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Rafal Lukawiecki
12-02-2012, 09:51 AM
Aesthetics don't totally change because technology has changed. It is a nice opportunity to try out a new language, but you can't fault someone for shooting the analog way on digital.

Your advice is sound, JeRuFo, no one should be faulted for using analogue approaches in digital. No one should be faulted for any style of their photography and their artistic expression, though critique should be always welcome. My earlier comments were not meant as an admonition, merely a criticism, and I apologise if my words seemed otherwise.

What I feel, however, is that digital has not stood, yet, fully on its own feet, at least judging by the work I have been exposed to, with a few exceptions. I would like to see what digital can offer in terms of its own language, very much. I am sure there are amazing and unique expressions still to be discovered, and that we have not seen even the beginning of it, yet. Also, I applaud if someone uses analogue metaphors in the digital world, for a purpose, especially if it is cohesive with their work. Most of the time, however, I see analogue-stylization in digital fulfil no clear purpose other than mimicry of something familiar and accepted. Perhaps, that is the purpose. On the other hand, I suppose that is a natural stage, a temporary phase in the separation of the two media.

It is a very exciting time to be involved in photography, a craft on the cusp of a major change in its artistic function.

georg16nik
12-02-2012, 09:55 AM
Also, Ansel seemed like a "manifesto" kind of guy, a product of his time. Everyone was writing manifestos about everything back then.


Ansel Adams wanted to become a man of value, and he did.
The majority of present day photographers knows the price of many things and the value of none.

Who is "a product of his time" as You wrote, is pretty obvious. ;)

Bill Burk
12-02-2012, 09:56 AM
They'd have to get rid of photoshop since it's right chock-a-block fulla analog things, like curves, masks, layers, guides, dodge/burn, separations, tints. Instagram would have to go because of vulgar emulation of analog errors. I don't think digital is like photography; it is photography.

Photoshop would be an important part of it, a group which strove for the highest qualities would use actions to create repeatable results. They'd use lens effects, not to re-create a lantern slide projector lens, but to completely eliminate distortion...

I'll have to mull over whether digital is photography. On the surface, I don't think so. But you are probably right.

BetterSense
12-02-2012, 10:06 AM
The problem with the theory put forth by this thread, is that 'digital' is not a medium. Thus, it can't 'stand on its own' or 'not emulate other media'...there is nothing that it can do BUT emulate [other] media, since it is not, itself, a medium.

I don't have a problem with what is commonly called 'digital photography'. I just think that it is a form of digital art, and whether its done with a camera or photoshop or a wacom tablet or a 3D scanner is just detail.

Bill Burk
12-02-2012, 10:10 AM
...you have to take advantage of the possibilities ... I don't think they should totally start over on their own.

...I like to think that analog photography has progressed ... in the direction photographers wanted it to go in the last century....

...you can't fault someone for shooting the analog way on digital.

JeRuFo,

You cover a lot in few sentences...

Only the last point, I don't mean to fault someone for wanting to emulate analog with digital... I just mean they should be excluded from membership in the movement...

There could be a separate movement for the mirror image of the old pictorialists, the digital photographers who want to create simulated analog prints. And they can be encouraged to do a good job. In a sense, their work is a form of... printing (reproduction). Their manifesto could be a sort of "democratization of the press". No longer is printing limited to presses that weigh several tons. An inkjet can do it. Or no print, just monitor.

Bill Burk
12-02-2012, 10:14 AM
The problem with the theory put forth by this thread, is that 'digital' is not a medium.

It's not? That's a revolutionary thought.

Darkroom317
12-02-2012, 10:21 AM
Oil, acrylic, watercolor, goauche and tempera are all considered painting. They all involve putting paint on a substrate. Photography is the act of recording light via a light sensitive material; therefore, digital is photography alongside several other techniques of photography.

pdeeh
12-02-2012, 10:33 AM
I'm interested to understand what follows (in the logical sense) from statements like "digital photography isn't (real) photography"

If "true" (or "false") then what are the significant consequences for the World?

Bill Burk
12-02-2012, 10:34 AM
Oil, acrylic, watercolor, goauche and tempera are all considered painting. They all involve putting paint on a substrate. Photography is the act of recording light via a light sensitive material; therefore, digital is photography alongside several other techniques of photography.

Digital and analog photography become separated from each other after the light has been recorded... they differ in how you accomplish the printing or display.

Darkroom317
12-02-2012, 10:38 AM
Digital and analog photography become separated from each other after the light has been recorded... they differ in how you accomplish the printing or display.

But the same is true of gum bichromate, cyanotype and photogravure in comparison to silver gelatin methods.

georg16nik
12-02-2012, 10:39 AM
It's not? That's a revolutionary thought.

Digital camera is like a scanner - digitizing, hence digital intermediate.
Photography, as in Group /64 terms or APUG terms, is very different kinda thing.

Bill Burk
12-02-2012, 10:51 AM
But the same is true of gum bichromate, cyanotype and photogravure in comparison to silver gelatin methods.

Darkroom317, You make a valid point

Roger Cole
12-02-2012, 10:57 AM
But the same is true of gum bichromate, cyanotype and photogravure in comparison to silver gelatin methods.

Not really. All those involve chemically light sensitized materials, chemically converted to viewable forms. The sensitization and chemicals are different, but it's an inherently chemical process. It has no electricity used from outside (had to throw that in before someone started talking about ions and such.)

The idea that "digital is not a medium" seems absurd to me. Care to elaborate on why not?

But the problem with having it take its own direction and be distinct in artistic expression seems to be that it's essentially doing the same thing (the points above) as analog - using a lens to focus light from the physical world onto a sensitized (electronically in the case of digital) surface in order to record a visual rendering of that world. By necessity it's going to look more like analog than different. It is true that you can do a lot more and more extreme departures from a realistic rendering using digital methods. Extreme HDR that was mentioned is one, easily combining different elements into a scene that never actually existed in nature is another. That can be done in the darkroom but is difficult and limited compared to doing it in Photoshop. But any time these get too far removed from reality or at least the look of reality they seem to get dismissed as excess. Maybe that's the key and what's being discussed here. As long as it's not portrayed AS reality, along with all the mischief that could cause in certain contexts, there should be less complaint when digital artists combine elements in creative ways.

JeRuFo
12-02-2012, 11:40 AM
..What I feel, however, is that digital has not stood, yet, fully on its own feet, at least judging by the work I have been exposed to, with a few exceptions. I would like to see what digital can offer in terms of its own language, very much. I am sure there are amazing and unique expressions still to be discovered, and that we have not seen even the beginning of it, yet....

...It is a very exciting time to be involved in photography, a craft on the cusp of a major change in its artistic function.


I think you touch on a good point there. It is maybe a little early to see the full potential of the digital movement. With sensors ever increasing in potential, maybe it is not the prints we should be looking at. The images digital is likely to be able to capture very soon will be far beyond the latitude of film. But that is not common yet, so maybe it is a little early to adopt a separate vision on digital shooting. I hope the manufacturers don't think the same way however, there might be some work left in lens technology and printing to capture all of that in a final print.

But it is most definetely a very exciting time.

I will be sticking my head in the sand for a few years though. Getting back into film until digital has made a firm stand and looks like something that suits my style. If not I can at least buy Fuji with the savings I made by not buying new equipment every two years and keep shooting Velvia.

JeRuFo
12-02-2012, 12:17 PM
JeRuFo,

You cover a lot in few sentences...

Only the last point, I don't mean to fault someone for wanting to emulate analog with digital... I just mean they should be excluded from membership in the movement...

There could be a separate movement for the mirror image of the old pictorialists, the digital photographers who want to create simulated analog prints. And they can be encouraged to do a good job. In a sense, their work is a form of... printing (reproduction). Their manifesto could be a sort of "democratization of the press". No longer is printing limited to presses that weigh several tons. An inkjet can do it. Or no print, just monitor.

Yes, I think you're right. You wouldn't need a new movement if you didn't actually change anything.

I feel you should keep the processes that you like and actually work well in the digital age.

It is quite hard to give a short view on this point. It probably differs per image and the purpose you want to give it. Democratization is a good word, time will do it's work and weed out the best loved and most practical techniques, the rest will hopefully be displayed by a few persevering artisans and eventually a friendly curator that doesn't mind some fumes in his clinical world of digital perfection.

Bill Burk
12-02-2012, 12:46 PM
It is maybe a little early to see the full potential of the digital movement...

I will be sticking my head in the sand for a few years though. Getting back into film until digital has made a firm stand and looks like something that suits my style...

I'm fortunate to live in a town where a pioneer of digital photographer has his studio. His Grand Canyon photos from 10 years ago are remarkable, though at the time I had no interest in outfitting myself with a Mac laptop and Betterlight scanning back. I did not feel like going out like the old pioneers with their wet-plate darkrooms.

While reminiscing, I just found a self-portrait digital black and white shot taken May 3, 2003. In that shot the Bessa II is sitting next to me on the table... It's the same scene as my current avatar. So I used to shoot digital and film at the same time. Shameless

BetterSense
12-02-2012, 12:52 PM
Silver gelatin, oil paint, bronze, are media. Digital files are information; a digital file could just as easily be a representation of a symphony or a text or a 3 dimensional world or anything. Digital photography may be a discipline but the media 'digital photography' does not exist.

Roger Cole
12-02-2012, 12:58 PM
How about "ink jet" then? How about "monitor display" then?

I still don't agree and I think digital, or more accurately "digital sensors" are a medium.

CPorter
12-02-2012, 02:00 PM
Digital camera is like a scanner - digitizing, hence digital intermediate.
Photography, as in Group /64 terms or APUG terms, is very different kinda thing.

Perhaps we call it a "digigraph", even still, it is a photograph, it captures light and the light forms an image.

georg16nik
12-02-2012, 02:17 PM
Perhaps we call it a "digigraph", even still, it is a photograph, it captures light and the light forms an image.
Yeah, an image... after the analog data gets processed, digitally, hence is closer to an already existing term digital intermediate.
An image that is not archival out of the box, that's hell of an image, and lot cheaper than film. :D

I guess You can call it whatever You want, since a digitally captured movie (motion picture) is still referred to as film :laugh: