think how much better you could be. :)
Actually, you prove my point; you have the 'eye' which is most important. Now if you had that D3x you could be wallpapering the walls with your prints at your resort. :drink:
No really, I think I come down on both sides here. Obviously better technology does not make a better photographer; all technology does is facilitate the photographer getting his job done maybe easier, maybe quicker, maybe allow him to make bigger prints (more MP), and in some cases obtain images he could not get before - like in the case of high ISO performance. I happen to agree with Paul, that at least for what I do, more MP are not as important as other things.
I simply don't see a problem with discussing the advantages and disadvantages of newer technologies; the two discussions on how to take better photographs and the details of the tools used to make photographs are not mutually exclusive.

Edited by loftus, 02 January 2009 - 04:20 AM.

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#17 jeremypayne

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 05:46 AM

I currently own two Canon Powershots ... a G9 and a SD850. They both fit in most of my pockets.

I also own a Nikon D700. It doesn't fit in any of my pockets.

I can make great images with the Canon Powershots ... but there are very few that wouldn't be "better" with my Nikon ... but it doesn't fit in my pocket.

I don't think much harder about it than that.
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#18 MikeVeitch

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 05:57 AM

Now if you had that D3x you could be wallpapering the walls with your prints at your resort. :lol:


I could wallpaper the walls with credit card bills for sure :)

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#19 TheRealDrew

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 06:33 AM

I could wallpaper the walls with credit card bills for sure :)




I started a campaign a bit back to raise funds for Dean to be able to dive in warm water and I can add your new equipment to the campaign as an off-shoot.

Right now it is a resounding success and everyone who replied thought it was a great idea**

:lol: to the New Year


** Of course everyone who replied was limited to Dean, but it is still is 100% positive rate.

#20 dhaas

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 07:06 AM

Amigos,

First, I agree with Paul, James, Jeff (loftus) and many others that technology has enabled us to bring our personal "view" to the world faster, better and more often. I do recall last year as James says this same topic came up. I know I posted SOMETHING echoing Paul's view that TOO much technical discussion MAY drive people away from participating and ultimately enjoying UW digital photography.

I still agree with my last year's statement and think all Paul may have been trying to interject (feel free to correct me Paul) is that the balance isn't balanced. Less about how any image posted makes the viewer "feel" than what f-stop, shutter speed, camera, lens, housing, strobe(s), where, when and such. New or even experienced UW photographers are mistaking technique using ANY camera model for just owning the damn thing. And that's a sad factoid......

I love Jeremy Payne's comment that the camera you always take or have with you is the one you will be constantly producing enjoyable photographs with. I know I hate carrying tons of gear around locally or especially traveling.

I may even go with a Canon G10 (yes, shooting RAW) this year and see what I can produce with this much more travel friendly tool. Just click on the discussion forums at www.dpreview.com or other photography hosting sites and search for compact camera names. You will be astounded what you see.

Local news shooters, studio shooters (where did I read recently one high end FASHION mag photographer shot his cover with a Canon G10?) and more easily produce prints up to 16 X 20 that look fantastic. The Luminous Landscape guy (Michael ???) is one of my favorite sites to pop into to and read about some astounding techniques and photos.

I won't totally abandon my dSLR cameras. But I think what Paul and Mike Veitch (long live older less MP models with less noise!) and others mention is it always HAS and always WILL come down to the photographer's eye. Plus I will agree computer / software power and experience weighs in heavily these days. I've seen some pretty lame original files turned into enviable masterpieces by someone who really know RAW processing and Photoshop.

I'm sure I'll get flamed for my comments, too.............But I have a thick skin :lol:

YMMV

dhaas

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Edited by dhaas, 02 January 2009 - 07:10 AM.

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