Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Conversation With a Photography Antagonist

Me : Lately, I came across this photographer's site called POOMA卜马 . I really admire his works, his photography skills & his creative angles.

Antagonist : Really? Can you show me the site?

Me : Sure. Let me show you the site (switching on my laptop & connect to the site). What do you think? Amazing works isn't it?

(Me & my antagonistic friend browsing thru the site)

Antagonist : 'Quite' ok lah. So-so only lah.

Me : Really? I find his works very refreshing & inspiring.

Antagonist : I think he over photoshop his photos. The color looks weird to me. Too much digital noise that trying to mimic film grain.

Me : Really? (Waiting for antagonist to further elaborate)

Antagonist : Looking at his photos I can tell that he shoot with Digital SLR. With a DSLR, anyone can shoot up to 1000 pictures & only select a handful of 50 nicest one to publish them online. So, I seriously doubt that he is that good.

Me : I see. You publish all 1000 pictures whenever you go out to shoot?

Antagonist : No lah. 1000 pictures is too much to be uploaded to my blog.

Me : I see.

Antagonist : Furthermore, this photographer is using all sort of Photoshop film simulation filters to mimic film tone & film grain. If he is really that great, I dare him to shoot film with no help of photoshop. I don't understand why present photographers loved to imitate film like effect thru photoshop, yet they don't shoot film.

Me : Do you have Photoshop software instored in your computer? You mean you don't photoshop you photos?

Antagonist : I do. But I use it at minimum. I prefer straight out of camera Jpeg. If I want a film like effects, then I shoot with my film or Lomo or Holga.

Me : Despite of your 'not so' positive view about this photographer, I think his skills & style are very much appreciated in the place he lived in. He is famous & fully booked for his photography service.

Antagonist : That's the problem. I feel that he is 'too commercialized'.

Me : Famous & good business = too commercialized?

Antagonist : Yes. Too commercialized to client pleasing. Over commercialized to shoot for money & lost themselves in what true photography is all about.

(I pause for a while to digest what I just heard. Then I start the continuation of our discussion while browsing down the site)

Me : This series of black & white photos are gorgeous.

Antagonist : Can be better if it is shot with B&W film. Digital photos are way too contrast for me.

Me : I see. The scenery of this Pre-Weding is amazing. I admire how the photographer framing the couple in the scenery.

Antagonist : That's nothing. Anyone is capable to capture nice photos if given a opportunity to shoot in such beautiful scene.

Me : This reflection shot is so nice. I like the mood of this photo.

Antagonist : That's copy cat. I see tons of this kind of shots by different photographers both local & abroad.

Me : I like this photo. The color look like Lomography style.

Antagonist : One look at it I already know it was photoshoped. This photo is too clean to be Lomo like. More grain would have made it.

Me : I like the way he poses the couple. So natural, candid & fun.

Antagonist : Way too natural, over candid & too much fun. I wish I could see more serious studio shots with proper flash & lighting.

Me : Oh... he does have some studio shots here. His studio shots are nice. Lighting skill is excellent.

Antagonist : Hmm...... too serious & boring for me. Studio flash a bit dull.

Me : I love this series of outdoor shots. The DOF is so thin. Bokehlicious!

Antagonist : Too much dependent of aperture f1.2. Nowadays any f1.2 aperture lens can be seen used by amateurs. If you take away the luxury of f1.2 or the gimmicks of tilt & shift, I doubt that he can be that good.

(By this time, our conversation has come to an end)

In order to understand the above conversation, you have to visit the site here to see for yourself the photography portfolio I admired.

Without much elaboration, I think the conversation above fully describe what a photography antagonist is. Very stingy with compliment & praise; very generous with over critical comments.

By the way, you may wonder about this antagonist friend of mine. You may wonder whether he is an excellent photographer himself, since he speaks of such high critical standard. To me, he is not better. In fact, far from it.

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