math in photo? nooooooo

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by slickhare, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. slickhare

    slickhare TPF Noob!

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    i was looking through the FAQ/Terms sticky and i saw a post about the inverse squares law. is a thorough knowledge of math needed to be a good photog?
     
  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    What's a good photographer??

    It helps if you know that light drops off at a rate which is inverse to the square of the distance, but it's not essential to seeing or visualising an image.

    Here's a picture of the inverse square relationship: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/vision/isql.html#c1 That's about all you need to know - that light fades more quickly than you might think - not in a steady way, really quickly.

    Some maths and chemistry are required for darkroom stuff, but really, what makes a good photographer? Is it their ability to use the cos law, inverse square law and calculate the light intensity drop off ratio of a six-head lighting rig, or is it their ability to think "ooh, bit more light on her hair"? For me, it's suck-it-and-see science - I've got a reasonable grasp of the technicalities, but everything after that is art, experimentation and experience.

    Don't be put off. Just force the person you're seeking advice from to explain themselves properly, again and again and again, each with more detail and more examples if necessary.

    One day everything clicks and it's fine. Until then it can be a bit frustrating, but persevere - it's worth it!

    Rob
     
  3. 'Daniel'

    'Daniel' TPF Noob!

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    You probably already know it. It's like when you get to the age of four you can through a ball of a wall and predict where it will return. You could work it out with maths but you don't need to.
     
  4. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Here's a good way to visual it.
    http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/light/intensity.html

    Knowing the math and understanding things like histograms aren't required. They are just tools. But like with most endeavors, the tools and knowledge of how to use them can be a big assitance in getting what you want.

    Just start with what you are comfortable with and expand from there.
     
  5. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Oh, come on Rob and Mark! You both know there is no way on Earth that you can hope to become a good photographer unless you have a thorough knowledge of advanced Calculus and Quantum Physics :lol:

    A basic knowledge of Chemistry and Maths is a big help in understanding the principles of Photography - but it isn't essential. It just makes your life a bit easier at times.
    If you can boil an egg then you can do Photography - and you can always get an accountant to do the adding up if you turn pro ;)
     
  6. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    And a second accountant to make sure the first accountant isn't ripping you off :mrgreen:.

    Don't worry too much about it slickhare, I'm terrible at maths and I'm not a bad photogr... oh, wait a second :er:.
     
  7. THORHAMMER

    THORHAMMER TPF Noob!

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    most people i know that could even understand those laws at a workable level have zero creativity and you would mistake them for obsessive compulsive freaks if you didnt know them..... lol

    just keep taking pictures.....
     
  8. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I once used the theory of QED to calculate the probability that a lens I dropped would pass through the earth and end up in a Chinese pawn shop, but when I went to carry out the experiment to verify my deductions, the resultant Feynman diagram described the trajectory of the lens bouncing up and smacking my kneecap.

    It now takes crappy photographs. The lens, not my knee.
     
  9. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

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    :lmao:


    I'm not a math fan and I haven't had any problems with photography. All the math I do in the darkroom is stuff like how much water and concentrate developer do I need if the ratio is 6:1
     
  10. Unimaxium

    Unimaxium TPF Noob!

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    I love to use math when doing my photography, but it's not necessary. It just makes me feel more eriudite erudite and helps me when I'm working with developing chemistry. ;)

    As long as you can understand exposure reciprocity, you'll be fine.
     
  11. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    It's not exactly math, but understanding the three-way exposure relationship of ISO, aperture, and shutter speeds is useful too.
     
  12. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    Don't worry about it. Just match the green square with the arrow and press that round button thingy.

    Later, give the card to the picture man and get prints an hour later.

    Sell the pics and get rich quick.
     

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