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I'm from the foothills of the North Georgia mountains. I was a woodworker for about 12 years. Well, up until I had the rug pulled out from under my feet, and I was laid off. I got back into photography in 2008 and decided to give that a try professionally, but haven't made any money so far because rednecks, white trash, and hicks are cheap. So, I'm working in a local grocery store where some days I hear and see the craziest stuff. I tend to complain a lot about things, but I'm too poor to afford a good therapist. So, I decided to make a blog and complain online to all of you instead. But I digress. I really just wanted to do the blog to share ideas and stories with the interwebz. =D
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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pro Quality Automatic? I Don't Think So...

Before you get knee deep in this post, I do realize that I just posted yesterday about an app on the iPhone that makes taking photos easy and fun, and that today's post somewhat contradicts that. But the difference is that there aren't people taking events, weddings, and portrait sessions away from hard working professionals by rushing out and buying the Hipstamatic app for the iPhone. (At least none that I know of...)

Take a look at this exceptionally misleading commercial:

More and more people are rushing out to their local Best Buy stores and buying SLR cameras, only to be using them in full automatic mode, with plastic kit lenses, and of course... not having a clue how to use them. Worse yet, they're buying higher end cameras like the 5D Mark II. All because of commercials like these and sales floor people that don't know the products their selling, combined with the American need to have the newest product available. No matter what - we gotta beat them Joneses!

I know of a couple of people that within the last year, just jumped out and bought high end cameras without any knowledge about photography at all. They just simply like taking bar or beach photos with their point and shoots, and they thought that an SLR would take them to that next level. A few weeks later, they're calling around to their friends with real experience, looking for the Richard Avedon button. Problem is, there isn't one. Learning how to use an SLR takes a lot of time, especially if you're just getting started. Aperture, shutter speed, white balance, ISO, all of these things are important in good photography. No auto mode is going to get you there without a LOT of luck.

What's worse is when you take someone like this and get them into Photoshop. Then things can get down right funny. It almost always happens too. They'll go out, buy and expensive camera, and when the photos don't turn out like they thought they would, they immediately assume it needs to be run through the gauntlet in Photoshop. Before long, the masterpiece is a haloed, over-saturated, over-sharpened piece of HDR crap that they'll post on Flickr, and a hundred other idiots that also don't know any better will ooh and ah over until our budding photographer is convinced that they're doing the right thing.

I've got more opinions about Flickr. I have a love/hate relationship with that site. I'll save that for another day.



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