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We Don't Need No Steenkeeng Photography Skills!
Old 12-09-2009, 07:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I spend a lot of time on forums, photo forums. Probably too much time. But still, doing so can be an education. Not so much an education in photography but more of an education regarding the attitudes many photographers appear to have these days. You know, their attitudes towards the craft of photography.

These days, especially amongst some new-ish photographers, it appears more than a few of them believe production skills--I'm talking about traditional photography skills--are way less important than post-production skills. In fact, I read posts by some who say that production skills don't matter much at all. I'm not saying this is true across the board. It's not. But, often enough, it's an attitude I see displayed on one particular (and popular) forum quite frequently. READ MORE?
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Re: We Don't Need No Steenkeeng Photography Skills!
Old 12-09-2009, 08:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have seen that as well, you present an interesting take on it. As someone coming from film I still don't know many of these new tricks - dodge and adjustment layers are about it. It let me do the same clean up I would have done under an enlarger, and although it would be nice to learn more I don't think its a way to save a bad shot. I think of it as adding 2 or 3 on a scale of 1 to 10, so making a 2 a 4 or 5 isn't really impressive.

That being said I would also present the sort of opposite side. Photographers who think they are photoshop pros. Looking at it from the editor side I have seen way too many photographers think they are post production pros, and some shots that look like cartoons (in crayon).

Both halves need to remember why we paid the other (if they are old enough to recall that is, I don't want to imply anyone is as old and tired as me).
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Re: We Don't Need No Steenkeeng Photography Skills!
Old 12-09-2009, 08:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I look at the post work I do in Photoshop as another tool or photo equipment. Just like we use lights in a studio or meters in the field I use PS to fine-tune the shot. I also came from film use and have since changed over to digital. I take with me the skills I learned with film. These digital cameras have a lot of bells and whistles on them.
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Re: We Don't Need No Steenkeeng Photography Skills!
Old 12-09-2009, 09:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Photoshop is awesome-- An incredible tool! But it's just another tool. It's not the end all/be all of photography.

The camera is also a tool, as are lights and modifiers and enlargers and chemical baths and everything used to make great photography, whether the medium is film or digital

Yet, these days, more and more people, i.e., more and more digital photographers, seem to think the camera itself is a barely relevant tool, not good for anything but capturing a very basic image, without much respect to the quality and skill and creativity that image might reveal about the photographer wielding that camera and those lights and everything else.
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Re: We Don't Need No Steenkeeng Photography Skills!
Old 12-10-2009, 12:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jimmyd View Post
Photoshop is awesome-- An incredible tool! But it's just another tool. It's not the end all/be all of photography.
I wish I had known, in my 20's, just how much FUN this 'photography thing' is...then I would have had more experience in the Art *and* the Craft. Mind you, in my 20's, digital was not even a glimmer on the horizon. It was still a Film world and that entailed a whole different reality of getting the shot into the camera and then out again.

Actually, come to think of it, getting the image into the camera really has NOT changed, has it? Think about it...the camera body is still just the 'box' that holds the image that the lens has directed into it. It is the getting that image out that has changed.

I started into a more serious attempt of photography just before the onset of digital and, invariably, my film shots were, for the most part, crap! Frig!...and what an expensive way to learn. But as time (and rolls of film) went on I started getting better because I started to educate myself as to what the camera could and could not do. Still, I was really looking forward to the day that I would actually have a digital camera...for the immediacy...and the ability to shorten the learning curve! No more...shoot the roll, take to the developer, get the prints, suffer through disappointment. Nope, with digital I could see if I 'got the shot' and if I didn't, do it again until I did.

One older photographer once remarked that all I really wanted to do, when I championed digital, was to be a Snapshot Photog as she thought that only film was the way to 'make' a photograph. I know now that she's into digital in a big way.

But now there's no more taking a roll to be developed by others. Nope, instead I sit in front of my computer monitor doing that post production myself. Digital may be great but not if I have to spend hours then afterwards.

So the answer is to, as it has always been, "Get it right 'in-camera' first". Photoshop may be a great tool but I'd rather be doing something else with my apre-shoot time. Wouldn't you?
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Re: We Don't Need No Steenkeeng Photography Skills!
Old 12-10-2009, 02:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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So the answer is to, as it has always been, "Get it right 'in-camera' first". Photoshop may be a great tool but I'd rather be doing something else with my apre-shoot time. Wouldn't you?
Amen.

Personally, I'm somewhat of a minimalist when it comes to post-processing. I can handle PS well enough. I'm no expert digital retoucher, far from it, but I know enough and have spent countless hours learning. In fact, the more I've learned, the less time I spend with PS.

Back in the day, I had my own darkroom. B&W only. I spent many hours there--either in the dark or under the soft red glow of the safe light--much to the annoyance of my wife... now ex-wife. After awhile, I started using labs for almost all my work cuz, as you said, I had better things to do with my apre-shoot time. Which might have been responsible for, eventually, leading her to being my ex-wife. Oh well. What'd'ya gonna do?
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Re: We Don't Need No Steenkeeng Photography Skills!
Old 12-10-2009, 10:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Digital is still new and going from film to digital Iíve learned a few things. The obvious is the media. The chemicals in film reacted with the light as it burned into it. The sensor with digital collects the light source and analyses it and stores the information.

When I got my first good digital camera and saw all the things it could do I left the camera on ďAutoĒ until I could figure them out. My first digital had only 1 megapixel, very bad images.

I guess I had to take what I learned shooting film and translate it to digital format. I found that it only got me in the ballpark and I had to tweak my settings. Iím still learning the difference in shooting formats but leave my camera in ďManualĒ more and more.

With film my settings were setting the ASA of the film then f-stop and shutter speed. With digital I can choose Auto, Av mode Tv mode, Sv mode, Program, TAv mode and Manual. So itís like learning all over again. Maybe itís the bells and whistles in digital that makes using Photoshop so appealing. But still Iím working on getting it correct in the camera, which Iím almost there. Most of my PS work is cropping.
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Re: We Don't Need No Steenkeeng Photography Skills!
Old 12-10-2009, 07:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm not sure about a lot of people but i prefer to spend my limited time with photography behind the camera instead of photoshop. Photography is not any kind of source of income for me. Would I like it to be? Of course and maybe some day it will be but I started late (late 20's) and the competition is heavy. I'm an email marketer with a brand everyone knows (LEGO) and that is what pay the bills. I do urge models to hire photographers that makes a living out of photography because I love the photography industry too much to try and take potential revenue from a professional photographer. So if there are any photogs in CT, please send me a MSG and I will recommend models to you and I may ask to give you a hand. If any photographers here would like some tips on email marketing, then I would love to share information with you. Just send me a MSG. Put it this way, I make too much money as an email marketer to give it up for a competitive industry that yields little ROI. Now if I started in my teens or before the digital boom then perhaps I would have made a name or better yet, connections with certain companies.

What I don't like is the false impression photoshop wizard give... some of them say they are a photographers, but really? Their images may come out excellent, but what if you are working for a client that doesn't care to receive one or two outstanding images, instead, they want dozens of great in-camera work and I suspect they want the photos asap, not weeks from after the shoot.
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Re: We Don't Need No Steenkeeng Photography Skills!
Old 12-10-2009, 10:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I donít know about others but I started out as a photographer then started using Photoshop. I owned the program for about two years before I started to learn it. I watched tutorials on how to do what I wanted the program to do for me. Depending on what the photos are it doesnít take long to edit them. Iím not a wizard with Photoshop but I can get done what I look for.

So like I said I use it as a tool just like my camera.

On a side note I almost had a job with Lego working machine maintenance. I went for 4 interviews and it came down to two of us. The other guy lived closer. It would have been a nice place to work. Also I live in NH now and come down to CT several times a year. I was born and raised in East Hampton. Maybe I'll take you up on the models.
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Re: We Don't Need No Steenkeeng Photography Skills!
Old 12-10-2009, 10:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I also learned the ways of photoshop but not a mastered, just know enough to get me by. Earl, I bet you are happy you didn't get the gig over there because they wiped out that division. I would love to send paying models over to pro photographers so let me know when you are around. Or if you have a business and want to know the insight and out of email marketing then I'm willing to preach to that... as many of us preaches the photography bible I preach the email marketing.
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