Camera? Image? Post Production? Combination?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Dahrol, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Dahrol

    Dahrol TPF Noob!

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    I'm still learning what goes into a great photograph. I've been browsing through some amazing shots on this site, and when compared to mine, there is no comparison. I still seem veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery amateur.

    What is it that sets apart the amateur from the novices like myself?

    Is it the make of the camera that takes a spectacular photograph to begin with? Is it the scenery or the subject that you're photographed, how they're posed or how it appears? Or is it tactful and impressive post production skill with certain programs that can take even the most mediocre image and turn it into a breathtaking work of art?

    Hoping to have some discussion on this.


     
  2. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    :popcorn:
     
  3. Trever1t

    Trever1t Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Art

    Photography is just another art form. How can there be a simple answer? Study art. Pencils, crayons, oils, pastels, watercolors, clay, rock, etc....it's the vision and it's process.

    There's a busload of info on composition, exposure, editing to keep you busy reading for a decade, enjoy.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    You have to know how to use the tools that are used to do photography. Camera, lens, computer, editing software, light......

    Just like a carpenter needs to know how to build a house, you have to learn how to make a photograph.

    Shutter speed, ISO, lens aperture, composition, depth-of-field, focus modes, metering modes, white balance, sharpness, bit depth, dynamic range, image noise, diffraction, color management, etc.....

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...-forum/267492-info-those-new-photography.html
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  5. cgipson1

    cgipson1 TPF Noob!

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    Keith is right!

    My answer would have been "KNOWLEDGE"!
     
  6. WesternGuy

    WesternGuy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    A couple of things to understand, the make of the camera has very little, if anything to do with the "quality" of the final image - cameras do not take pictures, people do - and I do not personally believe that you can take a mediocre image and turn it into a breathtaking work of art, maybe you can, I remain to be convinced. (This will generate some heat - :sexywink: - I'm sure) I think that most of it has to do with composition, and technical skills and knowledge. I also think that it is difficult to compare various types of photography, e.g. landscape and wildlife, with areas such as still images and portraiture. Some of the good photographers that I know, professionals in their own right, are great when it comes to landscape and wildlife, but wouldn't go near a studio. On the other hand, I would be willing to bet that a lot of the good professionals who turn out great stuff in the studio wouldn't venture to start shooting landscapes or sports action imagery - if I'm wrong, I would like to know.

    As Trevor1t says, it's art - it's the vision and the process. There is enough material to read on the web to keep you going until you retire and then some, e.g., I just Googled "photography composition" and got over 9 million hits - yikes! As far as post production is concerned, I would agree that a certain amount of the "final" artistry in an image can be derived from using tools like Photoshop, I mean Ansel Adams was probably one of the best, if not the best to date (my opinion), darkroom technicians when it came to black and white photography, but his starting places were great images to begin with and he didn't have Photoshop to help him - have you tried to use Photoshop to duplicate his results - not easy to do, if you have even tried. Have you ever seen any of his portraits, nice, but he was not Yousof Karsh.

    The other aspect to this whole question of what goes into a great photograph, concerns the viewer. The old saying that Beauty is in the eye of the beholder is so true when it comes to photographic images. You and I may look at the same image and to you it is great and to me it may look like nothing more than a "snapshot". Why - that is one of life's great mysteries.

    I shoot mainly landscape, wildlife and some macro stuff - for me, the essence of a good image would start in your head - your initial view of the subject and its surroundings - you "filter" this whole view through your knowledge and experience - and you subconsciously ask yourself a lot of questions, often without even realizing that you are doing so - things like foreground, background, thirds positions, colour composition, dominant elements, lines, negative space, exposure, depth of field...well you get the idea (hopefully). I think part, only part, of what separates an amateur from a novice is experience - knowing what works and what doesn't work (for you) I, for one, know when I have taken a really blah image :p, I also think I know when I have taken a good one.

    This is only a part of the story I am sure - we haven't even touched on abstract imagery where the artist makes significant use of Photoshop and other tools in producing his final image. Others will have their thoughts on it as well, but these are my initial ideas - my 0.02ยข FWIW.

    Cheers,

    WesternGuy
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  7. Tony S

    Tony S Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have the finest oil paints, the best brushes, and great canvas. I even have great vision on what I want to make it into....... but it still comes out like crap. :er:
     
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  8. Dahrol

    Dahrol TPF Noob!

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    I'd say that the make of the camera being irrelevant would be an invalid argument, considering the notion that those in the photography field, recommend specific types of cameras which are apparently beneficial in aiding in bringing to life that sacred form of art.

    Are you telling me that my Fuji 18x optical has the capability of producing the excellent quality that a much touted Canon or Nikon can?
     
  9. apples

    apples TPF Noob!

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    ability to produce the same image quality, no.

    ability to produce a quality image, yes.
     
  10. Dahrol

    Dahrol TPF Noob!

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    What separates fine image quality from a quality image?
     
  11. MReid

    MReid TPF Noob!

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    visualization, planning, follow through
     
  12. apples

    apples TPF Noob!

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    well this link sure helps
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/articles-interest/275243-elements-merit-image.html

    but ultimately its about what you want and what makes your juices flow i guess. if uber sharpness and super duper detail is your cup of tea then perhaps try and emulate the shots and eventually youll get to a point where you are happy with what you shoot.
     

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