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nice pics- is it because of a good camera?:)

Travel Forums Travel Photography nice pics- is it because of a good camera?:)

1. Posted by NewbieRus (Budding Member, 20 posts) 8 Nov '08 06:30

just now i looked through teh pics from NZ, and i wondered if they were so cool because the photographers had good digital cameras? :)

what camera do u have when u are travelling? is it professional and expensive, or its an average one at an average price ?

mine is old - Fuji S3100 ,i am thinking of buying a new one if i go to NZ. so would like to hear of yours and your opinions.

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4383 posts) 8 Nov '08 06:47

"Cameras don't take good pictures. Photographers take good pictures."

That's the standard saying when this question comes up. A good photographer will take good photos no matter what camera is used, simply because they'll pay attention to framing, composition, the light, etc - because they'll know what works and what doesn't; when it's worth taking a shot and when to walk on for a better vantage point - and most of all, when to have patience and wait for that one perfect moment when the world comes together to present itself in the best possible way, the perfect moment when the photographer will only need to push the button. Timing is everything.
Likewise, a mediocre photographer won't take better than average photos, no matter how great or expensive the camera.

The key to becoming a good photographer? Taking lots and lots of photos. Keeping practicing, and keep looking at your own photos with the goal of learning from them, seeing what worked and what didn't. For the things that worked, repeat them, have them become the new baseline, not requiring any thought. Then improve further upon them.

Of course, all that said, a bad camera does have the ability to hamper. There's many shots you just aren't able to take with a cheap point and shoot, and yes, modern cameras have a much higher convenience level for creating snapshots which'll look not at all bad right away. They won't be great photos, but for many people it's enough, and the percentage of great photos amongst the average ones will probably be higher, too.
So yes, it is worth buying a new camera. It won't be a miracle cure that'll instantaneously give you great photos - but on average they'll probably be better. (Use a site like dpreview to research cameras, since not all new cameras are necessarily better; many are really, really bad.) What helps most - if you have the money - is to get a DSLR (for example the Nikon D40 is a great first DSLR; very cheap, small and lightweight for DSLR standards). They have much larger sensors in the body, and much better lenses, which makes for much smoother images, far less noise (or horrible noise suppression), and far more control.

What also helps is being really selective in which of your photos you show others. You can take 1000 average photos, and people looking at them will see them as being average. Or you can pick the 10-20 best ones from that entire batch, and people will see those as being pretty good. In large part that's what happens with the featured galleries here at travellerspoint, too. At the moment, there's 11,674 photos on the website coming from New Zealand. Only 358 of those have been featured. That's barely 3%. Many of those were taken by good photographers, but just as many were the best shot by people who'd only consider themselves to be an "average" photographer, and probably taken by pretty average cameras, too.

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 8, 2008, at 6:57 AM by Sander ]

3. Posted by NewbieRus (Budding Member, 20 posts) 8 Nov '08 09:27

thanks Sander;)

4. Posted by Ardy (Full Member, 62 posts) 10 Nov '08 00:51

Agree, it is the photographer not the equipment... some of my nicer photos where taken with a simple point and shoot and some of my worst with a 1500dollar system... it's all practice and finding what works for you.

5. Posted by mim (Travel Guru, 1276 posts) 12 Nov '08 12:11

one word.

Photoshop

;)

6. Posted by Q' (Moderator, 1987 posts) 12 Nov '08 13:26

A "good" photo is a combination of two things:

Composition + Production Quality.

If you're not familiar with those terms:

Composition is essentially the placement or arrangement of visual elements or ingredients in a photograph.
Production Quality is the measure of the smoothness of the grain, vibrancy of the colours, etc.

Depending on your taste, you either consider composition more important or production quality more important. But almost everyone, either knowingly or unknowingly, considers elements of both when evaluating a photograph. The first part is completely dependent on the skill and personality of the photographer as a visual artist. What do you photograph & how do you want to express yourself ? The second part includes elements of technology. This includes technology in the camera, in the post production using photoshop, printing store, file compression format, inks, papers, etc. What types of images are pleasing to your eye ? To make a good photograph, you have to master a little bit of both. And your tastes, personality, a lot of experimentation, and knowing yourself, is the best guide as to how you should proceed.

So the ultimate question is what do you like ?

7. Posted by NewbieRus (Budding Member, 20 posts) 14 Nov '08 08:39

thanks Q'. im good neither at choosing the composition nor deciding what mode to choose to take a picture:)
so its difficult to say what exactly i like. i like the result -a good picture,so i jsut need to learn how to combine composition and production quality:)

i think a simple modern camera would be more than enough for me
thanks

8. Posted by joffre (Respected Member, 157 posts) 14 Nov '08 17:32

Hiya, if your thinking of upgrading to a new camera, buying another point & shoot camera may be best for you. I think your Fuji is a 4 MegaPixel camera, I use a Canon G5 Point & Shoot (5 MegaPixel) camera & it takes fine photos... if you do upgrade, you could probably buy another P&S camera with 8-10 MegaPixels for about the same price as your existing camera... I would also buy additional memory sticks to take with you... in terms of composition, perhaps it's worthwhile reading through the TP PhotoGuide for a few tips...

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 14, 2008, at 5:36 PM by joffre ]