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Thread: Another great article somewhat related to the decline of camera sales

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    Default Another great article somewhat related to the decline of camera sales

    A link to an article I just read last night to the discussion, that in many ways also pertains to the decline of sales of higher end equipment .
    The internet is so overly saturated with photo hosting sites and fora that many (even serious) amatures, have simply been disillusioned as to how good a photo they can produce and compare with some of the spectacular posts especially when it comes to landscape photography. I for one nightly view 500PIX, Flickriver, and 1X .com for inspiration. The problem is that despite having very good equipment I neither have the time or money to travel to exotic places, and produce or reproduce the images that have become so cliche today. This is the crux of this article.It's all been done already! why bother.
    How many flower pictures can one take before complete boredom sets in. Wildlife photography is truly a challenge, though I again, do not have the time money, or lately the patience for that.

    David...

    A very good read...
    http://petapixel.com/2015/01/31/will...-please-stand/
    Last edited by dh202; 02-02-2015 at 06:31 PM.

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    Default Re: Another great article somewhat related to the decline of camera sales

    There are so many things to do in photography that you should never be bored. You can do whole projects in your living room if you want. So "travel to exotic places", "landscape photography", "flowers", and "wildlife" should be neither a bore nor a limitation.

    Do something else.

    I have little time most days right now, but that doesn't stop me from pursuing my photography. That is the essence of the creative life.

    G

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    Default Re: Another great article somewhat related to the decline of camera sales

    Quote Originally Posted by dh202 View Post
    This is the crux of this article.It's all been done already! why bother.
    I understand the feeling behind this way of thinking, but I try to not allow it to discourage me. As I have mentioned several times over the years on this forum, I gave up photography for over 20 years because back in the day I got very discouraged by the realization that I could buy a lousy $5 calendar ($12.99 now) with pictures that are better than anything I would probably EVER take in my entire life. Especially wildlife calendars. So what's the point?!? Well, when digital came around, I got interested again (like many people, I think).

    I have decided that my earlier thinking was misguided. I now think that your goal should be to take the best pictures YOU have ever taken. I mainly concentrate on wildlife (mostly birds), so I try to get the best Cormorant picture I have ever done, the best Great Blue Heron picture, etc.

    For more "creative" pictures like landscapes, it seems to me that the sky's the limit (pun intended!), so it is much more difficult to compare one image vs another (unless both are taken from the same vantage point, for example 2 shots from the same viewpoint in a national park), so if anything it should be less discouraging. Yes, there are millions of great photos of sunsets, but even for something cliched like this, again, get the best image YOU have ever taken, print it, and put it on the wall! Yes!

    So Godfrey and I are pretty much on the same page here, I think.

    But I have to say that this is one reason that I think it is best to avoid submitting images to contests. You are often BEGGING to be discouraged when you do this, unless you are really dynamite (I wouldn't know about this!) and the tastes of the judges matches yours. I often avoid looking too much at other people's work, because there is often a fine line, at least for me, between getting helpful ideas and getting discouraged.
    Rich
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    Default Re: Another great article somewhat related to the decline of camera sales

    As far as landscape photography goes - pictures really have gotten extremely good. Great compositions, color, locations, technique, etc. I think the reason for this is that landscape photography doesn't really require you to be an artist, but it requires a ton of technical proficiency, and a lot of people from technical fields practice photography nowadays because cameras and lenses are fantastic pieces of technological achievement that are a joy to use and get instant results & gratification from. Case in point - I am a programmer. I couldn't take a picture with a 'soul' or an artistic message if my life depended on it. However, I can knock out technically perfect shots and compositions all day, and if I also happen to have great light and a great subject, I will deliver that perfect shot.

    And lets be honest. Modern landscape photography (all photography, but landscape the most) is unthinkable without heavy post-processing. Hell, I bet half the pictures on those top lists aren't even one picture, but a photoshop merge of several. Some landscape photos are borderline CGI. And who better to do this than people from technical backgrounds?

    That said, I don't think I will ever stop shooting, even if what is shoot is dwarfed by quality of other's photos. For starters, in today's age there is just sooo much going on, if I haven't gotten a picture of it, its as if that event never happened. And why not get a good picture while you're at it?

    Secondly, I enjoy the process. You have to find great light, you have to find the correct location, decide on the composition, then do the post-processing. I find the process interesting, and I'm happy I get great results, even if they are not top of the crop and I can't sell them for big bucks.

    Thirdly, there is always another angle, always another story behind the picture. If you can put a great story behind how the picture was made, IMO, there are no limits to your photography. But that also means putting in the time and effort.
    Olympus E-M1 Mk II
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    Default Re: Another great article somewhat related to the decline of camera sales

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmunds View Post
    As far as landscape photography goes - pictures really have gotten extremely good. Great compositions, color, locations, technique, etc. I think the reason for this is that landscape photography doesn't really require you to be an artist, but it requires a ton of technical proficiency, and a lot of people from technical fields practice photography nowadays because cameras and lenses are fantastic pieces of technological achievement that are a joy to use and get instant results & gratification from. Case in point - I am a programmer. I couldn't take a picture with a 'soul' or an artistic message if my life depended on it. However, I can knock out technically perfect shots and compositions all day, and if I also happen to have great light and a great subject, I will deliver that perfect shot. ...
    (bold) Landscape photography made purely on technical grounds is utterly boring. I don't bother looking at it. Masters of landscape photography do much more than record the scene. That's the difference between the technical practice of photography and artistic vision.

    (bold red) I bet you could if you wanted to. It would not be easy, but art is never easy. If you have the skill and talent to write software you have the talent needed to do art. You just have to really want to, and be willing to work hard to do it. Really hard.

    The problem, if you want to call it a problem, is that most people are fixated on the technical. Sharpness, resolution, contrast, dynamic range, pixels, etc etc etc. That's all that most camera enthusiasts talk about. Why? Because it's easy to talk about. Cameras are cool things, marvels of engineering, and they incite an interest in this kind of technical chatter.

    Photographs are much harder to talk about, to see, to understand. For instance, one of the birders here posts a photo and someone says, "A nice picture of a gyrfalcon on the wing!" Well, so what? The conversation drifts into how the photo was made, the equipment used, the exposure time and focus mode employed, not into what it is. Why is this one "nice"? The photograph itself is a documentarian recording of a gyrfalcon, unless there's something in the framing and rendering that elevates it, distances it from being just a literal recording. How do we talk about that "something", that nuance of the photo beyond its recording? It is so subtle and so easy to fall into pretensious folderol. But that nuance is what the bird photographer is trying for, even if the words for it are hard or missing.

    Same goes for landscape photographs. One can oooh and aaah over detail, technical mastery, tonal gradations, etc etc etc, and yet completely miss the point. It's the nuance: the thing that elevates the recording of a scene beyond the literal and into expression—that's the hard part, and the part that photographers strive for.

    G

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    Default Re: Another great article somewhat related to the decline of camera sales

    I suppose to each his/her own. I like landscape photography, and consider great post-processing part of the actual "art", if I even want to call it that.

    Sadly, what is today passed off as non-landscape "photographic art" to non-landscapers is even more clichéd. Same tired photos of unsmiling urban portraits/candids, or worse, neo-American gothic-style portraits (almost invariably black and white, or washed colour with some post-processing grunge tossed in for "edginess"), or smudgy macros that are blurry to try and look "cool". Or staged (often composited) of a model in an unusual position with some compositing of an inanimate object tossed in on top.

    At least landscape photographers are pretty staid about the process. Me? I just want something pretty to hang on my wall. As I have no desire to hang anything in (or, for that matter, hang around)an "art" gallery, mostly because in doing so, I'd have to hang around arty people.

    Expecting every photographer to be an artist is the same as expecting every audiophile to be a musician. Not happening. I enjoy photography for the sake of it being an enjoyable, technically challenging activity. If someone told me I had to make "art" with my camera (or shoot dance recitals or weddings) I'd probably slit my wrists.

    Leigh
    zippski

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    Default Re: Another great article somewhat related to the decline of camera sales

    My photographic experience started when I retired from my Engineering job about 14 years ago. The first thing I did when I retired was to design a website for a local BMX race track (kids with bicycles, not motorcycles). As soon as I finished the website, I realized I needed photos to keep the site alive. I bought my first digital camera and shot photos for the website. I continued running this website and photographing races for about 5 years.

    I then became interested in studio lighting. I set up a studio in my home and started buying all kinds of lights and lighting modifiers. Unfortunately, I did not have any subjects to shoot, so I joined a couple of the model websites, and started offering time for print shoots to models. I must have photographed about 250 models actors and singers over about a 10-12 year period.

    About a year ago, I got a little tired of just shooting static images of models, actors and singers. I became interested in photographing dancers doing jump shots. After about a year of shooting dancers jumping, I had the technique down pretty good to where I was getting consistent good shots.

    Once I continued getting consistent shots of the dancers jumping in my studio, I decided I would like to shoot live ballet performances. I spent most of the past year trying to get involved with a dance studio, and I finally did. Right now I am photographing dance performances, and getting ready for my next large performance shoot in a couple of months.

    For me, it has always been a learning experience. Once I got to the point where I thought I was doing acceptable work in one field, I would try something different just as a challenge. So far, I have been having a lot of fun, mostly from the fact that I am constantly learning something new. Each one of these different types of photography presented me with new challenges, and this is what I like about it.
    Lawrence

    All of the images I post are open for critique. Feel free to modify one of my images if it helps the critique.

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    Default Re: Another great article somewhat related to the decline of camera sales

    There is the constant question "why am I doing this" , and I like the answer "because it is fun". I play golf because I enjoy it, despite the fact that I am not very good at it.
    This year I have decided to give myself a photographic project: to study paintings, not photographs, and be influenced by them.
    This is proving to be quite interesting as some artists cheat. Constable throws in some light where it could not have been, Nicholas Hely Hutchinson embraces distortion but also, like others, uses selective blur which is impossible with a camera e.g there will be a piece of the foreground 'in focus' then some of the middle distance out of focus except for the subject, and the distant in focus. Andrew Wyeth did the same.
    also Constable and Turner were not afraid of the dark, their paintings included black shadows.
    The S shape is evident in their compositions as well.
    So this year is a journey, maybe to a dead end, maybe not.

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    Default Re: Another great article somewhat related to the decline of camera sales

    I don't know whether I can answer "because it is fun" to the question of "why am I doing this?" ... I have lots of fun doing photography, for sure, but that's not why i do it. I suspect if it was just fun, I'd be bored with it pretty quickly. I rarely do anything for long that is only fun. Fun, to me, is a temporary diversion, a thing to do to incite a new experience or reach out into some untrammeled space.

    I do photography because I want to, I have to. Whether it pays, whether it's fun, whether it's hard work or not. I love to make photographs. It's a compulsion. I share this feeling with my other friends in the arts, only a few of whom do photography.

    G
    Last edited by Godfrey; 02-05-2015 at 03:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Another great article somewhat related to the decline of camera sales

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Roberts View Post
    "Because I enjoy it" was what I meant.
    Is there a distinction between "because I enjoy it" and "because it is fun" that I'm not aware of? :-)

    G

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    Default Re: Another great article somewhat related to the decline of camera sales

    This year I have decided to give myself a photographic project: to study paintings, not photographs, and be influenced by them.
    It really does change how you look at things, doesn't it? When it's too cold or too wet to be out and about I'm usually immersed in art history, art criticism and photo books. I really like the books produced by galleries and museums in conjunction with major exhibitions and retrospectives. Strand Books in NYC is my special place

    Two videos and a book I'd also like to recommend are:

    Art Movements Through Photography (with Eileen Rafferty)

    Ways of Seeing (with John Berger)

    The associated book, if you can find it (I found mine in a used bookstore) is well worth reading. He does come from a Marxist viewpoint, but he does have the intellectual honesty to say: "look, this works for me in explaining what I see: it may not work for you"

    Great threads, great comments
    John

    -- Life is complex. It has real and imaginary parts

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    Default Re: Another great article somewhat related to the decline of camera sales

    I do photography because I want to, I have to. Whether it pays, whether it's fun, whether it's hard work or not. I love to make photographs. It's a compulsion. I share this feeling with my other friends in the arts, only a few of whom do photography.
    I photograph because I have to. I can't stop myself. I have this need to express myself that comes through in making images and writing about images. I sketch as well if I don't have a camera handy. (Oddly enough this really helps in visualizing a 3D world in 2 dimensions)
    John

    -- Life is complex. It has real and imaginary parts

    Smugmug

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    Default Re: Another great article somewhat related to the decline of camera sales

    Quote Originally Posted by TomServoCA View Post
    I photograph because I have to. I can't stop myself. I have this need to express myself that comes through in making images and writing about images. I sketch as well if I don't have a camera handy. (Oddly enough this really helps in visualizing a 3D world in 2 dimensions)
    A kindred spirit!

    My iPad mini is always with me nowadays. When I'm feeling un-photographic, I'll doodle with Paper by 53. Simple little sketches, often just a line and a color ...

    G
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    Default Re: Another great article somewhat related to the decline of camera sales

    Quote Originally Posted by TomServoCA View Post
    It really does change how you look at things, doesn't it? When it's too cold or too wet to be out and about I'm usually immersed in art history, art criticism and photo books. I really like the books produced by galleries and museums in conjunction with major exhibitions and retrospectives. Strand Books in NYC is my special place

    Two videos and a book I'd also like to recommend are:

    Art Movements Through Photography (with Eileen Rafferty)

    Ways of Seeing (with John Berger)

    The associated book, if you can find it (I found mine in a used bookstore) is well worth reading. He does come from a Marxist viewpoint, but he does have the intellectual honesty to say: "look, this works for me in explaining what I see: it may not work for you"

    Great threads, great comments
    I really like the video "Ways of Seeing". It pretty much describes what I have always believed is that you see what you are looking for.
    Lawrence

    All of the images I post are open for critique. Feel free to modify one of my images if it helps the critique.

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