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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. #51
    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.

  3. #52
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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.

  4. #53

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

  5. #54
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    Written language is digital, because you use digits.

    And to twist words a bit further; digital photograpy is abstract while analog photography is real.

    Why do I pursue analog photography? Because of its tactile nature and the countless nuances of the variables that makes it both wonderful and frustrating at times. I love that I can make a photograph or print.
    Last edited by Jerevan; 11-18-2010 at 07:16 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  6. #55

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    The darkroom is digital because my digits focus the head!
    Steve.

  7. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    We certainly don't do it for the convenience.


    Steve
    Actually, that's one of the reasons I started back into film.

    My darkroom is at this point just for personal work.

    For commissioned jobs like weddings and senior portraits I shoot, drop the film in the mail, and it comes back "done".

    We all have the choice of how much we do ourselves with any particular film we shoot.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  8. #57

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    I think it's fairly convenient, I have a Nova and the chemicals are ready whenever I am. In fact it's far more convenient than painting, composing a score or writing a poem, to name three other artistic expressions. But then, maybe all of those are digital and there's no difference.
    Steve.

  9. #58
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    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.


    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.


    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.
    Thanks for stating my thoughts and saving me the time to respond to someone puking out the digital-is-the-same-as-analog houie!

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  10. #59
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    I would suggest that there is also a top-down aspect to digital & computer and a bottom-up aspect to film & darkroom work, that makes for a huge distinction.

    By top-down I mean that someone else has made a lot of the decisions for you, although you will likely never know their names, their specific reasoning, or their agendas (sales!). You just have to accept it on faith, because you can't change it. However, I suggest that if you did know their reasoning, it is possible that you would not agree with some of their decisions, like details about how they compute exposures on automatic cameras. They are aiming for a "good photo most of the time." Is that really what you want? Don't you really want a great photo most of the time (unattainable, but worth striving for)?

    By bottom-up I mean that you the photographer have to make specific decisions all along the way, including focus, exposure, development, printing, etc. It is difficult and errors are likely, although you are the one in control. Nobody is forcing you to do things a certain way (sometimes for their own reasons, e.g. marketing). Perhaps some manufacturers (Kodak) influenced how you did things, but it was a fairly soft touch compared to the domineering control behind modern digital products.

    There is a political analogy to the top-down, bottom-up philosophy but maybe I better not go there. But personally I hate the top-down form of anything. People you don't know are making decisions that affect you, without your input or knowledge. And you have to pay them for their services, big time. Orwell understood this completely, many years ago.

  11. #60
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscott View Post
    I would suggest that there is also a top-down aspect to digital & computer and a bottom-up aspect to film & darkroom work, that makes for a huge distinction.

    [...]
    Excellent analysis.

    Having written sofware professionally for the last 20+ years I am acutely aware of the degree to which my design and implementation choices can and do limit the end user's choices, often intentionally.

    For example, I much prefer implementing a dodge or burn by physically casting shadows in the projected enlarger light using my hands, rather than simply clicking a mouse to execute some nameless programmer's algorithm which merely simulates his interpretation of that reality.

    But that's just me...

    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



 

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