Flyfisher1976 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 802 posts, RR: 2 Posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 1958 times:
I am relatively new to SLR photography, but am a very quick learner and have been taking pictures all my life. A lot of times when participating in these forums I sense what seems to be some dissension among people who are "new" to photography and those who have been doing this long before digital changed the face of photography. With things like LCD shot previews, histograms and other revolutionary tools available to the photographer in the field, it is now possible for an ameteur photographer to produce results that may have taken a "professional" much trial and error to accomplish back when these tools were unavailable. So it seems that there is some jealousy on behalf of the "old-timers" who have been doing this so long. Suddenly there are all these hot sh*ts with their DSLR's producing stunning shots in short order and limited experience. I am not looking to incite a riot between these two halves, but simply engage in a conversation that may give insight as to why standards for acceptance on this site are so inclredibly high. My theory is that it is so much easier for ameteur photographers to produce stunning results (with limited experience), that the bar continues to be raised to offset diluge of great material. It is so much easier for the ameteur and expert alike to produce great results with the tools that are available now. As technology continues to progress it will only get easier.
StealthZ From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5549 posts, RR: 47 Reply 1, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 1940 times:
Well this could get interesting...
I guess by your definition I qualify as an old timer so I will start this off.
Some background I purchased my first SLR, an Olympus OM-2 in 1978(the first of 5 OM SLRs I owned between then and 1998), Canon EOS 100 in 1993 and EOS50 in 1998. Most of the photos I took in that period were slides mostly of motor racing. I was also likely involved in digital before many here, I was using a digital P&S in 1996 and my first DSLR, a D30, in 2001 so I think I have the credentials to comment.
I don't think there is any deep resentment on the part of the more experienced photographers regarding the fantastic results achievable by relative novices. I do believe there may possibly be a level of frustration that some newcomers think that by throwing money at their photo store they will be come instant experts, along with the reluctance by some to listen to advice.
The technology that is available in the latest cameras, lenses and software as amazing as it is, is nothing but a collection of tools. Nothing more, nothing less.
Sure you can turn out some terrific results out of the box.. but if you learn the craft the results can be so much better, more importantly much more consistent.
A personal anecdote, about a year ago I took my 10D and Sigma 50-500EX to a major motor race meeting, the first I had been to for some time. On the Friday Practise day I shot approx 400 images with variations on AV/TV and AF settings. That night looking at them on the screen I was very disapointed they were no match for images I shot over 25 years earlier with an Olympus OM-2 and Vivitar 400mm. I thought about this for some time, was I getting old(well OK yes!!) was the equipment defective??
I returned on the Saturday and set the exposure manually.. sure I had to change it pretty often and focussed manually.. was harder work. The results, amazing, didn't have 100% keeper rate but was much better than the day before.
My Point, If you care about being a photographer, learn the craft, If you wish to take snapshots and get lucky sometimes.. well that is up to you!
[Edited 2006-02-22 06:21:58]
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
Dendrobatid From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 1630 posts, RR: 63 Reply 2, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1909 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW HEAD SCREENER
I agree that this could get interesting. I agree with everything you have said.
I do not feel resentment at all at the results that novices can obtain today. Send a kid out with a 350D and 300mm IS lens and if they have read the instruction books, they should be able to take photos within a couple of hours, photos that I would have killed for 30 years ago.
If there is a trace of resentment in me, it is more a sadness that after that couple of hours that kid could go and call himself a photographer. Amateur or professional, that was a badge that was earned by college, experience and results before. At the age of 10 (now 53) I was sent into the darkroom by my Father to load blank films into a developing tank until I could do it. We then developed and printed together. His techniques were rudimentary but I learned. He could not read English very well so I did and we developed (pun intended)together until we started to process our own colour images. That was a nightmare but I still have some of our early attempts.
The concept of composition was an unknown to my Father, rather wanting pics of family and friends but for me aircraft and natural history soon became the subjects of choice. You know what teenagers are ? Well we fell out and I stopped helping him for a while but after he died when I was sixteen, I was left with unfinished work which I completed. A few years later I got bitten by the bug again and went to evening classes where I realised how poor my printing actually was. I moved on until I was doing all of my own black and white to competition standards and most of my own colour. I now regret not taking more colour but I like black and white and it is easy to forget how expensive colour was.
I think all of that left me as a PHOTOGRAPHER. When asked to take photos of live Basketball by available light I said, of course I can do it, and I did ending up as a Press card carrier for the EBBA. Today it would be much easier but in such difficult situations the photographer will win.
The equipment I used was simple, manual everything but the equipment was a much smaller factor then too. The balance has shifted dramatically but give the two hour kid and the photographer the same equipment and the photographer will win. The kid will just catch up quicker, particularly when the photographer is willing to help.
Part of why I am here on this forum actually !
9VSPO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1900 times:
I have been taking photo's for about 3 years now. I was originally trained in graphic design which did include some photography although I was a lot more interested on the design side more. I suppose that's where the 'eye for detail' comes from.
I do think going on a course to learn more is an excellent idea - it's just finding the time and where one is available.
Ghostbase From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 354 posts, RR: 3 Reply 5, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1875 times:
I have been snapping aircraft for 21 years and, believe it or not, horses for 4 years prior to that so I guess I am an 'old timer' however I do not call myself a photographer, having had no formal training of any sort.
Jealous of these new young hot shots with their DSLRs with limited experience and knowledge? Nope, not a bit. After all I was exactly the same with my Pentax ME Super and 50mm lens 25 years ago. What I am *slightly envious* of is the way that the DSLR allows the user to learn almost instantly from their results (mistakes normally in my case!) and then make corrections on the spot whereas I had to wait for my slides/film to be processed and I could only start learning days or even weeks later...by which point I had forgotten what settings I had used in the first place. So I would occasionally get that lucky snap, the one that really came out well, and I would not know what I had done to achieve it! DSLR allows the user to learn on the spot which is good.
What I do have, which many 'hot shots' have yet to achieve, is a good understanding of how to process images to get the best out of them. After scanning over 2000 slide/negative images - many of them damaged to some degree - and getting over 1000 accepted here, this 'old timer' at least feels happy with that.
Bottom line is that I come to A.Net to look at excellent images of aircraft because I love aircraft. I don't really care what equipment the photographer uses, what settings they were, or how much training he/she has had, or even their 'name' on A.Net. All I want is to see those images and if this can be satisfied by a 'hot shot' using equipment out of the box then surely I am the winner for that?
9VSPO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1871 times:
Quoting Ghostbase (Reply 5): I don't really care what equipment the photographer uses, what settings they were, or how much training he/she has had, or even their 'name' on A.Net. All I want is to see those images
Viv From Ireland, joined May 2005, 3139 posts, RR: 30 Reply 7, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1867 times:
This is a most interesting discussion. I definitely fit into the "old-timer" category - I have been taking photographs for 40 years or so.
Photography is a unique combination of art and technique. The latest generation of digital cameras take care of much of the technique, but they contribute nothing to the artistic side of the process. Sure, there are rules on the artistic side (the rule of thirds etc.), but a mechanical application of those rules will not necessarily produce an outstanding shot - the photographer needs to have the "feel" to know when and how to break those rules.
Reading some of the posts in this forum, of the type "I know I must shoot at f/8 but ...", or "what settings should I use on a cloudy day", I realise that many people's knowledge of photography is very shallow. In-depth knowledge only comes from study, understanding of the principles involved, and practice practice practice.
Most beginner photographers who shoot only aircraft with a view to uploading here will eventually comply with the acceptance standards of this site, but that will not make them skilled all-round photographers.
Many of us have the feeling that pressure of numbers (volume of uploads) is pushing the acceptance standards here upwards, particularly in recent times. Personally, I feel that the "sweet zone" between jaggy and soft has become very narrow.
I feel great frustration with the fact that my acceptance ratio has fallen from 70% to 38% in three months (three more rejections this morning), but that is another story.
Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
Sulman From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2032 posts, RR: 34 Reply 8, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1859 times:
I got a digital compact in 2002, and got bitten by the bug then. I knew absolutely sod all about photography but I like to learn new things (I work at a College, in IT, so it's pretty much a necessary skill) and bought a few books, but concerned myself more with the technical side - what all the settings meant and so forth.
Shortly after my dad gave me his Nikkormat FTn with 50mm and 28mm primes (still got it), and this was a fully steam-driven manual camera, with simple (but very, very accurate) centre-weighted TTL metering. The thing is so solid, takes such gorgeous pictures, I don't think I'll ever get rid of it. I decided later I'd start saving for a DSLR.
The moment I got a 300D I realised I had an entire discipline to learn - the digital darkroom - I'd barely touched PS before. Luckily, I've got plenty of people at work who've helped with various bits and bobs, and the stuff I've picked up has been priceless. There's nothing like a graphic design lecturer or photography lecturer pulling your pictures to bits, or showing you techniques using your own images.
I wouldn't say there is dissent, but people can be in at the deep end with digital and not even know it.
It takes a big man to admit they are wrong, and I am not a big man.
Linco22 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1380 posts, RR: 17 Reply 9, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1835 times:
Yes very interesting thread to start the morning. So, i'm going to come from the two hour kid point of view. I've always had a big interest in planes, cars, bikes, most thing that went fast and made great noises! I always admired great photos of those subjects. Anyway, I could never afford a camera so I didnt consider it. I'm only 23 now so 2 years ago I bought my first camera, a Minolta Dimage E323. It was hardly top notch but I spent my weekend down at the local(airport that is....) taking pictures. I didnt know what shutter speed was, aperture, ISO, all the basics. I've taught myself, mostly on the internet and getting in contact with photographers.
I do envy the guys who came from film many years ago and have progressed with technology and made photography their life. Thats what I want to do. I want to be the person who makes those photos that kids in 20/30 years look at and think, thats a great picture. So i've only started. I'm no photographer. I'm simply learning. I bought a Minolta Dimage Z2 about a year after my first camera. It was the first one with full manual controls. I tinkered a little but still wasnt fully up to speed. I read alot and it was all starting to click into place.....
I knew technique was inportant. But I think having an eye for composition is very important. I learn more and more everyday and knowing what you want before you go out has become very important. I still think that instinct is very important too. I now own a 350D, kit lens, EF 100-300, and just purchased my first L glass last week. So weather or not you dont have any respect for me not learning 'the hard way' if you want to call it that, then thats fair enough. I dont mind if I get looked down at. I do this becuase I enjoy it, it makes me very happy. I enjoy the challenge more and more everyday of getting the best photos I can.
I would like to think that this forum can grow and we can all learn more and more, young or old, experience or no experience. Just remember we all started in the same place.
JAT74L From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 618 posts, RR: 15 Reply 10, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1816 times:
I started off with a Zenit "E" on which you had to manually open the aperture ring to view, then close it down to take the shot! I then moved onto an OM-10, then Canon EOS650, 300D and now 20D.
I learned how to use a manual camera at my local club when I was 13 or 14 and was developing negs at home then doing prints at the club. I'll soon be 37 and the digital age had made me take MANY more photos but, it has also made me a LOT sloppier in my approach to getting the shot because of both the "shoot as many as you like - there's no film getting wasted" and the "I can square it up on the computer" mindsets.
My recent rash of rejections here has made me sit down and think about what I've gotten into. I've asked for help, re addressed my approach both in the field and in front of the PC and, hopefully I'll see some results.
I like trains just as much as planes but trains don't like the Atlantic!
Dendrobatid From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 1630 posts, RR: 63 Reply 11, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1810 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW HEAD SCREENER
The premise of the starter thread was that we somehow feel aggrieved or look down on you. The few wrinklies like me who have replied have all said the same - we don't.
Instinct, the feel for a photo, the eye, is bloody important, something I am not too good at and that is something that cannot be taught. You and Sulman have both taken the time and trouble to learn the basics despite the fact that these days there is little need to do so.
So what does that make you ?
Photographers rather than image takers !
Quoting Linco22 (Reply 9): I do this becuase I enjoy it, it makes me very happy
That is the most important thing - an oft repeated thing here.
StealthZ From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5549 posts, RR: 47 Reply 12, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1798 times:
Quoting Linco22 (Reply 9): So weather or not you dont have any respect for me not learning 'the hard way' if you want to call it that, then thats fair enough. I dont mind if I get looked down at. I do this becuase I enjoy it, it makes me very happy. I enjoy the challenge more and more everyday of getting the best photos I can.
I mean no disrespect(and I think I speak for others) to those like you who listen to advice and are prepared to learn, no matter how quickly. The issues I have are with those that expect throwing dollars at equipment will make them into an ace photographer deserving of automatic acceptance here.
You can buy equipment you cannot buy a photographer's eye!
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
Envious I guess.....great shot Mick by the way. I always enjoy your collection of older photographes because I know it was more diffucult to achieve those images. I dont want to be seen as just pointing and shooting. Hopefully that will come across in my photography. And my 42 shots online here too. Time is always an issue, theres never enough!
OD720 From Lebanon, joined Feb 2003, 1923 posts, RR: 34 Reply 14, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1795 times:
These days, learning is getting faster and we should not look at it negatively. My first camera was also an SLR Zenith and have done most of my learning on different SLRs. This doesn't necessarily mean that I'm better qualified than others who only started with D-SLRs. Some are 16 year olds and have only experienced digital cameras and weren't "there" during the film era. Expect more of these kind of photographers in the future as well, since already film cameras are being produced in smaller numbers.
ThierryD From Luxembourg, joined Dec 2005, 2054 posts, RR: 52 Reply 15, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1780 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW PHOTO SCREENER
Well, I don't think the situation has changed that much.
I'm taking photos for about 20 years now, dating back to times where I used very rudimentary compact film cameras, and passing through film SLRs and after a 3 year break starting up again with a D100 and now the D200.
Does that make me an 'old-timer'? Up to you to decide!
Concerning the photgraphy itself, I believe the situation is still the same but at another level. I had to learn to use my analog cameras as well as I had (and still have) to learn to use my digital ones. Now with the digital possibilities I can take many more shots without having to worry about the resulting costs so the learning effect will come at a much faster pace.
The photos one quickly gets with the new DSLRs would put to shame most photos professional photgraphers took some 30 years ago if you compare them 1:1.
I'd like to compare the issue with racing; today I could race over the famous Nordschleife with my Saab and get times that Formula1 drivers wouldn't even dream of some 50 years ago; does that make me a racedriver? Most certainly not. But the tools, as Chris so nicely put it, to achieve those times have evolved and so have the results.
The same applies to photography; technically the shots taken those 30 years ago will not stand the comparison with most of today's digital shots but they don't have to.
One has to compare today's shots with the likes of them and there you still clearly see the difference between people who know what they are doing and people who still struggle with getting good shots.
As Mike put it: give a photographer and a photograph novice the same gear and the same task to accomplish and you'll see that the photographer will win the competition since he has the experience to get the best out of his gear when he needs to.
It's the experience that makes and always will make the difference, digital or not.
Flyfisher1976 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 802 posts, RR: 2 Reply 16, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1736 times:
Quoting Dendrobatid (Reply 11): Instinct, the feel for a photo, the eye, is bloody important, something I am not too good at and that is something that cannot be taught.
Conversely, I have always felt that these are some of my strengths. My ability to see what others may not be able to is the first step in getting that "great" shot. Mastering things like exposure and editing are another story (thank god for Photoshop! ). Even though I don't have a lot of photography experience, the ability to express myself artistically has been prevalent in every aspect of my life. This is a key component in my ability to produce great results from my DSLR with limited photographic knowledge.
Quoting Dendrobatid (Reply 11): You and Sulman have both taken the time and trouble to learn the basics despite the fact that these days there is little need to do so.
Oly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6517 posts, RR: 11 Reply 17, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1706 times:
I suppose there'll always be the nouveau photographer vs old school did it the hard way arguments.
It'll always come down to understanding what you're doing and why. Anyone can take a picture, it's knowing what to do to get a great picture and that will only come with taking lots of pictures and finding out what works and what doesn't. Digital photography does make that a lot easier because you don't have the cost of film and the results are instant. And after that there's the image adjustment in your computer and that's a whole new world.
It does jar a little when someone does have a great camera but doesn't know what the F numbers on the lens are all about. It's like not knowing what the gearstick on a car is for.
To paraphrase Clint Eastwood "a man's gotta know his camera's limitations".
9VSPO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 18, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1644 times:
You know I enjoy looking at Mick's older photo's more than I do a lot of the current stuff. It's like looking through a window to a piece of history. I just wish I had been around then to see it for myself.
Scbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 11789 posts, RR: 48 Reply 19, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1551 times:
Quoting Oly720man (Reply 17): I suppose there'll always be the nouveau photographer vs old school did it the hard way arguments.
Being one of said old school, and seeing just how many of my old slides are very slightly out of focus, I wouldn't swap my Nikon AF-S lenses for anything. I really wouldn't like to have to manually focus, frame and expose today. Not to mention having to manually wind on film! And certainly don't mention having to manually rewind and reload film between planes...
People will always say that technological developments deminish the skill levels required to take great photographs, but giving an idiot the best camera and lenses in the World won't make that person a great photographer. They may produce less duds, but they won't produce any great photographs.
Padraighaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 20, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1418 times:
I have been thinking about this issue also since I got more active in digital photography about 3 years ago.
I think digital photography allows people to bypass many technical details and get some decent photos, but in the case of A.Net, the concept of what constitutes a good photo has changed and become very narrow. Aviation junkies (like myself) get a thrill from watching aircraft and our photos capture that - to some extent. It is viewer dependent. I have skepticism about some of the endeavors I witness on this forum; the obsession with sharpness, and motive, centering and cropping. After a while, many of these A.Net photos all begin to look the same - like a generation of Ansel Adams copy-cats' work. A photo has merit because it is of an identical model plane with a different registration? Where's the art in that?
I think also, the problem for photographers in an age where there are so many digital cameras is the signal-to-noise ratio of outstanding photos compared to good photos has dropped considerably, and the sheer volume of available photos makes it very difficult to find the truly great ones.
Dendrobatid From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 1630 posts, RR: 63 Reply 21, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1378 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW HEAD SCREENER
Quoting Padraighaz (Reply 20): I think digital photography allows people to bypass many technical details and get some decent photos, but in the case of A.Net, the concept of what constitutes a good photo has changed and become very narrow.
I totally agree, but that again comes down to the fact that this is still considered to be a database rather than a picture gallery. While ever this site remains that way, there is a place for the less aesthetic image to record images for the database. The grey area is when an image of a not recorded aircraft is rejected for quality. Art should not be part of a database but I think that airliners.net is a lot of different things to a lot of different people, photographers, historians, aircraft nutters etc and it is constantly making balances to try to maintain that balance.
You yourself, a self-confessed aircraft junkie appear to be looking for spectacular images.
I, an aircraft nutter and photographer look for the great aircraft first and then great images. There are plenty of both.
To paraphrase the old saying, 'You can't keep all the people happy all the time.'
A.net does a pretty good job most of the time though doesn't it ?????
Psych From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 3009 posts, RR: 59 Reply 23, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1344 times:
Excellent discussion Flyfisher. I have been away from the Forum recently, so have only just spotted this topic.
This discussion raises some very interesting points, and I guess I do fit into the 'old school' camp, in that I believe it is important to understand about the more artistic element of photography (my real love is landscape photography, much more artistic than what we see here most of the time), together with a proper working knowledge of what the camera allows you to achieve - in terms of depth of field issues, exposure, blur vs sharp etc.
But what has struck me having used digital photography for only about 18 months in total, is that is is actually more difficult to get a high quality shot than it was in the days of my SLR - because you have to work on post-processing so much more (I never did much black and white darkroom stuff myself, though would have liked to). I feel now you need both elements - an understanding of what makes a good photograph, and a preparedness to understand more about the editing process.
I know what you mean, Flyfisher, when you talk of the potential jealousy. But for me a crisp, clean side on shot of an airliner is only one way of achieving a fine photo. For motives such as that it may be true that now you can get away with not having much knowledge or technique. But for a lot of the more eye-catching shots here - and other great photographs that would not meet A.net's criteria - I do think you need a more thorough working knowledge of photography and have that eye for an image and a knowledge of the more 'artistic' elements. For example, the 'rule of thirds' is a good one for thinking about the composition of a photograph - some intuitively understand the aesthetics of this without ever realising; others learn about it, but it doesn't half make a big difference when taking many quality images. Equally the use of depth of field can be crucial for whether or not an image 'works'. Now you might strike lucky if your camera's automatic setting just gives you the right aperture for a photo - but in my book it is much better to understand those issues and feel in control. And much more satisfying in the long run.
For A.net I do think you now need quite a lot of pixels on you camera's sensor, plus you need to know what you are doing in post-processing. With that you can take many excellent quality images. But without those other aspects in your armoury, you will simply not 'see' some potential shots, or be able to create a striking image in an otherwise commonplace setting. In my book you are a better photographer with the latter, even if you have relatively inexpensive, older equipment.