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Seven Levels of Photography


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Many have read this already, but for those who haven't, this is great

stuff from Ken Rockwell's fabulous website. For the holiday season,

before equipment goes on sale and you rush out to buy it:

<P><B>The Seven Levels of Photographers</B>


<P><B>Why Your Camera Does Not Matter</B>


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Ahhhh, if it were only true.


BTW, what was the name of the violin Pearlman plays?


I tried a throw-away at a wedding once. Pix were well composed and looked

like crap. Tried a Contax 645 at a reception. AF never did lock on the people dancing.

Got the EOS 1v out of the truck and caught every one from then on.


The right tool for the job to be done. That's what gear is about.

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Maria, I feel bad that I offended you. I found the article an eye-opener, and thought I'd share it with others, who might waste money buying this or that lens. There are so many posts asking:


<P>"Is the pre-Asph bokeh creamier than the penultimate-Asph, or the ultimate-Asph? How about the creaminess of the 6-element non-Asph? Where does it stack up versus the pre-War 7-element chrome version (meters, not feet; with infinity lock). How about the one without the infinity lock? Does anyone have a "Creaminess Index" for lenses? Please help! I'm losing sleep over this important issue, and the rest of my life is falling apart. I'm paralyzed by my psychological conflict. Somebody! Please help!"


<P>Accomplished professionals like Marc Williams don't need to read any of Rockwell's stuff, their body of work speaks for itself. It's the rest of us Measurebators who could take a moment to laugh at ourselves.


<P>And Maria, this isn't a Leica owner's forum. A lot of people don't own Leica, and they have better pictures!

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Vic, sorry and no, you did not offend me. I shouldn't be so outspoken on Leica owners behalf since I don't own one (no money honey). It's just that both threads you pointed us to on Ken Rockwell site seem infantile and full of hypocrisy -- he's got a pic of himself with a huge telescopic lens and I wonder how one can shlep box camera to sporting events. It's just obvious that nothing follows his advice there and therefore it's pure entertainment. Which I found bizarre coming from a pro on a pro-photography site. His fees for a day of advice are $600 or so -- it makes me wonder.
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Oh my golly! Sorry someone posted my stuff to a Leica owner's site! Obviously there is no better made gear than Leica, and of course I use a Leica projector personally for my 35mm work, and even splurged for the Colorplan CF lens, which is spectacular.


You know you guys are easy to poke fun of. Would you have it any other way owning the best? I mean where's the fun in toying with Sigma owners?


You folks have to realize that I kid around a lot, and that my decades of making photos has taught me that the really important aspects are deeper than just the gear used. The photographer does, in some very rare and isolated cases, play a small part in the final image. Of course you need to use the right gear, but with effort the right person can use the wrong gear to get great results, just like some people can actually get windows PCs working long enough to crank out some decent photos, too.


Merry Christmas to all!


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Ken didn't ask to be here but since he is, he has a lot of opinions and a lot of photos, some good and some not so good. What many people just don't get and apparently Ken is one of those folks, is what makes a good photo is really, in the final analysis, subject matter content interest to the viewer. Certainly, some photos are techically flwawed but for the most part, most photos simply cannot interest everyone. If you reach personal satisifaction in your shots and your shots are appreciated by those who have an interst in their content, you reach the highest level of the art. It is also true that appreciation of one camera over another does not a bad photographer make, no matter what Ken thinks.
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Hi to all and have a nice Cristmas.


I think Ken has a message to some of us, and on his site he brings that with humor and some serious thoughts.

Keep allways an eye on his site because he has something to say to us, most sites don't.

Only good photographers can make good pictures with less good tools.

So it makes it much more easy for Ken to make good pictures with less good tools than it does for me.

For me there is a lot to learn on his site.

Thanks for that Ken.

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Hi everybody,


I am neither a Leica-User nor -Collector and therefore apologize for my comments on this board. But I wanted to say "Thank you" to all of you Leica-, Mercedes- and Porsche-Buyers who provide my country and its economy with such great amounts of money for these absolutely overpriced products. You need all that stuff to take better pictures and drive to work faster, believe me! Thanks for subsidizing our jobs!


All the best...



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He leaves out another class: those who having attained a certain degree of skill and have acquired a reputation therefor are impelled to ascribe attributes of others to one or another level he has designed. As one wag put it: �There two classes of people in the world: those who are always putting others in one class or another and those who just don�t give a damn whatever.�
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  • 2 weeks later...

I am very happy that I finally found Ken's website, because it completely changed the way I am thinking. Now I will spend more time taking pictures than reading X or Y guru reasoning why I need af 3.5 or whatever lenses why 4 megapixel but not 3 camera is better and other mechanical stuff.


But I believe that you guys didn't catched the point what Ken was trying to tell you. In fact it is entire philosophy, which is not realizable to everyone.

A professional doesn't mean an artist. And knowing every technical aspect of your camera doesn't mean that you will create astonishing pictures. Optically right picture doesn't mean GOOD picture. And an artist not necessary means professional. The same with car driving- in order to be a good driver it is not necessary to know how to fix a car. Still probably you will notice that for example consumer films(which deliver only entertainment but not enrich someone's soul)are on shelfs marked best seller/hit/or whatever else. Sometimes even artist have to make a choice- do for money or do in sake of art(express himself). But of course there are different people interest- some of them involved in photography as an artists, other do taht for money, third just interested in technical aspect and so on and so on to infinity...


A lot of you guys should read some art philosophy before you start praying for technical details and using technical, magical slang.

There is just one link, others (including theory of cognitivism, expressionism, critical pluralism and critical monism and others) you can find by yourself, of course if it will be some desire.


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