Following the path of weekly photography is certainly quite a little task and I mean it in a fun and jovial way. It may not seem like much but it is, its certainly a task that needs to be completed. Images taken, previewed, chosen, and processed. This week I returned back to the LX3 it just felt right [I didn’t really feel like lugging around the 30D and that’s another post I’m writing up and I’ll save for mid week]. Some argue or expose that higher IQ is the only way to go. I had a phone conversation with my little brother [he’s 33yrs old] about vision and the importance of that vision in ones photographic journey.
You see my brother is a dslr shooter [Nikon D90 + and heavy expensive glass] and it seems like the only thing he covets is IQ. I mean we’ve had this conversation countless times and I’m always on the other side because I value more imagery and the creative process. He on the other hand prefers perfectly sharp images blown up 400% to see if they are really sharp, yes, he’s a zealot pixel peeper to the nth degree, almost to the point its incredibly tedious to speak to him about photography. I say tedious because he’s always shooting down my imagery and not qualifying it as real photography because sometimes its not as sharp as he may want. Actually he’s even gone on the record as to say he’s never seen a sharp image by me, a totally ridiculous claim I tell him, but such is life and conversations between brothers. Does it bother me, well, I wouldn’t be writing about it if it didn’t but it kind off does, so I’m venting with you all[lol].
I always counter argue that his photography looks lacks vision and its more like an APS-C point & shooter coupled with his SB-600 + 17-55mm f/2.8 and I tell him even a monkey can press that shutter and get something decent with world class glass and great gear in broad daylight. He claims to be a very technical shooter because he knows all the little buttons on his D90, a task I’ve never really aimed for. I’m more like an aperture priority guy and to me the vision, imagery, and composition are more important.
Well enough of that, we agree to disagree, and we’ll go on an on the same topic.
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Thanks for the great reply, you’re so right the N vs C quibbles are never ending and always a bit of drag. No doubt the technical part is so boring but the actual vision, the hunt for the image, is what drive this tog. Excellent note here on Kigaliwire and the GRD3, I added it his flickr stream and I’m in the process of perusing his site, lots of jewels there. Funny you mention Pentax, I’ve always had a little something for those cameras as I shot the K1000[ or 100) back in 95′ alongside the Canon F1 when I first started on this path. They are small and compact and apparently handle quite well. I must confess the Pentax K-X & K-R have always intrigue me for the aforementioned reasons. Like you mentioned on that Pentax tog, I think I’ve done my best work with the M43 digicams as dslr’s are a bit of new novelty for me these days. Thanks for chiming in with your wonderful insights, I do appreciate them. Hat tip off to you.
Phil Douglas’s pbase is amazing thanks so much for sharing Ryan.
Jorge, great post, my own ranking goes like this. Content, composition, technical qualities. Sometimes having a camera with lesser IQ capabilities makes it easier, to get good content and composition.
The technical part is boring. Sharpness can matter, but often times does not. If you want an Ansel Adams landscape, yes, sharpness matters. If you have a reportage photograph, it mostly doesn’t.
Here is a journalist that uses the GRD3 exclusively. He has some wonderful shots and certainly some that he couldn’t get with a dslr due to the noise, etc. http://kigaliwire.com/ and his Flickr is here http://www.flickr.com/photos/noodlepie/ He is successful because he doesn’t obsess with his gear, he gets on with using it and does great work.
Right now in the forums there are huge N vs C fights over the latest FF cameras. You don’t see any members of Noor or VII involved in the bickering though, do you – and each organization is sponsored by N and C respectively. Those guys are out shooting top notch photos. The gear they choose probably makes the job a little easier, but they would produce great work with any camera. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone, but some of their stuff using the top DSLR cameras isn’t all that sharp. But when you look at it you feel something. I don’t feel much looking at some gearhead’s pet’s fur at 400% with the shadows pulled up five stops.
And that’s what I find with most of the technical masters, they have flickr streams with sets of test shots and that is about it. I can think of one Pentax shooter that moved to Nikon because he HAD to have full frame. In my opinion, his Pentax work was far better than anything he’s done since. He does however have a lot more forum credibility because he’s spent so much on lenses etc and has the best. On the other hand, I’ve almost always seen an improvement in folks that state they’ve gone to small portable cameras. I think it’s for one of two two reasons, either they gave up on pixel peeping and technical perfection and started shooting for fun, or simply the act of having a camera along more places leading to more opportunities.
Some others that take wonderful photos and don’t worry about the gear
http://www.pbase.com/pnd1 (wonderful site for composition)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrsco/sets/72157619920650687/with/1059792008/ Richard Schofield uses cell phones and compact cameras in his work.
http://www.tedxvilnius.lt/richard-schofield-snapshot-citizens-en – Talk by Richard Schofield
Jorge as an engineer my approximation to photography was like your brother and some others folks, looking at the latest the best, the most recommended gear around. Finding artist like you with their own vision of the world and near to earth without forgiving heaven it was a blessing.
I love my gear, but today I start enjoying more and more what to say, what to look, what to think about my surrounding world, your images no matter if they go through DSLR or M43 are identified as Jorge´s photos, at the end this is the important part, this is the hardest goal.
For my profession I love gear, but I read more and wish less.
Thanks for this week reflection.
Thanks Rey. I had no idea you started out like that [like brother] as well. Very interesting scenario indeed but I can totally see where you’re coming from as an Engineer. Gear will always be important and after all folks need to talk about other things as well besides the actual image, which is ok, in my book; but as you well know its not the most important thing for me. I really appreciate your insights on this topic Rey. Cameras for me have become now just a tool, but I do like to have small gear whether M43, Dslr’s, or small compacts, what can I do I’m addicted to small gear jajajaja.
I enjoyed every photo here and I don’t have the time or inclination to count pixels, celebrate creativity
Thanks Lee, glad we’re on the same wavelength, who’s got time for that.
It’s not a question of technic. It’s a question of seeing things. This post proofs, that you have an imagination of what you want to take as a photograph. The pixel freaks do their own thing. May be, they take good pictures. But could they tell a story, a inner story of what you see?
Seeing is so much more important, you’re right, you’re totally on mark, thanks
Thank you Jorge for making me feel less guilty about not knowing about all the little buttons on my cameras … When the photo needs to be snapped, one can’t be fooling around with all those buttons anyway ! Loved your post and hope you are doing well in your new surroundings.
Thanks Nathalie, who needs all those buttons anyway, lol. Well, they do have its purpose but for what I do, I’m glad I don’t know them all because they’ll probably interfere with my picture making process. Cheers.
Hey Jorge… I’ve had this same technical vs artistic conversation many times with several DSLR carrying friends. They all reel off the incredible stats of their latest gear, as if sensor size and pixel count is the last word. I just smile and nod, let them convince themselves that it was worth upgrading to their latest DSLR body. My DSLR is slowly becoming used less and less as time goes by; it has also become so outdated compared to the lastest gear, which seems to update quicker and quicker. Of course I still will take the DSLR out for some architectural photography, making use of my sigma 10-20; but for the most part I tend to just use my Ricoh GRD3 now. I find that my style of photography adapts itself to the linits of the Ricoh, and hopefully makes me think more about my photography than when using a DSLR and a heavy backpack of glass for every occasion.
As for your latest series of what I might call ‘urban abstracts’… they are all excellent, making great use of your LX3. You have captured images of your surrounding environment and brought insignificant images to light in an artictic way. Great vision, and also excellent processing.
Thanks Bill glad my experiences resonate to like minded photographers like yourself. These conversations are so draining because one is trying to put a point across that simply the other folks just don’t see. But hey, its a wide field and its got room for everyone. For me vision, imagery, and processing are more important than megapixels and insanely tack sharp images. If you we look at the great photographs of history you’ll notice that not all of them are extremely razor sharp. In these images composition is far more important.
I’m glad your GRD3 is pulling its own weight in your own vision. I must say that perhaps the GRD series cameras are extremely misunderstood and often taken for less, its their loss and our win [small compacts]. Urban abstracts, I really like that term and may incorporate it into a category over at my portfolio.