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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  2993 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Lifelogging: You and Me (and an off-topic question at the end)

You don't understand photos. Let's fix that.

Photography is the knack of turning perspective into art. It's not the random process of capturing images at random times. Even when you think it's a highly mechanical thing - like "ISS passing in front of the eclipsed moon" -

The framing of that final image and the fact that there's multiple exposures of the ISS cruising by reflects the composition of Theirry Regault, not just his presence in the right place at the right time with the right equipment.

Cameras are stupid simple. They're basically boxes with holes in them. You have control over how long the hole stays open and how wide it is and what the glass in front of it is doing. That's largely it. What makes photography art - what makes photography compelling - is how you turn your presence and your perspective into narrative.

Your stupid little gadget is just a fucking dashcam for your sweater. I'm not your prof but if I were, I'd fail your ass for going that way.

It's fucking insulting to propose that random 30-second increments of your position as distilled through a $130 pinhole CMOS will tell your audience as much about your "point of view" as a conscious effort to say "look at this, fuckers." I don't give two shits about what your sweater was pointed at this morning. I want to know what you saw, asshole. I want to know what you noticed. I want to know what you considered to be worth relaying to the outside world. I don't want the fuckin' black box, I want the captain's log.

You know why bullshit POV cams are annoying? Because they communicate three things:

1) "I don't care enough about you to tell you I'm taking your picture."

2) "I don't care enough about anyone else to make sure I'm showing them something good."

3) "I'm too precious to waste my own sweet time condensing and distilling the moments of my life into those bits that are actually interesting."

Know who bleeds out their life staring through viewfinders? amateurs. People who don't understand photography. People who haven't found the balance between experience and relation, people who don't understand that cameras aren't for mediation, they're for magnification. If I were to guess, your prof is working you through that process. More than that -

Hey, remember this?

    See, up until smartphones it took a modicum of skill to take a decent photo. It took an investment. It made photos something of value, however ephemeral that value may have been. It made the art of taking photos something that people valued as a skill.

What you're effectively doing is making a conscious decision not to learn a skill.

And I've never seen you do that before.

Buy a Rebel for $400. Use it for the class. Then sell it for $350. Maybe buy another when you can afford it. But in the interim, don't do this stupid shit. It's beneath you as a storyteller, it's beneath you as a communicator, it's beneath you as a proponent of the visual arts, and it's beneath you as a member of the human race.

someguyfromcanada  ·  2993 days ago  ·  link  ·  

> fucking dashcam for your sweater

lol. Cute kid BTW.

When I was in high school I was really into manual photography. Then I lost that hobby for a long time and a year or so ago I bought a Nikon D3000 with the intention of getting back into it. Only have the one 18-55 lens. Man, it is a lot of work to relearn and understand all that stuff. I am still not any good.

It is shit like this:

kleinbl00  ·  2993 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's damn good, yo. The moon is a stone bitch to photograph. Anyone will tell you so.

Really, the trick is to just put the sucker in aperture-priority and rip. I know people who insist on shooting full manual but they're stupid. The point is to get the picture and if the exposure is even halfway there you'll nail it once you dump it into the computer. Depth-of-field isn't something you can get after the fact, Lytro be damned, and shooting wide open will work 90% of the time.

Only other trick is to get a couple decent primes. They're really cheap, particularly if you stick to the holy trinity of 28mm/50mm/70mm. A 50 f/1.8 will make any portrait look magical.

user-inactivated  ·  2992 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Depth-of-field isn't something you can get after the fact, Lytro be damned, and shooting wide open will work 90% of the time.

Sure you can, you just need to a stereo pair to recover the depth. Taking a stereo pair so you can add depth of field with your computer is a little bit Rube Goldberg, but you can do it.

kleinbl00  ·  2992 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Right - so either you sport a stereo rig or you only take pictures of things that don't move.

Would you prefer it if I said "depth-of-field isn't something you can practically get after the fact?" 'cuz I've worked with stereo rigs and I'm here to say - beam splitters are unpleasant.

user-inactivated  ·  2992 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think I was just elaborating on "Lytro be damned". It's not undoable, it's just that toys that offer to do it are using brittle kludges to fake it.

kleinbl00  ·  2992 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Fair enough. As someone who used to shoot 6x7, there's a lot to be said for convenience.

Kafke  ·  2992 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've never seen someone have such a negative view towards something, and also be on the exact opposite position as I.

IMO, photos are a useless waste of time. No point in ever taking one, besides for practical purposes: to have a photo of the thing you need a picture of, whether it be to distribute it electronically, or to provide a memory keepsake to remind yourself of the past. Outside of these two uses, I don't see any point for wasting $400 on a dedicated picture taking machine. My multi-function phone and iPod both easily take pictures.

That said, I see massive appeal in 'life logging'. And having something auto-take a POV shot every 30 seconds seems like an easy way to get visuals for a journal or to simply share what you've been up to without having to lug around a camera and spend forever learning to fine tune it and get "that perfect shot".

I'd much rather have a device that auto-grabbed visual memories for me than something I have to fiddle around with to effectively do the same thing.

As it stands now, every single photo I've ever taken had a practical purpose behind it. Be it logging visual progress (hair regrowth), providing a visual for a journal, or sending visual information to someone across the internet. Not once has it ever been for art.

IMO, pictures should match what I see. Nothing more, nothing less. If I could just rip images from my eyes and upload them, I would. Why waste time with anything else?

CrazyEyeJoe  ·  2992 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    My multi-function phone and iPod both easily take pictures.

    If I could just rip images from my eyes and upload them, I would. Why waste time with anything else?

Have you ever tried taking a picture at night with an iPhone? Does that look remotely close to what you're seeing with your eyes? If so, your eyes are pretty shit. Having a better camera makes a vast difference in scenarios like that.

Kafke  ·  2991 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Have you ever tried taking a picture at night with an iPhone?

I don't have an iPhone. As far as night pictures go, they tend to vary. I don't take pictures at night though, no need.

    Does that look remotely close to what you're seeing with your eyes? If so, your eyes are pretty shit.

My vision at night sucks. But no, I haven't seen any camera be able to replicate what I see at night or at day. It's always a lot of fiddling and it's still off.

Kafke  ·  2992 days ago  ·  link  ·  
This comment has been deleted.
user-inactivated  ·  2993 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I'm not your prof but if I were, I'd fail your ass for going that way.

He thought it was a great idea...I never said he was good.

But FIIIINE I'll see if someone in class has one I can borrow first, one of these rich cali fuckers is holding out on me, I know it.

rinx  ·  2992 days ago  ·  link  ·  

If you are trying to learn photography, hanging a camera around your neck probably isn't the best way to do it. If you are trying to BS your way through a class, seems like this wouldn't be too hard to sell - "narcissism and technology explored through conceptual art" or something like that. I have a friend in a top 50 school who made a banana suit and did the peanut butter jelly time dance for his final. He got an A. And don't forget this "major landmark in 20th-century art." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fountain_(Duchamp) . It's all about how you sell it.

am_Unition  ·  2993 days ago  ·  link  ·  

So basically he just hates cameraphones. I guess I wanted it to be more complicated.

user-inactivated  ·  2993 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah maybe this is one of those "cameras on phones are bad because I'm ooooold" type situations, heh.

I mean, I won't say the Nexus 5 camera is GREAT but I've seen some pretty crazy iPhone pictures.

Plus I was able to make this with my phone:

kleinbl00  ·  2993 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You know, you could download Camera FV-5 and see if he could tell the difference.

Honestly, FV-5 and Snapseed are a pretty potent combo. Just having the ability to control the exposure and focus matters a lot.

am_Unition  ·  2993 days ago  ·  link  ·  

gr8 montage bro

Seriously though, I do like that style of art. Asymmetric abstraction that still has structure and could tell a story, if the author feels like sharing.

user-inactivated  ·  2992 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I feel like sharing

Each square (and solo circle) is made from the cloth of my mom's tobes, traditional sudanese robes for women.

The blue one is a circle because it's her favorite.

The rest of the concept is aesthetic, but a lot of them are important: Green one was during her wedding, that goldish one on the bottom right the one she wore after she brought my new-born sister from the hospital. So yeah.

kleinbl00  ·  2993 days ago  ·  link  ·  
steve  ·  2992 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I could loan you my rig.

But you should also check with the school. Back in the (18)90's I was able to rent a camera for a VERY reasonable fee.

user-inactivated  ·  2992 days ago  ·  link  ·  

steve and kleinbl00 I got one from a dude not taking the class, gratsi.

They do let you rent at the school but there are only like 10 and this is a 70 person class.

user-inactivated  ·  2993 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You're turning this into a contest of "how much I'm not willing to buy shit" and you don't want to go that route because I'm terribly cheap if it means I can find an out elsewhere.

Slight-tangent question: where does that put you with fitness wearables then?

kleinbl00  ·  2993 days ago  ·  link  ·  

If I had a spare camera to lend you, I'd lend it.

Fitness wearables? Like fitbits?

My take is that I count calories, and those calories are counted against an "active" lifestyle. If I subtract a fitbit from those calories it's giving me fake achievements. However, if I choose a "sedentary" lifestyle and subtract a fitbit from them, it should give me the exact same measurement as I had without the fitbit.

Except I had to buy (and wear) a fitbit.

am_Unition  ·  2993 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What a coincidence that the ISS and the moon were lined up when he was taking a rapid sequence of HD photos of the eclipse! /s

    ...I'd fail your ass for going that way.

Seconded. If he hated pointing and clicking, and you're removing the pointing, ehhhhh not great.

Edit: Even if the prof said "POV" style shots, don't think of it like "Oh I better always have my camera at head height and limit myself to typical thoroughfares".