Hanging out with Creative Commons’ Joi Ito today

I just got an invite from DotSub’s CEO, Michael Smolen to come along with him and Joi Ito to see Larry Lessig’s last speech on Free Culture. Weird, seeing my last post. Of course I’ll put part of it on my Qik channel! By the way, my Qik videos now automatically show up on Seesmic as well. Hopefully YouTube soon. If you’re near Stanford you can come too!

Some more thoughts about photography at Davos — here’s what separates me from the pros (there were a ton of the world’s best photographers at Davos):

1. The pros had better lenses. Some of the lenses they were carrying around were $8,000 each. I only had a single 50 mm lens.
2. The pros got closer. Sometimes only inches closer but often much closer than I could get (especially when we shot Condoleezza Rice).
3. The pros shot more. I sat right next to them and they easily shot 10 times more images.
4. The pros are better at seeing “key moments.” They would anticipate when someone was about to do something interesting and machine-gun the shutter.
5. The pros had editors. I’m sure that of the thousands of images each pro made that their editors only let their very best work hit the media. Me? I posted a lot more than they probably did.
6. The pros didn’t just shoot the main action. One photographer I was watching kept shooting everyone EXCEPT for the person talking. She was getting great reaction shots that were more interesting than mine.

That said, they were jealous of the Nikon D3 I was carrying. They knew it was more sensitive to low light. One pro told me he couldn’t afford to give up his Canon lenses, but if he could he would.

27 thoughts on “Hanging out with Creative Commons’ Joi Ito today

  1. I noticed that photographing the person talking definitely does not make for the best shots. People pull weird faces when they talk. And they’re not still (if you’re doing it no-flash).

    People listening are usually a much better source of portraits, in my opinion.

  2. I noticed that photographing the person talking definitely does not make for the best shots. People pull weird faces when they talk. And they’re not still (if you’re doing it no-flash).

    People listening are usually a much better source of portraits, in my opinion.

  3. @11 actually no a pro or even a semi pro would have the proper wb set for the conditions. Very easy to do with a Nikon. Nikom has superb auto wb adjusemts. My D300 is virtually flawless in auto wb. So I must go back to blaming the photog not the camera

  4. @11 actually no a pro or even a semi pro would have the proper wb set for the conditions. Very easy to do with a Nikon. Nikom has superb auto wb adjusemts. My D300 is virtually flawless in auto wb. So I must go back to blaming the photog not the camera

  5. Steve: I used automatic white balance. I did not process any of these pictures. A professional would have brought them into Photoshop and would have adjusted the white balance there. Heck, a real professional would have carried a white card and would have done manual white balancing.

    As for focus: that’s why professionals shoot 10x more photos. I was watching the real pros and their focus was just as bad as mine (it’s hard to get it right when shooting a 300 F2.8 wide open) but they shot so many, and kept checking to make sure they got good ones.

  6. Steve: I used automatic white balance. I did not process any of these pictures. A professional would have brought them into Photoshop and would have adjusted the white balance there. Heck, a real professional would have carried a white card and would have done manual white balancing.

    As for focus: that’s why professionals shoot 10x more photos. I was watching the real pros and their focus was just as bad as mine (it’s hard to get it right when shooting a 300 F2.8 wide open) but they shot so many, and kept checking to make sure they got good ones.

  7. @8 that very well may the case. I guess I should qualified it by saying “if based on scobles pictures”. As Thomas pointed out.the wb is off on a majority of the shots. Plus the framing is amateurish and focusing marginal. Proving the adage: its not the camera its the photgrapher. Its unfortunate that some may base the petformance of the D3 on these P&S quality pictures.

  8. @8 that very well may the case. I guess I should qualified it by saying “if based on scobles pictures”. As Thomas pointed out.the wb is off on a majority of the shots. Plus the framing is amateurish and focusing marginal. Proving the adage: its not the camera its the photgrapher. Its unfortunate that some may base the petformance of the D3 on these P&S quality pictures.

  9. I don’t think anything could look LESS professional than “doing everything in HDR”.

    And yes Steve, I know of several professionals working for national and global newspapers who genuinely covet the D3, but can’t switch because of their Canon affiliation. Having handled and shot the camera recently, it is definitely a step beyond every DSLR presently in terms of low light shooting — the ISO 6400 is amazing.

  10. I don’t think anything could look LESS professional than “doing everything in HDR”.

    And yes Steve, I know of several professionals working for national and global newspapers who genuinely covet the D3, but can’t switch because of their Canon affiliation. Having handled and shot the camera recently, it is definitely a step beyond every DSLR presently in terms of low light shooting — the ISO 6400 is amazing.

  11. “That said, they were jealous of the Nikon D3 I was carrying. They knew it was more sensitive to low light.”

    If they were truly pros, I very much doubt that.

  12. “That said, they were jealous of the Nikon D3 I was carrying. They knew it was more sensitive to low light.”

    If they were truly pros, I very much doubt that.

  13. Oh surely you are too modest, Mr. Scoble. There are many people in the British Empire who wouldn’t hesitate to call you a pro.

  14. Oh surely you are too modest, Mr. Scoble. There are many people in the British Empire who wouldn’t hesitate to call you a pro.

  15. I’m all about the Leicas… best camera I’ve ever used. Even their less expensive models are top notch compared to far more expensive stuff.

  16. I’m all about the Leicas… best camera I’ve ever used. Even their less expensive models are top notch compared to far more expensive stuff.

  17. Christoper,

    HDR won’t help you with photographing people in poorly lit places. People have a tendency to move around.

    Robert,

    The reason why photo journalists shoot 100 shots of what seems to be all the same is because they are looking for that one photos which shows an expression that will fit the news stories headline.

    As for audience shots, they usually have two purposes. Firstly to establish a scene. They might be used in a multi-page article in a magazine to show a different angle people haven’t seen already in the news or daily papers. Those shots are also put on file and might be used in a different context at a later stage.

    I find it interesting that the first differentiating point you mention is photogear related. The reality is that what really differentiates them from you is that they probably have a few years experiencing of covering live political events and know what will happen just before it actually happens. This allows them to be in the right place and get the right angle at the right time. It’s 40% talent, 40% experience and 10% the camera/ lens.

    From your D3 photos on flickr is look like the white balance in a lot of the tungsten lit shots is somewhat off to the point where people have serious yellow fever… personally I wouldn’t want to trade my Mark III’s for a D3 if those are the results you get.

  18. Christoper,

    HDR won’t help you with photographing people in poorly lit places. People have a tendency to move around.

    Robert,

    The reason why photo journalists shoot 100 shots of what seems to be all the same is because they are looking for that one photos which shows an expression that will fit the news stories headline.

    As for audience shots, they usually have two purposes. Firstly to establish a scene. They might be used in a multi-page article in a magazine to show a different angle people haven’t seen already in the news or daily papers. Those shots are also put on file and might be used in a different context at a later stage.

    I find it interesting that the first differentiating point you mention is photogear related. The reality is that what really differentiates them from you is that they probably have a few years experiencing of covering live political events and know what will happen just before it actually happens. This allows them to be in the right place and get the right angle at the right time. It’s 40% talent, 40% experience and 10% the camera/ lens.

    From your D3 photos on flickr is look like the white balance in a lot of the tungsten lit shots is somewhat off to the point where people have serious yellow fever… personally I wouldn’t want to trade my Mark III’s for a D3 if those are the results you get.

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