a random thought

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by rkmiec, May 31, 2007.

  1. rkmiec

    rkmiec Member

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    so i was thinking today about when photography first came about.did artists of the time feel that what they were doing(painting,sketching,etc)was going to pass just as we feel digital is slowly killing film.i dont want this to be a film vs digital discussion.i was just thinking that maybe painters etc of the time may have felt they were a dying breed as we feel we are now.in a hundred years or so when a 500 megapixel camera in a cell device implanted in your wrist is all the rage will people still be enjoying film as much as people can still enjoy paintings.something to think about.i hope so.even if people have to create there own emulsion.....it sure would be nice to know.we can only do our part in keeping film alive and fun.what are your thoughts.
     
  2. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    Photography still relies on reality to an extent to create our art. A painting can be created straight from the imagination. I think they are two separate art forms.

    But I do believe that painters, especially for commercial purposes did feel threatened by photography, and the later did replace painting for that purpose, just as ariel photography did away with "birds eye" artists.

    I certainly hope film stays alive! I know I and everyone in this forum will do their part to make sure this great medium survives well into the future.
     
  3. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Photography is in NO DANGER of dying out. Rather it is the silver-based film style of photography that is diminishing as a consumer and professional activity.
     
  4. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    it was thought that landscape painting and portrait painting were killed when photography arrived. And it is pretty much true. Painting sort of reinvented itself at the time and painters became more involved in the quality of the paint itself as subject. Realism in painting certainly has made its way back though. I think that the difference between digital and film is less than the difference between photography and painting. Now that you can paint with computer programs is painting with a brush on canvas dead? When you can put a lump of clay in a 3d laser cutter and design a sculpture digitally then have the laser make it for you I think hand built sculpture will continue. As long as I am alive and have a freezer, film photography will continue.
     
  5. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    The reaction of French painter Paul Delaroche (1797-1859) to the Daguerreotype in 1839 was 'from today, painting is dead' -- but he seemed curiously unworried about it.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  6. j-fr

    j-fr Member

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    Take a look at David Hockney's book "Secret Knowledge" from 2001.

    j-fr

    www.j-fr.dk
     
  7. Videbaek

    Videbaek Member

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    Painting as a money-making profession wasn't all that much affected, I believe, by the advent of photography at least when it comes to portraits -- a painted family portrait was too expensive for the vast majority of people anyway. With regard to landscape painting, yes, I think photography hurt many run-of-the-mill landscape genre painters: photographers were making better landscape pictures, cheaper. When it comes to "art", well, photography wasn't taken seriously at all until very recently and it's still a marginal artform in terms of the prices paid for pictures. (Rightly so.) I think the effect of photography on the important painters of the 1880s and 1890s is still greatly underestimated. Some critics have written a little about how photographic composition affected painterly composition but not nearly enough. In the history of painting, I think there was clearly a "before photography" and "after photography". It's no coincidence that the first truly modern painters broke free of the prevailing academic classicism just when photography became prevalent. I think the founding members of the impressionist movement were turned on to painting in "plein air" and a new way of representing light by photography. In photographs, they saw new seeing and it set their minds racing. Also, they were obligated as artists to take painting further than the correct representation of reality, which photography could achieve so effortlessly. And so they did, sparking the explosion of modern painting that continues to this day. Photography didn't hurt painting, always the preserve of the moneyed classes. It gave personal pictures to people who never had them before -- family portraits, wedding pictures, business association pictures, etc. And photography put painters on the right track again: exploring the outermost limits of pure creativity and expression. What a blessing!
     
  8. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Queen Victoria asked the court painter if he was worried about photography displacing him. His reply was something like, "No, the camera doesn't flatter."
     
  9. percepts

    percepts Member

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    Reading the following from the photographic history web site of Robert Leggatt it would seem that photographers and painters were quite happy to coexist. I wonder whether pointillism was a painting style derived from looking at how b+W images were made up of grain?

    NADAR
    b. 5 April 1820; d. 1910

    His real name was Gaspard-Felix Tournachon. He was a colourful French caricaturist, writer, portrait photographer and balloonist, and flamboyant showman. Nadar was derived from his nickname ("tourne a dard") meaning "bitter sting", which he earned for his caricatures. He owned a portrait studio with his brother Adrien, from 1853, in the Rue St. Lazare, Paris.

    Combining his interest in balloon flying, in 1858 he received a patent for this, and became the first to take pictures from the air. His balloon was enormous, had a two-story gondola, capable of carrying up to fifty men. The balloon had its own darkroom, the process at the time requiring exposure and development whilst the plate was still wet. Two years later capped this by photographing the Paris sewers, using electric light.

    He photographed many famous people, including Liszt, Balzac, Delacroix, Emile Zola and Rossini. One of his pictures is that of Victor Hugo, whom he had known for many years, on his death bed, 1885. Though he photographed many women, it is said that he preferred not to, saying that "the images are too true to Nature to please the sitters, even the most beautiful".

    His studio became the meeting place for great artists of the day, and in 1874 it housed the first Impressionist exhibition.

    In 1857, when establishing his right before a tribunal to use the name "Nadar" he made the following observation:

    "The theory of photography can be taught in an hour; the first ideas of how to go about it in a day. What can't be taught... is the feeling for light - the artistic appreciation of effects produced by different...sources; it's the understanding of this or that effect following the lines of the features which required your artistic perception.

    What is taught even less, is the immediate understanding of your subject - it's this immediate contact which can put you in sympathy with the sitter, helps you to sum them up, follow their normal attitudes, their ideas, according to their personality, and enables you to make not just a chancy, dreary cardboard copy typical of the merest hack in the darkroom, but a likeness of the most intimate and happy kind...."
     
  10. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I think film-chemical photography will definitely survive.

    It is not merely for the technical reasons. I had a convert to d*****l try to convert me. His argument was that "d**... is SO much easier." I told him I was not interested in "easy" ... that I was happy in my struggle to produce "art" - and that, no matter what the media, I would expend the necessary effort.

    The recent Black-and-White, Film ONLY, show at the Brush Gallery reinforced my faith in film photography ... not that it is impossible to do "good" work using d**..., but that, on the whole, the QUALITY of film based work IS superior, now, and probably in the will be in the future. I am still astounded by the work that was on the walls there... far more than I have been with any d**... - included show.

    More and more, I seem to sense a greater dedication to art among the surviving film photographers. I would assume the same happened when colored pigments were introduced during the charcoal/ silverpoint era. It will take more dedication to survive, but I am sure the sheer overall quality will increase, because of it, and with it, the appreciation of our "analog" work.
     
  11. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I use both, but the digital is for utilitarianism. I don't own a D. D. C.* but I have a couple of scanners. One of them was very useful in saving and preserving my grandfather's 5x7 glass negatives made before 1905 and stored in abominable conditions. I can make duplicate negatives and reprint them to my heart's content.

    Ed is right I think. Snapshots may have been completely taken over by the DDC's that are built into cell phones. Unfortunately, that used to be a large part of film and finishing business.

    * Damnable Digital Camera.
     
  12. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Yes, I think you are correct, and I think that has resulted in a "depreciation" of photography in general, at least to the general public. I have a DDC (I like that term!) in my cell phone, and it was absolutely free! I got it merely by renewing my contract with Cingular (or whoever they are this week...), something which I would have done anyway. So if I can "take pictures" for free, and I can "show them to my friends" for free... why on earth should I ever consider paying some professional photographer to take my picture?
     
  13. 40oz

    40oz Member

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    I can scribble a quick sketch on a napkin in crayon. Why on earth would I ever pay for a camera?
     
  14. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    There may portend an enormous irony that will cause the "real" camera manufacturers to rue the day they fully embraced digital and abandoned film gear.

    The cell phone is rapidly becoming the "snapshooter" for most "ordinary" folk. As you point out - they now just throw one into the phone for no extra charge.

    So no longer can Nikon or Canon or (fill in the ________ ) count on basic P&S cameras to "cover the overhead" and finance the R&D for higher-end gear.

    If I were Nikon or Canon - I'd be trying to figure out a way to build a cell phone into my P&S w/digi zoom BEFORE the cell phone manufacturers figure out how to do it the other way! :surprised:
     
  15. Videbaek

    Videbaek Member

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    Amazing how this point came up -- the prevalence of "cellphone photography" as a portion of the overall digital photography market. Now, I haven't done any research on the matter but as a former telecoms marketeer who's kept close track of this area out of interest, I can point out a few basic things... Cellphone manufacturers, i.e. Nokia, have put digital cameras into their cellphones as "feature marketing" -- it's a "feature race" where you lure buyers to your brand with cool new features (in cellphones it's been music and photo capability so far, with TV a whacky one on the near horizon). Cellphone cameras, although they've reached 3 Mpixels I believe just recently with a few new models, aren't anything more than toys. Even the basic "family man" snapshooter will prefer a basic point-and-shoot digital camera that's built for the purpose -- he already has one, and is thinking of upgrading to a better one. There's no evidence that the cellphone camera capability is cutting into the digital camera mass-market, which is still growing enormously. Of course the cellphone manufacturers will market their digital photo capability as "You don't need a separate digi camera! You've got one on your phone!" but it doesn't wash. They're not addressing the real market in trying to be all things to all people. People have the digi camera on the phone, sure, but on the whole they aren't used enough to even consider as part of the digital photo market. The same is true of the cellphone manufacturers' attempts to bring MP3 music to their cellphones in an attempt to muscle into the music market. This is more complicated, again I haven't looked into it properly -- some people are using their hybrid cellphones to listen to music -- but generally this is also a very particular market where people want their portable music device to work specifically on that job (iPod). So, basically, Nikon and Canon don't need to worry about cellphone manufacturers taking away their basic point-and-shoot market. The cellphone manufacturers are working at a huge disadvantage there and know it. They're just trying feature-marketing (a technique old as the hills) to increase market share. Nikon and Canon shouldn't, however, ignore this development, but probably they need to focus on pricing mainly. They're good at this. No worries.
     
  16. radiantdarkroom

    radiantdarkroom Member

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    The whole cell phone camera thing seems almost some kinda big brother setup, tricked into keeping an eye on ourselves. How do we know that the aliens are not somehow watching us with our cell phones? Maybe it has become in fashion to watch us on another planet. Diane Arbus on acid for sure. Sounds like a bad idea.
     
  17. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I suppose they might think they were watching us now if they had given us our cell phones a number of years ago.
     
  18. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    My thinking -
    Cell phones, I agree with the above, mostly marketing, P&S digi cameras are replacing the commercial photofinishing business for family, vacation, etc. I am about to finally buy a reasonably good D-camera (one that will take my Nikon lenses) for vacation and family stuff, just because I no longer have time for darkroom hours for this kind of photography.
    But my serious work, black and white, will always be film and wet process until I can no longer buy the materials. For one thing, it's too much fun, bringing up the image in the tray (even if I explored the negative with PShop to give me a creative start with the image).
    Someone's byline says something like "Digital has no soul". It is that almost tactile quality of grain in an image that makes it analog for me. I've seen software available (a pluggin for PShop, I think) that creates a look of grain for B&W photographers who desire a total digital workflow, but the look of film. Goofy, if you ask me, but it will be interesting to see if it survives.
    I think that for the fine art market, the wet process print, archivally processed and toned, will fall somewhere in the craft-oriented class occupied already by Platinum and Paladium prints, Bromoil, and other alternatives. If enough of this is still done in the world to support the market, we will find suppliers of the materials, even if we are reduced to a small number of companies left standing and committed.
    And organizations like APUG will allow us as a group to continue to flourish, at least as a market force. (No "We happy few" speech intended"...)
     
  19. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    There are some parallels between the painting to silver photography and the silver to digital photography transitions. At times, where photography was "the thing," painting supplies became hard to find and the prices went up. Since painting was such a different and such a versatile medium, however, things stabilized and art supplies are generally readily available. A big difference is that silver photography requires a much larger, more expensive, and more technical industrial base. The question is whether there will be enough demand to support this base in a way that gives quality and variety.
     
  20. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Interesting thread,

    I am absolutely convinced silver based photography will continue : Why ?, because the ultimate quality will always be needed by the practitioners who use it, value it, learn how to do it, make art from it and the buyers who collect it.

    Nothing else can look look like an image recorded on film by YOU, why ? its the way YOU take it, the way YOU develop it, and the way YOU print it and the film YOU choose to take the shot and the paper YOU choose to print it.

    Two photographers at the same time time and place will produce two different images, even in colour, but for the real difference look at monochrome.

    Its why I love my job... and I am proud of the products my company makes...

    Regards

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :