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07/28/2008 08:55:11 AM · #1
I recently realised that I am a terrible photographer. Oh sure, people like my pictures, and I get a lot of good comments, but in the end, my good shots are mostly due to photoshop. So, I proclaim that I am not a photographer. I'm a photoshopper. My camera is just a way to feed photoshop.

Out of the camera, the light is always flat and boring, colours are awful, focus is just abysmal. Any good composition is achieved by accident, or carefully set by cropping.

I recently went along on a great photo opportunity outing, and despite a full day with the camera at a great event, I hardly got a decent shot. For the main parade, the best photo opportunity, most of my shots are out of focus. I took a hundred shots with my 200mm telephoto before realising I was shooting at shutter speeds of around 1/100s. Yep, every single shot was unusably blurry. I was using ISO 100, so a seconds thought and I could have easily fixed it.

Getting a decent shot is simply a matter of statistics. Take an infinite number of monkeys, give them all typewriters, and one of them will produce shakespeare. So, monkey me, I just keep pressing the button. At best, I see the output of my camera as input for photoshop. I never take anything good enough that I can look at it without starting a mental list of steps to fix it in photoshop.

That's the end of my frustrated rant. Anyone else feel the same?
07/28/2008 09:03:32 AM · #2
Originally posted by surfdabbler:

I recently realised that I am a terrible photographer. So, I proclaim that I am not a photographer. I'm a photoshopper. My camera is just a way to feed photoshop.

Out of the camera, the light is always flat and boring, colours are awful, focus is just abysmal. Any good composition is achieved by accident, or carefully set by cropping.



You and 75% of the others here. Myself included.
07/28/2008 09:10:34 AM · #3
I thought this was the case for me too (Photoshop stuff) but I realized later on, about everyone had same problem. Here is what I don't do; I don't use in camera enhancements, such as contrast, colors... so, from my little camera about everything comes out boring. Since my studio, things better due to powerful flashes, but I always adjust something to make it look better. But, talking about "I'm not a photographer" is not true, even if you do heavy enhancement afterward. I think photography most likely means the composition, the picture itself more then how sharp or whatever. If you can capture the moment and the angle, I think you should conceder yourself a good photographer. I have seen many wedding photographer's work, raw, and after enhanced, there are huge differences. People love the photos anyway, they don't care how they were done, but the moments with very nice perspective were captured and delivered.

That's why you probably getting good comments. Not only the brightness or darkness of your photos, but what you took and how you took them.

I am not sure if I make sense here, but don't blame yourself to use tons of Photoshop. Everyone (about everyone) does it :)

If you want better outcome from your camera, try to use in camera settings, and enhance your photos before they uploaded to your computer. Work on your settings, F-stop, shutter speed and ISO (keep the white balance auto)

Good luck and I hope you feel better soon :)

FP
07/28/2008 09:16:11 AM · #4
Originally posted by FocusPoint:

I think photography most likely means the composition, the picture itself more then how sharp or whatever. If you can capture the moment and the angle, I think you should conceder yourself a good photographer.


I'd be willing to bet 7 out of 10 people don't even take the time to compose shots anymore. They point and click and crop out what they want later.
07/28/2008 09:16:22 AM · #5
Most professionals work the same way, shooting 100's and getting a couple of usable shots out of the session. You think the pro's don't manipulate the snot out of their work? I have to say I do tend to sometimes do like yourself and I get so wrapped up in snapping that I forget the readjust my setting for the conditions. I often don't know which are the keepers until I get the home and look at them on the big screen. It's often not the ones that were carefully planned.
07/28/2008 09:22:36 AM · #6
Yup.... as someone in that boat that sux with PhotoShop, it could be worse :-)
07/28/2008 09:23:07 AM · #7
Galen Rowell wrote in one of his books that he was happy if 6% of his images were keepers. Course, his keepers were often on the cover of National Geographic...
07/28/2008 09:37:37 AM · #8
Originally posted by NstiG8tr:

... I'd be willing to bet 7 out of 10 people don't even take the time to compose shots anymore. They point and click and crop out what they want later.


Agreed.. but they are not photographers. I bet 9 out of 10 photographers very well know what are they shooting and crop images while shooting ;)
07/28/2008 09:42:58 AM · #9
I make efforts to try an visualize my composition, but I also like to leave a slight fudge factor to play around with the crop later one. I'll also shoot the same scene from just slightly different angles. It makes a lot of difference sometimes, but I never know for sure till later on.
07/28/2008 09:44:13 AM · #10
[quote=surfdabbler] I recently realised that I am a terrible photographer. Oh sure, people like my pictures, and I get a lot of good comments, but in the end, my good shots are mostly due to photoshop. So, I proclaim that I am not a photographer. I'm a photoshopper. My camera is just a way to feed photoshop.

Out of the camera, the light is always flat and boring, colours are awful, focus is just abysmal. Any good composition is achieved by accident, or carefully set by cropping.

Heck, you must be my photo twin, as you've just described me down to a tee!!! Never ever, ever have I proclaimed myself to be a photographer, I'm a photo artist as far as I'm concerned, because as soon as I've finished in photoshop, my pics are more like paintings than photos!!! Lol. Long live photoshop.
07/28/2008 09:54:40 AM · #11
Even Ansel Adams who was a master of b&w darkroom manipulation is quoted as having said... "12 significant photographs in one year is a good crop"
07/28/2008 12:15:07 PM · #12
I went to Europe for a few weeks in September '07 and of course took hundreds and hundreds of photos. There's only one that I really like. (Others' opinions on its quality will vary of course.)

[thumb]613922[/thumb]
07/28/2008 12:18:03 PM · #13
Join the club!
07/28/2008 12:19:44 PM · #14
I feel the same way
If I were to go on an African Safari, see animals, take pictures of whatever people I see down there. If I were to take 800 photos I would probably only really like four of them lol
07/28/2008 12:41:35 PM · #15
And these are probably the main differences between a 'photographer' and a 'guy/girl with a camera.'

A photographer
A) Takes many more photos of the same subject
B) Knows that he's not done shooting 'till he's done editing

B) was the 'aha' moment that got me into 'real' photography. I went back to a bunch of old P&S shots I had, made some slight levels adjustments, and realized that the entire photography community was really just a photoshop community. Been unashamedly shooting and editing ever since.

Lol, 'ever since' like March of this year.

Post Edited to Add recursive irony.

Message edited by author 2008-07-28 12:42:50.
07/28/2008 12:51:02 PM · #16
youre not a photographer until you do in fact revisit old shots you thought didn't work
tweak them in photoshop and ooo and ahh over it
07/28/2008 12:59:32 PM · #17
Originally posted by Sugarpie:

youre not a photographer until you do in fact revisit old shots you thought didn't work
tweak them in photoshop and ooo and ahh over it


true true!! thats what I have been doing lately.
07/28/2008 01:04:05 PM · #18
from my minimal experience, i believe finding the a good composition is half 50% of the shot and rest is manipulating the setting( iso, shutter speed etc..)

with time and practice makes wonders :)

sometimes i just sit at home and keep photographing same scenes and trying all the setting possible
07/28/2008 01:07:53 PM · #19
I think you are being WAY to hard on yourself!! When I was shopping for cameras this shot caught my eye and was one of the reasons I went with the 400D..
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I will be thrilled when I can take one of my boring shots and make it look amazing with Photoshop.. but until then, it's just a learning process.. and I have SO much to learn!

I too am not a photographer.. but I hope to be one when I grow up!!

Have fun!! :)

07/28/2008 01:09:07 PM · #20
oh thank GOD I'm not alone. In fact, I have felt that I've been getting worse instead of better lately. I feel much better now.
07/28/2008 01:10:06 PM · #21
Interesting. Just before getting my digicam I was getting frustrated with my photo-ing: with no DOF preview on my SLR, I had trouble predicting the final effect and wound up shooting wide open most of the time; as well, since I liked black and white and didn't like what the consumer labs produced I contemplated darkrooming but didn't want to face the chemistry, need for cleanliness and toxic waste. First problem not exactly solved yet, but post-processing offers everything I need (if I can master it) for the second one. On the other hand, I miss having to compose carefully in the viewfinder - with my eyes and my EVF this is now almost impossible, and because of shooting always in daylight causing horrible reflections on the lcd I take a great many shots almost blind and just hoping.

All this to say that digital photography IS a new/different medium because of a number of factors, each one of which requires artistic/technical judgment. More or less challenging? I'm tempted to say more challenging because of the breadth of factors, the number of decisions, the most important being learning to DELETE. (Do we need a Delete Tutorial?)
07/28/2008 01:11:02 PM · #22
Are you a proficient camera operator or proficient at capturing images from a camera and making them pleasing? I'd rather be the latter.
07/28/2008 01:17:16 PM · #23
Originally posted by surfdabbler:

despite a full day with the camera at a great event, I hardly got a decent shot.


sounds about right for me

:)

I go out shooting almost everyday during my lunch, take between 25 and 100 shots. I don't remember the last time I took one that I liked.

I could try painting, but somehow I don't think that's going to cheer me up :)
07/28/2008 01:17:43 PM · #24
Honestly IMHO you guys making a big deal out of this. We all have this very same thing going on, and all we have to do is keep shooting. Practice makes it perfect and each time you (as in general new photographers) will shoot less and get better results. Keep your machine with you at all times, pay attention to the readings in view finder, you should be just fine :)
07/28/2008 01:20:30 PM · #25
Originally posted by lyta:

oh thank GOD I'm not alone. In fact, I have felt that I've been getting worse instead of better lately. I feel much better now.


me too!
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