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Why are professional photographers so afraid to admit it's mostly their equipment

Discussion in 'Digital Photography, Home and Portable Electronics' started by death_samurai, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. death_samurai

    death_samurai Ancient Guru

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    and not their skill that produces great pictures.

    This is from bballfreak who makes very nice pictures

    [​IMG]sunset...without the sun by basketballfreak6, on Flickr

    It looks really good but did he use you know a cell phone camera to create this picture? Obviously no. He used a high end DSLR and now i'm not saying he's a bad photographer but let's be honest he couldn't produce a similar picture if he used say a cheap camera or a cell phone camera to recreate this picture. Feel free to disagree with me.

    I once mentioned on a photography enthuist forum based in singapore something along the lines of how much a good picture was dependent on the taker's skill vs the equipment the photo taker had and it didn't go well with them. Most good photographers have pretty good equipment especially if they are professionals. A professional photographer is definitely using some high end camera equipment BUT they really hate it when someone questions them if that good picture that they took wasn't due to their skill but due to their camera equipment. That actually pisses them off.

    I own a i suppose medium range camera a qx100 which is equivalent to an rx100 from sony. It isn't a dslr doesn't produce pictures in raw format and you cannot change the lens. I don't think i can ever recreate the same pictures bballfreak produces with that camera BUT if i used his camera i think i could.

    Now that sentence i made is probably offensive to some people. Bballfreak is probably a professional with years of experience while i just take pictures as a hobby. The thought that a noob = me could actually recreate pictures as good as professional well it's probably unthinkable.

    I'm asking on this forum because i feel people are more open to such thoughts and questions. In case you didn't know already i come from singapore which although is kind of western is still pretty asian in many ways and face saving is pretty big. Can you imagine someone asking if his really expensive camera actually makes his pictures look good and not his skill in picture taking is actually offensive to people? :bang:

    so please just answer my question the really good pictures you see is it because of the camera they used as in you know a high end camera and not because of the photo taker's skill?
     
  2. brunopita

    brunopita Banned

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    I didn't read the post. But I have one word for you that I think great photographers of the digital era should know "Photoshop". And another one even more important "RAW".

    Both combined can create great shots.

    But both combined can't create someone who knows how to put everything in a frame in a way that looks great.
     
  3. gx-x

    gx-x Maha Guru

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    you still have to be creative. That photoshopography in OP still needed a tripod, correct long exposure and aperture and location location location. Then there are things to know about lighting, shadows, times of day etc. It's not JUST the fancy DSLR and optics. Those things are just the right tools for the job. Take an excellent painter and give him a wooden stick and led paint and I doubt that he would do well as he would with a brush and real paint.

    There is no agreeing or disagreeing here. Borrow a good DSLR, make an account on some of the image/photography stores online, take some shots and see how much money will you make.

    Even in sports photography there is a loot of skill and knowledge behind the DSLR and optics...

    PS. RAW is a relatively new thing and is not that important in most cases. You can take one underexposed image, one overexposed image and one "normal" image and you don't need RAW. Hell, combine them for HDR image :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  4. WindtalkerCS

    WindtalkerCS Master Guru

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    Yea man, I can't imagine that going on a forum for professionals in a certain field, insulting them all and then hiding behind the "it was just a question" would be offensive at all.

    Simply put, you are definitely wrong, but since you don't seem to comprehend that I'm not sure how anyone is going to convince you otherwise.

    This is like saying that anyone could be an F1 driver, how could you not be fast with those cars?
     

  5. death_samurai

    death_samurai Ancient Guru

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    I see

    The problem i am getting is that when i post on this photo forum in my home country which is quite a famous photo forum. It's called clubsnap btw the people there won't even tell me stuff like you did here and the other poster before about PS or you know pc software and the tripods, camera equipment.

    Trust me i started out there as a newbie and they solely focused on "skill" stuff like the 1/3 shot, proper framing etc but yet the pictures that were posted there were edited by pc software and taken with high end cameras yet they didn't even tell me that.

    Try to put things into perspective how someone who just has experience taking pictures with a cell phone unedited and he sees these amazing pictures on a forum like this. He has 0 knowledge on camera lenses, raw, pc editing software and he's misled into thinking if he somehow holds his cell phone camera or his higher end camera a different way he can reproduce the nice pictures he sees when they have been edited with software.

    I can honestly say there are camera pros out there who won't admit or take a very very long time to admit those beautiful pictures they take are done with pc software + high end cameras because they are afraid it takes away from their skill and well in a way it does. A good race car driver drives a high end car and not a low end one and it would be misleading to tell a newbie that he can be as fast as a pro race car driver due to skill and not because the pro race car driver drives a fast car.
     
  6. death_samurai

    death_samurai Ancient Guru

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    The picture i posted how much of it was done with pc software?

    It's not hard to take such a picture. Just go to any lake at the side which has grass but how do you create it to look like that? Is it the software that did it?
     
  7. eGGroLLiO

    eGGroLLiO Member Guru

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    To the OP.

    You are completely and absolutely wrong! I have no idea how you arrived at this assumption, but yes wrong, wrong, wrong.
     
  8. nhlkoho

    nhlkoho Ancient Guru

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    If you gave Eddie Van Halen or Steve Vai a $100 guitar, you think they couldnt play it? Sure they may not be AS good, but they could probably still play better than most people.

    Pretty much the same concept. Sure good gear helps, but there is still some skill involved
     
  9. bballfreak6

    bballfreak6 Maha Guru

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    you know what, i'll bite

    i thought about just posting SOOC photos, but would not doubt be accused of "photoshop" again, so here is a photo of back of my camera with my iphone

    and no i am not a "professional photographer", i am a pharmacist by trade and i shoot for fun, how about stop trying to insult and complain about how others get their photos and actually learn how to do it yourself, i know i did, pretty rewarding when you figure something out actually

    [​IMG]just for laughs...for a particular someone that thnks all I do is photoshop the sh!t out of of images by basketballfreak6, on Flickr

    and fwiw, i know how to do the same photo with entry level slr and kit lens

    and yea, i am willing to bet my life savings that if i were to give you all my gear now you'd still have no idea how i came to those images
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
  10. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    Didn't read it but no photography is not about gear. Not so much about skill either. Mostly about knowledge.
     

  11. big ROBOT bill

    big ROBOT bill Maha Guru

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    Yep a creative eye and photo skill/knowledge makes for great photos. I am a professional, have been for over 30 years. I can take a good photo with anything, much better than a person without my skills can. But the better the gear you have the more control that you can exert over the image. But it's still the skill of the photographer that will lift the photo out of the mundane. And Photoshop skill add to that like darkroom skills used to make a difference back in the film days.
     
  12. big ROBOT bill

    big ROBOT bill Maha Guru

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    That is a classic slow shutter speed photo, you need a neutral density filter to be able to take long exposures and of course a tripod to hold the camera steady. The quality of the gear doesn't come into it. That photo could well be straight from the camera.
     
  13. bballfreak6

    bballfreak6 Maha Guru

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    and just to add to it, i could never understand why people treat photoshop like it was a dirty word, as if it's just a simple click of mouse and everything magically becomes amazing

    post production is a whole other set of knowledge, experience and skills, i wish i knew how to use photoshop properly (beyond the standard raw file editing through lightroom and some simple cloning), would add so much more to what i already have
     
  14. gx-x

    gx-x Maha Guru

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    you don't need a filter, you can photshop it later, I call it cheating, but it's mainstream now so ok.

    edit: it's not a simple click of a mouse in photoshop, you, again, need skill, but I frawn upon it unless it's +/- 5% contrast adjustment. Everything else is not photograph but rather photshoped image. Some people can't make a good "foto" without photoshop and that is sad. Simply ignoring everything with the idea "I can post-prod this, snap snap snap" spits into face of a real photographer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
  15. Dlee13

    Dlee13 New Member

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    Since you're the so called 'expert' in photography and Photoshop, why don't you take a plain image and 'photoshop' it to look like the image above?

    Clearly you know nothing about photography or post processing. You're probably some little Ken Rockwell fanboy that shoots nothing but JPEG because anything more technical gives you headache.

    RAW is the equivalent to shooting film. When you shoot JPEG, you're letting the camera process the image and adjust contast/sharpness instead of doing it yourself. It would be just like a pro taking an amazing image, then letting Gx-x 'photoshop' it with his non existent knowledge and skill. You're best off shooting raw so you can get the most out of your image.
     

  16. gx-x

    gx-x Maha Guru

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    you are an amateur. I have been taking photographs and developing them before DSLR exited. Get off my back. Why don't you take 56X snap of a Moon and prove to me that I need to prove anything to you huh? Sounds logical to you? I made photos and money, and still do, I don't need or use RAW, RAW is for insecure *unts that don't know what they wanted or what they intend to do. I am making money so don't preach to me, or do, see if I care beyond this point. I did photography with analog devices, and I still do sometimes. to you, I am a guru.

    PS.RAW is nothing wat you described it is. It's just a blank slate regarding color profile and on average contains +1/0/-1 color range and on top of that, signature colors of a make are preserved /eg. canon's are still yellowish, nikons are blueish etc.

    PPS. Just stick to your RAW and uploading to social media. I can par you with analog film with whatever you shoot, because I am used to that, DSLRs just made my life easie, where in your case, you cant function without DSLR.

    go away please ok?!
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
  17. Dlee13

    Dlee13 New Member

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    I see someone had their little feelings hurt.

    Oh so in other words you're some old retiree that is scared of technology? An old dog that can't learn new tricks? I feel sorry for whoever you sell your photos to. Unless you post some 'film' shot that is greatly better than the image by Basketballfreak, then you're all talk. Haha I would never call you a guru, I would call you an insecure noob that is all talk :D

    Fact is all of you talking smack about the image posted are nothing but know it alls that have more **** to talk than you have skill. When it comes down to it, it's all about the results and final product. Film can get amazing results, but not when it's being used by someone like you how knows nothing.

    To those claiming the image isn't possible with PS, post something better or get lost :)
     
  18. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    I'm not a professional, but I guess there's something true to this.

    Better gear lets you get there faster maybe, but still, the right gear doesn't give you instant brilliant pictures, you still have to know what you can make out of the lighting that's present (or improve it later with PS), you got to know your camera as how to set it up, what filter, lens whatever you need, and the like. Yes, everybody can do it with the gear, and years of practice or training. But to be fair, most people can become a race car driver or surgeon with proper gear and training, so it's nothing special with photographers I guess.
     
  19. sirrith

    sirrith Ancient Guru

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    Give a bad photographer good gear, you'll get high resolution, sharp, crap. Give a great photographer low end (note I say low end, not crap) gear, you'll get lower resolution, softer, but still great photographs.

    You made a very similar post a while back, Death Samurai. Nothing has changed. Better gear will not make you a better photographer. If you think it will, then by all means go and spend thousands on expensive gear. Your results won't change at all besides things such as slightly better autofocus, noise, and resolution.
     
  20. ibitato

    ibitato Ancient Guru

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    Lens aperture
    Obtulator camera speed
    ISO
    RGB Levels
    Overexposing and white levels
    tripod

    if you understand those basic concepts , you can make nice shots with a mid camera.
    Mine does not have RGB calibration and yet I can do great stuff with it.
    It's a bridge 300 euro camera ......

    I've done amazing shots at night with tripod, no flash and letting the obstulator open for like 5 seg, for example

    You need a minimum of features on the camera, but definetly not a high end ....

    Im using a fujiflim finePix SL300

    http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/s/finepix_sl300/

    TLDR;
    Minium of camera control and feauters
    knowledge of what those basic concepts work
    location
    patience and shot like crazy , many many times testing stuff
     

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