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Michel Hardy-Vallée
03-31-2008, 09:50 AM
http://creativeimagemaker.co.uk/mod/resource/view.php?id=49

By yours truly thank you very much!

I've been writing that article a few weeks ago, but the recent APUG discussion on 35mm
(http://www.apug.org/forums/forum52/48568-can-t-give-up-35mm-4.html) coincides nicely with the publication.

firecracker
03-31-2008, 04:54 PM
Nice article!

Ray Heath
03-31-2008, 05:09 PM
g'day MHV
great images and the most informative part of your essay, as for the text i'm not sure as to the point of your article

are you ragging digital or defending 35mm?

most of your points are unexplained, ill defined assumptions

if digital capture is "vacuum cleaning" compared to 35mm, could not the same be said of 35mm capture compared to LF capture?

what do the attractive offspring of insurance salesmen have to do with your argument?

Ray

Michel Hardy-Vallée
03-31-2008, 07:22 PM
what do the attractive offspring of insurance salesmen have to do with your argument?

Ray

Metaphors, Ray.. Metaphors... They grow on you like fungus when you spend too much time reading books ;)

Michel Hardy-Vallée
03-31-2008, 07:31 PM
g'day MHV

Now you can even use my real name!



are you ragging digital or defending 35mm?


Technically I'm defending 35mm, but taking a swipe or two at digital.



if digital capture is "vacuum cleaning" compared to 35mm, could not the same be said of 35mm capture compared to LF capture?


Well, that's something I'm not entirely sure of yet. In the all-analog days, 35mm was the vacuum cleaner of photographs; now it's digital. 35mm was the small, light, fast, etc; now it's digital. 35mm was the entry point in photo; now it's digital, etc.

The way DSLR have been marketed, they were positioned as a means to entirely replace 35mm in terms of handling, lenses, quality, etc. Now that the DSLR is the building block of 21st photograph, most people either switch to it, or stick to film with larger formats. I'm trying to see if there's something left to be said for 35mm besides grain.

Concerning assumptions, well yeah, they're vague. I'm working from the inside out, starting with subjectivity instead of sticking to technical data.

As I like to point out, the word "essay" comes from the French "try," which implies the possibility of failure as well. But no risk, no glory, I guess.

aparat
03-31-2008, 07:40 PM
I enjoyed reading your essay. I particularly like the conceptualization of a 35mm film as a complete story, captured as it unfolds in time. The contact sheet does, indeed, add an extra layer of storytelling. I think, however, that, potentially, a 35mm digital camera can perform the same function, but, as you point out, the temptation to fill up the memory card and hope for some "keepers" is often too great to ignore.

I prefer to think of a roll of 35mm film as a finite form, one that gives me both space and limitation. I enjoy the process as much as the aesthetic of film images.

Thanks for sharing the article!

aparat

DanielOB
03-31-2008, 08:02 PM
Nice text. Super images in that 35mm analysis. That guy is really good photographer. Hey MHV are that pictures your? Ah you. You should say "that images are mine". Well go Canada.

Daniel OB
www.Leica-R.com

Mick Fagan
03-31-2008, 09:08 PM
Quite a good article, as opposed to an essay, which it isn't.

Flowery writing, almost a bit too flowery, but readable.

I have to agree with Ray that some or your point(s) aren't too obvious.

That said, if this was in a magazine I would have read it through.

Mick.

Michel Hardy-Vallée
03-31-2008, 11:26 PM
Thanks Mick. I was reading a book by Chris Marker about Jean Giraudoux when I wrote it, so some of his style inevitably dripped into the prose.

Maybe I'm misusing the term "essay" in English; in French, "essai" is used for any kind of reflexive, sometimes off-the-cuff or tentative prose. I think in English it's more used in the context of term paper, class essays, i.e. argumentative and structured prose.

Mick Fagan
04-01-2008, 01:34 AM
Michel, I have to retract what I said about it not being an essay!

Essay:- A short literary composition on a particular subject.

Macquarie dictionary, second edition.

As the first description of an essay in the dictionary, is the above, you are spot on!

Mick.

firecracker
04-01-2008, 05:46 AM
I think, however, that, potentially, a 35mm digital camera can perform the same function...

No, there's one thing the digi format is missing: reality proof. In the cult of HCB that I'm in, you gotta have BLACK BORDERS to make your point stand out and clear!

If I had taken these photos(see the attachment files) with a mid-format camera with a wider lens and cropped them and so on, instead of using a 35mm camera with a 50mm prime lens and shooting full frame, I would've somehow lost the energy that was in the scenes...

DannL
04-01-2008, 12:31 PM
I must be honest, I found the writing to be a difficult read, at best. Not that I couldn't read the words as they are written, but I could not determine the central purpose for the writing. I must assume the writer would like to put a 35mm camera and a roll of perforated film on a pedestal. There's nothing wrong with having an idea, but putting the idea in a format that is readable requires a certain amount of labor. Consider the differences between composing a photograph and taking a snapshot. What I found in the writing was a mishmash of ideas, concepts, assumptions, and random thoughts bound together by unnecessary catch phrases. Could this really be an essay about catch phrases? Secondly, all of the photographs provided with the text could have been taken with a Kodak box camera, or a 110 instamatic, a 6x6 TLR, or even a 5x7 slr. The photographs do make good filler, but they do not support the writing. Other than that, kudos on a job well done. Cheers! Dann :D

lns
04-01-2008, 04:04 PM
Well, I found it thought-provoking. I can't say I've ever thought about the format that deeply, and am impressed that you have.

Here's what resonated most with me: your link between the roll of 35mm film and memory. Your point, I think, was that the film must be developed at a later time and contains too many different frames to be fully remembered beforehand. When the roll is processed, memory is restored. I totally love this. Also, with regard to 35mm film in particular, so many of us have albums (or shoeboxes) filled with family pictures taken in 35mm film. That also powerfully connects 35mm with the larger concept of memory, or history.

I also appreciate your (metaphorical) comparison of a 35mm format picture to a word, while larger format negatives are more like a paragraph. I am aware that you purposely are talking about different and more public subjects, but if you will forgive me, I will again mention the humble genre of family pictures. My mother recently received a copy of a professional studio shot of her father and his brothers that was taken 80-90 years ago. It was interesting to look at. I focussed on how they looked, dressed and wore their hair. I tried in vain to connect the very young man in the picture to either my memory of the very old man I knew (he died about 25 years ago), or to my mother, myself and my siblings. The picture itself was a complete thought. But I couldn't really read it, to be honest. In contrast, when I look at our family's 35mm pictures, what I find is a story told by an accumulation. The very quantity of pictures of each event adds up to the story. Of, say, my daughter's first Christmas, or my childhood trip out West. There is no need for one picture to tell a whole story, and no pretense that it could. That's both a strength and a weakness of the 35mm format. But I like it, as you do.

Your comment that "35mm begs for collage" also struck me. I think that's true. I had never considered it before in exactly those terms. But I find it inspiring.

Thank you for the effort you made in this essay, and thanks for calling it to my attention. -Laura

Christopher Walrath
04-01-2008, 08:15 PM
Well said, Michel.

GraemeMitchell
04-04-2008, 07:58 AM
Funny, I just did a blog post on 35mm (http://graememitchell.com/blog/35mm-fashion-photography) after I was inspired by the bias for the format by a group of college students I spoke with. I was taken aback, they didn't care about medium format, or large format...or gear really. And these kids all have access to gear galore.

There's a young generation out that's grown up seeing, Terry Richardson, Jeurgen Teller and later Ryan McGinley, Cass Bird, (and the general aesthetic of anyone, say, repped by mslogan (http://www.mslogan.net/)) or anyone part of the London fashion aesthetic (Roger Deckker)...kids who respond more to Newtow and Bourdin then any of the classics...

I found it inspiring, and it opened my eyes to see them respond to this work like I responded to Penn and Avedon and Roversi when I was their age. I'm interested to see where they take the industry in 20 years.

tiberiustibz
04-07-2008, 07:34 PM
I think digital is too fast. It takes something away, being able to snap off so many pictures without even a thought. It seems to remove some of the value from photography, turning it into some sort of endless avalanche of mostly useless pictures. When the "limiting factors" of film and film cost are removed the value of each picture is reduced and people are more likely to waste it on something not worth a picture.

What is a digital picture? It's merely bits. On and off. 0 and 1. It's nothing but insignificant numbers.

LIES! A 35mm kodachrome slide from the 50s contains more data than all but those exorbitant digital cameras today requiring tethering to computers. 22 megapixels with a good lens. MF has I believe 70, 4x5 has 300. (you have to scan them well, ye old desktop scanner is not gonna pull it off. Think drumscans)

Digital is chugging along. Currently it's best for those email pictures.

Michel Hardy-Vallée
04-07-2008, 08:23 PM
LIES! A 35mm kodachrome slide from the 50s contains more data than all but those exorbitant digital cameras today requiring tethering to computers. 22 megapixels with a good lens. MF has I believe 70, 4x5 has 300. (you have to scan them well, ye old desktop scanner is not gonna pull it off. Think drumscans)

But you see, that's exactly the point that I'm arguing against.

Why would megapixels, real or putative, be the only reason why one medium matter over the other?

35mm film has 22 "megapixels." So what?

keithwms
04-07-2008, 08:52 PM
I sometimes get that song in my head, Video Killed the Radio Star (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWtHEmVjVw8), when I read these film/digi things.

tiberiustibz
04-07-2008, 08:54 PM
That's very true, but in your essay you referenced that some people justify abandoning 35mm film in that digital is "better" in terms of resolution. I was merely seeking to prove these incorrect.

CRhymer
04-07-2008, 09:40 PM
Bravo Michel,

Cheers,
Clarence