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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
    markbarendt's Avatar
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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, Beaverton, OR

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

  3. #42
    jnanian's Avatar
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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 ...

  4. #43
    BetterSense's Avatar
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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.

  5. #44

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

  6. #45
    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.
    "When making a portrait, my approach is quite the same as when I am portraying a rock. I do not wish to impose my personality upon the sitter, but, keeping myself open to receive reactions from his own special ego, record this with nothing added: except of course when I am working professionally, when money enters in,—then for a price, I become a liar..."

    — Edward Weston, Daybooks, Vol. II, February 2, 1932

  7. #46
    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, Beaverton, OR

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

  8. #47

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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.

  9. #48
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by perkeleellinen View Post
    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.
    Comparing a work of literature written out on a typewriter to the same thing written by hand with a nice pen would be a better analogy (or is there a digitalogy option?!!).

    Quote Originally Posted by seafoto View Post
    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 ?
    We certainly don't do it for the convenience.


    Steve
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  10. #49
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Comparing a work of literature written out on a typewriter to the same thing written by hand with a nice pen would be a better analogy
    No, because written language is already digital, typewriter or handwritten makes no fundamental difference, only superficial differences. The differences between real photography and digital imaging are fundamental rather than superficial.
    f/22 and be there.

  11. #50

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    Why is written language digital? My diary goes nowhere near a computer.
    Steve.



 

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