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David Alan Harvey about gear: iPhone and leica quality are the same

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Chrisnmn, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn SC Veteran

    405
    Jul 8, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris Leskovsek
    nope guys this time is not a joke.

    the master Nat Geo - Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey talks about his gear and his method of taking pictures, apparently he shoots with anything in front of him, leicas, panasonic gf1, fuji x100s, iphone, etc. And when he shows his latest book he releases the "bomb" for some:

    "This (photo) is with a Leica and this is with an iphone, and the quality is the same". min 1.50 of the video.

    but the whole interview is quite interesting if you like his work.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/BKv1rATlQnE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
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  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I was less interested (as was he) in any of the technical stuff, but what I loved was his observation that (paraphrasing) 'photography is getting easier technically which means more people can do it, which isn't taking photography down, it's taking it UP - it's a common language that more and more people can speak'.

    I like that inclusiveness a lot and agree with it. It means the pool of photographs out there is getting diluted in one sense, but so much larger in another...

    -Ray
     
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  3. rbelyell

    rbelyell SC Top Veteran

    819
    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    i can also see the flip side, which is that 'taking pictures' is getting easier. imo, 'photography' is the same. my brother in law has had some apsc nikon for a couple years and i can assure you, though ive tried on numerous occassions, we share no 'common language' about 'photography'. that is absolutely no comment on my brother in law, who is a great guy. just an example of the 'democratization' of picture taking vs state of photography, imo.
     
  4. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I think it would be more genuine and honest for him to have said that they both have different qualities and that for him, those qualities don't matter. He even points out the grain in the iPhone photo, so saying the quality is the same seems a bit disingenuous. If the quality (or qualities) make no difference to him, that's great (and to a certain extent I would go along with him).
     
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  5. rbelyell

    rbelyell SC Top Veteran

    819
    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    yeah. i think many times folks say stuff, or say stuff in a particular way, that sacrifices accuracy for assuring them publicity.
     
  6. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I'm not sure he said it intentionally to grab attention (i wouldn't profess to know his motives). I think he was being genuine about the quality being the same to him (which is just different than saying they are the same quality).
     
  7. snkenai

    snkenai SC All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    From what I could see, his PP and intended look, is what leveled the quality of the different quality cameras. Non of which inspired me. But, he and others like it, and that is all that matters.
     
  8. Boid

    Boid SC All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Rajiv
    I think David Alan Harvey couldn't give two shits about the quality of the image itself and would rather kill himself getting the content right.

    Most people (including me) have fancy cameras capable of rendering great stories, but have nothing much to say.
     
    • Like Like x 15
  9. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    ^ that's the sound of a nail being hit hard and square
     
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  10. rbelyell

    rbelyell SC Top Veteran

    819
    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    i can and do agree that most, including myself, have nothing great to say, but can also disagree and do that image quality counts for nothing in the 'telling of any story' through a visual medium. there are times when the exgencies of the unanticipated moment conspire against it, and thats one thing and a fine thing. there are times when its lack adds to the story and thats fine. but to not consider it at all, to not give two shits about it, is foolish. actually, the art is knowing how to 'kill youself to get the content right' and understanding how to produce a beautiful quality image, or rather the kind of quality image that enhances the story. i would call one without the other 'half-artsed'.
     
  11. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    That was a great video!! I am on the same page as him but would love to be able to travel to get the sort of shots that I would like. Maybe one day I'll have the time and money to travel.

    I also agree that ANY camera will do providing it's the sort of photography that is general and not specialised like say wildlife or sports photography. Mind you it doesn't stop me from getting G.A.S!!!! LOL
     
  12. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    Whatever. I'm still not interested in shooting with a phone. I like using my E-M5, the Leica iiib, the Bessa, the Hasselblad. I enjoy the process of shooting with them, and would still use them if it could be scientifically proved to me that my camera provided identical files (which it doesn't) in terms of resolution, tonal scale, the ability to post-process, noise (color and luminance), etc. "As good as" is always going to be a subjective call, and it's clear the files are not "the same as." But even if they were, there is the whole matter of working with a tool you enjoy.

    As Homer Simpson said, "The problem is communication: TOO MUCH COMMUNICATION."
     
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  13. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn SC Veteran

    405
    Jul 8, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris Leskovsek
    Im glad to see how many would chip in here just because of the headline. I agree with most of you guys as well. But I think Rajiv nailed it with its comment.

    This is the type of photographer who cares about stories and content, not gear. period. But, then the other reason on why he might have said that, or what i understood from the video, is that this is an "old school" or a "purist" photographer (I mean it in a good way please keep reading), i.e. he prints photos, a lot. for books, magazines, exhibitions, etc. And perhaps what he meant by "same quality" in between the leica an the iphone is that "when you print them up to a certain size the quality is the same" and that is true. dont you think?
     
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  14. flash

    flash SC Veteran

    372
    May 6, 2011
    Gordon
    Image quality and the quality of the image aren't the same. I think he's talking about the later and feels a point od sufficiency with the former.

    Gordon
     
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  15. rbelyell

    rbelyell SC Top Veteran

    819
    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    considering what kind of image quality one wants for a particular photo is part and parcel of the art of creating a 'quality image'. besides the 'exigency of the moment', one cannot divorce one from the other.
     
  16. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    There is probably a difference here between what he meant to say, what he actually said, and how we interpreted what he said. The point that I suspect he was trying to make was that each camera can make images that are capable of conveying the same message to the viewer at a sufficiently high level of quality. Whether one camera is capable of higher technical image quality than the other is beyond the point. It is whether their technical image qualities combined with the subject matter will produce a pleasing image.
     
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  17. Tilman Paulin

    Tilman Paulin SC Top Veteran

    676
    Nov 15, 2011
    Dublin, Ireland
    I guess there's also a difference in the intended audience of his message. For a general viewing audience the message is much more important than the medium.
    (As opposed to us pixelpeeping gasheads, who are way more concerned about pixel integrity in the top left corner than anything :wink: )
     
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  18. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    On the subject of intended audience; I have to admit that I don't know who David Alan Harvey is but I am assuming that he is a photographer of some experience and renown. I can't stream the video from here to quote him directly but he does say something about the phone camera image having a pleasing amount of noise/grain. It's not therefore simply a case of the greater audience not noticing or caring about the difference between one camera or another. Here we have a photographer finding pleasing technical qualities in the image produced by what is, on paper, the lesser camera.

    Now, I'm off to check to check the bottom right hand corner and we can compare notes afterwards :smile:
     
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  19. retow

    retow SC All-Pro

    Jul 24, 2010
    Apple is the new Leica. And this is why Leica`s next generation M will include smart phone functionalities such that internet fora can announce Leica to be the next Apple.
    I still wear a wrist watch, drive a stick shift, use cameras to take pictures and buy fresh bread from the bakery around the corner. Maybe I`m just an old fart. :eek:
     
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  20. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn SC Veteran

    405
    Jul 8, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris Leskovsek
    You're not the only one, I like it that way too. Some things don't need to change.