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Are You Over-Geeking Your Photography?
Old 02-13-2010, 05:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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In spite of turning the noun, geek, into a verb, geeking, I'm pretty sure most of you know what I'm talking about. I've written about this before, i.e., spending way too much time concerning yourselves with the technical stuff rather than the creative elements. To paraphrase the late, great, Helmut Newton, cameras don't make beautiful pictures, photographers make beautiful pictures. That's a fair amount of dramatic license with the paraphrasing but I think Mr. Newton would also agree with my version of his words. My paraphrase also sounds a little like the saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." Oh well. READ MORE?
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Re: Are You Over-Geeking Your Photography?
Old 02-26-2010, 10:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Bravo. I concur.
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Re: Are You Over-Geeking Your Photography?
Old 02-26-2010, 11:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote jummyd: My paraphrase also sounds a little like the saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."
..............
A gun alone hardly ever kills people, so takes a people + gun to do the job. Same with a camera, it takes a people +camera, cause a camera hardly does a good job by itself.

Well, a monkey+gun might kill a people, and I guess a monkey +camera can make a photo.

In fact I have seen some images that look like...... never mind.
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Re: Are You Over-Geeking Your Photography?
Old 02-26-2010, 09:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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No.

What I witness are people that expect a camera to just "do it for them" and they fail at quality images because the camera almost always guesses poorly. If you want a good shot, set the camera up to achieve it.

But people DO need to stop playing the LCD and the in-camera crap (filters, curve meters, etc). Do the basics of photography and take the shot.

Don't play with toys.
But also don't just aim that camera and click without setting it up.

I'm afraid the way you've written your piece would tell people it's okay to set it to "P" or the "flower program" and click away blindly. The only way to get a good shot, using this amateur method, is luck.

Art cannot exist without the tools of expression. If you can't use a camera, you can't create photographic art. Same for any other art form.
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Re: Are You Over-Geeking Your Photography?
Old 03-01-2010, 06:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I used to over-geek my photography to the nth degree. So much so that there was a (thankfully brief) time when I literally did nothing other than test various films with various developers while trying to perfect my processing using the zone system. I shot a gray card (and nothing else) for a month trying to perfect that.

This is coming from a guy whose favorite camera -- one of them, anyway -- is now a Polaroid, lol. I like to think my work is a lot more interesting to look at now than it used to be.
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Re: Are You Over-Geeking Your Photography?
Old 03-01-2010, 10:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Perhaps I'm still much in that 'geek' stage as, while I am fairly comfortable with my 20D, I'm not getting the consistency I am looking for...that inate feeling that you have the camera 'dialed in' correctly for the exposure and scene and I don't *have to* check the LCD on the back. So I'm still concerned with the technical side while trying to keep focused on the subject in front of me...and the battle ensues with the inevitable results...'not quite *there*' images.

When I was shooting film typically, when picking up my prints, my vocalization was...
"Crap, crap, crap, mmm...not too bad, crap, crap, CRAP". I was SO looking forward to my first digital SLR with the intent of knocking down that huge learning curve. Well, it has but also brought another set of problems...technical in nature, expensive in 'fixing'. But I perservere only resorting to the P mode when I just want to get the shot done and/or it really doesn't mean much to me. (I know, a poor attitude...but something we all have gone through one time or other...'record shots' for other people).

A hammer...heavy weighted thing on a stick. You learn the technical aspect of it (name of parts...handle, head, claw, tang), you learn how to hold it, how to *effectively* swing it, and what choice curse words to use when steel meets thumb! You learn the 'geekness' of this tool and how to use it properly. Once you have this down then building a house one nail at a time becomes the art...you don't think of hammering the nail, you do it. But you can't get there without first learning the other stuff.

Often, when picking up a new camera I know, from previous experience, what button/dial does what but still I carry a cheat sheet with me...just in case I forget something I want *right now*. Yes, too often there are too many bells, whistles, menus, scrolls and button sequences. Personally I'd love to have a fully manual ONLY digital SLR...bring back the days of film but with an instant capture, instant replay/review.

Anyway, someday I do hope that I'll get that consistency when only a split second delay on releasing the shutter will be my greatest problem and the camera does *truly* become that extension of my eye and brain.
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Re: Are You Over-Geeking Your Photography?
Old 03-02-2010, 03:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am proud to be an uber-geek. Even if my images suck because of it.

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Re: Are You Over-Geeking Your Photography?
Old 03-07-2010, 03:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinpieper View Post

I'm afraid the way you've written your piece would tell people it's okay to set it to "P" or the "flower program" and click away blindly. The only way to get a good shot, using this amateur method, is luck.
Yikes! I certainly didn't intend to convey that message!

Quote:
Originally Posted by srwatters View Post
I am proud to be an uber-geek.
If you can let your geek flag fly, while not interfering with the creative flow and good photographer/model communications, that works. But doing so, for many, is the exception, not the rule.
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