All Alone

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by RattyMouse, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    I made a comment in another thread that I thought would generate an interesting discussion so am posting it here under a proper subject heading.

    Compared to China, I have seen exactly ZERO other film shooters here while out shooting in Rome. I nearly always see someone shooting film when in Shanghai (anything from 35mm to a Hasselblad), but here in Rome, none at all so far. I'm sure that someone else is out there, but not too many of them. It feels more than a tad odd being so different from all the other digital shooters. How can no one else see the fun in shooting film?? There are a bazillion people in this city all with cameras shooting a gazillion photos. You can really see how much Kodak and the others have lost out in the move to digital. Every snap back in the day was money in their pockets. What a staggering loss.
     
  2. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    In every western city I was - I see like 1-2 film user on whole weekend. 99,99% of people like their facebook, instagram or whatever over proper photo made on paper (from film or from digital source). They don't make photos to have memory of it, or to make some nice art, or to enjoy photography as a craft, ... they do it to share on line with virtual friends - who are doing the same - and funny and sad is that nobody is looking on those photos: author nor virtual friends. If there is a digital photography - but no internet - there wold not be so many pollution of senseless digital images.
     
  3. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    On the French news this morning they reported that people around the world make 1.4 billion images per day (they're speaking of digital, of course) -- and, per the report, most are made to share with friends and family on social media. Nothing wrong with that, per se, but I have a hard time imagining that most of these image-grabbers spends much time actually looking at what they've imaged.

    My bedtime reading last night was my notebook of film developing from about five years ago; I must remember to buy more glycin...
     
  4. mauro35

    mauro35 Member

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    My personal feeling and experience is that there is a good but obviously relatively small community of people in Europe who still uses film extensively. I would probably not expect to easily spot this kind of photographers in the touristic areas of Rome or other big cities. I´m sure they are there too somewhere, but too diluted to appear to the naked eye. We have to accept to be rare and therefore valuable (hopefully).
     
  5. Loulou

    Loulou Member

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    In Rome there are enough film shooters to support an analogue photography shop so there must be some more people around taking photos without using digital. This is the shop: http://www.ars-imago.com/ I have no affiliation with them apart from being a happy customer of their Swiss branch.
     
  6. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    This is what I am talking about. They just sitting there - nobody is looking at them.

    Yesterday I was developing for the third - fourth time prints from my sisters wedding - I was second photographer. Fist one was pro with a canon 5d and white lenses, he made couple of DVD's with thousands of jpg's. They are sitting there and nobody is looking at them. I made prints from TriX - and people are looking at those, and from time to time some friends or relatives from sister or husband are saying - I want this print as well. It is not digital vs analog: it is print vs bytes. When some digital shooter wants to show me some photos - I always say: show me the prints, no jpg's. If you did not made prints - then you don't appreciate this photo - and I will not look at it.
     
  7. mauro35

    mauro35 Member

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    Absolutely agree! I have some couple of thousands jpegs from the days back when I was using a digital camera. They are in a folder in some drive. Don´t even remeber them and don´t feel like I have "made" them.
     
  8. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    I was thinking: I was never in China, but it is possible that digital craziness did not reached maximum in whole population in China? In West Europe (and I guess USA and Japan) every body has expensive digital camera - maybe majority of people in China still can not afford 500-1000€ camera? And it is cheaper to use film.
     
  9. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I was shocked to read somewhere recently that the majority of all all the photographs ever taken in history were taken in last two years.
     
  10. baachitraka

    baachitraka Member

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    Tip to avoid long queue to get ticket to Colosseum: Get the ticket at entrance of Roman Forum..tada...just 10mins of standing.
     
  11. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    For years I took photos professionally with a Nikon N70 SLR, using an N50 as a backup. In the early 1990s I purchased these cameras and with them some autofocus lenses. But I also used the camera bodies with non-autofocus lenses such as my 500mm Vivitar Mirror lens and my 19mm Vivitar wide angle. Later, I added a Nikon D50 DSLR. Since I don't "chimp" much when using the DSLR, I have to wonder how you could determine if I was shooting film or digital unless you put your face two feet from my camera gear. Yes, when I use my Rolleiflex or one of my three Bilora Bella film cameras it is pretty easy to see I am shooting film. I personally would not conclude everyone is going with the Big D by just looking at every cameraperson casually. And a lot of us film folks are sneaky, especially on the street.
    But let's assume for a minute you are correct. Who cares? If I get out of my 1921 Electric Studebaker, adjust my derby hat and set up my Ermanox glass plate camera with my f 2 lens, why do I care if a swarm of folks around me are using a new Kodak roll-film-on-celluloid camera with its f8 lens instead of "real" glass plates? I'll get better photos than they will.
     
  12. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Nowadays it is easy to spot 99% of digital camera users - even DSLR (live view): they hold camera not on the face, thy hold it half meter away from the face.

    Who cares? Well - we care, since we are discussing Ethics and Philosophy here :smile:
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    i am in a smallstate in the usa, there is an art school ( world renown ) down the street, a handful of colleges and universities
    lots of people everywhere all the time, and while i know of 2 or 3 apug users / film users here, i have seen 1 person in maybe 8 years
    using film. even when i lived outside of boston or travel up there on a day trip ... in the last 7 years, except for the apug people
    i KNOW who live up there i have never seen anyone with an "analogue" camera, even 20 years ago i never saw anyone using a camera.
    i really don't care how many people there are who do or don't use film, or if i am the only one who uses it
    and i certainly don't lose any sleep over how much of the market share any of the "analogue" manufacturers have lost over the years.

    the problem is, if you are shooting COLOUR FILM and need to get it processed, if no one is shooting film, you have to kind of do it yourself ..
    where i am there used to be 4-5 pro labs running all day long, and in boston/cambridge at least 8 that i can remember off the top of my head ..
    now ... maybe 1 or 3 where in am AND in the boston area ... not much to do about it and it seems to be a waste to worry about it ...
     
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  15. baachitraka

    baachitraka Member

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    Yes, do not really worry. You have your negative/positive to print or project for all your life time.
     
  16. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    You'd never see this kid with his camera waving around two feet in front of him. I've been using viewfinders since Nixon was Vice President and don't cotton to them new fangled fuzzy out of focus electronic thinngamabobs.
     
  17. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    You know I travel a lot and sometimes I never see another soul with a film camera, and sometimes I'm surprised by the number of film cameras I see in one day. It's just a matter of timing and luck.

    And as snapguy mentioned, especially if you are a bit further away, it can be a bit difficult to tell if someone is shooting digital or not, especially with certain cameras, and if they're doing it old-school style, i.e. not using the LCD screen to compose. Not that it really matters.

    Being a minority in a majority culture (i.e. a foreign resident in Japan) makes me more aware of others like me, not that I go and talk to them because of our shared circumstance. I sort of feel the same way with film users. There's often a flash of recognition of being from the same tribe, but what do we have to talk about? It's more important to get on with things and take pictures!
     
  18. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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  19. omaha

    omaha Member

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    Fifty years ago, if someone from my home town traveled to Rome, odds are they would take a bunch of 35mm color slide photos. Of course, 50 years ago, such a trip was (economically speaking) completely out of the question for people who grew up in my economic circumstances. A trip to Europe was one of those markers that separated the well-off families from the rest of us. When they got home, they would inflict a lengthy "slide-show" on their friends and neighbors, partly out of general interest and partly as an act of just showing off.

    They would shoot slides because processing was significantly cheaper than getting prints made from negatives. Even though they were among the well off, that was a difference that mattered back then.

    Today, everything has changed. A trip to Europe is no longer the exclusive province of the ultra-rich. And the tourists are taking digital snapshots with their telephones and sharing them with friends and family in real time on Facebook/Twitter/etc. And why not? If nothing else, we are no longer stuck sitting through four "carousels" of poorly exposed, poorly focused, poorly composed vacation photos. Where does this notion that digital photos are all junk come from? The digital photos they get are at least (mostly) in focus and properly exposed, thanks not only to intelligent exposure meters but also due to the amazing low-light abilities of CMOS sensors. Composition has not changed (still sucks as much as it did 50 years ago, by and large). And the glorious part is if we aren't interested, we can just scroll past them on our FB feed, rather than try to find a way to squirm out of our chair in their living room.

    For fine photography, film is better. But 99 44/100% of these shots have nothing to do with fine photography.

    For those who use film, the dramatically reduced market and resulting impact on materials and processing is disconcerting, but it is what it is.
     
  20. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Commonwealth... and COLOR (they haven't used the "u" in the last 200 years or so in your small New Inglad commonwealth). :laugh:
     
  21. AgX

    AgX Member

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    That is what I refered to repeatedly. Only not to be taken serious by some.


    I know major european cities where I never ever came across anybody with a film camera, though spending months there.
     
  22. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I'll go one further... I'm seeing fewer and fewer real cameras being used to take photographs. Mostly phones and iPads (or the like).
     
  23. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    You described past and present tourist situation very well.

    When I look movie "Roman Holiday" - I see romantic times long gone, not so many tourist, nicer than it is today, more original, nostalgic... But - as you say - flying is become available to much more people than in past (for me too, I am not complaining). Together with cheap hostels, airbnb, you can look in internet forums where and what is cheap... Many people I know are trying to get some originality in culture when they travel - they are complaining that "all is the same". You go to starbucks in Rome, same as back home, surfing in hotel like at home... So what they are trying is to visit some non touristic places (like Georgia - country, not USA part, or Mongolia) - to run away from this tourist places like west Europe, or Disneyland. But this can be more costly and/or risky.
     
  24. blockend

    blockend Member

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    This morning I shot one of my favourite combos, a Canon 3000n with a 40mm 2.8 pancake. Unless someone took a very close look, or heard the film advance, they'd swear it was an APS-C DSLR.
     
  25. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    I think you're observation might be slightly skewed by the fact that many who shoot both film and digital might choose digital when traveling/sightseeing.

    None the less, the overall observation of few film photographers is, I'm sure, correct. But I'm less troubled by the movement to good digital cameras as I am by the movement (as BrianShaw noted) to phone pics for everything. Then again, I can remember all the fixed focus 126 Instamatics used before digital.
     
  26. omaha

    omaha Member

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    Exactly.

    Economical cameras in the hands of consumers has always resulted in zillions of crap photos...the sort of photos that are meaningful only because it shows that Uncle George traveled to Rome 40 years ago or because that's what Aunt Betty looked like before she got fat. They are family memories. That's all.

    Maybe digital is a really, really good thing in the sense that today, all the crap photos are taken digitally. Maybe that will result in a perception of film as something only used by artists. That wouldn't be so bad.