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Subject: Why do you look at photographic works very closely?

Category: General Discussion

Posted: 04-14-13 3:19 AM - Views: 2442

By: Sol Marrades

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When you visit a museum ... you go with a magnifying glass?

Normally you will have noticed that it takes a certain distance from the work to properly view it in its entirety.

Do you think that photography has a place in the "art"?

If photography considered "art" Why look very closely?
Why increase the image of an author at 300% and 400% in size in the screen of your computer?
The work must always be seen in its entirety, at the right distance.

Probably the magnifying glass is useful to find out the ingredients of the materials with which the work is performed. It is also useful to find out if there over time and causes deterioration.

The materials that the author chose for his work are materials, colors and shapes to express voluntary and conscious. But the author chooses the materials and the tools to translate their work, not for his work to be dismembered, inspected, and tested.

When you hang a picture in your living room ... Would you put a magnifying glass in front?

I try to always consider any work as a whole, (painting, photography, sculpture ...)
If I like: I dedicate more time to observe.
If I do not like: Do not spend time

What do you think about this?

Thanks you for your feedback
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Reply from John Griffiths on 06-12-13 1:07 PM

Whether you inspect individual pixels or view from afar a snap that gives you pleasure or a buzz has succeeded. We love it all surely for the conception, the process and the result, it is all a package of delight that we are priviliged to share with new friends that were strangers a short while ago. If you bother at all its enough; if you bother and enjoy it its a gift, if you bother and continue its a passion. WE are all passionate and proud. Keep looking and loving. Baz
Reply from Glen Charles on 06-11-13 7:28 PM

I agree with dvg about many of his ideas, and I like his pictures. I also like his comments on others pictures and his comments in the forum, and I am glad he has joined in the fun.
Ansel Adams is considered to be a great photographer in the USA, and he was very particular about the camera, the film, and the exposure. His school teaches a particular approach to photography which is very technical. I dare say that without similar equipment, no photographer can match his pictures.

So, for some photographic expressions, one has to follow a particular technical approach, which includes the camera, the media, the lens, and the method ( by training, and example.)

In the two examples that JT posted in this thread, the equipment chosen for the shots were critical. A field camera could not have been used, nor a hand held camera that made a noise when the shutter fired (several shots - at least two in this case were needed.)
It was necessary to have a large aperture because the light was low, and a fast B&W film because color film was too slow.

If I wanted to make a similar picture I would need to know what equipment was needed for this scene.

There is another reason for talking about the equipment. This is a site for people who use Leica branded equipment. If we are told that neither the camera nor lens was Leica, then the picture has less relevance for us.

Surely this is a place where we can discuss the technical aspects of picture making with Leica. The equipment is so expensive and it is hard to justify another lens, or a new body, and we need to see how it might change the way we make pictures.

Just the form of the camera has an impact on how I see the scene. Some bodies encourage me to "roll on the grass" to get a shot. Some lenses force me into very close contact with the scene. Other lenses open up new scenes that I can hardly see with my ordinary vision.

Now, can I make good pictures with any old camera? I think I have demonstrated that on this site. Can't everyone do this? If you look at what is on this site, there are good pictures by some people and uninteresting pictures by others. How much does the equipment contribute to this?

My own experience is that some of my cameras are clumsy, some have poor viewfinders, and these factors prevent me from getting good shots. Some cameras are a joy to shoot with, despite that they are obsolete by today's standards, and they make me want to keep shooting, looking for the just the right angle.

The NEX-5 camera with the Fauer finder has completely changed the way I view a scene, and it is pure pleasure to go out shooting with it in bright sunlight, and in dim interiors, where the image is bright as can be, regardless of which Leica lens I use. I seldom shoot with any other camera (I use two NEX-5 camera and Fauer finders one with a WA and one with a moderate lens attached.)

So, camera mechanical attributes affect the way I make pictures.

Reply from John Griffiths on 06-11-13 2:14 PM

Snaps, photos, photo art, are the result of our ambition, passion and love of taking records. I have been working on and off with photography for 44 years and as much as I adore the results I also love the tactile nature of the equipment. I like other propels work more than my own, always, it hard work for me. My son, a self confessed artistic retard sums it up perfectly when he says, "art is only important to artists dad, get over it" is it? To me, the less I look at a photo I like the better it obviously is. This site is surely a testament to taste, good and bad; a reason to love the whole, the detail, the minute and the kit, we all love our Leica: don't we?
Reply from Dimitris V. Georgopoulos on 06-8-13 11:19 AM

Personally I do not look at a photo too closely. I always look at photo at the appropriate distance depending on its size on the wall on the print, or on the screen. The only purpose to look at a photo with a magnifying lens is only when I make large scale prints or I am correcting the blemishes during the post processing.
Many people like to "see" the lens or the sensor but then they are not looking at the photo or rather they look but they do not see. They wish to discover that magic thing that a lens or a camera is delivering but this is a completely sterile approach. The technical quality of a photograph is only a part of it. Composition, aesthetics and semiology make the rest. The interpretation of the photograph is a matter of the mind and thought and many times of heart.
Camera was not of a so great importance during film days. The lens used was of importance. The lens used in connection with the film used, were the main ingredients of the technical part. Sharpness was preferred to softness because you can manage the high sensitivity films better and because the general principle was that you can soften a sharp picture in the darkroom but it was not so easy to sharpen a soft one. Then the digital came and the mainstream overestimated the means. Then the various Gurus on the internet appeared. The ground was fresh so they hurried to plant new ideas. The main one was the histogram. How the histogram must be something like a Gauss distribution of dark and bright and all this crap. Just of a sudden the new brave world of the digital image should be sharp, clear and with no obstructing objects. Therefore instead of the photographer moving around to find the right point of view she/he started to rely on the Photoshop to erase the unwanted elements in the picture. So we see roads without posts, faces without wrinkles, no dust bins etc. The camera became more of a computer. Pixel counts, HDR, a new jargon that you are supposed to know. The aspherical lenses with the plastic aspherical elements became something of a standard. Plastic in general replaced the traditional material and new algorithms were used to manipulate the image in its birth so a higher number of pixels to find breathing space within a smaller sensor. Then we started looking at the photos from very close. To see if the sharpness was there, if Nikon was better than Canon both of them better than Leica and vice versa. We got the sharpness and we lost photography. Jorge uploaded two legendary photos of Eugene W. Smith. "Mikimoto in the bath" and the dead man of his series "The Spanish Village". These photos are unique. Has ever anybody asked if they were taken with a Leica or a Contax? Smith was shooting with both of them. No I do not believe that somebody ever asked this question. But the technical part of the dead man's photo was revealed by Smith himself. He was printing and correcting that photo for a week. After that he created an internegative of the corrected final print and made the rest of the copies of that photograph using that internegative. Smith was a master printer and he used that craft to salvage this magnificent photo. Smith would have been very happy I suppose to shoot at 12800 ISO but probably he would have not reached this level of iconic excellence ever.
So not so much attention should be paid to the camera and lens as to the final result. Each photographer shoots for her/his reasons. So the best commentator has to be the photographer. If the final result proves to "say" what the photographer wished to then the photograph is the right one. Good or bad it is for the others to say. But are there good and bad photos? An old English photographers' saying goes "my masterpiece is your rubbish". According to my opinion a photo is a proposal to the viewer. Either you accept it or you throw it away better keep it in mind and think it over and over again. Our opinion about a photograph can change because we change in the course of time. As I use to say photography is like the rain running in small streams on both sides of the road. It brings with it things from somewhere else and takes one's soul to somewhere else.
So there is no need to look the photos so closely. We do not look at the rain so closely, do we???
Dimitris V. Georgopoulos, Athens, Greece.
Reply from Sol Marrades on 04-18-13 1:40 AM

People create magic through your imagination!

The images that shows Jorge Torralba speak for themselves
The scenes, by themselves, are shocking and impressive.
As long as you have imagination to get in instead of people who suffer the situation of the photographic scene!
So I think I always:
"The reader of the work always has the last word"

Good luck in your shots!
Reply from Ninni on 04-17-13 11:43 PM

Ok Glen, here's the deal: on the day that someone will give you a Leica MM then you will give to me ! :)))
Reply from Glen Charles on 04-17-13 9:43 PM


My grandfather was a commercial artist. He did portraits, and he made movie posters for the cinema. Her taught me chess and photography, though I was too young to be good at either. And when he wanted me to understand something, he would show me the details of how he had done something. This is how I learned. He didn't say "stand back and tell me what you think." He didn't care what I thought - I wasn't the client. He would say "come and take a look at how I got this effect," and we would stare together as close as we could get to the painting.

I discovered that for me to make photographs, I had to first know how to mix the chemicals to process film and paper. There was no magic in the camera, it was all in the darkroom.

But today, some people think that the magic really is in the camera.
Reply from Glen Charles on 04-17-13 9:21 PM


Can you tell me about the picture?

I feel good when I look at it too.

Reply from Glen Charles on 04-17-13 9:18 PM

Ninni, I understand about the sea. Sol also loves the sea.
I once spent three years on my sailboat in the Pacific Ocean, travelling to Mexico, Hawaii, Canada and the US, took my M6 and never made a still picture. We made a single movie of an Ocean passage (24 days,) but I have no picture of Mexico.

Reply from Jt on 04-17-13 9:13 PM


This guy makes me smile :) And yes it is in color.
Reply from Glen Charles on 04-17-13 7:51 PM

I find this to be one of the most interesting threads at LI.

Reply from Glen Charles on 04-17-13 7:43 PM

I try carefully to make people understand that any statement I make is from my own experience. Sometimes I generalize a comment, and often that is not what I meant. My personal experience is that I am not emotionally touched by B&W pictures - though I can cry during classic B&W movies, but that is from the dialogue and music, not the scene. I watched Napoleon, a five hour silent movie, but in the orchestra pit was an orchestra led by Coppola jr. and the music made the picture for me. The images were amazing but I was not moved by them, only by the music. Music is to B&W movies as color is to photography.

B&W photos, like those Torralba showed, do not make me feel anything special. I study the lighting and the composition, and learn something about the photographer's capabilities. But once this is accomplished I do not need to revisit the picture.

On the other hand when I see a colorful picture like Terry's Easter walk in the park

my heart leaps for he has captured a scene from my boyhood. I can walk in the park too. And I will return again and again to the scene, and experience those same feelings I had in the woods around London with my father and family and primus stove, and picnic hamper.

And yes, to answer Ninni, color is a creation of a part of the brain, that does not recognize form, shapes, perspective etc. It just knows how to make color. Some colors the brain likes a lot, some it hates. We buy stuff that is in the right color packaging. We won't drink blue milk, nor munch on green cheese.

I like Monet, and most impressionism, because the colors make me feel content.
B&W pictures can't make ME feel content. Sometimes they shock because they are so graphic. But shock is only an animal response - it is not an emotion.

In the pictures below, the subjects are showing their emotions, and this is a very private experience. My emotions are not affected by their experience. I may be inquisitive about the situation - what is happening here etc., but not to the point of invading their private moment, as the photographer has done.
The reason that my friend Charlie Steinheimer left the staff of Life was because he was constantly asked to invade people's privacy. We talked a lot about this idea, and I have a lot of sympathy for his decision to leave Life - though it happened long before we worked together. I would not make pictures like those in Torralba's post, not even of my friends. And I don't like to look at pictures taken of people's private grief.

Give me green fields and blue skies, and fields of red poppies and blue rape, bluebells and magnolias, frangipani and bananas - my brain likes these colors and it makes it happy.


Reply from Jt on 04-17-13 11:45 AM

Without getting into the nitty gritty, Anything can stir emotion. These B&W photos need absolutely nothing else to get your emotions stirred. And when I look at this not once do I think,how sharp or soft it is.

Reply from Carlos Goncalves on 04-17-13 11:32 AM

Photography is an apropriation of reality by the photographer. This act can take different forms depending on the subject, its beauty or ugliness, drama, tragedy, humour. A commercial studio photo for exhibition or publication has technical requirements differing largely from those of the street photographer. ( Not meaning that in this case, quality equipment is not required).
A photograph is to be read like another art form. A fashion photo may require extreme definition whereas a photojournalist´s grainy shot acquires many times an increased impact. For some reason fast films are the choice even when a slower one would do in some of the circumstances. I feel therefore that the observer should distance himself (herself) from preconceived ideas.

I quote from the latest issue of the LFI magazine: "When Leica published the first photos of Jean Gaumy´s Krygyzstan reportage, the photos were supposedly taken exclusively with the new M.In fact some of the images were shot with the M9, and before Leica was able to correct the error, comments were circulating about the ´CMOS`look of the pictures"...

Did such technically minded eyes actually looked into whatever message the photpgrapher wanted to convey?

I see that all of us find great quality in Sol´s shots, in both the artistic and technical sense. And, from my observation, even a limited camera like the D-lux 4 allow quite large prints if so desired.
Reply from Sol Marrades on 04-17-13 11:23 AM

Thanks for your opinions:
This clear:
There are two lines of opinion:
1) The photographers who consider photography as a a discipline mostly "mechanical and technical"
2) photographers who consider photography as an art form

The technique is obviously necessary. Everything works with the technique .... but does it work well?

The art is worthless ... (Except for the most important thing ... serves to reach and touching the feelings of men. Serves to caress the soul)

Maybe when the two lines intersect and are ... comes genuine "great work"

Personal conclusion:
To "see" you must to "learn to look"

Good luck with your shots! :)
Reply from Ninni on 04-17-13 12:02 AM


I always envy people like you who have absolute certainties, but often at the root of these certainties are mostly personal beliefs.
"Emotion is only triggered by colors" ? Are you sure? I can not believe you seriously think such a thing.
I do not think that this is the right place for a scientific explanation (you are engineer, I'm a doctor), I will only tell you that fortunately, I  feel emotionally involved looking at the pictures of Mario Giacomelli, Nino Migliori, Lorenzo Cicconi Massa (Italians), HCB, Robert Capa, James Nachtwey, Bruce Gilden, Salgado etc...etc...and I'm sure you are too.
I feel emotionally involved watching movies in black and white and i could do more and more examples.
"What is a seascape with no blue sky?"
I love the sea so much that I have not yet figured out how to photograph it and I've never seen a picture that is more beautiful than the reality, but this is a personal opinion, not a statement.
I certainly also do color photos, but do not insert them here because I don't do them with the d-lux 5 (Canon 5D mk II, Fuji x-e1).
What I like most? the absolute purity of white, the drama of the absolute black.
Reply from Glen Charles on 04-16-13 7:47 PM


I have made prints 1M x 2M from a Fuji F50fd compact camera. You can make very big prints from your D-Lux 4. All you must do is scale them up, with a good algorithm.
More information if you like.

Reply from Glen Charles on 04-16-13 7:37 PM

I think that you cannot convince anyone that the great photographers that you mentioned made great pictures in the absence of technical skills.
They were masters of technique. Everything they shot was planned (Henri Cartier Bresson), staged (Edward Steichen) , or manipulated in the darkroom (Andre Kertesz.)

Last year, or perhaps it was the year before, I had a long discussion with Ben Lifson, art critic, publisher of photographs, about Kertesz, as Ben had published a book of Kertesz work. I argued that Kertesz had manipulated some of his most famous pictures in the darkroom, and had fabricated scenes that has never been, and the public was being deceived if they thought that this was street photography. But Ben said "all art is a lie," - it doesn't matter whether Kertesz manipulated the scene or not. What matters is that his photos were accepted by art critics, and were shown in galleries and museums, and so they are "good" pictures.

Technical competence is what allowed Kertesz to make pictures that sold well.
I once exhibited in the same gallery as David Carson, a revolutionary graphics designer who has done work for major corporations

Next to his work, mine looked pedestrian. I was discouraged that no-one bought my prints. No one had told me they were not very good. My friends liked them (they were being kind.). It wasn't until I talked with Ben Lifson that I began to understand how to make a good picture.
But Ben Lifson said that my boat on the beach scenes were probably the best he had ever seen. I didn't know they were that good. Now I do. And I hope that people who submit pictures to LI will also get feedback so they know what they have done right.

When people pay high sums for art, it is the technical competence of the artist that draws the buyer - not the subject matter. It doesn't matter what Monet painted, it only matters that he did the work.
If someone offers an Ansel Adams print for sale, no buyer asks "what is it of?" They just say "how much."

Reply from Glen Charles on 04-16-13 5:49 PM

Emotion is only triggered by colors. The part of the brain that responds to color is quite a distance away from that part that looks for shape and luminance.
So if you want to be emotional, make color pictures!

What is a seascape with no blue sky?

Reply from Glen Charles on 04-16-13 5:42 PM


You must stay on the LEICAPLANET to give all of us inspiration. I don't care if you shoot with a Holga. You will make art from it. And we need to see your art. I have tried to do what you do and it is impossible for me. My Grandfather was a good artist - my father an engineer - so I take after my father, but he was also a photographer, but not an artist.

Do I criticize your work? Never! Art transcends technique. When I write about technical factors it is directed towards ordinary photographers who are striving to improve their work. It is not for you to worry about. What you are doing is already perfect.

You have a lot of friends who rush here to look at you recent work.
Keep them happy. Post more pictures.

Reply from Carlos Goncalves on 04-16-13 4:00 PM

I definitely agree with Sol. Of course we admire the great quality of the Leica optics. No doubt about that. But technical quality should be regarded as a means to an end, not an end in itself. Some of the great photos of all time by the likes of Bresson, Kertesz, Steichen, Frank...might have not seen the light of the day if ultimate technical perfection had been the main concern.
Reply from Ninni on 04-16-13 12:22 AM

To me, photography is not to be a faithful reproduction of reality, but a necessarily subjective interpretation: it is the photographer who chooses what, when and under what conditions take the picture. Is this art? I don't know, but is so important to be known ? My thinking mainly due to the fact that I do not like nature or architectural photography where the details are essential.
No doubt that Leica lenses are the best you could ever dream (on sensor and body I have my doubts), but no doubt about the fact that you can also take horrible pictures even with the best lens in the world.
So what do I expect from a site like this ?
First of all, share the emotion that made me take the photograph.
Secondly, talk about photography: composition, content, meaning a photograph for me come before the technique understood as fidelity to detail.
Finally, to show my photos to anyone who is an "expert", or simply have something to say about it.
I do not like or do not understand the technology?
I work all the day with sophisticated tools with fiber optics, image magnification, double zoom, narrow band imaging etc..etc...but in the end what I want is always a emotion in a photo and is not a lens to give it.

P.S. at this moment in the front page there are 4 pictures of an Hummer from all sides; well they could be perfect, taken with an M9 with the best lens but, i'm sorry, to me they say nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing (from any side). So for sure i don't look for a site where i can do 8 upload simultaneously of the same thing.
Reply from Sol Marrades on 04-15-13 2:24 PM

All opinions are equally valid.
For you the technique is important, because you're a technician.
As for the topic "Art" ... for each of us it means a different thing. But I would agree with you that the "art" is worthless.
I am interested in photography everything. Everything.
I I do not publish here for get "pats on the back" ... beleive me, I do not need.
I publish pictures to share views. To share the interest in photography. Nothing more. And I also published, because I always like to be learning.
My advice is always the same: the technique should not be a priority.
You will continue always defend the technique above everything. You continue to defend the lens Leicas above everything. I understand and respect that.
But it are positions dieferentes
I respect your opinion. I respect everyone's opinion. But it I do not agree.
Perhaps I landed on a planet / (Leicaplanet) that is not for me, :), is possible!
I do not criticize the work of laboratory technicians.
They are professionals who must take care that the picture quality is good to get good prints. I do not talk about it
If you think I should go into exile of "LEICAPLANET", no problem. I know my place ... maybe is not this. Also you are right on this.
What I am trying transmit is to apply "common sense" when it comes to enjoy a visual image, such as the author offers it to us. It's all about "learning to look"
I can not make big impressions ...
The Leica D-LUX4 not do it all.
She makes 50% of my work, I do the rest.
I have my limitations, you know very well.
I can offer worthy prints at up to A3 size.
Always I interested in the details, because I am interested everything.
I will continue observing always, any work in full. Because in "totality" obviously are all found the details.
Again, thank you for your extraordinary contribution and for your opinion.
Good luck in your shots!
Reply from Glen Charles on 04-15-13 12:55 PM

I am not sure the Afghan Girl is a good example of doing it on the cheap.
First of all it's film, and there is no way to duplicate that quality with digital. Steve McCurry would have paid $2,552 (in today's dollar) for the AI Nikkor F mount lens 105 f2.5 (1971 introduction.) Assuming he bought it c. 1982 - the shot was made in 1984.

As for Life magazine: My friend Charlie Steinheimer was on the staff at Life. Like most Life photographers he shot with a 4 x 5 camera and his negatives were sharp. ANd he wouldn't have called any of his work art. They were all commissioned to bring back magazine quality pictures that were newsworthy. I think that Charlie would have been offended if you suggested to him that his pictures were anything but highly technical high quality pictures.

These photographers had the best equipment money could buy.

The editors selected the technically best pictures to publish. No fuzzy pictures, no grainy pictures in my Life books and magazines. There is no comparison between the quality of B&W magazine photos by Life photographers, and the quality that is sometimes presented on the LI site (by beginners.)

Don't be fooled by those Life pictures. They were made to order. The shot was requested by the picture editor before the cameraman got on site. There is no art here. There are some memorable shots. But the cameraman had to capture the truth.
Art, according to a great art critic, is always a lie.

As far as lens quality is concerned:
There is nothing better than a Leica lens. The market agrees. Leica lenses have appreciated in value faster than gold over the last decade.
Learning to develop one's technique to suit the quality of the lens is part of what photography is all about. Some people are just not interested in the challenge.

Anyone can find older Leica lenses for less than $1000. There is no non-Leica lens for $1,000 that can compete - I have some of them. If you aren't willing to spend that sort of money, you can still get Leica-lensed compact cameras that will make good looking pictures - way better than any non-Leica compact - I have a bunch of those too.

I doubt that anyone feels it is necessary to justify buying a Leica camera and lens. It is not even a discussion point. If you have the money, buy them. If you don't, then buy older lenses. Whatever you do, don't buy rubbish lenses. They can't make a good picture.

You should know that in the movie business, a cheap lens costs $50,000. There is a good technical reason for the price being so high. It is a miracle that Leica has been able to build such high quality lenses for a few thousand dollars.

The difference between a $600 lens and a $5,000 Leica Summicron is the quality of the picture produced by the Summicron which cannot be matched by any $600 lens, and probably not by any non-Leica lens. And you can see the difference in any calibrated monitor that shows the colors the lens is capable of. Harder to see in a browser that converts all colors to a small subset of the original colors.


Those Life Staff cameras and lenses were very expensive. The fact that Steve McCurry got such a good picture is due to the lens technology and the capabilities of the film to capture the colors. He has a good eye for composition - I have some of his books, and I like his work. He knows photography.

Reply from Glen Charles on 04-15-13 11:38 AM

Has this site been renamed "Art Gallery?"
No, it is "LeicaImages," dedicated to the discussion of picture making with Leica cameras and lenses.
What I want to learn is: how to use Leica lenses to create a particular expression. I cannot learn how to be an artist on this site.
I look at TClair's pictures and see that the 50mm Summicron produces an entirely different effect than the CV35 f2.5 color Skopar on the same camera, which you can see from his most recent postings.
Then I look at Sol's D-Lux 4 pictures and wonder how she can produce works of art from this wonderful camera. If I look at the D-Lux 5 pictures I see a similar effect - people are making great pictures with the D-Lux cameras.
I look at Lilia's pictures on her Fuji XE100 camera and see that not only are the pictures looking a different color than her Nex-5, but here whole approach has changed - subject matter, framing, street photography etc. Because the type of camera you use affects the way you frame the scene.

Now as far as pixel peeping is concerned: The only way you can see the effect of a particular lens on a subject, is to look at the image at 100% because if you don't your image viewer will interpolate the data and antialias the image so as to make it smooth at less than full size. I don't want that to affect the picture.

If none of this matters to anyone, then why are they posting to LEICAIMAGES. There are many sites to post to. Here what is key is that the site is dedicated to people who care about Leica photography - or I am mistaken?

I am concerned that the colors of the picture I took, that you look at in your browser, are the same colors that I intended when I made the picture. I don't want you to be distracted by noise and artifacts - which happens too often to people who post but don't know how to prepare the picture for Browser viewing. Other people could care less about color. Some are really artists who paint with the camera lens, and their interest is not in the technology - it wouldn't matter which camera/lens they used for their work.

For those who are deeply involved with the camera/lens technology - detail is very significant.

I have been in the photography business since I was working for my father at age 10. And I can tell you we studied the grain with a magnifier every time we printed to make sure the enlarger was sharply focussed. I had a huge multitiered light table and every slide was examined with a 8 times loupe to make sure it was suitable for projection. And when my son put together 1200 slides in 24 projectors for a show, with screens 20 ft x 10 ft, we ran every slide to make sure it projected well, because he was creating atmosphere.
Looking at the fine detail has always been very much a part of photography.

What we have here at LI, are a few people that are beginners to "photography." These people have come to Leicaimages to learn how to do it better, because here we talk about their photographs, whereas on most sites it is hard to get any comment on a picture.

Now, there are some photographers here that make works of art, all the time. They don't need to discuss "photography," they are skilled photographers already - they need no advice. The rest of us do.
Those who know, should tell those who don't, so that everyone can improve his/her work.

If all we do is pat one another on the back, then we are not going to stand up to be counted. With enough pats on the back we are more likely to fall flat on our faces.

On LI are 2,000 members, 20,000 pictures and 16,000 comments which has to be a first for any site. But only 2000 pictures actually have comments, so 90% of the pictures have not stirred anyone to make a comment.
5,000 pictures come from 10 photographers, who also receive the bulk of the comments.
So, I guess that of the 2000 members, 1800 have never received any comment on their work.

This is not right.
What is it? That we think the picture is not worthy of a comment? Then we should help them to improve their picture. At least we should should comment on what is turning us away from the picture. It may be a composition problem, a technical problem with the image, an exposure error etc.

If anyone can post whatever pleases them, to hell with the quality of the picture, then why come to LeicaImages - goto another site where no one cares what quality is posted.
Here quality counts. Or why is this site for Leica camera owners?

Regarding flaws that can't be seen:

If you are using a profiled monitor, with a color aware Browser (Only Safari, Firefox and Chrome - Android doesn't have any color aware browser.) and you have 20/20 vision (glasses on), you will see flaws in any picture at normal viewing distances. Any other device won't display the colors properly - unless the poster has embedded the sRGB color profile in the image.

A picture with flaws that are visible to the naked eye, is an eyesore. It is like listening to MP3 music and thinking that it represents how the music originally sounded when performed. MP3 is horrible to even my old ears - damaged through playing Rock and Roll for five years in the 60's. Listen to Apples high quality uncompressed downloads - that's all I listen to on itunes.

When you can see green and red splotches in skies and seas, while sitting back in your chair, then the image is no good - even if it has some artistic merit - it is not worthy of a Leica photographer. No artist would make the mistake of putting in colors that detract from the painting.
Perhaps this is one reason that there are so many fine color cameras and color lenses being used to make B&W pictures - it is too difficult to make good color pictures?

It is difficult to make good color pictures for the WEB. I have many books that discuss the difficulties. And there are many forums on the WEB where this topic is discussed. Some people have gone back to film because of the difficulties - because they care about image quality.

So, here I for one, and several of you like to talk about the issues so that we can do it better, because there is a lot of satisfaction in solving a mystery.

Reply from Jt on 04-15-13 7:35 AM


I for one love the art. One of my favorite source for great photographs has always been the old issues of LIFE magazine. Some of the work in that magazine is unparalleled. Simply put, that is my favorite source of documentary / life photography. For the most part most of those images when enlarged are fuzzy, grainy, out of focus and have many other characteristics which would be considered defects by today's pixel peepers. However, I don't see those image flaws. I only see the artistic value of those great pictures.

I think what is happening these days is that many people are spending lots of money on their cameras and lenses. Lets face it, $7000.00 for a Leica 50mm f2 lens is simply outrageous. And people try to justify thier expense by pixel peeping. If they spent 7000.00 on a 50mm lens and I spent 600.00 on my Nikon 50mm lens, it would only seem logical that the images from the 7000.00 Leica will be better than that from my 600.00 Nikon. Therefore, people try to justify the expense by pixel peeping.

Look here and tell me if you even think once about pixel peeping OR here

Also, look at this: Taken with a Nikon 105mm f2.5 ( cost is about $175.00 )

By the way Sol, excellent topic of discussion.
Reply from Sol Marrades on 04-15-13 1:23 AM

In my opinion:
In the digital age there is an obsession with the "sharpness", for perfection ...
There is an obsession: "pixelmania"
Obsessions are not too good because we lose perspective of the reality.
The reality is imperfect. We all want to make it "perfect"
Personal Reflection:
Do we want to play at being "Gods"? Do we want to overcome naturally what nature offers us?.
Perhaps we are all a little crazy? :)
The digital pixel is equivalent to "noise / point" traditional or analog.
We've all seen images of great photographers (with analog system) having "noise / dots" ... And all accept them as they are.
Why in the digital age we demand perfection?

In the outdoor environment there is always "suspended dust."
About us For a photo shoot and then we try to eliminate the "dust in suspension" try "to disguise the reality" ... why?

I, sometimes, I add "noise / points" to my work. However, I'm thinking that you must seem very strange, is not it?

There is another thing I do not understand:
You buy cameras or lenses extraordinarily mágnifias, seeking perfection. However after you apply software filters that remove all the presumed perfection. To me this does not make much sense.
You guys are saying?

Thanks for your opinions.
I hope more collaborations ... I think it's an interesting topic to discuss and listen to different points of view.
You always learn a lot.
Good luck in your shots!
Reply from Jeremy on 04-14-13 7:58 PM

When I was learning this craft, 20+ years ago, I was taught about proper viewing distance. Something to the effect that you look at an 8x10 print at about 45 cm. You are absolutely correct, you don't stick a print against your face to look at it. It is far too easy to zoom to 100% and look at that image on a huge screen for flaws.

I am doing this with my wife with our wedding photos. I have ended up printing many of them to demonstrate that the minor flaw seen at a 100% screen image is hardly discernable in book-sized prints.

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