2 conversations

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by weasel_bar, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. I overheard a conversation recently between 2 docs at the hospital
    where I'm a student. One was telling the other how, with the advent
    of digital, the focus of photography has changed completely.
    Composition is no longer important, because you can fix it with
    photoshop. Learning to use photoshop is much more important than pre-
    exposure techniques. <br>
    2 days later, my friend saw a waterfall photo I had scanned from a
    velvia slide, taken with my canon ae-1. He didnt like the bluish
    cast from the evening light and the film's tone (which I intended),
    so he told me I should have adjusted the "white balance on my camera"
    (which was made in 1979). <br>
    Do people view photography as largely graphic design now? It
    depresses me that many people, even ones who view themselves as
    photographers, don't care about lighting, focus, depth of field,
    shutter speed, because they're going to fix all of these post-
    exposure. I'm not really interested in snapping a frame and then
    spending 6 hours screwing around with blurring filters and rgb
    correction. I'd rather sit by the waterfall for hours and figure out
    what weather, time of day, focal length, and shutter speed I want to
    use.
     
  2. It almost sounds as though you feel that your preference (sitting by the waterfall..) is more noble than the alternative (Spending 6 hours screwing around...). If that is what you think, why do you think so?

    If you are just expressing a preference, it's a bit like saying that you don't understand all those people who like vanilla, when what you like is chocolate.
     
  3. It is the craftsmanship that matters, not the time....

    ...and it is 'nobler', not 'more noble'...
     
  4. What it boils down to is that there's not necessarily any virtue in doing things the difficult way. If it makes you happy, do it, but don't complain when someone does in 60 seconds what took you 6 hours.

    Some people value "hand crafting", others value the final result and don't care how it was done.

    Photography IS now integrated into graphic design. PhotoShop is a graphic design program which also happens to have a bunch of photography function built into it. Why else would it have a spell checker!
     
  5. My intent is not to complain that people are doing things in photoshop, because it doesn't stop me from sitting around a waterfall. I'm saying I regret that modern photography is merging with graphic design, which makes the (fun) challenge of capturing a scene in the perfect light at the perfect moment somewhat obsolete. I'm not anti-digital; I'm anti-manipulation (for myself--I don't care what someone else does). The appeal of photography to me is trying to render a scene creatively yet faithfully. I agree that people who are ok with darkroom manipulation but not photoshop are hypocritical. I shoot film, but try to keep filter use and such to a minimum.
     
  6. What it boils down to is that there's not necessarily any virtue in doing things the difficult way. If it makes you happy, do it, but don't complain when someone does in 60 seconds what took you 6 hours.
    It's a difficult lesson for some to learn. It was difficult for those who shot without electronics in their cameras (even meters) to deal with tyros who had that gear; in their minds it was somehow 'cheating' to have ease of use that they themselves were denied (and for whom self-abnegation was now ingrained in their hobby).
    In a similar vein, I've seen mundane photos that were very difficult for someone to get, but in his mind there was something that made the photos better because of the trouble it took to get the shot, and he couldn't see the photo with the necessary aesthetic distance to recognize the average from the superior. Same for plebian large format photos, which entailed some photographer's carrying around a heavy backpack with camera equipment and big tripod. Somehow, the resulting photos seem to some to have gained some patina that automatically improved the images by dint of the difficulty in making them.
     
  7. ...and it is 'nobler', not 'more noble'...
    Don't be pedantic.
    'Tis more noble to forgive, and more manly to despise, than to revenge an Injury. - Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard
    Also:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=shakespeare+"more+noble"
     
  8. Shakespeare used both - "Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer..."

    I'm sure Hans corrected "more noble" only to illustrate that in some cases two options are equally valid, as in edited digital vs. film photography.
     
  9. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    I agree with you 100%, and I share with you a desire to get a
    photograph as close to "right" as I can at the point of exposure.
    Enjoyment of the process of photography is every bit as
    important as the results you get and you should absolutely
    continue to do it the way that gives you satisfaction.

    Thing is that you're not the only person with this right, and other
    people might make different choices. This shouldn't make you
    depressed. If you were being forced to do things their way, then
    you should be depressed.
     
  10. •[• Z has opined:

    "In a similar vein, I've seen mundane photos that were very difficult for someone to get, but in his mind there was something that made the photos better because of the trouble it took to get the shot, and he couldn't see the photo with the necessary aesthetic distance to recognize the average from the superior. Same for plebian large format photos, which entailed some photographer's carrying around a heavy backpack with camera equipment and big tripod. Somehow, the resulting photos seem to some to have gained some patina that automatically improved the images by dint of the difficulty in making them.


    1. Photos are not graded on 'effort'. In fact, I have gotten wonderful shots simply by knowing someone who could get me into the place I wanted to go. And someone else lent me the huge lens I needed. So, I could have made all kinds of efforts and gotten zilch. I walked in and walked out. Made the pros mad as hell......

    2. Likewise, I have seen innumerable photographs made under very difficult conditions, pushed 14 stops, of.....guitar players and other such trivia. They still lack gravitas...

    3. The dreck and dross that is churned out of rocks and trees by so-called 'fine-art' Zonite photographers is another case in point. The John Sextons of the world must think that properly exposed, large-format photographs taken at perfect right angles somehow hold us spellbound.

    http://www.puc.edu/Faculty/Cliff_Rusch/gdportfolio/jscalendar/jspop.html
     
  11. Don't lump everyone who uses Photoshop into the same group as your friend who saw your Velvia slide. If he knew about photography, more specifically *your* photography, he would not have said that. He simply assumed that all photographs should be neutral. Forgive him, for he knows not of what he says.

    To repeat what other people have already said: do what makes you happy. You spend six hours waiting to get a shot. When a digital artists spends that kind of time, you can be certain it involves little waiting. So, is it really easier ... and does it matter?
     
  12. Weasel, I think the importance of the traditional photographic processes depend on the context.

    In an artistic context, I dont think the medium used is as important as the image created. Paint, gelatin, or mouse doesnt change the affect of a thought-provoking or emotionally inspiring image. So what is someone uses PS to blur the background of a portrait. So what if multiple images are layered to create extra depth of field.
     
  13. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Here's the contradiction in what you say.

    You got a bluish cast in your image from the reaction of the film to the light. It's worth pointing out that with different film, you might have had a different color cast. I'm willing to guess that your photo also had smoothed water from a long exposure of the waterfall.

    Then you talk about rendering a scene "faithfully."

    This doesn't work. You are accepting fundamental distortions of reality from a choice of film and shutter speed, but not from anything after the shot. The scene is not "faithful" if it has as blue cast - that's a reaction of the film that has nothing to do with faithful. And if you have blurred water, that is also not faithful.

    The problem with dogmatic arguments is that they are dogma because they allow for fundamental contradictions. They don't make sense except as dogma, religious arguments.
     
  14. I`m in photography for only six years - i used (in order):
    Canon EOS 500N, EOS 50E, Canon Av-1, Yashica 635, Mamiya RB67, and Canon Powershot G3.

    In the end i learned, that the tools don`t mean NOTHING to 99% of people (assuming the 1% remaining are serious photographers).

    I learned also, that what matters is the final picture and nothing else, and i learned that only uninspiring images tend to discussions of tiime/aperture, what film, blur filters, etc, etc.

    So if U create an image that makes people WOW no one will question the tools that were used.

    Oh and by the way i`ll trade six hours waiting near a fall even for two hours in front of a computer monitor!

    Happy shooting and peace of mind!
     
  15. Actually, adjusting white balance is something you do when you make a print, ditto exposure to a small extent, and adjusting contrast (in Black and white).

    If you had shown your freind a hand printed Cibachrome which was faithful the slide, you might still have got the message that the colour balance should have been adjusted on the enlarger.

    Photoshop can change those characteristics, but who cares. An under or over exposed picture loses some of its range even if you fix it, print film has way more lattitude to the point most people don't even realise its there. You can crop a digital pic like you can film (with quality consequences), but photoshop can't extrapolate what's outside the frame so you still have to compose and choose focal length.
    Photoshop won't move objects relative to each other in the image - a function of focal legth and viewpoint. So you have to do those.
    Software can't put a badly out of focus picture into focus, or add depth of field. Compact digital cameras have lots of depth of field (result of having a small sensor) and sometimes the only way to reduce it is in software.
    Software is also great for removing the powerline that spoils a beautiful view.
    I'm carrying my digital compact around today because we have snow and great winter sunshine. I only get a choice of 2 appertures (D.o.f = Lots and D.o.f= almost infinite) and 2 corresponding shutter speeds (fast, and very fast). There's a fountain outside my office and if I want that to blur that, it has to be software.

    The conversation you overheard has one correct part to it. Digital can encourage people to lazy, if you have a fully auto camera and you don't have to think about film, developing and printing costs you can bang off 500 shots in an afternoon (I plead guilty) and hope to get 9-10 decent ones. I'd want to get 9-10 decent ones out of a roll of 36 shots. So I've gone from accepting a hit rate of 1 in 4 to a rate of 1 in 50. The extra 464 presses of the shutter button are "free".
    From time to time I go back to using medium format cameras which are 50-80 yeas old (I need a tape measure to set the focus distance). I do it for the discipline.
     
  16. Jeff has a point up there. Lots of people seem to love dogmas in photography, see threads like "breaking the rule" or about sharpness issues.

    On the other hand, generally people are overflooded with the big words from the commercials, like megapixel, zoom, white balance, although mostly without knowing what they are. My 135mm prime was several times called "zoom" by some friends, just because of its magnification. I was several times asked (even with a real zoom lens on my slr), "how does it zoom" and people were looking for the up-down button desperately (not even thinking about going closer). Bottom line: when my friend looked over the WL finder of my yashica tlr, he busted out" Man, this looks like the coolest digital camera i've seen!"

    It's not only in photography, it's everywhere around us. People (me too) use terms they don't fully understand, without any problem. It's the consumer society, i guess.
     
  17. Unless you are a commercial photographer, who must satisfy his client, the ONLY thing that matters is if you are pleased with what you have done. That includes the process of making the picture, as well as producing the final print, whether you spend hours in the darkroom or droping it off at Wal-Mart.
     
  18. Weasel,

    You wrote: "I'm saying I regret that modern photography is merging with graphic
    design, which makes the (fun) challenge of capturing a scene in the perfect light at
    the perfect moment somewhat obsolete."

    Even if it were true or meaningful to say "Modern photography is merging with
    graphic design", you would be making a statement about "them", i.e. those who
    comprise modern photography. But surely the "fun challenge of capturing a scene" is
    all about you.. i.e., it's your fun, and your challenge.

    How is it that what "they" do makes what you do obsolete? Aren't you free to make
    images however you please? Why do you care how someone else does it?
     
  19. A photographer friend gave me his impression of digital users the other day and I think it's true to a certain extent. With digital you do not take responsibility for what you have taken. If you don't like the image you just erase it from the face of the earth. With film this is not as easy. There is physical evidence that you can destroy, but it's much harder and there will always be a blank. This may breed laziness.

    I'm a film user and am not a fan of digital because for me it's a colossal waste of money for something that is not as good as what I have now - especially considering that you have to keep buying new equipment every couple of years. I also see alot more in-camera graphic effects being used, that to me serves no purpose but to jazz up something that sucks in the first place. Alot of digital users have said that it 'increases their creativity' yet their results seem more pointless than before. I agree with the commentor above that it's unfortunate that photography, in the digital age, is melding with the commercial graphic art world. Fortunately the photographic arts world still seems to be using film.
     
  20. Some do believe that it doesnt matter which tools you use to achieve a result, because the result is what counts.

    Not so, definitly not.
    The tools are forming us and vice versa. There are only VERY FEW MASTERS which act indepently and to whom it really doesnt matter which tools they will be using.

    I would say that the progress in the process is what counts and the result is secondary, unless you are earning you livelyhood with it.

    Someone climbing a mountain by feet or someone going there with a helicopter gives the same result. But look into the face of each one and tell me who is the winner.

    People tend to think today that by imitating circumstances, elements and surroundings through machinery (in our case photoshop) the result will be the same as done narurally. But that is a tricky path.

    Just be careful and dont get lazy with PS convenience, coz in the end consciousness will always win.
     
  21. Andy: "With digital you do not take responsibility for what you have taken. If you don't like the image you just erase it from the face of the earth. With film this is not as easy. There is physical evidence that you can destroy, but it's much harder and there will always be a blank. This may breed laziness."

    Absolutly true. I saw a friend of mine taking pics with a new D10 of a particular scene pushing the shutter each third second. 95% got erased shortly after. He actually was so busy tripping the shutter without interruption that he didnt get much of what really was happening there.
    I regard those high who observe and identify first and then take their tools with measure and intensity.
     
  22. Someone climbing a mountain by feet or someone going there with a helicopter gives the same result. But look into the face of each one and tell me who is the winner.​
    Interesting analogy... do you extend this philosophy to all art forms? For example, must books be written by typewriter, because word processors make people lazy? Do you ever think about this when you pick up a book?
    Just be careful and dont get lazy with PS convenience...​
    The question is: does it make the quality of your art suffer? Mine does not&#151;on the contrary&#151;so I will keep on using it.
     
  23. Emre: "Interesting analogy... do you extend this philosophy to all art forms? For example, must books be written by typewriter, because word processors make people lazy? Do you ever think about this when you pick up a book?"

    No, here the quality of the thought/experience is important.
    I will note (sooner or later) if the book is authentic thought/ feeling or just rephrased.
    To take my example again, someone climbing the mountain can source his consciousness from the real experience and then write about it. The one flying up the mountain wont have the same resources.
     
  24. Emre:"The question is: does it make the quality of your art suffer? Mine does not—on the contrary—so I will keep on using it."

    Fortunatly we have friends who can judge about the quality of our work.
     
  25. No, here the quality of the thought/experience is important​
    Why do apply you a different criteria to photography then? At any rate, why is your criteria better than anyone else's? In the end, every artist must personally decide what matters. This is what many people have been trying to explain.
     
  26. In general, we exhibit the same behavior when photographing as we do in other areas of our life. Some of us are impulsive and quick, some of us are contemplative and slow. Which is better? Who knows? The tools don't matter so much.

    Cartier-Bresson took the new (at the time) 35-mm camera and used it to freeze moments of life in ways that had not been done before. He brought a new sensitivity and sensibility to the process. The new tool made it easier. (Too bad he made the ill-thought remark about the silliness of photographing "rocks and trees". Since then his devotees have hollowly reiterated it again and again.)

    The new tool of digital photography will bring a fresh perspective and perhaps inspire those using the old tools with new ideas. It will not make us better or worse photographers.
     
  27. Michelangelo and Rafael were stellar artists, but they weren't photographers.
    Photography=writing with light. The bulk of the content should be light that was reflected from the scene being observed, no?
    photoshop-graphy = graphic design. Some original light, and paint most of it in photoshop.
    If you like to shoot and then paint with image programs, that's fine. But it seems that it's part photography and part painting.
    Note that I am also opposed to lots of manipulation in the darkroom.
     
  28. Weasel,

    don't you think that when one is looking through the viewfinder of a camera, and adjusting the composition, that one is doing graphic design? After all, one is arranging spatial relationships between shapes one sees in the little rectangle. Why is it so important to insist that photography and graphic design are disjoint?

    Etymology doesn't help, because the meanings of words commonly change over time. As an example, think of the word computer. It used to refer to a person, and now it refers to a chunk of hardware. We don't say something is not a computer because it is not a person. Why would you say that something is not a photograph because it's production included some "manipulation" (photoshop, or darkroom)?
     
  29. Neil Baylis , jan 29, 2004; 06:51 p.m.
    Weasel,

    "Don't you think that when one is looking through the viewfinder of a camera, and adjusting the composition, that one is doing graphic design?"

    No, not at all.

    "After all, one is arranging spatial relationships between shapes one sees in the little rectangle. Why is it so important to insist that photography and graphic design are disjoint?"

    Typography and layout on a page are not photography. I do both.
     
  30. If the definition of photography is arranging objects in a rectangle, then I must have been doing "photography" when I made collages in 2nd grade. My sister is very good at drawing and painting, but she isn't doing photography. Arranging objects in a rectangle can be art, but it's not photography. Photography is arranging light from objects onto a medium that can record it (silver plates, 35mm film, digital media).
     
  31. "The new tool of digital photography will bring a fresh perspective and perhaps inspire those using the old tools with new ideas. It will not make us better or worse photographers."

    Or it might just cause us to use tacky effects in the camera and even tackier effects in photoshop.
     
  32. Is a photogram a photograph? How about an x-ray image on film? Something bleached in the sun? How about the tan line on your skin?

    To say that photography is the accurate unadulterated documentation of the image it captures is probably too narrow of a definition. It's a perfectly legitimate approach but to say that anything outside that definition is not photography would be unsupported in many circles.

    It also begs the question of what is an accurate unadulterated image? All images are representations. Perhaps we could say in such a case that the adulteration is kept to a minimum.

    Each photographer chooses a path. Adulterated/unadulterated, digital/ analog, etc. etc. Why the proclamations of what constitutes the REAL photography for everyone else? All of my work is with a large format camera and wet process. I love it. But it makes no sense to condem the digital photographer using Photoshop. To what end would it serve?
     
  33. "It depresses me that many people, even ones who view themselves as photographers, don't care about lighting, focus, depth of field, shutter speed, because they're going to fix all of these post- exposure."

    Hunh? Photoshop doesn’t make the photo for you. Crap in - crap out…

    I thought that was pretty funny how Hans got burnt on the "nobler" thing. For God's sake, read your freaking dictionaries and stop making a fool of yourself! It’s almost unbearable for me to watch.
     
  34. I'm not really interested in snapping a frame and then spending 6 hours screwing around with blurring filters and rgb correction. I'd rather sit by the waterfall for hours and figure out what weather, time of day, focal length, and shutter speed I want to use.

    so go do that, whos stopping you...?
     
  35. Photoshopped, white balanced, airbrushed, botoxed, tummy-tucked, suntanned and spit-shined. Oh yeah, this is the way of the future, get with the program, Tommy Boy. All the little girls and boys on MTV looking perfect/can't sing/dancing-shaking wiggly ass, all the little digitgraphs looking smooth, color-corrected. Instant feedback, immediate gratification, gimme-gimme, fat-baby wants more garbage-in/garbage-out one hole to another. Smooth, sexy, cool, new must be better, looks good, less heart/less soul/less value/good price.
     
  36. Lee this would make a great song! You've summed it up nicely.
     
  37. These conversations about "tools" are always amusing to me. 99.9% of all viewers don't care about process, cameras, film vs. digital, graphic art vs. photography, whether or not it took a week to capture the pic or if you got it on the fly. All they care about is the image and does it impact them in some way.
     
  38. Jake, I can't speak for others but I don't care that much about the viewers in general, especially the public at large. I do care what other photographers think and, as you can see, many do care alot about the process.
     
  39. Weasel: "If the definition of photography is arranging objects in a rectangle..."

    Do you honestly think I said that "the definition of photography is arranging objects on a rectangle"? What I was doing was noting that the process of composition when making a photograph is like the process of graphic design -- arranging spatial relationships among shapes in a rectangle. For this reason, I'm saying that there is already some overlap between graphic design and photography, whereas you want to claim that they are entirely separate, and that there's a regrettable movement towards merging them.

    Perhaps you want to say that photography is ONLY the part with the light, and the recording medium. Well, OK. But then everything that happened before the shutter opened, or after it closed, would not be part of photography. What's the use of such a definition?

    Hans: similarly, I didn't say that "Typography and layout on a page" were photography. I said (to paraphrase) that when you are composing with a camera, you are doing design. It's the same act, in the abstract, of creating or suggesting meaning through the spatial arrangement of shapes.

    Bradley: I believe Hans was right about "nobler" vs "more noble". But if you want to discuss, please email me, don't post it to the forum.

    D. Poinsett: Exactly right. Why are people like Weasel ("It depresses me...") and so many others UPSET by what other photographers (or graphic designers) do? Why does it make any difference to you at all? You are still perfectly free to make images however you want, regardless of how many others you think are "lazy", "don't care", etc.
     
  40. Andy,

    Do you only make pictures for other photographers? A rather incestuous audience, don't you think? I don't mean this in a pejorative way, but I guess that's okay for hobbyists. But pros, both commercial and "art", cater to a larger audience and that's the 99.9% I refer to.


    A bigger question(s) perhaps better posed in another thread is; do art, photography, or any of the visual media require an audience? Is communication, ie. feedback/reaction, required to have a valid visual art. Asked another way; if you create an image and no one sees it, what have you created? At the very least, it's an object. But, is it any more than that? Obviously, there will be a lot of varied opinions on this.
     
  41. Actually Jake I photograph primarily for myself but most of the people who see what I've done are other photographers and I value their opinion more than the general public. I've found that other photographers are more critical. As for artists I've found that they don't tend to alter their work to please others as much as you make out, at least at a higher level. I think that commercial photographers (portrait, advertising) are the only ones who have to photograph to please others first.
     
  42. If you shoot pictures thinking "I just want to get this on my hard disk and then I'll fix it later", then you are going to shoot a different kind of picture than if you're thinking "I want to make this the best I can right now."

    That's the starting point from which I think about these things. In my opinion, digital and film photography are of equal value. Both produce great images. However, both have completely DIFFERENT PROCESSES.

    It isn't about figuring out which one is better or worse, it's about figuring out which process is better for you. In my opinion, it seems like one of those things that you either are or you aren't. People seem to inherently know whether they prefer film or digital. I think they know because they like to create in certain ways; film facilitates on form of creation, digital another.
     
  43. Andy,

    You've misunderstood my point, or I've not been clear. I don't think anyone should alter their work to please an audience...except for commercial work, movies, etc. What I'm trying to say, is the process is generally only interesting or satisfying to the photographer/artist. Usually, the viewers just don't care that you had to hang by your toes to capture the image and that you developed it in pineapple juice.
     
  44. I see what you mean Jake. However I'm just defending the reason why I do care and that is because the people who view my photos care as well.
     
  45. In the final analysis, does it really matter how someone achieves a great image? I, personally, prefer film to digital but I have seen some really outstanding images taken with digital cameras. I have also seen some disasterous images from digital cameras (over saturated colors, for example). The point is this: a great camera will never make a great photographer unless the person holding the camera knows what he/she is doing. There ARE certain advantages to digital technology, no doubt there, but some of us "old fossils" still enjoy out film cameras. So? Use whatever brings you pleasure! Not every digital user is a "master craftsperson" in digital manipulation and I guess that's why I've seen some horrendous images. Me? I enjoy tinkering with my film camera, and although I can use it on fully automatic (and save time), I prefer to spend time fussing over the aperture and shutter speed settings to achieve a desired d.o.f. What's the point? If someone CAN use a film camera and get great results, GOOD; but, if someone else chooses to use a digital camera and gets the same results (or better, or worse, or whatever) then that's THAT person's decision to do... what difference does it make, really? I enjoy my film and I let others who enjoy digital enjoy whatever they choose to enjoy. Differences are what makes photography such a great hobby (or vocation) for those of us bitten by the proverbial "shutter bug."

    People used to complain that "darkroom technicians" manipulated the origial image. Gee, that sounds like something I hear about digital manipulation....

    By the way, digital photography has brought more people to photography than color film did. Isn't that wonderful, to have more people involved in photography, each possibly contributing to our chosen hobby?
     
  46. "By the way, digital photography has brought more people to photography than color film did. Isn't that wonderful, to have more people involved in photography, each possibly contributing to our chosen hobby?"

    Numbers are not important to me and I don't find having more people to be 'wonderful' in the slightest. The big problem, for me, and many others is that having more and more people switch to digital means that there is a distinct possibility that film may become restricted, expensive or even lost. I don't particularly desire to switch everything that I've spent a number of years accumulating just because people find digital convenient. I know this is going to bring a chorus of people saying that film will not disappear anytime soon but I don't think they know any better than I what direction film will go. It's very expensive to make good quality film and large volume sales are essential.

    If digital and film can exist together, with no loss of quality and price, then I have no real problem with it. But I'm not going to become a cheerleader for it just because more people will use it. More people also means more crap images.
     
  47. Modern Photography merging with graphic design more people more crap images, it's just method to madness, I use an Olympus C4000 in combination with a Nikon FE-2 I like the 2 extremes. full-time student photography 1st semester while the digital is limited in what it can do immediatly it saves film I use it to brainstorm. I have bracket more intelligently with the Nikon. Tools are tools its how they are used A snapshot is a snap shot bad design is bad design. The Brains of the beholder will decide.
     
  48. Hi all,

    It's all about WHY you take photographs. If its your business you have to take the photograph as near perfect as fast as you can - so you can move on to the next waterfall -

    Others only want a single perfect picture of a waterfall and will wait days, not hours, for the perfect exposure.

    I found it counterproductive to do too much time in PS, since there are other shoots to do.

    A photographer is a student of the science of photography and an artist in printed media, whether it's done in a darkroom or a computer.

    Regards
     
  49. A photographer is a student of the science of photography
    Dude, I am like so totally a scientist it's not funny.
     
  50. I do not know too much about PS but it did convert some digital photos i took of iggy pop at the queen mary festival last yr smudging out lighting from mr. pops eyes and applying the 2 o'clock shadow to some but spending more than 10 mins is a waste of time, i would rather be taking photos learn the lessons of previous photos getting better at that science.
     
  51. 'I know this is going to bring a chorus of people saying that film will not disappear anytime soon but I don't think they know any better than I what direction film will go.'..................two separate issues, film disappearing and undergoing change,..................... film disappearing has been predicted by folks going back in excess of ten years, and there are plenty of people who've sold their film cameras and switched to digital, there are also plenty of folks who're sticking with film, and as long as folks want to shoot film, there will be a manufacturer somewhere that'll produce it, these folks in Croatia can't make enough film to satisfy folks for old style film, Alternative Processes are bigger than ever, and film will remain an everchanging dynamic as it always has.

    I'll bet you a case of Ichiban that as of this date 10yrs from now film will be here in force, same bet 20yr from this date, I'll collect easily because of the millions of 35mm/MF/LF cameras on the planet that people LOVE to use.

    Check out the Classic camera forum on this website, the Alternative processes websites out there, the SX-70 clubs, the rangefinder forums, these people love this stuff regardless of the so-called advantages of digital and they're growing because of the internet not dwindling, no there isn't anybody out there making pan-x, so what, individual film types will come and go, but film is here to stay.

    It's the fun of practicing any particular artform that gives us enjoyment not just speed, using your skills in an effort to craft something together and making it as good as you can make it, having a unique vision that as a result of your skills and ability to execute, comes into reality so it can be shared/enjoyed/and provide inspiration for others, that is what art is all about,.................some of the greatest art I've ever seen were studies of the human form done with a PENCIL, the fact that you can buy a digital back doesn't diminish that fact, nor the contributions of anything else that doesn't happen to be digital.

    'Learning to use photoshop is much more important than pre- exposure techniques.'....................................this is so assinine/ridiculous, a lot of what Photoshop is, mimics 'old school' darkroom techniques, many of the filters/plug in filters are steals from painting, if it wasn't for film and painting you wouldn't have Photoshop.

    'I'd rather sit by the waterfall for hours and figure out what weather, time of day, focal length, and shutter speed I want to use.'................this goes to the heart of the matter, I've got Photoshop, Scanners, my PC, I use them because I have to/need to do something I can't do with my film cameras, but I can go out with my 'old school' gear and take my family and meet people and ENJOY myself, I still haven't figured how to involve my wife/or family in the activity of reading a photoshop manual,...................one activity you can participate in and enjoy life while you are doing it,...................the other activity is usually boring, drudgery, and isolating, where only the results count, and anybody that does both film and digital is eventually going to figure this out, that's also why film isn't going anywhere.
     
  52. I don't want to practice 'alternative processes' nor do I want film from 'some manufacturer somewhere'. I want good film, for a decent price from Ilford, Fuji and Kodak in both colour and BW. I want film that is going to be easy to obtain, have a high quality control and one that will be continously improved. I want 35mm, 120 and 4x5 film of the nature that I have described above. Anything less than this is not suitable and can be blamed on the rise of digital cameras. End of story.
     
  53. Some photogs are purists: they've chosen one set of means to an end, and like to think it's the best. Others will use any number of means to achieve their ends. I'm RARELY asked what equipment/media were used to make my images, except by technocrats. And they have their place under the sun, too.
     
  54. 'I don't want to practice 'alternative processes' nor do I want film from 'some manufacturer somewhere'. I want good film, for a decent price from Ilford, Fuji and Kodak in both colour and BW. I want film that is going to be easy to obtain, have a high quality control and one that will be continously improved.'.............................It doesn't make any difference whether you like the alternative processes or not, plenty of other folks do, which is the point, alternative processes are on the upswing, many of which are much more difficult to use than modern film, a lousy film will disappear because it's lousy, not because digital had anything to do with it.

    Have you used Efke and Maco film, this stuff is dynamite, and the folks who are making this stuff are backordered, you interjected these last statements suggestive of the fact that somehow if it isn't Fuji, Kodak, or Ilford, it probabaly ins't of a high quality and probably 'trailor trash', you aren't the only one that likes quality, so that is a moot point, the quality of the films on the market was never the issue, which is that it's silly to suggest that because of the existence of digital, people who love their 'old school' gear, or their rangefinders, or the alternative processes, shouldn't be enjoying them, there is no clearer way to put it.

    I'm no purist, I've been using digital since '97, I use them both, the folks who are the purists are those who go exclusively digital and then look down their nose at the other folks who don't as if somehow they're missing something,.......................If the folks who've gone completely digital are happy with the road they've chosen, that's great, I wish 'em the best, the silliness comes in when those same folks who've gone completely digital cannot afford the folks who've chosen not to, the same courtesy, they declare folks who still 'bother' with film 'diehards' or whatever.

    There are more scanners, digital cameras, digital backs, CD burners, digital backs, printers, and PC's that have been discontinued/bit the dust, than there ever were film emulsions that disappeared, and as a longtime user of digital, you began to take stock of the financial drain/headaches/fixes/workarounds of digital and put it in its proper place as a very valuable tool, it is not the 'all or nothing' alternative to film, nor will it be in the forseeable future, because at its present state of development it's too expensive and not as simple and reliable as film. The folks who talk of only the advantages of digital, while never mentioning any of its drawbacks, simply have their head in the sand.
     
  55. Hi,

    The fact is that there are a bilion people in China and hundreds of milions in Africa that do not have electricity, not to speak of laptops and PC's.

    These people are only starting off in photography and they ALL use film. (and mechanical cameras)

    Therefore the "traditional" manufacturers, AND some new ones taking over technology from some of the traditionals, will be making film for at least another generation.

    Regards
     
  56. "The fact is that there are a bilion people in China and hundreds of milions in Africa that do not have electricity, not to speak of laptops and PC's. These people are only starting off in photography and they ALL use film. (and mechanical cameras)"

    First of all, they haven't just started to photograph. And secondly I don't think I want to send my film to China or Africa for processing - the labs will be where the film is. The lab that I use in Vancouver is suffering because of digital photography. More and more people are using their inkjets at home than ever before and business is down. I was told this by the owner who probably has a pretty good idea of what is happening.

    As for the small film manufacturers that are allegedly going to save the day, I doubt whether they can provide the consistent quality and low price of the big manufacturers. Why? Because it's expensive to produce good quality, reliable film on a large scale. Just the fact that they are backordered should tell you something ie they can't produce it on a large scale.

    And there's no reason to use 'old school gear' in reference to film photography. Digital is not some major improvement that has enriched the photography world. It's mainly about convenience and those who use it have been willing to take a hit in the quality department just for their own convenience and/or the fact that they like new technology.
     
  57. Our relationship to the "captured" image continues to evolve. From paintings to diarama to viewing mirrors to camera obscura to Daguerreotype to glass plates to film to silicon and a bunch of other stuff I left out, the technical and social development marches on. It is unlikely that our precious film and wet processes will be lost any more than any of the other technologies mentioned above have been lost. They all have there place and devotees.

    In due time there will be another new technology and those who love digital will bemoan its passing and proclaim the new-fangled whatever impure.
     
  58. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I'm not really interested in this debate, however
    The fact is that there are a bilion people in China and hundreds of milions in Africa that do not have electricity, not to speak of laptops and PC's.
    These people are only starting off in photography and they ALL use film. (and mechanical cameras)

    can only be said by someone who hasn't been out much.
    "Developing nations" like China lunge head-first into technology and adopt it quickly. I spent December in an Asian country poorer than China and the main word associated with "photography" is "digital," although "Fuji" is a close second.
    The other thing to realize is that in places without electricity, people are far more interested in getting medicine than film.
     
  59. "Digital is not some major improvement that has enriched the photography world. It's mainly about convenience and those who use it have been willing to take a hit in the quality department just for their own convenience and/or the fact that they like new technology." It is an arguable point. The big companies like HP are selling their printers and lucrative inks with theme that the user now has control over the total process, as well as its timing. I guess,at this neonatal stage, shooting and postprocessing are in separate but equal categories. Like Weasel I,prefer the camera,posing,framing et al part,but then I had- for long time- a savvy tech following instructions to deliver a custom print. Now he is gone to another occupation. Hard to say one or the other is more important or more fun. As post production gets easier, smarter, trickier,does this not lead to more creative, or imaginative spark? I sure don't know. And I don't think anyone does. So the debate goes on into reruns. I do see less comments such as this now -'Looks like this image was photoshopped to death." GS
     
  60. 'And there's no reason to use 'old school gear' in reference to film photography.'.....................There's the only reason that counts, my 'old school' gear is paid for, and I like using
    em, nothing else can/or will make any difference.

    Again everything is relative, 50 yrs from now folks will be having a good laugh reading these threads, they should, the 'newness' of the technology is the most 'fleeting' and 'transitory' aspect of the creative process, paintbrushes come 'n go, the only difference that counts is the hands that use them.
     
  61. I used to be in the anti-digital camp. I think I was a general or warlord supreme or something. I look at what is being created now, from images that in their "raw" state...........SUCK, but in their "post" processing state, are incredible works of art. Since I began expanding my notion of what photography/art is and have finally gotten over the "war", I see limitless possibilities in the digital realm. Will I go the digital route? Hardly. I enjoy standing around in the dark creating my images. I enjoy the tactile sensations found in the dark. But were I younger and had the time to devote to the learning curve inherent in this new platform, I would embrace the revolution we are now witnessing. I will die long before they stop making LF film. But for me, the digital revolution has freed the slaves. Now people with vision can create easily what was impossible just a few years ago. Witness what we see here on this site. You are free to sit by that waterfall, enjoy it's beauty, and indulge in your vision of it. Others will happily walk up to it, snap a picture of it, go back to their computers, and make wonderfully creative images far removed from anything you can in your darkroom. That doesn't lessen your enjoyment. Nor does it theirs. The line has disappeared. Rejoice, open your eyes, and enjoy what is being created. Believe me! It doesn't hurt a bit.
     
  62. Hi, What I tried to bring over is that the film manufacturers will still have a large market for quite a while. Even if it will be disposable units. Other film will still be in circulation as well. I do not think much "new" film will be developed though, and D&P of film will become a headache. I know however that in about 3 years' time it will become very cumbersome to use film as a medium.(And expensive) My main equipment is a Contax 645 outfit so I'm one of the people "crying" about Kodak's move away from the DCS proback. As far as me getting out......... I actualy LIVE in Africa, spent last September in Asia, October -2weeks- in Australia. The last two weeks of October I went to Cocos Island, Maldives & Seychelles. Next month I'll be in London, Antwerp & possibly Zurich. I've been to Lapland, Egypt etc. etc. I have NOT been to the USA. But most other places,.... maybe once I've been to the 'States I'll have the experience to air my view?! Regards
    007LFf-16569984.jpg
     
  63. Traveling,...............along with photography, it is just about the most enriching thing a person can do.
     
  64. jbs

    jbs

    Weasel Bar,
    So do you print your own shots or do you send that out to a pimple faced little girl sitting behind a huge printer pressing little buttons marked + & - on the rgb scale at the local wal-greens like so many of these very funny human beings that seem to believe that taking the picture is the end of the creative process...Yes there are some people who don't want to sit around the waterfall for 6 hours to get a blue print and then try to figure out why the little pimple faced girl at 'moto-foto' can't blow up my blue print to an 8x10 and get the same colors. ...Digital photography and the digital darkroom allows everyone who chooses it more time to concentrate on how the piece will be presented and percieved rather than obsessing over film speeds, fstops and shutter speed.....;)...J
     
  65. Weasel,I believe as you suggest that a rewarding part or imagemaking comes before and while one takes the photograph. Otherwise, might as well join Pixar studios and get to create artificial waterfalls,dogs,people,rabbits. Your doctors ought to stick to what they do well, and I'll agree not to prescribe, listen to heart sounds and do finger waves:) I love them teenage drug store gals. They are the frontier of our service economy. ( All who have used Walmart/drug stores for photos at least once or twice,raise your hand.) It depresses you because post production while not a bad thing in any way is mechanics or more mechanics. ( Philosophically speakin,photography is NOT everything in life)
     
  66. jbs

    jbs

    Gerry, Henry Ford would be very proud of you!
    Post production is mechanical? Wow! you do like that drugstore... but you give up one third of the creative process in creating an image! If that doesn't bother you that's cool, but mechanical...I'd have to guess that you never printed a picture or have a clue to the kind of creative freeedom you have over an image in the darkroom or digital darkroom...;)...J
     
  67. J.B,fill me with wisdom,please. Darkroom work to me is like cooking spaghetti. PhotoShop manipulation will BECOME like preparing spaghetti (formulaic that is) after a while..Mechanical is not a pejorative unless you choose it to be. And that is the problem with dialogue on line,one is always explaining the explanation ad infinitem and seeking not to be too shittyass about it.OK Do I disparage a good spaghetti chef. Good grief,no. Do I choose to make my own spaghetti.Once in a while, and I make a great sauce,takes two hours or more, adding a bit of sweet wine regularly(w a sip in between). I usually go to Jim's at Wahiawa and he does it for me to my taste,al dente.And where does that leave this emerging clash of opinion. Let us agree that we can't convince anybody who loves cooking(or handling the chemistry and the layers and curves and such) that its not an art at that stage. But working with people to elicit an expression,arranging a flower,waiting for the perfect sunset..ah that is what is satisfying here... Am I communicating? Is this just the beginning of a standard he said,she said,they said thing.I rest my case...And. Shaky to rest an argument on assumptions about someone's background as one knows. I was groggy from hypo, mixed developers from raw chemical before some photofriends were born,yep tis so. Which proves nothing.So what else is new. Is the new baby arrived? That we both agree is a blessing to savor.Aloha, enjoy.Be well.
     
  68. jbs

    jbs

    ;) Gerry,
    Aloha friend,
    She's not here yet but any moment...
    Yeah I make a mean dish...different every time too...that's art...
    What I was trying to express is that when someone laments over the other guy or gal not enjoying the math of f-stops they rarely see the hippocracy in giving their prized celluloid (or cf card) over to a machine or novice. Of couse I've done all those things and more, it's just silliness...Of couse it's the people and expressions and emotions...;)...J
     

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