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Most people think their photography skills are top-notch

By Shawn Knight
May 13, 2016
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  1. Smartphones have introduced billions of people to the world of photography, the majority of which would likely have never picked up a camera otherwise. In fact, the top five most popular cameras on Flickr are all smartphones.

    Given the numbers, it should come as little surprise that smartphones have also had a hand in producing some great photographers. Of course, not everyone is as skilled as they think they are, as you’ve no doubt seen for yourself on social media.

    In honor of National Photography Month, Canon recently conducted a survey in which it asked participants a number of photography-related questions. The results may (or may not) surprise you.

    Canon found that 80 percent of respondents rate their only photography skills as good to excellent. More realistically, nearly two-thirds of those polled believe their skills have improved over the past two to five years.

    While some purists may disagree, one of the great things about digital is the fact that you aren’t limited to the number of photos you can snap. As such, Canon says 24 percent of consumers are capturing at least 300 images per month.

    Selfies are still popular, as are photos of pets and food. Ice cream is the most commonly photographed dish followed by pizza and pasta, in that order. What’s more, a whopping 80 percent of people said they capture photos during family gatherings and holidays. That’s a wild statistic when you think that just a decade or so ago, very few people were into photography / owned a smartphone.

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  2. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,555   +861

    But but its not blurry and it has a Instagram filter so it has to be brilliant!
     
  3. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Maniac Posts: 399   +207

    LOL
     
  4. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,558   +598

    How about we change that header to read, "MILLENIALS think their photography is top-notch." Which is what they believe about anything they do.

    With the exception of professional's, no one I know over the age of 35 believes they can take a picture worth a lick. And they're right.
     
    trgz, p51d007 and alabama man like this.
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,663   +774

    I would like to see these so called "brilliant" photographers handle and execute a single photograph from an 11x14 View Camera. As history has shown us, we are in an age where so many badly produced photographs are being produced that people are starting to think they really are the good ones. You cannot produce a proper architectural rendering with a cell phone or any fixed lens device. The sad fact is that there are so many self proclaimed "hacks" out there that the truly gifted photographers are slipping into obscurity and the legendary names like Ansel Adams, Weege, Eisenstat, Lange, and so many others are being forgotten, or worse yet, ignored. I shutter to think (please excuse the pun) how few of these hacks understand water-bath development, amadol, glacial-acetic acid, or hyposulfuric salts are for.

    Sadly, the best things about technology often lead to some of the worst results ....
     
    mbrowne5061 and p51d007 like this.
  6. Jack007

    Jack007 TS Booster Posts: 161   +34

    Every time someone bets me that their smartphone can take a better photo than my dslr I always win with style. There is no mistaking the power of dslr over smartphones. The gap is too wide to even think about it
     
    Lionvibez and p51d007 like this.
  7. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,333   +267

    My photography skills are terrible, I'm years out of practice and haven't shot any events in just as long. That being said I used to do photojournalism so my concept of "terrible" is probably your average smartphone user's "amazing" sadly enough.

    Also, I don't believe in spray and pray when it comes to photography which most people with a point and shoot or even dSLR prefer to use, so I want to say that counts for something in terms of ability and patience.
     
    p51d007 likes this.
  8. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 910   +386

    Not to mention the SENSOR SIZE of even a consumer grade APS-C sensor, over a pinhole phone sensor.
     
  9. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 910   +386

    When I go out shooting with my dSLR, which I've had for over 6 years (looking to upgrade this year), I typically shoot flowers, trees, rivers/streams, wildlife, airshows.
    In the spring it is typically flowers both tree & the out of the ground variety. On a 2 hour outing, I might shoot
    200-300 frames, but process less than 100. In my "olden" days of film photography, I carried a pad of paper and pen around and would write down what settings I used for each frame, since the only way to see what you shot, was to have the film developed.
    The one thing that does make me shake my head...hey, it's YOUR money, I don't care how you spend it, but I see people constantly shelling out big $$$$ for a dSLR, lens (usually just a kit lens), and they NEVER use anything but the AUTOMATIC mode! They just don't realize the creativity you can achieve by stopping down, pushing, using different settings on the camera. These are some of the same people I see when they toss photos on facebook, they go NUTS with "HDR" mode and the photos look somewhat cartoonish....hey, different strokes I guess. I'm in my mid 50's and have been shooting since the 60's with an old brownie.
     
  10. Jamlad

    Jamlad TS Booster Posts: 59   +61

    It's easy to take "good" pictures when you're taking 300 auo-focus shots at a time. In the same way it's easy to hit a target if you spray and pray with a machine gun with 300 rounds.

    Give most people an old 35mm roll film camera and see how many "good" shots they manage.
     
    mbrowne5061 and bmw95 like this.
  11. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,979   +362

    I used to have a 35mm Nikon F2 Photomic with an assortment of Nikkor lenses but after it was stolen several years ago I never replaced it with a similar quality model. My medium was mostly slides.
     
  12. CortyDK

    CortyDK TS Booster Posts: 74   +36

    Growing up with a manual pentax SLR camera I was forced to learn the meaning of aperture, iso, shutter speed, and to manually focus.

    Today with my Canon SX60HS (not a DSLR for practical reasons, I still manually set ISO, aperture and shutter time, but in good lighting conditions I use autofocus, simply becuse it is accurate, and there are no focus ring, I have to use buttons on the back of the camera to focus, and they are not as precise as a focus ring.

    I rate my pictures "Good" as they are sharp, clear, good colour saturation and well composed.

    I am not able to make Excellent pictures due to the small ccd and the lack of a proper manual focus ring.

    But hey, most pictures are now shown on a tv, which are 1080p (2 megapixel) for the most part. So it is adequate for me.

    Automatic settings are only used for family outings and late night parties when other factors may impair my senses.
     
  13. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,648   +521

    "Ice cream is the most commonly photographed dish followed by pizza and pasta, in that order."

    Is it me or is there something seriously wrong with people who take pictures of their food and pass that off as photography, more so when your using some POS smart phone camera. Is it because you painted a bowl of fruit back in grade school or high school and that's as far as your creativity goes? Or because that's what your "friends" on Facebook are doing and have no creativity of your own but crave attention and feel that's the only way to attain it.

    Photography is a very personal form of expression, it's what the picture means to you and shouldn't be about what other people think of it or how many fools "like" it, this is what's being lost in today's digital world of smart phone images, and truly is a sad thing. I wish I had my own SLR camera, but just haven't been able to put away money for it and find it hard to carry with me everywhere like a point and shoot, I understand I'm compromising on one of the most important parts of the pictures I'm taking. But as I wrote earlier, it's about what the pictures mean to me, remembering being someplace, seeing something unique, an event in time that may never occur again, and fortunately said desired effect I can make do with the camera I have. Funny enough just this morning I was looking through some of my picture from years ago for just said desired effect, and regrettably noticed how few picture I take now compared to then.
     
  14. mcborge

    mcborge TS Maniac Posts: 206   +118

    I did a bit of monochrome 35mm photography in the late eighties on a pentax SLR as part of an art and design course and I have a cheap but nice fujifilm bridge camera which is good for macro shots of moths and butterflies I get in my garden. I certainly ain't no david bailey that's for sure... not by a long chalk... I can't see for toffee, for one thing.
     
  15. FPSChris

    FPSChris TS Rookie Posts: 22

    I'd rate myself as average, I've taken some great photo's but I don't have that eye for all situations.
    Framing is my biggest downfall, although shooting on a 20mp camera I have the ability to post frame it, I've been reading books from the 80s/early 90s about everything.
    I still struggle, it's the swapping of lenses, distance and angles that gets me. I'm fairly good with my 14mm with it's 2.7f as it's very forgivable (mostly dark sky, landscape shots) but slap my 24mm on and I loose my sense of angles and frames & struggle to get anything decent without post-processing it. Really, I just don't know what the 24 is for and for my uses, the 14mm is better... It's also a full manual lense but the 24 is good for roaming about and quick holiday snaps.

    Got these on my old camera, 60d crop sensor - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyADXrjlfgk

    New camera (ok, ok... it's night in this one but I struggled to frame it due to FF body of the 6d then over exposed 30-50 shots) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwUkgDmmigg
     
  16. EClyde

    EClyde TS Guru Posts: 706   +181

    Some people can take real good pictures most of the time. My secrets (and this is why I really like digital) take A LOT of pictures...some will turn out good, remember what you know, the camera while of consequence isn't the end all or there wouldn't be all those good Brownie or Instamatic snaps.
     

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