Discouraged by a master

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by The_Traveler, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    I was in Iceland for four days and one of the reasons to go was to take a day with a master photographer, Ragnar Sigurdson.

    The photography part was fine and I felt fairly confident but after watching Ragnar edit for a couple of hours in his studio I felt totally inadequate in comparison.

    Today I started looking at some photos I brought back and, after seeing him work in LR and PS, I could guess how good they could be in his hands and I couldn't see myself ever getting even close to that level.

    I couldn't even bring myself to start working on them.

    Maybe I'll feel differently in a day or so but right now.......

    FYI, his name is Ragnar TH. Sigurdson. Arctic Images Ragnar Sigurdsson or on Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/34333120@N00/ )

    He has only comparatively few images online since he sells mainly commercially.
    Seeing them on the screen does not begin to compare with what they look like printed.


     
  2. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    As if he never looked at someone else's work and thought "damn, I'll never be at that level." ?? Those greater than us should be used as MOTIVATION, not discouragement. Your best adversary is who you were yesterday. I don't care about 100%. or 110%. That's bull. All I want is 1% better than yesterday.

    Seriously man, rest it a few days, and re evaluate. We all have to grow, and use his prowess as your motivation.

    Cheers!
    Jake
     
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  3. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    His photos don't do anything for me in fact I hate them
     
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  4. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I feel that way when I look at your stuff.

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
     
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  5. DarkShadow

    DarkShadow Birdographer Supporting Member

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    I might be wowed by someone else's photography and editing skills but I never compare my work to someone else.I just try my best to get the best I am capable of and not trying to compete with anyone else's Work. I don't get discouraged because I can't manipulate or edit a photo as good. I take my photography serious enough to keep trying harder but never to serious that I get discouraged and lose my passion.
     
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  6. rlemert

    rlemert No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Don't forget that the 'master', in all likelihood, has someone who's skills he deems superior to his own in at least some regard. He (or she) may feel that there is no one that can touch their skills in e.g. landscape, but envies someone else's deft touch with portraiture.
     
  7. NancyMoranG

    NancyMoranG Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Welcome back Lew. I always enjoy/learn from your photos. Can't wait to see your latest escapade...
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I often think that editing in digital is a VERY under discussed subject area.
    We can see composition and settings and darkroom stuf gets talked about lots; but digital gets to be a minefield so fast. There are so many methods so easily done in the computer that everyone has their own workflow and there are so many articles but few string it together into a workflow - and even fewer show us the potential within a photo to edit it. We can see the end result and the starting point; but all the steps inbetween are a mystery to many of us.

    I often think its a sad thing because often we see these "great works" as a finished article - we never see the original which leads us to be hyper critical. Anything that isn't pin-sharp - perfectly exposed - et c.... is slashed to bits whilst we don't realise that many of the "great masters" are bringing back those average shots too - often teh best they could get in the light at the time, and then polishing them up.
     
  9. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    With all due respect to his commercial success, I do not see anything much different in these highly processed images than many others that give virtually the same end result. More than likely he has developed a savvy workflow that you got to observe up close and personal, which does not at all mimic your own. Perhaps that's why you're left feeling discouraged. But as with film photography, or any of the arts, it's the end result that matters, and for me there is nothing special about these images, other than the gorgeous subject matter of the places he's been.

    I completely agree with Overread's comments up there about how digital editing can get to be a minefield so fast. I think you're being too hard on yourself - your Hwy 42 image is absolutely lovely just as you worked it, and I would hate to think of this artist taking it and twisting it into some garishly lit, oversaturated piece of - fluff- (I'm using restraint) that many of his images come off as to me.

    Stick to your vision, kid; you're doing fine. ;)
     
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  10. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Are we looking at the right flickr link? I don't really see anything special about his photos. I mean, they're interesting, but not "omg, i should quit" special.. I think what makes (some of) his photos special is being in the right place at the right time and having the right lens for what he wants to achieve.
     
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  11. DarkShadow

    DarkShadow Birdographer Supporting Member

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    I will take your street shooting any day over his work.
     
  12. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    One of the disadvantage in getting any impression of Raganr's work from his site is that the top and bulk of his output goes to agencies that do all his selling and require exclusivity.
    I've seen his work in person and large and it was stupendous and impressive.

    Ragnar does have a mastery of LR and PS that is dazzling - and I'm pretty jaded about that.
    I saw him take some of our work and in 30 seconds make changes that seemed almost magical.
    But that is beside my real point which was that his facility in editing only supports his ability to see through the original image to the final.
    He understood virtually instantly what characteristics of an image needed to be changed/altered/improved to bring out the beauty.
    And I think that's what Overrread was referring to above.
    Too often the impression is given that a decent workflow is the answer to editing.
    That's shortsighted and mistakes the builder for the architect.
    A workflow is only an effective technical path to implement one's vision of what the final image should be.
    If the photographer doesn't have that vision and can't see past the raw material to a final image then no workflow will save him.

    My trip to Iceland was specifically to see how he worked and understand what he saw - and to some degree how he implemented change.
    I could never have done the Iceland images, particularly the way I was able to do it with teh LR tools, before I saw him work.
     

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