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  1.  (10407.81)
    @ Bankara - your hackintosh dreams are making me drool.

    So, this rant about photography from Reddit was pointed out to me, and I thought I'd post it here and see what you all think.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/photography/comments/ovy78/i_am_a_professional_photographer_id_like_to_share/
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2012
     (10407.82)
    @Rachael: Yup, just about sums it up to me, the gear keeps getting better and easier to use, to the point where just about anybody can produce a half decent picture without needing to know the ins and outs of it all. Result: lots more photography, many fewer professional photographers. And the world moves on.
    I'm probably safe though, i doubt i'll still be breathing by the time little Tommy's Dad points to the traffic whizzing past and says 'You know, back when i was your age, all of these were driven by people'...
    •  
      CommentAuthorKieran
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2012
     (10407.83)
    @ Rachael -> More or less the same situation when painters saw the first photography and painting is still very much alive. This only means that photography will need more art and less technical ... to me this sounds like a true Golden age !

    I also love a comment on this rant about that old professionnal photographer, that told his son that if he loves photography then he shouldn't go professionnal.

    Now, having worked in an important European Photography Museum, allowed me to see that their vault is filled with amazing "technical" pictures, but they are the least exposed.
    • CommentAuthorBankara
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2012
     (10407.84)
    Wow, that piece is pretty bang on but really only as it relates to Photojournalism and weddings and stock photography. Traditionally, these have been areas where you are hiring the photographer because he has a better camera than you and probably knows how to use it. When you take the gear out of the equation it really does seem to me that we are entering an entirely new era of image making. I saw this coming down the pike when I was taking courses in photojournalism in art school and decided to get the fuck out of that field. The only smart thing that my professor said in that course was that there will always be a market for good images, just figure out who wants to buy them. Part of the problem is that we are seeing a decline in the asking price because of the ubiquity of images in popular media. Publications need them but they increasingly feel like they shouldn't have to pay for them. The perception is that the visual literacy of the public is also at a stunning all time fucking high right now but I think that there is a laziness to it. People are consumers of images not connoisseurs, they see literally hundreds of images everyday and they think that they actually see them but they really don't because they walk right by them with the assumption that they have absorbed the image. There is so much clutter that they miss any of the sophistication. The reason for this is they think it is easy, they look at it and think 'I could shoot that' and the good news for those of us who try to make a living with our cameras is they really fucking can't. Shit, half of the creative people I work with are fucking stunned when I break down how an image is lit or even the basics of how a camera functions. Most peoples eyes glaze over when I tell them I spent 2 hours in retouch on a single image and that that was a rush job.

    What is funny is that I see a lot of photographer retreating into film as a way to increase their 'legitimacy'. 4x5 and Medium Format are still enjoying popularity even among younger photographers who grew up in the digital era. Mostly, it is because potential clients are still scared shitless of shooting blind. Not having that LCD screen means not knowing whether you got the shot and anyone who can pull it off still gets credit from people who would otherwise think 'I could do that'. I see a lot of horseshit masquerading as art because it was shot on a 4x5. Yes, it is difficult to use but fucking come on! A shit image is a shit image no matter what it is shot on. I have a friend who is a cinematographer who takes better pictures with instagram then most of these fucking wankers with their 4x5s. If they shot with a digital camera no one would look at it twice and that is the only standard by which to objectively judge images. It isn't the equipment, it is the eye of the photographer and their technical skill either enhances or detracts from the image.

    So, TL;DR. Photography is fine, photographers are going to be fine as long as they always remember that they are fucking idiots and egomaniacs for thinking that someone should pay them to do what they would have done anyway for free and that they sure as fuck didn't get into the business because they thought they were going to be rich. Images are getting better even as people are taking them more for granted. We are entering the golden age, accept it and adapt or die, motherfuckers.
  2.  (10407.85)
    ...oh hey, timing! speaking of wankers using odd film formats to cover for inadequacies, I finally got a roll of film from a few years back scanned in:

    Proteus Lieutenant, Mardi Gras 2010
    Photobucket

    In all seriousness, I pretty much agree with what you said, Bankara. I'm pretty far from being a serious photographer, and shoot more for my own entertainment than anything else, and while I like film, it always puzzles me to run into people still trying to use film in a professional setting.
  3.  (10407.86)
    I agree and disagree with various bits of that Reddit post.

    One thing that professional photographers tend to have is good people skills. I'd hate to do PR/event photography (I've done it and I hated it...), mainly because I don't have the kind of personality that does stuff like that well. I've got huge respect for that. I can take a good picture, yes, on my own terms, but I can't corral people into doing what I want very well, and the press guys can do that brilliantly. The other thing is consistency - if you hire someone you trust and brief them well, they will normally turn out what you need. I don't trust myself to deliver that any more, I'm too rusty with that kind of work. If I commission a photographer, yes, I'm looking for great, usable pictures, but I'm also hiring them so they don't fuck things up.

    I think it's a shame that the business is going for them, on the other hand, some of these guys are stuck in a business model that hasn't kept pace with what clients expect or can justify to the people setting the budgets.

    A colleague recently asked a photographer for permission to use pics he'd taken for my company some 18 years ago in a local archival display. He sent an extremely rude letter back saying 'of course you can't, they're mine and whatever rights you had have expired, I've got to eat, and you wouldn't expect me to take goods from you on the promise of just a credit'. Which was factually correct, and I have total sympathy with the sentiment, but utterly dickish, because a) there was no conceivable commercial value in those pics other than to us, and b) if he'd just said 'sure but I'll charge a couple of hundred quid', I'm sure we would have paid it, and c) we'll never use the guy ever again for anything because he's been a dick. And d) we had the decency to ask and respect his copyright, rather than just go ahead and use the pictures. So those people will die out. Very few people will book people for PR/editorial work for single use stuff, especially not when budgets are tight.

    The thing with gear is that for certain types of work, yes, I think it does matter. Again, it's one reason why I refuse to do 'pro' type jobs for work (which are usually pr type shots), because I don't have a decent off camera flash of my own and I can't often get away with available light. The popup flash on my D200 is useless for serious work. I don't have a fast short zoom either. Yes, if I was doing beautiful arty portraits like Jane Bown who has shot everything at 1/60th at f2.8 for fifty years then gear wouldn't be so important - but shooting a conference or something like that where you're going to need battery packs and stuff - I think it's hard to compete with that.

    The bit about RAW files and post processing - I don't understand what he's angling at there - yeah, I'd agree that adding things in is unethical, but is he suggesting that every editorial/photojournalistic work should be untouched, uncropped and just as it came out of the camera? What about black and white? That changes things? Should there be a compulsory panoramic view around every image so you can see what the photographer left out of the frame?

    All in all - I'm glad I took a decision not to try for a career in photography; much happier just doing it for myself.
    • CommentAuthorBankara
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2012
     (10407.87)
    I am not knocking film per se, I love film and old cameras and I shoot with them as often as my budget will allow. I just see a trend towards using film in the professional circles in a precious way that pisses me off because then it claims to be some kind of high art thing when frequently it is just an uninteresting shot. When film was all there was no one would have paid any attention to it but now it is like some kind of fucking miracle because it was shot on film! I am totally guilty in my nostalgia and reverence for film and there are plenty of people who use it to make incredible work but there is also this trend that I find wholly distasteful because it just masks the lack of actual talent or thought going into it by invoking that nostalgia and reverence. It is hard to explain but please don't get the idea that I am anti-film, I am just anti-bullshit. Each one of my old film cameras makes me shoot in a different way and I love that process of having my perceptions altered by the equipment. Mostly this is because of the limitations of each camera making me have to really think hard about how best to capture whatever scene is in front of me, forcing me to be more creative.

    OK, coming down out of my pulpit now. Nice shot, Ms. Gilly!

    I ran a roll of 220 through a Mamiya RZ67 that I have on long term loan and I am loving the thing. I have never had a proper medium format and it is just such a joy to use. Not really a good street camera though since it is the size of a cinder block and just as heavy. I think I need to do a few more rolls in various different settings before I feel comfortable using it for a project. I will post any decent results from these sessions and you folks can call bullshit or hypocrite on me if you see me doing precisely what I describe above.
  4.  (10407.88)
    I have an old Mamiya 645 languishing in a bag with a lovely waist-level viewfinder - I haven't used it in years, because I don't have a scanner for 120 roll film and I'm scared of the cost of having it scanned. That said, I'm sorely tempted to break it out and go and do some seascapes with it...
    •  
      CommentAuthordorkmuffin
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2012
     (10407.89)
    Um. @JP Carpenter. DO IT! If they develop 120, the cost of having it scanned is negligible.

    Seriously though. I would kill for a Mamiya. You should use it!!!
    •  
      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2012
     (10407.90)
    My dad has two sexy little hasselblads from his time as a photojournalist. I can't wait to use them this year...
    • CommentAuthorBankara
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2012
     (10407.91)
    Ooooh, Hassies are nice. I have used them a couple of times and they are just sweet little machines. Can't afford one though so for years I have been shooting 120 with the Soviet knockoff, the Kiev 88. Looks exactly the same, doesn't quite produce the same results...

    @JP Carpernter, seconded! Most places that develop 120 will scan it for you for about the same as the price as getting the film developed, if not less.

    Sorry again for thread-jacking!
  5.  (10407.92)
    That's more or less what I meant, Bankara. Using film because it's the method you're used to or because it produces the exact look you're going for, perfectly reasonable. Using film because you think it makes you superior to an equally competent photographer using digital is just dickish. Gear only contributes so much.

    oh, and thanks. of all the pictures I've taken, that's certainly one of my favorites.
    • CommentAuthorBankara
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2012
     (10407.93)
    Alright, glad that I clarified my statement. I mostly shoot digital for commercial assignments because of the realities of turnaround. I shoot film for my own satisfaction and enjoyment. I realy want to learn to use this camera well because it is a beautiful piece of equipment and can produce work superior in quality to what my digital can. My next project (personal, I should add) is going to be shot on it.

    I agree with Mr. Carpenter that a lot of the hand wringing over the decline of the business of photography is from folks who refuse to adapt to the times. That guy he mentioned missed out on a chance to ring the till twice for work already completed because he was just being an ass.

    Since this is intended to be a photography thread and not a philosophical debate about photography I will try to restrain myself to posting photos and comments related to photos posted. Honest, I will. It is just tough because I do kind of miss having these drunken debates with my classmates from art school. Whaddayawant? I am an art nerd.
    •  
      CommentAuthorallana
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2012
     (10407.94)
    ... Or maybe just posting pictures all the time gets boring?

    I think that Reddit guy, though he was self-aware about it and apologized it, was mostly just an old fogey complainin' about the kids these days. It's certainly true that the profession is just about dead, unless you're doing glossy fashion spreads (and then you're just documenting amazing fashion and makeup work), or you're Ed Burtynsky. But I'm angrier about the ease of publishing online. I don't want to see another hazy beach scene or generic landscape as long as I fucking live. If people were just shooting and posting on Facebook, that'd be one thing. But having a Flickr and a bunch of gear seems to convince people of their own authority, and that's what gets me.
    •  
      CommentAuthorjoanneleah
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2012
     (10407.95)
    some of you saw this image last night.

    mouth speak
    •  
      CommentAuthoroddbill
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2012
     (10407.96)
    It's very hot. I love the way you bend bodies in unexpected angles.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2012
     (10407.97)
    Damn...surely it's time for me to get a camera and join the human-waste.You'd think that with my father having being a cop who worked in forensics taking snaps of car crashes,dead bodies etc and also having a sideline gig being a randy bastard for Playboy that photography would be just my vat of sick.

    I do enjoy some of the weird stuff here.It's really good.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFauxhammer
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2012
     (10407.98)
    I might liberate one of my wife's toy cameras one of these days.

    Not that I know dick about composition, film speed, f-stops, depth of field, or...well, anything.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2012
     (10407.99)
    @ flecky: Camera? Funny you should mention that, i happen to have a somewhat obsolete but still rather tasty little compact that i don't use these days and you happen to be just up the other end of the district line to me. It would be nice to see it go to a good home. Look around here and you should find an e-mail address for me...

    @Fauxhammer: i've never let trivial little details like not knowing what i'm doing stop me waving a camera about, in fact, sometimes i even think it helps a bit.

    @joanneleah: on the other hand...

    (That was a 'WOW' in case my meaning wasn't entirely clear)
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2012
     (10407.100)
    @roadscum:That's well kind of you :)