Mentioning Traditional Photography On The Web

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Sean, Sep 8, 2002.

  1. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I've been fairly busy trying to spread the word about this website. It's hard to believe some of the negativity out there regarding what we are trying to accomplish. I've been called boring, a luddite, threatened by digital, etc. One guy went as far as to tell me this:

    "There will always be a certain number of elitish people who will love a place like that ... but how boring for those who are trying to stay on the cutting edge of modern photography."

    I can't imagine darkroom photography would ever be boring! I won't even go into the 'cutting edge' comment.

    I find the digital camp usually argues that "the final image" is all that matters. They say the process is only a means to an end. But in reality they are just as concerned with the proccess as we are (they just don't like to admit it).

    I'm finding it increasingly hard to mention the word traditional photography on the net anymore. If you do, be prepared to get flamed... [​IMG]
     
  2. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Actually I posted on the LF forum of photo.net your site and it seems people are getting used to the idea. Of course there is always one guy who wants to flame, but overall the response is better than the first time you posted your idea. OTH the fact that not only did you post your idea but followed through kind of shut up all the flamers. I suppose is true that there is no better revenge than success.... [​IMG]
     
  3. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Jorge @ Sep 8 2002, 12:21 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>Actually I posted on the LF forum of photo.net your site and it seems people are getting used to the idea. Of course there is always one guy who wants to flame, but overall the response is better than the first time you posted your idea. OTH the fact that not only did you post your idea but followed through kind of shut up all the flamers. I suppose is true that there is no better revenge than success.... [​IMG]</td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
    Good work Jorge, thanks for spreading the word! [​IMG]
     
  4. b.e.wilson

    b.e.wilson Member

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    I might have been content with the forums at luminous landscape, but when the new forums went up, Michael, the site admin, forgot to add any forum area for the analog darkroom until I asked for one. The rest was all digital.

    How sad.

    I'm sure glad this forum started up.
     
  5. JHannon

    JHannon Member

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    Hi Ross. I saw some of the announcements on the various sites too. Some of the responses were similar too: &quot;100% traditional, so there will be no images posted?&quot; kind of silly. In scanning we are converting to a digital image to be able to show, the original is still film though.. This is my first post, good luck with the site..

    Regards,
    John
     
  6. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (JHannon @ Sep 8 2002, 12:54 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>Hi Ross. I saw some of the announcements on the various sites too. Some of the responses were similar too: &quot;100% traditional, so there will be no images posted?&quot; kind of silly. In scanning we are converting to a digital image to be able to show, the original is still film though.. This is my first post, good luck with the site..

    Regards,
    John</td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
    Yeah, it's not a hard concept to understand. We know the images are scanned and digitized. We're not trying to say they are analog images on the web. We're just saying this is a digital reproduction of what my analog print looks like...


    Hope you enjoy the site!
     
  7. matthew

    matthew Member

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    I am glad to see a site like this. I enjoy the process from camera to the final print. When I am in the darkroom, I am a zen master (now if I could just become a printing master). Its my escape from the digital everything in life. Its good to have a place to go where you don't have to worry about wading through all the digital stuff.
     
  8. HuwEvans

    HuwEvans Member

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Ross @ Sep 8 2002, 08:54 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>It's hard to believe some of the negativity out there regarding what we are trying to accomplish. &nbsp;I've been called boring, a luddite, threatened by digital, etc. </td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
    Yes, it's curious how the digiphiles seem to be so disturbed by the fact that some people simply don't want to abandon film. Almost without exception in the arguments I have witnessed on the subject it is the digital people who get nasty when film people point out the reasons why they still prefer the traditional medium.

    Do they hate us because we don't add our consumer power to the digital equipment market, bringing prices down for them? Is it because they think that maintaining the market for silver based images might prevent their digital work being accepted as a high grade product, and commanding the same sort of prices? Is it because, secretly, they know that film is superior? Well, it beats me, but certainly they get very upset very easily.

    One final point. The word 'Luddite' is often hurled at us. I can only assume that the digital zealots who use that term don't know their history. The Luddites were a group of people who went about smashing up the new technology to prevent others using it. I've never noticed film enthusiasts showing any desire to prevent those who want to use digital doing just that. What I do see is digital people apparently very keen indeed to believe that film will be entirely unavailable within a few years.
     
  9. tob

    tob Member

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    It's quite simple. It's about being able to pick between oranges and pineapples. Those who are unable to see it this way (no matter which side they are in favor of, analog or digital) are to be pitied.

    The markets for digital and analog equipment are more and more covering opposite ends of the spectrum. In the time it takes someone to develop a fine print in their darkroom digital users can fill their harddisks with pics and build an online gallery but they will never experience the quietness and time you have to think while you're waiting for your developer to do its work (unless, of course, the washing machine is running).

    Personally, I could care less about the quality. Even if digital photography reached the quality of analog processes I would never have the same spiritual connection to a digital print than to a photo I printed myself. I can look at it and know it's something I created with my own hands.

    I don't mind people who prefer digital photography. If it suits their needs, perfect! It has its place, there are a lot of situations where I would prefer a digital camera over film but as a means of expressing myself there's no better or worse. Go with whatever makes you happy.

    -the end-
     
  10. HardCore

    HardCore Member

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    I work primarily in graphic design and deal with digital all day. I also shoot people, pets, events and weddings (on film). I think the widespread acceptance of digital is primarily due to two factors: the &quot;dumbing down&quot; of most people's quality discernment capabilities, and secondly, our culture's great need for speed. There is an entire generation which has seen virtually (no pun) every image in their memory via television or computer screen. This has become the quality they are used to. Secondly, one hour photo shops have been around many years now, and if a digital manufacturer can advertise &quot;instant gratification&quot; with pixels, that saves a precious hour. Everyone is in a hurry, and quality doesn't matter at all in my recent experience. I've had a professional photog ask me to scan his very low res prints (?) to publish in a yearbook for a sports team. I send very bad images to press every day, and clients who would have rejected them a few years ago are pleased if turnaround is fast. Customers are happy if a pro photog can shoot everyone at an event and print out lousy pictures in his van before the evening is over. How do you fight that? People just don't care, and don't have time to be educated. When I film a wedding, the albums are ready before they return from the honeymoon. However, someone always knows of another wedding where the b&amp;g were presented with a CD of a thousand &quot;photos&quot; by the end of the reception, and they want to know why I don't do that. If they can't see the obvious difference in quality, or don't care, then I'm just shooting for myself. I guess that has to be good enough! I may have to go digital to stay competitive, but I won't enjoy the work anymore (yes, I like weddings!) and I'll have to live with the unreliability of electronics (and I know from daily experience how unreliable digital media is). Maybe the Luddites were right???
     
  11. EUGENE

    EUGENE Member

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    Whenever a technology changes, there is a transition period to go through. Horses, to automobiles in the early 1900's, for example. When automobiles were introduced, they scared the heck out of the horses and the people who were riding them. There are plenty of people where I live in Texas that continue to love horses and ride them for enjoyment whenever they can. However, they drive their pick-up trucks to work. It's just too darn difficult to ride a horse on a busy freeway. It won't be long before all color snapshot photographs will be taken with digital cameras and all color prints will be outputted with inkjet printers, or displayed on a TV screen. That doesn't bother me at all. My wife's Nikon Coolpix is a great little color snapshot camera. However, color snapshots do not nurish my desire to produce a piece of art with my own hands. Only a large silver gelatin print that I made, myself, and hung on my wall, satisfies that need.
     
  12. John Hicks

    John Hicks Member

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    &gt; 'cutting edge' comment

    I just don't pay any attention to the rantings. A good digital picture is a good picture while otoh a bad digital picture is simply a rapid-access bad picture. I'll bet people were saying that photography went into the can when George Eastman came along.

    Random thoughts...I know several photographers who are now using digital; the good photographers are still good photographers and the bad photographers are still bad photographers. The bad photographers used to not know what to throw into the trash, while now they don't know what to erase. None of the good photographers I know make any sort of big deal about that they're using digital while most of the bad photographers I know blather endlessly about their digital whatzits.

    I have some of what were once &quot;cutting edge&quot; digital pictures. They were processed using _very_ limited software from JPL and they're on eight-inch floppy disks. Fat lot of good they do me now.

    One shouldn't ramble endlessly in the middle of the night....
     
  13. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    I think digital was driven in large part by the Dotcom hype machine.

    Let's face it, just like many Dotcoms, the hype is almost insanely overblown.

    &quot;With this 3 Mp sensor you can rival even Medium Format!&quot;

    Yes, I've heard people say that! Even though it makes no sense since MF (and even 35mm and APS!) capture MORE than 3Mp of information.

    But the hype machine rolls on. Digital prints from cheap inkjets are now supposed to last 200+ years. I'm waiting for the claim that they will last longer than a platinum print... [​IMG]

    The average consumer gobbles this crap up. They love it.
     
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  15. HuwEvans

    HuwEvans Member

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    It's only just occured to me, but I'm currently getting first-hand experience of one of the best arguments there is against digital. The power supply on my desk-top PC blew up last week, and ever since I've been ordering components for a full upgrade (thought I might as well, since I had been putting it off for ages). When I finally get everything I need the wretched thing still doesn't work - the new power supply looks to be faulty.

    I'm currently posting using my rather ancient lap-top, which couldn't begin to support a modern digital camera, let alone cope with large image photoshopping.

    It's at times like these that you really value the fact that with traditional methods you can still go from exposing the film right through to a finished print with technology no more complex than was available in the 19th century!
     
  16. JHannon

    JHannon Member

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (HuwEvans @ Sep 10 2002, 03:43 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>It's at times like these that you really value the fact that with traditional methods you can still go from exposing the film right through to a finished print with technology no more complex than was available in the 19th century!</td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
    I repair electronic equipment for a living, and have seen micro technology fail, usually at the worst time. Thats why I prefer mechanical film cameras. I have seen some digital cameras made obsolete because they do not make the smaller memory cards anymore.. just buy a new one every year..
     
  17. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    The other day I was shocked to see a photo magazine that named a digital camera "camera of the year". Not "digital camera of the year", but "camera of the year". This wasn't a 100% digital magazine either. It was one of those hybrid mags seemed like 70% digital 30% traditional (can't recall the name). So now we're seeing digital equipment loose the digital label as well as prints. It's no longer digital camera or camera, just 'camera', no longer digital photography or digital illustration, just 'photograph'. I know it's silly to be so concerned with labels, but it's crazy to see the consumer market drive things like this. Anyway...
     
  18. Domenico Foschi

    Domenico Foschi Member

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    Hardcore said it . It is about speed , quick fix, and let's not forget saving money( they think).
    The direction our society ahs taken is about quantity over quality, about getting to the result right away without understanding the process.
    Let's not forget that Photoshop has named many tools after traditional photography, and people who use this tools i am sure have no idea why they are called that way. ( dodge, burn, gradient.....).

    That is why craftmanship is disappearing, and mass produced ugly things have invaded the market in every aspect of our life.
    I do use photoshop, but only for a starting point, to see the potential a negative has , then i close myself in my beloved darkroom and stay there many ours.
    I get out of there with a sense of accomplishment that my Mac cannot give me , i feel beetween my smelly hands the wonderful texture of wet fiber based paper, and the knowledge that i am responsiblle for those images and not a bunch of 0s and 1s cramming my computer.
     
  19. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Even photographic retailers aren't achieving the projected sales of digital cameras, and are having to downsize their operations, because so many of the general public can see no point of buying a camera, when they can take pictures on their mobile phones .
     
  20. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I guess the fact that I actually am a boring, luddite elitist takes the sting out of that particular insult :smile:
     
  21. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hey! I resemble that!

    When I get home again, I'll start looking for subjects with high "Plattenwürdigkeit" :wink:
     
  22. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Yeah, yeah, yeah, but you have a camera larger than your head.
     
  23. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    wow this thread brings back memories.. we probably had 50 members back then..
     
  24. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    hehe! memories...

    there's a thread over at p.net with someone asking 'what's the best photo site on the net' or something like that. I was tempted to post APUG.ORG but just couldn't be bothered...
     
  25. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I went hunting for it but can't get past the full page animated cellphone digicam ads. ouch, when did they start doing that?
     
  26. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    don't know... I've only seen one so far... reminded me of Hotmail!