Monday, July 16, 2007

Just So's Everyone Understands

Sometimes I get annoyed. Not terribly annoyed, or really pissed, or maniacally raging... just annoyed. One of the things that annoys me is the thought that the tools make the result better. Like wondering what kind of Typewriter Hemingway used. As if it makes a difference. Good Gawd... what if it was the same kind of typewriter that Jacqueline Suzanne used? (Or whatever her name was... who cares.) Does anyone care, really?

Lately in design and photography there seems to be a singularly devilish push back to the old arguements: Nikon vs Canon, strobes vs natural light, speedlights vs studio lights, umbrellas vs softboxes, CSS vs HTML, AJAX vs DHTML... whatever...

It is time consuming and mindless and maybe that is the point. We are so focused on the crap we use that we aren't talking about the art we make. Mention the philosophy of creative design on a forum and the crickets will keep you awake. Ask which is better, Mac or PC and you get flooded.

An a recent forum I saw it starting so I made this post: I am repeating it here because it is germaine to all of us.

Chevy? Chrysler? Ford?

Look, getting an image that is great really relies on the equipment used. Everyone knows that. Equipment, settings, tools used... that is what makes a great image. Few really know all the rules, but I have an old folded copy given to me by a guy who dated a girl whos brother once served lunch to a big time NY shooters assistants. I have guarded it for 2 years... Here goes:

  1. f5.6 is simply a superior f-stop and should be used whenever possible. People who keep changing f-stops in order to alter depth of field or create subject / background separation just don't get it.
  2. Nikon or Canon... it's all a ruse. Yashicamat 120's rule. Most professionals (the ones with real clients) use them when no one is looking... they just use the others for endorsement money. There simply are no great shooters shooting Nikon or Canon. Just ask the owners of each... they know the other camera maker is a sham.
  3. There is really only one Compact Flash card that is worth shooting on and I wish I could read the name here, but it is right on the fold. Sorry.
  4. Black and white is simply the only true photographic art form. Those of you who think otherwise have been brainwashed by Kodak Kiosks.
  5. Mac. 'Nuff said, ok. Don't make me say anymore. Just don't.
  6. Lighting for portraits should always come from a medium white umbrella set at an angle not to exceed 40 degrees nor be less than 32 degrees on axis, with a lift - "chin to forehead" - ratio of not more than 12. And it has to be on the left of the subject. Unless the subject is turned around then it is on, uh... well, you know. BTW, those professionals that are listening in... ssshhh, do not tell anyone of the "amalgamated inverse square law inversed" rule. You know what happened last time, and you signed an oath. In blood. In cursive.
  7. The truly best photos are always shot during the week as weekends are amateur hours. If you are shooting on Saturday or Sunday you are simply wasting your time.
  8. Actually it wont matter anyway, the 'best' photos have already been taken. They are well known and everything else just sucks.
  9. If your camera is more than 8.7 months old, and shoots less than 25MegaPixels it sucks. It just does. What, you don't have 25MP's? Oh, well, ummm, sorry. You appear to be right, there are "NO" such cameras. Yep, you are right... I, uhh, take that back. (Aside to the 'real' pros... wink wink...)
  10. When designing your letterhead always use San Serif fonts. Always. It is much more professional, looks a lot better than that serif crap and is much more readable. People who design with serif fonts are amateurish buffoons with no, absolutely NO CREATIVITY. Damn it, creativity calls for precise and well defined RULES. RULES!!!!
Now I know that there are some people who actually look at images without knowing what kind of camera they were taken on, or what kind of flash card, or RAW or JPEG, or Nikon or Canon, or processed on a Mac or "that which cannot be named" or in color or.... Why would anyone do that? Just to enjoy an image? What? It is all too much for me to ponder, and I retire to the bar for some libations...

BTW... Corona is the ONLY beer that true beer officionados would ever consider worthy.....

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