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Friday, May 18, 2007

Bad Artist, Bad!

I have been neglecting my photography so much recently, it's crazy. As I've told you before, I'm getting a bit tired of paying to process rolls of film with no good images on them, but I can't yet afford a really good digital camera. I have a crappy Canon point and shoot, but what I really need is a solid digital SLR. Since my film camera is a Canon Elan 7, it makes sense to buy a digital Canon SLR, as the lenses are compatible.

But what that requires is money, something I don't have a whole lot extra of.

To be honest, I'm also feeling rather short on inspiration. I think what I need to do is bribe some of my friends to sit for actual portraits, as shooting people is what I'm best at and the most interested in. I'm also tempted to take a portraiture class, as I'm sure there's a lot I don't know.

Yesterday I ran across the website of somebody from college who is now a professional photographer. His images blew me away and I was once again reminded of the frustration I feel whenever I look at images created by professionals. There's this quality that theirs always exhibit that mine lack, yet I can't pinpoint exactly what it is they do that I don't do that creates said quality. My photos, even the best ones (which are lovely for a non-pro, I'm not half bad), still have this snapshot-ish, "real life" quality about them, whereas the ones created by professionals look much more "filmic" much in the same way that the image quality of film looks different from a home video. Objects and people just seem to occupy images differently. Color and light is better, saturation is improved. Depth of field looks not quite real. What I can't figure out is if it's a technical thing, like they simply have a better understanding of the controls of their camera and when to use what, or if it's a question of equipment. Does buying a Canon 30D magically improve your images? Or is it something else entirely, and I'd be just as well off with a lower end Rebel XTi?

These are the questions that utterly cripple my inner artist. The same one that once contemplated art school, that now feels utterly dejected when viewing the work of her contemporaries.

In the comments section share with me your theories about why professional images still look better than even the best amateur ones. Is it one particular thing? Or is the sum of several parts--equipment, a better eye, technically mastery, lighting, dumb luck? Also tell me if I should get the XTi or save my pennies for the 30D.

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Blogger Frankly, Scarlett said...

As I frequently employ the use of Kodak disposable cameras....I doubt I could weigh in on this question.

Great to see you last night!

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Arjewtino said...

Can you post the Web site for this college friend? I'd love to check out his pics.

8:47 PM  
Blogger DCWeddingPhotog said...

ahhh! I had a whole nice comment typed out and I lost it.

Anywho- here's what it came down to: get the 30D. You will love it a lot more.

Practice. Every day. Even when you don't want to. I promise it will make teh difference.

Feel free to contact me if you want to talk more about photography...

9:43 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Although, I am an amateur photographer as well, I figured I would toss you my 2 cents. I have the Rebel XT and I am somewhat disappointed in it. The reason for the disappointment is not necessarily the picture quality, rather it is the construction of the camera. If I had to do it over again, I would wait to purchase a 20/30D series SLR. The build on these are significantly better.

Also, a lot of dSLR photographers rely heavily on post processing. It is amazing what a RAW shooting and Photoshop can fake.

2:28 PM  

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