Archive for the ‘likes’ Tag

Friday Foto Talk: Video Likes & Dislikes   11 comments

Saratoga Springs surprises with so much water in such a dry desert.

Happy Friday!  Here’s another installment of Likes/Dislikes, where I give my totally personal opinion on a trend or issue in photography.  I want to do a series on videography soon, so why not preview that by taking a subjective look at video?  I have so many still images from recently at Death Valley, so forgive me if I share them instead of videos.  So here we go!

LIKE:  The ability to shoot video on most cameras today has changed the way we use our cameras.  I love being able to just switch modes from still to live action on a whim.

DISLIKE:  There is an explosion in photographers switching over to making videos.  It’s trendy, which for me is a reason to view it with some skepticism.  I realize most photographers shoot video simply because it adds profit, and that’s perfectly fine.  But it’s a lousy reason to create something artistic.

Abstract of the reeds reflecting in Saratoga Springs, home of those cute pupfish!

Abstract of the reeds reflecting in Saratoga Springs, home of those cute pupfish!

LIKE:  When they’re well done, nature videos are quite educational, even inspiring.  They’re similar to the best of that series Planet Earth.  Videos that feature humans can be eye-opening as well.

DISLIKE:  I have a confession.  I don’t like most videos I see.  I’m not sure of the total reason, but part of it is explained in the next Dislike.  For example, nearly all time-lapse videos bore the heck out of me (probably in the minority there).  When in school I really enjoyed being exposed to time-lapse for educational purposes.  Who doesn’t love seeing exactly how a flower blooms?  But most time-lapse goes for the wow as with still photography.  And it fails miserably.

Line and pattern: Ibex Dunes, Death Valley N.P.

Line and pattern: Ibex Dunes, Death Valley N.P.

LIKE:  Seeing good interesting action is such a different experience than viewing a still.  Good videos are engrossing.

DISLIKE:  When you view a still image you are in control of the experience.  You can look as long as you want and focus on different parts of the picture at your leisure.  Videos on the other hand, control the pace and duration of your viewing.  And before you even watch it you’re being told how long it is.  When the first thing I experience with imagery is the duration of the experience, the life can be sucked right out of it.

The pan near Saratoga Springs features unusually soft and puffy evaporite deposits.

LIKE:  The world is filled with wonderful sounds, and I’ve often lamented the inability to include it in a still image.  I want to create those greeting cards that play a short audio segment when you open the card.  That would be cool!

DISLIKE:  It’s hard to get sound right, even if you have a separate microphone and the gear to monitor and adjust audio.  To make things worse, humans seem to be in love with making noise.  Our world is now filled to the brim with noise pollution.

I can’t count the times I’ve been inspired to record sound in nature only to have Murphy’s Law strike!  I’ll get my microphone out to record some lovely bird call or the wind through tall grass.  And just before I press ‘play’ a plane suddenly drones overhead.  Recording audio at Yellowstone’s thermal features is near impossible without people talking.  You have to go late at night or hike to some off-trail thermal areas.

A desert five-spot blooms near Saratoga Springs.

A desert five-spot blooms near Saratoga Springs.

LIKE:  What about creating videos?  That can be fun and a nice change of pace.  It may even stoke your creativity.  There are several different variations, such as time-lapse and slow-motion.

DISLIKE:  Although shooting natural-time videos can be very enjoyable, making time-lapse videos is like watching paint dry.  You have to sit there with your camera clicking away, automatically taking shot after shot.  Boring!

Most time-lapse shooters do something else while the camera is doing its thing.  They snooze in their cars, look at their phones, and essentially disconnect with their subjects.  And as I mentioned above, I think viewing time-lapses isn’t much better than making them.

LIKE:  Moving pictures can tell you more about the subject than a still photo can.  For example it’s easy to see exactly how graceful a lynx is as it walks across the snow.  A still might hint at that grace, but it’s nothing compared to seeing it in action.

DISLIKE:  Videos can be either distracting or boring, often in the same video.  Sure you can eliminate distracting elements just as with a still image.  But it’s far easier to cut right to the point with a still.  A bad still is easy to ignore.  A bad video may get good, so you’re tempted to stick with it.   You often end up disappointed.

Please add your take on videos in the comments below.  Do you like doing them?  How about viewing?  Why?  Have a fantastic weekend of shooting you all!

Sunset colors over the Ibex dunes, Death Valley N.P.

Sunset colors over the Ibex dunes, Death Valley N.P.

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Friday Foto Talk: Photography Today – Likes & Dislikes   14 comments

Headwaters of the Wind River, Wyoming.

Headwaters of the Wind River, Wyoming.

It’s time to vent again!  Don’t worry though, there’s a silver lining in every cloud.  I started this little series awhile back with the first installment, so check that out, at least for the photos.  So here are a couple likes & dislikes I have in photography today:

LIKE:  The increased quality of optics, speed, dynamic range, etc. available to photographers.  Although I don’t think the best lenses today are any better than the best ones of the film era, I do think the average has come up and there are more excellent lenses out there than there used to be.  With cameras the increase in quality is more obvious.  Digital sensors have allowed high ISO and high dynamic range shooting that was unthinkable in the days of film.

DISLIKE:  The subtle and not so subtle push to constantly upgrade to the latest and greatest.  I’m okay with ads from camera companies, but when a photographer whose work I respect uses his or her blog to make it seem as if, in order to create great images, we need to buy buy buy, then I’m very disappointed.

A river otter glides along the Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

A river otter glides along the Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

A pronghorn fawn grazes peacefully in the grasslands of Custer State Park, South Dakota.

A pronghorn fawn grazes peacefully in the grasslands of Custer State Park, South Dakota.

Remember a couple posts back I mentioned doing a different type of photography to avoid boredom? This is Ian, a high-school senior I photographed, on the Deschutes River, Oregon.

Remember a couple posts back I mentioned doing a different type of photography to avoid boredom? This is Ian, a high-school senior I photographed, on the Deschutes River, Oregon.

LIKE:  The increased awareness of the value of photography.  The internet has expanded the uses for images in a big way.  With the increase in “screen time” for almost everyone on the planet, the need for professional images to inspire, promote, communicate, etc. has only increased.  Of course there is value in amateur photography to do the same things for free, but it also serves as a creative outlet for the person pressing the shutter button.

DISLIKE:  Like with music, movies, and other production put out on the web, many people still believe that if they found it on the internet, it’s free.  And many people who do know photographers don’t work for free nevertheless do want to pay nearly enough to cover the time & expenses involved.  Although the demand for images has increased, so has supply, and that has depressed prices.

Wind River Mountains, Wyoming.

Wind River Mountains, Wyoming.

Okay, that’s it for now.  Don’t worry, I won’t be posting a lot of these.  I really try to be a glass half-full type of person.  Have a happy weekend!

The recent crescent moon sets over Grand Teton, Wyoming.

The recent crescent moon sets over Grand Teton, Wyoming.  The sky’s color is from wildfire smoke coming in from points west.

 

 

Posted August 21, 2015 by MJF Images in Friday Foto Talk

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