Jump to content

What 'bad' photography advice have you heard?


Patrick Cooper
 Share

Recommended Posts

There is some misinformation about photography out there, particularly on the Internet. Though you can also find it in the real, physical world as well…sometimes given out by people who should know better. Ive heard a few classics in my time.

 

On one particular occasion in a lab in South Australia, the woman behind the counter was giving advice about using long exposures to blur rushing water during daylight hours. She warned not to have the shutter open too long because the earth rotates.

 

!!!!!!

 

I could not believe my ears!

 

More recently (in another lab in SA) I was enquiring about prices for various print sizes. That’s all I wanted to know at that stage…I hadn’t specified as yet what format or medium I would be printing from. The guy who owned the lab stated that 8 x 10 inch prints are not full frame. Huh? Really? Well, what about all the large format photographers out there who shoot 8 x 10 inch sheet film, and for that matter, 4 x 5? I myself shoot 6 x 7 cm medium format film and that enlarges nicely to 8 x 10 with little cropping. I had noted previously that his price sheets included 120 as well as 35mm so you'd think he would know.

 

So what bad, misleading or strange photographic advice have others had? Whatever it is, please add it to the thread. For newcomers to photography, don’t take anything in this thread as sound advice. It’s really more for light hearted amusement than anything else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dumbest thing I ever heard had to do with image quality of various formats. I was due to screen a new documentary at a fest, being held in a theatre equipped with a top of the line Sony 4K projector. I provided a full-res version of my doc to the fest runners on a hard drive, and didn't hear back from them. I assumed all was well, yet when I attended my screening, to my utter horror I found they were showing not the version I gave them, but a file RIPPED from the single layer DVR screener copy I had originally submitted with my entry form!

 

When I confronted the man in charge of handling the films, he said something about my file being unusable because it wasn't progressive (a lie, it was), and then he said, "But no worries, a DVD rip is the same quality."

 

It was at that point that I knew I was working with an idiot. Needless to say, next time I'll be overseeing my own films projection!

 

BR

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

Over the years i've heard the following statements:

"Interlaced is better than progressive - it has smoother motion on my Avid monitor." (about 2x a week)

"Don't use the in-camera ND filter - rather shoot at f22 with a 150 shutter."

"A DOF adaptor has the same image and color as a RED."

"DVC Pro50 is FullHD."

"The tapes which we shot shall be stored in the back of the van next to the car-stereos subwoofer."

Lab-call: "Sorry, we opened your film can and it was exposed to daylight because it wasn't in a black plastic bag."

"Jumping over the cameras axis can be easily corrected - we just flip the image in post."

"We are gonna do a 5 hour time-lapse with a DV-camera and in the end have 10 seconds of final footage."

 

I could go on and on...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<seriously for a moment>

Lab-call: "Sorry, we opened your film can and it was exposed to daylight because it wasn't in a black plastic bag."

Anyone who ignored the universal convention of putting raw stock in a black bag and then in a can and taping around the edge of the can did so at their own risk. I've no sympathy for this one.

</seriously for a moment>

 

But on the lighter side, the best story I heard out of a consumer photo counter was the customer who picked up his envelope of postcard size prints from a D&P service, shuffle through them to check they were his, and complain that hey had all been printed upside down.

 

On stills again, re the original comment - 8x10 not still frame? Well if you have shot 35mm film it's 24mm x 36mm which is 1:1.5. 8x10 is 1:1.25 so it's not full frame - you'll be cropping quite a lot. And 120 film may be shot in a variety of aspect ratios, but square isn't 1:1.25, neither is 6cm x 9cm. Same with most digital formats.

 

PS loved the video in the previous post. What a wally! The model looks bored witless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PS loved the video in the previous post. What a wally! The model looks bored witless.

 

Too many moments of pure cringe - notice the part where he says you should ask permission before touching a model then proceeds directly to touch her without asking permission ? Maybe if you drape a model in chicken wire its ok...

 

I thought it was a piss take, but if you follow your nose around it links through to some photography course. I'm surprised there isn't more slating of the guy on youtube, at least someone calling someone else gay or a douche or whatever... But it doesn't attract much noise for whatever reason

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dominic Case: "On stills again, re the original comment - 8x10 not still frame? Well if you have shot 35mm film it's 24mm x 36mm which is 1:1.5. 8x10 is 1:1.25 so it's not full frame - you'll be cropping quite a lot."

 

But who mentioned 35mm, other than yourself? In that particular conversation in the lab, I certainly didn't, neither did the owner of the lab. He stated that 8 x 10 is not full frame. That is basically implying that there is no format within film or digital that can be printed 'full frame' in an 8 x 10 inch print. This is not really correct as i have mentioned at least a couple of film formats that do share that same aspect ratio.

 

"And 120 film may be shot in a variety of aspect ratios, but square isn't 1:1.25, neither is 6cm x 9cm."

 

True but 6x7cm certainly is.

 

"But on the lighter side, the best story I heard out of a consumer photo counter was the customer who picked up his envelope of postcard size prints from a D&P service, shuffle through them to check they were his, and complain that hey had all been printed upside down."

 

 

Classic!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • Sustaining Member

The Chairman of a university Photography Department who declared film was dead...and proceeded to junk a full color lab. Yes, I said JUNK, sent it to the maintenance department's dumpsters. Fortunately the faculty convinced the idiot not to junk the darkroom and B&W lab gear because it would be useful to teach students why digital was so much better.

 

He retired a year later, now they've got advanced students shooting 4X5 Sinars in the studio and field. A couple of the students have even bought 4X5 Graflexes for themselves off eBay...including an absolutely pristine ex-Marine Corps Crown Graflex.

 

The thing the "fad of the moment" people never grasp is there are a lot of young people out there who really enjoy "Old School" techniques and appreciate what silver can do for an image. There is some humor in watching the kids shoot film with 60 year old cameras while using their iPhones to run photographic calculator apps.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I had been shooting a lightning storm on negative film and let a local lab do the developing. I really enjoy shooting lightning and had been doing it for a number of years. The lab owner looked at my prints and asked me what settings I was using for shooting the lightning. I correctly stated that I had been using Bulb. To my surprise, he seemed to be insinuating that I was wrong for doing that. He said what I should be doing is keeping the shutter open and wait for the lightning strikes to appear during the exposure time.

 

Hmmm....which begs the question....how do you keep the shutter open without using the Bulb setting? That had me stumped. Well, I guess you could use the T setting but none of my cameras have a T setting. One could also use a pinhole camera!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Not really bad advice, but about a year ago I wanted to get a few different lens mount adaptors to use non-Canon lenses on my 5Dmk2. I tried around a few of the photo stores in London, each time I got a mini-lecture in how this was a terrible idea and will result in rubbish images - what with them being old glass, having no autofocus, not being able to focus at infinitely.

 

Anyway, for the last few months I've only used the Canon lens I got with a camera only a few times. I've mainly had Nikon DX, Olympus OM and Bronica lenses on the camera since I loaded up on mount adaptors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Fine grain film = sharp film.

 

Also, re: Grain - It is be all end all. Shooting a high school football game at night under the crappy lights? NO! You don't want to use 1600 ISO film. It's too grainy it will look like crap! You want to use 200 ISO for its finer grain (never mind the 1/4 second shutter speeds you'll be getting for some lovely blurry - but fine grain - photos.)

 

That $20 plastic, 4.5 ft tall Walmart tripod is plenty strong sough to hold your Mamiya RZ67 with 150mm lens. :blink:

 

Nikon is better than Canon.

 

Canon is better than Nikon.

 

Don't waste space storing all those pesky negatives. If you want more copies, you can just get copies from your prints. (Yeah, for 10 times the cost of a reprint from a neg).

 

Giclée prints are the highest quality prints you can get. They must be, they have a fancy French name! (French for "ink jet.") :unsure:

 

"TTL" on the flash dial means "Total." That means "Full Power."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not really bad advice, but about a year ago I wanted to get a few different lens mount adaptors to use non-Canon lenses on my 5Dmk2. I tried around a few of the photo stores in London, each time I got a mini-lecture in how this was a terrible idea and will result in rubbish images - what with them being old glass, having no autofocus, not being able to focus at infinitely.

 

Anyway, for the last few months I've only used the Canon lens I got with a camera only a few times. I've mainly had Nikon DX, Olympus OM and Bronica lenses on the camera since I loaded up on mount adaptors.

i got the same thing, but his main issue was that the older lenses are much heavier and put too much stress on the body (dispite the fact that my zoom lens is like 4 pounds) and will eventually ruin the body mount. then he went on to tell me that i could mount manual nikon lenses directly, but it might once again ruin the mount

Edited by Damien Andre
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

"Why do we need color correction? The material is already FullHD!"

 

"Only elitists shoot 35mm film anymore. 5D Mark II has better image quality with fraction of a cost. AND it has better deep of field."

 

"I don't believe you saying that's not a good camera for this work. It's footage looks so brilliant." ( on YouTube :huh: )

 

----------------------

(Low budget indie film. Shooting on 5D)

 

DP: "But I really need those light stands. I can use the theater lights you got (for free), but can't do much with those (self-made, non-adjustable) stands. I also need some rigging parts, those lights are heavy. Renting is not so much..."

 

"And it would be fine to get an follow focus and onboard monitor, or at least z-finder etc. otherwise we'll have huge focusing problems and have to have much more retakes. Those still lenses have too tiny focus scales for this work."

"...and if I get the onboard monitor you can also use your own monitor and actually see what we are getting, 5D shuts down its own lcd if we use the video out connector"

 

Director-producer: "Ok... can't promise anything. But I think we can also do fine without them if we get short of money"

 

(Director-producer uses the camera budget to catering for extras, buying things he could have borrowed, etc.)

 

(Editing the film)

 

Director-producer: "Oh no! You lost the focus again! (take 11/12) (mourning)I don't understand why it's so damn difficult to get it right..."

 

DP: "----"

 

Director-producer: "If I only had my own monitor to see what was going on. I don't understand why we could not connect it to your 5D.... we lost too much time with those focus problems"

"(and I don't like the lighting either)"

 

<_<

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

"Fuji is a colder looking film than Kodak. It's in a green box."

 

"Kodak is warmer looking film than Fuji. It's in a yellow box."

 

Me to 5D wielding "DP" who is spinning his ISO wheel happily between speed extremes..."We just set that light, hasn't been focused or diffed and I have these things called scrims." 5D wielding "DP" to me, "No, it's alright I can just change the ISO and aperture with the 5D. It will match, no problem." Me to myself, "Can I go home then?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: The guy in the video earlier. You can smell a hack a mile away if they say "With film, it's a little hard to know what you're getting..." Do you know what you're getting? I sure as hell do. I bet Conrad Hall was surprised every day he looked at dailies, 'My God, I had no idea it would turn out like that!' Not one bit of it is guess work. That poop doesn't hold with me.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

Forum Sponsors

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Visual Products

Film Gears

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

Glidecam

Serious Gear

DMX-iT

FJS International

CineLab

Cinematography Books and Gear



×
×
  • Create New...