Im disagreeing with a professional photographer

(reposted Feb 15)

I stumbled across this post today http://gizmodo.com/5904107/100-tips-from-a-professional-photographer and the more I read, the more I got annoyed with several of the things he had listed.

Many of them are simply personal opinion or choice, but certainly not carved in stone like this list implies.

I disagree with the following, specifically:

13. Better lenses don’t give you better photos.

I disagree because if that was the case then we would only have a handful of prime lenses.  A better lens can enable you to take a better photo, specific example is macro.  A proper macro lens makes ALL the difference.  I think what he really means is having expensive kit is not going to magically make you a better shooter, in which case he should have said so!

28. The more photos you take, the better you get.

Actually I think you can take lots and lots of perfectly average shots and do it consistently over time, if you expend NO energy at all in learning anything about photography.  Only by learning and doing can you improve, unless you happen to be a genius.  If you doubt me, check out Flickr 🙂

39. Ditch the photo backpack and get a messenger bag. It makes getting your lenses and camera a whole lot easier.

100% personal choice, buy the camera bag that suits you and your requirements.

45. Carry your camera with you everywhere. Everywhere.
46. Never let photography get in the way of enjoying life

I think these two are mutually exclusive.  I have been at events where I have conciously put the camera down, so that I can involve myself and enjoy myself, rather than be in ‘photographer mode’.  I have also regretted not having a camera on me many times, seeing a great sunset or cloudscape, but I was also not in a desirable situation to take a good photo. So make your own call.  I intend to have a good quality P&S to carry in my handbag one day to get those opportunity shots, but its not a necessity.

86. Never delete any of your photos.

OMG!!! Seriously?  Even the blurry ones or the ones where the subject blinked or moved out of frame?  Now this is just silly.  Of course you should delete photos.  If nothing else it should be a part of your personal critique while processing images.

2. Always shoot in RAW. Always.

Choose what works for you, I know pro shooters who only shoot in JPG, and I know many who shoot in RAW+JPG.  Find your own way – shooting in RAW means you spend a LOT of time in front of the computer processing your images, which is fine so long as you are happy to invest that time.

There are others that irritate me, but these are the ones I feel MOST strongly about 🙂  Which ones do you disagree with?

Sometimes blurry is a good thing

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About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
This entry was posted in For Beginners, Waffle and Burbling and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Im disagreeing with a professional photographer

  1. peter says:

    I’m not sure knowing my way round a histogram will necessarily help me take better photos…I tend not to delete any photos, I usually dump them all onto an external drive. Of course, my 500gb drive is nearly full so I might have to delete a few of the blurry dark ones. I also think the RAW debate is a red herring. But the one that really got me was ditching the neck strap for a hand strap. What?? I’m constantly hanging my camera on my shoulder to deal with something else. Can’t do that with a handstrap.

    • lensaddiction says:

      I actually have a handstrap LOL but its because I have neck damage from a car accident. Something as heavy as my gear around my neck or over my shoulders does me no good at all. Seriously considering something like the cotton carrier or maybe to start with a black rapid.

      I think the histogram is for all the ‘shoot with your histogram to the right’ people. Or possibly for image processing?

      • peter says:

        Well, if you have a bad neck I can understand the handstrap….I’d actually like to have both but haven’t got around to getting a handstrap…

    • Bronny says:

      I can imagine the wrist strap would be good if you had a bad neck, but I don’t realy like the thought of my 7d with 70-300L lens hanging off my wrist all the time, think I would end up with a arm longer than the other one LOL, I can imagine the black Rapid being good.
      As for pulling babes, ummmm, think I will pass on that one too 🙂

      • lensaddiction says:

        Mine is an Optek handstrap that I picked up in Melbourne a couple of years ago (never seen them in NZ) and I have to admit, carrying around the 7D and the 70-200 for a few hours leaves my forearm very sore the next day. I hold it in my hand, not dangling off the strap, the strap is an extra security comfort 🙂

  2. Bronny says:

    I agree with you fully, and I disagree with ditching the neck strap and getting a handstrap, theres no way I’m carrying my camera around my wrist. And taping up your Logos, I’ve paid big money for mine so I’m showing it off to anyone and everyone who will see it and understand……

    • lensaddiction says:

      I could understand the bit about taping up the logo if you were travelling somewhere dodgy. I have certainly removed all the logos I can off my camera bag for the same reason. Secretly I am totally going “what she said!” I paid big bux for my kit too 🙂

  3. peter says:

    Oh…and I’m not quite sure how I feel about “Girls dig photographers”.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Its either deliberately provocative, or he is simply a jerk. If he is a young guy doing well and getting lots of attention/money, I know where I am putting my bet 🙂

      Mind you I am a woman with a camera and no hot young things in a skirt and heels have hit on me, so I must just be doing it wrong !

  4. wirehunt says:

    The hand strap could be rather interesting, so what to do with the other camera?
    I’ve got the messenger bag and the backpack and frankly they are BOTH a pain in the arse to use, all you can do is make the best of it.
    I understand why he’s saying not to delete (but I do) tech is changing a lot and what wasn’t recoverable last week in another six months might be. Just look were LR is now compared to version one.

  5. wirehunt says:

    Oh, nice write up to Rose.

  6. Katrina says:

    Never deleting any photos seems a bit obsessive to me. No matter how good you are, some photos are not going to be worth keeping. Subjects move, other things move in front of subjects, people blink, etc.

    42. Find your style of photography and stick with it.

    I disagree with this one a lot. If your goal is to make a name for yourself as an artist who is known for a specific type of art, maybe sticking with only showing and selling that particular style makes sense, but I don’t think it makes sense to never experiment with other styles, even if only for yourself. Sticking with one style limits your learning opportunities and constricts what you can successfully photograph. Me, I do all sorts of things with my camera. Some pictures are meant to by arty. Some are meant to show something specific. Some are meant to document wildlife that I see and to help with identifying critters or plants afterward. These things require different styles and different parts of the process are important.

  7. wirehunt says:

    Really that one (42) is irrelevant unless your the only person in the world that takes photos of one subject only. In fact it’s really a rather strange thing to say.

  8. Katrina says:

    I get the impression that the author of that list is someone who tends to see One True Way of doing things. I’m the opposite. I can see that there are multiple ways of doing many things and that which ones are best depends on the specific situation. Lists that make blanket statements about how things should be done tend to result in a lot of disagreement on my part. It might be easier to list the items I agree with on this list. It feels to me like he has one vision of what photography is rather than seeing that it offers a wide range of artistry and uses.

    I want to add my objection to #73 as well. Cameras are most definitely toys as well as being tools. If he doesn’t think his is a toy, he isn’t having enough fun.

    • lensaddiction says:

      “Cameras are most definitely toys as well as being tools. If he doesn’t think his is a toy, he isn’t having enough fun.”

      Never a truer word spoken!

  9. wirehunt says:

    Na, there tools and you can still have fun with tools.
    There’s a pack of dogs here that are tools, not one pets amongst them. Same with rifles, same with camera’s….
    But there all fun!

  10. dalzellphoto says:

    13. Better lenses don’t give you better photos.

    They give you nicer looking photos: the colors, and the ability to shoot in lower light, etc look nicer but that doesn’t matter if you can’t shoot worth a salt.

    I agree with a lot of what you say. The bag is a choice. I carry a regular backpack with my things in it because my 300mm 2.8 and second body are too big for most bags. I shoot RAW 99% of the time but if I’m at a family reunion or just at the beach I’ll leave my SLR at home and bring my P/S and shoot JPEG. I agree with having a camera with you all the time but I don’t let that stop me from having fun. If I’m with my friends I’ll ignore potential shots and remember them for later. I like your critique, very fair. Oh, and I delete almost 95% of my stuff. If you shoot RAW, like he says he does, and he doesn’t delete the bad ones then god I hope he has a lot of space to store those photos. I end up with near 4 gigs of photos after a few hours most days and delete the majority of that.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Perhaps ‘better lenses give you the opportunity for better photos?” as a compromise.

      I delete probabably at least 25% on the first viewing cut and more as I go thru and edit. I usually shoot more than one version of the same image (in case of camera shake etc) so have plenty I can delete. My 7D now produces HUGE files compared to my 40D

      • dalzellphoto says:

        Exactly, I never take just ONE photo of something, unless it’s street photography and in that case I usually just don’t have the chance. So even if a photo is good, Ill probably delete it since I have 4 identical photos exactly the same right right next to it because I need the space. And god, can you imagine the RAW size of the D800 and all of those photos, my hard drive would be shot.

  11. Leanne Cole says:

    I think I agree with you on many of these, the thing with lens too, is that the more expensive lenses also give you a clarity or clearness that the others don’t, though most people wouldn’t notice, but I realised after getting my 2.8 24-70mm that the photos were so much clearer than the 18-105mm that I had been using.
    Bags, I hate sling bags, they swing around too much when bending over to your tripod, almost knocked my tripod over with my camera on it, on more than one occasion think I’ll stick to the back back.
    deleting photos, I totally agree with you, 100%.
    Shooting raw or jpeg, I agree as well, when I was photographing cycling, I had to shoot in jpeg, some days I would take a couple of thousand photos, you have to have the memory card space.
    Great points Stacey, in the end it really is up to the individual and what they want to do as well.

    • lensaddiction says:

      The lens thing becomes real when you start with a cheaper one and then upgrade and realise it DOES make a difference 🙂 But everybody needs and wants and can afford different things.

      Im with you on the sling, my biggest issue with them is they are usually designed to be so small they are essentially useless for putting much into esp bulky DSLR and a lens or two!

  12. Katalina4 says:

    I’m gonna take issue with this one:
    16. Girls dig photographers.
    Because. Duh.
    Obviously so many awesome photographers are girls….

  13. So nice to read this post, Stacey 🙂

    What I really liked about this post is, It’s not just about your disagreement with a Pro. Photographers views, but did open up a healthy discussion on many practical aspects of photography.

    I totally agree with all the points you have mentioned above and I will go with point-45, I just love carrying my camera where ever I go.

    I did miss out many a great opportunities as I didn’t carry my camera and at any time, we can turn off the photographer mode.

    Thank you so much for sharing this 🙂

  14. suej says:

    You have made some good responses…who is this guy?! I agree better lenses don’t NECESSARILY make better photos, because it depends on composition, light, the ability to see…but you might get clearer, sharper images. RAW or not depends on the individual, but I always personally shoot RAW because this way I have my digital negatives to do whatever I want with, and know that I have the leeway to do more if necessary. As for never deleting any photos…what? I don’t delete enough, but certainly get rid of the rubbish!

    • lensaddiction says:

      Yes I know, I thought he made some really stupid and very opinionated statements. So much is personal ie I have neck problems due to a car accident so it means I have to be careful about carrying heavy stuff, so I have a backpack to spread the load evenly, that kind of thing.

  15. I wrap my camera strap around my hand. I don’t like anything near my neck at all. I also keep all my blurry photos simply because I am too lazy about deleting them. But then again as in your last photo some can be really great with a bit of post processing. I do agree with you about learning more about photography – especially composition and the rule of thirds. Some do this naturally but others will find that no matter how many photos one takes, they will always be blah type of photos. As for kit – that is personal and up to the photographer. I don’t do RAW as it takes up a lot of space on the memory card. My daughter does her editing using RAW, while I used JP’s. Again personal taste. I do agree with you that you do need the best camera you can afford. Especially lenses. That all depends on what type of photography you want to work on the most.
    Having a camera on you at all times is totally impracticable. There are times when it is not appropriate to use a camera – maybe in churches or other important places and the photographer must respect that. I have my phone on me most of the time so I have a camera with me then. I am still on the hunt for my lost camera – I will hopefully have it for the Art Deco weekend here in Napier and Hastings. But if not it will just be the phone. That’s ok. That is not as intrusive as a huge camera is.
    Anyway each to their own I always say. At the end of the day it is the image that counts.

    • lensaddiction says:

      I hope you find your camera soon! These days memory cards are really cheap – my 7D fits about 500 shots on an 8GB card which is a few and it takes 25mb files. You don’t need to buy the superfast and expensive cards, I buy Kingston which are a quality brand but affordable and they have never let me down and still using my original ones from 6 years ago!

  16. KatrinaK says:

    I’m with you on all the items you disagree with. Like the other Katrina, I also really disagree with
    42. Find your style of photography and stick with it.

    I just don’t understand why anyone would want to limit themselves that way. Even if you are a professional who wants to show a specific style to the public, you ought to be open to more experimentation as a learning tool for yourself. Sticking to one style and one style only allows for too much stagnation.

    Then there are the two about cameras drawing attention
    26. Tape up any logos on your camera with black gaffers tape- it brings a lot less attention to you.
    79. Any cameras but black ones draw too much attention.

    Really? What is he doing that results in people paying so much attention to what his camera looks like? Is he trying to avoid seeing the real reason he gets attention? Getting in the way of others with your tripod or your long lens draws attention to you. Acting rude in your attempts to take photos draws attention to you. Having a camera that is silver, red, or any other color doesn’t.

    Another one I don’t agree with is
    59. Taking photos of strangers is thrilling.

    I don’t find it at all thrilling. Sometimes it is creepy. Sometimes it is rude. Sometimes it just produces pictures of strangers I don’t care about. Also, it seems at odds with
    66. Shooting photos of homeless people in an attempt to be “artsy” is exploitation.

    So exploiting people with homes is okay but exploiting people without homes isn’t? I believe in getting permission before taking photos with identifiable people, particularly children, as the main subjects if the people aren’t in a situation where they should expect to be photographed and I’m going to put the photos on display for others to see.

    The one rule of photography that I firmly believe in is that there are times when all the other rules aren’t applicable. Knowing which rules apply to which photos is what can make your photos much better.

    • lensaddiction says:

      You make some good points I hadnt considered about the people photography, mainly because I dont do street/portrait myself.

      There was a lot of silly and quite opinionated stuff in that article, clearly I am not the only one to think so 🙂

      • KatrinaK says:

        I can understand throwing in a few silly items to be funny, but it didn’t particularly look to me like he thought he was being funny. He seems to be the type who thinks there is One True Way to do things. I’m the type who thinks that there are many ways so I tend to clash with the One True Way folks.

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