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Yes you're right there will be times when these are issues, it goes back to the earlier point about photographic knowledge and skills allowing the photographer to know when these issues are likely to be a problem. I think sometimes they can be worked around or avoided with that understanding. I'm not for a moment suggesting that working with RAW files isn't often beneficial, just suggesting it isn't essential and for me its a workflow stage I'm happy to cut out if I can.

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34 minutes ago, Jose Decio Molaro said:

Photography is not easy as they say, if you go deeper into the subject, I am and always will be an amateur photographer, I agree with you, today anyone thinks he is a photographer, but in fact it is not.
I'm not new to photography, I come from the days of analog photography ... I started shooting in the 80's and I haven't learned it yet!
Living and learning!

It's also not as hard as all that either as long as you're not doing very complex shoots. I bought a lot of photography magazines when I first started shooting with a 'proper' digital camera. I almost always keep my camera on aperture priority which is a semi automatic setting that automatically adjusts the shutter speed to suit the aperture size. The other settings I use are:

  • exposure compensation - useful because your camera gets it wrong often, particularly with black and white scenes.
  • ISO - if I cannot achieve a fast enough shutter speed to keep my subject sharp, even with a fully wide open lens, then I up the ISO.
  • setting a manual focus point
  • peaking with macro photos.
  • white balance changes, particularly if I'm shooting in artificial light.
  • silent shooting with an electronic shutter if I want to be quiet.
  • using the self timer, particularly for tripod shoots. 
  • exposure locking.

That's pretty much it, it's not a lot, and a lot of the settings above are easily changed with a dial on the camera. Once you've used your particular camera a lot, you should be able to adjust your settings without much thought. Get hold of some photography magazines - using your camera is not too complicated.

 

Composition is part of the softer set of skills, but there are rules of thumb to be learned (and broken), which again you will find in photography magazines.

 

Subject matter - look at what sells, look at successful contributor's portfolios to get inspiration.

 

If you have the enthusiasm, you can learn this stuff, it's not a black art.

Stephen

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Cal said:

 

Indeed, I agree with you there (is that a first? :D )

 

With regards to your top paragraph, and to carry on slightly from what geog says, I don't think it's necessarily from the fact that someone buys a decent camera that they then think they're a pro - I think it's down to their character purely. I know at least one person I can think of straight away who shot a wedding on a compact camera and was convinced he'd get award winning photos. I just hope the couple didn't have high expectations. When I say compact camera I don't mean a Sony RX100, I mean an ancient powershot/IXUS type of deal that grandma might have used in 2005.


Possibly a first but no worries 😀. I have strong feelings about Covid as it has pretty much messed up my long term health. Let’s move on. 
 

One of the few photography courses I have ever done was a very good course on wedding photography in order to get up to date on modern weddings and what is required. I was amazed at the levels of photographic knowledge  of several of the other participants. Some had virtually no knowledge at all and were about to start a business in wedding photography. That is what I mean. 

 


 

 

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11 minutes ago, MDM said:


Possibly a first but no worries 😀. I have strong feelings about Covid as it has pretty much messed up my long term health. Let’s move on. 
 

One of the few photography courses I have ever done was a very good course on wedding photography in order to get up to date on modern weddings and what is required. I was amazed at the levels of photographic knowledge  of several of the other participants. Some had virtually no knowledge at all and were about to start a business in wedding photography. That is what I mean. 

 


 

 

 

It's just point and shoot innit? 😆

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20 minutes ago, Steve F said:

It's also not as hard as all that either as long as you're not doing very complex shoots. I bought a lot of photography magazines when I first started shooting with a 'proper' digital camera. I almost always keep my camera on aperture priority which is a semi automatic setting that automatically adjusts the shutter speed to suit the aperture size. The other settings I use are:

  • exposure compensation - useful because you're camera gets it wrong often, particularly with black and white scenes.
  • ISO - if I cannot achieve a fast enough shutter speed to keep my subject sharp, even with a fully wide open lens, then I up the ISO.
  • setting a manual focus point.
  • peaking with macro photos.
  • white balance changes, particularly if I'm shooting in artificial light.
  • silent shooting with an electronic shutter if I want to be quiet.
  • using the self timer, particularly for tripod shoots. 

That's pretty much it, and a lot of the settings above are easily changed with a dial on the camera. Once you've used your particular camera a lot, you should be able to adjust your settings without much thought. Get hold of some photography magazines - using your camera is not too complicated.

 

Composition is part of the softer set of skills, but there are rules of thumb to be learned (and broken), which again you will find in photography magazines.

 

Subject matter - look at what sells, look at successful contributor's portfolios to get inspiration.

 

If you have the enthusiasm, you can learn this stuff, it's not a black art.

Stephen

 

 

Very good, I have a lot of photography books and magazines, I've been an amateur photographer since the 80's, but I always took amateur photos or even for contests, I started this year in stock, the photos are very different from what I did ... a lot, I am self-taught in photography. Yesterday I took some raw photos to test. don't worry, i won't send to Alamy ....

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55 minutes ago, AlexH said:

Yes that's what I was getting at; any time in Lightroom (Darktable for me now I've gone Linux) is more than none at all. I'm shifting back to where I started when shooting film on OM slrs, trying to get it right in camera as much as possible. I've picked up an old fuji xt1 which is more like the old OM shooting experience and has jpeg film simulations. I'm enjoying it. I haven't completely stopped RAW shooting but I'm tempted by the thought of selling up my Nikon gear and then I possibly would! 


I think a key point here is that editing can and generally does vastly improve images. This was the case when printing negs or slides as well - judicious dodging and burning was essential. If you never did anything in a darkroom with your film then you might not appreciate this. 
 

A second key point is that if you are going to edit then it is just as easy to edit raws as JPEGs. It takes a bit more initial learning to understand the concepts but after that it is plain sailing. 
 

Going back to film, I always think that shooting JPEG only is analogous to shooting film, getting prints and throwing away the negs. You are stuck with one interpretation of the image with very little leeway for modification.

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2 hours ago, MDM said:


I think a key point here is that editing can and generally does vastly improve images. This was the case when printing negs or slides as well - judicious dodging and burning was essential. If you never did anything in a darkroom with your film then you might not appreciate this. 
 

A second key point is that if you are going to edit then it is just as easy to edit raws as JPEGs. It takes a bit more initial learning to understand the concepts but after that it is plain sailing. 
 

Going back to film, I always think that shooting JPEG only is analogous to shooting film, getting prints and throwing away the negs. You are stuck with one interpretation of the image with very little leeway for modification.

 

I'm in complete agreement with all your points! I can and do edit RAWS, but in the context of producing stock for Alamy what I'm suggesting is I don't think its necessary. Personally I don't enjoy post processing particularly, I would rather achieve a good image straight out of camera whenever possible. I agree that may not be the absolute best version of the image possible but I think if its the right image for a buyer it will still be licensed. I suspect most image buyers care a lot less, or are even oblivious to, the technical elements photographers obssess over. They just want the right image for their need, which could easily be a tweaked JPEG out of a smartphone. 

 

Of course if I were producing fine art landscapes for a print site, as an example, I'd be taking a different approach. 

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4 hours ago, Cal said:

I know at least one person I can think of straight away who shot a wedding on a compact camera and was convinced he'd get award winning photos.

 

Many people confuse being able to write grammatically correct sentences with being able to write for voluntary readers.

 

Art training traditionally began with grinding paints and stretching canvases or prepping boards, then painting small parts of paintings under the direction of the master painter, first understanding the materials, then working on small details, seeing what other people had done.   The nearest contemporary equivalent would be assisting a photographer. 

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51 minutes ago, AlexH said:

 

I'm in complete agreement with all your points! I can and do edit RAWS, but in the context of producing stock for Alamy what I'm suggesting is I don't think its necessary. Personally I don't enjoy post processing particularly, I would rather achieve a good image straight out of camera whenever possible. I agree that may not be the absolute best version of the image possible but I think if its the right image for a buyer it will still be licensed. I suspect most image buyers care a lot less, or are even oblivious to, the technical elements photographers obssess over. They just want the right image for their need, which could easily be a tweaked JPEG out of a smartphone. 

 

Of course if I were producing fine art landscapes for a print site, as an example, I'd be taking a different approach. 

 

 

I find it to be absolutely essential. But then I enjoy post processing because I feel I am doing the best I can for the images I have taken. I hope that this doesn't sound like the sort of one-upmanship statements that I hate on photography forums. My view is that this is a ridiculously competitive market and I want to do the best I can with the RAWS I have gone out and 'captured'. I am not the world's best photographer but I can at least do the best I can with the photos I have taken. Cutting down on this part of the workflow process doesn't make any sense to me just as it wouldn't make sense to write sloppy captions. I don't think that there are any shortcuts that are worth taking because it would be just defeating the purpose of what I am trying to achieve.

 

In Adobe RAW sometimes just clicking 'Auto' to see what it produces totally brings an image to life and suggests all sorts of possibilities, which I then use to tweak the sliders to create what I want. I usually increase colour temperature to add a little warmth, a little vibrancy, a tiny amount of clarity perhaps. Occasionally the Dehaze slider creates real drama in dull, flat clouds. 

 

Now I am by no means an expert but I know a lot more than I did and find it satisfying. I do feel that this time and process does create images which are more likely to sell. 

Edited by geogphotos
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1 hour ago, AlexH said:

 

I'm in complete agreement with all your points! I can and do edit RAWS, but in the context of producing stock for Alamy what I'm suggesting is I don't think its necessary. Personally I don't enjoy post processing particularly, I would rather achieve a good image straight out of camera whenever possible. I agree that may not be the absolute best version of the image possible but I think if its the right image for a buyer it will still be licensed. I suspect most image buyers care a lot less, or are even oblivious to, the technical elements photographers obssess over. They just want the right image for their need, which could easily be a tweaked JPEG out of a smartphone. 

 

Of course if I were producing fine art landscapes for a print site, as an example, I'd be taking a different approach. 

 

Not necessary for Alamy stock but shooting JPEG only really limits you down the line. Take any portrait for example and I see in your portfolio that you have quite a few including several that I presume are of your family. The camera (talking Nikon here) rarely gets the white balance right in the JPEG. A little tweak of the white balance on the raw can make a huge difference. Of course you might only realise that the skin tones are off if using a calibrated monitor and attempting to make prints yourself. Ultimately it comes down to what one is happy with but have you met your future self yet? That guy might wish he had shot raw as well even if only to keep them just in case. 

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39 minutes ago, MDM said:

have you met your future self yet? That guy might wish he had shot raw as well even if only to keep them just in case. 


This is a really good point well made, I have kept all my images from going digital and I shot RAW from about two months into the digital adventure 17 years ago, now as software has got better and I have improved, just for fun I’m going back to those old files and able to get superior results from digital RAWS I never used as the images couldn’t be rescued back then.

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21 minutes ago, Normspics said:


This is a really good point well made, I have kept all my images from going digital and I shot RAW from about two months into the digital adventure 17 years ago, now as software has got better and I have improved, just for fun I’m going back to those old files and able to get superior results from digital RAWS I never used as the images couldn’t be rescued back then.

 

Definitely. The Adobe Camera Raw engine has improved enormously over the years. For me, even some of the stuff I was processing just 7 years ago looks off, probably because the monitor I was using was set too contrasty so some of the processed images now look dull. Not that I am going to go back and redo everything but it is nice to have the option to do some. 

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1 hour ago, MDM said:

 

Not necessary for Alamy stock but shooting JPEG only really limits you down the line. Take any portrait for example and I see in your portfolio that you have quite a few including several that I presume are of your family. The camera (talking Nikon here) rarely gets the white balance right in the JPEG. A little tweak of the white balance on the raw can make a huge difference. Of course you might only realise that the skin tones are off if using a calibrated monitor and attempting to make prints yourself. Ultimately it comes down to what one is happy with but have you met your future self yet? That guy might wish he had shot raw as well even if only to keep them just in case. 

Yes that is an interesting point. My future self may find a renewed enthusiasm for post work, as you say I don't know! Most of what is in my Alamy port was shot RAW, and Nikon generated stuff still is. Of course the fact I'm not keen on sitting doing post processing quite possibly means I don't do a good job at it! Its the fuji I'm using in JPEG mode at the moment.

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4 hours ago, Jose Decio Molaro said:

What I find very cool about Alamy is the large number of street photos, fantastic places, here in Brazil you don't see these types of houses or old buildings.

 

What you have in Brazil are wildlife, different musical cultures with different instruments, beaches, the Amazon, capoeira, and tourists (second to Mexico in Latin America, and most for any South American country.   Don't know how old your Sony camera is, but Capture One has a Capture One Express version free for Sony cameras (check with their website to see what cameras are covered).   No suggestions for Nikon free programs.   Someone else may have some ideas. 

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2 hours ago, AlexH said:

Yes that is an interesting point. My future self may find a renewed enthusiasm for post work, as you say I don't know! Most of what is in my Alamy port was shot RAW, and Nikon generated stuff still is. Of course the fact I'm not keen on sitting doing post processing quite possibly means I don't do a good job at it! Its the fuji I'm using in JPEG mode at the moment.

Fuji are known for excellent jpegs with nice skin tones. I’ve seen them on the Fuji forum and they are nice. I tried shooting RAW+jpeg, but I guess since I’ve shot RAW forever, no matter how nice the jpegs, I always saw some little thing I wanted to tweak, which often was the WB that's baked into the jpegs.  So I ended up developing the RAW. I quit doing both because I hated having to delete all those out-of-camera jpegs I never used. Wasted time.

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20 hours ago, MizBrown said:

 

What you have in Brazil are wildlife, different musical cultures with different instruments, beaches, the Amazon, capoeira, and tourists (second to Mexico in Latin America, and most for any South American country.   Don't know how old your Sony camera is, but Capture One has a Capture One Express version free for Sony cameras (check with their website to see what cameras are covered).   No suggestions for Nikon free programs.   Someone else may have some ideas. 

Thanks for the tip from Sony .... But..life wild? In Brazil? I think you only know the Amazon ... !!! I am more than 1500 kilometers from Manaus and the jungle ... in fact, I think I never saw an Indian!
On second thought ... politicians are wild!
Nikon does too. today I go out here in the jungle to photograph ... what the hell ... only the people who come from other countries have access to the Indians ... so frustrated ... I didn't find any Indians, but I photographed in Raw

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20 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

Fuji are known for excellent jpegs with nice skin tones. I’ve seen them on the Fuji forum and they are nice. I tried shooting RAW+jpeg, but I guess since I’ve shot RAW forever, no matter how nice the jpegs, I always saw some little thing I wanted to tweak, which often was the WB that's baked into the jpegs.  So I ended up developing the RAW. I quit doing both because I hated having to delete all those out-of-camera jpegs I never used. Wasted time.

I liked to shoot in Raw .. now we are going to go back to photography school, do 5 years of photography school, then post graduate in photography, PhD in photography, master of photography .. 10 years from now ... take pictures again. ..

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