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  1. #11

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    What disgusts me as a working professional are all the teenie-boppers with $500 DSLR's willing to work for free. Clients driven by our less-than-wonderful economy migrate to them and then get disappointed when they receive a crappy product, putting guys like me out of business. My location doesn't exactly help me either which is why I'm moving soon.

    I'm not the best out there, but I'm decent, the kids I see getting into this have zero composition and are all "angles and dangles, bokeh, 300 shots of cats and flowers everything I shoot is pretty" None of them even know how to load a roll of film.
    5x7 Eastman-Kodak kit / B&L 135mm Zeiss Tessar + Compur Deckel
    4x5 Graphic View, made in USA! New project
    RB67 Pro S /50 4.5 / 90 3.8 / 180 4.5 / WLF / prism finder / polaback
    Random 35mm stuff

  2. #12

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    I was drawn to photographs before photography, I knew from a young age how certain images I saw affected me. At age 8 I could care less about the ad for Crest toothpaste I saw on page 6 of Life, but the brilliant color of Haas as a spread changing my life, it made me hungry for more, in my own life.

    The general public knew....

    Quote Originally Posted by Moopheus View Post
    I don't think the general public ever had that good an idea of what makes a great photograph. How many photographers are well-known to the general public? Very, very few. Sure, people are exposed to photos all the time, but the vast majority of it is purely commercial work. And for most, having a camera is not about making art, or making art in a particular medium with its own characteristics. So if they take a photo and it comes out looking like something they saw in a calendar or a magazine, they think, fine, that's good. So what if the photos people post to Flickr and facebook aren't up to the standards of Arbus or Adams; a lot of the work posted here isn't either.

  3. #13
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    Thomas, I would say your girlfriend is dead right. Today I had a revelation moment, when walking through town, I stopped in front of a photographic shop window to view the numerous prints on show. Full rich colour, HDR images, perfect focus, infinite depth of field, super saturated images with layer masked skys to match. When I was young people would discuss if photography was art. Digital photography is now putting film photography in its rightful place as a pure art of physical capture and print. Have no doubts, we are the real artists of the original genre and future generations will view our work and say “how did they do that”.
    I'll be amazed if anybody is moved by my work 40 years from now, frankly, but I'll take it if it happens...

    I hope you are correct, and that the finest artists of today will receive the same respect we have for those of yesterday.
    "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

  4. #14
    blansky's Avatar
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    The profession of family type portrait photography has changed a great deal in the last few years. With the advent of fairly cheap automatic cameras (even before digital) and, the proliferation of "lifestyle" portraits, has made a classically trained portrait photographer sort of a dinosaur.

    If the "lifestyle-casual" thing just came as a result of a more casual lifestyle in general, or if the unstructured lifestyle portrait evolved due to the number of moms-with-cameras flooding the market, classical portraiture is being decimated by this phenomena. Granted things are cyclical and this fad/trend may get old soon but the result of this is that the days of families going to a professional photographer has diminished a lot, since anybody can do lifestyle pictures and a Canon Rebel is pretty cheap. There are cheap photoshop programs that are even on iPhones now so editing and manipulation is readily accessible and every kid today is a computer whiz.

    Add to this the fact that perhaps hanging pictures on your walls in 20 years may be a quaint retro thing to do since walls may be more inclined to have computer/video screens on them instead of pictures. So family stills or videos shot with the camera phone that EVERYBODY has, with up to 20 megapixels soon to be the norm, may soon prevail as the dominant visual decoration in the home.

    I'm not saying that home decor will all change and what we have today will disappear, but it very well could be less prevalent or far more exclusive.

    I posted this before but this is interesting. http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=6Cf7IL_eZ38
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  5. #15
    CGW
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    I'm annoyed by this sort of hanky-wringing. Photography isn't capture-media specific. Just as many dolts shot crappy pix with a Spotmatic as they do now with a Rebel dslr. Post-capture manipulation isn't easy. Learning curves for most professional editing programs can be more like a rock face. Great photographs are still being made, whatever the medium. But obsolescence is what you get when you sit still and shut down.

    Several friends have started using tablet PCs for presentation to clients rather than hanging work in online galleries. Their clients like holding these "proofs" or seeing them on a large LCD screen, thanks to the tablets' HDMI connection. They have gone back to film recently for some of their work, especially b&w, and tell me that clients can see the difference--and pay for it.

    It's the direction I'm going since my lab will now print only from digital files. I'll continue to use film creatively as long as it's available but hybrid workflow can't be dissed as something less than photography as you're defining it.

  6. #16
    zsas's Avatar
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    Photography is an art, it always will be, how it is done is changing due to access; and with access comes more mediocrity. I am sure when electric guitars came out this same discussion occurred. Music is still art reguardless if we like classics or the new stuff. The same could be said for when water based paint came out vs oil. Analog will find itself as esteemed as say a oil painting to some and kitch to another, art is funny like that, who am I to judge what "kids these days" like, it's their earth too....

    Thomas hit the nail on the head though about social networking, it is now becoming a consumable, where aggregators (Pintrist, tumbler) are linking photos from the net hosts (flikr, shutterfly) so that others can see what photos you like. In one hand it is nice that so many love photography on the other, that's a lot of photos folks scan through in a matter of seconds. It has made review and reflection "like" or move on....a la Facebook
    Andy

  7. #17

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    andy
    i was thinking not guitar and electric guitar
    but roll film vs plates

    photography became something that not just
    the super wealthy and professionals were involved in
    ( you still had to have $$$ the original KODAK cost 3months pay ) ...

    there has always been bad, now the problem is that we all have to see it
    because no one with a cellphone has any idea what EDIT means ...
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
    artwork often times sold for charity
    PM me for details

  8. #18
    clayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximusM3 View Post
    Technology + digital = gross dilution of talent. It doesn't mean the talent isn't out there but it is certainly a lot more work to sift the through the sea of crap that the internet generation creates. Will it get worse? Maybe. And, don't get me wrong, there was always lots of junk generated on film, before digital and the internet, but it was certainly less and it stayed home. Today, it's plastered everywhere within seconds.
    Couldn't agree more.

    The field of photography is both suffering from massive oversaturation but also from reduced limitations and skill requirements needed to be a "photographer."

    Previously the same requirements would have helped sift the hard-working ones to the top because there was a natural lake of fire.

    Today, not so much.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  9. #19
    Barry S's Avatar
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    Photography is going through its second great social transition. The first was the development of hand cameras and the first Kodak--you push the button and we do the rest. The technical expertise required to practice photography was significantly lowered and photography became accessible to nearly everyone. Pictorialism was a reaction to the mass production of photography and and an attempt to emphasize craftsmanship and establish photography as a fine art.

    The issue today isn't digital itself, but the reduction of the required technical expertise for the practice of photography to essentially zero. Digital enabled the easy and instantaneous production of photography along with the means to easily alter the image. In digital, everything is infinitely malleable. Digital also enabled the rise of social media to create a visible stream for this mass production of images. It's human nature to attract attention--hence the rise of bad HDR and other forms of grotesque manipulation needed to rise above the noise of the image stream. The starving off of arts education and the suppression of the value of the arts in our culture guarantees the domination of a kitsch aesthetic.

    Teaching and demonstrating wet plate collodion, I emphasize that photographers should freely draw on every photographic process just as other artists choose from a rich and diverse set of processes. The good news is that the same forces that created the image stream are driving many serious photographers back into what we foolishly term "historical processes".

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry S View Post
    The good news is that the same forces that created the image stream are driving many serious photographers back into what we foolishly term "historical processes".
    I think Barry's correct. I'd also add that the analog work I've seen recently is consistently better than it was in the past. The commitment required to produce analog work is greater than for producing digital. As such, those that still shoot film have a deeper dedication to the craft. In the past everyone shot film out of necessity. Now, it's out of desire. It may thin the ranks, but it should also elevate the regard for traditional methods, and imagery.

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