Inappropriate - make that stupid - use of flash at events

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Anthony Buckland, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. Watching the Democratic Convention yesterday, I watched the usual
    scattering of flashes from people hoping to catch a candlelit scene
    with flash photography. But I have to admit this was nothing to the
    _thousands_ of flashes at nightime Olympic celebrations.

    What is it with people? Does collective insanity take over the minds
    of people whose camera flash has a range of maybe five metres and
    who would in any case totally wash out the play of light and color
    that makes the event what it is? I can understand a few people at
    an event having new cameras and no clue about how to switch off
    the flash or even a clue that flash exists. But people who lay out
    hundreds of dollars to attend an event and more hundreds on
    expensive cameras presumably have a few functioning
    neurons; yet a big fraction of them, not some tiny dumb portion,
    cannonade away on pictures that will be totally useless.

    This goes way back in my life, to over half a century ago before
    even the flash cube had been invented, and taking a flash picture
    required deliberate setting up and using accessories that only the
    relatively well-off owned -- yet I watched people trying to take
    flash pictures, from the Canadian side of course, of the illumination
    in color of Niagara Falls.
     
    Anthony Buckland, Jul 27, 2004
    #1
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  2. Anthony Buckland

    Zebedee Guest

    "Anthony Buckland" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Watching the Democratic Convention yesterday, I watched the usual
    > scattering of flashes from people hoping to catch a candlelit scene
    > with flash photography. But I have to admit this was nothing to the
    > _thousands_ of flashes at nightime Olympic celebrations.
    >
    > What is it with people? Does collective insanity take over the minds
    > of people whose camera flash has a range of maybe five metres and
    > who would in any case totally wash out the play of light and color
    > that makes the event what it is? I can understand a few people at
    > an event having new cameras and no clue about how to switch off
    > the flash or even a clue that flash exists. But people who lay out
    > hundreds of dollars to attend an event and more hundreds on
    > expensive cameras presumably have a few functioning
    > neurons; yet a big fraction of them, not some tiny dumb portion,
    > cannonade away on pictures that will be totally useless.
    >
    > This goes way back in my life, to over half a century ago before
    > even the flash cube had been invented, and taking a flash picture
    > required deliberate setting up and using accessories that only the
    > relatively well-off owned -- yet I watched people trying to take
    > flash pictures, from the Canadian side of course, of the illumination
    > in color of Niagara Falls.


    Lol. I've seen that too.

    I think there must be a lot of thick people around who use compact cameras.

    --
    Yours

    Zebedee

    (Claiming asylum in an attempt
    to escape paying his debts to
    Dougal and Florence)
     
    Zebedee, Jul 27, 2004
    #2
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  3. Anthony Buckland

    NoNameAtAll Guest

    Many cameras do not have an option to turn off the flash. And even for cameras
    that do have such an option, many owners don't know it exists or don't know how
    to operate it.
     
    NoNameAtAll, Jul 27, 2004
    #3
  4. In article <>, says...
    > What is it with people? Does collective insanity take over the minds
    > of people


    Sorry, the tense in this sentence is wrong. Collective insanity *has*
    taken over ..."

    --
    Charles Jones

    Loveland, Colorado, USA
    ICQ: 29610755
    AIM: LovelandCharles
     
    Charles Jones, Jul 27, 2004
    #4
  5. Anthony Buckland

    Doug Kanter Guest

    A friend of mine used to work for one of the original one-hour photo places
    here in my city. I'm sure was totally correct when he said that most casual
    picture takers were lucky if 3 out of 24 exposures was worth printing.
    People have very low expectations. And, NOBODY reads instructions.

    "Anthony Buckland" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Watching the Democratic Convention yesterday, I watched the usual
    > scattering of flashes from people hoping to catch a candlelit scene
    > with flash photography. But I have to admit this was nothing to the
    > _thousands_ of flashes at nightime Olympic celebrations.
    >
    > What is it with people? Does collective insanity take over the minds
    > of people whose camera flash has a range of maybe five metres and
    > who would in any case totally wash out the play of light and color
    > that makes the event what it is? I can understand a few people at
    > an event having new cameras and no clue about how to switch off
    > the flash or even a clue that flash exists. But people who lay out
    > hundreds of dollars to attend an event and more hundreds on
    > expensive cameras presumably have a few functioning
    > neurons; yet a big fraction of them, not some tiny dumb portion,
    > cannonade away on pictures that will be totally useless.
    >
    > This goes way back in my life, to over half a century ago before
    > even the flash cube had been invented, and taking a flash picture
    > required deliberate setting up and using accessories that only the
    > relatively well-off owned -- yet I watched people trying to take
    > flash pictures, from the Canadian side of course, of the illumination
    > in color of Niagara Falls.
    >
     
    Doug Kanter, Jul 27, 2004
    #5
  6. ntiSpam (NoNameAtAll) wrote in
    news::

    > Many cameras do not have an option to turn off the flash. And even for
    > cameras that do have such an option, many owners don't know it exists
    > or don't know how to operate it.


    I would agree. And it doesn't really matter how much money people
    might have shelled out for the camera - in some cases, they shelled it out
    because they thought it would effectively keep them from having to learn
    anything about how the camera works.

    In dim situations, many cameras or modes force the flash, 'knowing'
    there is too little light for a decent exposure. In others, the camera will
    drag the shutter to get the exposure, unless you activate the flash to
    boost shutter to flash sync speeds.

    And you never know - maybe they were simply trying to shoot down the
    blouse of the woman below them in the stands... ;-)


    - Al.

    --
    To reply, insert dash in address to separate G and I in the domain
     
    Al Denelsbeck, Jul 27, 2004
    #6
  7. Some cameras force the flash...as mentioned....others need the flash set so
    that shutter speeds slow down....as mentioned....and who cares....I like
    seeing all the flashes...nobody has cigarette lighters anymore....this is a
    good replacement.


    "Anthony Buckland" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Watching the Democratic Convention yesterday, I watched the usual
    > scattering of flashes from people hoping to catch a candlelit scene
    > with flash photography. But I have to admit this was nothing to the
    > _thousands_ of flashes at nightime Olympic celebrations.
    >
    > What is it with people? Does collective insanity take over the minds
    > of people whose camera flash has a range of maybe five metres and
    > who would in any case totally wash out the play of light and color
    > that makes the event what it is? I can understand a few people at
    > an event having new cameras and no clue about how to switch off
    > the flash or even a clue that flash exists. But people who lay out
    > hundreds of dollars to attend an event and more hundreds on
    > expensive cameras presumably have a few functioning
    > neurons; yet a big fraction of them, not some tiny dumb portion,
    > cannonade away on pictures that will be totally useless.
    >
    > This goes way back in my life, to over half a century ago before
    > even the flash cube had been invented, and taking a flash picture
    > required deliberate setting up and using accessories that only the
    > relatively well-off owned -- yet I watched people trying to take
    > flash pictures, from the Canadian side of course, of the illumination
    > in color of Niagara Falls.
    >
     
    Gene Palmiter, Jul 27, 2004
    #7
  8. Anthony Buckland <> writes:

    >But people who lay out
    >hundreds of dollars to attend an event and more hundreds on
    >expensive cameras presumably have a few functioning
    >neurons;


    Why would you assume this?

    More specifically, the fact that they have the money to buy the camera
    probably does indicate a certain amount of intelligence. But few people
    apply any of that intelligence to learning about photography.

    This isn't new either. I can remember taking pictures at awards
    ceremonies in high school 30 years ago. I was shooting the event from
    off to one side using a SLR with a telephoto, fairly fast B&W film, and
    a large "potato masher" flash, which I knew would work at that distance.
    Also, I was using a moderate shutter speed and a tripod, so the stage
    lights added significant illumination. But there would be plenty of
    parents popping up in the audience with their point&shoot film cameras,
    including wide angle lens and a flash with a range of about 10 feet with
    colour film. They had no hope of a useful photo from that position. If
    any of them got near me, I told them to walk up right to the edge of the
    stage and shoot from there. At least the flash would do something, and
    their beloved son or daughter would be large enough in the frame to
    recognize their face.

    Dave
     
    Dave Martindale, Jul 27, 2004
    #8
  9. ntiSpam (NoNameAtAll) wrote in
    news::

    > Many cameras do not have an option to turn off the flash.


    That I have a hard time to beleive.

    > And even for
    > cameras that do have such an option, many owners don't know it exists
    > or don't know how to operate it.


    So - why do their neorons not start working the first
    time they see the flash? Maybe this thing uses up my
    battery - maybe it is possible to turn off?


    /Roland
     
    Roland Karlsson, Jul 27, 2004
    #9
  10. Anthony Buckland

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    Anthony Buckland wrote:
    > Watching the Democratic Convention yesterday, I watched the usual
    > scattering of flashes from people hoping to catch a candlelit scene
    > with flash photography. But I have to admit this was nothing to the
    > _thousands_ of flashes at nightime Olympic celebrations.
    >
    > What is it with people? Does collective insanity take over the minds
    > of people whose camera flash has a range of maybe five metres and
    > who would in any case totally wash out the play of light and color
    > that makes the event what it is? I can understand a few people at
    > an event having new cameras and no clue about how to switch off
    > the flash or even a clue that flash exists. But people who lay out
    > hundreds of dollars to attend an event and more hundreds on
    > expensive cameras presumably have a few functioning
    > neurons; yet a big fraction of them, not some tiny dumb portion,
    > cannonade away on pictures that will be totally useless.
    >
    > This goes way back in my life, to over half a century ago before
    > even the flash cube had been invented, and taking a flash picture
    > required deliberate setting up and using accessories that only the
    > relatively well-off owned -- yet I watched people trying to take
    > flash pictures, from the Canadian side of course, of the illumination
    > in color of Niagara Falls.



    Hi...

    Doesn't everybody know that to light up the canadian side of
    Niagara Falls you have to go back even further than flash
    bulbs - you need one of those little metal trays of flash
    powder :)

    Reminds me of a story from long ago that might be worth
    a chuckle...

    Friend went to a hockey game with one of his friends.
    His friend had a new outfit, really top notch for its
    day. He took a few pictures at the game (flash, of course :)
    but returned the whole kit and kaboodle to Eaton's the next
    day.

    Angry. They'd sold him the wrong flash. They'd sold him
    one that went with the camera the fellow behind him had.
    Must have. Because every time the fellow sitting behind
    took a picture the flash on his camera went off. :)

    Take care.

    Ken
     
    Ken Weitzel, Jul 27, 2004
    #10
  11. Anthony Buckland

    Steven Wandy Guest

    "nobody has cigarette lighters anymore....this is a good replacement."

    atleast it's healthier - less smokers in the audience :)
     
    Steven Wandy, Jul 27, 2004
    #11
  12. Anthony Buckland

    JJD Guest

    On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 10:08:49 -0700, Anthony Buckland
    <> wrote:

    >This goes way back in my life, to over half a century ago before
    >even the flash cube had been invented, and taking a flash picture
    >required deliberate setting up and using accessories that only the
    >relatively well-off owned -- yet I watched people trying to take
    >flash pictures, from the Canadian side of course, of the illumination
    >in color of Niagara Falls.


    Just as strange are those who try to take pictures of something on
    television, using a flash.

    Still, I think the answer to your one is that there are many compact
    cameras that either don't give the option to turn the flash off, or
    that option requires reading of the operator's manual. Most people
    just don't care that much.

    JJD
     
    JJD, Jul 27, 2004
    #12
  13. Anthony Buckland

    G. Innipig Guest

    "Anthony Buckland" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Watching the Democratic Convention yesterday, I watched the usual
    > scattering of flashes from people hoping to catch a candlelit scene
    > with flash photography. But I have to admit this was nothing to the
    > _thousands_ of flashes at nightime Olympic celebrations.
    >


    To my surprise Preddy has not responded to say that his wonderful Sigma SD10
    has a flash range of 500 yards.
     
    G. Innipig, Jul 27, 2004
    #13
  14. Anthony Buckland

    Guest

    OK, good to know that I'm not the only person who has noticed how stupid
    people are when they try to take a picture of an object that is possibly 100
    yards away at night with flash. I always think to myself "Wow that person is
    going to be disappointed when he/she gets his/her film developed." I end up
    thinking that several times a minute, as there seem to be so many clueless
    people out there. I rarely use flash, even if the object is in close enough
    distance. I like to take pictures that capture what the object looked like
    with the lighting in its environment. If I add my camera's flash to that,
    then the resulting picture looks totally different.
     
    , Jul 27, 2004
    #14
  15. Anthony Buckland

    Doug Kanter Guest

    "JJD" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 10:08:49 -0700, Anthony Buckland
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > >This goes way back in my life, to over half a century ago before
    > >even the flash cube had been invented, and taking a flash picture
    > >required deliberate setting up and using accessories that only the
    > >relatively well-off owned -- yet I watched people trying to take
    > >flash pictures, from the Canadian side of course, of the illumination
    > >in color of Niagara Falls.

    >
    > Just as strange are those who try to take pictures of something on
    > television, using a flash.


    Even stranger: People who keep trying it and failing, year after year after
    year.....
     
    Doug Kanter, Jul 27, 2004
    #15
  16. Anthony Buckland

    Michael Guest

    On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 10:08:49 -0700, Anthony Buckland <>,
    wrote the following in rec.photo.digital:

    > But I have to admit this was nothing to the _thousands_ of flashes at
    > nightime Olympic celebrations.


    As an aside...

    Some events (professional wrestling comes to mind, but it's not alone)
    actually employ small, electronic "flash bulbs" around the arena, and
    trigger then (not all simultaneously, of course) at certain peak times.
    This illusion of hundreds of flash bulbs going off causes the tv audience
    to see things as being especially exciting.

    Perhaps the Olympics are set up this way. I honestly don't know. But I
    wouldn't be surprised.

    It's not completely unlike the use of canned laughter to make tv audiences
    regard things as being especially funny.

    I've also seen tv shows where a photographer is taking pictures, using a
    35mm camera (generally, a Nikon, but with the name blacked out - something
    that's always struck me as ridiculous) without a motor drive or any kind
    and without any sort of flash. Yes the sound of a motor drive is added, as
    is a flash of light for every picture. Because viewers have come to
    associate these signals with photography. (I first noticed this practice
    in an episode of the tv show "Lou Grant," where "Animal" was taking
    pictures using what must have been an invisible flash and motor drive.
    That was a couple of decades ago; these days, nearly all SLRs have
    built-in motor drives, so the invisible motor drive is seldom an issue
    anymore. Although the invisible flash endures.)

    > What is it with people?


    What it is, is that you are at least a slightly knowledgeable
    photographer. The overwhelming majority of people are not. So they do
    things which to you seem obviously stupid, but which it doesn't even occur
    to them to question.

    To a non-photographer, if the camera's flash automatically pops up or
    turns on or what have you, that settles the matter. The camera knows what
    it's doing.

    It's not just a photography thing, either. I'm an avid amateur astronomer.
    When I hear non-astronomers talk about the night sky, or NASA's latest
    mission, or a telescope, or somesuch, I'm almost in pain at the degree of
    ignorance they evidence. Yet to you (assuming your hobby isn't astronomy),
    they probably sound perfectly reasonable.

    A good friend of mine has degrees in environmental science and economics.
    I've seen him literally cringe at some statements and policies regarding
    "saving the wilderness" or "reducing pollution," which to me seemed
    entirely rational and well considered. Clearly, flaws and inconsistencies
    which I don't notice, are in effect giant neon signs to him.

    > But people who lay out hundreds of dollars to attend an event and more
    > hundreds on expensive cameras presumably have a few functioning
    > neurons


    Such people may have a few functioning neurons, or they may not, but let's
    be generous and assume that they're at least 5% brighter than the average
    tv realty show viewer.

    The thing is, they don't think about picture-taking in any serious way,
    because it doesn't interest them. Which is fine. If someone wants to spend
    a few hundred bucks on tickets to a football game, there may be some
    reason to assume that perhaps he's interested in football. There's little
    reason to assume that he's interested in photography. And if he brings a
    camera to the game, that still doesn't mean he's interested in
    photography. Not even if the camera cost him another few hundred dollars.

    What, you think everyone buying $1100 sets of pots and pans at William
    Sonoma is a gourmet chef? My guess is that most of those people seldom
    cook anything more demanding than frozen pizza. There's a world of
    difference between owning some hardware, and caring about the process.
    --
    Michael
     
    Michael, Jul 27, 2004
    #16
  17. Anthony Buckland

    Guest

    On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 16:31:44 -0400, wrote:

    >OK, good to know that I'm not the only person who has noticed how stupid
    >people are when they try to take a picture of an object that is possibly 100
    >yards away at night with flash. I always think to myself "Wow that person is
    >going to be disappointed when he/she gets his/her film developed." I end up
    >thinking that several times a minute, as there seem to be so many clueless
    >people out there. I rarely use flash, even if the object is in close enough
    >distance. I like to take pictures that capture what the object looked like
    >with the lighting in its environment. If I add my camera's flash to that,
    >then the resulting picture looks totally different.


    Even more stupid is Canon in their magazine ad for the 300D. The
    sports stadium (football?) showing lots of spectators with the flash
    going off.

    MJ
     
    , Jul 27, 2004
    #17
  18. In article <XywNc.1336$>,
    says...
    > I'm sure was totally correct when he said that most casual
    > picture takers were lucky if 3 out of 24 exposures was worth printing.


    That's a better ratio than some pros!
    --
    http://www.pbase.com/bcbaird/
     
    Brian C. Baird, Jul 27, 2004
    #18
  19. Anthony Buckland

    Adam Henry Guest

    On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 10:08:49 -0700, Anthony Buckland
    <> wrote:

    >Watching the Democratic Convention yesterday,
    >snip


    what do you expect? they are democrats. they are barely able to tie
    their shoes without the help of govt let alone work a camera.
     
    Adam Henry, Jul 27, 2004
    #19
  20. In article <>,
    says...
    > what do you expect? they are democrats. they are barely able to tie
    > their shoes without the help of govt let alone work a camera.


    Do you want a "megaditto" there, Rush?
    --
    http://www.pbase.com/bcbaird/
     
    Brian C. Baird, Jul 27, 2004
    #20
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