I don't read anyone saying that film is (necessarily) art or that digital (necessarily) isn't - that's a huge straw man. Either can be, either might not be. My position is simply that they are different arts, albeit that can also be merged in mixed media relatively easily.
And for some of us driving is the point, not the destination. Not so much here in the suburbs of metro Atlanta but when I lived in Tennessee, and still when I go back to visit, I'd often enough just go driving in the mountains with no destination in mind, wind through some curves, feel the air through the sunroof and windows, run through the gears and end up exactly where I left never having stopped along my big loop. I'm far from alone in doing that sometimes.
Roger, I totally agree...I think the same logic applies to going for a nice walk in the early evening...
But I don't think that sort of logic applies at all when discussing the "real" (haha) Fine Art (capital F and capital A) world.
That depends on each individual, and whether any of the obvious differences between the two tool sets matter to them.
Originally Posted by markbarendt
If 'blansky' manages to tame the newborn and creates a stunningly insightful portrait, Mom isn't going care how that scene made it to her wall. As far as she's concerned, she's thrilled and 'blansky' is a freakin' genius.
However, if Ken has finally decided to spend $10,000* to buy that vintage Ansel Adams Clearing Winter Storm that he always wanted, it's probably going to make a BIG difference to him how that scene made it to his wall. The process differences between the hand-made-by-Ansel-in-1980 version and a negative-scan-and-inkjet-in-2013 version could not be more meaningful.
In the first example, process could not be more irrelevant. In the second example, process could not be more critical. But in both examples, the core differences between the two photographic processes do still exist. That's a fact that is not open to interpretation.
As noted earlier, one does not dunk CCDs into D-76 in order to extract images...
* or whatever, I didn't actually Google it...
Now Ken, what if Ansel had been alive and scanned in the neg, did the print, signed the back. Would it then still matter as much?
Meanwhile, poor old ken Rockwell doesn't know what he started.
I dunno'. That never happened. Maybe it would have, or maybe not.
Originally Posted by Klainmeister
If pigs had wings, would the phrase "rolling around in the mud" with them have any meaning?
I don't know where you can objectively draw the lines around these definitions though. You can keep going and going. What if someone said he wouldn't spend $10,000 on an Adams print because the materials he used were all pre-packaged by Kodak? Some oil painters still mix their own paints from scratch, etc. Ken, it seems to me your argument is really one of tactile involvement in the process of making pictures.
My $10,000 wants the original AA version, because the differences in the two processes matter to me. What matters to you... is up to you.
Of course, YMMV...
And my original issue wasn't tactility. It was provenance, in the sense of direct linkage between the subject and the medium used to record it. This provenance is asserted by the fact that the process underlying it when using film is real-world, not abstract.
It seems like a lot of people are twisting Ken's argument into what they want it to be and then proceeding to knock down their own modified version.
Personally, I think both analog and digital are "photography", they both can be "art", and they are equally capable of creating compelling, emotional images. I truly believe that. Having said that, the processes of getting there are not the same. They may feel similar and they may be trying to accomplish the same thing for the same purpose, but at a step-by-step process level, I think the considerations that go into the image-making are just different.
That may be a distinction without a difference to some and if all you care about is the end-product and whether it is compelling, emotional, honest, etc., than that is fine - a completely valid perspective. But I think it's hard to make an argument that the processes are not, if nothing more than at a physical, "what you actually do" level (i.e. stand in a darkroom vs. sit at a computer), different.
Could not agree more with you (and Loretta...).
Originally Posted by MatthewDunn
I sit here in stunned astonishment at my inability to get across the exasperatingly simple concept* that the two processes are not the same. This is the most fascinating display of human nature I may have ever seen.
And almost as astonishing to me is the fact that this conversation is taking place on one of the world's preeminent analog film discussion forums. And probably THE preeminent darkroom forum on the planet.
If EVER one would have thought the concept of different (not better, not worse, just different) would have resonated, one would have expected it to resonate here.
But I guess not...
* CCDs versus D-76, for gawd's sake. Think really, really hard about that for just a moment...