Questions Not To Ask A Photographer

Recently, I was asked by a potential customer one of the “worst” question she could ask:

Which camera are you using?

anonymous (2019)

It’s like asking a mechanism which wrench does he use? Or asking a painter which brush size does he use?

As a photographer that deals with living people and animals, I have to deal with two main things:

  1. Light
  2. Moment

The Light

I can control the …

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ExpoDisc White Balance

This guy is trying to photograph goslings that are hiding in the bush.

The weather was partially cloudy with some winds. So, every couple of minutes, this guy was taking his ExpoDisc out from his side pocket and re-metering his white balance.

Most of the time, I do not bother with the white balance, I have my camera set to daylight white balance. The problem is indoors when trying to balance flash with compact fluorescent or cheap LED lights. Then I have to decide:

  1. Overwhelm the ambient light with the flash and set the white balance to flash
  2. Set the white balance to the ambient light (fluorescent…) and just add a touch to flash to open the shadows.

I almost never set the white balance to auto, it will change from frame to frame and will make my work much harder.

expodisc white balance

Expodisc White Balance

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The photographers’ zoo

A dozen of photographers and the cameras ranges from nothing to $$$

A dozen of photographers and the cameras ranges from nothing to $$$

A dozen people are taking photos and the cameras ranges from nothing to $$$.

  • 1 guy calling his wife or girl friend and describes what he sees
  • A kid watching with binoculars
  • A lady using her iPhone
  • A lady using a small Sony point and shoot
  • A guy with a small video camera and a ‘real’ camera
  • 3 people with …
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Tourists and the Obligatory Selfie

In January 2017, German researchers studied the selfies and found that:

  • 77% of the smartphone users took a selfie at least once a month
  • 49% of the smartphone users received at least one selfie every week
  • People thought that their own selfies were somewhat ironic and playful
  • 82% of the people would rather see ‘more usual pictures’ then selfies on social media
  • 90% of the people thought that others’ selfies were for self-promotion
  • 46% of the people thought that their own selfies were for self-promotion

Tourists in Vancouver, BC and the Obligatory Selfie

Tourists in Vancouver, BC and the Obligatory Selfie

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Super Woman

This woman photographer is amazing! She must be from the planet Krypton.

She’s an older person (I would guess in her late 50s, early 60s) and she carries a 1DMk4 with a 600mm f/4. She makes her photos HAND-HELD. That’s 24Lbs/11Kg at the end of her extended arm.

That day, the light was not the greatest, it was grey, low contrast and very cloudy. Either she’s super-woman or she uses ISO 100,000. Look at the arch of her back…

Just holding such a big and heavy rig at the end of the arm is hard enough for me. That’s why I mostly use either a tripod or at least my monopod. And it’s usually set to be 2½ feet tall. I wear a single carpenter knee pad on my right knee and I kneel down, just like Tim Tebow but I was doing it long before he started to play football. It’s to be closer to the ground and have a different perspective than 98% of the other photographers.

BTW, she’s just holding, at arm length, the lens up without even taking photos.

Super woman

Super Woman

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Intrepid Photographer

The guy is a professional. He rented a Canon 500 f/4L lens for the weekend. The lens was introduced in 1999 (not only it was the previous century, it was the previous millennium).

There’s an IS (Image Stabilization) built in the lens. It’s OK for ‘kind of stabilizing’ the lens but… It’s not that good. The lens is just above 4kg/just above 9lbs, plus the camera, only supported by the left arm. Impressive!

I know that I can’t. I have tried. I get decent results with a monopod, which is what I used on this day.

handholding a Canon 1DMk4 with a Canon 500mm f/4L

Handholding a Canon 1DMk4 with a Canon 500mm f/4L

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Puzzled by Old Camera: Vancouver, BC

This guy is using a very old Fuji FinePix S3 camera and he seems puzzled. He looked through the viewfinder, he looked around, look at the camera, at the viewfinder.

He seemed puzzled… He went back and forth at least a dozen times.

BTW, the Fuji FinePix S3 Pro was a Nikon re-badge by Fuji. It was announced in February 2004 and it was shipped in 2005. In the tech world, we are talking long before the dinosaurs roamed the earth…

Photographer puzzled by old camera

Photographer puzzled by old camera

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iPad Photographer: Vancouver, BC

It’s called the Sun Run. The Vancouver Sun newspaper organises a 10k run every end of spring. People come by the 10 of thousands and some people like this guy and me also come not for the run or the walk portion but for the photo opportunities.

He’s using his IPad and he seems to be happy with what he sees on his screen.

photographer having fun taking photos with his iPad

Photographer having fun taking photos with his iPad

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