The secrets that you keep

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by Karim Ghantous, May 14, 2022.

  1. How many trade secrets do you keep? Most of us, if not all of us, are happy to share our knowledge with newcomers to the craft. However, I think most of us have one thing that we keep to ourselves.

    In my case, it's a manual focus lens that I use adapted to a mirrorless camera. It's a very minor thing, but I find it fun, knowing that I'm keeping it to myself. Needless to say, it cannot be revealed via metadata.

    What about you?
  2. I'm working hard to find my own 'voice' in photography and it's not like I've arrived at a result.
    I can share anything about the photographic process, but not how I conceive my photographs. That's the individualistic part if photography.
  3. No, no secrets,
  4. Dustin McAmera

    Dustin McAmera Yorkshire

    Is that much of a secret, that you sometimes do your own focusing? I think most of us young hipsters are doing that..

    My secret is that I'm not very good. I've been taking pictures all my adult life, and I'm not much better than when I started. I don't think that's much of a secret either. It's a mercy that I still enjoy doing it; maybe that's the secret.
  5. The big secret is how many bad photos I take to get one even worth a second look. 95%?
  6. AJG


    I've never hesitated to share technical information, since duplicating my results usually involves a lot of work and most people don't want to work that hard. Besides, whatever I know is probably on the internet or in a book somewhere if anyone bothers to look.
  7. I refuse to tell any of my secrets the results being they cannot possibly know that I really do not have any.
    Ricochetrider and Ed_Ingold like this.
  8. Why keep secrets? if "the craft" (any craft) is to survive, everything must be handed down to the next generation. As a person wth working skillsets, I've arrived at this as my philosophy. We who have been doing things are responsible for bringing the next wave up. Secrets are counterproductive to the longevity of the craft. Mentor & teach, that's the way forward.
  9. PapaTango

    PapaTango I See Things

    Yup. That is driving interest and price in Canon FL/FD and other brand lenses.

    My current secret is that I am lazy. The big ones used to be in my darkroom days--in how I did certain developing or printing tricks. Not that they really were a technical secret even the more arcane ones--it's just I knew how to finesse them and get a result.

    I probably should not mention the other secret, but we are all friends here. I am really a space alien sent here to hasten the collapse of human civilization... :cool:
    Gerald Cafferty likes this.
  10. Quite a self disclosure, which I share. If not for PN I still would be in the dark ages. Keep on keepin on.
    PapaTango likes this.
  11. Secrets come into play for me in the photos themselves rather than in the technicals of taking them. There’s so much stuff going on in the periphery, the context, and even sometimes in the photo itself that doesn’t always translate to the viewer as it actually occurred. I consider a lot of that to be at least part of the secret of photography. Photography leaves out an awful lot of stuff that only the photographers and those who were there will know, and even sometimes they won’t know. Some of those secrets are really special.

    Of course, the other side of the secret coin is that as much as a photo leaves out it can also add.
  12. This stuck out to me among the responses. If it’s meant to be tongue-in-cheek, just say so. If not, can you say what better would be. Also have you wanted to or thought much about getting better and been unable to or are you content as is and haven’t tried?
  13. + 1 @Sanford!

    IMHO, it's worth making a distinction between the 'good photos' that you personally like and are proud of but that arouse little interest amongst others. I definitely have at least 2-3 which I personally think (at least for me) are' good photos'. But on various forums, no one else is interested. The (self-invented!) term 'photographic compass' springs to mind, There are photographers who just do their thing, independently of what anyone else thinks. Other photographers are more sensitive to constructive feedback from peers and viewers.

    My (really) 'bad' photos are the ones for which I:
    - forget to change my exposure settings, almost always ISO. So they either turn out seriously underexposed or (more often) seriously overexposed and blown out
    - forget to allow enough time for the auto-focus to kick in, leading to blurry photos

    Most of my (amateur) photos are of people, sports, action, etc. I take almost all of these in 'burst mode'. So I know in advance that of any 'burst' of 5-6 'shots', only one will (for me) best capture the exact moment/expression. That's not to say that the one selected shot (for me = ' a photo') in any burst is interesting, well-framed, or that the 'photo' is any better than any other selected 'photos' from the same photoshoot.

    As a complete amateur, it's a labor of love to quickly discard the 'bad' (under- or overexposed) shots, then select the "photos" from 5-6 times as many 'burst shots' and finally select my "best photos" from these. My 'process' is time-consuming and it would be impossible to make any money from this! But you're right that this 'process' happens (secretly) behind the scenes and the photos that I (as a volunteer) deliver or publish are but a small percentage (probably around 12% - 15%) of the total number of (selected) photos.

    Sanford likes this.
  14. No one with a fear of boredom should want to know my secrets......
    PapaTango likes this.
  15. Those of us that started out shooting Veliva or Kodachrome learned to get the frame right, exposure right, focus right, and horizons level. Much higher percentage of keepers then. We got sloppy & lazy in the "shoot from the hip & fix it in post later" age.
    PapaTango and luis triguez like this.
  16. Isn’t is possible that you got sloppy in what you (sloppily?) interpreted as the “shoot from the hip & fix it in post later” age? Truthfully, Sanford, it didn’t have to be that. The choice was up to you! Others made different choices and the new age of photography wasn’t that for them.
    Sanford likes this.
  17. Don't get me wrong, I love sloppy or sloppily, gives me choices and options I never had before.
    Ricochetrider and samstevens like this.
  18. Dustin McAmera

    Dustin McAmera Yorkshire

    Oh hey - I wasn't expecting a test! No - I'm at least half-serious. As photographers go, I'm a reasonably good camera operator, but hardly an artist at all. But that's ok; the world is full of people who paint, and are not Monet, or whoever they would like to be, but they are happy if they can keep doing it. I am happier the more effort I put into getting out there and photographing stuff (even if not very well). Perhaps it's how I rake my gravel.
    Ricochetrider likes this.
  19. I've always thought that there are no secrets in photography. Photographers seem to me more than most, to want to share their knowledge with others.
    Ricochetrider likes this.
  20. Didn’t mean it as a test. Was interested and making conversation, but happy to drop it.

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