That must be a really great camera ...
Old 08-30-2014   #1
Keith
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That must be a really great camera ...

For the first time ever, since taking up photography nine years ago, I copped this comment from someone recently in regard to my M240. They'd been looking at the images I've posted on FB from my trip and really liked them and reasoned that obviously I'm just the monkey pressing the shutter ... and the camera does the rest. Trust Leica to provide me with a camera that brought this about ... it's never happened with anything else I've owned!

You can't really respond to this type of reasoning ... you just lick your wounds and walk away.
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Old 08-30-2014   #2
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.... Or maybe they just don't know better.
To many people the difference between a photographer and a non-photographer is, .... a photographer has a camera and a non-photographer does not.

In that way of thinking... A good photographer has a good camera and a bad photographer has a bad camera.

In other words they were telling you that you're a good photographer (which of course is true!!).
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Old 08-30-2014   #3
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Yeah Keith, if you'd been shooting with a Nikon or a Canon, and the images were great, then it would be obvious that you're a really good photographer, 'cause everyone knows Nikons and Canons are pieces of #*%$. But with a Leica, man any idiot can get great pictures. It's really cool how the M240 has that built in algorithm for fixing composition, exposure, backgrounds, etc.

Great pictures, great photographer.

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Old 08-30-2014   #4
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Wonder if they also think Leonardi da Vinci had a good brush, Hemingway had a good typewriter, and sergio Pininfarina had an excellent pencil...
It's not just total ignorance about photography, it's also mindless consumerism (the idea that talent and hard work don't count, results can be bought).
As Andy says though, they were right you're a damn good photographer and also right that it is a damn good camera (just a shame everything else they said was nonsense)
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Old 08-30-2014   #5
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The thing I that I found amusing was that the person in question wouldn't know a Leica from a bar of soap ... so the comment wasn't really driven by the brand, just a narrow perception of what it actually takes to create a decent image.

Sigh!
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Old 08-30-2014   #6
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<<< irony >>>
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Old 08-30-2014   #7
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Well, you know, at least they complimented the images, even if they got the underlying reason wrong.
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Old 08-30-2014   #8
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Don't be coy. You HAD set it to Cartier Bresson mode in the menu, hadn't you?
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Old 08-30-2014   #9
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I'd just take the comment as a compliment Keith and be done with it.
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Old 08-30-2014   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaapv View Post
Don't be coy. You HAD set it to Cartier Bresson mode in the menu, hadn't you?

Of course! ... I found it much better than the 'Ansel Adams' setting. Those pics just weren't decisive enough.
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Old 08-30-2014   #11
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I love it when people say "Your camera takes awesome photos!"

Like f16sunshine said, we should try to take those comments as compliments, but sometimes I think people really believe that if they just bought some fancy camera their photography would improve...

Set it to iAutoAwesome and your off to photography greatness!
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Old 08-30-2014   #12
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like telling the cook they must have a great stove...
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Old 08-30-2014   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neonart View Post
I love it when people say "Your camera takes awesome photos!"

Like f16sunshine said, we should try to take those comments as compliments, but sometimes I think people really believe that if they just bought some fancy camera their photography would improve...

Set it to iAutoAwesome and your off to photography greatness!
For some people, it would. My girlfriend and I both take photos, she with her iPhone, me with film cameras. We both took photos of the 12 Apostles in Victoria, Australia. I used a 4x5 camera, her with her iPhone. The photos are basically the same, only difference being the night/day difference in image resolution/quality.

She's taken a lot of other photos too, many of them really quite good, but 100% of them let down by the crappy camera built into her phone. It's terrible in even slight darkness, practically no ability to capture highlights and shadows at the same time.

Of course we're comparing extremes here, but I've seen first hand that a bad camera can indeed mean that a good photographer has a hard time taking a decent picture. A $200 used DSLR would easily be enough though.
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Old 08-30-2014   #14
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Here's a fun story. The other day I showed my website to someone and they asked me what kind of computer I used to make it and what kind of software could they use to make one like that.

I don't get upset over comments like that, because I know that what we do and the process of it are so opaque to people it probably looks like some button pushing voodoo.
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Old 08-30-2014   #15
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Don't get me wrong ... I do see it as a compliment, it just amuses me that people (some) do seem to regard the camera as paramount when viewing the final result of a photographer's hard work.
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Old 08-30-2014   #16
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Can you post the image, so we can see how good t̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶a̶m̶e̶r̶a̶ ̶i̶s̶ you are?



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Old 08-30-2014   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truefriendship View Post
Can you post the image, so we can see how good t̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶a̶m̶e̶r̶a̶ ̶i̶s̶ you are?



~Rif

These were just all the pics I took in outback Queensland a few weeks ago. Stunning country side ... you'd have to be blind not to take a few decent pics out there!
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Old 08-30-2014   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
These were just all the pics I took in outback Queensland a few weeks ago. Stunning country side ... you'd have to be blind not to take a few decent pics out there!
So then it IS the camera.
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Old 08-30-2014   #19
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So then it IS the camera.

In some ways yes I guess!
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Old 08-30-2014   #20
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It's not the camera, it's the subject matter...
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Old 08-30-2014   #21
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Quote:
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It's not the camera, it's the subject matter...

True also!
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Old 08-30-2014   #22
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If they shoot with a phone or a 10 year old P&S, imagine the look of the images they make. They then see something that is crisp and clear and are amazed. Why of course they would think the camera had something to do with it, and to a degree they are right.
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Old 08-30-2014   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
For the first time ever, since taking up photography nine years ago, I copped this comment from someone recently in regard to my M240. They'd been looking at the images I've posted on FB from my trip and really liked them and reasoned that obviously I'm just the monkey pressing the shutter ... and the camera does the rest. Trust Leica to provide me with a camera that brought this about ... it's never happened with anything else I've owned!

You can't really respond to this type of reasoning ... you just lick your wounds and walk away.
The one I get most often "you must have a really good camera to make pictures like that". My brother that's a well known luthier gets similar, "you must have great tools to make instruments like that".

My brother quoted the great guitarist Chet Atkins when one of his fans said, "you must have a reat great guitar to make music like that". Chet's response was, let me stand it in the corner and see what kind of music it makes".

My response is "let me put my camera on the table and we'll see what kind of pictures it makes" or "it's not the camera but what's two inches behind it".

It doesn't make any difference what camera you have, the comments are the same. I get when people view my work at art show openings and they've never seen me with a camera in hand.

It just shows the ignorance of some people and how they view artists. You see it on every forum, the thinking that X piece of gear will make better images than Y gear. When asked about what camera I use I rarely give a direct answer. I say it's not that important. I te them I use a wide variety of cameras from digital to 35mm - 8x10 film.

It's all in the equipment isn't it? No Tallent required!
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Old 08-30-2014   #24
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Quote:
Writer at a gallery exhibit: "You must be very proud! These are wonderful photos. You must have an excellent camera!"

Photographer: "Thank you. I just finished reading your last book, nice! What kind of typewriter do you have?"
Happens all the time. Smile and forget it.

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Old 08-30-2014   #25
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Quote:
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Don't get me wrong ... I do see it as a compliment, it just amuses me that people (some) do seem to regard the camera as paramount when viewing the final result of a photographer's hard work.
I see it as more of an insult that fine photographers and craftsmen aren't given the credit due them. I don't get upset but I don't hesitate to give them a cutting response. I've said on more than one occasion that if I knew it was all in the camera I could have saved myself a lot of time and money and just bought expensive equipment and forgotten about the learning process. I could have soared to the top 45 years sooner.
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Old 08-30-2014   #26
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I don't know why this should be surprising. This message is being used by every advertiser out there and they've been using it on these kids since they first started watching TV.
  • Buy this software and you can make these kinds of portraits!
  • Buy this computer and you will be able to pass a really heavy class load!
  • Buy this camera and you will be able to make photographs as good as any of the famous photographers.
  • Buy this exercise machine and within weeks you will look just like this guy/girl.
  • Buy this diet pill and you will soon look just like this 19 year old model whose face was touched up by Photoshop.
  • Use this little pill and you will be able to make love in bathtubs well into your ripe old age.
So why should it be surprising when someone tells you that you must have a great camera?
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Old 08-30-2014   #27
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If I was on FB, I'd take any comment there with a big chunk of salt
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Old 08-30-2014   #28
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Quote:
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If I was on FB, I'd take any comment there with a big chunk of salt

No no! This wasn't from facebook ... just someone who came into work who'd seen the photos there.
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Old 08-30-2014   #29
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like telling the cook they must have a great stove...
Well, Nigella Lawson does have a great set of... cooking utensils
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Old 08-30-2014   #30
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Well, Nigella Lawson does have a great set of... cooking utensils

I thought she'd slimmed down somewhat and her major assets had been depleted.

I try to keep abreast of these events!
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Old 08-30-2014   #31
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Probably a fellow RFF member, who have read the threads here at RFF. The tools are the most important thing
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Old 08-31-2014   #32
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Truly an evergreen, here is another humorous take on it by What the duck:
http://www.whattheduck.net/strip/95

However, I don't agree it is as clear cut and that it is a sign of gross ignorance about the artistic vision. There is a difference between a writer writing a novel (goosepen, typewriter, pencil, 6000 $ MacPro, what have you....) and a photographer putting together an exhibition. For the writer, the tool used is technically irrelevant to the final book. The same cannot be said to the same extent about the photo exhibition.
Practical example: there is a reason sports photographers haul around them big white lenses. Many of them sure have the artistic vision to cover their assignments with a Holga. But it is just not the right tool in the long run.

And Keith: you got partly complimented for a high technical quality of the picture, you would not have gotten this remark if you had taken the picture with a digicam from 2001 or a really crappy cellphone cam. So yeah, that must be a good camera. And you can turn this around and ask yourself, why you paid for a M240. Only because it is the best outlet for your artistic vision? Image quality etc. was not a factor?

Just my two cents :-)
Greetings, Ljós
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Old 08-31-2014   #33
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Ljós,

This is true to an extent. There are specified tools for certain jobs, like in sports photography. However, we're talking about photography in general. Take a look at people like Ming Thein who can take gallery worthy photos with an iPhone or medium format. Real talent can do much more with much less.
I think what bugs most of us is not that people think a good camera can take great photos, it's that some think that ALL that makes a great photo is the camera. That if any Joe Shmo got an M240/MM then they too could take amazing photos. (Little do most know that a rangefinder is very limited in comparison to the wonder boxes that modern cameras have become.)

But as pioneer said, that's what the marketing depts have told people. Look how the iPhone 5 camera is advertised: instead of teaching people to take better photos, the phone does it for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ljós View Post
Truly an evergreen, here is another humorous take on it by What the duck:
http://www.whattheduck.net/strip/95

However, I don't agree it is as clear cut and that it is a sign of gross ignorance about the artistic vision. There is a difference between a writer writing a novel (goosepen, typewriter, pencil, 6000 $ MacPro, what have you....) and a photographer putting together an exhibition. For the writer, the tool used is technically irrelevant to the final book. The same cannot be said to the same extent about the photo exhibition.
Practical example: there is a reason sports photographers haul around them big white lenses. Many of them sure have the artistic vision to cover their assignments with a Holga. But it is just not the right tool in the long run.

And Keith: you got partly complimented for a high technical quality of the picture, you would not have gotten this remark if you had taken the picture with a digicam from 2001 or a really crappy cellphone cam. So yeah, that must be a good camera. And you can turn this around and ask yourself, why you paid for a M240. Only because it is the best outlet for your artistic vision? Image quality etc. was not a factor?

Just my two cents :-)
Greetings, Ljós
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Old 08-31-2014   #34
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Well at least now
You can rest assured that You bought the 'right'
Camera.... Tongue in Cheek !
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Old 08-31-2014   #35
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Quote:
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No no! This wasn't from facebook ... just someone who came into work who'd seen the photos there.
If he liked the pictures after the crapp that FB does with it, it must be the photographer, not the camera
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Old 08-31-2014   #36
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Ernst Haas: "Leica Schmeica. The camera doesn't make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But you have to see."
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Old 08-31-2014   #37
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Ernst Haas: "Leica Schmeica. The camera doesn't make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But you have to see."
You got it!
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