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  1. #11
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by momus View Post
    I somewhat disagree w/ the soulless description. Digital is artificial, lifeless and dead. Besides being very inferior for B&W work. I know no other way to describe what I see. I remember Spielberg or George Lucas or some film director describing film vs digital on the movie theater screen, and they said that before the film actually started you could see the screen come alive w/ moving grain. The didn't ever want to see the end of that, which we are essentially seeing in big budget movies now in the US. Digital noise is ugly, grain is beautiful. Where's the shadow detail? One could go on and on, but my truth is that if anyone needs to ask this question they will never understand what they need to know. They're in the wrong field.
    I actually vehemently disagree with you. Not disrespecting, just for discussion's sake. Digital is not soulless. There is a ton of terrific work created that is digital in origin, and I have seen enough platinum/palladium prints, polymer photogravure, copper plate photogravure, bromoil, and even silver gelatin prints created from digital files, or digital intermediary files, to tell you that you can't see a difference between what originated on film and what originated as a digital file. Inkjet prints? They're still trying to agree on what they should be called and represented in the art buying world.

    Again, the person that creates the art work adds the soul, not the camera.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  2. #12

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    love these digi v. analog debates

    2 different media

    use what you want
    i use what i want and i couldn't care less
    if its soul less or full of soul its just made up crap.

    ive shown anti digital zealots digital images they SWORE were film
    and visa versa

    does it really matter?
    great they can make a digital file look like something else
    i certainly don't care.

    haters keep hating

  3. #13
    coigach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    I think that soul comes from the person operating the camera, although I understand the 'tongue in cheek' comment.

    If you like film - shoot film. If you don't like to shoot film, seek out an alternative. Simple as that. Make sure you love what you do. It will show.
    I agree.

    The whole digital v film debate has become very tiresome. There's a whiff of siege mentality about it. Both are tools, both ways of translating the creativity between the ears.

    I've got a number of artist friends - sculptors, painters and printmakers. Each time I'm amongst them I'm struck by their enthusiasm for 'the idea' and their enthusiasm about creativity and how to expresss what's in their 'mind's eye'. They are very open to using different tools and methods, open to anything that helps their creativity and artistic practice. Tools are just that, tools, not ends in themselves. The traditional photographic community often seems inward-looking by comparison, more concerned with equipment and ways of doing things rather than the the pursuit and harnessing of creativity itself...

    (For what it's worth I personally think film is much better than digital which is why I shoot it. But I also use digitally enlarged transparencies for handprinting photogravures - a good case of technology helping a process and increasing the range of options).

  4. #14
    fretlessdavis's Avatar
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    Some friends of mine just got married, and their photographer claimed something or other about the 'analog look'. They shot with a nice Canon, but once they were processed down, it pretty much looked like what I got as a 10 year old with an Olympus XA, cheap Fujicolor 200, and bad guesses at exposure. I could've done the same thing for free (actually, the cost of a bottle of whiskey before the wedding, as I would've had to have been very drunk to get exposures that off).

    Almost all film-like conversions seem to me as way overdone, and poor quality. Personally, I think it's giving film a bad rep. There are a lot of people out there that wouldn't be able to tell much of a difference between a good shot on digital vs a good shot on film, so it seems like the people emulating film have to overdo it.
    New-ish convert to film.
    Pentax MX for 35mm
    Bronica ETRS for 645

  5. #15
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I started this thread to start a debate. Maybe this technology will inspire film students to shoot film. I'm sure there will be a hybrid process or a compromise. I remember years ago when graphic design and printing went under a radical change being digitized. Some designers are rediscovering letter press again. But there are some "fake" letter press pieces done with hybrid processes. But as an end user, I cannot tell if it came from a letter press. Thomas is right. As long as the artist loves what they do.
    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by frank View Post
    Asking me, and other film shooters like me, to give up film and shoot digital, .
    Who is asking you to do this?

  7. #17

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    I think at this point in the evolution of digital technology, and particularly for colour work, "digital is inferior to film" is a dead argument as far as technical quality goes. What is left is the personal preference for, and skill in one process or the other.

  8. #18
    Jaf-Photo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fretlessdavis View Post
    Some friends of mine just got married, and their photographer claimed something or other about the 'analog look'. They shot with a nice Canon, but once they were processed down, it pretty much looked like what I got as a 10 year old with an Olympus XA, cheap Fujicolor 200, and bad guesses at exposure. I could've done the same thing for free (actually, the cost of a bottle of whiskey before the wedding, as I would've had to have been very drunk to get exposures that off).

    Almost all film-like conversions seem to me as way overdone, and poor quality. Personally, I think it's giving film a bad rep. There are a lot of people out there that wouldn't be able to tell much of a difference between a good shot on digital vs a good shot on film, so it seems like the people emulating film have to overdo it.
    The point is, that to do a convincing digital to analog "conversion" you must know the analogue medium and understand why it looks the way it does. Most digital shooters don't and therefore their conversions amount to a wilful degradation of the digital picture. That's why digital "film conversions" usually end up in the lomo segment. The truth is that good film photography has higher resolution and greater dynamic range than most digital images. Also, the physical layered grain structure in a film is very hard to reproduce in a digital image, as it's just not there.
    Last edited by Jaf-Photo; 02-26-2014 at 12:59 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #19

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    I'm perfectly happy to shoot digital and film and whatever other strange media someone might someday think of, but I don't really understand the desire some people obviously have to make one medium pass for another, as exemplified particularly by the faux film rebates that occasionally turn up as borders on digital images. But I guess it depends on why you're shooting in the first place; I suppose if I were a pro, with a customer who wanted what they perceived as The Soulful Lo-Fi Look Of Film (TM), I'd look at using digital capture for its pragmatic conveniences and meeting that strange customer desire in postprocessing.

    My hat really is off (well, because I don't wear a hat to work, but let's pretend I took it off out of respect) to the people who can do "normal" professional work on film. I think that ability represents an impressive level of control over the process from composition to presentation; I couldn't do it with anything like the kind of reliability that a wedding or a portrait sitting would require.

    Veracity, soul, and similar nebulous virtues don't come from the process but from the artist. Now, if people mean "when I shoot digital my soul doesn't get vested in the image", *that* makes sense and I have some sympathy; I wouldn't go quite so far, but I have an easier time feeling that I've got my Artistic Self (TM) involved with analog processes. I know people who are serious digital workers who feel just the opposite and find film alienating. Aren't individuals mysterious things?

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  10. #20
    fretlessdavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaf-Photo View Post
    The point is, that to do a convincing digital to analog "conversion" you must know the analogue medium and understand why it looks the way it does. Most digital shooters don't and therefore their conversions amount to a wilful degradation of the digital picture. The truth is that good film photography has higher resolution and greater dynamic range than most digital images. That's why digital "film conversions" usually end up in the lomo segment.
    Yup. That's why I think the analog 'conversions' are a total waste of time. Most of the people I know that have such mastery of film, and why it looks that way, keep shooting film to get those results. The people who have switched to digital are used to that medium, and know how to get results with its limitations, but don't try to make it look like film. Personally I see film as the choice medium for art, where digital is the choice medium for photojournalism (not saying PJ can't be art in its own regard). With film you have much more control throughout the whole process, and it takes a lot more skill to get pleasing results. With digital, you just snap away, leaving all the process work to a tiny computer and a bunch of 1's and 0's.
    New-ish convert to film.
    Pentax MX for 35mm
    Bronica ETRS for 645

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