What are some characteristics that an image is analogue?

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by stradibarrius, Jan 6, 2011.

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  1. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    This NOT a question about which is better but how analogue and digital images look different. For "ME" analogue is better because "I" enjoy it more...but can you tell by looking if an image is analogue or digital? If so what are some of the traits that help you recognize the difference?
     
  2. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Honestly , after making prints both ways (analogue and digitally) for quite awhile, if done correctly , I cannot tell them apart.
    This would be after thousands of prints made either way.:munch:
     
  3. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Grain, i.e Tri-x.

    Palette, i.e. Velvia, Kodachrome, Portra.
     
  4. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    Mark, can you elaborate a bit? Grain in B&W is a give away generally...to me anyway.
    Palette????
     
  5. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    You can give a digital photo just about any film trait in Photoshop or other digital post processing software, on a computer screen it is rather hard to tell one from another with just straight color or B&W photos. It gets easier when someone tries to get artistic and fake a print process that requires making their own paper or something like that, then you look for the errors in process to be exactly the same on several photos. I have seen fake Polaroids, fake sprocket holes, fake van dike brown, fake cyanotype, fake tin type, and it goes on.

    With prints you can hold, touch and see, you can tell a fake by just looking at the back of the paper.

    I have made fakes on the computer a bunch of times mostly because I can not yet tell what something might look like just by looking at a negative, so I will scan the negative and then look at it in several processes before deciding what process to use to make a print. I would never try to pass off one of these fakes as the real thing, but I do like having the ability to make them for testing purposes.
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    "under glass" it is nearly impossible to tell,
    if the person knew what they were doing.
    i have shown friends light jet print from a
    numericalized analog file, light jet a straight
    dcam, and a darkroom print ( loose prints, not under glass )
    this person was a hard core, straight edge analog die-hard
    he couldn't tell the difference between any of them.
     
  7. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    It's far from perfect but search flickr for a film type like Velvia or Portra or whatever and run a slideshow. After a while you'll start to see the norms.

    Old Nat Geo's are good examples of Kodachrome.
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    You can't see a digital 'image.' You can see a monitor, you can see an inkjet print, you can see a sensor. The 'image,' is, of course, a series of high and low voltages and is an abstract entity.

    The original question is like asking "what are some characteristics of the sound of a book?"
     
  9. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Your question is too complicated because you can have digital prints printed out (in an admittedly digital way) to analog media like c-prints and you can have analog media scanned into a digital form and displayed on a digital display. You just say "images" without specifying what you would actually be looking at. Often when people ask these questions they are talking about the differences between a digital image that originates in a digital camera directly capturing an image from a lens, versus a digital image that originates by capturing a piece of film or something. But those two things are both digital images, and not really a comparison between analog and digital images.

    A computer monitor is the lowest common denominator. If you are looking at two digital images on a computer monitor, one of which happens to originate from a scanned artifact, you are still comparing two digital images. Actual color slides and maybe prints can contain colors and dynamic ranges that cannot be displayed on a computer monitor. This is clearly seen if you shoot some well-exposed slides of flowers or other colorful objects. You will see browns and purples and white-to-black ranges that you will never see on a computer monitor.
     
  10. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Put the prints in a tray of water and come back in an hour... though I suppose there are digital enlargers now which will project a digital image for development on photo paper so perhaps no way to really know. I'd like to say you can tell from the contrast, the shadows, the highlights, the color range, the tonality but I'm sure a slick digital photoshop wizard could fool me.
     
  11. thedancefloor

    thedancefloor Member

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    Yes, that's how it's done. Minilabs have been producing digital RA-4 prints for years.
     
  12. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Sprocket holes along both long edges of the prints. :tongue:
     
  13. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    It all depends. Well done prints are hard to tell most of the time which is which. Badly done film prints are often easy to tell unless someone simulated that effect using digital. Well done digital prints can do things only feasible in digital media.

    If I am looking at an image that tells a story or moves me emotionally, how it was made isn't something I think about though.
     
  14. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    The difference is usually plain, and if not, it is visible on close inspection. Even if digital artifacts do not easily give it away, tonality does (as do obvious things like manipulation of certain levels or types). I would say this about anything but the very highest quality prints from digital films made by people who really know what they are doing. With pictures shot in ambient light, the difference is plain as day to me. It is harder for me to tell when the shooter has used controlled lighting, as good lighters simply tailor their light to match the medium being used. I have never once seen a digitally-captured print that just looks like a plain photo, as opposed to like a digital photo, by a photographer who did not really learn their craft with film.
     
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  15. Maris

    Maris Member

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    Back in the days when I used to sell Zeiss microscopes I used to look at exposed/processed photographic materials at a variety of magnifications up to 1000X.

    Traditional black and white materials always showed an emulsion consisting of a clear medium, gelatine, containing silver grains generated in situ. Apart from autoradiography plates or nuclear track emulsions this gelatine+silver structure was unique to photography.

    Colour materials, except Kodachrome, showed gelatin with dye clouds generated in situ. Also present were millions of minute highly refractile resin beads which served as the anchor points for colour couplers.

    Give me one of those nice microscopes now and I reckon I will pick real photographs from look-a-likes 100% of the time.
     
  16. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    So I guess what I am hearing is that at the current state of technology a straight print show no real difference with normal viewing.
    I know if I want a "lith" look the real deal looks better than a fake "lith" from photoshop.
     
  17. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    That has been my view for a long time now. For a \"straight print\" like school pictures, studio sittings, and the like, the reason it all went to digital is because digital was cheaper and Grandparents need a magnify glass to tell. Nobody looks at pictures of little Susie in her ballerina suit with a magnifying glass.



    What does this mean for me? It means I can buy pro gear that was astronomically expensive before.
     
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  18. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Again, one can't see a digital image. It has to be converted to some analog form to witness the image. Digital is a capture and storage medium, not any way to view an image. High and low voltages are not visible.
     
  19. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    Obviously we are discussing the what can be seen and not what can't be seen!!! I am not sure what your point is or how it adds to the discussion. All "captures must be processed somehow to make them "visible" whether analogue processing or digital processing. You eventually arrive at something that can be viewed!
     
  20. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I'm not sure how the word "capture" relates to film. Film and paper are "exposed." Additional 'processing' is not always needed to form the analog image (POP etc.)

    In the OP you asked "how analogue and digital images look different." Well, if you can see it then it is an analog image, so they are the same thing. If you are asking about comparing film to a computer file, then there are many differences and not many similarities.

    There are no "intrinsic" properties of any image produced from a digital file. There is no standardization of A/D processing that produces the image. Therefore generalizations about 'digital images' may be faulty.
     
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  21. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    A lot of truth there.

    Analog materials and processes do though each have normally recognizable "personalities" but they are malleable. Slight adjustments to exposure, filtration, lighting, or process, can many times keep us from picking out which film was used.

    Still I think a majority of shots done with Velvia, processed A or D, will demonstrate it's natural palette. High contrast, faces "leaning" red, Technicolor saturation, and high sharpness.
     
  22. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    I am talking about if you take the same negative and print it on a good digital printer vs. a wet darkroom print. The question is not that complicated. It makes no difference what you call them there are two images in front of you...one is printed in a darkroom, analogue, the other has been printed on a dedicated photo digital printer, digital, and I can see the digital print...
     
  23. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    This would be a good discussion for HybridPhoto.com.
     
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