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Guest John66

Great cameras, but...

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I think the reason most of the pictures on this forum are do dull and uninspired, or overly technical, is that the photographers who use the forum are mostly amateurs and fondlers. Once in a while some pro puts up some things (Chris Tribble?) and the difference is at once apparent.

 

Let's see if I got this straight, amateur=fondler and pro=great photographer. To quote the great Bugs Bunny "What a maroon!"

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There's no denying the quality of Leica lenses, and there's no denying that Leica once was on the leading edge of camera design.

 

So why are the majority of modern pictures taken with Leicas so boring? There's never any life to them - mine included.

 

For some reason, Leica pictures are considered "great" for some insignificant highlight, or an out of focus area. All very well, but the pictures are still mostly boring.

 

Can't we all collectively have some kind of push to make our photos more interesting. Show the world what a Leica, teamed up with a keen mind, is capable of producing?

 

I think I've seen enough uninspiring pictures of pets, lamps and walls to make me think there is no hope.

 

I just need some inspiration.

A majority of people buy cameras to record family events and not to become the world's next great photographer, they're too busy trying to support themselves and their families to pursue other dreams. That being said perhaps your photos are boring because you are. Perhaps you've fallen into a space where you are unproductive in imagination and vision so that is what you see reflected in the world around you. I would suggest you stretch and challenge yourself by doing something different. Travel to a foreign country where you don't speak the language and live there for a while. Learn to see again by putting yourself in a position where the visual is the dominant sense and you learn the culture by seeing it instead of being able to interpret it through vocal communication. When you live in a culture that is different than yours the commonplace, to that culture, can become the extraordinary to you, how you filter it can become your vision then the camera system becomes the tool you use to record your vision. You sound as though you've got it backwards in that you are looking to the camera system to suddenly become a magic wand that will transform your life from boring to exciting. It's not going to happen that way, the camera can't buy an airline ticket, pack a bag, rent an apartment, start a car and drive it somewhere or challenge itself, it can be there when you do to record your interpretation of the outcome, given that you know how to use the camera to do that to begin with.

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Guest Luis D

Second troll thread in two days, and it gets more response than the informational threads

What happened? Full moon, or did the pot just need stirring?

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Second troll thread in two days, and it gets more response than the informational threads What happened, did the pot need stirring?

 

Why is that when a thread upsets the "Bravo-Bravo!, Nice Lens Test" mentality of this place it is called a troll thread?

 

Sometimes this place NEEDS a good slap upside the head.

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As for Leica images being boring - this can be said of any of the camera companies as well.

 

Fully agree.

 

And I also don't like the pro/amateur distinction either. Most of the photos I see online from pros are boring as shit. Wedding photos, event photos, product photos, ugh. And actually, not only are the usually boring, many of them aren't even that good technically.

 

Not that some of them aren't great. There's a wonderful wedding photographer on Flickr (edwardolive) and of course Riccis. But a lot of pro work is just going through the motions for a client.

 

For example, I'm sick to death of looking at photos online with little DOF. The number of people out there who take pictures of shit wide open, just to do it, even though it ruins the picture, is mind boggling. People just don't seem to understand that a portrait with one eyelash in focus just isn't interesting. Sometimes, if the lighting is that poor, it might be necessary, but it usually isn't. There's one guy I see on flickr/forums who shoots with a D700 and some fancy expensive f/1.4 lenses. Doesn't matter the lighting, its all f/1.4. Some of the shots are headache inducing because there's no thought going into what should be in focus, how far am I from my subject, what is the DOF - nope, let's just focus on the nose/eye at f/1.4. Ugh.

 

Now I'm not saying I'm a great photographer. I do it for fun and when I can. I think some of the photos I've done are good

And I'm certainly glad I'm not trying to make a living at it, because if I was, I probably wouldn't be able to shoot what I want, but what the client wants. Very few pros in any field get to call the shots.

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There's no denying the quality of Leica lenses, and there's no denying that Leica once was on the leading edge of camera design.

 

So why are the majority of modern pictures taken with Leicas so boring? There's never any life to them - mine included.

 

For some reason, Leica pictures are considered "great" for some insignificant highlight, or an out of focus area. All very well, but the pictures are still mostly boring.

 

Can't we all collectively have some kind of push to make our photos more interesting. Show the world what a Leica, teamed up with a keen mind, is capable of producing?

 

I think I've seen enough uninspiring pictures of pets, lamps and walls to make me think there is no hope.

 

I just need some inspiration.

 

 

 

Excellent. You, my good man, are a breath of fresh air. Welcome to the forum, and long may you continue to say it as it is.

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I don't think that's a Leica problem but a general photography problem. Take a look at flickr at the amount of bloody flower pictures there are. Not meaning to annoy any flower lovers out there, but it gets too much.

 

I still use my Leica's for pretty interesting stuff, taking shots of cocaine lords smoking their product before being sold, inked up gang members and their pets, general documentary stuff.

 

RIch in mind Hmmm

X: Smoking Hmmm

Documentary Archives Hmmm

 

it's just a tool at the end of the day, i've seen some utterly rubbish images taken with the high end canon/nikons and hassies.

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This is true, there are over 32,000 posts in the PHOTO forum compared to even this one at 13,000. But...the interface for seeing the photos without going through layers of titles is, well, lousy.

 

So it does not really work very well. But that is vBulletin software, I know because I own a website that uses it.

 

I hear you on the interface--I think that's why the owners have started the whole "album" thing like LFI.

 

But I will say this: after hanging out in the Photo forum (and even contributing a couple of non-commercial images), I do know the folks I like to look at everytime I go there.

 

Yes, their shots are that good. I'm not going to mention names, but just go browse the People forum! If you don't quickly come away with inspiration, or an appreciation of what these people see with their cameras, then I think you're too jaded for any camera or photography in general.

 

Once you've done that, go look at the LFI galleries

And countless others posted over the Internet

 

(And again, I know it's weird, but this M8 forum is not meant for pictures, just technical discussion. I do think people look at *this* forum and mistake technical explanations for "art", which is not going to yield much inspiration).

 

Having said all that, I miss seeing prints, so I'm going to take a road trip soon to the Kodak Museum in Rochester

Edited by Jamie Roberts

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Guest John66

This is not about personality, or whether I lead a stimulating life, this surely is about the perception (because I may be wrong) that Leica cameras and lenses costing large sums of money are mostly used for producing mediocre pictures. Nothing wrong with this, just seems slightly odd, and in my case disappointing.

 

There's something quite romantic about somebody using an old mechanical camera, or a modern quirky equivalent to document special and personal memories, but here we are spending literally thousands and thousands to do the same thing, which can easily be done with the cheapest of cameras.

 

Nothing personal, and no offence intended. Just publicly questioning my reasons for buying what is undoubtedly a beautiful camera.

 

Thanks for many of your helpful responses.

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Guest Bernd Banken
Thanks for the replies - very honest. Thought I was going to get shot down in flames, instead a warm welcome

 

Very interesting.

 

 

My theory:

 

Buing a Leica is already a filter which will separate it's users from others mainly by price.

Leicas are so expensive that the customers of this brand have to pay much more compared to other brands.

This means that special skills or behaviour or strategy must be developed to gain money and on the other hand photographic skills are not so well established.

There are some exceptions where we can see young, hungry and skillful persons with Leicas and phantastic pics but in these days the everage Leica user has much more money than breathtaking pics......

 

As I said above: a theory.......

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And I also don't like the pro/amateur distinction either. Most of the photos I see online from pros are boring as shit. Wedding photos, event photos, product photos, ugh. And actually, not only are the usually boring, many of them aren't even that good technically.

 

Then you are looking in the wrong places, try looking at an issue of Communication Arts or Photo District News. Or, attend Perpignan or Look3? You won't see much mainstream work like weddings or products but you will see great photography.

 

And I'm certainly glad I'm not trying to make a living at it, because if I was, I probably wouldn't be able to shoot what I want, but what the client wants. Very few pros in any field get to call the shots.

 

Big misconception, a lot of pros call the shots, that is why the client hires them, otherwise any old hack with a camera could do it.

 

I think amateurs do this to feel like they are superior in being able to shoot what they want. Only thing is, they really can't, because they are doing something other than photography for a living and that takes up a lot of their time.

 

90% of the time, I shoot what I want. I try to do it as best as I can because there is a market for great shots. So far so good, not working, not playing, just living the Photographic Life....

 

I am outta here now, cold is done, sun is out, a foot of fresh snow, avalanche and photo gear together, time to take the photos I want to take.

 

See you all next time!

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This is not about personality, or whether I lead a stimulating life, this surely is about the perception (because I may be wrong) that Leica cameras and lenses costing large sums of money are mostly used for producing mediocre pictures. Nothing wrong with this, just seems slightly odd, and in my case disappointing.

 

There's something quite romantic about somebody using an old mechanical camera, or a modern quirky equivalent to document special and personal memories, but here we are spending literally thousands and thousands to do the same thing, which can easily be done with the cheapest of cameras.

 

Nothing personal, and no offence intended. Just publicly questioning my reasons for buying what is undoubtedly a beautiful camera.

 

Thanks for many of your helpful responses.

 

John, that's because you're mistaking a romance for the real world: a camera and lenses only means so much. I know lots of people who can outshoot me with a cellphone cam because they think differently than I do and are, well, just more talented.

 

Give them a Leica M and they're going to love it or hate it. Some people I know who are superbly creative photographers can't stand rangefinders. Some of them shoot in Program mode on dSLRs. Some of them shoot MF film and some shoot all of the above (inlcuding cellphone cams).

 

But I like the way an M makes me think and work certain kinds of event images. I like its consistency; I like its ease-of-use. These are personal things, and the camera doesn't get in my way, which means I enjoy working with it more--even if I only produce mediocre pictures (because that's where I am as photographer).

 

Now, having said that, technically, I like the fact that with a Leica wide angle I don't get the distortion I get from most Japanese zooms or wide primes, and while I know I can fix that in post, I don't care to spend my time doing that. I like the fact that Leica lenses have wonderful flare characteristics (either superb flare rejection or, in some of the older lenses, serious flare indeed!). I like the fact that the lenses produce, on average, far less CA and other (fixable, yes) artifacts than others, too.

 

IOW, the glass has character. That comes at a cost (though the cost of R glass right now--even new!--is an astoundingly wonderful bargain if you know how to focus manually) and doesn't guarantee anything like high-quality imagery.

 

But it does guarantee that if you spend the time mastering your craft, it won't be the glass that gets in your way

 

Put it another way: your post may as well have said something like "I get depressed at the number of crappy tee shots I see with someone using a high-end Calloway or Ping driver. Thousands of $$ spent on those clubs and everywhere I look people are slicing and hooking, duffing the ball and burning worms."

 

And I think photography is harder than golf

But just because the clubs you have are good doesn't mean your handicap will go down...

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Why is that when a thread upsets the "Bravo-Bravo!, Nice Lens Test" mentality of this place it is called a troll thread?

 

Sometimes this place NEEDS a good slap upside the head.

 

Hear hear!

 

Anyway, the problem with M's and new users (or even old) is that they can be difficult cameras to use, sometimes quite slow on the uptake esp if you want the image to be "perfect." I remember years ago when I got my first M the first few rolls back had everybody's face smack in the middle - I was intent on the new to me focusing of the rf I was forgetting to compose. Needless to say, I found most of the photos "boring."

 

One of the best solutions to that is to get loose! Don't worry about perfectly sharp focus, bend your knees, get on the ground or a chair, hold the camera away from your eye, use slow shutter speeds, get in close. M's take a lot of practice - there's no AF or P or superwide or tele lenses to make the image more dramatic.

 

Anyway, check out the Istanbul gallery on my site for M8 work, and the in the travel gallery the rectangle images all with M7 or 8. But I don't think one need travel to foreign climes. Yes, it is inspiring, but if one can't make an interesting picture of their own family, then one isn't necessarily going to make one of a stranger in a faraway land.

 

Also, check out Burnmagazine.org or the magnum site/blog for great work made with Leicas.

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So why are the majority of modern pictures taken with Leicas so boring? There's never any life to them - mine included.

 

It's not that the majority of Leica pictures are boring. Rather, the majority of pictures taken with any camera are boring. It's not too difficult to figure out why. Nearly everybody has a camera these days but very few have the motivation to take the necessary time or develop the eye to make good images with them. That's not a criticism, just a fact. People have different levels of interest, and I see no problem with that. Years ago, most of the so called "bad" pictures would never be seen by anyone but friends and relatives. Now, with the internet, everyone with a computer gets to see them--the good and the bad.

Edited by fotografr

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(And again, I know it's weird, but this M8 forum is not meant for pictures, just technical discussion. I do think people look at *this* forum and mistake technical explanations for "art", which is not going to yield much inspiration).

Excellent point!

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Could it be that with any digital camera and the web, there are now millions and millions of photos to view, while just a decade ago if you wanted to view photos, you had to buy a book or go to a show. So perhaps it is a numbers game, now that we have zillions and zillions of photos, we will have many more boring ones. Is the % of boring photos greater than, less than, or equal to the % of boring photos 10-15 yrs ago?

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When I studied photography many years ago, the first thing that we were taught was the basic eye of the photographer. There are three golden rules that will make anyone's photography much better. These rules can be summed up as follows:

 

1. Know Your Subject

2. Focus Attention To Your Subject

3. Simplify

 

 

Andreas, I can tell you are an NYIP alumni. Same here.

Greetings

Miklos

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Then you are looking in the wrong places, try looking at an issue of Communication Arts or Photo District News. Or, attend Perpignan or Look3? You won't see much mainstream work like weddings or products but you will see great photography.

 

I didn't say there wasn't good pro work out there. There is. There's a lot of good amateur work out there too. If you look in the right places

 

Big misconception, a lot of pros call the shots, that is why the client hires them, otherwise any old hack with a camera could do it.

 

I think amateurs do this to feel like they are superior in being able to shoot what they want. Only thing is, they really can't, because they are doing something other than photography for a living and that takes up a lot of their time.

 

Ha thanks for the lecture. The pros who have 'made it' do get to call a lot of the shots. I'm defining professional as someone who makes money from their photography, since, well that's what the word means. And a lot of pros, be they newspaper photographers, wedding photographers, whatever, don't get to call the shots. I'm sure their are a lot more of those types than the ones who actually get to say, "I wanna go shoot this project."

 

As far as the other thing, I didn't say superior. Don't put words in my mouth. It goes both ways. I get to shoot what I want, when I want. I also have the choice not to shoot if I don't want to, because my paycheck doesn't depend on it. I get to travel the world too for work and get to take pictures all over the place too. And if I feel like taking lunch, the afternoon, a day, or a week off to go take photos, I can.

 

Some amateurs (myself included) are quite happy with how photography fits into their life, and how their job fits into their life, and how the two are separate. Just because I recognize that I have high job satisfaction AND happiness with my hobbies doesn't mean I'm trying to rationalize why photography isn't my career.

 

What I did say, was that the pro/amateur distinction doesn't ultimately say anything about the quality of the work.

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Put it another way: your post may as well have said something like "I get depressed at the number of crappy tee shots I see with someone using a high-end Calloway or Ping driver. Thousands of $$ spent on those clubs and everywhere I look people are slicing and hooking, duffing the ball and burning worms."

 

And I think photography is harder than golf

But just because the clubs you have are good doesn't mean your handicap will go down...

 

Tagging on to what Jamie said - - -

 

Wouldn't it be a shame if we had to reach a certain level of expertise before we could buy some things. Companies like Porsche and Ferrari and Martin Guitar and Ping and Calloway and . . . . yes, even Leica, would be out of business.

 

If you are talking about talent, over the years I have purchased quite a few things that I didn't "deserve" to own. But I bought those things anyway and in so doing I have done my little part to ensure that those products are around for more deserving individuals.

 

Even though I am not a very good photographer . . . . even though many of my photos are of my cats and my granddaughters . . . I have done my part to keep Leica in business.

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Andreas, I can tell you are an NYIP alumni. Same here.

Greetings

Miklos

 

Hey Miklos,

 

Good stuff, great to hear there are some other NYIP guys out there. Now we must just get Don Sheff or Charles De Laney to visit this forum

 

Regards

Andreas

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