Who are we?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Mats_A, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. Mats_A

    Mats_A Member

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    Me being a philosophical kind of person and not having any urgent technical questions to bother you all with I thought I would enlighten your dull experiences with my keen observations regarding who shoots film.

    I have found that two kinds of people are overrepresented as film shooters. Artists and IT-people. Artists, musicians, painters, other type of artsy-partsy people seem to enjoy film. Makes sense as they would be the kind of person who does not care too much what other people say and also like to try different form of their art.

    But IT-people? My people? My tribe. Why are there more than you should think among IT-proffessionals who shoot analog?

    I think the answer is partly that an IT-pro gets enough digital during the work day and likes to unwind with old, analog stuff during his own time. And they are seldom fundamentalists about using film. Most (me included) owns two or more digital cameras and use them also.

    Could it be that so many IT-pro:s like to shoot film because they don't have to worry about their digi-cred. They have it. They know digital technology better than most guys and hence aren't ashamed to use old technology. Maybe a welder or stock broker feels that his digi-cred would suffer if he walked around with an old TLR?

    Or maybe I am making too much out of what is after all a very small sample.....

    r
     
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    IT people may simply be more comfortable with forum-based communication and hence may be slightly over-represented on forums like APUG.

    In the world beyond forums, I have a diverse set of friends from all walks of life who shoot film, I don't see any clear trends. It's a fairly even split between sci/tech people, artists, portraitists and journalists.
     
  3. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    I think it's because IT people have a better understanding of the limitations of digital. This is, of course, assuming you're shooting MF or LF. A digital outfit to rival MF/LF quality would cost $30K or more just for the basics... body, back, laptop, one lens... and could easily rise to more than $50-60K for a well-equipped kit. Even then your just barely reaching 4x5 quality. Digital quality beyond 4x5 isn't currently possible without stitching... so single shot digital rivalling anything larger than 4x5 film? Fahgetaboutit!! :smile:
     
  4. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

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    My wife claims that I have an old soul. As we are a Christian family and we don't ascribe to the Shirley-Maclane-Which-Life-Am-I-On-Now train of thought, it is the only soul I have and it will be about a old as I am. But you are familiar with the phrase.

    I have an analog watch. I conceded to the automatic pendulum winder, but it shows the gearing and makes the noise. No batteries. I shoot black and white film with a 70 year old camera. I drive a Jeep and yearn for a really old one. I keep a journal, written with ink on paper.

    If it old I gravitate towards its use. It suits me. The only 'modern' thing I use on a regular basis is the very thing I type this post on. Were it not for some modern things I would not have met you fine folks.

    Why do I kick it old school whenever possible? I guess because it suits me. I just prefer things that way. And now, back to 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.
     
  5. photomem

    photomem Member

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    The funny thing is that I was an IT guy for 15 years until my doctor told me that the stress was going to kill me. ( worked on mission critical healthcare systems) So I chucked it all and became an art photographer.
     
  6. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Not intending to be facetious... just genuinely want to know... how's your income now vs. then?
     
  7. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I am a software developer for a major software firm - that makes me an IT guy.

    I use both digital and film and I choose between the two depending on the purpose and my mood. If I have a job to do, such as shoot-this-or-that and in color, I use digital. If I'm in creative mood and want black and white, I use film. I like the exactness of digital and I like how few things are left to chance in B&W film and processing.

    I got into analog partly because I got tired of seeing equipment obsoleting so rapidly and new stuff coming out every few months. Also, I didn't like the fact digital media has such a narrow dynamic range. For some scenes, there isn't really a good way to capture the entire scene without blowing something. I also find, film work removed from everything else I do. Variety is nice sometimes. I find darkroom work relaxing and a place I can forget everything else.

    I am not a die-hard analog person. I find both enjoyable for different reasons.

    Oh, let's not forget... in film world, it's so much cheaper to fill one's GAS addiction....
     
  8. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    My tribe are the artists... the actors, singers, musicians, the dancers, the painters and sculptors... people who take months crafting a performance or piece of art. (people who stay up late and drink a lot of wine/beer/scotch :D ) For them, the gestation of art often moves at speeds only measurable on a geological scale. Seven and a half min at 20 degrees C, followed by an evening in the darkroom is a fraction of the time they would consider requisite to create a true work of art. "you made four prints last night? Slow down, Speedy."

    That being said, most of the artists I know who are not specifically photographers are snap-silly digi shooters. (mostly of faces around a restaurant table)
     
  9. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    Analog process is a lot slower than digital,and never been to swift with computers.Driven and worked on trucks for many years,all of them are analog also,1985 and older.Like to tinker around and analog gives me that opportunity, a nice slow type of expression.

    Mike
     
  10. Mats_A

    Mats_A Member

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    My thoughts exactly.

    You seem to be a very wise person. :D

    r
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2010
  11. SchwinnParamount

    SchwinnParamount Subscriber

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    Yeah. Me too. My software company is one that everyone knows and loves and like it or not, we all use it's products. There are a few of us that are die-hard film users for the reasons you've stated.

    I find your reasons align very well with my own reasons.
     
  12. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I hope this won't be read as anti-digital slant or off topic but this "too much like work" thought hit me hard when I was stressing over calibration of my LCD monitor for digital color work. (which is a necessary task) I bought a wide gamut monitor, I bought a calibrator, and I was playing with printer profiles and soft proofing. Then I found my monitor wasn't backlit evenly. I have an especially hard to adjust image and I was trying to get it exactly like how I visualized it. Geez... this is way too much like work. I eventually got to a point I was satisfied with the result, and I'm glad.

    Few weeks later, I was in my darkroom and stressing over contrast and density. It was time consuming and somewhat tiring but for some reasons I found the process enjoyable if not relaxing. I came out thinking, "that was neat..."

    That spoke volume to me.
     
  13. njkphoto

    njkphoto Member

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    I agree with you. The calibration of a monitor is a pain sometimes and still can't get perfect results all the time. Plus you are looking at a computer screen for a long times. For some reason you can't compare computer work with darkroom as the latter feels a lot better.
     
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  15. SchwinnParamount

    SchwinnParamount Subscriber

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    One of the really satisfying things about wet darkroom work is that it is so non-deterministic. That is, you repeat the same process twice in a row and your results are likely to be different. The challenge is in figuring out what the variables are and correcting them to get a pseudo repeatable process.

    Using my digi-cam, computer and printer is soooo boring. My results are determined by what buttons I click, sliders I slide, and spin boxes I set. Save my settings and I can make the same print over and over and over and over simply by pressing a print button. No challenge and dull dull dull.

    At work, this determinism is a great thing. It keeps bugs out of the software.
     
  16. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I'm just a guy that loves the magic of it all. Since the age of (I cant remember exactly) 9 or 10, I've been facinated by the whole process. Maybe it was watching all the espionage movies, seeing the spy develope Minox film in a darkened room,doing the dip and dunk in a coffee cup(or something akin to one), had me hooked. Besides, I've always hung around "artists" and I cant draw, but I can carve(kinda), love to design furniture(and other large items)

    Rick
     
  17. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    What he said. I know 10+ non-IT type film shooters in the New Haven area alone that would rather spend the time any other way than posting on internet forums. Plus these forums tend to be dominated by white English speaking males and really, who wants to be around that demographic all the time? Seriously, it gets boring fast.

    Regards, Art
     
  18. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    Plus these forums tend to be dominated by white English speaking males and really, who wants to be around that demographic all the time?

    Not sure I agree with that broad generalization.... ;-)

    Apuggers are my tribe -- I don't know anyone else who shoots film, although I garner quite a lot of respect from friends because of it. I'm definitely not in IT, not an artist (in the traditional sense), but I do love working with my hands, and the uniqueness of hand-crafted items (not just photographs). And, like some of the others have posted above, I've never been into chasing after the next great digital camera. It seems like once you get on that train that it's very hard to get off of it. I don't like the massive consumerism attached to that end of things. I get more bang for my buck with film and paper and chemicals (and occasional new GAS purchases) and I'm happiest when working in the darkroom.
     
  19. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    Geeeeeh... now here is someone living in blissful heaven! :tongue:

    Stay there, and make heavenly inspired fibre prints to show us all here on APUG! Don't touch earth ever again! :wink::D
     
  20. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    I did some IT (or rather programming - i'm not an IT-er) at one time.
    It was rather non-deterministic though. And yes, that was what made it fun.

    However i did manage (as i'm sure all programmers did, and still do) to write the most deterministic program possible to write. All it did was quit immediately, i.e. nothing.
    There was a name for such a program, but what as it again?
     
  21. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I had what I consider an ultimate-film-experience today. A kind soul on APUG sent me a Kodak Autographic 3A to me. After looking at it for a while, I couldn't help myself to try it out. So I stuck a roll of Tmax100 in 120 format, used two dental floss container to hold it in the middle, then headed out. This is a camera from 1910s and 1920s. Absolutely no electronics. It is made of glass, steel, aluminum and wood.

    Took some random pictures in my neighborhood and came home. Went straight to darkroom, developed the film, then made contact sheets.

    How low tech can this get? But this IT guy who basically lives in UNIX world all day long writing C, PL/SQL, and Java code absolutely loved it. Perhaps it's because so different - but I didn't care. IT WAS FUN!

    If anyone's interested, see here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tkamiya9
     
  22. WetMogwai

    WetMogwai Member

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    I'm an IT guy. I used to be in computer retail, which means selling digital cameras. Back then, the most important thing to me was sharpness and resolution. I knew that digital was years, if not decades away from the resolution possible with film. That got me started. I'll use digital if it is the best tool for the job, but I use film when I really care about what I'm shooting.

    I also don't like to sit in front of my computer and work. I hate doing all the Photoshop and Final Cut work that photo and video post production require. I rarely even scan my film anymore. I like to do as much in the camera as possible and avoid doing anything on the computer if I can. If I'm going to sit in front of the computer for hours when I'm not working, I'd rather be playing a game or watching a movie. As much as I like photography, doing it with the computer is too much like work.
     
  23. lorirfrommontana

    lorirfrommontana Member

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    I love the process. Nothing beats printing in the darkroom. I consider myself an artist. Before I had my first child I was a art and music double major. I switched my major to nursing when I realized I had to make money!:smile: I love painting and making quilts. I love analogue photography. I also love old equipment. I'll never sell my 55 willys wagon or my treadle sewing machines (I don't own an electric one!) or my favorite vintage cameras. Nothing beats using equipment that is 50 years old or older that has always worked and will continue working until I'm gone if I take care of it.
     
  24. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Zen Master at heart

    I'm the philosophical type Too. I consider myself a Zen master. I studied art and photography in college and later became the professional photographer for eight years. Clinging to nothing, I switched to IT work because I was able to make a living at it. I do enjoy the freedom of not being creative on demand. Now I shoot for the joy of it.
     
  25. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    "IT people" here--born, trained and enroled for tax purposes

    when the number of frames in my negative binders matches the number of files i had on my disks at one time or another and don't have any more, for all the good IT reasons, i'll switch... cross my heart, promise

    :cool:
     
  26. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I'm a lawyer by vocation.

    Does this mean I have to leave APUG now?

    Matt