"but in the end the only thing that matters is the content of the image."
What if that content isn't real? After interpolation, the gaps in the ccd/cmos array being filled in with artificial info, compression, editing in photoshop, printing, is there anything of the original scene left? With film I feel like I've captured the essence of a scene, with digital it's an artificial numeric representation of what it thinks the actual scene looks like..
I don't mind arguing about this stuff, I am bored today :)
I've participated in a couple of threads on photonet where the question gets asked, "I want to use my digital camera for Black and White photography, can I expect results to be as good as if I used traditional b&w materials?"
Ok, give the guy credit for trying, he's becoming aware that he's a tone as opposed to color guy and he's used to digital. What shocks me and fills me with a profound sense of regret is that everyone who answers him assures him he'll do just fine digitally using his epson color printer in monochrome mode.
How can we have reached the point where the superiority of the results of using analogue materials isn't a given?
I've been to galleries in NYC that display big, but mediocre, inkjet prints priced at only $4,000 and have to wonder.
on the other hand, my daughter's high school friends are usually surprised, in glad sort of way, that her father has a darkroom. a couple have expressed interest in learning to develop and print and expressing it as "digital is just digital".
I took the 8 x 10 out yesterday to Glen Echo Park, where I photographed alongside a herd of painters. Such a scene could easily have been staged in 1903 as in 2003. And in 2103 I'm sure there will be painters, large format wet chemistry photographers and digital photographers with 14 Gigapixel cameras mounted inside their wristwatches all making pictures alongside each other. Why does this bother anybody?
Sean, since you're bored...
Do you listen to CD's?
Do you watch DVD's or Satellite TV?
It's all digital.
The reason there are differences is not due to the fact that light is changed to numbers but that the processes today are not that good to fool the eye.
But there is no reason they cannot be improved upon - but I really don't know if it will be cost effective, namely the sensor size.
There's a very interesting article here:
(prices skyrocket the larger the silicon is)
Now, just suppose it's possible to overcome all the difficulties and make it cost effective.
Would traditional photo be dead?
Is painting dead? Why to paint a portrait if a photo is so much close to reality?
The only thing that would significantly kill analog photo would be the lack of light sensitive material.
It's easier to say I will make my plates and paper than to do it...
As you might recall, home video cameras put all of the major motion picture studios and television networks out of business back in the 1980's. Are film-based photographers next?
I think Lex alluded to the real difficulty with traditional methods, especially B&W and that is the need for a darkroom. Everyone who is serious about traditional methods either has, had or wants a dedicated darkroom. This involves cost and logistics. Next comes the issue of dealing with various chemicals, some pretty toxic if misused. Then the time involved in developing the film, printing, washing, storage etc.
Now look at digital. If you have a total digital workflow, all you need is a high quality lap top, and printer. Of course the computer can be the same computer the wife balances to books with and you play games on. You may need a dedicated printer. Besides the camera, that is all you need. Everything is on the desktop. To get fancy you get a good imaging program, MIS inksets and maybe a better printer.
Now, if you are 18 or 19 and interested in photography, which one do you choose? Which one is going to be the harder one to master for the 18yr old?
Thomas, I am sure your super duper Epson has paid for itself, but tell me, how many times over has your analog cameras paid for themsleves? Not only that I am sure they will keep making you money long after you decided you need the ultra super duper Epson....no?
But that was not my point, what I was trying to say is that although the digital motto is "content is everything, not the technology" it seems they are the ones more preocupied with the latest gizmo. I beleive the camera should be the window of your imagination, and to acheive that you need to be throughly familiar with the way the camera works.
Jim if the 18 year old had no money, like I did when I was 18, he would probably start with analog. I started with a Beseler printmaker 35, 3 trays a nikon fg one lens and one beseler enlarging lens..the total for all the stuff was under 200 dollars, I bought a bulk film loader and film was cheap as hell....with the price of a high end lap top you can get an excellent analog setup which includes the camera and the darkroom.
Donald thinks we are griping to much and dizzing digital. I think the comments made here are just the response to many of the digital claims. When this site started I posted my rant about "digital platinum gliceč" and I think this is a perfect example, Cone explains that "digital" platinum is better because is easier, you dont have to deal with those "nasty" chemicals and real platinum has become obsolete because is hard to get film and not many people do it any more...his words not mine. So then here we have a manufacturer who is blatanly making untrue and misleading statements, yet nobody says...aww c`mon you are dumping on traditonal platinum. If people like me and others did not speak up against the fallacies of these statements then people will beleive they are true since there is no response from the traditional practicioners. Inarguably a digital platinum gliceč can be beautiful, but it is NOT a platinum print, it does NOT look like a platinum print and anybody who has seen a real well made platinum print will never mistake them for one.
So I dont think anybody who was new to photography and read this would choose digital just on the basis of what was said here, on the contrary I think they would be able to make a more informed choice without the advertisement hype.
There is nothing wrong with choosing digital, but it is certainly not easier or at least not as easy as some people would like us to beleive.