Sunday, October 20, 2013

Suzy Q and photography

Well, not quite Suzy Q but Pentax Q. Today I looked at the results of various of the smaller sensor interchangeable lens cameras and came to the conclusion that there's nothing really separating any of them for performance. The lenses all seem equally decent. The images they produce all seem equally decent. I really don't see an awful lot of difference bar brand name other than perhaps in the high ISO image rendition. There, it is noticeable that smaller sensors produce worse results. To be honest though - they all seem pretty equal up to ISO 800. I think I would be happy using any of them.

Meanwhile, I took another photo of my little green and orange bus. There's just something about the colors that make it appear not quite sharp. I'm not sure what that is. I notice this with a lot of photographs that I take. The camera was on a tripod. The exposure was 30 seconds at f8 and the focal point was on the nearest corner of the white line on the bus.
If you look at the lines, everything is sharp. Look at the colors and it's not. It's almost as though the colors are focussing in the wrong place. The text on the sign is sharp. The red and green are just not that sharp. It's a bit bizarre. The camera was correctly focus-locked on the bus though. The business cards in the foreground are sharp. The clock in the background is sharp. There's just something not quite right there. I never used to have this problem when I used Nikon. I'm beginning to wonder if Canon lenses just aren't that great. There was no filter and the lens was clean.

Meanwhile, on another issue, I was chatting to somebody at work about photography. It seems that we all know the same "professional" photographers. There's one who's a real pest - continually buying things from the company website then returning them to the store. What he does is to photograph them for a website. What he's doing is buying the products then returning them after using them. It's definitely exploiting a gap in the extremely liberal return policy. Everybody is afraid to say no to taking things back. Needless to say, I have not seen very many photographers that have been at all honest.

Years ago I saw a biopic of a photographer who used to pawn his camera gear until he had a client then he'd buy it back and take the clients money, pretend to take a photo and then claim it didn't come out so he'd then use the money from his second client to buy his film back, then he'd "retake" both sets of pictures and so on. He was about as disreputable as the glazier in Charlie Chaplin films who would write the name of his glazing firm around a brick and would lob the brick through a window.

In the past, I knew one fellow who was a photographer who spent brief periods of affluence interspersed with longer periods on welfare. He couldn't make photography work as an income and just took money from the state rather than trying to get a real job. I know a large number of photographers locally that are either dependent upon somebody else or who have a real job that finances their photography business. This is no way to be. Yet all of them will lie and say that they are making a load of money.

I got pretty much ostracised the other day for saying that I couldn't make photography pay. One of the organisations I was a member of suddenly told me that my membership had been deactivated then did not respond to further emails. Clearly it's not possible to tell the truth. If the truth offends people then they're not people I need to know in the first place. Isn't that interesting - we seem to be getting to an inexplicable link between photographers and lack of honesty. Whichever way we look at it, photographers never seem to be that honest. A photographer was hired for one occasion that I was involved with. The photographs were awful - color casts galore, grain like golf balls and ridiculously underexposed. They charged plenty though.

I am very glad that I am an amateur photographer. I could never tell the amount of lies needed nor use and abuse people in the manner needed to be a professional photographer. This is quite likely why I never managed to make professional photography pay. I enjoy my photography and am in the midst of downsizing.

Going back to the Suzy Q reference, I really love photography. I love the pictures I create. I don't care anything for making photography into an art form though. I don't see the need to have huge cameras either now that we have gone digital. I would go for a superzoom but for the fact that their image quality isn't that great. I might have to try one again though. I expect that the image quality is now vastly superior to that of my elderly Canon S1 IS. As my photos are for myself only and for publication either online or in my books, I don't really need a huge professional camera setup any more. I need something that will do what I want to do.

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