Friday 17 September 2010

Be Selective

As you are reading this i am driving up to the Great Smoky Mountains for a few days, We have our niece visiting for a week so lots to do and see, It will give me an opportunity to check out a few places for when i return in a couple of weeks to shoot the fall colours,
A couple of days ago i went onto a forum where a guy was talking about getting a Nikon D7000 for wildlife photography, His reason was that it had more pixels than his current camera and would allow him bigger crops, Now i have mentioned this 'digital' practice before and for those who have never used film or slide in the old days when you pressed the button that is what you got-no cropping, but these days that's how people seem to think you shoot, This is his statement
''Wildlife photography often requires much post shoot cropping and thus extremely small image sizes. Certainly not enough pixels for large prints""
Now i replied saying that i totally disagree with the statement and he is either focally challenged (he stated he had lenses up to 300mm) needed some field craft or a hide and extenders to get closer to his subject, All i got back was a statement saying that i wasn't helping by criticizing,  That wasn't my intention and i wasn't criticizing, I stated that i rarely crop images and if i do its very little but this was met by disbelief, I think its the accepted norm now to grab a shot at some distance and then crop the hell out of it, which is fine if all you want is images for the web to show how good you are?? but at the end of the day you have nothing else-you cant sell them or even print them so what's the use, Be selective with your shutter finger and only shoot when you can get a good image, Other than that just sit back and enjoy the show, Being old school has taught me well and supplying agencies that take a minimum of 10mp files and i only shoot with a 12mp body means that i could only crop a maximum of 2 mp if i wanted to, Knowing this makes me very selective of what and when i shoot and i don't end up with a hard drive full of rubbish images, Now if the yeti showed up half a mile away of course i would shoot and crop but until that happens i will continue as i am



  1. I think thats a valid point Dave, far too much emphasis is put on what can be done with a crop. As you say in the days of film we had no such luxury I guess that in turn would make better photographers.

  2. Hello Dave,
    Unfortunately your observations are correct and there is a growing trend to just go out, fire at will, crop it up, post it on a forum...... and await the richly deserved plaudits. I’m sorry you’ll have to excuse my sarcasm but the forums are littered with banal images whose authors are lauded like some sort of photographic deity.
    The truth is that the images are usually nothing more than a portrait of bird on stick with a plain background all carefully placed on a line of third. In all likelihood they are probably only marginally different to the author’s previous 30 postings.
    I recently saw one author who had posted no fewer than 5 portrait images of the same captive bird on the same background with the only difference being some subtle changes in the pose of the bird......yawn.
    There are some who go on these photographic days with a pro and can’t manage to take a decent image of the ”Captive subject that’s been carefully stage managed with pleasing scenery”, quite clearly they are beyond help, but they do provide a nice source of income for the pro. However for those that do manage to achieve the dizzying heights of nice sharp images of said placid captive creatures to continually post the same repetitive imitations in the style of their instructor and expect any sort of critical praise defies belief.
    To make matters worse a lot of the pros are even lauding praise on some of this cropped and captive tripe. It has actually now got the stage where the authors of these pictorial blights are receiving more replies than the pros. Yes seasoned and widely published pros image are receiving hardly a comment.
    Magnolia photography has taken over, it lacks any sort of creativity, little skill with a camera and the field craft of a matador in cattle pen.
    The monkeys are now officially running the zoo.