February 3rd, 2013, 01:01 PM
Luckily every photographer is different ! ;)
And you are right Hikari, hence why I try to avoid zoomlenses as much as possible
February 3rd, 2013, 01:19 PM
I think if I'd spent a lifetime as a pro like Gary did, particularly shooting in war zones and doing other journalistic type shooting where getting the shot RIGHT NOW is absolutely critical to making a living, I'd probably view the process much more like he does. I would only shoot with the most reliable stuff I could find, would know it like the back of my hand, and would have the number of variables I had to think about down to a bare minimum, with muscle memory being able to take over 99% of the process, leaving the mind for just the visualization and creative part. So I fully get why he or others would bring what they bring to the process of shooting. As a rank amateur who's never ever ever HAD to get any particular shot, I view it very differently, as he's pointed out. I use whichever camera will allow me to get the shots I'm after and also in the most enjoyable way possible. Often that means the Fuji, except for the kinds of shooting where it would frustrate me, at which point its way more fun to shoot with something that just WORKS, which the OMD does for anything I ever want or need to do. But when I'm shooting, particularly on the street where my keeper rate is VERY low, I don't worry about missing the shot - I miss more than I nail and SOME of the ones I nail I don't realize until well after the shot was taken. Most I pre-visualize pretty well and have a good idea of what I got, or what I almost got. But some of my better shots are those I never really saw well until they came up on the computer screen and I was able to see that, hey there's an image in there, with just a little cropping and post processing I can pull it out.
Originally Posted by Gary
And part of it is that I'm a gear junkie as much as a photographer. I've always loved cool gadgets, and digital cameras are remarkably cool gadgets! So I enjoy playing with and interacting with the different ways the different manufacturers approach the photographic process. I'm sure that being less that completely familiar with a given piece of gear and not having it down to muscle memory has cost me a few shots along the way, as I play with different gear. But for a hobby-est like me, that's OK. I'm gonna miss any number of shots for SOME reason - having fun playing with gear is as good as any. But I would clearly not feel that way if missing that shot was taking food off of my table or braces off my kid's teeth!
And Gary, not to worry. I didn't take it as a dis at all. I'm kind of honored you thought about it enough to better understand my perspective - I can understand how foreign it could be for someone with your professional background!
February 3rd, 2013, 01:35 PM
Somewhat depends on the lens for me. The 18 seems pretty quick and reliable in any circumstance - it takes VERY low light with a distinct lack of contrast to really make it hunt. Even the OMD will hunt somewhat in those situations. The 35 is almost as fast in good light, but seems a good deal slower in low light and it's caused me more frustration with hunting for focus than just about anything I've used. Its mostly pretty good, but sometimes pretty bad. I always assumed it was a matter of focal length (since I've heard the 60mm is the slowest of the bunch) but now I'm not sure. My initial perception is that the 14mm is a bit slower than the 18, and as with the others, I'm distinctly aware of the portion of a second when I hear the AF motor working and it seems closer to the 35 than the 18. Which suggests some of it could be the physical size of the lens and the distance the elements have to move???
Originally Posted by Landshark
But in contrast, the OMD is just mind-blowingly fast and automatic with any of the moderns lenses. The 20mm and the old 17mm and some of the early kit lenses are quite slow. But anything released from about the middle of 2010 forward by either Oly or Pany seems to be absolutely lightning fast. To the point where I basically don't even have to think about it. And even some of its "aid" features like face detection and near-eye priority, which I used to think were beneath me, are just so damned effective and immediate that I let the camera do that for me. Now that I know how consistently effective they are. Particularly with longer lenses like the 45 and 75 - jeez, shooting candid portraits with those lenses with the newer bodies is just an amazing exercise in almost never missing a shot, even in quite low light. Those types of shots used to be a real challenge to nail with earlier m43 gear and now the hit-rate is just astounding. An amazing percentage of technically good photos to pick out the creatively decent from. THAT's the kind of stuff I'd rather do with the OMD than the Fuji. But that's the kind of stuff YOU probably do at work all day with your pro-level DSLR gear and lighting and whatnot, so I can see where the Fuji might be more fun to use for your non-work stuff...
February 3rd, 2013, 02:08 PM
I really like my XE1 despite it's "problems", indeed as people say i wouldn't take it if "every shot is important"
I think I might end up selling the 35mm (since it's not that good AF wise in low light and i got some 1.8 vintage lenses i can use on it anyway then for those situation).
Second reason to sell the 35mm is that the 18-55 is just so bloody great...
Nearly as good as the primes and it has IS and faster AF.
I might get the panasonic 25mm for my omd, but not sure about that yet
Or the 17mm 1.8... or the 75mm :)
February 3rd, 2013, 02:35 PM
Back when I started with photography (film), I did experiment with all different types and sizes of film. The only way to do that digitally is by acquiring a new/different camera. Much more expensive way to experiment and a neophyte with different systems slows, dilutes and fragments the learning process.
Sorta of an epiphany for me to realize that for many, it isn't just the final image. (Being terribly competitive, I found it hard to fathom not caring if they missed capturing The Defining Moment, The Shot, every time they touched a camera.) Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the crap out of photography. I love looking at images and taking pictures. But I like the challenge even more, the challenge is to capture the exceptional image.
"Everywhere you look there are photographs, it is up to us photogs to see them."- Gary Ayala
My Snaps are Here: Unsharp At Any Speed
February 3rd, 2013, 02:57 PM
I think the only correct answer to a what camera did you use question is this:
I'm a photographer - what is a camera?
February 3rd, 2013, 03:48 PM
Don't get me wrong - enjoying the process of making the photograph is all in the service of getting to the best image I can get to as often as possible. But in the service of getting to, say, 100 really good to maybe great images in the course of a lifetime, I'm not really concerned with whether I also MISSED 1000 or 10000 or 100000. So I'm still after the best possible image and as many good ones as possible when I shoot. But I'm not in a situation where I have to (or do) sweat the missed opportunities. I just move on to the next one. I learned this really early in street shooting, BTW - the number of times I'd JUST miss a shot and then go back and try to get it again and never even come CLOSE. Which led to an understanding that its a very fleeting moment and if you miss it you miss it and you just keep moving forward because its not there any more. You're not gonna get THAT image, but if you just toss it aside you'll be in a better position to get the NEXT one.... And, so, if indulging my passion for cameras causes me to slightly lower my percentage of keepers as I seek the best images I can make, that doesn't bother me. Of course I'll mourn the ones I almost got but just missed. But I'm an optimist - I figure another opportunity will present itself soon enough if I stay receptive to it. And sometimes its partly the joy of a new piece of gear that really chases my ass out onto the street to PLAY and see what I can do with it, so it probably leads to as many enthusiasm driven good images as it causes me to miss...
Originally Posted by Gary
February 3rd, 2013, 03:51 PM
That's the ART part, but good and great photography is a melding of artistic vision and the craftsmanship needed to get the vision across. The camera comes under the craft side of the equation and it doesn't need to be the best camera, but it needs to be one you connect with somehow. Similarly with music - a great musician will make great music with a cheap instrument, but may make more beautiful and subtle music with a great instrument. Partly because it helps he or she get their music out, and partly because it inspires them to do so...
Originally Posted by EasyEd
February 3rd, 2013, 04:52 PM
There is no "right" answer. The camera is not irrelevant, but not in the way they are marketed. I think it is very illuminating to see how photographers work.
Originally Posted by EasyEd
American Photographer did a wonderful piece on Richard Avadon a long time ago. They opened his closet and took a picture of it. There were three cameras: one 8x10 view camera with a 300mm lens and two Rolleiflex TLRs. This man sustained his entire career with three cameras all with normal lenses.
American Photographer also did a monograph of the work of William Albert Allard called the Photographic Essay. Unusually for this type of book, they document the photographer's thoughts on camera types, his equipment, and mark how much he uses certain focal lengths. While he certainly carries/carried more than I do, he still could break the majority of his work down into a very simple setup.
And the equipment choice does impact the aesthetic of the photographer's work. Look at the career of Mary Ellen Mark. You can see the shifts in her style as she goes from 35mm, to 6x6 medium format, to 4x5, to 6x7. You can see how artificial lighting impacts the work.
Now, the thing is, you don't copy the gear list of Mark Ellen Mark and become Mary Ellen. But the look she gets cannot simply be broken down into equivalent focal lengths and taken with any kind of camera.
Cameras are sold based on features. A camera with 100 functions must be twice as good as a camera with only 50. AF speed, frames per second, megapixels, ISO, and a host of specs that are really marginal are all used to sell cameras. Folks like to say they like all the automation because they can focus on making the picture. Well, all the automation in the world does not make you an Avadon. Pick up a copy of the World History of Photography and with all the changes in camera technology, the one thing that is constant is the high-level of the imagery, regardless of style. Technology is not making better images, just different ones.
Photography has not become effortless because of the automation. Photography is effortless because I understand and control the process without having to think that hard--just as a writer does not have to worry about technical issues like grammar and spelling (spell checkers don't make you a better writer, they just make you appear like a less poor one).
February 3rd, 2013, 04:59 PM
Who the hell needs vision when we live in such an interesting world. Unless you are doing commercial work, 99.99% of vision comes after the fact the image is made. The only vision I need is to be able to see. I think this idea of the "photographer's vision" has been one of the biggest blocks to creativity. It gives something for writers to wax poetic over, but photography is just a lot of hard work resulting in many more failures in order to get something that works.
Originally Posted by Ray
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