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Thread: Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

  1. #1
    terrib's Avatar
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    Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    Matt's thead HERE inspired me to write this post. We've had similar discussions before but here's a few things I've experienced in the last few days.

    * Our neighborhood association has a Facebook page where we share things relevant to the community and a lot of people post pictures of local wildlife and scenery. The alert went out that White Pelicans had landed on our community lake. I dropped by late in the day and found the pelicans on the east end of the lake. Even though the light was not ideal, I stopped since they were so close. I got off only a couple of shots before a neighbor skidded in close to me with his barking dogs in the back seat to tell me his wife was on the way to take pics of the pelicans. Of course, with all the commotion, the pelicans moved quickly to the middle of the lake.

    * I went to the other end of the lake for better light and waited for almost 45 minutes for the pelicans to get closer. In the meantime, countless people stopped at the other end of the lake, jumped out of their cars, snapped a picture and left. (This had apparently been going on all afternoon). Of all the pictures posted that day, the one that got the most "That is awesome!" comments was an overexposed, blown out, far away picture that was the rage because it not only had a pelican but also a great blue heron, underexposed, on the opposite bank. Wow, 2 birds with one shot!!! Awesome!

    * I posted a few pics of some ducklings on another pond. Someone commented they had tried to take a picture but the ducks were too far away. I explained that I had sat on the bank for over an hour waiting for them to swim close enough for a shot and that I had visited that spot both early morning and late afternoon for several days.

    * I was excited one early morning to find a Great Blue Heron feeding close to the bank who was not bothered by my truck as I drove up. I carefully exited the vehicle and started taking shots over the truck bed when I heard a group of women walking toward me. I knew it was hopeless but tried to signal them to be quiet. "What do you see?" they yelled. There went the Heron to the other side of the lake.

    * A neighbor who is a casual picture taker asked what long lens I was using. When I tried to talk to him about his intended use and to help analyze what he actually might need, his response was that he just wanted to get the lens I had so that he could take sharp shots like mine.

    It's no wonder I so enjoyed my drive into the backroads of the forest this morning. I didn't encounter another sole the entire time!!! Bliss. Pure Bliss.

    The pelicans from the "wrong" end of the lake.

    Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    From the "right" end. They didn't stay long and would NOT swim into the better light.

    Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    Ducklings

    Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    Great Blue Heron

    Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

  2. #2
    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    Most people will think you are very lucky with the shot and and if they had the equipment you use they would do even better. Cheer up you are starting to display skills they will probably never have.

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    Re: Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    All you need to take a 'good' picture is a 'good' camera. Everyone knows that. You just pull the camera out of its case, plonk it down on the hood of your car, point it in the general direction of your subject, and press the little button. Hey Presto! Another awesome shot!

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    CJK's Avatar
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    Re: Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    I think this is just another layer of 'the downfall'. No need to try to improve yourself in something if you can just give me the answer. It's the times of the easiest way to do something with the least amount of effort. Instant gratification.

    Some lady laughed and made fun of me me the other day while leaning out of the train we were in to get a shot of the 1880's steam engine slowly coming our way on the other tracks... sorry I wanted a nice angle while getting the 30 other people with phone cameras jumping up and down out of my shot.

    It's widespread... it's everywhere and in everything.

    I see it in younger music students a lot, it seems like the majority of people just don't want to put the effort in.

    “It's a disease. Nobody thinks or feels or cares any more; nobody gets excited or believes in anything except their own comfortable little God damn mediocrity.”
    Last edited by CJK; 2nd August 2013 at 06:15 AM.

  5. #5
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    "Could you just take a picture of that?"

    "No, it wouldn't work. There's an electricity pylon, 10 trucks, 50 people and a gas storage tank in the line of sight."

    "But you've got that fancy camera. It's such a nice view if they weren't there."

    Donald leaves!

    And ............... these are a lovely set of pictures.

    What I didn't understand, Terri, was .................

    Quote Originally Posted by terrib View Post
    From the "right" end. They didn't stay long and would NOT swim into the better light.

    Most people have no idea what's behind a photo
    I think that remark is linked to that picture. I think the lighting in that is great.

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    Stagecoach's Avatar
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    Re: Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    Terri,

    Good selection of images and worth the effort taking account of the frustrations encountered.

  7. #7
    Letrow's Avatar
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    Re: Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    Good shots Terri, especially the ducklings look great. I do agree with you on that second photo, the lighting could have been better, but as Donald said it looks pretty good already.

    Your story about the ladies coming up to you with loud voices reminds me of something we saw in Canada. Apparently a brown bear was spotted just off the road, so everyone stopped and approached to take photos. Me too by the way.
    But what I found incredible was that some people there approached the bear to a distance of about two metres, talking quite loudly and ran alongside with the bear as it tried to get away.
    Apart from scaring the bear they also underestimated the risks. Bloody tourists

    Quote Originally Posted by FootLoose View Post
    All you need to take a 'good' picture is a 'good' camera.
    Well, I agree with you but a good camera and good lens combination can lead to awesome(r) results now and then. You still have to 'see' the photo though and try to get to the right spot of course.

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    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    I wouldn't worry - most people on Facebook would seriously be happy with images like those highlighted by http://youarenotaphotographer.com/

  9. #9
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    Been there, done that. A similar situation happened to me a few weeks ago while I was photographing a baby rabbit. I was able to get fairly close, maybe six feet, the rabbit came out of the bushes nearby. I was able to get a few good shot, my access was blocked by a metal handrail, when a group approached saw what I was doing and decided to join in. The woman approached the rabbit while speaking to her group and before she could get the shot, the rabbit dashed into the bushes. She looked directly at me as if I willed the rabbit to leave and walked away complaining to her group about her missed opportunity.

    Three habits work well when taking nature walks, be aware of what is in front of you and if you see wildlife that is reasonably tame, approach slowly. And finally, if you see someone with a camera, approach even more slowly and do so quietly or go in another direction.

  10. #10
    davidedric's Avatar
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    Re: Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    "Could you just take a picture of that?"

    "No, it wouldn't work. There's an electricity pylon, 10 trucks, 50 people and a gas storage tank in the line of sight."
    But sometimes, if the suggestion comes from your nearest and dearest, it may be better to take the shot

  11. #11

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    Re: Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    Terri: Your experiences are probably as frustrating to endure as they are funny to read. Perhaps you can use your Facebook page to educate your community about the habits of the pelicans and other wildlife, the need for people to be quiet around them, and the awareness of the havoc they can cause for other photographers.

    I have a good friend who, after I explain what was required for making a particular photograph, very lovingly tells me that I have too much time on my hands. I always hug her and remind her that, actually, I don't have enough free time.

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    Re: Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    Phil, great site you linked to. Anyone who is ever concerned if their shots are good or not needs to spend a few minutes there. Too funny.

  13. #13
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    People should take more pictuers of turtles. All these problems of animals running away or birds flying away are solved when you pick something that moves at an appropriate speed....

    Most people have no idea what's behind a photo
    Last edited by Manfred M; 2nd August 2013 at 04:36 PM.

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    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    The second duckling shot is great. Tack-sharp, and apparently you caught the little dude drinking. Cute!

    I've had people elbow me out of a designated photographer's spot during roller derby bouts so they could take iPhone shots. In the dark. With fast action. And a wide-angle lens. And the useless LED flash going off. I had a brief urge to unscrew my monopod, with its ancient, mallet-like steel ball head, grab his phone, and golf it to the far side of the arena. Buuut, many poor souls think photographers are assholes for some reason, so I decided not to perpetuate the myth. Besides, my photos get way more likes than his did. If that isn't the final word on photo quality, I don't know what is.

  15. #15

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    Re: Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    Peter -I am very apprehensive of meeting up with a bear on my visits to Colorado, and see one behind every bush or shadow The photographer in me hopes for a meeting but my inner self doesn't

    But I remember seeing a photo of people playing with some cubs while Mum slept on a branch above them How dumb can you get ... one little squeal from junior and an angry Momma would be down on top of them.

    Then there was Richard's comment about his sister-in-law complaining that all of the photo was not sharp [ selective focused shot of statuette]

    For all of this photography is one heck of a lot easier with far more sophisticated equipment with far greater range than when I started with a box brownie and 828 equivalent *.... I tend to cringe slightly when a judge trying hard to find something nice about a shot says "it is all nice and sharp"

    * which is why people pick up a DSLR and think they can shoot weddings to today's standards
    Last edited by jcuknz; 2nd August 2013 at 09:54 PM.

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    Re: Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    Quote Originally Posted by dubaiphil View Post
    I wouldn't worry - most people on Facebook would seriously be happy with images like those highlighted by http://youarenotaphotographer.com/
    Which highlights one of our problems as photographers ... we can forget that the point of a photo is the concept behind it in an obsession for technical purity. The best of us of course combine both in their work ... but they are catering for the educated, their peers, rather than the masses.

  17. #17

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    Re: Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    Just wait until you get THE SUPREME COMPLIMENT..."your camera sure does take nice pictures".
    I usually say..."yeah, do ya wanna buy some?"

  18. #18
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    I've loved reading all your responses. It's all pretty funny.

    In the spirit of fairness and balance, I should report that this morning I went to a local small lake. No one there but early fisherman and you can't drive around the lake, you have to walk so less traffic. Anyway, there were some fisherman that stopped well behind me as I was taking pics of a pelican fishing. When I looked up and behind me, they asked politely if they would bother me if they went to the water on my right. Said they didn't want to scare the birds and mess up my shot. I thanked them for asking and told them I'd gotten plenty from that vantage point so to go ahead. They did not scare the birds and when they changed locations later they made a wide circle behind me. So all is not lost.

  19. #19
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    Which highlights one of our problems as photographers ... we can forget that the point of a photo is the concept behind it in an obsession for technical purity. The best of us of course combine both in their work ... but they are catering for the educated, their peers, rather than the masses.
    I know - ditch the search for technical perfection nirvana.

    Selective colour/black and white 'dead baby' look rocks!

  20. #20
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    Re: Most people have no idea what's behind a photo

    Fun reading Terri. I found the cutest chipmunk the other day, and some people came by and startled it before I managed a nice shot. By the way, I adore pelicans and I absolutely love that 2nd pelican photo, beautiful.

    Manfred, I also love your turtle...

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