Contradiction

Mayank

Veteran
Location
India
Yup, you got that right. I've sold fine art prints through art galleries and to restaurants, where images are put to close scrutiny. Also, while processing images, only by viewing them at 1:1 magnification can I properly remove lens fringing, apply the exact amount of noise reduction, prevent colour/highlight clipping, judge corner softness and apply the right amount of sharpening for print. While interpolating images, judging enlarged images for detail at 1:1 magnification is again critical. But of course, like I said earlier, this is only done in case of 'good' images (good composition, good light and the moment like Wouter mentioned) that someone showed interest in buying or in case of images printed for fine art shows. However, this is half the story! I can't find the old Serious Compacts blog for which I had written an article about using 'technically imperfect' images, I invite you to read it on my blog:

Mayank's Viewpoint » Blog Archive » Serious Use of Compact Camera Images in Graphic Design, a Note

My house is like an exhibition, all walls are packed with prints, every wall in every room has prints..... some are larger other are larger.... the most "packing" images according to myself, and other viewers are ones which have no technical quality what so ever, Pinholes shot on 9x6 film, and a lot of really old digital compacts which according to pixel peepers produce awful quality pics. They all do however have an atmospheric quality, far from sharp, far from limited noise but all with a certain zing to them which has absolutely nothing to do with IQ.
Unless you are actually making an income from photography, and your clients ... the well paying ones I mean, require 1:1 sharp perfect imagery I would always decline doing that, pixel peeping IQ more than often makes the image look like a TV screen, everything perfect, well, organized but no genuine IQ what so ever.
Perfection is so awfully boring .... and I would even classify Ansel Adams prints amongst these "boring images" if you've looked at them 4 times .. its done, over, gone .... take Rudy Burckhardt images (yes he was well known) they are technically shit, but they have the zing.
How many wally do you think Bresson has photographed in his life (add others here) ... it's just the Local "duck shooters" that peep pixels.... and why? I have no friggin clue ...

You tell me you pixel peep because you are asked to produce 20x30 prints .... well I don' even want to get into that discussion because I would find that very degenerative .....

ps. this of course is all and only very, very subjective and just reflects my views... nobody elses.
 

Mayank

Veteran
Location
India
I must add to my above comment that I (as mentioned earlier) agree with Wouter; camera obsession / gadget love / gear acquisition syndrome or whatever you call it is huge specially as cameras 'are' fantastic gadgets (one will have to agree)! I've done my share of buying new cameras hoping to make better images only to see my focus shift towards cameras, severely affecting the aesthetic quality of images I clicked. It is not hard to find the title of a photograph "Canon 5D" instead of say "Sunset" on online photography forums, that a 'new' (I am not saying better) camera would make one a better photographer is the most consistent notion one comes across on places like DP Review forums. Difference in sharpness and even noise between cameras of the same genré at 1:1 ratio hardly shows up in print, yet people discard perfectly good cameras to buy 'better' ones. The camera seems to have become bigger than the photographer today which is very sad. Photographers are often judged by the cameras they possess, many even flaunt cameras as status symbols! However, I think such people are not able to get very far as their poor, un or underdeveloped 'photographer' or 'artistic' skills show in the images they click. I think it is not unreasonable for a photographer to demand good technical quality from a camera to suit her/his individual needs and once they are met, image making (essentially an unbiassed, dedicated relationship between the subject and the photographer) should follow. However, even for the purists, new cameras are a constant source of distraction. So the question is, where does one draw the line on cameras? I read sometime back that two famous photographers: Cartier Bresson and Raghu Rai managed to get over their camera obsession by getting rid of most of their equipment leaving just one camera with them and one or two lenses, which allowed them to concentrate fully on the art of image making!
 

Kevin Miller

New Member
Yup, you got that right. I've sold fine art prints through art galleries and to restaurants, where images are put to close scrutiny.

If I am in a restaurant and I am fretting about the pixel level sharpness or the outrageous CA of the pictures on the wall then either I am on a really bad first date or the waiter service is really slow.

:)

K
 

Mayank

Veteran
Location
India
Andrewteee, I completely agree with you. Today's cameras would put to shame the cameras that the masters of photography used. But with these technologically advanced gadgets, are we today making better quality images than the masters did? My answer would be No.

Judging by how today's new Sony cameras have lit up the forums (though not here in Serious Compacts) it's more and more about the cameras and less and less about the photographer, and perhaps actual photography skills. Technology is moving forward - is photography moving forward?
 

Mayank

Veteran
Location
India
Kevin, fine art images are put to close scrutiny by art galleries and by people who buy them. I am currently in talks with an international art gallery who have very stringent technical image requirements which my images have to meet. I apologize if I appear to be boasting here, but I believe in meticulously making images and printing them, I invite you to have a look:

My portfolio:
Mayank Bhatnagar

Also see this link: how closely some people are looking at images that have in them a lot of detail. These are images from my shows.
Mayank Bhatnagar » Exhibitions

If I am in a restaurant and I am fretting about the pixel level sharpness or the outrageous CA of the pictures on the wall then either I am on a really bad first date or the waiter service is really slow.

:)

K
 

Kevin Miller

New Member
on a more serious note ...to me there are only two/three reasons for doing anything..... survival/money or pleasure.

photography and indeed all arts are one of those areas that can encompass both... sometimes the demands overlap.. other times they are exclusive...

K
 

Andrewteee

All-Pro
To be more fair, we here at Serious Compacts probably in most cases have serious intents. However, there are many different reasons for taking pictures. For me, it is a first-rate creative outlet. I have always been visual, I was trained as a graphic designer, and I love design, typography, art, etc, and especially photography. I photograph with intent and the camera is my tool.

But my wife just wants pictures of the kids for memories. Composition irrelevant. And for many of our friends with kids I can see that the new cameras with video are a boon. They get both excellent still and video capture. And in some case with newer cameras they may actually take better pictures (because they do so much for them). They are not serious and don't have any intent to practice.

Which might lead us full circle back to Wouter's Wish for Simplicity and say that those cameras should perhaps have only two buttons, both with full "intelligent" auto capabilities: take a picture or capture some video. The modern-day Brownie camera.

Sorry Wouter, too much camera talk :doh: In trade, here's another dummy dumb iPhone picture of some hydrangeas before they get their end-of-summer haircut...

photo_3_.JPG
 

BBW

Legend
Location
betwixt and between
Real Name
BB
You're still posting Kevin. Can't think why your long posts bombed out...perhaps it's the weather in your neck of the woods?

Andy, I thanks for your input - good reminders - and I like your iPhone shot of the pre haircut hydrangeas, too.
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Location
Philly, Pa
Could one or two of you good people explain to me what Pixel Peeping really is.
I could even be a peeper and not know it.
I'm serious, help me out.

Photography is about the image...period.
The image is about "Intent".
Intent is the reason you made the image.
It either serves the purpose of your intent or it doesn't.

You may serve clients, friends, family even (shudders) yourself.
You serve someone and this creates the intent of the image.
I have not mentioned gear or process because that stuff just helps capture your intent.
It is not the reason to do photography for me but for others, it just may well be.
Everything is a compromise and a way to justify.
What can't or shouldn't be is your Intent.
Keep that on CAF and it all gets very clear.

Now about that pixel peeping stuff....
?
 

kathyh

Veteran
Location
Ottawa, Canada
Real Name
Kathy
I always feel that pixel peeping has a negative connotation because I associate it with people who are more concerned with the technical quality of the image rather than its content -e.g. tack sharp and no noise. It may be that to get the image you had in mind it has to be technically excellent but I also think there are many great images which are neither totally sharp or noise free.
 

Andrewteee

All-Pro
Pixel peepers are those, often over at DPReview, who view images at 100% on the computer screen and see that as the best way to gauge a camera or lens, or simply, they are looking for the best technical performance and not necessarily the best picture. Not seeing the forest for the trees. It is funny because back in the day how many people used to walk up to a print on a while and stare at it from only a few inches away? But we all pixel peep to an extent these days.

My most recent photography book purchase was Northern by Daido Moriyama, which is not a pixel peepers book :biggrin: Beautiful stuff.
 

Mayank

Veteran
Location
India
I agree with Kathy, pixel peeping is usually done to judge 'technical' (and not aesthetic) quality of a photograph. It may be done to judge the technical IQ of a camera or print-worthiness of a photograph or sometimes simply to check focus/blur. But it can not make a good photograph, which only the subject, lighting, composition, moment and of course the photographer can!
 

Boyzo

Veteran
It actually does seem that people are always finding excuses not to go out and actually take pictures but discuss the probabilities and technicalities of stuff.

How often will you read in a forum regarding a just introduced camera model a thread with wishes and needs for the next upgrade/model etc.

Post an image in any thread and after 5 or 6 entries the thread will automatically disrupt in a Gear thread... well gear argument mostly.

Who really care if the grass is green, greener or less green.... well you know what I mean, an image s an image and I for one don't judge images by it's technical aspects but the atmosphere it represents....

I recently read that the Eiffel tower is the most photographed object in the world ... they are wrong!!!!

It's brick walls and equally boring images to justify one or the other....

Jan you are so right about gear heads but also part of the problem is "Pixel Peeping"

Bear in mid tho' that Photography is a hobby to many and the next u43 body is part of that and if its for pics of the backyard and pets or the occasional holiday and of course family then its innocent human fun.

What is NOT good and occurs in PhotoGraphic forums is SNobbery .. its the thing I detest most Oh When I use my Canon FF 5D blows u43 into the weeds or they are too good a Photographer themselves to comment on some good photos that people post.

The Photographer creates the GREAT shot the camera records this
 
What is NOT good and occurs in PhotoGraphic forums is SNobbery .. its the thing I detest most Oh When I use my Canon FF 5D blows u43 into the weeds or they are too good a Photographer themselves to comment on some good photos that people post.

The Photographer creates the GREAT shot the camera records this

Maybe that sort of snobbery has more to do with a form of justification. If you buy a 5D mark II to replace your m4/3 camera it should be better, because they are not in a similar price range. And since technical image quality is easier to measure that is what they talk about. However, a new or more expensive camera doesn't make you a better photographer. It doesn't give better compositions, just some technical possibilities you probably didn't have.
 

Djarum

All-Pro
Location
Huntsville, AL
Real Name
Jason
Could one or two of you good people explain to me what Pixel Peeping really is.
I could even be a peeper and not know it.
I'm serious, help me out.

Photography is about the image...period.
The image is about "Intent".
Intent is the reason you made the image.
It either serves the purpose of your intent or it doesn't.

You may serve clients, friends, family even (shudders) yourself.
You serve someone and this creates the intent of the image.
I have not mentioned gear or process because that stuff just helps capture your intent.
It is not the reason to do photography for me but for others, it just may well be.
Everything is a compromise and a way to justify.
What can't or shouldn't be is your Intent.
Keep that on CAF and it all gets very clear.

Now about that pixel peeping stuff....
?


I think people want to see high detail buttery smooth pictures at 100 percent on their monitors. Not that anyone sees a picture that way.
 

Djarum

All-Pro
Location
Huntsville, AL
Real Name
Jason
Maybe that sort of snobbery has more to do with a form of justification. If you buy a 5D mark II to replace your m4/3 camera it should be
better, because they are not in a similar price range. And since technical image quality is easier to measure that is what they talk about. However, a new or more expensive camera doesn't make you a better photographer.
It doesn't give better compositions, just some technical possibilities you probably didn't have.

This is true. The way I look at it though, is if I owned a FF camera, I know it would be used half or a quater as much as I use my PEN. Why? Its just much more portable, giving me more pictures.
 

Mayank

Veteran
Location
India
Well said, Wouter.

Maybe that sort of snobbery has more to do with a form of justification. If you buy a 5D mark II to replace your m4/3 camera it should be better, because they are not in a similar price range. And since technical image quality is easier to measure that is what they talk about. However, a new or more expensive camera doesn't make you a better photographer. It doesn't give better compositions, just some technical possibilities you probably didn't have.
 

pictor

All-Pro
If you want to buy a new lens and there are several lenses to choose, what will you do to choose the best one? You might visit one of the websites of the pixel peepers. If you have a new lens or maybe a used one and want to test if it works correctly, what will you do? You will zoom to 100% and look closely. If you have two or more versions of a shot which are equally good in the artistic aspect, what will you do? You might zoom to 100% to find out, which picture is sharper than the other and that's usually the keeper. If you want to remove chromatic aberration, what will you do to remove it? You might zoom to 100% to be able to remove it.

So pixel peeping has its place in the world and there is no need to condemn it. It will just get problematic, if you do pixel peeping as an end in itself.
 

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