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Dennis
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Heck, even before all the "good names" were taken, people struggled with it. I just started reading a book about the East India Trading Company and learned that it was originally chartered as the "Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East-Indies".
Toggle Commented Jun 29, 2020 on Naming Things at The Online Photographer
Just playing devil's advocate here. When it comes to our family, friends, pets and other things meaningful to us, we're often inclined to appreciate photographs that show us those subjects with an identifying gesture, facial expression or that connect us with a memory. These types of photos aren't nearly as interesting to strangers. So as Lulu's owner, you may not care how hard you worked on those, because they're you're three favorites pictures of her. But to me, the one you worked on looks intentional and interesting, while the other two look like what you described - snapshots. They aren't as interesting to me as the better composed, better lit shot. I recall that article and agree with the point that if the photo isn't interesting, then telling the viewer how hard you worked doesn't make it better. But I suspect there's a fair correlation between effort and result.
We've had cats - not because we don't love dogs (we do) but we just aren't home enough each day. Still, we've had to time that end-of-life decision. Hindsight always allows you to wonder about it, but if you're caring and conscientious, you do fine. There's a non-profit in Watertown, CT called "Perfect Imperfections" whose mission is to save dogs that have medical issues that make them far too high maintenance for most people, including a couple that need to eat sitting up in a high chair and then stay there for an hour after in order to digest their food properly. They've sent a number of dogs out over the years only to take them back because they're too much work for the new owners. (Disclaimer: my wife has donated to the group, but otherwise, I have no ties to them whatsoever).
I had a love/hate relationship with Sony until I decided it was unhealthy and got out. Well, I still have a couple fixed lens Sonys. Now I shoot Nikon and while no brand obliges me by doing exactly what I want, at least I knew what I was in for. As far as not getting what you want, though, things are looking kind of ugly going forward for APS-C shooters (unless you're a Fuji shooter).
Photography itself is an adventure and, sure, I wish I knew tons of things earlier that I know now and would love to know now things I've yet to learn ... But I wish I'd shopped differently - this applies to other aspects of life, but I've learned not to buy things thinking I might need them and to wait until I do. And conversely, I wish I'd just gone for "good stuff" instead of bargain shopping. I wish I'd use a tripod more. When it comes to family & friends, I wish I'd shot more video. (But not less photos!)
I've read, so many times, that you have to ask, when you press the shutter: "What am I trying to say?" And my best response has always been "I'm trying to say: Look at this!" I've never considered myself to be an artist by any stretch of the imagination. On the other hand, I know that there's more than meets the eye in the scenes that appeal to me. Over the years, I've made occasional stabs at identifying common themes. But right now, I'm reading Bruce Barnbaum's "The Art of Photography" and finally seeing a discussion of using photography to communicate ideas that resonates with me.
Toggle Commented May 26, 2020 on Print Crit: The 'SPS' at The Online Photographer
I wrote "Cable is cable and calories are calories like f/2.8 is f/2.8 ;) " You can measure that f/2.8 is f/2.8 ... the aperture on either lens is 1/2.8 the focal length. I can't argue with that. But I can see in pictures what an f/2.8 on one camera can do and what an f/2.8 on another camera can do. And as long as I can see that difference, they'll never be the same.
Cable is cable and calories are calories like f/2.8 is f/2.8 ;) [No. --Mike]
I tried out C1 for Sony (C1 Lite ? Can't recall) a couple years ago. What I recall was that despite it being new (I'd been a LR user for years) it generated very nice images by default. I might be tempted to try it again, but at the time, there was going to be additional expense to get a version that handled more than just Sony cameras and I wasn't interested in investing time in moving to something new.
I remember April 10 as the date we had over 10" of wet snow (in CT - only a few hours east of you) that took down a big old apple tree in our front yard. The snow melted the next day leaving us with a mess to clean up. We had downpours yesterday (no thunder, but others around us heard it), light flurries this morning, but nonstop wind rattling the siding all day today (40 degrees feels like 30 according to the weather channel).
Toggle Commented Apr 10, 2020 on April Snow at The Online Photographer
I want to like the LX100-II ... but at $800 (on sale from $1000) it really ought to have a good EVF, especially given the lack of a tilting LCD. I expect I'd find myself frustrated with the viewing options on the camera. I have an old RX100-I. Tempted by the new VA (on sale, it's not much more than the III, which is the first model to feature the fast 24-70 equivalent). I'm not enamored with the pop up EVF - I'd almost rather they knocked $50 off and just included the tilting LCD. (I'm sure it would be handy on rare occasions, but small and lacking an eye cup and hard to see with glasses, for me at least. I tend to be lazy about carrying a camera. I used to carry the RX100 everywhere. I have my phone pretty often, but find it to be a poor substitute, so I still only use it for show & tell stuff. I have an RX10 III that I've used on vacations. It would be a good choice to carry around (I just don't). On the other hand, I don't often find myself wishing I had a camera on me. Good photographs are somewhat elusive and when I do see something that would make a great photo, it's often at a time/place where it's inconvenient for me to stop and/or I'm not outgoing enough to get out and shoot it in the first place!
I can pinpoint a time when I was truly happy with my kit. I was shooting film, it was before my daughter was born and my photography was fairly limited to nature/scenery/vacations. I didn't mind throwing everything in a backpack and heading out for a morning of photography or putting my camera and 200mm macro lens on a tripod and heading out into the meadow for an hour or two. But digital and all the (needed) improvements over the years coincided with my changing subject matter and there's been a lot of churn in my kit. I'm content with what I'm shooting now, but still hoping to settle into a kit that clicks again.
Toggle Commented Mar 31, 2020 on Dumb Rookie Mistake at The Online Photographer
I found some optimism in the observation that, in a couple stores, toilet paper is all sold out, but tissues are in stock. So people are apparently planning to stay home and NOT be sick.
I've seen debates over what constitutes an artist with some siding on the absurd (to me) notion that nearly everyone who creates a photo is an artist. I'll steadfastly insist that I am not an artist. I don't have any desire/drive/intention to create. But a photographer ? Heck, yeah! I've been a photographer since I was about 12 years old! Not always a good photographer and never a great photographer. Certainly not a pro photographer (except for a few photos I was paid to shoot for our local weekly paper). Anyway, that odd statement of yours caught me up at the beginning, but otherwise, I like the sentiment of this article. I pick up a camera to go out and find and capture things that demand to be seen. That's it. Anything else I've tried, because I thought I "should" (like portraits with studio lights) has been a flop because it has nothing to do with what I like about photography.
Toggle Commented Mar 6, 2020 on Learning and Looking at The Online Photographer
Cameras are like computers, software packages, cars, TVs, any other complicated gadget, in that each of us uses a fraction of their capabilities and we long for a version that offers just the fraction that we use. Your simple camera isn't my simple camera and rather than make 20 different simple cameras, manufacturers just make one that does it all. The best solution I can think of is customizable firmware - you run software on a computer/tablet/phone that lets you decide what features to enable/disable, button/dial assignments and even available menu options, and it builds customized firmware you can put on your camera. One ugly part of this, to me, is that you either choose to not label dials/buttons or you label them with defaults, but either way, the user doesn't have an easy way to label buttons with the customized function.
Of course I agree with ""photography" as a whole is utterly unknowable because it's so incomprehensibly vast." But as for "no one can pretend otherwise" all you have to do is visit various enthusiast-oriented photography forum sites, where you'll find plenty of people who can tell you, with firm conviction, precisely what photography is and isn't :) I think your closing statements are the crux of it all. There are hundreds of millions of people taking pictures today. Who could possibly hope to discover all the ways in which photography is practiced ? But then, I'm just a guy who takes pictures for fun, so all I really care about is why I practice it. You write about it for a living. It makes sense that you're less comfortable in the knowledge that there's increasingly more to comprehend. (If it helps, I'm uncomfortable knowing that as time goes on, I can wrap my head around an increasingly smaller subset of my field).
I don't have a favorite musician any more than a favorite photographer, but I have favorite musicians! Quite a few of them (and quite a few favorite photographers ;) I don't like all music. There's far more music that I don't like than music that I do. But music is big and there's more that I do like than I can listen to regularly. Oddly, I can probably name favorite albums more readily than favorite musicians. Also, when I think of favorite movies, many of them are heavily influenced by the soundtrack. I can't name a favorite musician - one that I "go to" more often than others. But my daughter has asked the hypothetical "what concert would you see if you could see anyone, dead or alive" and my answer is Harry Chapin, despite the fact that I don't listen to him very often.
I saw your new post ("Yesterday's Post") in which you (jokingly) say that "We're finally going to get to the bottom of whole sharpness thing and settle it once and for all." The thing is, beyond the subjective view of which photos work with subject motion blur or camera shake or general lack of sharpness (and which ones seem to demand sharpness), I think that there are other characteristics (that people who understand mtf charts would probably be able to comprehend much better than I can). There are lenses that can capture fine detail, but that don't look "tack sharp" - I believe it's because they have low contrast, at least at high frequencies - and photos from these lenses can look wonderful. There are lenses that are very contrasty, but don't seem capable of recording fine detail. I'm pretty sure my first "digital lens" (the Konica Minolta 18-70) behaved like this. Viewed small, images looked brilliant, but you didn't have to view them very big to see a distinct lack of detail. I've shot with lenses with "soft corners" (particularly wide open), but also with at least one lens with decidedly "smeared corners". There's a print hanging in my office that, I believe, relies on being sharp, but the foreground corners are soft and that's fine. But I'm glad I didn't take it with that lens with the really bad corners. I'm perfectly happy, as a photographer and as a photo viewer, with sharp photos and unsharp photos (and unsharp for various reasons), so long as the sharpness "fits". (I'm not sure I'd agree that as many shots are ruined by being too sharp, but I agree that the knife cuts both ways). But I'm still going to be somewhat picky about my lenses.
I wouldn't give somebody something with the expectation that they must keep it - that's just placing a burden on them. I've learned to get rid of gifts that I don't want - why clutter up my house with things that collect dust and lose value out of a misplaced sense of obligation ?
Wow ... 28 years with film, but this chart has me feeling young ! It's an impressive piece of work and shows a fun snapshot of (some subset of) TOP's audience .
I'm reading Daniel Coyle's "The Talent Code" at the moment. He talks about deep practice being key to developing myelin more quickly (which, in turn, lets you do the things you practice, better). There are a few key features of that deep practice. The second key (which I'm reading about currently) is ignition, which is partly the reason you start practicing, but more importantly, the reason you keep up those 10,000 hours of deep practice. He talks about when talent hotbeds pop up, like when Russian women tennis players or Korean women golfers started dominating following an inspining headline-dominating victory. And then he talks about an interesting study that showed the expected trend between musical skill and hours practiced among school children, but which wanted to go farther in explaining why some children scored better despite practicing less than others. And after trying to attribute it to various variables, they found a big correlation between what a student got out of his or her practice and a students initial mindset in terms of how long they expected to be playing an instrument. Student data was lumped into three groups: Students who expected to play for only a year or two, students who expected to play through middle school and students who expected to play for much longer. In each group, more practice meant higher skill ratings, but for any given number of hours, the students with the more committed mindsets scored higher - they got more out of their practice. I still have more to read and I'm not sure how, exactly, it relates to this post, but it's an interesting book.
Toggle Commented Aug 22, 2019 on The Appetite for Work at The Online Photographer
So ... it's not abstract ... it's concrete ? It is a great photo. Reminds me of Jay Maisel talking about how, when people ask "why did you take that picture" about certain images, he replies "how could you NOT ?"
Change the lens on the Sony to a 35/1.8 and see what happens to the size/weight/price. Sure, if you're looking at moving from APS-C to FF as a low light upgrade, you'll only exploit the larger sensor if you keep the lens speed the same. But if you're simply choosing between two systems, you're creating an apples-to-oranges comparison: bigger/heavier/more-expensive versus noisier. Here's what I think is going to happen. Sony has built up a tremendous FF mirrorless system while neglecting APS-C and failing to build up a decent lens lineup. Nikon appears to have no interest in APS-C mirrorless (that could change, though it could also follow Sony by doing primarily consumer grade stuff). And Canon's EOS-M system is low-mid range with compatibility issues. FF camera prices are getting to where they're not much higher than high end APS-C cameras. In short, there's never been more incentive to at least consider full frame. And then, they'll start looking for ways to make FF viable. They'll decide to go for slower lenses, even if it means they don't get to exploit the larger sensor in low light. They'll crop their tele shots down to 9MP to stick with a 100-400mm lens :) Contrary to John Camp's aseessment, I think the market is down to enthusiasts and pros who (a) probably do care (about sensor size) or (b) are simply going to end up pushed to FF by Sony, Nikon and Canon. The problem I see for fans of smaller sensors is that while smaller sensors are good enough that few of us need FF, manufacturers are going to see to it that there are going to be fewer downsides to going FF.
Toggle Commented Aug 8, 2019 on Thom's Fujifilm Roundup at The Online Photographer
Re: full frame tax ... Sony makes a (Zeiss-branded) 24/1.8 for APS-C that's $1100. So maybe it's just a Sony tax. (Or a Sony 35mm equivalent tax ... the 35/2.8, another Zeiss-branded lens, is $800). BTW, if the Nikon F mount equivalent costs less, the new Z mount mirrorless 35/1.8 is a whopping $850 ! At least the Canon RF version is a relative bargain at $500.
Five is too few - there are more than five different genres. And a list of photographers everyone should know should cover a range of genres (or be directed at a specific audience). Right off the bat, I think anyone interested in photography ought to know about someone like Joe McNally to get a sense for what it takes to make it in commercial photography today. I don't know if I could even come up with my own 5 favorites, never mind try to cover a wider range of interests. And then, do you pick photographers for their photography or for what they have to say about photography ?
Toggle Commented Jul 30, 2019 on Dream Team at The Online Photographer