Posing or working?

FlyingOkoFlyingOko Posts: 15Member
edited March 2013 in General Discussions
At a ministerial press conference yesterday. At the back of the hall - snappers with big 400 f2.8 lenses on monopods, Nikon D3s/D4s, Canon EOS-1s, that sort of thing. In the front row - a few guys with Leica M9s. I was in the front row with my Nikon D3200 and kit lens.

Yes, over the past 25 years, I've been in the back of those press conference rooms with a fast prime long-tom attached to a pro Canon body; I've been down the front with a Leica M and 'Cron. Today, my wonderful D3200 gives me results that in the final analysis differ not a jot from the Leica snaps in 95% of cases - on a website, in a newspaper or magazine. And compared to the Leica M9, the D3200's 18-55mm lens has VR, autofocus and - it zooms.

I feel it's picture editors and peer pressure that nudge pro snappers into buying kit that's unnecessarily expensive. "Look at me," it says. "I'm a member of the big boys' club."

Enough already. I've turned my back on photosnobbism :-)
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Comments

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    O-oh... %-(
    Always learning.
  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    Funny you should mention the Leica gear. I think DXOMark is intellectually dishonest, but the last-gen batch of sensors in Leicas have been taking it on the chin this week, as have their fanboys.

    That said, inside photography and out, I'm finding more and more that you need to look the part to get the job. I used to be exceptionally unassuming and self effacing and considered that part of my nature and charm; I spent six years at a company where that tactic surely cost me over a hundred thousand in salary/bonuses. Those hired after me pretended they were doing the company a favour by showing up on time most days, and senior management got increasingly desperate to keep them as the staffers behaviour worsened. It was like the Twilight Zone. The more you pretended you didn't want to be there, the more you got paid.

    I occasionally shoot interiors for real estate. One day, in a rather tight area, I had only the D90 and 20/2.8 on me. Yeah, it was all I needed but the agent who I was just meeting informed me that her husband had a better camera and who did I think I was showing up with this piece of junk?

    Now, my walk-around lens for these jobs is the 200-400 f/4. I just walk around with it. It never comes out of the bag of course, but the bag is open while I snap away (usually with the 20), and the agent can see the 200-400 and gently stroke its massive length if so desired, and...

    ...and this is a family forum, so I'll leave that metaphor behind and risk offending others in closing by saying the song that taught me the most in this world is Hamlisch and Kleban's "Dance: Ten. Looks: Three." from A Chorus Line.Google it if you like.

    /rant
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,973Member
    As noted, sometimes looking the part is half the battle. I've been contacted or asked to do jobs, because people saw that I had a "big" camera and lens (D700 +24-70), when I wasn't even look for work. That said, some of my best shorts were not even taken with a DSLR, so I get where the OP is coming from.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,144Member
    edited March 2013
    PB_PM: "some of my best shorts" are those briefs or boxers? Typos can be fun. I once had to correspond with a guy named Steve Britch. My word processing software keep automatically changing from Dear Mr. Britch to Dear Mr. Bitch.

    FlyingOko and shawnino: I have commented on this a number of times. Let's take a print of 13 x 19 inches as the largest we will ever print or any magazine or newspaper or internet web site would ever publish (of course, those latter users will publish more like a 2 mp image). With that size constraint, what Nikon camera body is really needed to produce such an image? As far as resolution is concerned I suggest we can eliminate all of FX sensors, especially the D800, as not really needed and we can include all of 24mp DX sensors as able to produce fully adequate resolution for such an image. Now we must consider high ISO noise since many images will be shot indoors or at high shutter speed when dealing with moving subjects outside. As a yardstick I will use DxOmark to compare the D5200, D4 and D3. http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/(appareil1)/850%7C0/(brand)/Nikon/(appareil2)/767%7C0/(brand2)/Nikon/(appareil3)/438%7C0/(brand3)/Nikon. The D5200 is rated good up to 1284 ISO, the D4 good up to 2965 and the D3 good up to 2290. We don't know how the D7100 or D400 will score but the current DX - FX gap seems too large for those to likely bridge. For sake of argument here let's just assume DxOMark will rate the newest DX bodies good up to 1600 ISO. Still the old D3 will remain better in low light requiring an ISO greater than 1600. Conversely, if the lighting is such that you can shoot below ISO 1600 a new DX sensor should produce images which are fully adequate for photojournalism. This is part of my point about the yet to be released D400 perhaps being seen as a "mini-D4" or a "mini-D3+" for photojournalism. We may reach the point that for all practical purposes up to 13 x 19 size prints any photojournalist or wildlife photographer can spend less than half the $6,000 price of a D4 and get a DX camera fully adequate for his or her work. I think the noise at high ISO in a D400 will be a key factor in this; it has to at least equal a D3 in DxOMark tests. If the DX sensor in a D400 can produce noise which is fully acceptable in a 13 x 19 size print shot at 6400 ISO then a professional could use that body to produce publishable work fully up to today's standards. [I don't mean to imply all those photojournalists who have been using D300 and D300s bodies have not produced fully publishable work-they have-to yesterday's standard.] Of course, there are a few other considerations which may be important to certain people such as a vertical grip, or double batteries, or double media cards, high frames per second, faster focusing time, less delay between pressing the shutter button and the shutter firing, etc but the D400 should address most of those adequately because it will be using the "pro" body layout with more rugged "pro" parts.

    As to "looking the part" it depends upon the knowledge of the person evaluating you. Recently I was shooting an old Porsche on assignment for someone in another part of the country who wanted the images sent to them by e-mail (so file size should be kept reasonable) and the Porsche salesman commented: "that is a really serious camera you are using." I was using a D90 to keep file sizes down and was even shooting that on JPEG medium size. LOL! But, the D90 had a battery grip and an 18x200 zoom lens so that old D90 looked quite massive. I didn't need either the battery grip or the large zoom but they happened to be on that body when I grabbed it and I didn't take the time to remove them since they didn't impede the work I had to do. People unfamiliar with the meaning of Nikon's naming system will only see size. I suspect the real estate agent above had just recently been convinced by her husband that he desperately needed to replace his old D90 with a newer body because it was so outdated. His exaggeration to get her to consent to what he wanted to do gave her a false assumption about the D90 being "junk." My Porsche salesmen had a false impression that size equates to seriousness. I didn't correct him. If someone recognizes the Nikon naming system says to me "you are using an old camera" I will respond: "I use complex computer software to considerably improve the image that comes out of this camera." That way they think they are getting more than (they falsely assume) the old camera can produce. This is easier than starting a conversation to convince them their assumptions are erroneous. When they see the images they will not have any complaints about quality and will falsely assume modern software "fixed" the images produced by the old camera.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    Another thing I guess to consider is the possibility that those same photographers who're shooting that press event today could very well have a high end glamour shoot or sporting event shoot tomorrow....and the gear you see is the gear they take everywhere to make sure the job is well done. I agree though, the big guns are very impressive but I too have taken some publishable pics with my cellphone.
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • ChromiumPrimeChromiumPrime Posts: 84Member
    A week or so ago I posted a few of my nicer landscape photos on my facebook feed. The day after I posted the photos, a girl from my class (who I really didn't know all that well) comes up to me and tells me how nice my photos were. She then asked what kind of photos I usually take to which I said landscapes and close-ups but I made it clear I don't do portraits (I heard her ask another classmate if her husband could do photo shoot of her so I knew where she was going with this). After this she asked what camera I used so I just said Nikon :D then she immediately says "but is it a big camera?" and I'm like "ummm.... I guess you can say so..." and with this the conversation abruptly ends there. Now fast forward one week later, she comes up to me and kinda casually mentions how she's been meaning to ask if I wanted to take some photos of her against the sunset while she does some yoga poses blah blah blah :-@ and of course not a single mention of compensation to me L-)
    Way too much gear & way too few photos :-O
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,144Member
    edited March 2013
    As to cell phone images. Take a look at these from the iPhone 5.
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/iphone-5/sample-images.htm
    Quite impressive to me. I had not realized that small sensor and the small lens in a cell phone could produce images like this.

    ChromiumPrime: If she is poor student like you don't expect her to have money. Tell her you are looking for a model for artistic nudes and will trade photos of her doing yoga poses against a sunset for nude modeling time. LOL Then she will turn you down and you don't have to turn her down. And if she agrees, you do get some sort of compensation for your efforts and can practice a photographic art from not so easily available to many people.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • ChromiumPrimeChromiumPrime Posts: 84Member
    @donaldejose: Good suggestions but the way she kept flaunting things... she wasn't poor that's for sure. As for taking artistic nudes of her... well knowing her other profession (which she kept eluding to on an almost daily basis) I doubt she would have had a problem with that... and the artistic nudes? Well let's just say they probably wouldn't have turned so artistic @-)
    Way too much gear & way too few photos :-O
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,144Member
    edited March 2013
    Funny. Sounds like you have a live one there! Might be lots of other guys here who would work with her if they were in your area! Another suggestion: you could introduce her to modelmayham.com where she can post an offer to swap modeling time for pics.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    edited March 2013
    @ ChromiumPrime...this is exactly the type of opportunity that I look for. She already has the setting and environment in mind, she just needs a photog with the appropriate gear. You didn't elucidate on your reasons for not doing portraits, be it technical skill or simple lack of interest, but if it's technical skill then maybe she'll be patient enough for you to learn with her.
    Keeping on subject, many, many people still walk around at events with P&S's holding them at arms length to take a photo so when you're seen with your "big" camera people think you know your stuff and whether it's warranted or not, they respect what they think you know. .
    Post edited by Rx4Photo on
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • ChromiumPrimeChromiumPrime Posts: 84Member
    edited March 2013
    While I'm not professionally set up to do portraits I do have more than enough gear and skills to do some decent shots. In this case I just didn't vibe with her energy... and the fact that the only qualification I apparently needed was the size of my camera... perhaps it goes with her territory 8-| At any rate, IMO the least decent thing to do when approaching someone you don't know to take your photos is to offer some kind of compensation.

    @donaldejose I would happily pass this one on to you... you've been warned though >:P
    Post edited by ChromiumPrime on
    Way too much gear & way too few photos :-O
  • SquamishPhotoSquamishPhoto Posts: 608Member
    Experience is experience regardless of your clients concepts about what a photographer is even if, to them, it means having a big camera.
    Mike
    D3 • D750 • 14-24mm f2.8 • 35mm f1.4A • PC-E 45mm f2.8 • 50mm f1.8G • AF-D 85mm f1.4 • ZF.2 100mm f2 • 200mm f2 VR2
  • ChromiumPrimeChromiumPrime Posts: 84Member
    @SquamishPhoto Perfectly valid point but it doesn't mean I'm obligated to take photos of people I don't like and even do it for free ;)
    Way too much gear & way too few photos :-O
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,175Member
    edited March 2013
    =:)
    Post edited by paulr on
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,175Member
    =:) I recently went to a local Bird Sanctuary and was totally amazed by the amount of super large long lenses being used. I also noticed, there was a great presence of the Grey Army , all the lenses had fancy coloured jackets on, so it was impossible to know what they were. I was amazed that our senior photographers could carry such heavy equipment, however I then noticed a special parking Area for Trollies next to the Hides and all became Clear.
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • ElvisheferElvishefer Posts: 329Member
    edited March 2013
    If having a long lens at a boring press event meant I was closer to the door and could cut out early unseen after getting the shot (unlike the suckers in the front row), I'd spend thousands too!*


    * humor
    Post edited by Elvishefer on
    D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 24-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 200mm f/4 Micro, 105mm f/2.8 VRII Micro, 35mm f/1.8, 2xSB900, 1xSB910, R1C1, RRS Support...

    ... And no time to use them.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,144Member
    I think work that is going to be used for a website, such as a house for sale, could be done today with an iPhone 5. Imagine showing up for such a scheduled shoot with nothing and when the Realtor asks "Where is your camera?" you pull your iPhone of of your pocket. The expression would be priceless! And the photos just might be great.
  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    edited March 2013
    If I could only find an App that triggers my CLS flashes...

    A week ago I went to a local arts and crafts fair and spoke to several photographers - Nikon as well as Canon shooters - and they all had the same wish. They ALL wished their current cameras had a higher megapixel image capability. One was using Nik Enlarge to create 20x30's, others were settling for degraded IQ with their enlargements. Here is where the D800 would shine for these guys & girls (of course I had mine on my shoulder which feuled this desire).

    Point being, as much a 36MP D800 was initially seen by some as totally ridiculous, there is now a tremendous desire for this if you're going to use it for such work. Now, if it's the only camera one has, then that camera might also show up at the family party or press conference where 36MP would likely not be necessary. This might be seen as overkill by some but it's a tool in the photographer's belt. Might as well put it to use.
    Post edited by Rx4Photo on
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • BesoBeso Posts: 462Member
    I am not sure what the purpose of this tread is, and perhaps it should be retitled "Whining and Crying." If anyone is feeling inadequate with their gear that is a personal issue only they can resolve. If one is comfortable with their own gear then why worry about what someone else is doing? The ultimate test of equipment, and more importantly, the photographer is the resulting image, and client satisfaction if applicable.
    Occasionally a decent image ...
  • FlyingOkoFlyingOko Posts: 15Member
    edited March 2013
    If one is comfortable with their own gear then why worry about what someone else is doing?

    It's all about perception. 60 years ago, touting a Nikon or Canon rather than a Rolleiflex or Leica, a photographer would have been been not taken too seriously. Or any digital camera 20 years ago. What will the future bring? Will the general populace - and our clients - take small-bodied cameras seriously? 43 megapixels in a phone? What next? How will people's stereotyped view of what constitutes a professional photographer's equipment change?
    Post edited by FlyingOko on
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,144Member
    No one is whining or complaining; just sharing stories related to equipment and perceptions.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    This reminds me of the coverage of a nationally publicized trial in Greensboro, North Carolina. One of the guys had four cameras, three on remotes which fired when he shot his primary. I had the D4 with a 24-120mm f/4. I am certain i got a better shot than any of his. I simply positioned myself and watched what the deputies were doing, then when the time was right, lit the D4 up. And this said it all about Mr. Edwards

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/7220669856/in/set-72157631170271000/lightbox/
    Msmoto, mod
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    My post of %-( was because I expected this thread to go off the deep end which to a large extent it hasn't - well done everybody for that.

    I think a large part of the way that people in our modern society waste their time on earth is by concerning themselves with feelings of adequacy. Whether it is not having a thousand dollar suit, a nice shiny car that can go faster than the speed limits by three times or the biggest house among our peers, a lot of people are made to feel secure and complete just by having these things and once they have them, are of course automatically rendered into experts on that and even other topics.

    Photography is different of course - man I have GOT to get me one of those D4's with one of those h-u-u-u-g-e lenses on it to take my photographs for me. :P
    Always learning.
  • blandbland Posts: 811Member
    The reason they were in the back with the big guns was so they could get the crowd in the picture. They're also shooting at eye level which gives them more options in their shot.

    When shooting an event like that the media wants the event shot, not just the person. More crowd in the shot, happier the media is. Same goes for the person you're shooting, they too want interaction in the shot with the crowd.
  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    FO: curious agter Bland's post: how much of an amphitheatre was it? Steep or flat?
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