A quest for the ultimate, beautiful, meaningful picture

Hardware again: what you see is…what you criticize

In this blog I wanted to focus on photos and their content. Still, every now and again I threw in some remarks on hardware (my camera’s and lenses’ limitations) and software (my use of LR2, for instance). So this time I cannot refrain from remarking on the use of a good monitor. I had the pleasure this week of trying out an Eizo monitor–not a super-professional one, but a ‘mid-range’ CE-series wide screen of 21″ (Eizo CE210W). Something a serious amateur might still afford. And was it an eye opener! It promises to show sRGB, not the biggest colour space, but at least they say what the monitor can do–you don’t find that on the “normal” brand monitors.

And the combination of good colour representation and a fairly good size (21″ as I said, 1600×1000 pixels (rounded down)) gives you a very crisp and detailed view of your photos. They never looked as bad as this–gee, does one get critical of sharpness, colours, and all other technicalities! So again, I am not writing about photo content, but a good monitor shows how many conditions have to be fulfilled before you can start thinking about a good photo. It gets ever more difficult–but I’ll keep going! Stay tuned, once we’ll get there. I hope…

Now this focus on sharpness, colour space and what not may be a typical photo-club amateur view: do you have to be technically perfect to make a photo that is saying something to your viewers? Does technical perfection not stand in the way of creativity, intuition, use of the ‘decisive moment’? Is it not a problem of photo-club pictures that they are always striving for technical perfection only, forgetting about the artistic communication?

I suppose that there is a bit of a tension there, and that many amateurs (including me) should try to focus more on the content than on the form/technicalities. There is another side to it, of course: creativity is not a license to ignore technical high standards (I don’t want to say ‘perfection’). And that can be trained; technical correctness must become like second nature, something you do without taking your thoughts from trying tomake a meaningful photo. In turn, that means photography has to be trained like any craft or skill: do it often. Repeat, repeat and repeat till you know what your camera and other equipment without do even looking at it. ‘A thousand repetitions and suddenly perfection emerges from one’s true self’ How comes I end with a zen-saying again?


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