Saturday, August 27, 2011

Oils or Acrylic?

It's all a question of brushwork.
I have always been of the opinion that you use whatever tools you have your disposal to get the shot and you get it the dang best you can. I was never loyal to a paint company when I would do Oils on huge 5 foor canvases...Liquitex, Windor & Newton, Grunbacher...I used whatever I had at my disposal. I guess that is one reason why I have never really understand the whole 'brand wars' thing. People are so fierce in what they shoot, always of the belief that whatever system they have in their hands is the absolute best. Always knowing that this little voice is whispering inside their head and in their ears saying "psst relaity check, it isn't the camera you donut!"

If you frequent sites like dpreview in their forums then you have surely seen it. All the 'my camera camp is best' kinds of posts. Maybe I have moved on some, or maybe I just outgrew it all, I am not sure, but one thing sis for sure and that is these days I seem to be more focused (no pun intended) on the making of the image itself. The whole technique of photography, the ability to catch the light whne it is at it's finest and best. Sure, new cameras excite me, I won't ever deny that, but it all seems so secondary these days. I want to know the best locations in Colorado to shoot, go there, experience them with the gear I do own instead of worrying if the latest camera takes great high iso images nicely.

Speaking of dpreview, I was recently reading the Sony dslr forums and saw some complaints about how the upcoming a77's jpeg images at high iso are not to good and I kind of sat there for a moment and just shook my head. Thinking why on earth would someone spend basically $2,000 on a new camera and lens and then turn around and shoot jpeg images with it? Maybe I don't get it...but if it was up to me, I would eliminate jpegs all together on entry level pro camera to begin with so they only shoot RAW. It made me kind of wonder, and I think it is that which maybe seperates the boys from the men, or in this case, the serious photographer from the occasional hobbyist. Jpeg is the devil and shooting with it is like taking your wedding photos to 1hr photo to be processed. To each their own though.

Gear. Who cares what you shoot. WHo cares what brand you shoot. As long as you are happy and getting what you need out of it, is all that matters. It's all secondary when you are standing in the middle of an amazing landscape, doing what you love to do and living out the experience itself. It's all about "brushwork". So, oils or acrylic?

"The Sunworshiper"-From a recent photoshoot of the Colorado sunflower fields on the eastern plains


  1. That's why I switched to watercolors! ;) I'm mostly of the same opinion though, but a basic setup of decent quality equipment is indispensable to "technically" good photos or paintings for that matter. The true Masters will still produce the odd masterpiece, even if all he has is a napkin and pencil.

    Ron Clifford

  2. Great write John.
    Totaly agree with you. When I started photographing I was really concerned about quality and what gear.. nowadays I don't deny that I don't have an expensive set of tools but are those who help me to get what I want from the scene. And I don't care if it is Nikon or Canon or Pentax.. I just need quality and control over my equipment.

  3. Here I go on my Nerd Binge. I've been following news on the a77 for some time - the replacement for my beloved a700. None of the current a77's are even production cameras - they're ALL pre-production models without final firmware. How the hell can you realistically evaluate image quality on a pre-production model? "Ive heard there's a lot of detail smearing from noise reduction in JPGs" - really, from a pre-production camera? Go figure. I think the reason all current images from an a77 are shot in JPG is that none of the major image editors can manage the new format RAW files (if everyone saved RAW files as native DNG, that would be so much easier, but that's another rant). Long story short - it's not the tool, it's who uses the tool and how they use it. BTW - I'm planning on getting the a77 as soon as it's released - it's the camera I've been waiting for for years. It's not better than anything else, it's just what fits my style the best.

  4. You have beautifully taken a great picture of this sun flowers. They look so very attractive on the outcome of this photo.