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  1. #1

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    The lack of knowledge in new photographers

    This may not be the proper place to post this and it is kind of a rant so....

    I've been thinking of buying a DSLR (please don't send hate mail, I do have a method to my madness) so I've been reading a lot of digital photography forums. Coming from photographyland and not from computerland, it's a challenge to understand a lot of what I've been reading, however, I am muddling through. The only solid thing I have discovered is the appalling level of photographic knowledge out there.

    I realize we all were ignorant when we started messing around with photography. I accept my own computer ignorance as a big limitation now as I investigate digiland. But some of the things I read are plumb scary! On one thread concerning shooting RAW vs JPG (see, I'm learnin' this stuff--I can talk digital now!), almost all the posters came across as believing it is less desirable to produce a finished photograph in the camera alone. They promote shooting RAW so they can use the computer to manipulate the image. It's as if actually making a photograph is not enough--it has to be Photoshopped into existence or it's somehow unhip.

    There's also an abysmal lack of basic equipment knowledge--everything is automatic from exposure to focus to steadying the camera. Skill is unnecessary because we have software to fix all that! God forbid any of the auto modes stops working because no one understands manual processes anymore. When I recently tried to assist someone having a problem on one of their cameras (even digital cameras have some functions and features in common with film cameras I have discovered), I quickly realized this person with the $3000 camera and bagful of high tech glass had no idea what I was talking about. I think it means people have too much money these days--except me, of course.

    I could go on--I could, I might. A photographic future in which knowledge and skill mean less than the hardware and software you use looks real damn bleak. Does this concern anyone other than me or am I just an anachronistic old fart with a bad attitude?

  2. #2
    schroeg's Avatar
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    Today I was sitting in Union Square in San Francisco and a fellow was giving an outdoor class to a group of youngsters armed with digital cameras. He said: "All the great photographers would go out and shoot 400 or 500 images and then come back and be happy with 3 or 4 of them." I almost had to say something but held myself. With that bit of questionable wisdom he unleased his charges out into the city snapping away at everything in sight, not seeing, not engaging the subject, until their collective memory cards were exhausted.

    I give you the future.

    And thank God for APUG!

    George

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Shively View Post

    They promote shooting RAW so they can use the computer to manipulate the image. It's as if actually making a photograph is not enough--it has to be Photoshopped into existence or it's somehow unhip.

    Does this concern anyone other than me or am I just an anachronistic old fart with a bad attitude?
    I think the raw issue is related to all the problems the cameras really have but the ads don't mention. It's a way to get around them. OTOH a lot of us shoot negative film and then enlarge it.

    I don't think you've got a bad attitude I just don't think much has changed. How many of those mint MF cameras that are now selling for peanuts got bought for show? Same thing with the high end 35mm cameras.

  4. #4

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    Old Fart? Bad additutde? Probably; me too!

    Just think of it this way; those guys make us SHINE


  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Shively View Post
    They promote shooting RAW so they can use the computer to manipulate the image. It's as if actually making a photograph is not enough--it has to be Photoshopped into existence or it's somehow unhip.
    There are a couple of reasons for this. First, there is a significant amount of post-processing that goes into producing an image from the raw CCD output. For example, the individual red green and blue pixels need to be interpolated to produce a full color image. Also, because of the anti-moire filter over the CCD, almost all digital images will need some sharpening applied to them. Software like photoshop is usually much better at doing this than the in camera algorithms. Second, the RAW image is like a digital negative - just as you manipulate the image during printing a negative to get the best possible print, the image captured by a digital camera will most likely need some manipulation to produce the very best final image. With a RAW image file, you have all the data the sensor captured when the image was taken. However, since JPG uses lossy compression, the JPG image you get out of the camera has already lost some information - think fine detail here. If you then edit that JPG image and save as another JPG, you lose even more information.

    Hope you enjoy your new camera.

    Dan

  6. #6
    rkmiec's Avatar
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    i agree with dslater.raw is what most pros use as it gives you the most info.and it requires more post processing.most pro cameras can shoot raw.i do not use those cameras but i try to stay on top of things.also i bet most pros do shoot hundreds of images when shooting digital and then weed it down to a few select images.same as over and under compensation.i used to own a nikon f5 and could shoot like 12 shots with a single push of the button and use the best one.we live in a i want it now world and digital has created alot more here it is now photographers and lessened the number of artists.not saying there arent digital artists out there that will spend countless hours creating a unique image.take in all the info eve if it sounds like garbage there may be something useful there.

  7. #7
    david b's Avatar
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    Trying talking with photo students about famous photographers. It's a joke. I had an advanced photo student ask me if rodinal was a film developer.

  8. #8
    Rob Skeoch's Avatar
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    I work as a photo editor at a magazine and also work shifts at a daily paper.
    There was a day when photographers mastered their craft and rose to be professionals.
    Very few people are mastering digital. Most just save it in Photoshop.
    -Rob
    Rob Skeoch
    This is my blog http://thepicturedesk.blogspot.com/
    This my website for photo supplies...
    www.bigcameraworkshops.com
    This is my website for Rangfinder gear
    www.rangefinderstore.com

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Skeoch View Post
    I work as a photo editor at a magazine and also work shifts at a daily paper.
    There was a day when photographers mastered their craft and rose to be professionals.
    Very few people are mastering digital. Most just save it in Photoshop.
    -Rob
    Amen to that...

    It is sad but true unfortunately...

  10. #10
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    I am an old fart and want to know why this diatribe concerning the D--- camera usage is allowed to continue here.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

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