Saturday, February 21, 2009

OH, SNAP!: Photography Myths and GearHead Lore

I am trying to stay awake, so here is the second article in a series about photography. From a n00b like me. Fuck you, elitist motherfuckers!

First of all, repeat after me: pixels don't count. You do.

Now, for a blow by blow hammering of the megapixel myth, read this.

That was a link to Ken Rockwell owning all the marketers who try to sell you numbers instead of a camera.

Basically, how many megapixels doesn't REALLY matter, for cameras. It's the idiot behind the camera.

If how much money you spend actually count, then buy all the stuff in Nikon and Canon's catalogue and I'm sure you'll be replacing Ansel Adams next week.

According to Rockwell, you need 25MP to simulate 35mm. That's crazy. And you only need it if you're printing a menu for a 50-foot woman. You need 100 MPs to simulate medium format. And 500MPs for large format!

All those large billboards and shit? You watch them from afar, not from up close. If you go really, REALLY close, you'll see dots. So you don't need more - MOAR - megapixels simply for that.

Unless you're submitting to magazines that print very large pictures, having it hung in a gallery, or photography magazines.

Some make it a requirement that digital submissions have at least 20MP.

For the Internet, personal albums and general scandal-making as well as numerous size small prints, you don't need that many pixels. ESPECIALLY on the Internet.

If you do care about blowing up your pictures for a 50-foot woman, or if you have a small penis and want to blow it up, get a medium or large format. There are some magazines that STILL require medium or large format photos.

Though I suspect that with medium and large format photographers, it's more about proof of skill than anything. If you can handle medium and large format film, you're more likely to be a professional than the next idiot with cash to burn.

I used a 5MP Kodak 7950 for years, with no complaints about resolution. If it's grainy, then it's because of me. I did it.

When I got my hands on a Canon 350D a couple of years back, I thought it would make for great pictures.

Nope. I was still snapping the same quality pix. This shows that a new penis or a spiky strap-on do not automatically make you a better fucker. It just means that you have a spiky strap-on...on.

Sure, there were differences. In handling. In quality? Well, the Kodak automatically sharpens lines around objects, so in some conditions, it is VERY good. In others? Bleargh.

The Canon? Less annoying 'auto' functions. But really, small difference, when it comes to non-pros like me. And 90% of you out there are not pros or pro-level.

My pet peeve when asking for advice is that the first thing gearheads tell you is, "A KODAK? Get a new, more expensive camera, fool!"

The reason gearheads want you to buy new cameras is either because they are actually camera marketers/shop-owners/Jeff Ooi or they spent tens of thousands on gear themselves and want to justify their purchase. If they're professionals, then the purchase is already justified. But if they're professional amateurs, with some knowledge and a whole truckload of arrogance - like ME - they will instantly pooh-pooh the idea that a tiny little camera can do anything.

In medical terms, this is called penis-size compensation.

Was it Alexander Pope who said, "a little knowledge is fucking dangerous, tool!"

Like me. I have a little knowledge, and I'm fucking dangerous.

Despite the fact that a guy who took photos in Africa during a war using fucking Olympus prosumers won the Pulitzer or Photo of the Year or some shit.

And what's with the Nikonian and Canonian (wouldn't it be better to call yourselves Canoneers?) shit?

I'm buying a camera, not embracing a religion.

Praise God!...and pass the ammunition - Ben Franklin.

And yes, there were instances when I wished I had a proper DSLR.

I took photos of people bungee-jumping in Bali and my Kodak 7590 can only go up to 10X optical zoom.

If I had a telephoto lens, then I can go closer and see the expressions on the faces of the jumpers. Alas, the camera does not have interchangeable lens.

And whenever I take photos, in theatre spaces where flash is not allowed, my pictures all suck. Mostly because of me.

Still, there are many things that simple cameras can do.

Don't listen to gearheads. Listen to actual photographers. I'm not one of them. Don't listen to me. Go and buy something you don't need. And then sell it to me. Hehehe.