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Thread: Why You Shouldn’t Give Too Much Weight to Anonymous Online Critics

  1. #26
    CWyatt Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjd View Post
    People think HCB wouldnt be shooting modern leica M9 with 0.95 noctilux if he could?
    Is it relevant to how good his compositions were? If I took the photo at the start of this thread today, I would consider it the best photo I've ever taken, and to hell with it not being tack sharp, 2011 or not.

    I doubt he'd be going on about which lens had minute sharpness advantages over another, or taking pictures of brick walls - which seems rather popular amongst gear-obsessive amateurs.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWyatt View Post
    Is it relevant to how good his compositions were? If I took the photo at the start of this thread today, I would consider it the best photo I've ever taken, and to hell with it not being tack sharp, 2011 or not.
    I like the composition and all but the shot doesn't seem to capture a special moment or light to me (or maybe I just don't see it). The thing I like about your shots, and good street photography in general, is that you could go back to the same spot but not get the same shot because you need people doing certain things that can't easily be repeated. With landscapes it's more to do with light and conditions. Couldn't this shot be repeated at any time by getting someone to ride by again?
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  3. #28
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    ooh this is a lovely debate, keep it up.

    I am very much in the camp of the final product rather than what it was taken with, or the technicalities of it.

    The Carier-Bresson, has to be taken into context, that is the year it was taken and the style of his photography (unstaged photodocumentary)

    I post on a UK doctors forum, which has a photography sub-forum. It is really interesting to watch what the gear heads (usually anesthetists) write, they can go on about the technicalities of this and the technicalities of that blah blah blah, then you see the shots they post and they are shite. They best pictures usually come from those who keep quiet, know how to use the camera, and have the ability to think laterally, going attention to the final shot, not all the preamble.

    Mr partner is a tennis player. She is pretty good. She plays with an average racket and in her old t-shirt. She often tells me she plays people with "all the gear but no idea".

    However, all the above said, what ever floats your boat i guess. Some people get more joy out of fixing cars than actually racing them ......


  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul. View Post
    I post on a UK doctors forum, which has a photography sub-forum. It is really interesting to watch what the gear heads (usually anesthetists) write, they can go on about the technicalities of this and the technicalities of that blah blah blah, then you see the shots they post and they are shite. They best pictures usually come from those who keep quiet, know how to use the camera, and have the ability to think laterally, going attention to the final shot, not all the preamble.
    Yeah I've come across quite a few people who know everything there is to know technically about cameras and photography, yet the photos they take suggest otherwise! My eyes glaze over when people start going on about how this lens is better because it has less chromatic aberration than that one, blah blah blah. I think the technicalities of a photo are important, but secondary to light, composition etc. I'd rather have an amazing photo with some technical problems, than a boring photo that's technically perfect. But of course, we all strive for both.
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  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjd View Post
    People think HCB wouldnt be shooting modern leica M9 with 0.95 noctilux if he could?
    I'm sure he wouldn't use a Noctilux. Most of his entire career was shot with the same collapsible 50mm Summicron. But it's digressing, really, the main point is that Cartier-Bressons, Winogrands, Kouldelkas etc photos are still just as relevant as ever because the content is exceptional, not because the prints are tack sharp and the tones are smooth and grain/noise free. All of those things are really superfluous to really good photography.

  6. #31
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    I do both! I excel in boring photos with technical problems.
    Nikon D700. Nikon 16mm, 50mm and 85mm 1.8, 105mm Macro and 24-85, 80-200

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  7. #32

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    I actually dont think the photo is technically that bad anyhow. Considering he required a slower shutter speed ( 1/30 or so I'd guess?) and given the quality of film at the time and he probably wasn't shooting the fastest either.

    If you shot that on a modern leica m9 you would certainly get less grain and more detail, but you would still have to hand hold a reasonably lengthy shot. The shutter speed does seem well judged, again considering this is way before digital you cant take a dozen shots and chimp to get it right.

    The composition though just does nothing for me, in this instance.

    Now as to the rest..

    Content.
    No photograph no matter how well shot, no matter what gear it was shot on lives and dies by its content. The art always has to come before the mechanics. As rightly pointed out Picasso created sublime art with nothing more than a crayon. The Michael Angelo sketches I've seen have trumped many photographs for detail...

    I feel that to be a great photograph it not only has to have good content that connects emotionally but the photographer has to have some input into creating the output. By actively choosing the framing, position, shutter speed,processing, whatever. I think for me this determines the line between a snap and a photograph.

    (I know some people see processing as a dirty word too, another argument but almost everything is processed one way or another)

    Now as for Gear...
    It matters to some extent, regardless of what anyone says. We all use it, we all chose what we use for some reason or other. Theres such a huge range of available options, masses of film sizes, sensor sizes, zooms, primes etc. To say that it doesnt matter at all is silly.

    When looking to buy gear, and lets face it its often expensive, we all want to get the 'best' for whatever task we are looking to accomplish. I guess we live in a time where almost every option isnt a bad one, try picking a truly poor camera or lens and you'll likely fail.

    When you move on from buying to using then the minute differences in sharpness etc between close choices likely wont be evident unless you look very hard at the final results, at that point it doesnt matter, because now the content is much more important.

    An analogy. A furmula 1 driver has a whole team of engineers , mechanics and experts building and tuning him the best car they can. Once he lines up in front of the lights all that matters much less than how he drives it.
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  8. #33
    CWyatt Guest

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    It's worth pointing out it's tough to get a 'proper' version of these images on the net. The one above looks considerably more white and less detailed than other internet versions.

    The one in my HCB book looks different again. I would say a well-printed book version would be second best to seeing an actual print made under direction of the photographer or by the photographer, not that it matters that much in the end with regards to composition.

  9. #34

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    Yes the cristies one online was quite orange/sepia, which I assume was the original print sold.

    This could be due to ageing though I assume?

    Doesnt change the content so much as the feel perhaps. I couldnt find a decent sized original looking version online with a quick check.
    Canon 5DmkII, 400L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 24mmf3.5 TS-E, Canon 70-200f2.8L, Tamron 90mm SP AF Di f2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mmf1.4 EX HSM, Nissin Di866 flash, Manfrotto 190xprob & Markins Q3t head, Lee filters, Lowepro Flipside 400AW, Yong Nuo rf 602 triggers.


  10. #35
    CWyatt Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjd View Post
    Yes the cristies one online was quite orange/sepia, which I assume was the original print sold.

    This could be due to ageing though I assume?
    Pretty sure that's right. All the (book) printed ones I've seen are black and white. Pretty sure he just used black and white film.

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  12. #37
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    Interesting how this his subjects usually appear to be "leaving the scene" when this appears to be frowned upon these days.
    I find I like these images at first glance and the longer I look at them the more I like them. Very cool.

  13. #38
    CWyatt Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azza View Post
    Interesting how this his subjects usually appear to be "leaving the scene" when this appears to be frowned upon these days.
    I find I like these images at first glance and the longer I look at them the more I like them. Very cool.
    Not sure about 'these days' as opposed to convention in general. I have a manual from the 60's that states how it's considered that subjects should generally be entering a scene and then shows great examples of how to break the 'rule'.

  14. #39

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    Photography rules are just faint guidelines anyhow.
    Canon 5DmkII, 400L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 24mmf3.5 TS-E, Canon 70-200f2.8L, Tamron 90mm SP AF Di f2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mmf1.4 EX HSM, Nissin Di866 flash, Manfrotto 190xprob & Markins Q3t head, Lee filters, Lowepro Flipside 400AW, Yong Nuo rf 602 triggers.


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