Interesting off-hand comment

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by tjaded, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. tjaded

    tjaded Subscriber

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    Hi all--
    Something happened to me a few weeks ago that really stuck in the back of my mind and I thought I would share it in case anyone cares! Basically, I bought some film from a local photographer. When I bought it I mentioned the photo lab that I work in. She said that she used to go there all the time, but having gone mostly digital she rarely gets to the lab now. What she said next is what really stuck with me. She said that she really missed the social aspect of going to the lab--it was a place to see/talk to other photographers. I've been trying to think what it is that struck such a chord with me and I think it is this: One of the things about photography (or any other specialized hobby or profession) is the kinship you get with others that are into similar things. I remember when I was a full time photo student the sense of almost relief when I went to a lab or photo supply store and could talk about photography without getting that "deer in the headlights" look that I found with most people. With the whole digital photography thing, it has the potential to get kind of lonely. Going to the lab to pickup/drop off film is obviously gone for those that switched. I have seen quite a few photographers come into the lab to drop off a roll or two and often run into someone they haven't seen in years. The conversation always seems to involve one having "gone digital" and only through the dropping off a roll of person work are old aquaintences reunited. This isn't a digital bashing post, just happened to feature prominantly in my story, btw. Anyway--I found it an interesting off-hand comment and thought maybe some others here might find it of interest (if not, that's cool....I tend to get hung up on weird stuff. I drive an Edsel after all....)

    Adios,
    Matt


    P.S. If you live in San Francisco and go to Newlab, say hello to this fellow APUGer behind the counter!
     
  2. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    That is true, the last time I was in the local camera shop they seemed short and didn't want to talk, until I mentioned I was looking for a filter for my Nikon F3. At that point they said they, the two men, were sorry they thought that I was another digital drop off. Someone who just comes in to drop off a disk or memory card I guess. They went all out and wanted to talk about their cameras and one even had an F3 like mine. The whole social thing was back the way it used to be. I wanted to stay and talk for hours but had to go. I hadn't thought of it until I saw this thread. If I lived in say New York I would drive them nuts at B&H like I did when I went to school in California and went to Freestyle. Thanks for the thought!
    Curt

    That could be a great line: "Digital Drop Off" or maybe "Digital Drop Out":tongue:
     
  3. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Isn't what you're seeking is what APUG is? :wink:
     
  4. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Seeking yes, filling a void yes, but a computer screen and a keyboard is not a face and a hand shake. Although it is not to be dismissed as nothing; is it better to write a letter or drop a note than to sit in a room and wonder what is going on?
     
  5. roteague

    roteague Member

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    You would be amazed how much fun it is to meet people here in person.
     
  6. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Yesterday I went to the Photopusher that stocks the F-mount Zeisslenses to borrow one for an hours testshooting. When I asked if they needed some kind of ID or a signature the ansver was "nah I know you" :surprised: :rolleyes: Just realized Im going there to often, spending too much money :smile:
    Kind regards
    Søren
     
  7. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I like going into the local Ritz camera store and asking if they have any cameras. Actually, they do: 1 Canon EOS and a 6x6 Segull. The manager is an old buddy of mine, and a LF photographer.
     
  8. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    The social aspect:

    I am a bit spoiled -- I run the teaching darkroom at a university. In fact, I am washing 8x10 negs at the darkroom right now (standing water). Its 11:30 pm, so it is a bit quiet now.

    Having students come into my office with wet prints sure beats clicking on the Critique Gallery! (I just ask them to rinse the fixer off first!)

    Vaughn
     
  9. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    g'day Matt
    an interesting observation, the change to digital does seem to lead to less human interactions

    but i think it's just another example of the loss of communication skills and opportunity for human intertaction that is becoming the norm in our technology driven society
     
  10. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I just dropped off some 220 format E-6 at a color lab near Boston, and the woman behind the counter was telling me that "in the day" all the wedding photographers in the area would drop off film, run into each other there. Talk shop. Now they are down to 2 1/2 lab technicians from 25, and those wedding photographers who occasional drop off film complain that they miss those professional friendships.
     
  11. JJC

    JJC Member

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    The social relationship to the lab itself also matters to me. At the best lab
    I ever worked with (now bankrupt), the employees wanted my photos to turn
    out nice every bit as much as I did, and seemed to take as much pride in them as me. I really appreciated the feeling of teamwork.
     
  12. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I guess I'm fortunate in that we have two local shops that sell and process film. One of them has a strong reputation for being rude, and after the 4 second chance I gave up on them too, but the other is a family run shop who all know me when I stop in. They know I like my E-6 roll film sleeved and they always offer to get me anything that I need if they don't have it in stock. I always chat a bit when I drop off and then again when I pick up and I can say that if they ever went under, I would truly miss the experience.

    I've never met any other photographers in there, but I'm certain that they do stop in because I've seen large film orders waiting for pickup many times. I think the social isolation has as much to do with the fast pace of our society as it does with the introduction of non-film photography, although local shops are certainly an indicator of the demise of social interaction. There just isn't time to sit around and chat with your neighbors these days. Hell, I can't even find a real hardware store anymore (and no, Lowes and Home Despot are NOT hardware stores) and that was the social hub of the small town where I grew up...

    - Randy
     
  13. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    I had an experience like this the other day. Coming from Toronto, Nanaimo with it's 80k-ish population can seem excrutiatingly small sometimes (although that can be quite nice). When I first moved here a little over a year ago there was one lab that still did top-quality film work. B&W, E-6, C-41, for formats up to 4x5. Not longer after they stopped doing wet processing, and that kind of hurt. London Drugs does a decent enough job, but I've been waiting for 3+ weeks to get 3 rolls of Ilford Delta back. So I recently made a major recommitment to Analog, not just shooting but back to my own processing. My dslr is up on ebay, and I am waiting for a 4x5. I gave this lab a call to see if they had any equipment they would be willing to sell me, and I went down yesterday to take a lok at an Omega 4x5 enlarger that they used for years. The man, Glen, was great to talk to, really knew his stuff. My safelight bulb went kaput a few months ago, and I couldn't find one. Turns out Glen has a wack of them, and gave me one saying I can pay him for it when I come to get the enlarger. To his credit, he still stocks a few chemicals, film and assorted others. It would be terrific to find that more often.

    - Justin
     
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  15. Byron Worthen

    Byron Worthen Member

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    Have any of you ever read the science fiction short story "The Machine Stops"? Written a long, long time ago (I don't remember the author's name or exact date of publication. What an irony -- you can probably google it!). It describes a world in which there is nothing new written; just critiques of critiques of critiques, etc. People prefer their internet type connection to everyone else and it is actually bad manners to want to see someone in person. It is pretty scary how it mirrors where we are headed -- a high tech world that nobody can fix because all the real people are gone.

    Anyway, I was just in my favorite camera shop last weekend. I usually get most of my chemicals there, even though an internet order to B&H is easier, because I hope in my little way that I am helping them keep their doors open and it is nice to talk photography.
     
  16. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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  17. Byron Worthen

    Byron Worthen Member

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    I googled it. Lots of critiques of critiques of critiques of the original story. Hmmmmnnn! It was originally written by E.M. Forster in 1909. I read it in an anthology book when I was a kid and the book was already 10 years old.
     
  18. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    Although electrons have made us one in many ways, like on the internet, it really has divided us up and isolated us, hasn't it?

    Regards, Art.
     
  19. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    I understand this point of view. The other side of the coin is that without these electrons, I'd have almost no access to the knowledge, creativity and comradary that this access to a community of other photographers gives me.
     
  20. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    I'm with Michael on this one. It's the same thought I tried to convey with my earlier post in the thread.

    It's unfortunate, perhaps, that the "corner camera store comraderie" is a thing of the past. But the Web has enlarged our world tremendously. APUG is a much larger and more diverse resource than any local camera store could ever hope to be.

    I agree that the lack of "in the flesh" meeting leaves something to be desired - but the Web is young and technology will move us in interesting directions. Besides, there is no alternative - sites like this are not "the future", they are our "present time". It's never going to be like it was - but this alternative isn't so bad after all.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2007
  21. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Ah, yes! That reminds me of graduate school, and what we had to read. Occasionally on APUG someone says, "I read somewhere . . ." However, original experience seems to be the basis of most information here. Universities should be so smart.
     
  22. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    Hope springs eternal...

    - R
     
  23. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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    I just had a vision of all the posts here being delivered by video instead of the written word. Scary or what? :smile:
     
  24. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    I better put on some pants.
     
  25. my_lonely_eye

    my_lonely_eye Member

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    The whole aspect you're looking for in person is still alive. It was hard to get into my photo class at school because of the sheer amount of applicants. There are still people who enjoy the social atmosphere of the darkroom and studio, it's just rare to find them now. However if you were to come to my town, you'd find a bunch of film photographers.
     
  26. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    I get that at a camera shop I've been going to recently. I found them after buying a TLR from their booth at a photo fair at the beginning of May. Since then I've bought two more TLRs from them and get all my film developed through them.

    If you do digital here in Japan you don't need to talk to anyone- just plug your memory card into the appropriate slot on these big machines and push some buttons, then the photos come out at the bottom.

    I always go in to drop off/pick up film but end up spending at least half an hour in there just shooting the breeze. The old guys seem to appreciate someone my age being into TLRs so much.