General Question

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Does it bum you out when pictures aren't that good?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (19041points) October 3rd, 2010

Ok, so every time my step-sisters’ have a game (soccer, football, basketball, volleyball… they play a lot of sports) my father brings his camera. His insanely nice, $2000+ DSLR camera with 15 different expensive lenses. The last time I saw him doing this, I told him that people use to just use a really crappy point-and-shoot to capture the sentimental pictures. He said “Yeah, but those pictures were really shitty”, to which I replied “I don’t think amazing quality was the point…”

But then I got to thinking: Maybe tons of parents are really bummed out that the picture of their kids playing sports and hiking and going off to homecoming weren’t really amazing quality. Maybe he’s right, and I’m wrong.

So, jellies, were you/are you bummed if sentimental pictures didn’t have great quality, or were you ok so long as they captured the memory?

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28 Answers

TexasDude's avatar

As a regular Holga user, I’ve come to embrace poor quality and unexpected results as charming and “human.”

I usually prefer high quality and sharp images when I’m using digital though. I guess it just depends on the medium for me.

Seaofclouds's avatar

My pictures don’t have to be amazingly high quality, but I do get upset if what I think will be a nice memory ends up being a really crappy picture. I just recently got a new digital camera because of that. My old one was almost 10 years old and it was starting to show. I love my new camera. It’s not the best one out there, but it is nice.

muppetish's avatar

A close friend of mine is a semi-professional photographer who carries expensive cameras with him everywhere. He asked me to shoot pictures of the group as they played games in an arcade. They didn’t come out too well because I didn’t know how to adjust the light settings, or switch to a mode that wouldn’t blur action shots. I am a simplistic point and click person. He told me the photos came out weird and it was hard to find good ones. It was frustrating. I didn’t volunteer to play photographer.


I like how crisp and vivid expensive cameras can be, but I also enjoy the mood cameras like Holgas, Dianas, and Polaroids (or Fujifilm Instax) deliver. The only photographs I genuinely dislike are the ones most mobile phones take.

I shoot using a 12.2 MP Fujifilm. It’s small and gets the job done. The only thing I don’t like is the sounds it makes, the noise I get when shooting in low-lighting and the lack of a zoom feature when filming video. I think it’s a good trade-off for the price tag.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Using your example, @papayalily, I think it depends on the individual person. Some are snapping shots just for memories, others may be more naturally-inclined toward the art of photography and thus, recognize that their photos could be better in terms of clarity, composition, etc.

I do get bummed out when my pictures aren’t good. This is because I see and feel a shot before I snap, but the trick is translating that moment to a photo. Not always easy. I marvel sometimes at how lovely something is while I’m standing there, yet no matter how I try, I cannot capture its essence in a shot.

I’m also bummed when there’s a really good shot and only seconds to snap it.. so I snap as much as I can before the opportunity passes, and then later go back and find every picture is blurry, or the lighting is shit, or something else. That really sucks because you can’t go back and take another shot. :)

ducky_dnl's avatar

I hate when pictures don’t turn out perfect. I usually delete it and keep trying until I get a perfect picture. I mean it bothers the heck out of me, but I can live with it if someone else has taken it and they don’t post it where people can see it.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I like them to be high quality when I use my photos for painting references because I like alot of detail.As for photos of events that I inflict on friends and family,I don’t care as much.I should get them made into slides to really torture them when they visit! XD

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille I would totally torture people with slides if it weren’t for the insane cost (or at least, insane for someone on a student budget).

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Not really. Portraits and spontaneous recordings are two different things to me.

meiosis's avatar

In the immediate moment after taking the picture, it can annoy me if the quality isn’t high, but the pictures of my kids I treasure most are the ones that trigger an emotional response – the quality is of secondary importance.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I settle for open eyes, closed mouths, not blurred or grainy, no fingers in front of the lens—which means I have about 95% of our photos as totally useless, and should be tossed, but they’re kept because they’re all I have. The ones that are truly wonderful are prized, and generally framed.

I have to agree with your father. But there are ways to get great pictures these days that don’t involve a big production. As a suggestion for for a Christmas/birthday gift for him, I offer up the book, The Best Camera Is the One You Have With You by Chase Jarvis. Inspired by Chase Jarvis’ lecture at the 2009 Idea Festival, this photographer is posting a photograph-a-day taken with his iPhone camera. He uses various iPhone photography apps to create different effects. But ultimately, this is phone camera photography.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@BarnacleBill Yeah, that wouldn’t work. I mean, it’s a great suggestion on your part, he’s just a crazy person who doesn’t listen to logic or rationale…

BarnacleBill's avatar

Then perhaps identification as a photographer is important to his self-worth. Perhaps he wanted to be a creative and settled for being something else in order to pay the bills.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@papayalily -You can always have them gather around your camera’s lcd screen as you s.l.o.w.l.y scroll through XD

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I’ve got, and have always had, some pretty decent cameras. But I seldom use them. I have very few photos (and I lost a lot that I did have in several house moves and a long-term separation). What I do have is a lot of memories, and the kids and others that I shared them with. I might lose them (the memories) someday, too, and at that point not even photos would be worth a damn.

So for me, having a few nice photos is like dessert after a great meal: the meal won’t be ruined if I don’t have dessert, but if all I had was dessert, I’d be missing a lot.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@BarnacleBill He hasn’t settled… he’s a surgeon and went through several other post-bachelor degrees before deciding on that. It’s not so much the creativity (which he dismisses) so much as the insecure, overachieving need to be so good at everything that his armature is kicking the ass of professionals in a vain attempt to win the love of his parents and thereby, himself.

I think that the point of taking a lot of photos is to remember the moment. It’s helpful if fingers aren’t over the shutter, and eyes are open, and everyone looks a base level of presentable, but it’s ok if you don’t look like a model. He, on the other hand, believes that the best way to remember what I looked like when I was 16 was to spend 4 hours photoshopping the acne off my face (and I had to talk him out of giving me a virtual boob job…).

It’s a sore spot between us.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille I do that already. It’s amazing how fast some of my friends can go through a pitcher of pina coladas…

Cruiser's avatar

I have a high quality point and shoot that kicks out 8+ megapixles…and love the spontaneity and great results of the little bugger. What is also great is you can take a ton of shots and one is bound to come out good! I though am a film nut and miss using my long lens rig as it makes a huge difference in getting those really amazing shots.

BarnacleBill's avatar

LOL. You’re just going to have to chalk it up to “all parents are weird in their own special way” and your father’s manifests itself as a photo nut. This thread is making me think of the book, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@BarnacleBill He’s weird in a lot of different ways. This is actually fairly sane for most of his crazy crap. But books trying to persuade him to open up to new ideas don’t work.

YARNLADY's avatar

No, we have a little point and click camera that hooks up to the computer and spits out all the pictures we take. Hubby keeps nearly every single one, even the ones our three year old grandson takes.

MissAusten's avatar

It depends on the situation. I get really frustrated if I can’t get a decent photo of the kids for a holiday card, or posed in their Halloween costumes, or sitting in front of the Christmas tree…drives me crazy! I turn into evil Mommy. Out of 20 or 30 pictures, we’ll be lucky to get one or two with all three kids smiling, eyes open, fingers out of noses, no bunny ears. A couple of the “bad” pictures turn out to be really funny, and we keep them anyway.

Usually though, I don’t get too upset if pictures don’t turn out great. The best thing about having a digital camera is being able to immediately see that the photo sucks and trying again! I have a great camera now: my first DSLR. One of the things I’d love to do is get some additional lenses and take some photography classes. I love to take pictures, and am really happy with my camera. In my mind, I take photos like this.

In reality, I take photos like this Not bad, but clearly not in the same league!

For most memories and fun times, I’m perfectly happy with the photos as long as they are in focus and halfway decent. They don’t have to be perfect, artistic, high-quality photos. Just good enough to remember the mood and feelings of the moment, maybe tell a funny story or remind us of little things we might otherwise forget!

woodcutter's avatar

I always use the one time use 27 exp with Fugi film and they look pretty good at least for my purposes. I’m not that artsy fartsy about pictures. We have a 5mp digital that frustrates me with too many settings to get right and it chews through the batteries so we have to carry a pouch of those too. It isn’t good for those shots where something is happening NOW and won’t be there much longer. It is nice to be able to see the pics right away though. The thing just seems too delicate.

Brian1946's avatar

It used to back in the 70’s when I had a Canon F1 and was really into photography.

The F1 was stolen when my pad was burglarized in April, 1980.
I never bothered to replace it and now as long as I can recognize the subject in a pic, that’s AOK with me. :p

augustlan's avatar

It frustrates me that I suck as a photographer, period. It doesn’t seem to matter what kind of camera I use, most of my pics are bad, brother, bad. I actually have my 12 year old take any pictures that I want to be sure will turn out good. That’s how bad I am. So, obviously, I don’t care if my pictures are perfect… but I’d at least like them to be clear, not too dark, and not have cut off anyone’s head.

NaturallyMe's avatar

I suppose a poorly captured pic to preserve the memory is better than no pic at all. But i’m definitely bummed if something comes out blurry, or whatever. I like good quality pics, because it just looks nicer to me.

Marmeduke's avatar

The quality has to be good enough. I don’t look at those kinds of shots in the same way as ‘art’ photos, or intentionally interesting/beautiful pictures. It’s about the people and the memory.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@NaturallyMe But it’s more about if everyone had their eyes open and there were no fingers over the shutter than if it was taken with a 10 megapixel camera or a 12?

NaturallyMe's avatar

@papayalily Now see, the eyes open thing would bother me less, because it kind of captures the moment, even if some didn’t have their eyes open. :) Something blocking the view of what i was actually trying to capture (like the finger) would bug me because i (maybe) missed out on what i wanted to catch. But all in all, i prefer a pic that’s not SO blurry that you can clearly see it’s out of focus really badly. Slightly blurriness is ok in certain photos, but if it’s really bad it just about ruins the pic. And it’s no good scrapbooking or framing photos that are really blurry.

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