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General Thoughts

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Djarum, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    I'm not sure where to put this so this seems as good of a place as any.

    So, I had some excelent photographic opporotunities in the last month or so. I did some hiking in Tennessee in early September and in late Semptember I went to Maggie Valley where I hiked, cruised the Blue Ridge Parkway, and spent some time in downtown Asheville.

    I really enjoy doing Landscapes, Scenery, and Architecture. After being on the forum for a while now, I realize that the forum, and to some degree the :43: system is geared more for other types of photography, I find the system perfect for me in shooting landscapes and architecture.

    One of the things I've learned as a photographer, is that things don't have to be perfect to get a good shot. It rained when we were in the mountains, and I was bummed that I couldn't get that perfect mountain shot. Blue sky, green trees..you know what I mean. I did get some pretty cool shots of the fog that slides in between the mountains on the Blue Ridge.

    When we were in Asheville, it was sprinkling and a fairly gray day. While there were people roaming around downtown, I was inspired by the architecture.(I know StreetShooter is disappointed I didn't do any StreetShooting, LOL). Granted, the sky is white in backgrounds, but to me the architecture is what is important.

    I suppose my final thoughts are that when doing travel photography, is that you have to make the best of what is there. Sure, we can prepare and try to catch the best lighting or the best scene, but many times, that just isn't possible. Sometimes the pictures aren't there, and sometimes they are. We also can't forget, that while to some Landscapes and Scenery may not be captiviating subjects because they lack the human element, they really don't. The human element is still there: the person taking the picture.

    Dj
     
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  2. Herman

    Herman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Agree with you ! We got to be at the right time at the right place to capture the right moment. I don't have the right hardware to shoot what I would like to shoot (just G1 plus 14-45 lens). But...I try.
     
  3. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason

    Its great if we have the absolute best equipment or we have the absolute best situation to take a picture. But how often does that happen? Whats wrong with taking what we have and trying to make it interesting?
     
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  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I don't agree that the m43 system is anything less than wonderful for landscapes, scenery, and architecture. The system is somewhat limited for shooting really fast action and for shooting in really low light (although it has its own charms for low light). But for shooting relatively stationary subject matter in relatively good light, I think its a wonderful system. And since its easy to carry, even better. I love using my m43 gear for street shooting, but I also love it for architecture, landscapes, scenery, etc. That kind of shooting comes a lot easier for me that shooting people and I do a lot of it.

    It wasn't long ago that somebody on some forum (maybe dpreview - I don't recall) took a bunch of photos at Yosemite with a Nikon D3 (I think - whatever the ultra high-end Nikon full-frame DSLR is these days) and with a G-1. He put up a bunch of 100% crops and it was both his opinion and a general consensus among those looking in that the Nikon shots were a tiny bit better, but ONLY a tiny bit. The kind of difference you can definitely see when you look at both side by side, but the kind of difference you'd never miss if you were just shooting with the G1. Or even comparing the images a few minutes apart. A huge majority of the 3000 or so shots I came back from Europe with last summer would fall under the description of landscapes, architecture, and/or scenery. I felt like the m43 setup I was traveling with was perfect for it.

    -Ray
     
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  5. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    I think that the forum does exhibit some bias away from landscape photography, that is only based on the smaller number of views and comments made about such work in general. I don't think that the system is more geared to other types of photography, indeed the GF1 with a suitable lens, tripod mounted and composing with the lcd makes an ideal modern "view type" camera, although it is much more portable than an old view type camera.
    My own photographic interests these days tend to concentrate on close-up work with insects and the like (not true macro photography) using a G1, landscape and documentary type work, for which the G1 and GF1 are suitable and I feel that the system is well suited to such genres.

    Barrie
     
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  6. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    DJ, do you really think it's not suited for landscapes or do you feel that the thrust of many threads here are not towards that venue?

    Maybe some of us need to get into the threads more actively and into the galleries, but I know we've got some superb landscape photographers here. I can think of a number who are also professional and do use their m43 cameras, too. Although David AKA soundimageplus is not so active here anymore he certainly does - you can check out his blog, then there's, of course - Vidar's, goldenlight's, bilzmale's, Ron's, angloasturian's, Iansky's, Grant's, Ray's, Locaster's front page thread:https://www.mu-43.com/f92/yosemite-high-country-gf1-9-18mm-pics-4494/ and sparklehorse's https://www.mu-43.com/f54/50-mile-trek-mountains-oregon-5447/, Bernd's (silverbullet) to name but a few - and your own!

    I'm definitely with you about making due with whatever one has and going after what interests each of us while we're there. And sometimes the atmosphere isn't what we want but you're so right, it gives us a chance to try out something completely different.:thumbup: Perhaps, all the gear lust threads are getting to you a bit?

    I would like to do more landscape/seascape photos and plan to once I'm more mobile, again.:wink:
     
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  7. johnny9fingers

    johnny9fingers Mu-43 Veteran

    I think of the :43: gear as a jack of all trades, and are wonderful tools for a wide variety shooting styles. The landscapes below were taken with the E-PL1 and mZD 14-42mm kit lens. Will they make National Geographic? No, but I like them and that's really all that counts. If they are appreciated by others is a nice bonus....

    [​IMG][/url][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/url][/IMG]
     
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  8. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Richard Elliott
    Bigger sensors are generally better in the same way medium format film yields better results over 35mm film. So I would agree that the 4/3 format is not the best one for landscapes, or any other type of photography, when compared to larger sensors.

    That said agree with the point that the best camera is the one you have with you and I find myself taking my GF1 places I did not take my film cameras. What sold me on the GF1 was this web site: Panasonic Lumix GF1 Field Test — 16 Days in the Himalayas
     
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  9. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Narnian, great link - thank you!

    True about sensors and all the rest, but we each make our choices. Some can have multiple cameras at the ready, while others just sell multiple cameras instead.:redface::tongue: We all do know the truth behind the camera you have with you is the best one.:2thumbs:
     
  10. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    Narnia,

    Great link.

    BBW,

    I think my original post tried to "lump" two related issues together and maybe wasn't as clear as I would have liked to have been. Keep in mind that these are conclusions made from observations over the past few months, from the various forums, review sites..etc.

    In general, I get the impression(maybe wrongly) not just from this forum, but other forums and professional photographers who blog, that the system is perfect for travel photography and street photography. I also get the impression that the latter is a more accepted artistic type of photography for this system.

    The thing with travel photography is that it covers many types of photography. In my opinion, the definition of travel photography is trying to take the best types of pictures you like with the time you have where you are at. This includes nature, architecture, landscapes, macros, street photogragphy...etc.

    I do a lot of hiking and I do go to some nice nature areas. While I consider this travel photography in some sense or another, as soon as a picture is made, somehow the system isn't right for what I am doing by the "critics". Would a medium format camera be great to take to the smokeys? Sure. Would I want to hike to a mountain top with one? Maybe not.

    There is a good bit of praise for the system by the critics for how the format is used, as a travel camera, street camera..etc. But there is a lot of harsh critisms when the pictures are actually posted, mainly because the sensor is too small.

    The second issue, which is unrelated to the system specifically but related to this need for absolutes, is the obsession for the perfect shot. For example, Johnny posted two very nice pictures. However, I could see where some would say, for example in his first shot, where there isn't enough blue sky. Too many clouds. Lighting isn't right. On and on. Especially with landscapes and scenerey do these sorts of criticisms come. In travel photography though, conditions aren't perfect, and its up to us as photographers to make "lemonade" out of "lemons". When I look at pictures no matter what type of photography, I try to think about what the photographer is trying to present.

    I'm not saying that there aren't bad pictures. Sure enough, I do take a good bit of them.
     
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  11. silverbullet

    silverbullet Mu-43 Veteran

    212
    Feb 10, 2010
    Herman, what kind of hardware you are thinking of?
     
  12. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    DJ, thank you for adding more of your thoughts.

    Here's what I think - damn the critics and full speed ahead with whatever makes you happy! More and more photographers from the full fledged professionals who are out to shoot for work, to those of us who take pictures because we love to, and the whole gamut of others in between and around, are moving towards smaller, lighter cameras.

    I think it's time to go on a kind of critic fast.:drinks:

    I'm not trying to belittle your thoughts by writing this at all. There are always going to be challenges in the field, whether one's field is hiking or one's home. I believe that we each need to choose what works best for us and most importantly, remember that the best shot is the one that sings to the photographer who has taken the photo.
     
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  13. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    I guess the only rule this photograph breaks is by having the horizon on the centre line of the frame, but so what, Johnny's words say it all, he likes them and others appreciate them, and that's what counts.
    Lets see some examples from the critics, easy to find fault, not so easy to produce the results.

    Barrie
     
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  14. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Richard Elliott
    Done that with a 6x9 view camera AND medium format at the same time. Doesn't leave much room for anything else. ;)

    I got caught up in the technical superiority of medium format but lost sight of the composition. I eventually realized I could make technically superior pictures with the medium format but my composition was no better and in the end I had more fun with smaller cameras and was able to play more with composition and, in many cases, took better pictures I believe.

    That is one reason I decided to try the GF1. My mind said get a full frame DSLR, my heart asked "which camera did you have the most fun with?". That turned out to be my Minolta CLe which reminds me of the GF1.

    And though I am rusty and my compositions are often weak (especially since I never did color), I am having fun.
     
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  15. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    There's that word again, FUN, yippee :thumbup:

    Barrie
     
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  16. johnny9fingers

    johnny9fingers Mu-43 Veteran

    :eek: Whaddya mean not enough blue sky, too many clouds, lighting not right!!! :wink: :biggrin:
    I know what you mean about critiques of photographs. Sometimes it seems folks are looking for technical perfection and not looking to see what the photographer was trying to express, or simply enjoying the picture for what it is. Me, I'm just having fun. Something catches my eye and snap, another picture for my own enjoyment... Kinda the same reason I hang aorund here. It's fun..... and I'm learning a bit as well.....
    John
     
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  17. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    DJ,
    I will try to not be complicated but only try.
    Margaret Bourke White once said,
    "No eyes ever will nor ever shall see what I see now".
    So to complicate such a simple statement is what I will do but not try to do.
    Your have to be aware of your Here and Now. What I mean is, no one ever can or will make a photograph that you make. So critique becomes a benign subject. There is only opinions and we know what body part that is named after.
    The quest for each of us is hopefully a journey filled with answers and more questions.
    Our images stand to mark our time here on the earth. The attuned shooter sets his own standards to make his images by. It's nice to get acclaim for an image but that can't be the reason for making it. If it is, it fails from the onset.

    It's nice to be on forums, groups etc to discuss gear, images etc but it's more important to realize that ones work is exactly that, ones work. You have to find the inner strength to stand and say, This is my image, I made it, I am responsible for it. This image brings me pleasure. If you like it, fine if not, that's fine also.

    What I try to do in the Image Quest is to provide a method of finding inner vision with different graphic, conceptual, technical, visual ideas. Most get it and if you look at the work from the start to where we are now, there is a marked improvement in strength and ideas in the galleries from the shooters.
    I would suggest you stop looking at your pitfalls and gear and start to really look at your images. Find the ones that you really like and try to define the ideas that are consistent in them. In your images are the answers you are looking for, not in the cameras or software. Find the ideas and play with them and then you will find yourself.
    Never be to hard on yourself because that sets you up for failure. Just be patient and LOOK at the work, it's in there, I promise....
    your pal.... Don
     
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  18. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    Don,

    I always appreciate your advice and words of wisdom.

    However, I think you are looking deeper into my post(s) than what I think I am trying to say.

    I am just commenting on, at least from my point of view, the general conscensus of mFT photography from the online communities.
     
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  19. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason

    Thank you for seeing my sarcasm:wink:

    I think you nailed it though. I think there are people who get so technical about photography that they can't see the forrest from the trees.

    However, we also can't be so naive to expect everyone to appreciate the photographer's vision, either. It is a two way street.

    Dj
     
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  20. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Very Long - I apologize in advance...

    To which I say (and I think you were saying much more politely), "screw 'em". There are always gonna be people on every type of forum who like to try to impose their own standards. And that's fine, it leads to discussions like this about whose standards and what standards, etc. But the bottom line, as Don others have already said so eloquently, its only about your standards. Or, in my case, my standards. Etc.

    I love putting shots up here and elsewhere and its always nice when other people like them, but I've already determined what I like before anyone else ever see's em. And if other people universally don't like something, it might force me to re-examine a particular photograph and listen to the specific criticisms, but at the end of the day, if I still like, I still like it. Conversely, I may have shots in my archives that other people would just frickin' LOVE, but they never see the light of day because they don't do a thing for me.

    I personally find shooting landscapes, scenery, architecture, etc, fairly easy to do. For some reason, those kinds of shots tend to seem pretty obvious to me. Not to say I do it brilliantly, but I do it competently without a huge amount of effort, with enough composition to make a shot hold up, if not exactly dazzle. I've been trying to do more street photography because I find it really challenging and difficult - those damn people keep moving! And with all of those moving parts, I'm trying to capture something much more ephemeral than physical beauty, like emotions or attitudes, which adds to the difficulty that much more. My success rate of street shots I like is orders of magnitude lower than for more typical "travel" types of photography. But because of that level of difficulty and challenge, when I actually get a street shot I like, I tend to really enjoy it and take loads of satisfaction in it. Probably more satisfaction that I get from any 10 better (probably MUCH better) architecture shots that came so much more easily to me.

    Which doesn't make street shooting more important or better or more suited to m43 (although m43 and even smaller cameras do have a bit of an advantage for this type of work) than any other kind of shooting. Its just the personal journey (oh, that sounds waaaaaay too self-serious) that I'm on. Let's try this - its my current road trip. It has nothing to do with what anyone else is shooting or what anyone else likes. There are people here who do street shooting at a level of composition, emotion, and just downright beauty that frankly awes me a little bit. I can't even conceptualize how you'd see some of the stuff others see. But that's the fun part of sharing work with each other. The occasional really good shot I take because it seemed fairly obviously there to me, might make someone else feel that way, or not. But the bottom line is we all come at this, like any art form, from our own very individual perspective and the forums are for sharing our own individual perspectives and, maybe, helping us get better at expressing it.

    And the hardware and software is about 1-2% of it. But its easier to talk about and measure so we talk about it and measure it a lot.

    I'm not sure I had a point here other than you seem to be sweating slightly over something I'd recommend you not sweat about. Its the part of photography that matters least. I am absolutely certain of very little in this life, but I am absolutely certain that I will never get to a point in photography where my gear is the limiting factor. Even if I never upgrade anything from what I have today. Or had 30 years ago, for that matter.

    -Ray
     
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