Film v digital image statistics

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by cliveh, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Are there any statistics about numbers of still images taken each year? I just wondered at what stage/year in the development of digital photography, the quantity of images made worldwide surpassed those made on film since film became available and how that relationship of film/digital ratio number now stacks up as we move into the future.
     
  2. Muihlinn

    Muihlinn Member

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    IMHO taken means nothing, probably most mean nothing even for the taker. Relevant is what matters, and that number appears to be decreasing with media overload.
     
  3. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I think you're correct

    I think comparing numbers of film vs digital statistics is not relevant. Used to be. Analog photography has become a fine art process. It's almost like comparing how many SD cards are used versus how many sheets of watercolor paper is consumed.
     
  4. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    Digography

    I just made up a new word, digography, to denote images made on here-today-gone-tomorrow digital media. Digital is ephemeral. I have traditional photo prints in my possession that are over 100 years old. So I can't get all worked up about how many of these soon-to-be-gone images are snapped. It is like counting firefly flashes.
     
  5. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Might as well include the number of frames in video as stills also, since that's the way my copy of Final Cut Pro X sees it. Redunculous. Maybe a tally of actual prints made one way or another, might have a chance of being more relevant, to some people.


    On a related note, does anyone have statistics on the number of useful, versus absurd, thread starts by Cliveh? :laugh:
     
  6. analoguey

    analoguey Member

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    That would need to take into account when Middle Classes in Asian countries became a significant % age of the population, how much that weighed on affordability + when did the smartphone or the cameraphone become widely available. (and what weightage to give to each)

    Not a very easy comparison by simple nos.
     
  7. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    I could take, as a sample, the number of shots hanging on my wall made by my dslrs, as a total fraction of number of shots I've taken in total with digital means, compared to the money that I've spent on dslr equipment, then I could compare that to the number of prints on my wall, either wet-printed or scan/inkjet, divide by the number of total frames I've shot on film, compared to the money I've spent on film bodies, film, lab processing or chemicals, take into account my computer, 27" monitor, inkjet printer and ink that serves double-duty sometimes for both dslr shots and e6 scans, and the end result might tell you something about why I'm less further ahead on my mortgage than 2 years ago, drive my mum's old car that I can't afford to fix, and had baked beans, frozen spinach and rice in the microwave for dinner last night.
     
  8. ambaker

    ambaker Subscriber

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    Do numbers really matter? Last I looked, quantity and quality do not have a cause and effect relationship.

    We can all argue finer points of each genre, but it is much like the pixel peeping digi crowd.

    No, a memory card will likely not last 100 years. If it did, the equipment to read it likely will not.

    However, with modern error correction software, a fifteenth generation copy will have all the detail and hues of the first. Can even the best reproduction film do that? No.

    But rather than banging on a topic that has no place here, and taking cheap shots at each other. How about we grab some film and go take pictures?
     
  9. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Number of mobile phones in the world is around same number as number of people in the world:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_mobile_phones_in_use

    Lets say every second has a digital camera, and people have for sure 1000 or more photos in phone - so only in phones:

    3,400,000,000,000

    But number of photos on paper (prints) from digital source - this is another thing - I think less than 0,0000000001% of that junk is going on the paper.

    But as already stated - this means nothing :smile:
     
  10. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I had the same question an got it answered by google. the numbers are in the billions:confused:
     
  11. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

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    I think you would have so many changing sources to collate, that it's not really practical or relevant.

    Before the explosion in internet image sharing, people would mainly view their printed images or digital photos at home. So no reliable statistics would be available.

    Today, analogue photos shared online probably is in the parts per million range compared to digital photos.
     
  12. Zedwardson

    Zedwardson Member

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    I don't think film vs. Digital is the important stat, as really film is quickly becoming a art medium while digtial is everything from snapshots to taking photos of your food to selfies.

    The key stat is if there is enough E-6, C-41, and B&W being shot to maintain the infrastructure.
     
  13. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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  15. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    Digital is for the "instant everything" generation. People who are too lazy to learn the mechanics of photography. During a conversation I was having with a female digital "photographer", she mentioned her pictures (which were shot with the sun in front of her) were "too dark".....I said to her that when shooting into the sun you should open up the aperture a couple of stops......Her response?...."What's an aperture"?
     
  16. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    She is no different than a pre-digital point-and-shoot box camera user. You can't blame digital for this. Some people just don't care about the mechanics of photography - and they shouldn't have to to enjoy photography.
     
  17. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    Then why didn't she just stick to her i-phone, instead of spending a four figure sum on a digital SLR and then can't be bothered to learn to use it properly?
     
  18. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    Like I said: "Some people just don't care about the mechanics of photography - and they shouldn't have to to enjoy photography."
     
  19. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    rolleiman: your insistance in putting "photographer" in quotes was, at least in this immediate case, highly appropriate and even more accurate. (It is amazing how such subtelties can invoke such passion in me.)

    NOTE: I would have continued that sophisticated discussion by addressing the merits and demerits of 'depth of field' and would ask, with candor and confidence, what her opinions on that matter were and what her aperture was right now, given the feeling she wished to impart with the subject matter she was recording? Wonder what she would have said then, especially if I then contunued with bokeh?

    Philosophically, there is more to this than is immediately apparent. Today, everybody is a 'photographer' and dues never had to be paid. The artistic intricacies become either irrevelant or they become simply glossed over. Being 'artistic' does not require groundwork anymore, just fabulous Face-Book "friends" (another word that rightly deserves to be ensconced in quotation marks.) Perhaps even if we idiots who use film are deemed subversive, we at least have learned and understand that there really are both an undercurrent of logic and objective, hard-won determinants which support our bold attempts with creativity. I do think that that is true and at least part of my reason for holding on to film emanates from this mindset (which helps me to feel real and not so emphemeral). - David Lyga
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2014
  20. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The source for this is another publication. And the way those figures were calculated for that publication are questionable at least.
     
  21. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    As a cockroach has about 50 babies at a time, we humans usually have only one. That analogy must mean something as far as the debate between number of digital shots versus number of film shots goes. - David Lyga
     
  22. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    If this is true, does it not prove that the machine gun effect is irrelevant to photographs that are keepers, regardless of the medium?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2014
  23. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Member

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    Digital still images surpassed film, plates, paintings, drawings in total a while ago.
    Same like text messages surpassed letters on paper.
    But I like it on film and paper:smile:
     
  24. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    That became true with George Eastman's "You push the button, we do the rest" approach to photography.

    Who says "photography' needs to be "artistic" Much of photography has always been about memory shots.
     
  25. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    FWIW, I recently heard a report on the radio or TV that over a billion photos are made very day now -- of course 99.9% digital. That strikes me as exaggerated, but when you see what people do with cell phones etc on a daily basis, it's almost believable.
     
  26. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Digital is not always bad

    I know I'm going to get a nasty response, but digital shots are not necessarily bad. It's only how photographers shoot with it. When I shoot film, I slow down and more thoughtful. While shooting digital, I more careless. I was learned on a film camera so I still have analog habits which I think it's a good thing. The bad part about digital is some people shoot a ton, then don't edit the outtakes. Or there's another extreme where they take a single digital image then they edit the hell out of in in Photoshop. Some people in digital portraits have plastic skin. BTW. I save the silver halides for the good stuff :wink: