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  1. #1

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    Going back to real photography

    I am on the brink of returning to my darkroom,the dark, the developers and the smell of fixer. Digital is magic and can result in stunning pictures but they are not the product of my skill. I will never forget my first print emerging in the tray, and my first good print some time later.
    I am in awe of the vast knowledge of subscribers on this site and wonder why they stick to this peculiar, messy long winded method of making pictures ?

  2. #41
    Athiril's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Well that's your definition and sure, there are a lot of people who think that way, but it's not seafoto's definition and it's okay to have different definitions.
    It is demeaning to photography.

    Photography is photography. It is identical, the function is the same, there is no segregation of 'analogue photography' and 'digital photography' they are one and the same. 'Digital photography' is also analogue, the photography part of a digital camera, is in fact analogue, pure and simply. The latent image is reproduced in digital form post-exposure. The photofinishing stage is what is digital.

    For all the minor differences, there are more major similarities and identical things.

    Physics is physics, and making technical choices with a creative motivation is well, making technical choices with a creative motivation. (Composition, exposure, depth of field, filters, etc).

    Your tool differs the most when it comes to finishing the image.

    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    Analogy fail. Watercolors, acrylics, and oils are comparible to B&W, color negative, color slide, or perhaps 35mm, medium format, and large format.

    The real analogy would be arguing which is better, painting or photography. Or indeed, painting and digital imaging. There was a time when painting vs. photography was a real debate; thankfully everyone has gotten over it and now nobody asks painters why they just don't take a picture. Eventually, the same will happen with real photography and digital photography, and everyone will be better off.
    Your 'analogy fail' is far greater, and less relevant. See above.

    Photography is photography is photography is photography.

  3. #42
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athiril View Post
    Photography is photography is photography is photography.
    With respect, 'Athiril'... not everyone shares this definition within the context you offer it. Some do, certainly. And that is their right. But not all, as is their right.

    See post #27 above.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  4. #43
    Athiril's Avatar
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    Hey Ken,

    You're exactly right when you say it is a broad term. Therefore such narrow definitions are simply incorrect.

    They can have different opinions, but opinions are simply often incorrect, they can have that opinion as long as they realise it's completely incorrect factually and don't try to spread this opinion to other people (misinformation).

    I was presenting factual information as opposed to opinion or belief. If people want to present dramatically incorrect definitions of well-defined terms, then they had better be prepared for people to point it out to them every single time they mention it.

    "As far as can be ascertained, it was Sir John Herschel in a lecture before the Royal Society of London, on March 14, 1839 who made the word "photography" known to the whole world. But in an article published on February 25 of the same year in a german newspaper called the Vossische Zeitung, Johann von Maedler, a Berlin astronomer, used the word photography already. The word photography is based on the Greek φῶς (photos) "light" and γραφή (graphé) "representation by means of lines" or "drawing", together meaning "drawing with light"."

    (And in modern terms it is the same thing but with photons or EMR to encompass the non-visible spectrums used for both science/R&D and creative photographers alike).


    Saying that x using y methods and materials and tools is photography, as a inclusive statement is correct, it is inclusive of that into what photography is.

    Saying the same thing in an exclusive statement is completely incorrect, there is simply no wriggle room for personal preference there. Anything specific or narrow in an exclusive statement referring to what photography is, is simply incorrect by definition.

  5. #44
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    Athiril,

    I'm pretty sure you are not in a position to define what "real photography" is for me, nor to even define what the words "real" or "photography" mean to me.

    You also have no sway over the nuances I apply in a conversation, what interests me, the audience I choose to speak to (and their views), nor the context I frame my words in or how I apply the words.

    For me, saying that D & A are the same is demeaning to both. The differences in how people use them is huge.

    What I mean by that, is that they each have their own strengths, skill sets, and failings.

    For me, treating them the same is silly and confusing.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #45

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    i suppose it is safe to suggest that in the context of THIS WEBSITE
    "real photography" involves film and paper and an arcane process.

    what i find to be kind of funny is that some people
    suggest that analog photography is anything more than ... analog photography ...

  7. #46
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    It is identical, the function is the same, there is no segregation of 'analogue photography' and 'digital photography' they are one and the same
    This statement is simple absurdity. I can think of no way to justify it. If there is no difference, then why would digital imaging ever have been invented? By your statement, even inventing it would be impossible to do, because it's the same thing as chemical photography, so if it's "one and the same" then it can't justifiably even be said to have been invented or to exist.

    'Digital photography' is also analogue, the photography part of a digital camera, is in fact analogue, pure and simply.
    More absurdity. You may want to do some basic reading on how digital imaging works. There is this new thing called a "pixel". It's pretty revolutionary from what I understand.

    Physics is physics
    Giggle. That's a funny statement coming from someone who insists that photochemical photographs and semiconductor-based digital imaging are worthy of "no distinction".

    I feel that "real photography" is a fitting description of photochemical photography because a real, physical photograph is generated. Digital imaging creates an image in the form of a matrix of numbers, which is its overwhelming strength and crowning achievement as a technology. You could say that digital imaging's greatest advancement is the ability to capture an image without having to actually generate a physical photograph. That is indeed why it has been adopted as the dominant imaging technology for most commercial purposes.
    f/22 and be there.

  8. #47

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    Are we looking at a difference in photographic techniques, or the difference between artists and technicians?

  9. #48
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athiril View Post
    I was presenting factual information as opposed to opinion or belief. If people want to present dramatically incorrect definitions of well-defined terms, then they had better be prepared for people to point it out to them every single time they mention it.
    While I understand the attempt to use the rules of logic to support your definition of the term "photography," I think it misses the point. Simply asserting definitional absoluteness based on criteria important to you does not necessarily establish such absoluteness.

    To wit, some of my important definitional criteria...

    The data container for a digital image is the logical computer file in which that data is represented. This file consists of one or more file fragments usually scattered across the rotating platters of a magnetic hard disk. Their order and locations are tracked and managed by the disk I/O subsystem of the computer.

    Each of these fragments consists of a synchronous physical pattern of greater or lesser magnetized spots on the magnetic platters. Reassembling the whole file during I/O results in a virtualized copy of that pattern represented within the computer's main memory.

    The digital image itself does not consist of anything physical. It is not made up of 1s and 0s as is often stated. It is not made up of magnetic spots. It is not made up of anything. It is only a pattern - a logical sequence - that defines the image. Modify even a single virtualized data point value and you have a new image.

    The digital image is a pure abstraction. Absent any rendering, it cannot be experienced first-hand. Absent the correct rendering - say, converting the abstract pattern into audio output - and it could be incorrectly experienced, sounding like nothing more than random white noise.

    The data container for a film photograph is the negative. Or in some special cases, the photograph itself. It is a physical entity. It bears silent witness to the actual event from which it was created. It was physically present directly in front of the subject at the very instant the image it recorded came into being.*

    The data in a negative is forever held fixed by the physical distribution of the reduced silver grain clumps or dye clouds. It is the product of a series of complex photochemical reactions, beginning with manufacture and ending with final chemical development. It benefits from, but does not absolutely require any, special storage. It's form (format) will never be changed or upgraded away. Dusty shoe boxes in old attics work just fine.

    The photographic negative itself is a true four-dimensional object. It occupies a point in space and time, and so prevents other objects from existing at that same point. It is what it is. It requires no complex, third-party technological subsystems to reassemble, decode, and render it. Only your eyes and a source of light are required. And in order for you to so experience its content first-hand, you must be physically in its presence. And it in yours.

    And yet, in spite of such profound differences...

    Both of these mechanisms are capable of producing images of reality that can be experienced and enjoyed. Both require levels of human skill to accomplish. Both are worthy of praise and condemnation. Each complements the other. Neither "demeans" the other.

    But they are most definitely not, by my criteria, "one and the same."

    Of course, YMMV...

    Ken

    * This is why holding old glass plate negatives up to the light in your own hands - and I have held many - is such a profoundly moving experience. At least to me. Sadly, my holding a USB drive up to the light provokes no such similar emotion.
    Last edited by Ken Nadvornick; 11-18-2010 at 01:48 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  10. #49
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    This is why holding old glass plate negatives up to the light in your own hands - and I have held many - is such a profoundly moving experience. At least to me. Sadly, my holding a USB drive up to the light provokes no such similar emotion.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  11. #50

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    What a strange debate seafoto has prompted! Hope he/she doesn't get scared away by all this hair splitting.

    Photography is photography, indeed. So is writing writing. And whereas it would be plainly ludicrous to claim that you enjoy poetry because it's not maths, it would also be strange to claim that poems and maths are the same because they're both written onto paper. Cats and dogs are the same because they're both animals, I prefer cats because they're not dogs. Film photography can be judged on its merits, it doesn't need to be compared to something so manifestly different as digital, it doesn't need to be compared to something some obviously similar as digital.
    Steve.



 

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