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pds
09-22-2005, 03:57 PM
if you (like me) believe that your camera has nothing or very little to do with shooting great pictures, you may found this link very useful. Lots of articles on image composition.
www.photoinf.com
Pds

tim11
09-22-2005, 04:45 PM
if you (like me) believe that your camera has nothing or very little to do with shooting great pictures, you may found this link very useful. Lots of articles on image composition.
www.photoinf.com
Pds
I'm not sure if your wordings really convey what you want to say, but I don't [fully] agree with your statement as is.
Why I agree: Great photos come from good photographers regardless of the camera used.
Why I don't agree: Give a better camera to a good photographer, he/she will give you even better photos.

ReF
09-22-2005, 05:48 PM
I'm not sure if your wordings really convey what you want to say, but I don't [fully] agree with your statement as is.
Why I agree: Great photos come from good photographers regardless of the camera used.
Why I don't agree: Give a better camera to a good photographer, he/she will give you even better photos.

i agree. give a skilled woodcarver blunt tools and see what happens to the crisp, clean results that used to be there. using myself as an example, before i owned a dslr system, i used to use an a80. back then, i didn't have wide and super wide angle lenses, telephotos, or fast apertures. i had limited DOF control, no bounce flash capabilities, and couldn't focus quickly or in dark conditions. manual focus was difficult, ISO performance was very poor above 200 with nothing over 400, couldn't work with RAW, and i couldn't bracket. the biggest annoyance as soft corners. obviously the equipment was a major limiting factor. now i have covered all the problems mentioned and my pictures have sharpness, details, colors/tonal ranges, etc. that weren't there before. i still have a few photos from the a80 that i think compare very well my current results, but i've been able to increase the variations within my photos so much and i'm still looking to expand the possibilities.

if the "photographer" has no skills, it doesn't matter what they're using.

if an average photographer never recieves the tools to open up new possibilities, learn new skills, and push their limits, well, how can they?

give a good photographer limited equipment, and they will most likely still be able to produce good results, but only within the limitations of the equipment.

most of the same can be said about handling post processing.

Norm in Fujino
09-23-2005, 06:48 AM
i agree. give a skilled woodcarver blunt tools and see what happens to the crisp, clean results that used to be there.

One of the problems with any discussion like this is the basic concept of "results" and how they're defined. If Ansel Adams is your standard for "results," then you need--at minimum--an Ansel-Adams view camera to get "good results." But there's much more to photography than Ansel Adams--heck, some people consider him little more than a very competent technician. Give me a view camera like AA and I can assure you one thing, my productive rate will go waaay down. The 35mm camera was pooh-poohed when it first appeared because of its smaller negative; simply wouldn't have the luxurious tonal depth of negatives from a 120 or view camera. But as people quickly found out, not all results can be judged from the same standard. Likewise, if you want Queen Anne style furniture, you have to have a certain level of tools to build it. But not everyone even likes Queen Anne, or considers the style to be anything more than one passing fad among many. Why should a photographer feel bad about not having 12fps shooting rate and clean ISO 6400 if he doesn't have the burning need/desire to do sports or stage production photography?

For me, the challenge of photography is finding out what my current equipment can do and working within those limitations, and--not wanting to sound too pompous here--deciding over time whether those limitations satisfy my own "artistic vision" <cough> without worrying about the camera's inability to do something that someone else thinks it should do. If the day comes that I think I need that "something else," I'll move up, but until then, I consider "blaming the equipment" to be a cowardly way of avoiding responsibility for my own lack of clear vision or simple ability. I have utmost confidence that my E-300 can do a lot more than I have the ability to draw from it.

The other day I was at a festival here in Japan and saw what I assumed to be a professional photographer carrying an expensive-looking dSLR around the neck, but every once in a while she would pull out of her vest pocket a cheap digicam and hold it over her head at cockeyed angles for unusual shots. Ah, Gary Winogrand and the snapshot school still lives! Who knows? The photographs she pulled from that digicam may well turn out to be more artistic than those produced by the 12MP monster around her neck.

--Which reminds me*, for a great read on photographic criticism try Janet Malcolm's Diana and Nikon, still available in reprint. The real problem (IMHO) is that far and away the vast majority of people who "take pictures" out there (and I don't mind including myself as well) have so little confidence in their own personal artistic vision that they are left relying on the technicians--the camera companies--for a statement of what the "standard" in photography is. If one is into photography as an art, as opposed to being into "cameras," one should try taking out today's equivalent of the Diana--maybe your cell-phone camera--and try making some really creative photos with it. It can be humbling.

*I know I've mentioned this book here before, but I keep going back to it for inspiration so wanna keep on mentioning it :o .

pds
09-23-2005, 11:24 AM
Tim11 and ReF, I can see your point but have to disagree.
The main reason I started this topic is because I believe that improving composition skills will do much more to achieve better results than upgrading camera gear each time there is a new one on the market.
Great pictures are made by great photographers not great (or expensive) cameras. It has very little to do with camera gear, specially regarding digital cameras.

The most important tool to a photographer is the eye.

Does someone know what kind of oil did Picasso (or any other) use to create a masterpiece.

Many may disagree. Of course camera makers will disagree. They will try to sell you their new best model.

Please follow next links to see what can be achieved with very simple gear

http://www.jessespeer.com/photo_journal/2004_06_TetonGlacier/index.html
http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=7-6468-7844-7845

Best regards

Pds

tim11
09-23-2005, 06:37 PM
PDS, my reason for disagreeing with your original statement was......... (let's go back to basic).... I had a film 35mm p&s Nikon W35 thatI used for over 10 years. It had no manual controls and didn't even have zoom function. Great camera though. I took many good photos with it but I could only dream what I could have done with a better camera. For example, I couldn't even fill the frame a lily in the pond just 4 metres away. And I painfully missed some ancient carvings on the wall of Angkor Wat in Cambodia just because they were 5 metres above the ground (and my camera couldn't zoom in).
I agree with you more now that your point become clearer. Composition techniques and creativity are very important when MAKING photograhs; that's what set good photographers apart from those just out TAKING snapshots.
No photographer worth his/her salt rush out to buy a new camera everytime there is a one in the market.

Norm in Fujino
09-23-2005, 06:43 PM
Please follow next links to see what can be achieved with very simple gear
http://www.jessespeer.com/photo_journal/2004_06_TetonGlacier/index.html
http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=7-6468-7844-7845


I had read the article about Majoli before, but I looked at it again thanks to your link, and something he said jumped out at me:

""Digital, you can see everything," he says. "I used to try to catch as much detail in the blacks as I can, and now I can see everything. It's more than I need, so I try to go back to what I used to see in the past. It's wrong, psychologically. Digital is something different than film, but I try to go back to the idea of what film could do. Film is more black. I need the blacks.""

This is relevant to something I said earlier about Ansel Adams. In my brief formal training in photography (two courses at a junior college in the late 70s) the "standard" was the zone system, where you expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights. The ideal was to get all the detail possible out of the shadows without blocking out the whites. But as Majoli's work points out, that ideal is only one possible among many. Most of the shots in that article are high-contrast monsters to work with, big patches of black with no detail visible (on screen at least, you'd have to see the prints directly to see if they're really that black). The results are not the "fault" of unprofessional equipment, but the product of his own vision.

ReF
09-23-2005, 06:43 PM
pds: "The main reason I started this topic is because I believe that improving composition skills will do much more to achieve better results than upgrading camera gear each time there is a new one on the market.
Great pictures are made by great photographers not great (or expensive) cameras. It has very little to do with camera gear, specially regarding digital cameras."

we understand that. i'm not trying to say you can't compose a picture without nice gear or that nice gear is more important than good composition, but if you have a "simple" camera with a 35-105mm lens attached to it, then you can ONLY compose images within that range.

norm & pds:

just to clarify, i'm not trying to say that a person cannot take good pics without a ton of gear. but i can't take telephoto pics without a telephoto lens! see my point? i can have a clear vision of what i want to shoot, but i simply cannot take a close up of the setting sun with a short lens without a huge negative. can i shoot a very wide panoramic image with a 35mm FOV? no. i can stitch it with software but that's bending the subject of this discussion too much. how about having an "eye" to compose a shot with an OOF background but not being able to do it because you either: have no control over aperture, DOF too large due to small sensor, or the min. aperture in a particular lens is too small? sorry, but a "great photographer" who has an eye to compose in a range, magnification, etc. greater than what his gear allows will obviously be limited by his equipment.

norm: "For me, the challenge of photography is finding out what my current equipment can do and working within those limitations, and--not wanting to sound too pompous here--deciding over time whether those limitations satisfy my own "artistic vision" <cough> without worrying about the camera's inability to do something that someone else thinks it should do. If the day comes that I think I need that "something else," I'll move up, but until then, I consider "blaming the equipment" to be a cowardly way of avoiding responsibility for my own lack of clear vision or simple ability. I have utmost confidence that my E-300 can do a lot more than I have the ability to draw from it."

i don't think anyone has to max out the capabilities of your current gear to have the desire to compose images on other levels. seeing how much you can do within the limitation of what you have might be your personal challenge, but i sure wasn't going to live with the max range of 27-216mm (after conversion) that i was limited to not long after i purchased my dslr system. i'm still exploring possibilities within ranges i've had for a long while, but in the mean time, there are other compositions that i want to shoot.

plus, just to throw this out in response to the original post, a "great" picture can be taken with a cheap camera (i'm not disagreeing with that), lets say my a80, but the exact same shot take with a dslr and a good lens will produce a "greater" or better image.

ReF
09-23-2005, 07:23 PM
Tim11 and ReF, I can see your point but have to disagree.
The main reason I started this topic is because I believe that improving composition skills will do much more to achieve better results than upgrading camera gear each time there is a new one on the market.
Great pictures are made by great photographers not great (or expensive) cameras. It has very little to do with camera gear, specially regarding digital cameras.

The most important tool to a photographer is the eye.

Does someone know what kind of oil did Picasso (or any other) use to create a masterpiece.

Many may disagree. Of course camera makers will disagree. They will try to sell you their new best model.

Please follow next links to see what can be achieved with very simple gear

http://www.jessespeer.com/photo_journal/2004_06_TetonGlacier/index.html
http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=7-6468-7844-7845

Best regards

Pds

actually, now i'm starting to become interested in hearing what it is specifically that you disagree with.

Norm in Fujino
09-23-2005, 08:43 PM
just to clarify, i'm not trying to say that a person cannot take good pics without a ton of gear. but i can't take telephoto pics without a telephoto lens! see my point? i can have a clear vision of what i want to shoot, but i simply cannot take a close up of the setting sun with a short lens without a huge negative. . . .i don't think anyone has to max out the capabilities of your current gear to have the desire to compose images on other levels. seeing how much you can do within the limitation of what you have might be your personal challenge, but i sure wasn't going to live with the max range of 27-216mm (after conversion) that i was limited to not long after i purchased my dslr system. i'm still exploring possibilities within ranges i've had for a long while, but in the mean time, there are other compositions that i want to shoot.

I don't disagree at all. Remember I said "If the day comes that I think I need that 'something else,' I'll move up. . ." so I entirely understand the rationale for needing different/new equipment. I decided to go dSLR after I realized that I wanted less shutter lag and a deeper buffer than my C-755 offered--not to mention also longing for my old Nikon SLR days with a nice optical viewfinder rather than the evf in p/s digicams. So I decided to go to a dSLR--when I did, I think I researched pretty well what was best for me at the time; however, I did buy a Sigma 55-200mm zoom that I found just didn't cut it. It may have been a lemon or just my own weak technique (I've seen very nice pictures produced by the same lens, but mine seems terribly soft at the long end); I could have tried to use it for portraits--and I may try still--but I thought my needs/wants were different at the time (birds, macro) so I bit the bullet and bought the ZD 50-200 f2.8, and it's sharp from A to Z.

I think the point of this overall discussion, though, is that we're pretty much agreed that many of the equipment-centered discussions here and on other fora are driven by numbers--equipment envy--not the actual needs of the person asking for recommendations. If a 6.1MP D70 with 2.9fps is "good," then an 8MP XT with 3.0fps is "better," and a 12MP 5D with 8.5fps (or whatever) has gotta be "best." Simply ain't true. I can understand a professional's needs for 20+MP when you read stories about an involved, expensive magazine ad shoot where everything's precisely as the client and art editor requested--but then, while looking at the proofs they discover they like just one corner of a certain frame and want to blow that up for the whole ad. Then, yes, you need all the MP you can get.

I don't have the same needs that pros have, so whenever I crop, I hate doing it. I like to compose (--and hey! wasn't the title of this thread about "composition"?) my final image through the viewfinder, and feel happiest when my viewfinder vision ends up as the final version. In that sense, I'm not fully satisfied with the vf coverage of any of the current crop of entrylevel dSLRs, since they all range in the mid-90% (and my E-300 may be the lowest, at 93%), but that's one of the compromises I'm prepared to live with--for now. I always try to remember to look at what exists a bit beyond the four corners of the vf, and it usually works out okay with minimal cropping.

cdifoto
09-23-2005, 09:57 PM
All I really want to say is this.

My composition could be perfect...but if I had a point and shoot, I woulda never got this:

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b100/nftn/20050922-012.jpg

or this:

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b100/nftn/img-436.jpg

Without clean high ISO performance, wide apertures, and fast shutter speeds (all characteristics of advanced gear), you'd see nothing but a blur.

Having an "artistic vision" for f/1.8 doesn't give you f/1.8. If it did, I'd envision L glass!

aparmley
09-24-2005, 07:22 PM
Without having read every last word from each post I will add this.

While I can take a nice clean, crisp, properly exposed photograph, I now have myself focused on composition more so than ever. I feel I have the tools to be confident enough in to deliver the technical results I am after and with this confidence I can focus more on composition. To me, I am begining to grow tired of the same old looking photo and have only composition to turn to for spicing them up a notch, to creating visually stunning photographs. I mean think about it, we all are familar with the photograph in which American soldiers are putting up the flag at Iwo Gima (http://channelone.com/news/2005/02/18/war_photos/) if not click there. Technically, we've all seen sharper, cleaner photographs, but the composition is very moving. I mean what if it was shot portrait style and focused on the one closest to the flag pole. It would be as effective. I think this illustrates the point perfectly.

There is something to be said about having gear you are confident with. That really lets the photographer focus on composition, when its appropraite. Sometimes there is not time for composistion, but when there is, a little effort here can make a good photograph great.

Thats my feelings on this topic.

I myself am far from understanding composition. I am going to be doing a lot of reading and studying composition in the next few months because I feel its very important.

But there are very valid arguments to be made that, sometimes, gear does matter more than compositional skills, especially in low light circumstances, etc etc.

To me the thing is this, there will be situations where a photograph will be made by either, A - the composition, B - the gear, C - Both.

Clyde
09-24-2005, 09:04 PM
The main reason I started this topic is because I believe that improving composition skills will do much more to achieve better results than upgrading camera gear each time there is a new one on the market.

The most important tool to a photographer is the eye.

Does someone know what kind of oil did Picasso (or any other) use to create a masterpiece.

Actually this doesn't really work well for your arguement. Picasso worked in many mediums. He is a good example of someone who was careful to pick the proper medium for the appropriate work.

In one relatively little known example, he wanted to do work that was not possible with the equipment of the day. He wanted to do drawings that were as vividly painted as his oils, but were not as delicate as, say Degas' pastels. So he talked with a manufacturer in France (Sennelier). As a result artists now have "oil pastels" which are a kind of cross between regular pastels (that is, similar to colored chalk) and crayons. Picasso could easily be used as an example of an artist who while capable of fully exploiting a variety of mediums, was always aware of, and impatient with, their limitations.

Clyde

aparmley
09-24-2005, 11:49 PM
I follow that . . . But aren't you willing to conceed that if you gave pablo a magic marker and gave me a magic marker and the results will be stunning. I will most likely end up with marker all over my face and end up with a blank piece of paper [I can't draw/paint for $h|t].

So there, I just proved that it isn't the gear, its the creators vision and ability to capture what he envisions and present it in his/her medium of choice.

But you also proved that pablo felt limited by technology. So gear was holding him back.

This only supports my outlook even more.

You are going to run into situations where your vision and compositional skills will most likely make or break a photo, just as there are other times where the gear you have available to you will make or break it. Its that simple. I don't understand the struggle to prove one side is more important that the other. with out either a photo can not exist people. there has to be both gear and composition, once you pull the trigger there is composition by default, sometimes its poor, sometimes its good. So only by that rationale could one make a valid arguement that Gear is more important than composition, because at first, without the ability to capture an image, image composition does not exist. However, I believe this conversation is beyond that point and I want to express again that an upgrade in either gear or the ability to compose better will be beneficial either way. Whats the problem? Is there a flaw in that reasoning?

pds
09-26-2005, 06:43 AM
Tim , you are right. Its impossible to take macro pictures if you do not have the appropriate lens or take underwater pictures w/out an underwater camera.
Of course using the appropriate gear is important, but to me the camera is a tool to turn a vision into paper or bits.
My own experience may illustrate the point:
I was a EOS SLR user for near 10 years, and I consider my results to be good. I must say that Canon EOS system is great and I steel keep it.
Then about 3 years ago I switch to digital. I bought a Olympus C-730 that I use almost every day. My first feeling about the camera was that it will never be a serious replacement to my old and loved slr. Pictures were as bad as it could be, and of course I put all the blame on the camera. Then one day I decided not to use the lcd screen to compose my pictures in order to increase battery life, so I started using the viewfinder like in a traditional camera. That was a big change, pictures came out much better and I realize that the problem was in my approach, not in the camera and I believe since I started working more on composition my results are getting better.
Of course this is only my experience but I sure this has happened to many.

Pds

gary_hendricks
09-26-2005, 05:07 PM
Here's an article I wrote about photo composition (http://www.basic-digital-photography.com/photo-composition-tips.html). You guys may be interest in it. ;)

cdifoto
09-26-2005, 05:39 PM
Here's an article I wrote about photo composition (http://www.basic-digital-photography.com/photo-composition-tips.html). You guys may be interest in it. ;)

Rules are meant to be broken.

tim11
09-26-2005, 07:25 PM
Rules are meant to be broken.
I agree. But you should know the rules so you can break them and still get away. ;)

cdifoto
09-27-2005, 12:23 AM
I agree. But you should know the rules so you can break them and still get away. ;)

LOL good point. Gotta know when to run!

stevage
09-27-2005, 04:14 AM
Hi all,
I've read most of the articles linked to here, and while there was one that was quite good (forget which one, sorry), the majority seem to limit themselves to explaining the rule of thirds and the "law of the golden section". This latter seems a load of hogwash - it refers to a magic number roughly 1.6, and seems to end up pretty much the same thing as the rule of thirds anyway.

So: anyone know any other links to more intermediate-advanced sites on composition? The good tutorial I read explained leaving space in front of people "to walk into", the difference between horizontal, vertical, diagonal, and S-shaped lines, removing distracting objects, avoiding mergers etc. Very helpful - so anything along these lines would be great?

Thanks,
Steve

Norm in Fujino
09-27-2005, 05:57 AM
. . . so anything along these lines would be great?

Steve, you seem to have read most of the "technical" rules about composition--there aren't that many, in fact--so might I suggest you do some reading on photo criticism?--they will tell you why great photographers break the rules.

Earlier in this thread I mentioned Diana and Nikon by Janet Malcolm; another is Susan Sontog's On Photography. Works like these don't give you "rules," but interpret photographs in their time, along the way possibly giving you insights into what made/makes the photographs meaningful. I've found them very helpful in opening my eyes to what's out there and how it might be captured.
A site that is a bit more biographical than critical is Masters of Photography (http://www.masters-of-photography.com/index.html). It has articles about the "masters" and may be of use, as might Get the Picture (http://www.artsmia.org/get-the-picture/index.html). And one more is Photo Composition Articles (http://photoinf.com/)--seems to be a compilation of various links, and I haven't checked them out.

stevage
09-27-2005, 06:17 AM
Steve, you seem to have read most of the "technical" rules about composition--there aren't that many, in fact--so might I suggest you do some reading on photo criticism?--they will tell you why great photographers break the rules.


Ah, great idea...will look!

Steve

pds
09-27-2005, 06:32 AM
Hi all,
I've read most of the articles linked to here, and while there was one that was quite good (forget which one, sorry), the majority seem to limit themselves to explaining the rule of thirds and the "law of the golden section". This latter seems a load of hogwash - it refers to a magic number roughly 1.6, and seems to end up pretty much the same thing as the rule of thirds anyway.

So: anyone know any other links to more intermediate-advanced sites on composition? The good tutorial I read explained leaving space in front of people "to walk into", the difference between horizontal, vertical, diagonal, and S-shaped lines, removing distracting objects, avoiding mergers etc. Very helpful - so anything along these lines would be great?

Thanks,
Steve

Steve, articles written by Gloria Hopkins on nature photography are very good. Other good article is “Colour Theory as Applied to Landscape Photography” by Michael Reichmann.
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/colour_theory.shtml
Ken Rockwell is a professional photographer with a personal website with interesting thoughts on photography.
http://kenrockwell.com/tech/howto.htm

hope this is what you are looking for.

Pablo.

stevage
09-28-2005, 01:12 PM
Thanks heaps. The Ken Rockwell stuff could be better organised (he seems to repeat a thousands times that the camera is less important than the photographer - a point fairly easily grasped), but there are some good ideas there, and more importantly some great photos :)

Steve

eastbluffs
09-28-2005, 10:08 PM
I got into this photog stuff because I don't have the attention span (or spelling ability :o ) to write, the rythym for music, the talent for painting, nor the elequece and vision for prose. My left brain is just too dominant. Yet, my heart yearns for artistic expression.

I think the fact that i realized my P&S digital sucked was a positive thing. I would miss most action shots due to delay, the colors were pasty, lense soft, low light shooting was dark, no DOF creativity, etc. It was downright discouraging. A lot of shots were nice, but when I captured a very nice composition I would feel pity that I didn't do it justice with a decent capture unit (camera).

My 20D, 135L, Tamron 28-75 f2.8, 580EX flash make those problems, well, not a foregone conclusion. I can set the wrong ISO, move the camera, fail to properly post-process, etc, but generally, the great shot can now be given the justice of a good and satisfying capture.

Now the road to artistic achievement can be traveled.

All walks of artists (and that's what we are - or strive to be) deal with the technical aspect. I consider learning about color, software tools, camera features, etc. no different than a painter learning a new stroke, preservation techniques or tricks for using a new pallet. The painter of course needs an eye for composition and expression same as us. And a very well painted but boring kitchen sink .... you know, the "what" always trumps the "how".

So, without taking a side in this quasi religious debate, I'm happy to pursue both ends. Better equipment as my skill warrants it, technical proficiency, and learning to recognize what's worth including in the frame.

Great links. And thanks Norm for the book recommendatons! :)

Clyde
09-28-2005, 11:15 PM
if you (like me) believe that your camera has nothing or very little to do with shooting great pictures...
Pds

There are very different circumstances that call for different equipment.

I can't tell the difference between pine and oak wood. A violin maker will be much better at any woodworking task than I. Give me a hammer, though, and I can drive a nail better than a violin maker without a hammer.

Imagine surreptitiously documenting the unsanitary practices at the meat packing plant where you work. You would want a different camera than the one you would take to shoot the ballet from the balcony. You might want something else to take with you for a three day climb on a big wall in Yosemite. That camera might be close to the one you might give your brother as he went for a tour with his marine battalion in Afghanistan. It would probably not be the one you would want if you were trying to recreate Ansel Adams photos from Yosemite. And that might not be what you would use to prove without a doubt who won a race at the local horse track. You would need at least a different lens if you wanted to shoot the rings of Saturn.

I certainly don't want to discount the importance of composition, and the artists eye. "It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools." Yet a good craftsman probably has the right tools for the jobs he does most often.

As an aside about boring subjects, and kitchen sinks. Both Alice Neel and Lucien Freud have famous paintings of sinks. Alice painted her thanksgiving turkey thawing in the sink, and Lucien just painted the battered sink in (I imagine) his studio. Even I have painted a reasonable sink (http://www.clydesart.com/people.htm) (behind the guy with the tatoos). Ever since Van Gogh painted a bedraggled pair of shoes or maybe even farther back, when Rembrandt painted a butchered cow, even the most prosaic subjects have served as occasions for great art.

This is a fascinating subject, and when you come right down to it, all of our disagreements are probably not that profound.

Clyde

eastbluffs
09-29-2005, 02:36 PM
It occured to me that it would take real artistry to make a kitchen sink look viewworthy.

That's who I want to study the fine points of composition from, for surely they speak that language (of composition) fluently.

Ditto for painters who use tree bark and sap, etc. Or one who makes great photos with junky cameras. However, as CDI-Buy points out, those artsy fartsy guys who insist on a cheap P&S will never capture a 3 ton rumbling dirt hog flying over the moguls with any clarity. Maybe a real artsy looking blur, but that's about it.