"Your camera takes great photos" and other peeves

Aug 23, 2013
2,349
48
Bahia Brazil
Perhaps most annoying is, shoot using techniques such as splash, multiple exposure, super long exposure, etc., and people tell me: Wow! You are very good at Photoshop ...
 

sdsr

EOS 6D MK II
Jul 14, 2012
912
7
Policar said:
If you could take equally as good pictures with a cheaper camera, why wouldn't you use it?

Doesn't the "it's the photographer" argument discredit the talented engineers who made the camera? It's certainly easier to use than it was to engineer. I certainly can't take the some photos with my iPhone I can with my 5D and 70-200; if you can, why don't you?
You certainly have a point - it's amusing to read such complaints in a forum where most posts are about recommending expensive equipment in order to achieve what's often a marginal difference. We all know perfectly well that the equipment matters; and I suspect that many "great camera" comments are made by people who know perfectly well that the user matters more.

I may be lucky, but I seldom get reactions that I find annoying. I've had people smile and point at my 70-300L and say "great lens" (which it is); point at my Olympus OMD EM5 and either say "beautiful camera" or "is that a film camera?"; point at my 70-200 2.8 and say (my favorite ) "that's cheating!" or, on a different occasion, ask a question that led to a rather lengthy and interesting conversation with an unlikely-looking complete stranger.

The only comment I really dislike is actually meant as a compliment - someone or some group will see me wandering through a park etc. with a FF Canon and biggish lens of some sort, say something like "you must be a good photographer; could you take my/our photo?" and hand me a smartphone or point-and-shoot which I haven't a clue how to use, which makes me feel like an idiot; the resulting photo is probably dreadful, but luckily I don't get to see it....
 

TAF

EOS RP
Feb 26, 2012
373
64
neuroanatomist said:
dstppy said:
Listen, I know if I got it or not, what is a 3" screen going to tell you?
Now see, if you had a real camera, like a 6D or even a Nikon Coolpix, you could WiFi that image right to the iPad you'd have on hand just in case someone asked.
No, if you have a REAL camera, they'll have to wait until you process the film before they can see the image.

Digital is a passing fad.
 
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paul13walnut5

Guest
sdsr said:
The only comment I really dislike is actually meant as a compliment - someone or some group will see me wandering through a park etc. with a FF Canon and biggish lens of some sort, say something like "you must be a good photographer; could you take my/our photo?" and hand me a smartphone or point-and-shoot which I haven't a clue how to use, which makes me feel like an idiot; the resulting photo is probably dreadful, but luckily I don't get to see it....
This happened to me on Sunday, I was at Calenish on Lewis, Scotland and because I was using a tripod (or the only other person there) a group of foreign students asked me to take a picture of their group 'you look like a serious photographer'. Yeah they were trying to flatter me to win me over so I'd take a photo of their group, but hey, I'll take it when I can get it.

It was a Samsung compact, one of the android ones with a HUUUUGE screen, took the pic they wanted, asked them to stand whilst I took the pic I wanted (on their camera)

Either way, they're happy, I'm happy.

I ALWAYS offer to take pictures for a couple or family or group. I'm not suggesting that I'm all that good, just that it's nice for a group to all be in the pic. It may be a crap pic in crap light, on a crap camera, They may not even know my camera isn't full-frame, they may even know, but rightly consider "full frame of what?, where does that leave medium or large format users?" But it's nice to be nice.
 

kaihp

I'm not new here
Mar 19, 2012
854
6
paul13walnut5 said:
Valvebounce said:
Yes but that will get you about as far as "no dear your bum looks big in everything!" :eek:
"Does my bum look big in this?"

"yes, you have a big bum!"
My Brazilian friend would take that as a compliment :)

cue the yearly "Miss BumBum" competition held there.
 
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paul13walnut5

Guest
At the risk of being incredibly sexist, the brazillian ladies who take part in miss bumbum may have big assess, but they also have big chests and small waists, and pretty faces.

I'm talking about the kind of fat asses that look like somebody stuffed a waterbed into a pair of denims.
© OTIS LEE CRENSHAW / RICH HALL
 

Nishi Drew

EOS RP
Sep 14, 2012
251
0
Not a peeve or anything, but along the line "you look like a pro, take our photo"

Just recently was on a mountain trip, and at this lookout point was a good place for some group shots with some friends.
It was night time and even with the ambient light I naturally had to put the shutter speed down, go F/1.4 and ISO 3200, my 5DII can handle the image ok, but this couple that was also there wanted me to take their photo as well.
And with the guys camera, a Rebel T4i with the kit lens, no way it would make a clear and exposed photo, and I knew it would struggle even at 3200 and I wouldn't go past that.
But lucky how everyone's Canon around here, I just slapped my 35mm on his camera and got at least the extra 3-stops necessary to get a shot, and I've never met a more pleased couple of people for taking their photo. They kept telling me how I was an amazing pro and what not, felt pretty good :)

Especially as I wasn't very inspired that day and the rest of the photos weren't great.
Otherwise, I've gotten used to the "wow nice camera" part and just play along with agreeing that it's nice, and say what I like about it and what it can do, after all I do like my gear for what it can do
 

gbchriste

EOS RP
Jan 19, 2012
245
1
Actually, we might take this as an opportunity to start weeding out some of the fauxtographers that are flooding the streets. How about a reply along the lines of, "Yes I do. I have $XXXXXXXX invested in my gear and anyone else wanting to take comparable photos to mine will need to spend as much."

This is a double edge sword to the uninitiated photographer-want-to-be. On the one hand, the price tag might discourage him enough to give up and go away. On the other hand, he might be just stupid enough to sell his Rebel and go out and drop $10,000 on a 1DX and a couple of L lenses. At which point the joke is on him because he'll be completely befuddled as to why he's still not taking great pictures.
 
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paul13walnut5

Guest
+1 Haha!

Absolutely.

I'm all about the picture. I think anybody doing photography should be.
 
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paul13walnut5

Guest
Nishi Drew said:
Not a peeve or anything, but along the line "you look like a pro, take our photo"

Just recently was on a mountain trip, and at this lookout point was a good place for some group shots with some friends.
It was night time and even with the ambient light I naturally had to put the shutter speed down, go F/1.4 and ISO 3200, my 5DII can handle the image ok, but this couple that was also there wanted me to take their photo as well.
And with the guys camera, a Rebel T4i with the kit lens, no way it would make a clear and exposed photo, and I knew it would struggle even at 3200 and I wouldn't go past that.
But lucky how everyone's Canon around here, I just slapped my 35mm on his camera and got at least the extra 3-stops necessary to get a shot, and I've never met a more pleased couple of people for taking their photo. They kept telling me how I was an amazing pro and what not, felt pretty good :)

Especially as I wasn't very inspired that day and the rest of the photos weren't great.
Otherwise, I've gotten used to the "wow nice camera" part and just play along with agreeing that it's nice, and say what I like about it and what it can do, after all I do like my gear for what it can do
It's nice that they asked you and nice that you were able to help the paupers with your L lens. The Rebel t4i does however have a built in flash. A bit of M mode juggling and minus flash compensation and I'm sure you could have got their ISO down a fair bit. A bit more contrast. Maybe even a catchlight.
 

Famateur

EOS 6D MK II
Oct 9, 2012
808
137
Don Haines said:
"You really got lucky".....

After scouting the location and showing up morning after morning waiting for the right lighting and clouds, I got lucky... All the preparation had nothing to do with it....
As Louis Pasteur was quoted to say, "Chance favors the prepared mind."

With that perspective, you were VERY lucky. :p
 

anthonyd

EOS 80D
Mar 4, 2013
161
0
45
Knoxville, TN
Policar said:
If you could take equally as good pictures with a cheaper camera, why wouldn't you use it?

Doesn't the "it's the photographer" argument discredit the talented engineers who made the camera? It's certainly easier to use than it was to engineer. I certainly can't take the some photos with my iPhone I can with my 5D and 70-200; if you can, why don't you?
You certainly can't take the same good pictures with a (significantly) cheaper camera. For example, you can't do fancy droplets without an expensive timing rig, you won't do much wildlife without a big zoom, you can't do nice bokeh with a kit lens or a cellphone, ...
But, if you have skill, you can take pictures of good quality with a cheaper camera. In contrast, if you don't know how to take good pictures, you won't take good pictures regardless of the camera you use. I started with a cheap point and shoot about ten years ago and have been steadily improving my gear up to a 6D and some L glass. Some of my most popular pictures on flickr were taken with the cheap point and shoot. I'm not a professional by any means but I take better pictures than anybody in my circle of friends and colleagues. Some appreciate my skill and pay me to take their holiday pictures, pregnant pictures, weddings, etc and some tell me "you should do our family picture this year because you have a nice camera". To the latter I feel like responding "how about I give you my camera for a day and you do them yourself".
 

anthonyd

EOS 80D
Mar 4, 2013
161
0
45
Knoxville, TN
sdsr said:
The only comment I really dislike is actually meant as a compliment - someone or some group will see me wandering through a park etc. with a FF Canon and biggish lens of some sort, say something like "you must be a good photographer; could you take my/our photo?" and hand me a smartphone or point-and-shoot which I haven't a clue how to use, which makes me feel like an idiot; the resulting photo is probably dreadful, but luckily I don't get to see it....
This happened to me a lot in Santorini (very picturesque Greek island) when wandering around with my DSLR on a tripod. I always responded "I'll take your picture with your camera, if I can first take your picture with _my_ camera"! I collected several nice portraits of people I never knew this way.
 
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paul13walnut5

Guest
Policar said:
If you could take equally as good pictures with a cheaper camera, why wouldn't you use it?

Doesn't the "it's the photographer" argument discredit the talented engineers who made the camera? It's certainly easier to use than it was to engineer. I certainly can't take the some photos with my iPhone I can with my 5D and 70-200; if you can, why don't you?
The best camera you have is that one in your hand at that moment.

If we contrive to acheive good photography, as I often do, then I'll have my TPE app, my met office app, my tripod fitted with stills head, a couple of lenses with appropriate filters and adaptors.

I'm grateful to the engineers for their efforts. I've studied the physics at a basic level. I couldn't build a lens. I couldn't design an AF system, I couldn't design a tripod leg clamp.

But all that gear would be in the cupboard, unless I chose it for a shoot. The light wouldn't work unless I knew when to face east, when to face west.

It's team effort. A crap photographer with the best of gear will get crap pictures. A good photographer with the best of gear will get even better pictures. The best of gear without a photographer won't get anything.

I see a lot of great work from folk with all sorts of cameras. I see a lot of 5h1t work from 5h1t photographers with all sorts of cameras. It is true in my experience that some people confuse gearspend with quality of images. Some of the worst photography I've seen has been shot with the very best gear.
 

dcm

Good or bad - it's not the gear.
Apr 18, 2013
794
134
When on the trail or at a vista point (particularly in national parks) I sometimes defuse the situation and ask if they'd all like to be in the picture while they are lining up. Usually only takes a minute and they get at least one photo with all of them. Since I use a cell phone and P&S camera myself it isn't difficult to operate their camera and the camera owner is often overly helpful with the settings anyway. A little composition and a steady hand usually produces a good shot for them. Sometimes I get handed several cameras though.

In certain situations I could see the equipment wasn't up to the situation, the snap looked awful (who can tell on the little screens anyway), or they were just a fun group so I offered to take a pic with my gear and email it to them when I got back. I get a little practice and hopefully they get a memorable photo.

I don't mind since it's only a hobby. On a job it would be different.
 

Policar

EOS 7D MK II
Dec 20, 2010
523
3
paul13walnut5 said:
Some of the worst photography I've seen has been shot with the very best gear.
It's a double-edged sword: virtually every time I see a print I love in a gallery I learn that it's shot on 4x5 or 8x10; and yet many of the worst photographs I've taken have been on 4x5 (lots of photos of dark slides, yet more missed exposures and screwed up focus).

A good camera is harder to use well, but more powerful when used properly, so of course you will get both the best and the worst from it. And my local lab let me in on a little secret... even the best photographers bracket and turn in dark slide photos of their own. :)

But let's be honest for a second... taking a good (as in substantially better than most snapshooters) photograph is REALLY easy. The basics of aperture/shutter speed/ISO take about a day to learn and basic composition equally as long; from there you're just answering to yourself why something is bad... too dark, leading lines don't work, too busy, whatever. Taking a much better than average photograph is easy. Designing a camera or lens is incredibly hard.

Your camera did more work than you did. It has more potential than you do.
 

Zv

EOR R
Sep 23, 2012
1,766
0
www.flickr.com
Coming in late to this thread but yeah I don't particularly like when people compliment the camera - "your camera is awesome, I want one like that", "how much was you camera", "your pics are great what camera do you use?" Etc.

I think they're just trying to be nice and pay me a compliment in a round-about way. However to me It's kinda like they're saying - "hey, well done for being able to spend large amounts of cash on your equipment. You must be doing well to be able to waste your money on fancy gadgets! Of course your pictures are good, they ought to be for that price!"

:mad:

But then again there plenty of rich fools who think they need a 1DX and 200-400 f/4L 1.4x to take pictures of their cat! I guess for some it's a status symbol. Porsche? Check! Butler? Check! Most expensive camera in the world? Check!

So naturally normal people associate these things with Luxury and excellence.

Pretty sure Michael Schumacher in a reasonably priced car could run rings around me in a F1 car any day! Not that I'm the Schumacher of photography or anything! Haha!

Separate rant - people who hand you their camera and expect something to happen magically like you know how to operate every camera ever made. Can't even change the white balance on a Nikon for $h1t!!