"What Makes A REAL Photograph" (according to ForesthillFilmLab)

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by shannon_t, Apr 26, 2017.


Is There's Such Thing as Digital Photography?

  1. Yes, photography encompasses both film and digital.

  2. No, photography can only be done on film, light-sensitive paper, and wet/dry plate.

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. A Sacramento photographer and BMXer, who real name is Travis Mortz, posted a video a day ago telling people that there's no such thing is digital photography. He claims that photography can only be done on one-time-use light sensitive materials. He also justifies this by reading and quoting books that are published no later than 1987. In fact, one of the books is published in 1931. I think he's very narrow-minded, snobbish, and will not take any criticism (I know, he blocked my comments from being seen). The really sad part is that not only he has fans agreeing his him, he's also making and raising kids to believe his warped philosophy.


    His sources:
    The Encyclopedia of Photography: the Comprehensive Guide and Reference for all Photographers -Willard D. Morgan, 1967
    Black and White Photography: A Basic Manual, 2nd Edition - Carol Keller, 1983
    The Print, 1st Edition - Ansel Adams, 1968
    Photography: Its Principles and Practice - C. B. Neblette, 1931
    The Illustrated Dictionary of Photography - Adrian Bailey, 1987

    Moderator Note: Images removed as per Photo.net Terms and Conditions and User Guidelines. Do not post images that you did not make.
  2. I enjoy that channel and watch his videos. I think language changes as time passes and the current definition would include digital imaging. . However he did add "real" to the label. . So the choices above do not include the word "real" and is not really pertinent to the point I think he was making.
  3. I think it's rather odd you posted two pictures and a video of someone you so vehemently disagree with. And I think the children are still safe, even with this person's free speech floating about.
    Uhooru likes this.
  4. There's a bird outside my window (a towhee for you bird lovers) who says "Drink you tea," all day long.

    I argue with him vehemently because I am not drinking tea: I am drinking coffee. Doesn''t bother him. He keeps saying the same thing. All. Day. Long.
  5. I'm talking about his elitist views. I believe film and digital photography can coexist together, but this guy ain't helping. If anything, he's also reinforcing stereotypes about film photographers, especially the film-only crowd. Also do you really want your children, if you have any, to grow up to have the same attitude as him?
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
  6. I think that Julie's post moves us into territory that is somewhat more likely to be fruitful.
    We used to have lots of towhees here in southern Illinois, but haven't seen one in years. I guess the times (and climate) are a-changing
    Landrum Kelly and DavidTriplett like this.
  7. No. And I wouldn't worry too much about that. Children I raise would be exposed to a host of opinions and taught to think critically. How someone else raises their children or what someone else teaches his kids about photography won't much affect my own kids, assuming I'm raising them to understand varying viewpoints and think independently.

    Something I might try to instill in them is that an unscientific poll on the Internet where each respondent can check two boxes that contradict each other asking what real photography is might give them some sociological info but won't give them much in the way of determining what a photo is. I would instill in them the idea that Internet debates about whether film or digital photography is real photography has little to do with either photography or real photography.
    Gerald Cafferty likes this.
  8. I still think the kids will be okay, even if they're exposed to Mortz's opinions. I don't agree with Mortz, but I am amused by how hard he's pushing all the hipster buttons -- and the Che shirt is just too cliché.
    tholte, wogears and david_gardner|6 like this.
  9. Is there such a thing as an electric lamp?

    Yes. Lamps include both oil and electric-fueled lighting devices.

    No. Only oiled-fueled lighting devices are lamps.

    I can prove this by limiting the scope of my research to sources of information published before the 19th century work of Sir Humphrey Davie on battery powered platinum filament and arc lamps.

    I'm confident that Travis Mortz was not a member of his high school debate club.
    movingfinger likes this.
  10. Turns out that's just the tip of the iceberg. He has an earlier video called "Film Vs. Digital: The True Costs", where he he tries to prove that film is several times less expensive than digital and then proceeds to bash digital photographers:

    "Well you're gonna buy a $900 camera then a 5D because you're a dumb digital shooter. Us film bros know how to go to a thrift store, and use eBay, and get the savviest deal ever."
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
  11. If I were you, and you're concerned about what your children are learning, I'd use this as a teaching moment to show them that people on the Internet will say anything to stir up controversies and/or get attention. If, on the other hand, you want to teach them about photography, teach from your own experience, from books you've read that you found helpful, and show them the work of a variety of photographers of all stripes, some you like and some you don't. Before giving your opinion of them, ask them what they think of the work.
  12. Who cares?
  13. Does it matter to anyone but himself what he thinks a "real photograph" is?

    That would be the shorter form of my question.
  14. From the source of all knowledge (Google): Photograph: 1. a picture made using a camera, in which an image is focused onto film or other light-sensitive material and then made visible and permanent by chemical treatment, or stored digitally.:):mad::p
    shannon_t likes this.
  15. Every now and then, this quote leaps into my mind re Mr. Mortz:

    His was of the order of particular and minute minds that try to whittle nothing to a point.

    H.P. Robinson, Letters On Landscape Photography, 1888
  16. What's strange about him? I think there are probably quite a lot of people on Photonet who think the same as he does.

    But, indeed, what about the kids? Once children are brought into it, we know it is getting very serious indeed.
    Landrum Kelly likes this.
  17. An image can be good and compelling whether it's taken on a disposable camera, a Hasselbad 500, an iPhone, or(insert latest high end DSLR). At the end of the day, the results are what matter, and any of the above-as well as the in betweens-are capable of such in competent hands. Heck, I'd say the average person on the street is more capable of taking a compelling photography with an iPhone or a P&S/DSLR in "green box" mode than with a Hasselbad.

    I still use a lot of film, and have a pretty wide gamut of cameras. I have more 35mm SLRs than I care to count, a couple of LTM rangefinders(including a Leica), a couple of Rolleiflexes, two different 6x6 SLR systems, a Mamiya RB67 system, and a growing collection of 4x5 cameras and lenses. When I get the film cameras out, I tend to go into a different mindset and feel like I'm more likely to get a good result(plus I just enjoy the process, from loading the film to watching a print develop). I love dumping out a box of Velvia transparencies on the light table, or even better laying a 4x5 on it. That's me, though. When I'm looking at a compelling photo, the medium used to produce it is not what's on my mind.
  18. What about them indeed? No need to drag them into this discussion; everything gets already blown way out of proportion anyway. First and foremost, they are his. And second, even if exposed to his "warped philosophy" about real photography, they will also be exposed to other views and can decide for themselves. There are much worse philosophies to be exposed to then a warped sense about what is and isn't photography.

    Why even waste 22 minutes on watching his spouting of nonsense? Why getting upset at all over what one person chooses to believe enough in to make a video about it? Why continue to try to engage when one realizes that his mind is made up about the issue? There are situations where these things are important; this is not one of them.
    DavidTriplett likes this.
  19. Everybody is entitled to an opinion, and the opinion and position does not have to either or. It is a spectrum.
    The digital guys can get just as biased about the film guys as the film guys can get to the digital guys.
    And there are guys in between that shoot mostly film and use digital, or mostly digital and use film.
    And there are former film guys who moved to digital for various reasons, but still like film.
  20. I think we're about ready for Godwin's law to eventuate, if this post does not already do that.

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