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so-called 'record shots'!

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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 09:21   #1
Jhanlon
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so-called 'record shots'!

Apologies for having a slight rant at such a trivial matter but this bugs me for some reason.

Why is there a trend for photographers to post to galleries such as Surfbirds perfectly good photos which are then labelled 'record shot'? Is it false modesty? Are they implying they're such great photographers that this shot is for some reason 'below-par'? Perhaps this topic has been raised before and it's a bit of an in-joke? In my book a record shot is poor quality, probably fuzzy or grainy but still probably identifiable. Of course if you really are posting a record shot there's no need to state as such as we can all see that that is what it is - the photo can speak for itself! I'm sure there could be much more informative acompanying text such as camera settings used, equipment, distance from bird etc etc. Maybe I'm alone on this one but I'm keen to hear others' thoughts!

James
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 09:37   #2
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It is the same on the photo critique forum here, some folk post up cracking pictures presumably so that can get all the "great shot" comments.

Still it doesn't harm anyone.
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 09:47   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhanlon View Post
Apologies for having a slight rant at such a trivial matter but this bugs me for some reason.

Why is there a trend for photographers to post to galleries such as Surfbirds perfectly good photos which are then labelled 'record shot'? Is it false modesty? Are they implying they're such great photographers that this shot is for some reason 'below-par'? Perhaps this topic has been raised before and it's a bit of an in-joke? In my book a record shot is poor quality, probably fuzzy or grainy but still probably identifiable. Of course if you really are posting a record shot there's no need to state as such as we can all see that that is what it is - the photo can speak for itself! I'm sure there could be much more informative acompanying text such as camera settings used, equipment, distance from bird etc etc. Maybe I'm alone on this one but I'm keen to hear others' thoughts!

James
Agree - unless bird is barely visible or about 5 pixels, the term should not be used. Even then, it's obvious so why say it...

cheers, a
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 09:57   #4
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I've noticed that too, I suppose its just people being modest really and there's worse things happening in the world but i must admitt it does bug me a bit when you see people apologising for shots you'd be over the moon with.
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 10:09   #5
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A few reasons this might happen

1. The photographer wouldn't normally post images so wants to add it as a record of the bird being present.
2. The photographer wouldn't normally post an image of such low quality (in spite others thinking it is good - this is subjective after all), and is just citing that the post is for the record.
3. Most photographers are there own worst critic and can see the faults in their own work more than the casual viewer may. In fact photographers reject many great images because of minor issues that become the focus of their attention - rather than the bigger picture. So to them it may be a record shot.
4. There is no definition of what a record shot is.

Some users who add for critique may be looking for some positive reaction - though Flickr would be a better place for this. There is no such thing as a perfect picture - every image could be critiqued for one reason or another. I know I can find fault in all my pictures.
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 10:34   #6
Roy C
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Conway - ebirder View Post
A few reasons this might happen

1. The photographer wouldn't normally post images so wants to add it as a record of the bird being present.
2. The photographer wouldn't normally post an image of such low quality (in spite others thinking it is good - this is subjective after all), and is just citing that the post is for the record.
3. Most photographers are there own worst critic and can see the faults in their own work more than the casual viewer may. In fact photographers reject many great images because of minor issues that become the focus of their attention - rather than the bigger picture. So to them it may be a record shot.
4. There is no definition of what a record shot is.

Some users who add for critique may be looking for some positive reaction - though Flickr would be a better place for this. There is no such thing as a perfect picture - every image could be critiqued for one reason or another. I know I can find fault in all my pictures.
I agree with Marcus here especially on point 2 & 3. I have sometimes posted pics in the gallery which are below my usual standard technically but have only posted because it is a rare(ish) bird - I would sometimes label this as a record shot.
The trouble with picture standards are that 'one man's meat is another man,s poison'. A novice may post a picture that he believes to be good whereas a better photographer may considered it to be well below his standards therefore if he posted such a pic he may well label it as a record shot only.

I do agree about people who post superb stuff in a critique forum that are obviously just looking for praise - I usually go out of my way to find some critique for such post's lol
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 13:05   #7
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A record shot for me would be one of a new bird, since my life list only includes birds i have photographed sometimes a duff shot will have to suffice until a better shot can be achieved.
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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 15:00   #8
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All my photos are record shots. Sniff, sniff, sob, sob. (That should do the trick.)

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Old Tuesday 12th July 2011, 15:14   #9
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Well,

A record shoot for me is a photo that documents the presence of a bird, no matter what its quality is -as long as the bird is recognizable. That's my definition.

As a photographer a great bird photo in my books is not just sharp and correctly exposed. There is a bit more that matters, i.e. composition and impact, and this puts an image from the "just" a record shoot category to the some sort of art category.
Based on this the rarest bird on a stick may qualify "only" as a record shoot. As a birder I am thrilled to see it, as photographer I may have one or the other remark going through my head ......

Sure there are folks that downplay the quality of their images, and this can be seen as a subtle form of bragging and it sometimes is.

Critique is a different story. Some of those looking for critique on some "cracking" shoots may be aware that they mastered the technical side -envied by many- but still look for feedback how to improve the shoot by changing , processing, aspect ratio, crop etc. In such matters 3 people may have 4 different opinions, and each is perfectly valid.

Question is if this here is the best place to look for this kind of feedback, as a lot of birders see just the bird and not the entire image. A better place to put images up for this kind of discussion and feedback may be

www.birdphotographers.net

As the name implies here birdphotographers look at images, not birder.

Ulli
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Old Friday 15th July 2011, 21:04   #10
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I'd also add that online we only see, generally, photos at 1000pixels on the longest side at most; more rare is the sharing of fullsized photos. As a result its very easy for a photographer to develop with little to no actual understanding of the fullsize quality that their peers and contemparies are producing.

This ties to learning how to "read" a fullsized photo, and with the lack of comparisons from others its something that can take a long time for a person to learn. They can easily make assumptions that the fullsize quality of others photos is far in a way superior to their own.

In addition there are many who assume that the "greats" never make any adjustments or that they make ones which are tiny only; as such they can view their works as lacking if they have to do even minor work (eg noise reduction and sharpening).


Finally, as said, there is not site/general definition of the term "record shot" and as such is something that can vary greatly between person and person and can even have two or three different meanings depending upon the situation (Eg the record shot that is poor quality - against the record shot that is simply a record of the day (quality not considered) .
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Old Saturday 16th July 2011, 09:31   #11
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Marcus has summed it up perfectly IMO.
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Old Saturday 16th July 2011, 10:22   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhanlon View Post
Apologies for having a slight rant at such a trivial matter but this bugs me for some reason.

Why is there a trend for photographers to post to galleries such as Surfbirds perfectly good photos which are then labelled 'record shot'? Is it false modesty? Are they implying they're such great photographers that this shot is for some reason 'below-par'? Perhaps this topic has been raised before and it's a bit of an in-joke? In my book a record shot is poor quality, probably fuzzy or grainy but still probably identifiable. Of course if you really are posting a record shot there's no need to state as such as we can all see that that is what it is - the photo can speak for itself! I'm sure there could be much more informative acompanying text such as camera settings used, equipment, distance from bird etc etc. Maybe I'm alone on this one but I'm keen to hear others' thoughts!

James
What I find more of an irritant, on Surfbirds especially, is of page after page of shots of the same bird, a number of which ARE poor quality. Not sure why people feel the need to post these when there are far better pictures on already. Is it a need see their names on the 'net or to prove to "he who must not be named" (slipped in a little Harry Potter there)(no Gary Glitter jokes please) that they were there?

Phil
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