… which begs a number of different questions that I will think but not say out loud.

This surprising ‘result’ (which you should not take seriously as stated) comes from a fascinating bit of on -line research and reporting in which Christian Rudder qualitatively tested photographs taken with various technologies and stuff by asking a zillion people “which of the following individuals would you chose for a date” when shown two photographs.

Rudder demonstrates and makes the claim that more complex devices such as digital Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras produce more date-worthy photographs than Push Here Stupid (PHS) camera’s, which in turn, produce more dateable (and as an archaeologist, I like that) photographs than cell phones.

I might disagree. While I’m certain the technology matters, I’m also certain that the very decision to USE a cell phone to take a photograph, let alone show it to someone, let alone to, say, use it as your facebook profile photograph shows such a lack of aesthetic judgment and ability that the same person with the best Nikon SLR in hand would still take a totally crappy photograph.

I know this to be true because I am one of those people.

Despite this obvious flaw, the study is fascinating and you must read it. Christian’s findings, which involve thousands of comparisons, indicate that time of day matters (take your photos late afternoon, never between 6 AM and 11 AM, the wee hours of the morning appear to be OK … there is a peak at sun rise and sun set, apparently, so get a local ephemeris to find out the sun rise and sun set times.). A flash is bad. Strive for shallow depth of field. Get the color tones right.

Go read it.

Ht Tip Digital Rabbit

Comments

  1. #1 Kris Rhodes
    August 11, 2010

    The OKcupid blog you link to is flat out awesome. Really cool use of their sociological data, used to answer questions that aren’t all that important. But are cool.

    Also, they tested directly for camera effect by comparing pictures of the same person made with the different cameras and still found a significant effect. The better cameras do create a better picture. Of course, all the other things you mentioned, as far as underlying cause of them having a better camera, probably have some effect.

  2. #2 dcotler
    August 11, 2010

    “Begging the question” is a form of logical fallacy in which a statement or claim is assumed to be true without evidence other than the statement or claim itself. When one begs the question, the initial assumption of a statement is treated as already proven without any logic to show why the statement is true in the first place.
    http://begthequestion.info/

  3. #3 itzac
    August 11, 2010

    Could I just point out that having more sexual partners is not the same as having more sex.

  4. #4 ppnl
    August 11, 2010

    Sex with their iphone?!? The cult of Jobs is getting out of hand.

  5. #5 MadScientist
    August 12, 2010

    The vibrator on those phones have always been so popular …

    As for digital SLR – bah, the old film days required the greatest skills. For me the best cameras to use are still the ones which let you do all the work (focus, aperture, exposure). If I were still a rabid photographer I’d definitely go for a small or medium format digital SLR though; unlike many photographers I don’t have any great attachment to the darkroom – except when it comes to playing tricks with film. If I had some megabucks I’d build a medium format 3-color camera using 3 super sensitive “field transfer” CCDs – I’d even use some tricks so I could operate in a still stereoscopic mode, or I’d just go all apeshit and build a stereoscopic video recorder. At the moment I’m having a very hard time trying to convince people they should cough up some money to build a simple 2-color camera, so I guess I’ll only be dreaming about those 3-color stereoscopic beasts.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    August 12, 2010

    “Begging the question” is a form of logical fallacy … bla bla bla … true in the first place.

    Not the way I use it. To me.

    To beg the question does means “to raise the question.” (e.g. “It begs the question, why is he so dumb?”). Remember, the word “question” in the phrase refers to a literal question. Which is why the word … question … was chosen instead of, say, kumquat. This is the common usage of the term found among those who have the most to do with language, such as journalists, advertisers, and major mass media entities.

    But I must say, your comment begs the qustion: “Why are there begging the question trolls?”

  7. #7 chuck13
    August 12, 2010

    Your headline implies that there is more sex between women than between men it would seem

  8. #8 Oxytocinz
    August 12, 2010

    I wish! I have the phone and everything! Not a sausage

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    August 12, 2010

    chuck13 … begging the question!

    Hey, I’m just reporting what the ysay.

  10. #10 Arjen
    August 13, 2010

    Normally I’m a lurker here, but being a bit of a photographing nerd I have to comment on this post. It doesn’t matter what kind of camera you use. Those things are stupid and do only one thing. They measure light and translate it into one’s and zero’s that some other nifty computer program than translates into an image on your screen. Nothing else. A good photographer can use the good and bad points of the camera to make good photos even with the most simple point and shoot. A bad photographer will not make a good photo with a good camera.

    “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.” Ansel Adams

    And the light thing. It is called the golden hour and takes place around sunrise and sunset. The light has a very nice warm and golden colour and you get the best opportunity for the most atmosphere in photos. It is called the golden hour, but depending on the season and location on the globe it can take as long as a few hours (high north in the summer when the sun doesn’t set) to a few minutes if you are lucky, to not even happening due to weather conditions.