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Discussion in 'Photographic Aesthetics and Composition' started by Mainecoonmaniac, Feb 26, 2014.
that web site is a mess.
Because digital has no soul.
I think that soul comes from the person operating the camera, although I understand the 'tongue in cheek' comment.
If you like film - shoot film. If you don't like to shoot film, seek out an alternative. Simple as that. Make sure you love what you do. It will show.
For sure. Asking me, and other film shooters like me, to give up film and shoot digital, would be like asking a dedicated water colour painter to to give that up to paint with oils. It's just not my thing/medium.
Some folks shoot both, and some folks are wholly dedicated to one medium and process. It's just their choice.
I imagine that a dedicated digital shooter, forced to shoot with film, would find that soulless, because as you said, the soul/love comes through the chosen medium/process from the artist.
I love film. I'm a analog guy in a digital world.
I don't get these things. First off, it looks like their website is pretty much optimized to be viewed on a smartphone, and is pretty terribly to try and navigate on a PC.
Second, if you want the look of Velvia, why not just shoot Velvia? Even more so with B&W, the sensitivity of film differs than digital, so the digital conversions never look quite like the original.
The Plug-in pack is $120-- I know I'd tire of fiddling with digital files long before I got through the same number of images as I could get out of $120 worth of film and chemicals...
If you want the look of film, why not just shoot film? Film and digital are two very different mediums. If you like one or the other, use it, but it bugs me how much time is spent with digital files to get them 'film-like'.
I shoot both, so I might not be the best person to answer.
But if I can hazard a guess it is because film photography is a serious craft that demands dedication. If you do dedicate yourself to it, you will be producing pictures with a subjective artistic quality that is very difficult to achieve with digital.
Some people manage to use a digital component to that effect. One famous example is Sebastiao Salgado, who went from medium format film cameras to digital full frame. He still wet prints from a digital negative, though and his amazingvresults stem from a lifetime of mastery of the analogue process.
Digital is the fastest and easiest way to produce a usable image. Analogue is neither fast nor easy, but extremely rewarding.
P.S. I've tried the VSCO app and I didn't like their filters. They create a very obvious mock lomo look, ie emulating expired film that is badly exposed, developed and handled. They do not, neither can they emulate the look of professionally handled film.
I also use Film Efex filters from Nik from time to time. While they look much better than VSCO, you could never pass them off as actual film photos.
It is interesting to note that many people want to make their digital pictures look like film. I can't help but wonder why
I somewhat disagree w/ the soulless description. Digital is artificial, lifeless and dead. Film is living. Digital is very inferior for B&W work. I know no other way to describe what I see. I remember Spielberg or George Lucas or some film director describing film vs digital on the movie theater screen, and they said that before the film actually started you could see the screen come alive w/ moving grain. They didn't ever want to see the end of that, which we are essentially seeing in big budget movies now in the US. Digital noise is ugly, grain is beautiful. Where's the shadow detail? One could go on and on, but my truth is that if anyone needs to ask this question they will never understand what they need to know. They're in the wrong field. It's a visual thing, not a learned skill or a philosophy or concept, and if you don't have the eye, that's that.
My first vocation is painting and printing etchings, and I have to tell you, no artist ever has this type of silly conversation w/ other artists. We just know. And I love the ignorance of these plug in creators. As if HP5 or Tri-X HAS a native look! Try developing each of these films in Rodinal vs D76 and see what you get. Well, that's the age we live in. Lies are seen as truth, truth is not believed.
I actually vehemently disagree with you. Not disrespecting, just for discussion's sake. Digital is not soulless. There is a ton of terrific work created that is digital in origin, and I have seen enough platinum/palladium prints, polymer photogravure, copper plate photogravure, bromoil, and even silver gelatin prints created from digital files, or digital intermediary files, to tell you that you can't see a difference between what originated on film and what originated as a digital file. Inkjet prints? They're still trying to agree on what they should be called and represented in the art buying world.
Again, the person that creates the art work adds the soul, not the camera.
love these digi v. analog debates
2 different media
use what you want
i use what i want and i couldn't care less
if its soul less or full of soul its just made up crap.
ive shown anti digital zealots digital images they SWORE were film
and visa versa
does it really matter?
great they can make a digital file look like something else
i certainly don't care.
haters keep hating
The whole digital v film debate has become very tiresome. There's a whiff of siege mentality about it. Both are tools, both ways of translating the creativity between the ears.
I've got a number of artist friends - sculptors, painters and printmakers. Each time I'm amongst them I'm struck by their enthusiasm for 'the idea' and their enthusiasm about creativity and how to expresss what's in their 'mind's eye'. They are very open to using different tools and methods, open to anything that helps their creativity and artistic practice. Tools are just that, tools, not ends in themselves. The traditional photographic community often seems inward-looking by comparison, more concerned with equipment and ways of doing things rather than the the pursuit and harnessing of creativity itself...
(For what it's worth I personally think film is much better than digital which is why I shoot it. But I also use digitally enlarged transparencies for handprinting photogravures - a good case of technology helping a process and increasing the range of options).
Some friends of mine just got married, and their photographer claimed something or other about the 'analog look'. They shot with a nice Canon, but once they were processed down, it pretty much looked like what I got as a 10 year old with an Olympus XA, cheap Fujicolor 200, and bad guesses at exposure. I could've done the same thing for free (actually, the cost of a bottle of whiskey before the wedding, as I would've had to have been very drunk to get exposures that off).
Almost all film-like conversions seem to me as way overdone, and poor quality. Personally, I think it's giving film a bad rep. There are a lot of people out there that wouldn't be able to tell much of a difference between a good shot on digital vs a good shot on film, so it seems like the people emulating film have to overdo it.
I started this thread to start a debate. Maybe this technology will inspire film students to shoot film. I'm sure there will be a hybrid process or a compromise. I remember years ago when graphic design and printing went under a radical change being digitized. Some designers are rediscovering letter press again. But there are some "fake" letter press pieces done with hybrid processes. But as an end user, I cannot tell if it came from a letter press. Thomas is right. As long as the artist loves what they do.
Who is asking you to do this?
I think at this point in the evolution of digital technology, and particularly for colour work, "digital is inferior to film" is a dead argument as far as technical quality goes. What is left is the personal preference for, and skill in one process or the other.
The point is, that to do a convincing digital to analog "conversion" you must know the analogue medium and understand why it looks the way it does. Most digital shooters don't and therefore their conversions amount to a wilful degradation of the digital picture. That's why digital "film conversions" usually end up in the lomo segment. The truth is that good film photography has higher resolution and greater dynamic range than most digital images. Also, the physical layered grain structure in a film is very hard to reproduce in a digital image, as it's just not there.
I'm perfectly happy to shoot digital and film and whatever other strange media someone might someday think of, but I don't really understand the desire some people obviously have to make one medium pass for another, as exemplified particularly by the faux film rebates that occasionally turn up as borders on digital images. But I guess it depends on why you're shooting in the first place; I suppose if I were a pro, with a customer who wanted what they perceived as The Soulful Lo-Fi Look Of Film (TM), I'd look at using digital capture for its pragmatic conveniences and meeting that strange customer desire in postprocessing.
My hat really is off (well, because I don't wear a hat to work, but let's pretend I took it off out of respect) to the people who can do "normal" professional work on film. I think that ability represents an impressive level of control over the process from composition to presentation; I couldn't do it with anything like the kind of reliability that a wedding or a portrait sitting would require.
Veracity, soul, and similar nebulous virtues don't come from the process but from the artist. Now, if people mean "when I shoot digital my soul doesn't get vested in the image", *that* makes sense and I have some sympathy; I wouldn't go quite so far, but I have an easier time feeling that I've got my Artistic Self (TM) involved with analog processes. I know people who are serious digital workers who feel just the opposite and find film alienating. Aren't individuals mysterious things?
Yup. That's why I think the analog 'conversions' are a total waste of time. Most of the people I know that have such mastery of film, and why it looks that way, keep shooting film to get those results. The people who have switched to digital are used to that medium, and know how to get results with its limitations, but don't try to make it look like film. Personally I see film as the choice medium for art, where digital is the choice medium for photojournalism (not saying PJ can't be art in its own regard). With film you have much more control throughout the whole process, and it takes a lot more skill to get pleasing results. With digital, you just snap away, leaving all the process work to a tiny computer and a bunch of 1's and 0's.
I do both analog and digital. I've even written a bunch of graphics manipulation and 3D rendering software over the years and worked for a short while at a VFX house so I know what that side is capable of, plus had a darkroom three times now over the past 30 years.
Different tools for different jobs is all.
PS: it's much easier to keep a squirrely kid interested in having a picture taken when you pull out a Graflex than a random DSLR, so there's that too
I have a friend that shoots location portraits professionally, and shoots black and white almost exclusively.
She stayed with film for a long time, but it became more and more difficult to obtain high quality optical prints from the lab(s) she used, with service times and at prices that made sense for her business.
She transitioned to a film + scanning + plus lambda printing and stayed with that until scanning services became harder to obtain with service times and at prices that made sense for her business.
She now shoots digital, because the quality has reached the level she was able to obtain by the film + scanning + plus lambda printing route.
She has tried these sorts of filters (the NIK ones) and finds them useful, but essentially she uses a standard post-processing routine that matches well with her distinctive style and the services she gets from her lab (which only deals with pros).
The point of all this - if you have a look or approach you like, whether you work on a computer or in a darkroom, or both, there are tools you can use to get that look. If you treat them as tools, rather than all-in-one solutions, you can benefit from them.
Because I've spent a lifetime from my youth to my old age trying to understand the art and science of film photography, and don't have the time or patience left to take up another medium.
I was digital akready in 1998 and was doing both for quite a while..Don't like inkjet and was always unhappy somImsold a huge bunch (all) of digital stuff amd went back to full time film. Short answer..cuz i just like film.
Its a figure of speech/method of framing an argument, and not to be taken literally. Duh.