Ken Rockwell was right: your camera *doesn't* matter!

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by epp_b, Dec 24, 2008.

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  1. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    OK, provocative title, I admit it. But consider this...

    I was sifting through some photos I took with some cheap digital point and shoot for my grandparents when they asked me to create a little website to sell their cottage and I stumbled across these gems...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I was totally blown away!

    I took these pictures? Really?? Before I ever actually got into photography or knew anything at all about cameras? With some point and shoot I'd never used before?

    As long as we're talking about landscapes and mostly still subjects, your camera really does matter a whole lot less than lighting, composition, timing, colour and all the other basics of good photographic art.

    And now I really hate myself because I'll never go there again (they sold it). What an absolutely fantastic place to take photos that was...and I was never into photography back then :(
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2008
  2. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    But yet, you have preserved some of the memories. Color yourself lucky.
     
  3. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, I just wished I had preserved more... ;)
     
  4. Eldrich

    Eldrich TPF Noob!

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    Great photos! I particularly like the last one, the way the sun burns into the water.

    But it shouldn't be surprising that we capture some great ones with our point and shoots before we know anything. Those lucky catches are what prompted me to start spending a lot of time and money so that I might make lucky catches more often.
     
  5. jwkwd

    jwkwd TPF Noob!

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    Even a broken clock is right twice a day......in regards to KR
     
  6. Eldrich

    Eldrich TPF Noob!

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    I can only hope to create more opportunity for successful mistakes. I will never hope to actually plan for success...but maybe thats just me
     
  7. Jedo_03

    Jedo_03 TPF Noob!

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    You have to take into consideration that you are attached to these images emotionally via your grandparents and the cottage they used to own and your memories of that place - and your sense of 'loss' because you'll "never go there again"...
    (Well you could go there again - why not ask the new owners... I'm sure they'd allow you access if you explained your connections to the place..)
    Anyhow - to the pics...
    Memories and emotions apart - The content of these pics mean a lot to you.
    To viewers (me) they are snap-shots of sunsets across a lake - nothing terribly exciting... Additionally, the quality/clarity/exposure/colour/WB are typically P&S - auto rendered, drab, foggy...
    Anyone with even an entry-level DSLR would get superior images to these - even shooting in Auto... And that is because the sensor-size in a P&S is far smaller than that in a DSLR...
    I'm afraid that I have to burst your - and Ken's bubble... No... The camera and the lens DO matter...
    Jedo
     
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'd have to agree, equipment makes a huge difference. KR is being true to form, unfortunately and if you need proof of that, grab a P&S and meet me and my D700 in any church, let's take 5 pics together standing side by side, and look at the results.

    I looked at the subject, then the pictures before reading the post and was wondering "what are they talking about?". Then I read the post, understood that there was an emotional connection that biased the pics for you. They are basically ordinary pics of a lower quality of a sunset and a silhouette of someone. The focus is soft and the wrong aperture for best results was used. To me, it doesn't come close to being a "gem".

    That said, my opinions should not matter to you, as I do not have the same attachment to these pics that you do, and they have no meaning to me beyond what I see. To you, you have the pleasure of seeing and remembering some place and someone important to you. That is the true gem.
     
  9. patrickt

    patrickt TPF Noob!

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    A camera won't take a picture without a photographer but a great photographer without a camera won't take a picture either. The truth of the matter is, as usual, somewhere in the middle.
     
  10. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    +1
     
  11. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

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    I think you are speaking of technical as opposed to artistic quality. Obviously, your D700 will blow any P+S out of the water in a situation where high ISOs matter especially. But will your photos be artistically better than the other persons? Will I want to hang yours on the wall, or the other persons? The answer will be decided by how much of an impact the photograph makes for me, not how many dots I can see when I press my nose to the print.

    As much as I dislike KR, he has got it right here: your camera has nothing to do with the artistic quality of your shots, and as much as this should be absolutely obvious to any photographer, too many of us get obsessed with the equipment, and remain crap photographers (hell, look at KR!). An artists skill does not lie in his tools. I've proven this time and time again to friends who have said to me "yeah, the quality of your shots is in the camera", or otherwise implied it because to a layperson, a D40 looks big, black and dangerous and therefore must be good, right? I offer to switch cameras and then see who gets the better shots. Do you think it changes?

    Unless you're shooting sports, photojournalism and maybe wildlife, you don't have an excuse to blame your equipment. Photography is about your understanding of light composition, shape, colour, being in the right place at the right time, and to an extent, luck.

    Yes he will - mentally. Don't you ever find yourself walking through town, and suddenly spotting something that you know would just click in a photograph? A camera is the last thing you need to take a photo.
     
  12. McQueen278

    McQueen278 TPF Noob!

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    Those are nice pictures, but they could benefit greatly from a little work in photoshop. If you have a program that can allow you to play with tone curves, I would do a few quick adjustments to them.

    I did a 2 minute job on the first one in lightroom to show you what I meant.

    [​IMG]

    With very minimal post processing a lot of photos off of P&S cameras can look quite nice at small sizes. They still produce too much noise for my taste though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2008
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