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  1. #1

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    graduation photographers.

    It's graduation season and there was a graduate in my family, so i got to go to a graduation ceremony. It was a catholic high school so not only was there a mass beforehand but there were a few guests that might not be at a public school's graduation - namely the bishop of our diocese. i know that some people arent familiar with catholic pageantry (sorry all you catholics, but he was wearing a fuschia jumpsuit thing with matching hat) but bishop's are pretty important i think. anyway on the graduation stage, you shook hands with the principal and then got your diploma from the bishop and shook his hand too. then everyone freezes and looks at the photographer (DSLR professional) and he snaps off a shot for the parents. theres a set system the kids have practiced. supposed to go smoothly right?

    the first graduate comes out, shakes hands and poses. while the next kid in line is being announced, the photographer takes his shot of the first kid.

    but then guess what he does? he CHIMPS! on stage in front of a theatre full of people, he stops to bend over his display screen and examine the shot! and the bishop and principal are looking around and the next kid is already waiting for his pose but they kept calling kids! there were at least 5 kids on stage at this point awkwardly standing around and he chimps over the next shot too! the first 6 shots he did this for. and nobody understood why he was doing this. did he miss the shot? do they call back the first grads and run them through again? is something wrong with his camera? the kids didnt practice it like this - they didnt know what to do either but ended up not caring because they got their diploma. he eventually stopped but throughout the 250 grads he was fiddling with knobs and pushing buttons the whole time. thats a real professional there.

    must have gotten a new camera. TEST your equipment BEFORE the important shot! come-on! and thats the moral of the story for professionals going through the 'switchover'. get there early and make sure everythings working! hunch over that tiny little screen before the guests start getting there. or you can put down the point and shoot and stop calling yourself a professional.

  2. #2
    reellis67's Avatar
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    I've seen this too. There were three 'Pro' digi-snappers at my college graduation (adult student...) and all three were doing the same thing. They kept missing the shots because the kids kept right on going - just as they were supposed to. It was kind of funny to see the photographers scramble, but sad too, for the kids are the ones who are paying the price. The pics I got were OK, but could have been better. These guys (and gals) were not using new gear though - I think it has something to do with growing up using digital and forming habits that are not conducive to all shooting situations. Under fixed lighting conditions, you should not have to worry about the histogram and if you can't compose in the viewfinder, you need to spend more time behind the camera before taking on that level of responsibility.

    - Randy

  3. #3
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    I have seen this happen at weddings as well, I did some back up work for a "Pro" at a wedding a few months ago, I was using film of course and he had a new canon digi body, after every shot, he would look at the preview! I just took the shot, I asked him what he was doing, as I figured he would know what he was doing, and he point blank looked at me and said he was making sure he got the shot!, I asked him if he had ever shot film at a wedding, he told me yes, but it was so nice to be able to check, and he wanted to know how I knew if I got the shot? I just told him because I knew my equipment, I knew how to use the light and I knew how my particular film(NPS) would reacte in a certain situation, well I have to say, that was the longest formal shooting session I have ever been involved in, all the way to the point the bride actually was getting irritated (not a good idea on her wedding day!) Make sure if your shooting a job for money, you KNOW without a doubt how your gear works and why it works the way it does, that is what they are paying you for..

  4. #4
    DBP
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    I think it is just one more problem with digital, it's too hard to resist the urge to look immediately.

  5. #5

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    Don't blame digital, blame the incompetent photographer.

    If someone hits you from behind because they didn't brake fast enough, you don't blame their car's ABS system, do you?

  6. #6
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by celluloidpropaganda
    Don't blame digital, blame the incompetent photographer.

    If someone hits you from behind because they didn't brake fast enough, you don't blame their car's ABS system, do you?
    Yes, but most people don't play with their ABS system while they are driving. As a professional, this person should have known his equipment well enough to pay attention to the CLIENT.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  7. #7
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by celluloidpropaganda
    Don't blame digital, blame the incompetent photographer.

    If someone hits you from behind because they didn't brake fast enough, you don't blame their car's ABS system, do you?
    I would!!!! ABS is not an excuse for not paying attention, rear end me, and It is your fault..

    I think Digital has allowed many more INCOMPETENT photographers(if I can call them that) to make money with no skills.

  8. #8
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    I think incompetent is incompetent, whatever the equipment, or even vocation. Prior to digital, there was still no shortage of hack photographers.

    Now you will find most of the hacks behind DSLR's, mostly because thats where the "anybody can be a pro with this camera" marketing hype is now located.

    These types have always made business challenging for the real pro, no matter the medium, because they outnumber the ability to teach the client the hard lesson.

    The promised "cost effectiveness" and magic bullet mentality of d* have swelled the numbers further. Graphic artists experienced this mess with the advent of the affordable PC and "design software" After a little carnage, the market corrected, and the same will probably happen with photography.

    I don't think film will be making a big come back in the picturemill segment, but the hacks will recede as they learn it is not as easy as the magazine promised. A few will have talent, business sense, and ability, and go on to succeed. Some of them will go on to shoot film.

    For some, digital will be the perfect gateway drug to film.

  9. #9
    DBP
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    I think it is human nature to immediately look at the results of something when that is possible. But one would expect a pro to be better disciplined with such a simple shot.

  10. #10
    roteague's Avatar
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    You know, it is possible on most professional DSRLs to turn the LCD off.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

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