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That perfect (gulp) picture!!

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June 20, 2005 6:35:16 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Sorry folks I have nothing to show you but I have a question, I will
admit that I am slowly changing (after seeing some of the pictures
here) from claiming to being the absolute backyard photographer and
that excellence meant nothing to me, a good picture yes but I have not
so eloquently knocked a few of you for being to picky about pictures.
That may hold true but I have a question about that really really nice
picture.

Can I stumble onto that picture (I have a new Sony 5M P+S with some
limited manual controls) without editing at all except maybe for some
cropping but not getting into the white balance and all the other
scarey editing done with software to correct my errors.

So I am saying shoot the picture, send it off to a good lab and get my
picture of a lifetime. I know its a tough question, I'm not talking
about yes you have a one in a million chance of getting a great
picture.

First I guess I should define great huh...?? I guess I am saying a
picture that could have been made significantly better if I used a
full fledged editing program and knew what I was doing with it.

Thanks in advance

Brad

LIFE'S JOURNEY IS NOT TO ARRIVE AT THE GRAVE SAFELY IN A
WELL-PRESERVED BODY, BUT RATHER TO SKID IN SIDEWAYS, TOTALLY WORN OUT,
SHOUTING... " HOLY @#$%... WHAT A RIDE!"

More about : perfect gulp picture

Anonymous
June 20, 2005 6:35:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Brad <bjdbradnospam@gmail.com> writes:

> Sorry folks I have nothing to show you but I have a question, I will
> admit that I am slowly changing (after seeing some of the pictures
> here) from claiming to being the absolute backyard photographer and
> that excellence meant nothing to me, a good picture yes but I have not
> so eloquently knocked a few of you for being to picky about pictures.
> That may hold true but I have a question about that really really nice
> picture.
>
> Can I stumble onto that picture (I have a new Sony 5M P+S with some
> limited manual controls) without editing at all except maybe for some
> cropping but not getting into the white balance and all the other
> scarey editing done with software to correct my errors.
>
> So I am saying shoot the picture, send it off to a good lab and get my
> picture of a lifetime. I know its a tough question, I'm not talking
> about yes you have a one in a million chance of getting a great
> picture.
>
> First I guess I should define great huh...?? I guess I am saying a
> picture that could have been made significantly better if I used a
> full fledged editing program and knew what I was doing with it.

Yes, you can take a picture that looks great printed "straight" (in
the darkroom, that meant picking the right exposure and a quick color
correction and nothing more; in digital I think it means about the
same). If you send film to Proex, they do those things
automatically.

It's very common for great pictures to look even *better* when printed
by a master printer. You're not a master printer, obviously (it seems
obvious from the question that you don't think you are). Neither am
I. I've seen some of my negatives printed by one, though, and I found
it absolutely amazing how good his prints looked. Better contrast,
better color, better tonal separation, better pretty much anything you
can think of. And I'd guess there wasn't even very much "dodging" and
"burning" (local density adjustments) involved.

(This happened because I took some snapshots that a friend who *is* a
master printer wanted prints of, and while mostly I won't loan out my
negatives, in this case it seemed completely safe. And I got prints
too. His idea of "snapshot prints" are 8x10s that blow away anything
I've seen from a professional lab.)

While I sometimes do it and don't regret it, I still feel that one of
the silliest uses one can make of time is spending hours turning a
*bad* photo into a *mediocre* photo. Really heavy "correction" almost
never results in a really first-rate result. It may be worth it for
the only picture you have of something important to you (or to
others), but it's trying to rescue the information in that case, not
trying to create fine art.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
June 20, 2005 6:35:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Brad wrote:


>
> I guess I am saying a
> picture that could have been made significantly better if I used a
> full fledged editing program and knew what I was doing with it.
>


I believe post processing skills are almost mandatory to get really
cool/good digital images. I've printed this shot straight from a C41
negative as a color print and it was OK but scanning it, turning it into
B&W, brown toning, doing some shadow lifting and contrast adjustments
turned it into a different shot.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-1/937049/truckweb.j...

IMHO being able to do good post processing is MUCH more important than what
camera model the file came out of. Learning these skills isn't rocket
science and there is plenty of free info on using PS all over the web. With
a few good plugins, you can do almost anything you can dream of.

Another example, this was the "raw" color scan of this above shot with no
processing.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-1/937049/truckscan....

Then here is another color shop after processing.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-1/937049/truckcweb....

In the larger file (It's like a 300MB tiff file from a medium format scan)
the difference is more apparent, especially the sharpening but it shows
that post processing can make a huge difference in the look of an image.



--

Stacey
Related resources
Anonymous
June 20, 2005 6:35:18 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

David Dyer-Bennet wrote:
> Brad <bjdbradnospam@gmail.com> writes:
>
>>Can I stumble onto that picture (I have a new Sony 5M P+S with some
>>limited manual controls) without editing at all
>
> Yes, you can take a picture that looks great printed "straight"
> ...
> While I sometimes do it and don't regret it, I still feel that one of
> the silliest uses one can make of time is spending hours turning a
> *bad* photo into a *mediocre* photo.


I consider it a learning experience to ruin a mediocre image in
processing <g> and I do it often.

Yes, a great picture will still be awsesome without any processing. The
processing is relatively trivial in terms of the final impact and if you
get a great picture, just be sure you had your camera on the highest
quality setting and to save the original, then you have all the time in
the world to make a perfect print from it.

I do enjoy fiddling but really there is only so much that can be done.

--
Paul Furman
http://www.edgehill.net/1
san francisco native plants
Anonymous
June 20, 2005 9:01:40 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Brad <bjdbradnospam@gmail.com> wrote:

: Can I stumble onto that picture (I have a new Sony 5M P+S with some
: limited manual controls) without editing at all except maybe for some
: cropping but not getting into the white balance and all the other
: scarey editing done with software to correct my errors.

: So I am saying shoot the picture, send it off to a good lab and get my
: picture of a lifetime. I know its a tough question, I'm not talking
: about yes you have a one in a million chance of getting a great
: picture.

It is always possible that pure chance will come together to make a "WOW"
shot happen. Even puting a camera on a tripod and using a timer to trigger
photos at regular intervals has the chance that one of the images captured
will be a "keeper". But if you practice different techniques and
experiment and practice looking for good composition, you may find that
the frequency of "good" shots will increase. And the percentage of those
images that move up into the above average category will also increase.
Chance can always give you one exceptional shot, but with practice you
may be able to increase that to 2 and then 3. :) 

Don't measure your ability against the photos in magazines. Believe it or
not, not all the photos the pros take end up in a magazine. :)  I once had
a lengthy conversation with a husband/wife nature photography team who has
been published many times a year. They told me that even with their
experience and equipment they would take a thousand photos (on average)
for each photo submitted for publication. And they will submit several
hundred (to a thousand or more) photos before one is chosen for
publication. So if you get one great photo out of every 100 THOUSAND
you take you would be doing about as well as these pros. :)  (Sure takes
the pressure off, a bit doesn't it?) :) 

Randy

==========
Randy Berbaum
Champaign, IL
Anonymous
June 20, 2005 12:57:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Hi Stacey,

Stacey Wrote:
>
>
> I believe post processing skills are almost mandatory to get really
> cool/good digital images. I've printed this shot straight from a C41
> negative as a color print and it was OK but scanning it, turning it
> into
> B&W, brown toning, doing some shadow lifting and contrast adjustments
> turned it into a different shot.
>
> http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-1/937049/truckweb.j...
>
> Beautiful job! Really good looking B&W.
>
> Best,
>
> Conrad


--
Conrad
June 20, 2005 6:47:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Stacey" <fotocord@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:3hmv5hFhb1eqU1@individual.net...
> Brad wrote:
>
>
>>
>> I guess I am saying a
>> picture that could have been made significantly better if I used a
>> full fledged editing program and knew what I was doing with it.
>>
>
>
> I believe post processing skills are almost mandatory to get really
> cool/good digital images. I've printed this shot straight from a C41
> negative as a color print and it was OK but scanning it, turning it into
> B&W, brown toning, doing some shadow lifting and contrast adjustments
> turned it into a different shot.
>
> http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-1/937049/truckweb.j...
>
> IMHO being able to do good post processing is MUCH more important than
> what
> camera model the file came out of. Learning these skills isn't rocket
> science and there is plenty of free info on using PS all over the web.
> With
> a few good plugins, you can do almost anything you can dream of.
>
> Another example, this was the "raw" color scan of this above shot with no
> processing.
>
> http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-1/937049/truckscan....
>
> Then here is another color shop after processing.
>
> http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-1/937049/truckcweb....
>
> In the larger file (It's like a 300MB tiff file from a medium format scan)
> the difference is more apparent, especially the sharpening but it shows
> that post processing can make a huge difference in the look of an image.
>
> Stacey

Hi there.

I agree with everything Stacey has said. But she has not said everything,
there is more to it than good post processing.

There is always a chance, no matter out of how many millions, that an
unskilled photographer will produce that one shot which each and everyone of
us would regard as our lifetimes best.

However if you acquire a lot more skill, and start applying more imagination
to your photography, and working at making your results better than they
previously were. It will become much more likely that you will produce more
pictures with that WOW factor.

When you read Photo Mags, and see fantastic photos, and discover that month
after month the same few names appear as the Authors, that is no an
accident. Those people know exactly what they want to do, and how to do it,
before they ever press the Shutter Button.

The more you study and practice our hobby, the luckier you will become at
finding great pictures.

Roy G
Anonymous
June 20, 2005 9:53:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Randy Berbaum" <rberbaum@bluestem.prairienet.org> wrote in message
news:D 95ijk$kfb$1@wildfire.prairienet.org...
> Brad <bjdbradnospam@gmail.com> wrote:


> Don't measure your ability against the photos in magazines. Believe it or
> not, not all the photos the pros take end up in a magazine. :)  I once had
> a lengthy conversation with a husband/wife nature photography team who has
> been published many times a year. They told me that even with their
> experience and equipment they would take a thousand photos (on average)
> for each photo submitted for publication. And they will submit several
> hundred (to a thousand or more) photos before one is chosen for
> publication. So if you get one great photo out of every 100 THOUSAND
> you take you would be doing about as well as these pros. :)  (Sure takes
> the pressure off, a bit doesn't it?) :) 
>
> Randy

I agree with your general point (that pros shoot FAR more than what we see),
but the 100,000 to 1 ratio is nonsense for pros that make their living in
photography.
When I shot all film, my goal was to have at least one excellent shot per
roll (or a similar ratio). It IS true that National Geographic photo shoots
for stories often call for more than 10,000 photos, but even that is to the
extreme.

Most working pros would soon find themselves out of business if it took
100,000 shots to be published once.
Anonymous
June 21, 2005 12:11:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Mon, 20 Jun 2005 17:53:48 -0700, "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even
number here)@cox..net> wrote:

>
>"Randy Berbaum" <rberbaum@bluestem.prairienet.org> wrote in message
>news:D 95ijk$kfb$1@wildfire.prairienet.org...
>> Brad <bjdbradnospam@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>> Don't measure your ability against the photos in magazines. Believe it or
>> not, not all the photos the pros take end up in a magazine. :)  I once had
>> a lengthy conversation with a husband/wife nature photography team who has
>> been published many times a year. They told me that even with their
>> experience and equipment they would take a thousand photos (on average)
>> for each photo submitted for publication. And they will submit several
>> hundred (to a thousand or more) photos before one is chosen for
>> publication. So if you get one great photo out of every 100 THOUSAND
>> you take you would be doing about as well as these pros. :)  (Sure takes
>> the pressure off, a bit doesn't it?) :) 
>>
>> Randy
>
>I agree with your general point (that pros shoot FAR more than what we see),
>but the 100,000 to 1 ratio is nonsense for pros that make their living in
>photography.

To be fair, that's not what was said above.
You're speaking of photos *sold*, the above is about photos
*published*.
>When I shot all film, my goal was to have at least one excellent shot per
>roll (or a similar ratio). It IS true that National Geographic photo shoots
>for stories often call for more than 10,000 photos, but even that is to the
>extreme.
>
>Most working pros would soon find themselves out of business if it took
>100,000 shots to be published once.

True, but that doesn't mean that only *published* photos are sold.
How many wedding photos are sold vs. published?

--
Bill Funk
replace "g" with "a"
June 21, 2005 2:08:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Conrad wrote:

>
> Hi Stacey,
>
> Stacey Wrote:
>>
>>
>> I believe post processing skills are almost mandatory to get really
>> cool/good digital images. I've printed this shot straight from a C41
>> negative as a color print and it was OK but scanning it, turning it
>> into
>> B&W, brown toning, doing some shadow lifting and contrast adjustments
>> turned it into a different shot.
>>
>> http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-1/937049/truckweb.j...
>>
>Beautiful job! Really good looking B&W.
>

Thanx, hope the print I'm having made looks as good! :-)

--

Stacey
June 21, 2005 11:33:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sun, 19 Jun 2005 20:55:43 -0700, Paul Furman <paul-@-edgehill.net>
wrote:

>David Dyer-Bennet wrote:
>> Brad <bjdbradnospam@gmail.com> writes:
>>
>>>Can I stumble onto that picture (I have a new Sony 5M P+S with some
>>>limited manual controls) without editing at all
>>
>> Yes, you can take a picture that looks great printed "straight"
>> ...
>> While I sometimes do it and don't regret it, I still feel that one of
>> the silliest uses one can make of time is spending hours turning a
>> *bad* photo into a *mediocre* photo.
>
>
>I consider it a learning experience to ruin a mediocre image in
>processing <g> and I do it often.
>
>Yes, a great picture will still be awsesome without any processing. The
>processing is relatively trivial in terms of the final impact and if you
>get a great picture, just be sure you had your camera on the highest
>quality setting and to save the original, then you have all the time in
>the world to make a perfect print from it.
>
>I do enjoy fiddling but really there is only so much that can be done.


Paul, when you say save the original do you mean to save it on the
memory stick vs saving it on the hard drive?

Brad

LIFE'S JOURNEY IS NOT TO ARRIVE AT THE GRAVE SAFELY IN A
WELL-PRESERVED BODY, BUT RATHER TO SKID IN SIDEWAYS, TOTALLY WORN OUT,
SHOUTING... " HOLY @#$%... WHAT A RIDE!"
Anonymous
June 21, 2005 12:23:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Brad wrote:

> On Sun, 19 Jun 2005 20:55:43 -0700, Paul Furman <paul-@-edgehill.net>
> wrote:
>
>
>>David Dyer-Bennet wrote:
>>
>>>Brad <bjdbradnospam@gmail.com> writes:
>>>
>>>
>>>>Can I stumble onto that picture (I have a new Sony 5M P+S with some
>>>>limited manual controls) without editing at all
>>>
>>>Yes, you can take a picture that looks great printed "straight"
>>>...
>>>While I sometimes do it and don't regret it, I still feel that one of
>>>the silliest uses one can make of time is spending hours turning a
>>>*bad* photo into a *mediocre* photo.
>>
>>
>>I consider it a learning experience to ruin a mediocre image in
>>processing <g> and I do it often.
>>
>>Yes, a great picture will still be awsesome without any processing. The
>>processing is relatively trivial in terms of the final impact and if you
>>get a great picture, just be sure you had your camera on the highest
>>quality setting and to save the original, then you have all the time in
>>the world to make a perfect print from it.
>>
>>I do enjoy fiddling but really there is only so much that can be done.
>
>
>
> Paul, when you say save the original do you mean to save it on the
> memory stick vs saving it on the hard drive?


I mean don't overwrite it when you edit. Archive on CD.


--
Paul Furman
http://www.edgehill.net/1
san francisco native plants
Anonymous
June 23, 2005 10:17:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Mark?" <mjmorgan(lowest even number here)@cox..net> wrote:

: I agree with your general point (that pros shoot FAR more than what we
: see), but the 100,000 to 1 ratio is nonsense for pros that make their
: living in photography.
: When I shot all film, my goal was to have at least one excellent shot
: per roll (or a similar ratio). It IS true that National Geographic
: photo shoots for stories often call for more than 10,000 photos, but
: even that is to the extreme.

: Most working pros would soon find themselves out of business if it took
: 100,000 shots to be published once.

I agree with your assertion, but that was what was related to me. And I
did mention that they were "nature photographers" so this may imply a Nat
Geographic type magazine. But on the other hand, even if the ratio was
only 10,000 to 1 (or even 1000 to 1) just the thought of such large
numbers of rejects from professionals who supposedly have much more
experience and equipment than us silly hobbists, it does take a bit of the
pressure off the hobbist to try to make every photo look like a National
Geographic foldout. :) 

Randy

==========
Randy Berbaum
Champaign, IL
Anonymous
June 24, 2005 5:34:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Randy Berbaum" <rberbaum@bluestem.prairienet.org> wrote in message
news:D 9dk5i$pe7$4@wildfire.prairienet.org...
> "Mark?" <mjmorgan(lowest even number here)@cox..net> wrote:
>
> : I agree with your general point (that pros shoot FAR more than what we
> : see), but the 100,000 to 1 ratio is nonsense for pros that make their
> : living in photography.
> : When I shot all film, my goal was to have at least one excellent shot
> : per roll (or a similar ratio). It IS true that National Geographic
> : photo shoots for stories often call for more than 10,000 photos, but
> : even that is to the extreme.
>
> : Most working pros would soon find themselves out of business if it took
> : 100,000 shots to be published once.
>
> I agree with your assertion, but that was what was related to me. And I
> did mention that they were "nature photographers" so this may imply a Nat
> Geographic type magazine. But on the other hand, even if the ratio was
> only 10,000 to 1 (or even 1000 to 1) just the thought of such large
> numbers of rejects from professionals who supposedly have much more
> experience and equipment than us silly hobbists, it does take a bit of the
> pressure off the hobbist to try to make every photo look like a National
> Geographic foldout. :) 
>
> Randy
>
> ==========
> Randy Berbaum
> Champaign, IL

OTOH, Ansel Adams used to do meticulous preplanning, large-scale equipment,
and then, when the moment was right, take a single exposure. So it's not
universal, in terms of the number of shots taken by pros and amateurs. On
balance, I'd rather follow the Adams approach, but it assumes an almost
unlimited amount of money and time, to wait for perfection rather than hedge
your bets with something that may be "good enough". Regards --
!