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Archive 2013 · We can do better.
  
 
Tom Hicks
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · We can do better.


Well a just spent 20 min. writing a reply and hit the wrong button and lost it all. I'll start again later tonight. I am watching this thread and hope to see replies from others. I thank all of you who have replied.

Tom



Sep 06, 2013 at 10:26 PM
skrichten
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · We can do better.


Tom Hicks wrote:
I have through the years entered many contest on a national level and have done very well, even besting pro's like Thomas Mangelson , and Leonard Lee Rue III. I'm sorry to say that there has not been anything posted on here in some time that would make it through the first round.


Please forgive me, but I think your points could have been made more effectively by omitting the above. It sounds like you are saying... "I'm so awesome and you all suck. You're not good enough for me or this forum." Maybe that is not what you are trying to get across, but that was my interpretation.

I can also appreciate the desire for more artistry and more critiques but not everyone is always looking for that. I noticed DP review's forums have a feature where the poster can indicate that C&C is welcome. Perhaps users here could be encouraged to indicate this when they post? Make it understood that users need to be very sincere in this request. As others have noted, giving C&C takes time and energy and most of us don't want to waste that on someone who isn't going to truly appreciate it.

Maybe I'm just too easy to please, but I really enjoy viewing the photos posted here. I appreciate simply being able to see these creatures in more detail and in their natural habitat.



Sep 07, 2013 at 12:59 AM
Tom Hicks
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · We can do better.


skrichten wrote:
Please forgive me, but I think your points could have been made more effectively by omitting the above. It sounds like you are saying... "I'm so awesome and you all suck. You're not good enough for me or this forum." Maybe that is not what you are trying to get across, but that was my interpretation.

I can also appreciate the desire for more artistry and more critiques but not everyone is always looking for that. I noticed DP review's forums have a feature where the poster can indicate that C&C is welcome. Perhaps users here could be encouraged to indicate
...Show more


SK it's obvious by the # of post you have made you are new here , Most people that know me, no I'm an arrogant bastard. My post was meant to be just as it was written. A lot of people in general need a slap in the face to get the not so vocal to do just that, be vocal. I have gotten just the kind of responses I had hoped to get, as well as yours . I'm not a bad guy and most know that as well , however I am very passionate about the forum and what becomes of it otherwise I have wasted 11years of my life .

Thanks Tom



Sep 07, 2013 at 02:33 AM
Tom Hicks
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · We can do better.


I will now pick up where I was several hrs ago .

When I made my post I felt I had to be blunt, even on the condescending side.

I feel the responses that have been received have been more positive than expected, and are relieved that others feel as I do. I don't understand it when people are happy just being mediocre at anything , I believe it is human nature to be the best as you can at what every you do . I realize there are different levels of talent, and different expectation of perfection . I also don't understand that when someone post an image and a known accomplished photographer (many of which we have here ) makes a suggestion to that said shooter on how to improve that image and he takes offense;
that tells me he's not very willing to listen and learn and I will soon be done with him .

I think I may need to start a thread where we all post a pic of ourselves and tell a little about each of us so we have a better idea of who we are, where we came from , and why we are photographers.

Most of you know I have not posted much in the past 2 to 3 years, the way the forums were going at the time really caused me to all but stop shooting digital all together. As time has gone by the only change I have seen is the lack of new shooters and the loss of many good shooter. To be honest, I'm surprised that Brian ,Kurt and others are still here as well. The forums have been carried by just a few shooter, where in the day we had 25 plus shooter that were very accomplished and were very willing to give back. Mark and others have made some good suggestion .

All shooting styles are welcome here , in macro there is no right or wrong way to get the shot . Tripod no tripod, flash no flash , digital or film I don't care . Quality is number one. We all can improve , I had one macro shooter in the beginning that inspired me to do better , at the same time I had 3 or 4 shooters that helped me improve to the point I wasn't ashamed to post an image . I have not taken a shot worthy of posting in years , and that shames me. I'm am one that needs to be inspired again , and I know there is someone out there that can do it. I'm waiting.

I have so many thoughts going through my head at this time I don't know if any of this makes since so I will stop for now .

Keep the replies coming.

Many thanks to those that have commented.

Tom



Sep 07, 2013 at 03:27 AM
Dalantech
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · We can do better.


I'm not all that and a bag of chips -if I was I could quit my day job. I'm also learning new things all the time, and seem to be in this never ending loop of working on composition, lighting, and post processing (that last one being my current weak point so it's getting more attention now). I like to help out where I can, but due to some almost hostile feedback I quit offering real critique unless someone sent me a private message or email. Instead I concentrated on my blog, and after a long break have started writing again. But I'll start making more detailed posts here, and go back to offering constructive critique. There are plenty of "Barney forums" out there (I love you, you love me) and if that's the kind of attention that someone needs then they can move on. But, just like 2006 when I first got into macro, if you come to Fred's then you're here to learn...


Sep 07, 2013 at 05:38 AM
e6filmuser
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · We can do better.


Tom,

I am a litlle confused. You despair over the lack of creative images but refer to the work of Brian and Kurt. Those are two photographers whose work I greatly admire and to which I aspire. However, apart from an occasional "Phart" from Brian, where is the creative element? That is not a criticism of them but difficulty in knowing how the images here should look.

Strangely enough, this week I was considering starting to post images here, after years of not doing so.. I now wonder if, not having a creative bone in my body, my images would not be welcome. I agree than an image of e.g. an insect, should not just be a record shot from any angle and, perhaps, with inadequate DOF but am unclear as to what more is required. (I shoot in habitat, a mixture of natural light and flash).

Maybe the forum should be split? This has sort of happened with the advent of the "Shoting With Tubes" string. As I shoot most of my macros with tubes I feel that a heading which refers to some air-filled plastic, rather than the subject, does not appeal (as a potential poster or just as a browser).

Harold



Sep 07, 2013 at 06:24 AM
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · We can do better.


Dalantech wrote:
I'm not all that and a bag of chips -if I was I could quit my day job. I'm also learning new things all the time, and seem to be in this never ending loop of working on composition, lighting, and post processing (that last one being my current weak point so it's getting more attention now). I like to help out where I can, but due to some almost hostile feedback I quit offering real critique unless someone sent me a private message or email. Instead I concentrated on my blog, and after a long break have started writing
...Show more

Yes, and I suggest forum etiquette and aims should be outlined in a sticky. And I don't think excluding people who don't 'get' it is the way to go. Just that focus could be on those who do 'get' it and accept not everyone can or is willing to take instruction however delivered..



Sep 07, 2013 at 06:38 AM
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · We can do better.


e6filmuser wrote:
Tom,

I am a litlle confused. You despair over the lack of creative images but refer to the work of Brian and Kurt. Those are two photographers whose work I greatly admire and to which I aspire. However, apart from an occasional "Phart" from Brian, where is the creative element? That is not a criticism of them but difficulty in knowing how the images here should look.

Strangely enough, this week I was considering starting to post images here, after years of not doing so.. I now wonder if, not having a creative bone in my body, my images would not be
...Show more

I don't see any reason for confusion, except maybe your reference about splitting the forum on the lines of tubes and no tubes - makes no sense to me. And to say you haven't a creative bone in your body is just self judgment, I'm sure you are good at what you apply yourself to - because application is what it takes to be good at anything. Creativity is just the capacity or willingness to take it further than 'good'.

The thing about Brian and Kurt (and others here) is they are always improving and articulate it either here or in a link to their site. And you must admit, their output is first class. I also understand why some don't articulate their knowledge, nobody seems to be listening at times and without an audience there is no point in doing your skit. What amazes me about Brian, in particular, is he just keeps on posting regardless. The Phart, as you so eloquently put it, is just the point at which the period of reflection and application ( that takes place between farts - the digestion if you like) is expressed. That's how it works - I speak for myself.

I don't think the images here 'should' have a 'look', it's more the willingness to improve and accepting positive criticism whether it is informed or not -without surrendering to negative reactions. There are universally accepted notions of what makes a technically 'good' image. A creative image is just one that is the result of a free-wheeling approach to delivering a technically good image that, to me, works within certain parameters, or universally judged notions - dof and angle - they are related, composition or placement of focal point within the frame, saturation that doesn't reach the 'candy' coloured point - or does, background, etc. Creativity is trying the new according to 'your' lights, and saying something about your posted image may attract intelligent response. Creativity means getting out of your comfort zone.

If you really want to produce images that are not just for ID then let loose your preconceptions and post for honest CC while saying something relevant about your image/s. Try something different and maybe have a look at what others are doing, they may be more different to yours than you think.

And I'll add here what I have said in other places - no matter the quality of an image if it's not commented on that amounts to discouragement. Acknowledgement, even if it's CC, is what supports creativity - if there is the capacity.

And if anyone can't take it, CC or less than flattering comment, they will naturally move on. Then there are exceptions - always.





Sep 07, 2013 at 07:17 AM
e6filmuser
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · We can do better.


MarkB1 wrote:
I don't see any reason for confusion, except maybe your reference about splitting the forum on the lines of tubes and no tubes - makes no sense to me. And to say you haven't a creative bone in your body is just self judgment, I'm sure you are good at what you apply yourself to - because application is what it takes to be good at anything. Creativity is just the capacity or willingness to take it further than 'good'.

The thing about Brian and Kurt (and others here) is they are always improving and articulate it either here or in
...Show more

Tom,

Thanks for that. With respect, I think we use two interpretations of what is "creativity".

To use an exaggeration, my idea of creativity would be (digitally) sticking the wings of a butterfly onto a spider. Less extreme might be HDR or posterisation or solarisation or maybe making parts of the image monochrome..

To me, what you describe is optimising normal photography, in terms of framing/composition, angle of view, lighting (maybe contra-jour or rim lighting), selective focus etc. and perhaps venturing into stacking. Perhaps really thinking about the shot before shooting is a kind of creativity. Am I on the right track?

Harold



Sep 07, 2013 at 07:44 AM
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · We can do better.


e6filmuser wrote:
Thanks for that. With respect, I think we use two interpretations of what is "creativity".

To use an exaggeration, my idea of creativity would be (digitally) sticking the wings of a butterfly onto a spider. Less extreme might be HDR or posterisation or solarisation or maybe making parts of the image monochrome..

To me, what you describe is optimising normal photography, in terms of framing/composition, angle of view, lighting (maybe contra-jour or rim lighting), selective focus etc. and perhaps venturing into stacking. Perhaps really thinking about the shot before shooting is a kind of creativity. Am I on the right track?

Harold


I only speak in my experience. I would call what you describe as manipulation. I think you have to get the basics right first. And yes, 'right' can be interpreted but I stick by my own outline.

My approach is not about thinking so much as observation, they are not the same. After you have the basics down pat observation reveals instinctively, or intuitively, what thinking will not - since you can only think about what is already known. That's the creativity, a state of being (when basics no longer need to be thought of, or not much anyway) that allows for the new to enter the consciousness. But we are still restricted by the physical parameters of a body performing photography, yet there are endless permutations that are only realised by exploration - the willingness to be uncomfortable for the new. This can happen, and often does, without the subject (you or me) realising it is happening, it can also be engendered consciously if you know how.

That is not to say the new may enter and not require some thinking on. It's like you get an idea, it comes complete, but it requires some mental juggling to realise it - make it real.

As far as mixing body parts of different creatures; I think that's for the Sci Fi forum ...

Post a few pix Harold ...



Sep 07, 2013 at 09:39 AM
 

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Dalantech
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · We can do better.


When I first started posting here I was EXTREMELY intimidated -felt my images weren't even close to "good enough" but needed advice. I think if someone really wants to learn they'll post their photos anyway -as long as we're not being cruel in our feedback.


Sep 07, 2013 at 03:49 PM
MarkB1
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · We can do better.


Same here, but I didn't know what was 'wrong' with them and have never been much for asking for help. And even as I developed my own techniques I watched and learned from what I saw and what was written, especially some of your explanations of principles - particularly about lighting and diffusion. I learned from others too, and ignored one or two who were just critical without being constructive or forthright - water off a ducks back is the idea, easier said than done.

Dalantech wrote:
When I first started posting here I was EXTREMELY intimidated -felt my images weren't even close to "good enough" but needed advice. I think if someone really wants to learn they'll post their photos anyway -as long as we're not being cruel in our feedback.




Sep 07, 2013 at 04:09 PM
e6filmuser
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · We can do better.


MarkB1 wrote:
I only speak in my experience. I would call what you describe as manipulation.


Not many would agree with me but I would include using flash for outdoor macro in sunlight a manipulation.

Taking photography more broadly, I sort of accept the other things you say. In the field of outdoor macro, I still don't see how it works, pending Tom's reply to what I think he is getting at.

MarkB1 wrote:
Post a few pix Harold


If I think any meet the "new" requirements, when I more fully understand them, I would be happy to do so but, as of the last 24 hours or so, I really don't know which ones to select.

Harold



Sep 07, 2013 at 04:20 PM
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · We can do better.


I think you are making too much of it all, focusing on the minutiae. Just post some pix if you are moved and you may get some CC. Or don't, no big deal ...

It's not a POW camp with a commander issuing orders that is being proposed, just a statement of purpose that supports a learning ethos rather than a post and run disposition.

I would say if the idea takes hold and is nurtured by Tom (the moderator and founder of this forum) it just supports and enables any who are inclined and capable to give advice, CC, or whatever (besides nice, good, better, great, etc - which I believe still have their place) because it is a primary function of the forum - if you post here you may get 'proper' CC. Ooh! And give something back, whatever you have.

I'm not suggesting anything else. And I'm suggesting it; One, because Tom brought it up; Two, because it has occurred to me independently (and others it seems) and I am reluctant to comment as CC unless someone specifically asks for it. The only change I envisage, and I only speak for myself, is if anyone posts here there is an underlying etiquette that is only reasonable.

Let's say you post an image, don't be surprised if someone analyses it and you may not like what is said. Of course any analyses can be questioned - by anyone. If you post an image and neglect to give back by constructive (or any relevant, however short) comment on other images you may be ignored in future postings of yours - you may not. The point is there is the ethos to support the 'experienced or knowledgeable' in the absence of other posters support.

I believe it comes down to what is the function of the forum, beyond just posting macro images, and how to realise that function - with a civility that is generally lacking on the web. It only requires a change of attitude and that it be written up and supported. I don't see any problem but it would be good to get other P'sOV to refute or flesh out and refine the idea. Maybe nobody is interested enough, or it's just the weekend?

My 2c.



Sep 07, 2013 at 06:06 PM
birdied
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · We can do better.


And I'll add here what I have said in other places - no matter the quality of an image if it's not commented on that amounts to discouragement. Acknowledgement, even if it's CC, is what supports creativity - if there is the capacity.

As one who has been the recipient of comments and acknowledgment on less than stellar images, it does offer encouragement . A kind word, or constructive critiques can go farther than you know.

Birdie




Sep 07, 2013 at 06:48 PM
Dalantech
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · We can do better.


e6filmuser wrote:
Not many would agree with me but I would include using flash for outdoor macro in sunlight a manipulation.


I would



Sep 07, 2013 at 07:13 PM
Julian Nell
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · We can do better.


All I have to say is that I would love to have a macro contest. Photographing bugs is fun for a while, but without some sort of challenge it gets rather boring.

Julian



Sep 08, 2013 at 01:03 AM
Tom Hicks
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · We can do better.


To Harold and others, stop putting so much thought into this , all images are welcome good or bad . We are not going to single you out or pick on you , but we are going to try to help you improve you abilities . All we can hope is to create a body of work and artistic style that can stand on it's own and be recognized by our style when posted with other images that are not your own. simple as that. I hope that most of the post are NOT limited to, comments like ( nice job .)( i like this) ,( #2 is my fav. ) but more like Harold I really like the low angle you used for this shot , the perspective brings strength to both the bug and the image . I like the soft light on this one . Is it natural light or did you use a flash. ( Harold's reply , Thanks Tom I used my old D60 canon with the 180 macro lens natural light . but I did use a tripod . )



http://www.fredmiranda.com/hosting-data//3583/98469846CRW_3461_RT8.jpg



Sep 08, 2013 at 02:19 AM
Tom Hicks
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · We can do better.


Harold , your creativity starts by getting the images as perfect as you can in camera, after you pull it into PS it's all manipulation. But yes you are adding to the creativity.


Sep 08, 2013 at 02:31 AM
e6filmuser
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · We can do better.


Tom Hicks wrote:
Harold , your creativity starts by getting the images as perfect as you can in camera, after you pull it into PS it's all manipulation.

Tom,

You have summed up my approach perfectly. Essentially, I am a photographer (from landscape to macro) of decades of experience using reversal film (transpancies to the newcomers where you have no choice but to get that right in the camera. Any need to e.g. subsequently alter the colour balance of a digital image is, to me a failure. However, I do accept that images can be "rescued" and I do accept cropping and stacking as valid.

Harold



Sep 08, 2013 at 06:59 AM
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