means to an end

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by pixmedic, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Speaking strictly from an end product perspective, is there a perceived difference between someone who is average at photography but excellent at (insert photo editing software of choice here) and an excellent photographer but average photo editor?
    I feel like they could potentially produce basically the same result, perhaps excluding extreme conditions that require specific photographic skills just to get the shot at all. But generally speaking?


     
  2. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I think you first have to define the parameters of the end product. A skilled photographer is capable of producing a SOOC JPEG, ready to print an hang on the wall, but an average photographer is capable of producing a data file that a skilled editor can manipulate, add to, change, and develop in a multitude of ways. However, photo editing is somewhat like the old computer adage "Garbage in - Garbage out". The better the file you have to work with the better the final edited image.
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would have to say, 'Yes!'. Why? Because the excellent photographer is producing a product that is already mostly finished, and any "finishing" will be done on a high-quality substrate as it were. The skilled retoucher however is only starting out with a mediocre product.
     
  4. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You're making the question too vague and impossible to answer. How average are excellent photographer's editing skills? How average are excellent editor's photography skills? What is excellent editor going to fail to do that excellent photographer will get right?

    It's the age old SOOC (get it right in camera) versus fix it in post dichotomy which is almost always presented as a red herring by someone sharpening their ax. Both skills complement each other and overall better work results when both skills come together. Excellent post process skills extend what is possible behind the camera in dealing with adverse subject/lighting conditions and as such should be under consideration when the image is captured.

    Taking a hint from Ansel; we should all work to be excellent photographers who get it right in camera which includes shooting for post with the understanding that we need the right data to realize our previsualized image that we plan to create in the darkroom.

    Joe
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
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  5. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Taking a hint from Ansel; we should all work to be excellent photographers who get it as right AS POSSIBLE in camera which includes shooting for post with the understanding that we need the right data to realize our previsualized image that we plan to create in the darkroom.
     
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  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Most all of my thoughts have been covered by the above posters. But I do want to shade,a little bit, toward the skilled shooter and less toward the skilled pixel-jockey. As Ysarex mentioned, this is a bit of an un-winnable, strawman-type of question. As smoke665 said,"Garbage in - Garbage out".
     
  7. Original katomi

    Original katomi No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oh boy this is a flame just waiting for someone to pour petrol on. I have seen so many rows on the in camera v post prossing. The garbage in garbage out or sows ears and silk purse is still true. Not everyone can get it right in camera and not everyone is a wizz in photoshop but unless otherwise requested as long as that final image is pleasing to the end user does it really matter.
     
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  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It's an impossible answer because without context it is utterly meaningless.

    That said in a very general rule of thumb I would say that camera trumps editing for most typical applications.

    There are times where top end editing is the only way to get what one wants so the photo quality is a secondary element, which is not to say its not important, just that its not the most highly skilled element in that situation. I've seen some fantastic composite images where a pretty average to snapshot style photo has been heavily edited and almost used more like a guiding base in a drawing and that editing on top has created a great bit of work. I've seen 3 guys in a pretty average photo dressed in snow gear on a parade turned into 3 intrepid explorers braving thick heavy snow storms and drifts.

    That said most times a solid photo is best, it gives you a strong base and I would argue that many of us here have experienced it whereby we've basically got lazy with editing and still turned out great looking photos. A levels adjust, white balance, a boost to the darks, a bit of contrast etc... Sharpen it up and resize and away you go - you don't need vast skills for that.



    Also in some fields editing is almost useless - take reporting where much of the work can't even be edited with anything fancy; its a strict crop and post and that's about it. Sports can be much the same; again its a fast shot that doesn't get a vast amount of editing thrown on top - some to be sure and more than the newspaper article, but nothing extreme.



    In the end the output and intention are key. Different ideas and concepts and situations will weight things one way or the other. It's why unless one works in a very niche situation; most photographers learn both skills to a degree, though the camera is normally the first because it directly enables the second. Sows ears and polishing turds and all that is more "boogymen" stories told to beginners and feared by fierce debaters as to things that "could happen" if one takes things to the extreme.
     
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  9. Fred von den Berg

    Fred von den Berg Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    This is a bit six of one, half a dozen of the other but all the same you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, so my feeling is getting as much done towards the end result before the image leaves the camera is always a plus point.
     
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  10. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I wasnt thinking so much "garbage in" as i was something more along the lines of: is a good photographer/great photoshopper = great photographer/good photoshopper.

    Obviously you want the best shot you can get right from the shutter release, but do you ever reach a point of diminishing returns? IE: a point in your photography where learning better processing skills would get you better results than more camera skills?



    Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk
     
  11. Original katomi

    Original katomi No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have been thinking about this post and the question.
    I am not great, really good at either, but I have looked at my images and they seem to fall into three groups
    A point shoot... to capture the moment,
    B a whole heap of prep work, lots of shots to get that ,just what I wanted shot, minimal post prossing eg crop remove spots
    C a lot of planing, thought of what I want final image to be, up to 30 shots then a lot of hours and layers in photoshop
    To produce the large 60 inch outdoor displayed panoramas I currently into.
    I have had speakers at club level who have encouraged photographers to cut branches if they were in the way just so the in camera shot was better.
    I can just see myself explaining to a local copper
     
  12. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Simple answer to that: yes. Lot of assumptions though: We're talking about natural or "given" light photography not studio photography. Being able to control the lighting is a game changer. Camera skills can't do bleep bleep about adverse natural lighting. You want to shoot a landscape and the light direction isn't quite right. You missed it, come back tomorrow at the right time weather permitting. Can't come back tomorrow or it's going to rain? You get bupkis. What camera skill will solve that problem?

    I took this photo walking to the grocery store:

    [​IMG]

    Here's the camera JPEG SOOC:

    [​IMG]

    What adjustments to the camera settings will deliver a SOOC JPEG in which the red tree appears a little brighter while at the same time recording the blue in the sky as I really saw it and as it shows in the top version of the photo? If you can't answer that then refer back to the simple answer above.

    Joe

     
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