How much do photographers adds to a good cameras ?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by saadsalem, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. A DSLR camera ,anyone from an entry level to a high end one of any brand,fixed on a stand,and by a remote or a
    self timer set to capture a nice landscape in the fully automatic ( P ) mode in an average or ordinary light conditions.
    How you will compare the very same image taken by a good photographer standing in the same place and using the
    same camera with his own tweaking and preferred setting for the shot.
    Technology have produced super good cameras capable of self acting intelligently in even some difficult light
    situations,and can cope with most if not all well to medium lit situations.
    I just want to know how much a good photographers could adds with their own preferred settings to the cameras in
    normal ordinary situations.
    My own personal and very private opinion that depends entirely on my personal experience would be that of 10
    to 30% for the very same example mentioned earlier,what do you think , please?
  2. A good photographer will be taking a great picture. A bad photographer will be not taking a picture at all, or will be taking a picture in a totally different place and time. The camera has very, very little to do with it.
    Sometimes having a particular camera allows you to take a particular picture that you couldn't have taken with another camera. A bad photographer won't be trying to take that picture in the first place, so it will make absolutely no difference what camera he is using, because it won't have even occurred to him that he could be taking that picture.
    That's the difference between a good photographer and a bad photographer. They will be in two totally different places trying to take different pictures. And even if for some reason they are forced together for a brief moment in time, and seem to be pointing their cameras in more or less the same direction, the good photographer will come out with something totally different from the bad photographer.
  3. The biggest difference in the scenario you mention is that any modern camera, in P mode, will interpret the shot as the people who designed it programmed the parameters it uses when it's all automatic. Unless there is a tricky lighting situation, the picture will probably turn out pretty well, and will look pretty average.
    Now if you do it, you have the options of over/under exposing the scene, controlling depth of field, etc. in order to make the final result more your vision instead of that of the camera programmers.
  4. Saad, think of it this way: When you let the camera make the decisions, it is doing so according to its tiny chip & a Nikon Program, in an utterly generic manner. When a photographer makes the decision, s/he's using the big meat-chip between their shoulders and making choices that match their vision. It is a dimensional difference.
    Unless you take control of your gear, they're not really your own.
  5. Ted Raper.
    instead of that of the camera programmers.

    That cameras programmers have depended on in all the history of cameras since their invention,and the expertises of all the good pioneers of the analogue photography and the new current technology to write that programs,wouldn't that contribute to the image of the cameras in their auto mode ?
    I think it does ,and you have said it,(will probably turn out pretty well).
    in your opinion how much better for that particular situation the good photographer will add to the image?
  6. But taking control of camera settings is maybe 2% of it. Maybe 5%. The other 95% is having the idea for the picture, and actually taking it. A sophisticated camera will never help with this.
    Incidentally, many of the very, very best cameras used by the very, very best photographers, are extremely simple cameras. Sophistication in cameras is not necessarily helping the photographer take the picture. As often as not, maybe more often than not, it's doing the opposite. The point of sophistication in cameras is generally not to make it easier to take photos, but to confuse the public and sell cameras.
  7. Luis G
    When you let the camera make the decisions.

    that decision is based on a photographers experiences,indeed a lot of great photographer ,but it is done by a certain mechanism in a chip,isnt that same chip we depend on in our great deal of life aspects ?
    how much the good photographer is better for that particular example I already mentioned ?
  8. In other words, the thread is a bit like asking 'how much can a good writer add to a good word processor?'
    In fact, the fact that the question could even be asked in the first place strikes me as hilarious. This whole conception that it's having a good camera that makes you take a good picture is quite a common one - people think they will get good photos by buying a good camera. I think it's part of this whole western cultural idea that you can solve any problem by throwing money at it.
    You can make Microsoft Word as sophisticated as possible, so that it spell checks, corrects grammar etc. But it still takes Shakespeare to write Hamlet. You can buy a piano that allows you to make the most beautiful noises, but that doesn't mean you're going to be able to produce Tchaikovsky's first Piano Concerto.
    Photography's the same.
  9. I would think of this question the same way as that of a cinematographer - a modern camera's features and automation takes care of the technical side as much as possible so the cameraman can concentrate on the artistic aspect.
    We're a long way from cameras that will enable monkeys to take artistic pictures.
  10. Simon Crofts
    You can buy a piano that allows you to make the most beautiful noises, but that doesn't mean you're going to be able to produce Tchaikovsky's first Piano Concerto.

    if we fed that piano by a note of that author,and make it self played ,it will play that author symphony,but not as the humans does,my question how much better the human does.

    please note that I am not trying to take from the photographers share to add it to the cameras,I just want to know how much technology have evolved to imitates good photographers,thank you so very much.
  11. But maybe the question would make sense if phrased instead as 'how much do bad photographers add to good cameras?'
    Is a camera better simply to exist on its own untouched by human hands, or is it better that it be picked up by someone who's going to take some truly awful pictures with it?
  12. Michael Chang.

    We're a long way from cameras that will enable monkeys to take artistic pictures.

    that way will never be reached at all,I am not asking about artistic photos at all,and even I haven't think of that ,it is a landscape with an ordinary average light,to compare with,and I think any aim and shoot would do that ,and I meant DSLR from an entry level to a high end of any brand.
  13. if we fed that piano by a note of that author,and make it self played ,it will play that author symphony​
    But it will never write a decent piano concerto. A photographer is the composer, not the performer. The performance is the print - and yes you can make a print through a computer. But it takes a photographer to have a brilliant creative idea and go out and take the picture.
    I just want to know how much technology have evolved to imitates good photographers​
    The answer is not at all. The good photographers have creative ideas. Good cameras don't even try. The best they can do is try to help with the mechanics of focus and exposure (which a good photographer can equally do himself, as easily as a writer picks up a pen).
    I am not asking about artistic photos at all​
    I think that a good photographer will always take artistic photos. So I would think that you're thinking about bad photographers.
  14. "if we fed that piano by a note of that author,and make it self played ,it will play that author symphony,but not as the humans does,my question how much better the human does."
    Saad, take a listen to this piece of orchestration made entirely on a computer and midi-controller, composed, arranged, performed in the author's basement. An example of a single person replacing an entire orchestra, conductor, venue, composer, arranger, recording studio, etc.. It's how modern cinematic music is made.
    With all this technology, you still need to know how to use it in order to create beautiful music that is transparent to the listener. In the same way as photography, the artist can not be replaced by machines but what does change is the artist's role.
  15. I have a slow net line ,and I speak English as a second language,from those answers I think I might be misunderstood,
    Here it is again:

    A DSLR camera ,anyone from an entry level to a high end one of any brand,fixed on a stand,and by a remote or a self timer set to capture a nice landscape in the fully automatic ( P ) mode in an average or ordinary light conditions. How you will compare the very same image taken by a good photographer standing in the same place and using the same camera with his own tweaking and preferred setting for the shot.

  16. So, let's say the good photographer takes the same picture twice - once using a camera in P mode and autofocus, the other where he/she sets the settings that he/she wants, using exposure compensation, and deciding where to place the focus.
    Some of the time, the camera will get a similar result - for example if whatever happened to be in the centre of the image happens to be at the same distance as whatever the photographer wanted to focus on. Sometimes the camera will happen to set the same depth of field that the photographer wanted. Sometimes the camera the camera will set the same exposure value as the good photographer wanted to.
    Most of the time, the camera will get one or more of these technical settings 'wrong', to a lesser or a greater extent. Occasionally it will get them all 'right', meaning, the same effect that the good photographer wanted to achieve. Nothing much has changed with digital in this respect - the same applied in the days of film.
    One thing that modern technology probably has achieved is to increase the proportion of times when someone who doesn't know what they're doing manages to get something vaguely usable ie. more or less in focus and more or less usable exposure.
    On the other hand, increasing sophistication of exposure control means that the public have less idea of what they are doing with the camera, so whether it really does improve their 'hit' rate is highly doubtful.
    What digital has achieved is that they are free to take a lot of photos without worrying too much about cost, so you end up with an awful lot more bad pictures being taken. Whether or not there are more good photos being taken as well is a moot point.
  17. Simon Crofts

    Thank you so much,your POV is very well understood.
  18. Then there is the question of whether new technology allows good photographers to take better photos. It can certainly sometimes allow them to take photos they couldn't take otherwise. The most obvious example is the ability to take pictures at higher ISO's with less noise/grain. The ability to change ISO from picture to picture that digital brought, and colour balance is also extremely useful. No doubt about it.
    As for bells and whistles on cameras - most of them are of marginal use, or positively bad. You can see that from the fact that most of the more fancy ones only appear on bottom of the range cameras. These fancy shooting modes start to disappear as you move further up the chain. 'P' settings are of marginal use - in fact, a positive disadvantage (my opinion), for photographers who know what they are doing - which is why you don't see them on lean and mean picture taking machines like Leica M9's.
    Likewise, evaluative/matrix metering - in my opinion (many will disagree) it's a handicap. The best metering modes are the good old traditional spot and centre weighted ones. Using them requires a little knowledge, but people who use 'P' mode and evaluative metering are not going to get that knowledge - so people that use sophisticated automation on their cameras are at a significant disadvantage - in my personal opinion. The very best cameras have aperture, shutter speed, effective focus, and ISO and white balance controls. Most features or sophistication beyond that are a distraction and a disadvantage - just bells and whistles intended to sell cameras to people that like toys that interfere with the picture taking process.
  19. Michael Chang.

    the artist can not be replaced by machines.

    Sir,I am fully aware of what you have said,the cameras can not do an abstract neither in the P mode nor in any in the future invented modes,it will not capture a scene with a message behind,does this prevent us from believing that a good manufactured camera would take a descent or even a fine image in the auto mood for a landscape ?
  20. Simon Crofts.

    Likewise, evaluative/matrix metering - in my opinion (many will disagree) it's a handicap.

    Yes,I agree with you on this issue,I used the matrix only for testing at first day of buy,never to use it again.
  21. Saad, I think in your example of a well lit landscape (add to that a grand landscape from a bit of altitude where focal point doesn't matter) and with the same camera and lens with the framing identical at the same moment in time, you probably wouldn't be able to tell the great photographer's raw file from the novice/lousy/casual amateur photographer's output in P. In fact, the criteria here, where both would be in the same place at the same time with the same equipment pointed/framed at the same thing even if not elevated (where DOF isn't a factor) and the light a bit more dramatic, you still probably wouldn't see much of a difference in many cases. In reality, in those sort of conditions and with even some of the early automated film cameras, that would be the case.
    I say this as someone who has used the zone system for exposure for over 30 years, light is just pretty normal most of the time. The differences are going to come with close subjects and/or very difficult lighting and/or where motion is an element of the intended capture. Then, the differences will start to be further separated.
    But the case isn't one of exposure, which is certainly important, but one of artistic abilities, which ranges from intent, seeing, concept and the skill to transact those things. I think you know that already.
  22. Any body can get lucky once in a while and take a good picture or better. The mark of the professionals is that they can do it on demand and consistently.
    Besides, a technically perfect (good focus, exposure, etc.) photograph is not at all the same as a good photograph in any meaningful sense (composition, conception, etc.)
  23. John A.

    you probably wouldn't be able to tell the great photographer's raw file from the novice/lousy/casual amateur photographer's output in P.

    Bless you,this is what I have wanted another photographer or advanced cameras tester to tell me with some confidence.
    Sir,I have done the experiment myself,and the outcome is a 30% difference at best circumstances ,most of the times ,there is only simple differences and of not that importance to the image in that particular experiment,let us say it is 10% difference.
    I know very well that the cameras manufactures have incorporated the zone system in some way or another in their programs,not to mention the accurate light meters,the autofocus system that most of the photographers depends on,the very good exposure meter,the white balance and so on,All those are not born from nothing,they are the pioneers experiences,plus the technology,all this lead me more confident in my cameras,and let me use the auto more frequently than before ,most of my works are streets,and you know for sure that sometimes you will miss a shot if you were to set the camera according to the surrounding light ,so I just took care of the composition and do the click,most of the times,that small black wonders( Nikon 300D or Canon 5D MII) will do what I expect from them to do.I have never underestimated their capabilities,the soul of some many great photographers are hidden in them.
    I am not telling you something strange when I am going to do an abstract,it will not take only the camera setting,but it will take me sometimes lying in the floor ,or standing on one leg ,and that is when I want my camera to capture my vision on an Image.
    In either case,I am still confident of my ability as a photographer,and I am not taking from the camera value to adds to mine ,and outcome is the final judge.
    thank you Sir so very much,you have given me a cure.
  24. JDM von Weinberg.

    Besides, a technically perfect (good focus, exposure, etc.) photograph is not at all the same as a good photograph in any meaningful sense (composition, conception, etc.)

    Exactly,like the differences between the image of Sharbat when she was 14 year at the cover of the NG,(June 1985) and the documentary image of her after sixteen years later when she was founded again by Steve Ma Curry.
  25. I know very well that the cameras manufactures have incorporated the zone system in some way or another in their programs​
    It is not possible for camera manufacturers to build the zone system into metering. The whole core of the zone system is based around the concept of 'vizualisation'. It is the starting point of the whole approach. A camera cannot visualise. So there is no way that manufacturers can build the zone system into their cameras. The best they can hope to do with a camera in auto is to catch a range of tones and hope that the photographer can rescue something from it. On the whole, camera's auto modes, even the most sophisticated ones, are pretty crap and get it wrong most of the time. They just can't read minds.
    What the camera is trying to do in auto mode is pretty basic. Trying to get a 'correct' exposure that captures a range of tones. Trying to get something in focus. Maybe trying to keep a shutter speed above a point where there's likely to be camera shake. A child using a basic manual camera with a basic meter with no experience of photography can quikly learn consistently to get a good exposure and can learn to focus. The most complex camera metering systems available cannot do this yet - they can only get a good exposure some of the time, and can't even start to make conscious decisions about depth of field and shutter speed, so it's not much to write home about.
    The photographers skill is in making choices that fulfil some particular kind of vision. The camera cannot make these choices. It is just a dumb instrument, like a pen.
  26. Hilarious, yes.
    I like those comments. Right on;
    "We're a long way from cameras that will enable monkeys to take artistic pictures."
    " You can make Microsoft Word as sophisticated as possible, so that it spell checks, corrects grammar etc. But it still takes Shakespeare to write Hamlet. You can buy a piano that allows you to make the most beautiful noises, but that doesn't mean you're going to be able to produce Tchaikovsky's first Piano Concerto.
    Photography's the same."
  27. Saad, just a few hours ago, I went out shooting some landscapes and scenes on the streets. Just before I start shooting, I got a phone call and something upset me. I had no interest in taking the pictures anymore, but I was already there, so I took about 50 shots anyway. Normally I always shoot in manual, but today I didn't care and set it to A
    Usually I throw away only a few, like 10% of the pictures, but today I throw away 90% of them, and I am not really satisfied with the 5 pictures remaining either. So YES, there is a NINE times difference if you set your mind to it instead of letting the camera do it by itself
  28. First things first: I wonder whether a good photographer would even take a picture from that so called perfect spot. A good photog sees, and he is not limited by postcard views but rather interprets the scenes around. Of course in case that one spot and angle of view and so forth would appeal to a good photog and to a layman at precisely the same time, and both would shoot, the difference in their pics (due to small diaframe, speed, focus variations) would be near negligable. But that is in itself beside he point!
    Because the two would never take the same pic, not from the same sport, not the same composition, not nothing similar at all, because the good photog sees, the bad one just clicks and wonders why his pics have so little appeal. The good photog knows what not to take and why.
    Incidentally, a good photog is never crowded out, even in the most popular places such as Mark's square in Venice or under the Eiffel tower ... because he is alone with his vision and does not take boring so-so pics like everyone else from/of the same postcard pic locations.
    But then the poster may not understand what i am talking about. Sorry then.
  29. I sort of hate these discussions because they are so emotional. John, maybe the reason the images weren't that great had something to do with your mood?
    I have shot over 7000 images from helicopters and planes with the camera on Tv, with the shutter set as high as I felt I could/needed for vibrations and shake. I don't remember ever touching anything but my autofocus button and the shutter release. Guess what, maybe 20 exposures haven't been good (some are crappy shots, but exposed well!)--it was one sequence and probably was less than this. Admittedly, aerial photography has the advantage of not including too much sky if you are shooting something running along the ground.
    The zone system relying on visualization is sort of true, but if you really look at the system, it is about getting usable data onto the film through exposure and development decisions. In the final analysis, it is just getting the data in a usable form on the film. If you scan film, you actually can do a lot of the "zone system" work without the need to mechanically expand or compress the tonal range. Certainly it is better to do what you can at each step, but with color, such development procedures are not as predictable as with b/w films. Shooting digital, the zone system becomes more of a tool when you know the limits of the cameras dynamic range, thus allowing for placement of the exposure to allow for the maintenance of tonality. Sometimes, the only solution to very high or very low ranges is to make over or under exposures for blending later (not HDR!). Camera meters are not always going to get you the results you want in these conditions, but knowing how to read your LCD and/or Histogram is where the expertise comes into play. But shooting street, Saad is exactly right, you can't take the time to evaluate a scene, you have to react and adjust if there is time for a second shot.
    I don't do it much anymore, for practical reasons, but if you actually know what you are doing, shooting in Program mode is not different than shooting in any other mode, including manual--it is physically different, but the results will be no different for the knowledgeable user. I shot in P for a long time after I got my dSLR two years ago--I had a hard time letting go of my film and MF/LF cameras. But I didn't just shoot based on the P picks. My camera is set up so AF is by a separate button than the trigger. My index finger is on a dial that will change the aperture/shutter speed combinations (in concert with the meter readings by the camera), my thumb is on the rear dial that changes the exposure compensation up or down and I can change iso with a push of a button with the thumb as well. The result is that I am always getting the camera meters' baseline (the place we all must start unless we are using an external meter) and then I can quickly move to my desired aperture/shutter/compensation and iso for any given shot--all in P mode. Now, most of the time, I am in Av mode on the ground and make these same decisions and changes at will. In certain circumstances, I will move to M mode, but it is rarely needed in practice.
    Everyone works the way they are comfortable, but to dis any way of working is as bad as the person who asks "whatchya takin' a picture of mister?"
  30. Simon has nailed it. Even the most sophisticated camera has no way of distinguishing a "ghost in a snowstorm" from a "black cat in a coal bin". It just measures the incoming light and they'll both come out grey if not compensated properly.
    The odds go up for the camera if we're shooting some landscape at mid-day.
  31. I can assure you that many average joes, with very expensive cameras, have stood in the very same places, and taken photos of the very same scenes, where some of the world's greatest photos have been taken, but for some reason, the great photos come from the great photographers, not from the average joes with the expensive cameras.
    A good photo has very little to do with a good camera. One of my favorite photography books is one that is entirely made up of photos taken with a 2 megapixel camera phone.
    I myself am not a great photographer, not by any stretch. I am learning as are most of us here at But take a look at this photo that I took on a recent back packing trip.
    On that day there were at least 8 other people with me and 4 of them had very sophisticated cameras. From my memory they included a Canon 5D w/24-105 F/4L, Nikon D300 w/ 18-200VR, Nikon D90 w/18-55, and Canon G10. I cannot post any of their results, but I can quite confidently say that none of them were remarkable whatsoever. This waterfall is also a "feature attraction" of one of the more popular locations in Banff National Park and probably sees dozens of people per day throughout the summer, a large proportion of which are more likely than not, carrying very sophisticated cameras. Still I have searched the internet for other photos of this same place and have found none.
    The camera has very little to do with it.
  32. Ray House

    Ray House Ray House

    It was said by someone..."A good photographer knows when to not take the shot". I don't think that has anything to do with the equipment.
  33. John A.

    shooting in Program mode is not different than shooting in any other mode, including manual--it is physically different,

    This is my best in this thread, I can not even say it ,But now I have a reference to it.
    IMHO,if we just tweak that further as necessary by negative or positive compensation,all with a good composition,that would produce the artistic image in any photographers hands.
  34. Edward Weston with a Holga would blow away any one of us with a 5D Mark II.
  35. If you shoot a portrait in program mode and get 1/125sec F11 @ ISO100 and for some reason choose those exact same setting while shoot in manual mode using the in camera meter then the two shots will be the same. If in manual mode you choose say 1/1000 F4 @ ISO100 again using the in camera metering then the shots would be rather different. You could of course use program shift by turning a comand wheel and force program mode to 1/1000sec F4. But the photographer has to know why they may want F4 instead of F11.
    The real question is how can a decent photographer benifit from have better gear or how can a decent photographer take advantage of the advanced features and modes a modern camera has to offer.
  36. For me the answer is: "42"
    Sorry, too much hard the temptation to resist it ;-)
  37. Greg Coad.

    I can quite confidently say that none of them were remarkable whatsoever.

    here my question is quite simple Greg,how much your image is better than the same image with an auto mode.
    in fact yours is a great one,and almost perfect.
  38. Saad : What you have stated in your question is the primary test of camera MALFUNCTION.
    I mean, if everything is the same and you get images with a different exposure in more than 5% ( or may be less ), just duo to the change between ( P,A or S ), you have to send you camera for CALIBRATION !. ART of Photography is some thing else.
  39. Greg's beautiful image, taken in auto mode would probably not have delivered the silky smooth water though the exact results would depend on the chosen ISO setting. The ISO setting is another tool of a knowledgable photographer - it expands the range of shutter/aperture settings that will correctly expose a scene.
    Had the camera been set on auto-ISO, the program would have increased the ISO to allow a faster shutter speed. It's simle really, camera designers know that most people don't lug around a tripod. Program exposure modes are generally biased away from slow shutter speeds.
  40. Museeb Jasim.

    ART of Photography is some thing else.

    It is only you who speaks about that,ART is irrelevant to my question.
  41. Mark B.

    Edward Weston with a Holga would blow away any one of us with a 5D Mark II.

    And some might blow others even with a cellphone cameras,that is quite correct.
  42. Timothy is absolutely right. If that scene had been photographed by an average joe in P mode the camera would have opened up the lens to its maximum aperature (in this case f/2.8) and tried to get the highest shutter speed possible since it would assume that the average Joe would not have a tripod handy and would be attempting a hand held shot. If the camera had Auto ISO it would have bumped up ISO as well to further increase the shutter speed.
    So the shot that you see was taken at ISO 50, f/16, 0.6s (Manual exposure)
    A Program exposure would probably have ended up somewhere around ISO 400, f/2.8, 1/125s.
    The resulting image would have been completely unremarkable. The water would have been frozen by the 1/125 shutter speed. There would be zero depth of field at f/2.8. The edges of the image would have been quite soft at f/2.8 with just about any lens other than a few very select, very expensive ones (not the kind that average joes drop $$$ on). And depending on the camera the resulting image would have more noise due to the higher ISO.
    So the difference between the two images is everything. I don't think I can say mine is 10%, 50%, 100% better. The others are simply not worth talking about. They would have no artistic merit to discuss. So the difference between the average Joe with a high end DSLR and a practiced photographer with any kind of camera is everything. The camera is simply a tool the way a router is a tool to a carpenter or a brush is a tool to a painter. Sure a better tool makes the job easier or opens the door to artistic possibilities, but it is no substitute for the artist or the craftsman that uses it.
  43. How much do photographers add to a good camera ?​
    Not much, and that's a lot.
    I've never heard anyone ask how much is Miss USA prettier than the first runner-up? and it's even more ridiculous if someone answers "I think it's about 10-30%". In Olympics 100m race, how much faster is the Gold medalist compared to the one in fourth position? Let's say about half a second which is about 5%, but everyone talks about the Medalist, how he is as fast as lightning, and the forth position ... never heard of him
    Many people listen to some Bach's music and some other pieces composed and played by computers and these people can not distinguish which ones are the real Bach. Is Bach that mediocre? I don't think so. Many people would say that their pictures taken with a cell phone are very good, what can you gain with a top DSLR? more pixels? So how much valued a picture is also depends on "the eyes of the beholder"
    If you don't see the difference (or the difference is not enough) then you can stick with the Auto mode. They created Auto mode for a reason and a lot of people would love it. But arts is so hard to be quantified. If you want a question that may have an answer in number, I suggest asking
    "If you already drove a long distance to a nice spot, set up your beloved DSLR on the tripod, how many of you, photographers (good and not so good) would take the pictures in Full auto mode?"
  44. John Tran.

    If you don't see the difference.

    I see a difference all the time,and that difference is what made me ask the question in the first place,all what I have assumed or said already is that when there is no special circumstances in light,movement or so on,when there is no specific goal from an image,that black box could capture a good image ,why is that difficult for us to accepts,isn't that what a good cameras are made for,to take a good image in any of their A,P,S,and M modes ?

    yes,a good photographer would take a good images in any camera and at any mode,but let us give our gears their proper and true value,let me pleas say it in other worlds,Would Greg Coad capture his referenced image above with a cellphone camera ? or a bad camera ? the answer is no.
    he used his talents to produce such an image which require certain knowledges,and that image in particular have certain prerequisite of art,if he himself took that image in the auto mode,the resultant image will not be bad,it will not show the water movement ,and every other thing will be of some variable percent less than his artistic image,but it will be accepted by most of the viewers who are not photographers as a good image.that is what I am talking about.
  45. Look at the question this way:
    for a good photographer, will having a sophisticated bells and whistles modern camera make it easier to take the image compared to a basic old camera? The answer is wonderfully simple. 99% of the time, it is: No.
    Just occasionally the bells and whistles camera will make life easier. More often it will make it more difficult for the good photographer to take the image. Most of the time, it won't matter, the photographer will just adapt, because the photographer is a good photographer.
    So, now the bad photographer: will having a sophisticated bells and whistles modern camera make it easier for the bad photographer to take his bad photograph? The answer is, the vast majority of the time, simple: No.
    The sophisticated camera means that the bad photographer is most likely never going to learn. So there is less hope for the bad photographer than there was before. Does it matter? Not really.
  46. One of the things here that most people are missing is the basic tenet of good photography, know your camera! Sorry guys, but a good photographer will make good images with whatever camera you throw in his/her hands. I have several series and individual images on my website where I used a Holga (burning man series) where I have one shutter speed and two choices of aperture 8 and 11-which are rarely the right combinations for the light I am shooting in. (I also used the Holga for an editorial assignment for the Atlantic Monthly) I have several series using no lens at all-not pinhole, handheld and one, at least, that was all shot in program mode. I know I am a good photographer and I know I adjust what I do for the equipment in hand. I also have a large body of work where I never looked through the camera lens when shooting. But I also choose equipment and methodology for the intent of the shoot. With the Holga and the lensless work, I mostly just point and shoot. The Holga is never precise and the lensless is usually a best guess (the camera meter reading--and maybe viewing the lcd when I am not just shooting film, which is most of the time). Certainly there are failures, but I hope every one of you has a significant amount more failures than successes or either your standards are too low or you've gotten too safe!
    Would a rank amateur photographer do as well as a good photographer? If they can see with the camera and know how to edit, you probably wouldn't ever know the difference even if they shot in P all the time. They would show only the good ones-the ones that worked and not the bad or marginal ones--which is done too often by "good" photographers. They would figure out what worked and what didn't even if they didn't know why. But certainly, a bad photographer is just a bad photographer....
  47. Museeb Jasim.
    ART of Photography is some thing else.
    It is only you who speaks about that,ART is irrelevant to my question.​
    It is also irrelevant to my answer. My answer simply is : the photographer addition should be zero ( just in the circumstances you have wrote ) otherwise the camera need to be CALIBRATED.
  48. Simon Crofts.

    for a good photographer, will having a sophisticated bells and whistles modern camera make it easier to take the image compared to a basic old camera? The answer is wonderfully simple. 99% of the time, it is: No.
    Just occasionally the bells and whistles camera will make life easier.

    if you have some documented reference about this statistic ,please.

    my question is neither about comparing good with bad photographers,nor about cameras being sophisticated or not,My first digital camera that I have used was QV1, Casio brand,and used it to capture some 200 image for a documentary computer program,and I have to changed batteries after capturing ten images,and it was supplied with only 64kilobite internal memory,and that 200 image took me 15 day to finish.
  49. A great photographer knows where to stand, a bad photographer does not.
  50. if you have some documented reference about this statistic ,please​
    It's common sense, and based on experience. And also I know a lot of very, very good photographers and see how they work. I'm immodest enough to count myself a good photographer, and I see how I work. But you can also see it from the fact that cameras aimed at the high level professional photographers tend to have the bells and whistles stripped out. The best professionals on the whole don't want cameras that do all the work for them (with the possible exception of flash calculations), they like a camera that leaves them in control. You'll see that many are using Mamiya 7's, RZ67's or RB67's, Hasselblads, Leica M9's. Of course, Canon and Nikon's of the world are also popular, but very many photographers wish that Canon and Nikon would strip out some of the buttons and programme modes and give them something with simpler controls. There is huge demand for stripped down cameras, which is why something like the new Fujie X100 generates such a huge amount of interest. There's a good reason for that.
    Of course, there are a few very good photographers who will work in P mode too and leave it to the camera. As someone mentioned before, there are certain types of camera and styles of photography (snapshot aesthetic) that actually demand this. But these are by and large the exception. Most people benefit from switching P mode off and switching brain on instead. The problem is, lack of features doesn't sell cameras in a mass market where most people don't actually know what they should be looking for.
    And - it was you who started to introduce meaningless statistics pulled out of the air, so I thought I would join in too ;)
  51. A great photographer knows where to stand, a bad photographer does not.​
    Wise words.
  52. I always thought it's a cliche - that people think that having a good camera will mean you can get good photographs. I used to think that no one in the world could really think this.
    I've begun to realise that there really are people who think that getting good pictures is something to do with having a good camera. Like this nincompoop I overheard recently. It seems incredible, but there really are people in the world who are that stupid.
    Quite often at weddings, we see people with big expensive cameras, big zooms and big expensive flashes, and a self-important attitude, pushing in. My wife especially, being a woman (obviously), tends to get looked down upon by these guys. They assume she must be some kind of assistant. But you can pretty much guarantee that these guys will get awful pictures, and that hers will be beautiful and original. Even when they're standing in the same place, trying to take pictures over her shoulder, copying what she does - their pictures will be bad and hers will be exquisite. For that reason, we never try to stop them or feel threatened by them - let them do their thing. But it does show how little is to do with the camera.
  53. As always ,a man does not stands alone ,so as photographers.

    In this thread I have stated a presumed scene ,and I have put a scenario,I just wanted to know if there is some one who share my opinion about that scenario,and thanks heaven there are two,

    Mr John A, and Mr Museeb Jasim,
    Museeb Jasim have gone all the way in supporting my presumed scenario in saying there will be no difference at all,while John said there will be a little difference ,Both are more strict than me,I have put a 10 to 30% difference.
    The strange thing about this I might say,that John have worked with Ansel Adam ,and Museeb Jasim have written a book in Arabic language about photography explaining the zone system,a book that I have read two years ago,and he is from my country.

    With my all due respect and sincerest regards,to every one that have contributed a reply to this thread,
    It seems that only those who are fully digested the zone system that have agreed with me.
    thank you mates ,twice and from my heart.
  54. An acurate meter is important but deciding the exposure is critical. AF is handy but the decision of the point of focus is creative. Technology can not replace techinique. Taking a landscape picture of an average subject in average light is not something I look forward to but is something automation may get right.
    +1 for the Fuji X100.
  55. It seems that only those who are fully digested the zone system that have agreed with me​
    I've taught the zone system, and am a big proponent of what it can teach us, and I don't agree with you at all, not even a little bit.
    From reading his books, I find it very hard to imagine Ansel Adams believing that a fully auto SLR on P settings is a good way of practising the zone system, though who knows, he can't contribute here. I didn't notice John A and Museeb having "gone all the way in supporting my presumed scenario in saying there will be no difference at all" on this thread, maybe I missed it. But they can speak for themselves.
  56. p.s. though I suspect that A.A. may have appreciated the uses of histograms!
  57. Re-reading my posts above, I see it may look like I'm insinuating that the OP is suggesting that having a good camera makes you a good photographer. That's of course not what the OP said, and I'm not wanting to imply it. I'm not trying to be rude to the OP.
    I'm just mentioning the kind of attitudes I referred to on the blog as being the reason why even associating having a sophisticated camera with being a good photographer is straying onto dodgy ground as far as I'm concerned.
  58. This i KNOW is a tangent.. I make no claim to be a great photographer in fact far from it. Canons marketing department is a great machine to appeal to peoples ego so that they may flatter themselves into thinking they take great pictures , say one for every 900 they delete. Now if you take 1000 pictures a day you get to call yourself in your own mind a photographer and even publish nice work but its why you fail in a miserable fashion when you have only one second or one chance to take the picture because you didnt even realise you had to learn. There is no mode that will get one around learning the ropes , self criticism , creative flair or otherwise and just seeing " the " picture ( or not ) . I know also this is not what the OP said or even suggested but I still wanted to say it , if only because I have realised it for myself. There is a breed of " photographers " i can see who come and go on a continous basis who dont get past pixel peeping because its about the only way to admire their work. That might sound self righteous but It was a hard truth i learned. So in summation while the P mode may get the photograph technically correct , technically correct doesnt come close to making a good photograph on a consistant basis. The hardest and most rewarding part of photography no computer can match or even "imagine". Maybe I will always be a second rate or even average photographer.
    This being said , I am a qualified pilot , todays aircraft are more automated than ever and the FAA is growing increasingly worried about the number of accidents that are being attributed to that automation in a reverse kind of way. When the pilots " panic " they take over the plane but dont know a thing about what its been doing , what it is trying to do ( the autopilot ) to PREVENT an accident etc. Or worse still the low houred pilots coming through are so used to letting the computer fly the plane that when the proverbial hits the fan they are not experienced enough at manual flying to save the situation and die. I wonder if the same doesnt happen with photography, it did to me. Even if i shoot in auto mode I always watch what the camera wants to do and quite often take over. I can imagine if you put that " p " mode or whatever into a wedding or other contrasty , moving scene and then the pro versus p curve changes quite a bit. Just to reitterate that I know the op talked only about one particular aspect and very defined situation.
  59. I hesitate to jump in because of my relative inexperience with photography. But there is something about this topic that I just couldn't resist. So, here is my "contribution" to the discussion.
    First, I separate what I, the photographer, do and what the camera does. I frame the picture and decide the focus. The camera can't do this at all. So, the question how much I can add to the camera is not useful in this narrow context. But if I have to answer, I would say I add an infinite amount to any camera ever made by mankind. I'm sure that's not what the OP was after.
    The camera meters the light and give me an exposure value. On P, it tells me what shutter speed and aperture to use based on some criteria and evaluation using a database with something like 200,000 scenes for matrix metering according to Nikon marketing literature. Exercising my power over the camera, I can change the exposure value (e.g. ETTR) and leave the shutter and aperture to the camera. Or I can even change the shutter speed and aperture while maintaining whatever exposure value I desire (either as suggested by the camera or compensated). In well lit landscape pictures where the focus is distant, my fussing around with M doesn't produce pictures that I like more than what the camera suggests. For wide-angle with close foreground, many times I think I like my choice of aperture more, but I am probably splitting hair. Not much I can add to my D200, which is a clunker today, in these scenarios.
    For pictures involving motion, sports, waterfall, waves, I definitely want my choice of shutter speed. When I want to really narrow the DOF, I fuss with A. My D200 always seems to aim for an "average" DOF. I guess it is not smart enough to know that when I stick the 85 mm f1.4 lens on it, I don't want pictures at f8. But then it is not quite fair to expect the camera to know what I want. I use RAW, and don't find I can pick an exposure value better than the camera can, unless the dynamic range is above 6 stops and I have to decide what to sacrifice. When I use flash and the background is poorly lit, I definitely don't like P. In these scenarios, I think I get what I like far more consistently by not doing what the camera suggests. In other words, I add a lot to my D200 in these cases.
    It's hard for me to imagine that camera metering capability can get much better. The current accuracy is already very very good. Making it more accurate and adding a zillion more scenes to the database won't reduce my need to "add to the camera". But strictly speaking, what I "add to the camera" are adjustments to (hopefully) produce effects that I subjectively and personally like - another person may hate those effects. For objective, quantifiable things, my D200 needs nothing from me.
    I guess what the photographers can add to a camera has been exactly the same since the day good in camera metering capability became available, and won't change until mind reading capability is implemented in cameras.
  60. Saad.
    To your original question. How much does the skilled photographer, using manual settings, add to what the camera is capable of producing using a pre-set program exposure?
    The answer is everything. The skilled photographer makes the image, not the camera. There is no measureable, margin of difference betweent the two because they are two totally different results.
    The question implies that a good photograph is a technically perfect one. This is not true though. Technical merit is sometimes important, but not always. Some of the most striking photographs are ones that break the "rules" of composition, exposure, white balance, etc.
    I am actually a bit surprised that this discussion has gone the way it has as I thought that was more a community of photographers than camera enthusiasts. I have briefly looked at your portfolio as well, Saad, and I would have thought that you had a very good understanding yourself of what it means to be a photographer as opposed to a "camera operator", if I can call it that. Which leads me to question whether you started this thread just for the sake of starting a discussion, or if you yourself are actually unsure of the answer to the question.
  61. Greg Coad.

    if you yourself are actually unsure of the answer to the question.

    thank you Creg for asking,I have stated in the question from the beginning that my answer would be 10 to 30%,this is what I am certain about.
    some photographers during their talk with me said they do the image in whatever mode 100% themselves,and attributed all the credit to themselves, the camera has no share ,and that is nonsense to me.
    I am a surgeon,and when the surgery that I do is a successful one, that success is attributed to the whole team of the surgery,not to the one person who do the surgery,So I have directed this question to the finest site at least as I know it,of photographers in my own world, to get another opinion than mine.
  62. Simon, I think the problem is sort of breaking down here around semantics and maybe the simple question here to start, but let me comment on something else you said above.
    As a pro, working for major clients, and knowing many who work at that level, I don't find your comment regarding Pro's not wanting the bells and whistles or the cameras aimed at them having them stripped out to hold much credibility. Certainly, the flower and mountain modes aren't wanted, but the program modes, like Av, Tv and such are in most of the better cameras and they are actually cherished by pros. (I even have used the pop up flash on the H2 from time to time) You want tools that can adapt to many situations, and those programmed sorts of things give you much better flexibility as does different AF modes and the ways you can program their control as well as some of the other bells and whistles. Of course, you want to be able to use the camera in full manual and in many situations, especially in studio or in a controlled environment, that is the preferred mode. But location shooters, like what I do and many of my friends do as well, the use of the auto modes as I described above is actually a godsend. I know for myself, I prefer shooting the Hasselblad H system over the V system, or my Rz's and Rb's. I would say that the majority of pro's shooting MF use the H or the Leaf or PhaseOne cameras, all with these features. All of those manual cameras were great, but more limiting. The H runs circles around all of them in every category, including sharpness. And we know the top pro's all shoot the top of the line Canon or Nikon dSLR's, all full featured cameras.
    Regarding the zone system and today's cameras and digital technology, it has to be rethought how to use it. The work I mentioned with the Holga's was shot with iso200 equivalent film in bright, open daylight. So, sunny 16 meant that with my available controls, I was probably shooting 2-3 stops over exposed and I was shooting cross processed film, which is much more contrasty than normal neg film. Because I have a very good scanner, I was able to get very usable images that would have been difficult to impossible under an enlarger.
    With digital capture, the knowledge we gained from the zone system and film needs to be applied to the ability to know your camera and its capabilities. You can test or you can learn by experience and apply intuition. Either way, the zone system itself is not able to be applied in the traditional sense, as you have no ability to affect the raw file as to the compression or expansion of the dynamic range as captured, you need to exploit what its capabilities are and that means using the LCD and/or the Histogram. Knowing how individual tonal ranges process out gives you placement information and whether brackets for later blending are needed.
    As to Saad's scenario, I do support him all the way, except that barring camera calibration errors, there shouldn't be any difference in the quality of a raw file shot in open, midday light of a landscape from an elevated point of view with the same camera/lens and framing. Certainly, the program mode might use a different aperture and shutter speed than you might manually choose, but it most certainly wouldn't matter in this scenario. In fact, you are more likely to choose an aperture where defraction becomes an issue than the program mode would (stopping down too far!). My guess is that program mode would select, at iso 100, something like f8 or f11 at 1/125 to 1/250, quite frankly, about what I would choose in such a situation.
    Exposure is a very important part of photography, but I think we sometimes get a little carried away with our zeal in that area. A good example is the well known fine artist, Linda Connor, who shoots 8x10 all over the world in different lighting situations. She doesn't carry a light meter of any sort. As I said above, I have used the zone system for over 30 years, but today's camera meters will do most of the job for you and it is what most of us use as a base for our decision making anyway.
    And no, a camera doesn't make a photographer great, nor does always getting the perfect exposure.
  63. Sorry Creg,I might add the following :
    you said that this is a site of photographers whom I consider myself one of them and that is why I am here,I may have directed the question a wrong way,but it is the only place that I know that could answer such a question.
  64. Simon Crofts.

    It seems that only those who are fully digested the zone system that have agreed with me.

    Sorry Simon ,I meant nothing with that statement,it is not in our talk,but I have read John A biography and he said that he works with AA,and he mentioned the zone system in his replays,and I have read the book of Museeb where he have explained the zone system,
    Please note that I am referring to the zone system just as a coincidence,not in the meaning of others are not digested the theory,
    Please do accept my apology if you have understand it otherwise.
  65. Regarding intent, I think Saad was looking for validation that the camera's own metering system is actually something that is pretty reliable. I have seen nothing to suggest that he thinks it isn't the person behind it that makes the photograph. Sometimes we hear people state that "the only way to get a good exposure is to work in manual" or "no pro would ever shoot in program mode" etc. In fact, I think the genesis of this thread may have been another where this subject came up and Saad was pretty soundly beaten up by most. In that thread, I didn't understand his intent, but with his responses here, think my conclusion is correct. He was seeking some validation for his way of working, which might be more difficult in Iraq than in the western world. I think he has made it clear that he doesn't use P to determine his final exposure, but only give a starting point and maybe sometimes, even the final point. But the final decision is his.
  66. The Zone System is obsolete, anyway. The newest and latest thing is the Ozone System (link)
    [:-/ or :-{ = irony alert.]
  67. Hello John,
    With Holgas, part of the point is that photographers are looking for mistakes that will surprise them, that they wouldn't have done in a 'normal' scneario - overexposure, underexposure, lens distortion, light leaks etc. There's absolutely nothing wrong with these semi-deliberate mistakes, but it's clearly a rather different situation from the discussion of super-sophisticated modern cameras being good at getting things right.
    I'm not debating that some excellent photographers use cameras that include sophisticated features. And I would be a hypocrite to deny the use of such cameras - my main everyday workhorse (and I also by the way work for major international clients around the world) is a Nikon D700 which has plenty of bells and whistles. Though I switch off a lot of them, and wish the interface was much simpler. I dream of having a D700's ISO capabilities combined with the interface of an M9.
    As a pro, working for major clients, and knowing many who work at that level​
    John, I'm also a pro, also working for major international clients, and also know many who work at that level - and am lucky to count among my friends some who are household names - in the photography world at least. Thinking of those (whose names I don't want particularly want to spin here) - one of them uses a Leica M6 stuffed into a satchel, another also predominantly uses a Leica, another uses a Mamiya 7 (also has various Nikons, but doesn't like them and I've never seen him using them) another uses an RB67, a couple of others use large format.
    I am not trying to say that top level pros don't use cameras with automated systems. Photogaphers will adapt to the equipment that they have. But I doubt that many good photographers will really be totally relying on those automated systems. They will be interfering, using exposure compensation, focussing on something other than the camera wants to focus on, taking control, adjusting white balance. They are just using automations as a shortcut, a starting point, and interfering and taking control from there.
    Of course, there are always exceptions, I mentioned the snapshot aesthetic, and there are quite a few who have adopted this in various guises. Though many may be interfering with the picture taking process more than you might guess from looking at the pictures. That's the thing about photography - it is impossible always to generalise, because everyone has their own approach, their own aesthetic!
    One well known photographer (not a friend) I saw at work in the studio a while ago. She's known for studio work - but didn't actually know how to set up studio lights - she didn't even know how to plug in a sync cable. She got her assistants to do that sort of thing. I found that amazing, but obviously it works for her. She regards her photography as having the creative vision, and leaves the actual details of the picture taking process and how to achieve it she leaves to her minions. That's fair enough, perhaps, in her case. I didn't much like her approach, and I'm not keen on her pictures, and I didn't especially like her. Don't know if those are connected, maybe, maybe not.
  68. I think Saad was looking for validation that the camera's own metering system is actually something that is pretty reliable.​
    That would be fair enough, and would have led to a discussion of the reliability of metering systems. But the actual question was "how much do photographers add to good cameras?", which led to a discussion of that!
    My own camera's metering system is extremely reliable - but then I'm using it centre weighted and I've checked it's calibration, so I know it's very reliable! When used in more sophisticated matrix and programme mode, it's a lot less reliable, because it rarely gets the results I would have wanted, and it's not particularly predictable how far out it's going to be and in which direction.
  69. I think the automatic metering systems are good for taking pictures that make objects photographed recognizable. The instruments measure the darkest and the lightest spots in the viewfinder and set the aperture and the timing to an optimum level based on some preset average.
    But producing interesting photographs goes well beyond such calculated measurements. A photographer makes deliberate choices in order to create dramatic effect that an instrument cannot make. In fact, a good photographer uses manual mode a lot more than any other mode, because he wants to accentuate different aspects of the image. It’s all about the deliberate manipulation of light in addition to choosing the subject and the angle of presentation. The camera is like a paint brush in his hands, like an instrument from which he tweaks something dramatic. Generally, the stuff produced by the camera’s own metering system is mediocre and boring.
    So the percentage depends on the photographer. He may just leave everything up to the instruments, or he may use his own settings most of the time.
  70. "In fact, a good photographer uses manual mode a lot more than any other mode,"
    Damn, I guess I am not a good photographer then............I have been in Av mode most of the last two years!
    Sorry Andrew, I know your intent here, but these are exactly the sorts of "authoritative" statements that cause people stress and anxiety. If you truly know what you are doing, it doesn't matter what mode you are in most of the time. There are modes that are better in some conditions than others, but if you know what you are doing, it just doesn't matter. (the key, you need to know what you are doing!) Beyond that, it is just a preference--which might change from one condition to the next. I do believe that someone learning will learn quicker, I mean actual learn not adapt, if they use manual and have to be purposeful in everything they do. Sort of ends up hard wiring the knowledge.
    Simon, I think Saad phrased it maybe more as you suggest, in fact, in the other thread my response was that the photographer affects the exposure 100% because I understood it to be about creating the photograph, not the actual exposure parameters. I just think we lose the real intent in the translation. I think your comment about the reliability of your center-weighted exposure will also please Saad. The expression you have made here is essentially what I have been trying to say, that the camera meter is actually a pretty reliable beast and to say it's not, well what do people use as the baseline for adjustments then?
  71. Landscape shoot = Flash system is not effective.
    The camera on tripod = Fixed composition.
    Good DSLR camera = Good focusing system.
    Lighting in average conditions = Doesn't need any compensation and defiantly within sensor dynamic range. Doesn't need bracketing, and also the sky doesn't need any ND filter.
    Good DSLR camera = Good exposure system. ( Spot = Evaluated = Centre weighted ), since lighting in average conditions ( the measurement of the reflected light from gray could be within 18% ).
    Good DSLR camera = Noiseless in the range of ( 100- 400 ) ISO.
    If it is half frame DSLR = Pretty good DOF
    Personally, I can exclude the M mode and my input will be :
    ( In A Mode = f8, In S Mode = Shutter speed ( 1/100s ) = P = Very basic input = ZERO.
    The result is BAD, why?
    You are bad photographer, it make no sense.
  72. The expression you have made here is essentially what I have been trying to say, that the camera meter is actually a pretty reliable beast and to say it's not, well what do people use as the baseline for adjustments then?​
    I would absolutely agree with you - the camera meter is a wonderfully accurate thing. It was rather camera sophistication in terms of programme modes etc. where the camera apparently starts taking decisions that I was arguing against. An accurate camera meter as a starting point for the photographer to make decisions is a great thing.
    In my view of the universe the camera's camera meter is the starting point. Actually, very much zone system stuff - you have to visualise the result you want to achieve, measure for a convenient key tone, then decide in which zone to place that tone. Exposure decisions may be a balance between placing that tone in the perfect place, and ensuring that all the tones of a scene that I want to capture are captured. With small format digital, we don't have AA's options of fiddling with ISO and development to expand and contract the capture to fit the scene. Though we do have other tools - playing with RAW files, making and combining multiple exposures etc. instead, if we feel like it. With practise, this series of decisions may be made by the photographer very quickly. Sometimes I may get it a bit wrong, but at least I'm aiming for something! A camera in P mode may be aiming at something else, and worse, might even achieve it.
    For me, more complicated metering modes, like matrix metering, are inferior, because they are less predictable. Any clever system where the camera goes through a database of thousands of scenes in its memory bank and chooses one (actually, I don't believe this marketing spiel, but let's suspend disbelief for a moment), is an inadequate system, because I will never know which scene the camera chose from its memory banks, and therefore not know how much compensation to apply to achieve the actual result I actually want to achieve. For that reason, a nice simple centre-weighted system is more reliable and predictable for me. I'm not saying that is the only way of doing things, far from it, but it's my own view of the universe.
    Ideally, I would prefer that my camera didn't have programme and matrix metering modes, because the more complication the camera has, the more chance that one of those modes will accidentally be switched on when I don't want it (because I knocked the dial, or was playing and forgot to switch back, or someone else used my camera, or whatever). The less complications that get between me and the picture the better.
    So accurate metering systems, yes please! Cameras that are too clever for their own good, no thanks!
  73. 'How you will compare the very same image taken by a good photographer standing in the same place'[?]
    The good photographer won't be standing in the same place.
  74. I have great admiration for Simon Crofts' initial position here -- that the good photographer and the relative amateur relying on his camera settings will just not be taking the same photo at all, but if forced to point their cameras in the same direction, the good to excellent photographer will excel in almost all cases over the amateur photographer, while at the same time, the camera metering will be quite good and reliable for both.
    I shoot 'street' often, and as such I meet lots and lots of people from many countries, and no matter what country I am in, some one or another and usually lots of them, manage to convey the idea to me that because of 'my fancy equipment' I must be able to take 'wonderful photographers', and they'll even call to their friends to come meet the 'wonderful photographer' never even having seen a photograph of mine -- based on the simple but wrong assumption that having good/pro level equipment equates with being a good/great photographer.
    I seek to disabuse them of that faulty reasoning right away, in a humorous but telling way.
    I tell them often (humorously) that I'm a doctor, I have oodles of money and I just spend it on high-tech stuff, and this is my second day shooting, and if they can just show me how these dag-blasted things work, that would be so helpful to me, because with the expensive stuff, I didn't get any lessons on how to make 'art'.
    Then I smile.
    After we chat a while, (and almost always there's an extended chat when I respond that way), I explain that with a $50 e-Bay second-hand SLR film camera and a standard or 'normal' lens, that I could take a very high per centage of the 'street' photos I take today, or more if I can also have a wide angle and a telephoto lens, but that I just will make a lot fewer of them.
    That's because I will have to focus on each one of them, I won't be able to use 'C' drive instead of my old auto winder on my Nikkormat (though my Nikon 'F's did have motor drive).
    I will have to needle match my exposures then make mental compensations for things like back lighting, things like the indicated exposure is for center-weighted and based on 'landscape' format instead of 'portrait'. I won't be able to see any results, so I can't make on-the-spot exposure adjustments for 'mistakes'.
    They often show me their older cameras, or their not so high-end SLR digital equipment and my response is 'with good work you can take a Pulitzer Prize photo with that camera, and if I take that camera and just use it, I probably can take wonderful work that is worthy of exhibition . . . ." and I think I'm right.
    It's just that all the new thig-a-ma-jigs just make taking LOTS of photographs with relative ease very pleasurable, and now, when I go out to shoot, as opposed to when I was 22 and 23, I don't sweat heavily due to all the mental fatigue I went through then, making all the calculations and still framing and taking subjects -- most of the time not knowing what I was doing then (or even now!). At least now I get a good exposure most of the time, even if what I take is crap!
    The end result is with modern equipment, I can take many more quickly moving subjects, and lots of them, and get exposures I never could dream of before with great productivity because of all the auto this and auto that . . . . and not have to overburden my own between the ears processing power as I did in my early '20s before I met the king of them all 'street' and literally gave up 'street' for over 3 decades until joining
    The canard (French for joke or jest) is that if you send 100 photographers into a town or city for a day to take photographs only a very, very few of those photographs are going to bear any resemblance to one another, as photographs are a reflection of the vision of the photographer who takes them, and rarely do photographers of skill think alike.
    (Unlike amateurs who often can be counted on amazingly often to take virtually the same photo. When staying in Ukraine now (as opposed to the previous three years), I stay near a very heavily trafficked tourist area in the country's and capitol's center, and every day, almost every daylight and evening hour, almost every camera I see from certain places is either pointed at one direction (a monument or the monument and nearby buildings) or a relative with the same things in the background.
    A professional or skilled amateur on the other hand can be seen in a moment, lurking around, mostly avoiding those shots, eyes 'looking' always 'looking' for the interesting subject that is also unique and which will make a good photograph.
    An occasional pro will come through making tourist images, of course . . . for postcards and travel brochures or calendars, but such persons usually have a retinue of assistants and are clearly 'working' -- for them it's a job.
    Give me a $50 film camera with a decent lens, and some film (and money to process it), and I am sure I can take acceptable and in some cases wonderful images . . . . but the question is who's going to buy the film and processing . . . ?
    Before I bought my Nikon D70, I paid for processing $135 twice weekly on average just for Costco processing.
    I said 'no more' when I first tried digital.
    You may not know what I look like, and I may not know what you look like, but I bet you in a big crowd at a big affair where there are thousands of cameras, you and I would somehow see each other just by the way we photograph, and probably we'd pass each other and exchange words and maybe more, because we'd recognize each other as 'more than rank amateurs' by the way we approach our subjects.
    Simon hit the nail on the head with his first post.
    John (Crosley)
  75. Museeb Jasim [​IMG], Sep 23, 2010; 05:02 p.m.
    Landscape shoot = Flash system is not effective.
    Oh yes, it is. The full auto mode may decide to pop up and use the flash and ruins everything.

    The camera on tripod = Fixed composition.
    Nope. You can still at least Zoom (did anybody say it is a prime lens?)

    Good DSLR camera = Good focusing system.
    But who decides which focus point to use. And what if the focus should be somewhere between a closer and a farther subject? In this case, no good DSLR is good

    Lighting in average conditions = Doesn't need any compensation and defiantly within sensor dynamic range. Doesn't need bracketing, and also the sky doesn't need any ND filter.
    Who decides that lighting is in "average conditions"? Hmm.. That is part of the assumption of the question. It is assumed that the lighting is in a "condition" that doesn't need any intervention of a human being. Well, if you already get that condition, there is no need of the photographer except for pressing the release button

    Good DSLR camera = Good exposure system.
    Good exposure system can give very bad exposure

    Good DSLR camera = Noiseless in the range of ( 100- 400 ) ISO.
    All DSLR have noises at any ISO
    Personally, I can ...
    This thread is not about you, whether you can or can not do some thing

    The result is BAD, why?
    Because the photographer says so, the camera, as a tool, has no saying in that
  76. The good photographer would sit and wait for the light to change.
  77. I still find all of this rather interesting. I just read the last several entries here and then I went back and reread the original question. Certainly, I suppose one could read a lot more into the original post and certainly most of our egos would--and apparently have. Even some want to go to lengths to fabricate more details that were extraneous to the question. But the question was pretty straight forward and specific.
    "A DSLR camera ,anyone from an entry level to a high end one of any brand,fixed on a stand,and by a remote or a self timer set to capture a nice landscape in the fully automatic ( P ) mode in an average or ordinary light conditions. How you will compare the very same image taken by a good photographer standing in the same place and using the same camera with his own tweaking and preferred setting for the shot."​
    Please note he said the SAME IMAGE! Maybe the question just should have been, how many times do you shoot an image over or under exposed from what the meter tells you! That was the question essentially--especially in light that none here said they shot in P to start with and so don't really know the probable settings.
    This is what I love about discussion forums............
  78. I guess we were just reading the whole question rather than a selective bit of it. How much does a good photographer add to a good camera? And the fact that the good photographer will be taking a completely different image in the first place from a less good photographer using auto settings does seem kind of relevant - in fact, the core of it.
    The bit you quoted wouldn't really make sense to me as a question on its own - the very boring answer to it would be that usually the settings will be different, but sometimes they will be the same. It doesn't really help anyone, or make sense as a question, or go beyond the utterly obvious, or lead to any kind of discussion. So I for one took the whole of the original post as the question rather than that selective bit, in an attempt to make sense of it.
    Certainly, I suppose one could read a lot more into the original post and certainly most of our egos would--and apparently have.​
    So I think you're right, you can read more into the original post than the very restricted interpretation which you can get if you quote only part of its wording. The core question was: "How much does a good photographer add to a good camera?" I think that's what the discussion centred on, because most people focussed on that as the more interesting bit.
  79. Or, to put it another way, I don't think you can have the discussion without bringing in the creative vision of the good photographer. Because that is the most critical thing that the photographer brings to the party.
    You can see it in the zone system - the idea of visualisation - is absolutely at the heart of it, even as a system of exposure and development. It is the starting point.
    So you can't say, as the original post tried to, that the camera will be 10% or 30% away from the photographer visualisation. Visualisation is not a value or a percentage, it's an idea.
    If you want to limit the discussion by saying that we can only point the camera in a particular direction, that's kind of limiting the ways we can discuss visualisation and the manner in which the photographer's creativity affects the picture, in fact the most important question of all - in which direction to point the camera - so makes the discussion much more boring, but it doesn't change the fact that visualisation - creativity - is at the heart of it.
    Can a photographer add 10% more creativity to the camera? 30%? It wouldn't make sense as a question.
    I'm guessing that the OP probably didn't believe in his own question, but just wanted to provoke a discussion. Successfully.
  80. Simon Crofts.

    Hi Simon, John have quoted the very essence ,soul,and flesh of my question.
    Now it was repeated three times,two by me and one by John.

    as for the title how much...... ,I put it like that because in my personal opinion there would be a less than 30% addition,in which I am generous in comparison to three peoples contributed to this thread.

    if anyone doubt that fact,let him do the experiment and then tell us about his result,since we are not in the process of making a wonderful perfect image,let him capture a wall,a chair,or a car as model.
    I am not talking about the artistic image,or the post processing,or the art of composition,or about the photographers visions and styles.

    I have expected from that title answers to be similar, little difference,no big difference,and at most as said in the question 30% difference because we are not in the process of creating an artistic image.

    I should admit that the title may be taken in the context of lessen the photographers share in producing an artistic or good images,and that was not my intent from the title in any means.
    thank you so much.
  81. OK, in that case the answer was definitely 42!
  82. I have expected from that title answers to be similar, little difference,no big difference,and at most as said in the question 30% difference because we are not in the process of creating an artistic image​
    So the reformulated question is - will a good photographer, who is doing his best not to be artistically creative (assuming that's possible), use different settings from someone using the camera on auto?
    Taking this re-formulated version, presumably the fact that the good photographer is not creating an artistic image, means that he is not visualising the image (because that would be in danger of making the image artistic), or he is deliberately trying to take a bad image, or he is just taking a test image (in which case, it begs the question, a test for what? Because if it is a test for something, then he will start to get a bit artistic and apply a visualisation, which is part of the process creating an artistic image, which according to your question, we are trying not to do here)
    I think most of the time, good photographers are inherently artists, and it's quite hard for them not to apply their creativity to an image. Presumably to avoid taking an artistic image, to avoid creativity, the good photographer/artist will just use the camera on auto settings and try not to look at what he is pointing the camera at?
    Your revised version of the question makes less sense than the original to me. But it seems to me that the answer will be either 0%, or 42.
  83. Simon, I think your posts here totally ignore the context of the question though. That is the exact point I was making in my last post. Too many times we, and I include myself, just skim a question, see a sticking point and don't go back and carefully read the actual context of the question. What ends up happening is exactly what has happened above. People, like you and I, end up arguing on different turf when we probably totally agree on the points being made by the other, we just aren't on the same playing field at the time.
    And of course the image one makes is not about exposure, it is about seeing. But there is absolutely nothing in the original post that addresses anything but the technical. He was looking for some technical information and opinion. Later, after the quote I put above, the only other thing Saad says of any relevance is:
    "Technology have produced super good cameras capable of self acting intelligently in even some difficult light situations,and can cope with most if not all well to medium lit situations. I just want to know how much a good photographers could adds with their own preferred settings to the cameras in normal ordinary situations."​
    I think this is clear that it is about the technicalities of exposure and the intelligence of the camera. Nothing here is about artistic skill, in fact, he talks about "settings" and the capabilities of the cameras to handle even difficult lighting. To me, the only possible misinterpretation of the intent of the thread is the open ended title, but isn't that good journalism anyway!:)) How often is the story or real point exactly what the headline did say, but not how our biases read it because of its multiplicity.
    Too closed ended as a discussion topic? Maybe, but then you and I don't live in Iraq and you and I have a certain experience and knowledge, confirmed by outside sources, that give us confidence in how we work. I am not sure that is the case for Saad. As I said earlier, I think he was looking for some validation in his own thoughts and working methods. I am not so sure that is as easy to get there as it might be for us where we live--and isn't that the purpose of these forums, to be able to ask simple and straight-forward questions? Let's face it, there are a lot of times we all must scratch our heads at a question, especially the 30th time that week, but it isn't about us, it is about them.
    I love discussion and debate and so going off topic is never an issue for me, except when it is too off center to have common ground for what is being discussed.
    note: this was at your earlier post, your just posted one above this is really rather ridiculous as it totally ignores the question, and its parameters----again!
  84. Simon Crofts .

    Taking this re-formulated version, presumably the fact that the good photographer is not creating an artistic image,

    If I was talking about an artistic images,or a photographic vision, then I would Included the post processing(whether huge and extensive or a minimal one ) in the formula,which is in my opinion(this is not related to this thread from far or near)there is no creative digital image that is without a minimal touch of software correction.
  85. As I said earlier, I think he was looking for some validation in his own thoughts and working methods. I am not so sure that is as easy to get there as it might be for us where we live--and isn't that the purpose of these forums, to be able to ask simple and straight-forward questions? Let's face it, there are a lot of times we all must scratch our heads at a question, especially the 30th time that week, but it isn't about us, it is about them.​
    You may be right about his motivation for posting the question. But then it seems to me that the actual answer that would be useful to him, if he was prepared to listen to it, is to have his artistic vision, then set out to achieve the results that will bring about that artistic vision. In other words, visualisation - followed by applying technical skill to achieve that vision. That is my view, if he wants to follow some other view, then fine, I have no problem with that.
    To take the vision out of the equation, to say that we are not trying to achieve an artistic vision with the photos, will, in my view, make the answer useless for him.
    your just posted one above this is really rather ridiculous as it totally ignores the question, and its parameters----again!​
    Errr, no. I just answered the question as it had been reformulated, that he wanted to remove artistic vision from the equation, and to ignore the bit in the original about what a good photorgapher adds to a good camera. I think it's rather your pedantic attempts to twist the question to your own agenda that is ridiculous. People on this thread answered the original question. It was then changed to take out artistic vision, so I honestly tried to respond the reformulated question. I don't see why you have a problem with it, or are so desperate to control other people's responses to the issues. I think you need to control your own ego a little here. If you want to make your own response to his question, then do so, no one is stopping you. I've made mine. You find it ridiculous. I find it common sense.
  86. If I was talking about an artistic images,or a photographic vision, then I would Included the post processing(whether huge and extensive or a minimal one ) in the formula​
    Again, looking at zone system analogies, it's a different chapter and a huge subject in itself. That's why there was The Camera, The Negative, and the Print.
    Of course, you could ask if you wanted to whether photographer interpretation and intervention adds 10% or 30% at the scanning stage, or the file preparation stage, or the printing stage, or whether just to run everything through batch processing and automated settings is OK, but it would just make the topic huger.
  87. I have expected from that title answers to be similar, little difference,no big difference​
    I know exactly that's what you expect Saad, and that's why I answered:" Not much, and that's a lot"
    That means there is a very big difference to me but it's not wrong if you want to say "not much". Why? because it depends on the "the eyes of the beholder" . If you don't see much difference then maybe it's more convenient for you to stay with P mode. Is that BAD? NOOO, unless you see it's bad. If you see much difference then ... well you know what to do
    There, that answer is as straight as can be.
  88. Errr, no. I just answered the question as it had been reformulated​
    You have to admit that it was sort of a smart ass reformulation.
    And no, I am not twisting anything, I am actually reading the original post, it is you that seem to need to push it to your own agenda about visualization etc etc. On that front, I don't disagree with your point, only that it has nothing at all to do with the question that was posed here.
    I'm done.....
  89. You have to admit that it was sort of a smart ass reformulation​
    Possibly smart ass, I was trying to demonstrate why limiting the question to a 'good' photographer who is not being artistic made no sense to me.
    Good and artistic are the same thing for me. It's all about vision, and achieving that vision. Perhaps just pig-headedness on my part, but I can live with that.
    As you say, we probably don't disagree on the fundamentals of what we're talking about. But I still think my responses were more useful than saying, for example, that a good photographer is 75% (or whatever) more accurate than a programme mode. If the OP doesn't find the thoughts about visualisation and looking for ways to achieve a pre-visualised result useful, then that's OK, he can pick out what he finds useful from other people's responses.
  90. Lets try to look at this another way. If I arrive at a location (scenic view point) and the camera is on a tripod the focus is set and all I can do is adjust the apeture and shutter speed then I can still change the look of the image some what. Firstly I can control how light or dark the image is by controling exposure. I can also control the depth of field by adjusting the apeture. I can also control whether moving things are frozen or allowed to blur. Just by having control over those things I could change the look of the image quite much.
  91. John Tran.

    " Not much, and that's a lot"

    thank you John,that is more than fair,it is all depends on us how to interpret (not much) ,for me when I want to make an image with my vision,it is a lot,lot more than (that's a lot).
  92. Simon, I guess you haven't ever been out with a great photographer who is demonstrating technical issues. In those situations, the camera is just pointed at a convenient spot that will demonstrate the technique, artistic vision is not part of it and in most cases would be too time consuming. In fact, Saad's scenario is actually, exactly what I have seen someone, John Sexton, do when explaining the zone system and metering in the field. He just set the camera down in an area where we all could gather around and focused towards an average light scene. It is also the way I have taught it myself, sometimes just pointing the camera at a blank wall to help explain how the zones match with the meter readings. The point is, if you want technical information, you ELIMINATE the other factors or the example gets too muddled and the student loses the point. A good photographer, and teacher, knows this.
    I guess I wasn't done.........
  93. Well, I've done the same myself for example when teaching students to capture zones in a scene and carry it through to the print. Or when demonstrating the way meters work - white wall, black wall etc. But in that case there was a specific effect - a visualisation - that I was trying to achieve, and to show students how to achieve. Which may have been to capture all the tones in a scene, or it may have been to make a white object appear white, or it may have been to make a dark object appear white, deliberately not to capture all the tones in a scene, to have everything in focus or not to have it in focus, to capture movement or not, to influence the colour balance of the scene etc.. But there is still a goal, a human aim, that I am seeking. It is about the photographer having a vision, and how to achieve it.
    The point of the exercise it to teach visualisation - that in taking a particular image, the student should develop a creative idea that they are trying to achieve, and use technique of controlling exposure, combinations of aperture shutter speed and focus, to carry that idea through.It may be an exercise, but it is all about creativity.
    It is about the artist taking control of the whole process, to have an idea, and to understand the technical possibilities of the equipment and follow through to achieve that particular idea. In fact, what I've been banging on about throughout the thread, and what separates us from the automatic unthinking randomness of a machine.
  94. John A .

    focused towards an average light scene .
    that is similar to 18% grey reflection.

    And that is how I learnt exposure for digital photographers from the lessons of Tim Cooper.
  95. Simon, let's just go back to that pig-headedness thing you brought up.........:))
  96. Simon, let's just go back to that pig-headedness thing you brought up.........:)
    Sure. What about it?
  97. As an aside, yesterday I prepared quite a detailed answer with suggestions about how the OP might try different approaches to using camera controls in order to use the camera to achieve a pre-visualised result. To think about working methods that might help link the camera closer to the photographer's creative vision. Of course, there's not one right way of doing it, there are lots, with various pluses and minuses to each, and I'm sure lots of people have their own tips on it. I typed up mine.
    As the OP didn't seem very interested in that, and just wanted to know how many % out a camera would be in auto settings compared to a photographer trying to avoid being artistic whatever that means, in the end I didn't bother posting it. But I think if the question could have been put more logically rather than obsessing about the technical mechanics of exposure and how good modern cameras are or aren't, it's the kind of answer that would have actually been really useful for him and maybe for others reading the thread.
    Amidst all the rather useless personal slights (if you want to insult someone, either do so or don't, I despise this insipid innuendo accompanied by smilies), I really don't feel the mood or inclination to retype it. But if someone else felt like it, I think it would be a genuinely useful direction for the thread to go in. Whether the OP listened or not, I think others reading the thread might get something out of it.
  98. Simon, I was just sort of like the pot calling the kettle black, I wasn't insulting you at all. That is the problem with these forums, innuendo and nuance is lost many times.
    So, continuing in that pig-headed tradition, all I can say again, with your response here, is that the thread asked a specific question and whether anyone agreed with its framing or not--or its value, it deserved a straightforward answer. With that done, one certainly has the opportunity to expound on it.
    Oh, and the insipid smiles, I probably don't use them right--and hate them--but no one ever seems to understand nuance without them either, it was an attempt to let you know I was being tongue in cheek--oh well
  99. I don't really mind being called pigheaded too much, whether seriously or in jest. I see it as almost a compliment! ;) :)
    Going back to the original question (in its more limited interpretation), I think I already gave my answer, but just in case it wasn't clear, I think that when the photographer takes control he will in the great majority of cases end up with a different effect from using the camera in auto. Sometimes it will be subtly different, sometimes dramatically. Occasionally the settings will be the same. But in the process of taking control, the photographer will start thinking and will open up a world of possibilities that wouldn't have even occurred to him/her if he/she stuck to auto.
    I think that's repeating what I said quite a few times in different ways, so apologies for repetition. I think I ran out of steam and have a tough photo day tomorrow, so I'll duck out of the discussion and let others get a word in edgeways!
  100. Saad, I haven't read much of this thread, but I'll offer my perspective:
    A good photographer knows WHAT to photograph, and that is most of what makes a photograph work. A camera can calcualate many things with its various algorithms, but it will never know what to shoot or how/when/where to shoot it.
    But let's say you're talking about photographing THE SAME THING, for instance, a passport photo. A good photographer will know how to light the subject well, and almost all good lighting is beyond the camera's control.
    And then there's the postprocessing work. A camera can adjust exposure, contrast, saturation, etc., but a skilled photographer can almost always do it better and then can do so many more things with the image that cannot be done at all by the camera (e.g. dodging and burning, retouching, etc.).
    You ask how much a skilled photographer contributes to a good photo. I think it's easier to say how much a good camera adds. I'd say it's maybe 0 - 40%, depending on the photograph. This isn't to say that a rank beginner can't take an amazingly good photo with a fine camera. However, when this happens, it's hardly by virtue of the camera.
  101. I stood at a window several times over two days and with the same camera and different settings (and lenses) took photos that included the Eiffel Tower. You might have a look just to remind yourself of how many different 'looks' one can get from a window, a camera and a fixed 'scenic object,' albeit over a two-day time period and with changing lenses. I adjusted lighting from fluorescent and Kelvin, indoors and out, set my camera on 'C' drive then fired continuously, to get certain shots, and in another underexposed greatly.
    Have a look at the folder:
    Now this wasn't a camera fixed always on a tripod just varying the settings; sometimes it was handheld, sometimes on a tripod and never in program mode.
    And lenses were changed, so you'll have to analogize a little, but I think it helps make Simon's initial point, not the more narrow (and arch) one.
    John (Crosley)
  102. Old adage ' it is the person behind the camera ' that counts. Automatic bells a whistles are tools only to be used with guidance of experience that produces a picture as opposed to a snap. Regards, ifti.
  103. If this was science, we would say that this is not a worthwhile question. The OP's politeness and courtly manner has seen this run to a long discussion. If that camera were set up and Edward Weston were nearby and had decided from long experience that the settings should be 1/125s and f8 with ISO 50 film and the focus set on infinity (a variable we had not previously considered....) and the camera had chosen the same settings, then the pictures would be the same, whether Edward Weston's little finger was in contact with the DSLR or not. So the difference is 0%. But this is a profoundly trivial question. The parameters are usually so simple that there cannot be much difference. That's why a 50 year old Leica still takes good pictures and so does a Nikon D3. So can an iPhone 4, up to a point. Where does this lead us, other than to emphasize the value of a photographer in the making of worthwhile photographs? Pursuing your musical allusion, the Yamaha player piano might be made to play automatically the notes of a Chopin Etude, but it cannot compare to Richter with the score in front of an audience on a Yamaha concert piano, technically little different. And the cleverer the player piano and the DSLR become, the more the amateur ouptut will look and sound the same and lack interest, so that being somewhere else, choosing "too slow" a shutter speed, pushing the black and white processing etc etc will become even more noticeably eloquent. The issue with all worthwhile production - we do not need to talk of art - is attention, intention and choice. The DSLR can do none of those things.
  104. This is a complex question but if the lighting is evenly falling onto the scene and the image consists of a good range of tones and there are no big dark or light areas, then matrix metering will give a perfectly equal result to the photographer, doesnt matter who he or she is. There arent that many scenes like that so this is where the experienced photographer will take manual control of the camera. Thats my opinion.
  105. I rather like Saad's challenge back on page 8... same shot in manual and auto modes. I don't have an example quite a pedestrian as a wall or chair but I did have the scene below in both modes. This was brightly lit mid-afternoon sun. So what did the photographer add to the camera here? Admittedly not a great shot, I went with a different composition in the end.
    I'd argue that this IS a rather average scene in average, even lighting. Think of it as a cropped version of an urban landscape at mid-day. It is my opinion that the camera failed completely in auto mode.
  106. Tim, what metering did you have this set on? This isn't an average scene by any means but one with more extreme ends and little overall gradation. Placing the hot, specular reflection in the middle of the frame also makes it far from "normal". Landscapes (the original described setting) don't have specular highlights in them generally. (I can see the thread go on for the next 5 days with examples--think normal pastoral scene, not water/wet leaves etc etc)
    In any case, the only metering I would expect that "might" get this shot right would be matrix, center and spot would yield this darker version in most cases (or was that your choice--you didn't say) Not a good test IMO of the ability of a built in meter to evaluate an exposure.
    Go check out this series on my blog, , every one was shot with the matrix metering mode with no compensation--in fact, if you read it, you might say I didn't do anything.........
  107. Hee hee, agreed, not a good test of the original premise but a good demonstration of how the auto mode fails. The upper photo was simply Canon's "P" setting (5DII) but I don't recall which weighting was set. The original tonal values aren't just lumped the the extremes, the lower half of the histogram is somewhat evenly distributed except for the peak where the sky values lie. For the second version, I think I dialed in two or three stops of so-called "under exposure". Indeed, the darker version was my choice and it represents what I visualized when setting up the shot. The quick JPEG shown here misses some of the subtleties in the sky tone - it should still be discernable from the shadows inside the structure.
    My point here is that the camera has no way of interpreting the scene as I do. I guess that puts me in with Simon on rejecting the premise of the original question. It falls in the "who cares" realm. If today's cameras failed to handle an average scene, then camera designers have learned nothing over the last century and a half.
    As for your shots in the blog, that's the kind of thing that I would expect matrix metering to handle well, so no surprise there.
  108. Sorry Tim, but I actually thought the lower one was your example of the camera's failure, I think the camera meter did a much better job actually. Even if I were to want the end product you have in the second frame, I would have shot it more like the camera suggested. Your version would have little room to get any detail(without noise being introduced) back in the dark areas and the top image would slide down nicely into your darker visualization with maybe a little more body in the darks.
    I guess it just shows that it would be hard to have a meter ever meet everyone's tastes or needs. In some ways, barring a need to shoot quickly, maybe they should just take them out altogether and let us figure it out to our preference just looking at the LCD.....
  109. If the situation is maintained exactly like the OP describes, IMO basically there will be little to no difference between the shots made by the beginner and the expert.
    With the beginner, the machine will decide for the safest settings, a bit like the food in the cafetaria of a office or hospital.Not to salt, not too spicy, not to raw, or in photograhy not to contrasty, not too risky with the DOF, not to light to burn the hightlights etc.
    All that can be aforementioned settings can be altered/improved by changing the in-camera settings to begin with, like the expert will do, or afterwards in PP, although that will probably be well above the beginners capabilities (and the reason he chose the P mode).
    To give an example the following anecdote. A few months ago I sold a D300 to a former collegue of mine, preferrering a 2nd D3 as back up. And to show him I didn't sell him a lemon, took him along to a fashion show I was going to shoot. Dailed in all the settings on the camera the way I would, lend him a 2.8/80-200, told him how to shoot and put him in one of the better spots to shoot a fashion show from ( and corrected him during the show when I saw he was doing weird things that would have spoiled his photos).
    He was quite proud of his results, and rightly so as although his pictures were not as good as mine, with a little PP they would have come pretty close.
    But change the situation, as I did a few weeks later.
    I again took him to a fashion show, and again dialed in the settings on the camera and lend him the 80-200. But this time I didn't tell him how to shoot or where to stand. I even ' chased' him away when he tried playing human shadow on me wanting to stand next to me to shoot from virtually the same spot. He did end up at the end of the catwalk, always one of the best spots to shoot from. And afterwards his pictures all of a sudden
    were no more then the average 'look here there as a fashion show and I also took pictures' level, with bad composition, weird stuff that had spoiled his pictures etc.
    I don't know if there are any wedding photographers participating in this discussion, but you must recognise the situation when you are e.g. shooting the formal pictures, and find a family member shooting over you shoulder. And either when his pictures work out well too, he will pride himself on his talent, or if they turn out to be duds, he will point at your equipment and say : Yeah but if I was shooting with that kind of gear ....'.
    So yes, as said before, if the OP wants to post the thesis that with nowadays camera's a beginner could basically make the same pictures as the expert, I agree. But that's only in theory, because next from the technique the camera will supply , the input of the photographer will always be needed, be it called expertise, creativity, or feeling for 'Le moment décisif' to quote Cartier-Bresson. And that is not always mentioned in those beautiful adds from the manufacturers.
  110. Hi Every Body.


    l would like to thank every one contributed to this thread for the second time,and again Twice,and I would like to mention two names John A,and Simon Crofts .

    when I asked this question I thought that there will be three or at most five response telling me that there will be a little difference,or at most as Not That Much as John Tran said.
    This is all what I have expected because the formula that I have made (at least in my thought is a mathematical one) is a simple one,now I am with the thread for three days and the answers are in access thankfully to all,some have said exactly what I have expected,because they have just answered as much as the formula would bear as I formulated it,some others does not accept that ,and Now I am more than ever could understand that,
    in that scenario I presumed ,the camera is the master,and the photographer is of no or very little use with out being aware to that (though it is an experiment that I have done myself) ,and I understand as a photographer I could not accept that,(this is a community of photographers) but this is just a presumption fact in that scenario because we are not in the process of creation or art or creativity.
    but being unjust to anything even a camera is like being unjust to me or to you,
    our digital cameras especially those of mid range to a full pro are very good devices,and I would argue anyone being unjust to them,why you try to buy the best of them to shot images ?
    I have learnt in those three days more than I have learnt in three years about the art of photography,its philosophy,some technical aspects,ethics and the way of making a good conversation with someone I do not know overseas.
    all those who contributed to this thread are wonderful,each have his stand,and the basis for that stand,I admire all,though I agree with some and do not agree with some( which I am sure is something related to the form of the question itself rather than being different about photography issues),I attributed that to the conversation over the net,may be if I am sitting with any one who may not understand what I have meant from the beginning,around a table with a cup of tea,then we would have very mutual understanding.
    I am a photographer ,and proud to be here with the finest photographers I have ever heard or knew,I like to discuss photography with others,and I look at my tools that produces my images with my hands and eyes a look of admire and respect,since my first Casio QV1 1997 to the last one NikonD3 2009 because if they wouldn't be that good ,they will fail me.( I have done more work with the QV1 than I did with D3.
    All other things are a different linguistic meanings behind an idea,and understood by peoples in a very different ways,the cameras are our tools for producing our images,no matter if they are advanced or an ordinary aim and shoot,if we are good they produce a good photos,and if we are not good,the result is as such,THE CAMERAS WILL NOT ADDS TO THE IMAGES IF THE MAN OR WOMAN BEHIND IS NOT GOOD, A GOOD PHOTOGRAPHER WILL DO A GOOD IMAGE USING ANY CAMERA AVAILABLE ,they will just do what they are meant to do,producing images,and their manufactures are doing the impossible to improve them to produce even a better images even in a periods of months, and if we do not trust them to produce a good images then we do not uses them.
    sorry if I have done some mistakes in expressing my thoughts with English words.
    thank you all,and I hope I have not upset anyone,after all ,all of you are my friends.
  111. Well John, that's what I get for rushing... I didn't convey my meaning very well. The camera did an acceptable job with an average interpretation but that's not how I saw it. The original PSD file of the second shot does contain plenty of information in the darker values, I just didn't do a good job of converting to a smaller file. I didn't dedicate a lot of time to it because it is not the composition I preferred.
    So in the end, I'll agree with the notion that with a sophisticated modern camera shooting an average scene with average lighting and an average interpretation, the photographer adds little. Take away any of those factors and the photographer's impact goes up. Take away all three and it's a whole new game.
    Saad, you've initiated an intersting discussion - thank you. I've enjoyed reading the various contributions.
  112. TGP = The Good Photographer
    CPM = The camera in P mode
    TGP: Composes carefully.
    CPM: Has no idea what it is photographing.
    TGP: Focuses on the subject or on a particular feature of the subject.
    CPM: Has no idea what the subject is or where it is in the frame.
    TGP: Sets depth-of-field for creative effect.
    CPM: Sets depth-of-field to yield a shutter speed that is as foolproof as possible.
    TGP: Selects a shutter speed because of how it renders the motion in the frame.
    CPM: Is not cognizant of motion in the frame.
    TGP: Selects light that enhances his subject.
    CPM: Doesn't know good light from bad.
    TGP: Selects a White Balance that will create an expressive mood.
    CPM: Selects a White Balance that isn't too blue or too yellow.
    TGP: Selects a focal length for its effect on the composition.
    CPM: Thinks all focal lengths are equal.
    TGP: Overrides autofocus and autoexposure when they do not deliver optimal results.
    CPM: Assumes that autofocus and autoexposure ALWAYS deliver optimal results.
    TGP: Learns from his/her mistakes and misjudgments and makes corrections.
    CPM: Cannot learn or re-evaluate how it attempts to capture a scene.

Share This Page