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POTD......

Posted by Matteo Chinellato  
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Matteo Chinellato June 06, 2011 08:37PM
I have waith some time for seen if the quality of the 2011 POTD they improved but nothing, today another photo, of a nice subject, but out of focus and with to much grain visible. If I well remember, the POTD have to show a rare or not rare nice mineral with nice photos, but for the moment only few in this year they are able to call POTD, and this is say not why I am a photographer, but from many opinions just arrive to me via email o personaly say to me during mineral shows etc...but this persons not have the courage to speack open in the forum.
What is it your opinion on this?

Mindat Page

http://www.mindat.org/user-5018.html


Attrezzatura e tecnica sono solo l'inizio. È il fotografo che conta più di tutto. (John Hedgecoe)
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Debbie Woolf June 06, 2011 09:48PM
I think your 'standards' are to high !! Personally I enjoy many photo's regardless of 'perfection' or not ! Some may say you should 'count your blessings' as you have been richly reward with countless POTD whereas some of us mere mortals have never been given that privilege.


:P
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Roger Lang June 06, 2011 09:57PM
Hi Matteo,
in my humble opinion the POTD is not a showroom of the best photographers who can afford a Z-stage/software or are high end skilled in macro and or micro photography. POTD is a clip of the mindat philosophy. I agree with you so far that there have been pics as POTD which are not high end photographs .. but i think this is not the aim of the topic. As a photographer you may rule the pictures by technical measures. According to that i should never have had a POTD myself but it is the combination of subject, uniqueness AND in last part photo skill .. otherwise we would end in endless micrographs with z-stacked pictures (i like those, but boring if too much). I know your photographic skills but that´s not all that counts ...
I specifically liked the iron ball picture from the german quarry crushing stuff recently ..

BTW i mailed you these days ;) parcel ready

cheers
Roger

PS Debbie, ack



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/06/2011 09:59PM by Roger Lang.
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Norman King June 06, 2011 10:52PM
I remember someone saying that the POTD is, well, it's the POTD. No rules. Who knows what will be chosen next?

But I agree with Roger--without Z-stacking in photomicrographs, you won't get many POTD's.

I'd like to see more variety. Maybe each WEEK (to ease the load on editors and not dilute photo quality) there could be a photomicrograph, a mineral macrophoto, and a site locality or some "other" such as an analytical curve, a thin section, or a fluorescent photo. Macrophotos have different standards for crystallography and "clean lines" than photomicrographs. And analytical photos and thin sections are in a different world altogether. What's wrong with that?

My two cents worth.

Norman King
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Alfredo Petrov June 06, 2011 11:24PM
The POTD is only partly a showplace for photographic skills. Many other factors can into the judgement of how interesting a picture is.
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Joseph Polityka June 07, 2011 02:04AM
I enjoy the POTD because the photographs are high quality with sharpness and depth, especially the micros. I don't have the equipment or the skills to duplicate what is see on the POTD which is evident in the photos I post. My goal is to give Mindaters an idea of the type of specimens I collect but also to give them a handle on what is found at classic and obscure locations and the museums I visit. Some times I get lucky with my photos and other times I end up with a blurred mess, especially when I have to photograph through dirty and thick safety glass at a museum. That's what seperates the pros from guys like me. I figure if I stimulate photographers to visit museums and shows they will be able to make better photographs of the specimens. For example, I have tried many times to photograph specimens like the Newmont Azurite at the AMNH and never have gotten a good picture.

Either way, common minerals like the rainbow limonite (?) that was POTD recently are really spectacular and deserve the award.


Best,

Joe
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Jeff Weissman June 07, 2011 04:33AM
You do not need expensive equipment, fancy computer software, etc. to take good pictures. Any point-n-click will do, as long as the basics are followed - compose the subject, focus on the subject, adequately light the subject, and pay attention to the background, highlights and shadows. This will do for almost any specimen in which the important subject is more than about 2-3 cm. For anything smaller, then the fancy stuff is required. There are plenty of images posted everyday that meet the definition of good pictures. Some deeply colored minerals, azurite and dioptase are examples, need better control of lighting, but not out of reach for anyone with a little patience and imagination - use a milk jug for a diffuser, etc...

Watch out for - too small subject matter as compared to the image size, all or part of the important areas out of focus, bad lighing or badd color balance, lighter areas blown out, darker areas blocked up, subject merging with the background. I have made some of these mistakes in a large fraction of the 9000+ mineral images I have made; making good images is a learning process, as is selecting good images.
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Jeff Weissman June 07, 2011 04:33AM
You do not need expensive equipment, fancy computer software, etc. to take good pictures. Any point-n-click will do, as long as the basics are followed - compose the subject, focus on the subject, adequately light the subject, and pay attention to the background, highlights and shadows. This will do for almost any specimen in which the important subject is more than about 2-3 cm. For anything smaller, then the fancy stuff is required. There are plenty of images posted everyday that meet the definition of good pictures. Some deeply colored minerals, azurite and dioptase are examples, need better control of lighting, but not out of reach for anyone with a little patience and imagination - use a milk jug for a diffuser, etc...

Watch out for - too small subject matter as compared to the image size, all or part of the important areas out of focus, bad lighing or badd color balance, lighter areas blown out, darker areas blocked up, subject merging with the background. I have made some of these mistakes in a large fraction of the 9000+ mineral images I have made; making good images is a learning process, as is selecting good images.
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Christian Auer June 07, 2011 04:33AM
I really appreciate your pics Matteo, I also think that you are the most experienced fotographer here on mindat especially for light effects.
As professional fotographer you live in daily competition on this subject.
But that`s not the case here on mindat!

For me for example, POTD is absolute not my goal. It was funny that I got it recently but the main issue for me is to add unusual and classsic pics from Austrian micromounts. Its easier to make a good pic of a good specimen. But what`s with the ugly stuff. Just made a pic of ugly black coatings from uraninite from an extremely unique locality. Noooo way to get ever POTD with it. Should I throw it away (the pic is sharp and good but shows ugly stuff) or should I add it here for scientific reasons? So POTD isn`t my goal at all.
If some others think that pic is still great it still can become POTD, if I or you want it or not ....
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Jeff Weissman June 07, 2011 04:47AM
Christian - you are correct, in my opinion, as long as your image is nicely composed and focused, with good lighting, then why not POTD even if the subject is a crust? My issue is with the quality of the images, we can all do better! The subject matter of POTD is an entirely different discussion, and I for one, would find a nice picture of crusty rare minerals or from unusual localities more interesting than another flashy cabinet specimen, which perhaps is a good reason why POTD is selected, independantly, by a group of people, so we get a nice mix,
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Donald Vaughn June 07, 2011 05:00AM
I really hope POTD does not descend into a competition amongst highly skilled and experienced photographers. POTD to me is just a picture of interesting things that I might not otherwise catch in my daily perusal of Mindat. I am not suggesting that excellent well taken Photos don't have a place which they certainly do,but I love to see a picture of a headframe or a mine adit or a picture of a significant specimen.
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Matteo Chinellato June 07, 2011 05:11AM
a example, the POTD of today for me is not a POTD, and normaly Lavinsky have nice photos

Mindat Page

http://www.mindat.org/user-5018.html


Attrezzatura e tecnica sono solo l'inizio. È il fotografo che conta più di tutto. (John Hedgecoe)
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Evan Johnson (2) June 07, 2011 07:33AM
What does it harm? It's beautiful, and interesting.
If one doesn't like the picture, then they can wait for tomorrow, no?
Personally, I liked the photos yesterday and today, regardless of their artistic perfection.
A professional photographer could attack their artistic merits, just as a person specialised in hyperrare minerals could say they are too mundane, just as a fluorite collector could complain about any other species at all, etc.
From my perspective it's just something interesting and new every day.
Just a thought.
EMJ
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Rock Currier June 07, 2011 08:39AM
I would prefer that the POD show me stuff I haven't seen before and that makes me think and teaches me something. Often enough they are just pretty rocks, but far better ones exist.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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Harjo Neutkens June 07, 2011 08:46PM
Matteo, I think the quality of photography has improved considerably over the last couple of years.
Let me give you some examples of recent POTDs:

Tony Peterson


Yaiba Sakaguchi


Jean-Claude Dol


Michael Bainbridge


Frédéric Hède


Yannick Vessely


Volker Betz


AM Mizunaka


Petr Fuchs


Fred Kruijen


Harold Moritz


These are only a few from the last three months, I could go on for ages..... Not only are these very nice specimens, but also from a photographic point of view every single one of them are by all means outstanding. We can all learn a lot from them.
Compare the level of photography to that of, let's say, five years ago!
Another thing. The POTD is not an aesthetics or photographic skills competition. The POTD should be a photo that is interesting either from a photographic point of view (technically, aesthetically, etc), from a geological point of view (interesting structures, localities, etc), mineralogical point of view (rare mineral, outstanding specimen, interesting habit, thin section, etc), it can show the fun of collecting rocks or it can show a very special person: http://www.mindat.org/photo-254180.html .
But most of all: It's not a competition.

Cheers,

Harjo



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/07/2011 09:11PM by Harjo Neutkens.
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Chris Mavris June 07, 2011 08:58PM
"But most of all: It's not a competition"

So true!!!
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Matteo Chinellato June 07, 2011 09:15PM
yes this is nicest, but many others are many mary poor of quality

Mindat Page

http://www.mindat.org/user-5018.html


Attrezzatura e tecnica sono solo l'inizio. È il fotografo che conta più di tutto. (John Hedgecoe)
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Donald Vaughn June 07, 2011 09:43PM
I will remain silent now



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/07/2011 10:33PM by Donald Vaughn.
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph June 07, 2011 10:23PM
"Photo of the Day" is not just about photographic skill, it is about showing something of interest.

You may not like the photos that we have chosen for POTD, but that's your opinion.

Our opinion is that WE like them, and in this particular case, it's our opinion that counts!

Jolyon
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Harjo Neutkens June 07, 2011 10:52PM
but many others are many mary poor of quality

Non è vero Matteo. I could post many more from the same couple of months that are equally good or interesting.
How about these:

R Tanaka


Stephan Wolfsried


Enrico Bonacina


Branko Rieck


Rafa Munoz


Cindy Hasler


All from the same last couple of months. Should I go on? I can......

Matteo, you're a very good photographer, I think all here at Mindat will agree with that, The point I'm trying to make is that there are also quite a few other very good photographers as well here. And that's great! We can all learn from each other (for instance, two new members from Japan have recently posted photographs of a standard I have never seen before!)
Furthermore, taste is something very personal, a debate about taste is fruitless. You can express your taste, we all can, and I welcome that. But taste has never been established into a standard, never has been and never will. Different people, different tastes. I can like a Rothko painting, but I know many that don't. I could try to convince these people about why the painting is so great. But they would still not like it, whatever I try, just not their taste. But I like it, and that is enough for me.

Cheers,

Harjo
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Roger Lang June 07, 2011 10:53PM
i second Norman Kings opinion .. POTD is POTD
And for me it is the uniqueness which is the first criterion .. second a rare or uncommon form, third a good photograph, fourth etc etc ... but in the end it is what those who choose it like on that specific day. No questioning about that to me. This is not a showroom or a competition for photographers ... there are other forae for this (like fotocommunity.de in GER). There has been a time i remember when there were complaints about "every day a micrograph from italian contributors as POTD" ... same issue, same answer .. there were good and unique photographs. I think that mindat would best proceed with POTD as it does now, a nice mix of great photos from the technical POV, interesting sites, astonishing views etc. That means more to me than a row of high end pictures i also could buy as calendar or book. If i want that i would do so.

BTW... Donald, your post changed recently ... i think you made a valid point wrt to critics - did you censor that yourself?. But i also have to defend Matteo - first he is a great photographer, i really like his work also outside the mineral world and second he was very kind to grant me use of his photos for some info displays in the past without any charge (only credits) and provided high res files lightning fast .. so give him a break. I understand his critics from the technical POV but in this case it doesn´t hit the "soul" of the POTD.

Cheers
4 cents ;)

Roger
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Russell G. Rizzo June 08, 2011 01:01AM
Roger Lang Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> i second Norman Kings opinion .. POTD is POTD
> And for me it is the uniqueness which is the first
> criterion .. second a rare or uncommon form, third
> a good photograph, fourth etc etc ... but in the
> end it is what those who choose it like on that
> specific day. No questioning about that to me.
> This is not a showroom or a competition for
> photographers ...

For myself as well; POTD is what it is and should stay that way. Also, I look forward to each afternoon when there is a new POTD posted. Its like getting a small gift every single day of the year.
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Dean Allum June 08, 2011 03:43AM
I would like to commend Matteo on posting an apparently unpopular opinion in his attempt to improve the quality of mindat.
You can tell that he is passionate about his work, and I hope he continues adding to the database.

I have wondered about the name for Photo Of The Day. Would it be more appropriate to call in the Picture Of The Day to cover digital scans, Scanning Electron Micrographs, postcards, watercolors etc?

-Dean Allum
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Matteo Chinellato June 08, 2011 04:34AM
I critics the technical POV of the photo, not the mineral show. Probably I look to much the photo under the view of photographer, normaly, example today nice pyrite, but background out of focus, ghosts on borders etc.... all problems its easy take off with a normaly photo program. Also the eye wants its part, not only the mineral eye

Mindat Page

http://www.mindat.org/user-5018.html


Attrezzatura e tecnica sono solo l'inizio. È il fotografo che conta più di tutto. (John Hedgecoe)
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Roger Lang June 08, 2011 08:23PM
Hi all,
Dean, i do not think that Matteos opinion is unpopular .. his critics are based on a technical POV and certainly valid. But in my opinion (and i read that others second that) it is not photo of the day but picture of the day, as you wrote .. you have my FULLACK. It is part of the mindat philosophy of a user driven database and forum. Sometimes i also wondered what the criterions were to choose the POTD .. but if you leave the path of technical perfection to the joy of everdays surprise what the POTD may bring one can enjoy it thoroughly. BTW i happen to know how the iridescent limonite POTD from a few days ago was made. Technically maybe very unorthodox but a great subject and certainly worth it - i really enjoyed.

Matteo, you criticise ghosts on borders etc. From the technical POV valid, but not everybody has Photoshop or GIMP (ok, freeware but rather complicated) or else with blue-fringe filters, contrast mask etc. - and without profound knowledge of those correcting filters in pixel editors you are lost as an amateur. I think that having a POTD is encouraging people to contribute and it should be encouraging yourself to contribute more of your excellent pictures as there will be some more POTDs for sure.

Cheers
Roger
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph June 08, 2011 10:57PM
The best way to help improve the quality of POTD photographs is to help teach people how to make their photos better!

Jolyon
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Paul Brandes June 09, 2011 02:57AM
I honestly love seeing what the POTD will be, no matter the subject or the photo quality. The professional photographers will always critique any photo no matter what forum it is presented in; maybe a little constructive criticism is a good thing here (lord knows we could use some of that for the Identity Help photos). While I have no problem seeing the best of the best minerals, I fear that if popular thought wins out here, the users of Mindat will lose seeing the spectacular localities some of these minerals come from, as well some very pretty rocks and geologic features because the photo isn’t perfect.

My one concern I do have is that Jolyon stated “The best way to help improve the quality of POTD photographs is to help teach people how to make their photos better!” However, as I read your homepage Matteo, I see the line “Please don't write to me for ask informations on my photography techniques, its my work and I not speack of this, thanks.” You are a great photographer Matteo, but if you want to see better photos for the POTD, why won’t you share some of these coveted photography techniques? B)
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Matteo Chinellato June 09, 2011 05:19AM
Paul Brandes Wrote:

You are a great
> photographer Matteo, but if you want to see better
> photos for the POTD, why won’t you share some of
> these coveted photography techniques? B)

hello, sorry no, time ago I have speack of some techniques with a person, with the resulted he have use this for to steal me some mineralogical works in a book, from that moment I never give any photo info. Good ok, but not idiot.

Mindat Page

http://www.mindat.org/user-5018.html


Attrezzatura e tecnica sono solo l'inizio. È il fotografo che conta più di tutto. (John Hedgecoe)
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph June 09, 2011 07:35AM
Matteo complains that most people do not have enough skill to create good photos for mindat, but is reluctant to share his techniques for better photos because more good photographers reduce his ability to sell images commercially.

this seems an insolvable contradiction to me.

Thankfully there are plenty of photographers who are willing to share their secrets, including of course Jeff Scovil, who is running workshops on advanced mineral photography techniques at our Mindat Conference soon.

Jolyon
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Matteo Chinellato June 09, 2011 07:54AM
no problem, my opinion is this and I not change for sure....the same I say to who in Italy ask to me some photo info. Its my work, is not a my hobby. Others photographers its free to say what they want. I want seen after when others photographers ask a low price from what they ask, and seen clients lost.
I not know in what you work Jolyon, but you are happy if other persons have ask info on your work after they offer the same your work for lowest prices and you lost your clients why they go where the price is lowest?

Mindat Page

http://www.mindat.org/user-5018.html


Attrezzatura e tecnica sono solo l'inizio. È il fotografo che conta più di tutto. (John Hedgecoe)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2011 08:01AM by Matteo Chinellato.
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Harjo Neutkens June 09, 2011 08:48AM
Matteo, photographic techniques can be learned by anyone. Good photographic techniques only don't make a good photo. Artistic values (like composition, clair-obscur, balance etc) however can't be learned. Either one's an artist or one's not.
Take for example Fred Kruijen or Jean-Marc Joannet, whom I consider to be probably the best micro photographers around. Fred and J-M share their techniques with anyone showing a real interest, yet I've never seen anyone else being able to make such remarkable photographs as Fred's and J-M's! That's because Fred and J-M are artists, and true art can't be copied. Technique is only a vehicle.
Sharing ones knowledge and skills is what makes a place like Mindat very valuable. And if you are very honest Matteo, you also benefited from the skills shared with you by other photographers. I can send you the long topics we wrote on the old Strahlen.org forum, and then have a look at the progress you made. We all did, and that's great, it's the way to get to higher levels. Imagine that I, and the rest of my fellow professional musicians would say the same: "I won't teach anyone to play his/her instrument the way I do because I'm afraid he/she'll become a good musician and will steal some of my work"
That sounds a bit ridiculous, doesn't it?
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Matteo Chinellato June 09, 2011 08:53AM
Harjo Neutkens Wrote:

> That sounds a bit ridiculous, doesn't it?

for me no sorry

Mindat Page

http://www.mindat.org/user-5018.html


Attrezzatura e tecnica sono solo l'inizio. È il fotografo che conta più di tutto. (John Hedgecoe)
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Harjo Neutkens June 09, 2011 09:15AM
No??
That would mean that we can close all conservatories, academies of Art and universities!
If I have a very good student, it makes me proud, and it also makes me look closer at my own skills, and improve myself as a consequence.
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Matteo Chinellato June 09, 2011 09:20AM
a school its a school, a personal work its a personal work...a question is if I open a photography school and I teach what I know to others, another its a personal work

Mindat Page

http://www.mindat.org/user-5018.html


Attrezzatura e tecnica sono solo l'inizio. È il fotografo che conta più di tutto. (John Hedgecoe)
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Harjo Neutkens June 09, 2011 09:36AM
That's your choice Matteo.
The discussion has strayed a bit from the original message, being the quality of POTDs.
I think I showed enough good quality photos from the recent POTDs, and if we want to have an even higher standard, and that's what your initial post was all about, I think by having an active photography board where people share their skills we can raise that level. But, of course, it remains your own choice if you want to share or not. I respect that choice.
And I'll still like your photos very much Matteo ;)
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George Eric Stanley Curtis June 09, 2011 10:12AM
This is a mineral site.
If you want technically brilliant photographs, go to a photography site.


Brilliant photographs cost money, in terms of equipment.
Many mineral collectors cannot afford such expensive equipment, mainly because they are mineral collectors first and formost, and not photographers.

That is my opinion, for what it is worth.

Regards
Eric B)

United Kingdom, Cornwall
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Evan Johnson (2) June 09, 2011 10:22AM
I'm sorry, but to me this seems very selfish, and not in the "I need to make a living" sort of way. To come on to a site that is provided for free to the end-user and complain about the quality of yet another free offering? And on top of it claiming some kind of trade secret technique instead of sharing information despite having benefit from that in the past? And presumably the future? So only the best photographers with the best equipement should get free publicity? This seems more like a feeling of entitlement and indirect self-promotion rather than wanting to enhance the pedagogical functions that the site offers. I would hope that that kind of mentality would be selected against, despite the quality of the offerings, in future choice of POTD.
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Matteo Chinellato June 09, 2011 10:27AM
George Eric Stanley Curtis Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is a mineral site.
> If you want technically brilliant photographs, go
> to a photography site.
>

the site its free and all its free to say the personal opinion, fur sure you are not the boss to say to another: go to another forum to speack of this.

Mindat Page

http://www.mindat.org/user-5018.html


Attrezzatura e tecnica sono solo l'inizio. È il fotografo che conta più di tutto. (John Hedgecoe)
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Dan Fountain June 09, 2011 11:07AM
Matteo Chinellato Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ... example
> today nice pyrite, but background out of focus,
> ghosts on borders etc.... all problems its easy
> take off with a normaly photo program.

First off, I have always been highly impressed by Matteo's stunning photos of micro specimens.



When I look at the photo in question - I'd rather call it the picture in question - I see an aesthetically pleasing pyrite group with interesting striations and realistic color. Background out of focus? Huh? To my eyes, (admittedly not optically perfect) it's a flat field of white with nothing to be in or out of focus. Ghosts on borders? By the time I blow it up enough to see this, the borders look jagged because of the low pixel count - it's only 465 X 428 pixels, fer chrissakes!

I guess I'm not sensitive and artistic enough to be offended by this terrible photo. ...and I can't see the emperor's new clothes, either.

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Frank de Wit June 09, 2011 11:25AM
Real love is about sharing...

So, here I explain my photosetup -> http://www.mineraltravel.com/webshop/photography/
My pictures are by far not as good as the real Maestro's, but I stand on the shoulders of giants like Jean-Marc, Fred, Gerhard, Harjo and many others who helped me the last years. Thanks to them I can do what I do now, and learn a little more every day. Matteo, your pictures are among the best in the world, please do share your knowledge!

Cheers, Frank



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2011 11:28AM by Frank de Wit.
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David Bernstein June 09, 2011 11:30AM
As long as the picture is not just a glorified advertisement for a specimen on sale elsewhere- my pet issue, the POTD could show an out of focus donkey hauling ore out of a mine for all I care.

Reminds me of my other passion, live music, one man's spectacular soundboard recording is another's audio nightmare. Can't please everyone.
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Ralph Bottrill June 09, 2011 12:25PM
Matteo, you are very welcome here but you need to understand that most Mindat users feel that technical perfection is usually only a small part of a good mineral picture. George just meant that photo forums may be more appropriate for more elite photographers to display their skills, we generally are happy here to see interesting minerals, etc, including yours.

Regards,
Ralph
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Modris Baum June 09, 2011 02:49PM
Matteo,

Comments such as yours are not constructive. In fact they are destructive.

When I first joined Mindat I was fortunate to have a few POTDs.
Almost immediately people like you started to question MIndat's judgment.
Well - I didn't come here to get whined at.
So I requested management that my photos be removed from the "pool".
Is this the reaction that you are looking for?

I have no illusions that my photos have either the technical or artistic quality of a great many of Mindat's generous contributors.
But I think that (at least some of) my photos are useful and that's all I want.
I'm a firm believer in the 80-20 rule - 20% of the effort for 80% of the benefit.
Life is too short. There are other things to do.
So I'm not willing to invest either more money or more time to attain perfection (assuming that I even could).
And I think that even you will agree that mere technical perfection does not make for an interesting photo.

Like many of the respondents, I have no problem whatsoever with Mindat's choices for POTD.
They provide a good cross section of ALL types of INTERESTING "stuff".
And - unlike your comments - they encourage participation and growth.

Modris
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Vítězslav Snášel June 09, 2011 04:22PM
All, what I can do in mineral photography taught me my friends on Strahlen (Jean Marc Johanet, Harjo, and others) .
Each of my request and resolved to show me the way forward.
I absolutely agree with Harjo - not the technology and procedures, but only the head and imagination of photographs and training - not technics.

I am ashamed to show here my photo-setup because the setup is absolutely primitive and made ​​at home - Not using any high-technolgy ;) .

But thanks to my friends - and what it taught me - I can even with this primitive technique decent photos. And here and at this place I say: THANK YOU FRIENDS about it !

All photographs on Mindat are great inspiration for me but unfortunately my knowledge of English allows me not to actively participate in discussions about the mineral photos.

Without friends, I never could not such photos as for example here http://www.mindat.org/article.php/885/Agates+-+hidden+beauty

Vita



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2011 04:43PM by Vítězslav Snášel.
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Volker Betz June 09, 2011 05:26PM
Hello,

I just like to remeber what the theme of this messsage board is:

Discussions on best techniques for mineral photography

To critism the technical quality of pictures and also to say I dont speak about how to improve techniqe and dont tell how I do is destructive as Modris says.

The expression of a picture is a result of content, art ( aesthetic), technical quality plus the imagination of the photographer.

In over 30+ years of photographing minerals I learned that individuals see pictures completely different as we see minerals different. Some like the beauty of Agates and others the crystallographic forms and most like color.
If a picture has interesting content and some aesthetic and it is technical not to poor ist is ok.
I personally dont like pictures of destroyed landscape e.g. quarries but I can accept that is an interesting object for others.

Concerning technical tips: There some literature how to improve quality of mineral pictures. Unfortunately most beginners accept only simple and cheap and easy guidance without many reading and with instant good results.
But like in other activities: To play needs an instrument, talent, knowledge and practice, practice......

Matteo, I like your pictures, but as you can see in this discussion giving hints would be better than harsh critism.


Regards

Volker
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Liam Schofield June 09, 2011 06:16PM
I can only agree with others and say that by fare, the POTD shouldn't necessarily be the best picture, it should be the most informative and ideally one that is an educational piece.

An example for you; when a prospective, amateur collector arrives at the site, the first thing they see is, obviously, the home page. The POTD can therefore be representative of the content of the site both as an aesthetic piece, but also as an informative object. In many ways, it is the same for those who frequent the site regularly in that the POTD can provide insight into areas that were previously unknown, of specimens many had no idea about or simply of something of general interest. I think the key then, is that aesthetics should not become the be-all-and-end-all. We need only refer to pictures of historical content, maybe 20+ years old, where the image quality is not necessarily high but the content is of great value.

Just a few cents on the subject...! ;)
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph June 09, 2011 07:18PM
Just to be clear...

We do not want to force anyone to tell their secret photography techniques if they do not want to!

All we want is for people to contribute what they are happy to contribute, whether it is photos, knowledge or more.

Also, it is perfectly acceptable for someone to question the way we choose photos.

I do not mind that Matteo has asked the question, and it has created a useful debate.

My response to Matteo was that we are not going to change the way we decide which photos to select - and that all we can do now is to help everyone improve their photography skills so that better photos can be chosen for POTD. If Matteo is uncomfortable about helping with this, then no-one here would want to force him to do so.

However, I will say to Matteo that now we have heard your views on the quality of POTD, I do not think you should raise them again! The answer will remain the same.

Jolyon
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Paul Brandes June 09, 2011 07:41PM
I can agree with that!

I only raised the question of how someone can criticise something and then not be willing to help improve it because it goes against everything a learning resource such as Mindat stands for. If Matteo wants to keep his photographic secrets to himself, I'm cool with that; I'm guessing most of the best techniques can be found in photographic books anyway. I just don't believe it is right or fair to criticise something if your not willing offer suggestions to correct the issue at hand.

And, I just want to re-iterate that I like the current format/mix of POTD photos and feel it shouldn't be changed, even though I've never had a POTD.... (:P)
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Roger Lang June 09, 2011 08:15PM
My last post (i hope) on this topic:
i agree with most stuff that has been written and i think i made my POV clear - coherent with quite some bunch of regular mindaters. To criticise Matteo for NOT revealing his photographic techniques while he is making a "complaint" about lacking photographic quality is also valid but i respect his attitude as it is part of his living, as a professional photographer. And his criticism is - despite of his unwillingness to share techniques, albeit not the philosophy of most contributors here - really valid from the technical POV. It is a question of the definition of POTD. If we summarize this thread, i get the notion that it is not a Photo of the day but Picture of the Day. This should be kept by all means IMO.

Anyway, i enjoyed this discussion .. always keeping in mind that with a cheap Canon Powershot you may get the one or other Picture OTD B)-

Cheerio
Roger

P.S. Volker .. quarries are not destroyed landscape, they are windows to earths history ;) ... i was at the Geopark Westerwald-Lahn-Taunus meeting on tuesday and this is quite an official POV ...



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2011 08:19PM by Roger Lang.
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James Pool June 09, 2011 09:24PM
Speaking of POTD, I was wondering why there wasn't an ongoing thread for the discussion of the individual pictures that caught your attention? An example for me would be that amazing multicolored limonite photo of a few days back. It's just so different from the usual yellow, brown to black earthy limonite. Other photos that caught my eye would be the ones with "impossible" crystal shapes in microcrystals that are never seen with the naked eye. A single thread for such comments and discussion seems a good idea to me. I know the first thing I go to when accessing mindat is seeing the picture of the day regardless of whether it is a location photo or of a mineral.
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Peter Andresen June 10, 2011 03:13PM
James, if you look at the menu under the description of every photo, there is a button named "create talk page". If you click on this you will start a discussion on the talk pages here on the forums.
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Jeff Weissman June 10, 2011 06:38PM
Would be nice to have a few comments on the POTD - why it was selected, what feature was attractive to the person(s) who picked it as POTD, to get the discussion started...

Separately, perhaps we should be making much better use of the currently existing Photography forum. Although there are many photo websites/blogs/forums in the wild, most are focused on insects, B/W, landscape, specific brand equipment or general photography, our's is a specialized interest. Here we should be posting pictures for constructive criticism, share pointers for better pictures, and share techniques, equipment - especially bargain equipment, for better images. I would be happy to moderate the forum.
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James Pool June 12, 2011 07:26PM
I was thinking more toward a catch all thread similar to that seen in the scrapbook section such as Gail's Favorite of the Day. I think that would generate more interest if all POTD discussions were in a single thread rather than a single talk page for each single POTD. That would reduce clutter in the talk section which I see more as of a site where people put their minerals/locations up for discussion because they want to know more about them.

I'm not sure where such a general POTD thread should be at: Scrapbook, Mineral Photography, or in the Talk section? Mineral Photography seems a bit too specific as it doesn't account for location photos which can be in POTD or other non mineral subject matter such as museums, maps etc. Putting it in the Talk section could work except that it's already divided into three sections: Locations, minerals and photos. The Photo section there is probably best for that approach. The Scrapbook section is quite active but is there really a need for more catch all threads there? My vote goes to the Photo section of the Talk section to help generate more interest in that part of the forum as it only has 550 posts compared to 3259 at Mineral Photography ;and a whopping 21534 at Scrapbook!
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