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Old Nov 1, 2007, 9:34 AM   #51
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peripatetic wrote:
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Photographers take pictures?

Certainly cameras are just tools for photographers to use.

But a photographer without a camera struggles mightily to take pictures.


All you need is an oatmeal box a small piece af tin foil and a sewing needle.

Oh yea and a sheet of film
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Old Nov 1, 2007, 10:07 AM   #52
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bernabeu wrote:
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photographers take pictures, not cameras
While certainly true, it's a bit too trite and not real life. And here's why:

Take 2 photographers of equal skill.

Give one a disposable film camera and put them in an empty studio w/o the studio equipment.

give the other his professional studio (strobes, softboxes, reflectors, camera, lens, etc etc etc)

After a week of work - are you honestly going to argue both will have the same volume of quality shots?

That's why I don't like this argument. Of course you need the skills to make quality photos but having the RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB increases your chances of success - sometimes exponentially - depending on the type of photography.

For instance - I shoot sports - part of my work is freelance for a paper. If I try to get action shots of a night hs football game with a disposable film camera I'll be out of work in a hurry. Heck if I try to use my old Cano s40 digicam I'll be out of work.

The above argument is like saying:

It's the driver that wins the Daytona 500 not the car - implying that someone in a Yugo could win the race if they were a good enough driver.

So yes the photographer is the key component - but the gear is important too - in some cases (sports, wildlife, wedding) it's absolutely critical to have at least a minimum level of gear.

So while I agree a poor photographer with good gear will still get POOR results I disagree with the opposite - that good gear doesn't play a very large part. Sometimes that 'gear' is the camera, somtimes it's the lens,, or the support system or the lighting system - whatever.
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Old Nov 1, 2007, 11:35 AM   #53
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JohnG

The trick is to know the limits of what you have and to get the best out of it. To use your example. A disposible camera might not be able to take action sports shots. But if you know that then you might consintrait on capturing the emotions on the side lines and get some great even sellable images.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that good equipment doesn't make a differance. But many seem to think the equipment makes the photographer....it doesn't
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Old Nov 1, 2007, 12:06 PM   #54
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tjsnaps wrote:
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JohnG

The trick is to know the limits of what you have and to get the best out of it.
To a point I agree.

To me, the trick is to know what gear you need BEFORE you buy and to end up getting the right tool(s) for the job within constraints (time, money, etc).

Sometimes just WANTING to do something isn't enough - you need to invest in the right tools to do it. For some aspects of photography those tools could be simple.

I've dealt with a lot of questions from people who want to shoot indoor sports - and no matter how much someone may want to do that and only spend $150 the reality is they cant. In your example about using the equipmemnt to take emotion shots - to me that is 'settling'. It's how I would improvise if my equipment were broken. But I would be a very poor photographer if I were relying on that gear. In many cases, the results people desire sometimes require additional investment. Whether it be a lighting it for doing some studio work, or a fast prime lens and a dslr for doing indoor sports work. Sometimes you DONT need the equipment.

I'll give you an example. I traded posts with a fellow who was postsing some shots from a HS football game using his 17-85mm lens and flash. He indicated he had put the photos up on his website and was trying to sell them to parents/athletes in hopes of raising mone to buy better gear. No matter how talented he was, it was virtually impossible for him to achieve his goal - selling action photos of nighttime football using a 17-85 lens. I advised him he should pursue one of two courses:

1. Either buy a better lens up front and try to recoup his costs afterward. In this case he would actually have a chance at getting sellablle action shots even if they wouldn't be the best out there (given what he could afford). But he needed something better than what he currently had or

2. Make money doing other types of photography that his current gear was more suited for - THEN buy a lens he could use for sports and try the sports sales then.

No matter how talented no way was he going to succeed at selling images of the game action. And, while you can sell some emotion shots the absence of any quality action shots would have done great harm to his business.

He didn't nee to go out and spend $10,000 on gear but like it or not he was going to have to spend $700 or so to get a used lens more up to the task HE wanted to achieve. I'm glad to see he came up witth a plan to buy a used lens and give himself a chance at achieving his goal rather than just 'settle' for taking shots he wasn't interested in taking.

In that same vein - I knew sports shooting was an expensive hobby so I started to sell work - just enough to self fund the hobby. I've been able to buy $7000 in equipment based on that - each piece I buy helps me get better results. Sure my skills are improving but having the right tools for the job means I get MORE keepers and those keepers are of a higher quality.

So the question isn't could I take a good picture with a disposable film camera. I'm sure I could manage a good picture - but NOT the kind of photos I want to take at the quality level I want them to be at.

Does that make sense?

By the way, for what it's worth I also advise people to buy digicams too if that's the right tool for THEIR job.
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Old Nov 1, 2007, 3:58 PM   #55
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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue regularly uses a photographer who uses nothing more than disposable film cameras.
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Old Nov 1, 2007, 4:22 PM   #56
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The last camera I bought was a Holga.

Sure it's great fun, and I like my P&S too. But when I want power, flexibility and best image quality I use my Canon 5D.

There are very big differences in the quality of the pictures, to deny that is simply silly. And anyone who says the camera isn't important and yet buys a decent camera is just being a hypocrite.
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Old Nov 1, 2007, 5:11 PM   #57
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Kalypso wrote:
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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue regularly uses a photographer who uses nothing more than disposable film cameras.
Way to go (BTW this guys has a Canon dSLR too)!!!
http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...id=7-6468-7844

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Old Nov 1, 2007, 7:19 PM   #58
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peripatetic wrote:
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And anyone who says the camera isn't important and yet buys a decent camera is just being a hypocrite.
I can drink beer from the can but I prefur to use a mug. Does that make me a hypocrite?

Again I'm not saying than having better equipment wont make a differance. If nothing else it will make the job easier. And their is indeed down right bad equipment. I wont drink from a mug that leeks.

But the equipment doesn't make the images good.
Buying a sports car won't get you there any faster if you don't know how to drive.

JohnG

I'm not a sports fan
The only sports I ever shot was my kids little leage. I did that with a Nikkormat EL,a 70-210 4.5 and a 400mm 5.6 lens I picked up for $50. The one thing I learned from that was to be in the right place. My guess for pro shooters would be.... that all the equipment in the world wont do you much good if you don't know the game.
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Old Nov 1, 2007, 7:56 PM   #59
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tjsnaps wrote:
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My guess for pro shooters would be.... that all the equipment in the world wont do you much good if you don't know the game.
Ah but what you refuse to see is - if you're in the right place with the WRONG equipment you're SOL. It takes BOTH to be successful. If the action is 10 feet away you better not be using a 400mm prime at that moment and if the action is 40 yards away, the 24-70 isn't any good.
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Old Nov 1, 2007, 8:17 PM   #60
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JohnG wrote:
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tjsnaps wrote:
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My guess for pro shooters would be.... that all the equipment in the world wont do you much good if you don't know the game.
Ah but what you refuse to see is - if you're in the right place with the WRONG equipment you're SOL. It takes BOTH to be successful. If the action is 10 feet away you better not be using a 400mm prime at that moment and if the action is 40 yards away, the 24-70 isn't any good.
I see your piont just fine. But I am wondering if you see mine.

If your trying to shoot something 10 feet away with a 400mm or 40 yards away with a 24-70 then the quipment is not the problem it's the photographer.
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