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  1. #21

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    I can appreciate this, but it is not really the main thrust of my thinking. In having watched this unfurl for many years, I often get the feeling the move to digital is a smaller wave on top of a pretty big one at least in terms of social changes and their impact. I think in the next 20 years, we are going to see huge changes in what photography becomes, I am trying to keep an open mind as to how that might work out, but those changes be a comin' man.....

    Been using "Post capture" for 20 years now, you learn, it's easy, and I will continue to use it for that work along with motion programs. But the whole idea of what a photograph is, is too changing and in much broader terms than most can perceive. I have no idea where it is all going, so I think about what is important to me and stick to what feels right.

    In a way, photography is like life, you choose a path and get on with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    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.
    "I'm the freak that shoots film. God bless the freaks!" ~ Mainecoonmaniac ~

  2. #22
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry S View Post
    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".
    The point&shoot aesthetic hasn't changed at all. Whether it's Box Brownie or iPhone, most snapshooters just pass along whatever they capture. Very few digital p&s shooters manipulate their image beyond red-eye reduction, simple crops and perhaps some horizon leveling. I tried to count the number digital p&s shooters I saw a few weekends ago around downtown Toronto who ever took their cameras out of landscape orientation and didn't see many. Same old, same old. If anything, snapshots sent by friends and family look hilariously similar to prints going back a decade or longer.

    Friends who shoot professionally always talk about compiling something like this infamous site http://www.cakewrecks.com/ for butt-ugly digital disasters.

  3. #23

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    I posted much of this in another thread.

    I really got into photography in 2010, when I wanted to do something that hardly anyone did: film photography.

    I see digital as just another tool in the toolbox, and not the total culmination of human technology. Sure it's quick and convenient (and artistic), and I'm learning to paint on my iPad, since I can't afford a lot of paint and paper/canvas right now. I love the stuff that digital can do that traditional drawing and photography can't do. When I can afford it, I'd like to buy the full Photoshop (and not just Photoshop Elements) and really get into the craft.

    It's a pain in the butt trying to get people I know to pose for a film picture. They only have the patience to pose for a few of them, then I have to burn the rest of the roll on different subjects, instead of uploading to Facebook 5 seconds later. But whenever I get the negatives or slides back they go "Wow! Cool!" then go on to their next thing, forgetting about the effort I went to to get that perfect shot.

    It's up to "We few, we proud few, we band of brothers (and sisters)" to keep the flame burning. As long as E-6 doesn't disappear before I get a decent medium format camera and get my Bolex 16mm fixed, I'll be a happy man. I loooooooooooooves mah E-6!

    Quality, not quantity.
    Typical digital zombies say: "Adapt or die!" "The world is changing, change with it!" "Analog is old and nasty! EEEEEEEWWWWWW!" "Why should I pay money for getting my pictures when I can have everything NOW?" "Why shoot manual when you can have the camera do everything automatically?"

    Primary 35mm camera - Pentax K1000
    Secondary 35mm camera - Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL - M42 Mount
    Medium Format: Mamiya RB67

  4. #24
    Maris's Avatar
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    Photography's future is assured when people realise that digital picture-making isn't photography at all. It's a clever electronic and data-based recreation of the traditional work-flow of paintings and drawings. Yes, what used to be done by looking, thinking, and hand work can now be done by image capture, processing, and output. The making of pictures out of light sensitive materials, what photography has always been, is a different process with a different relationship to subject matter and a different relationship to the aware viewer.

    It doesn't become the truth that digital picture-making is photography even if millions of people say it for a hundred years. Consider a sharp analogy. Californian wine, dry, white, and bubbly was labelled and sold as Champagne for more than a century. Millions bought it and drank it in good faith as Champagne. But it never was the real thing; the wine from Champagne in France. Today Californian wine makers can still (legally under US law) label product as Champagne but few would do it. They would not want to be thought of as people of ill repute. In years to come labelling digipix as photographs will seem just as tacky.
    Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.

  5. #25
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maris View Post
    It's a clever electronic and data-based recreation...
    +1, even though that likely places me in the minority...

    Ken

    (who is "typing" this reply onto a clever electronic and data-based recreation of... "paper")
    "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

  6. #26
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    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.
    I just tested this with my fiancée. When I asked her to name famous photographers, she could name Ansel Adams and Andy Warhol.
    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maris View Post
    Photography's future is assured when people realise that digital picture-making isn't photography at all. It's a clever electronic and data-based recreation of the traditional work-flow of paintings and drawings. Yes, what used to be done by looking, thinking, and hand work can now be done by image capture, processing, and output. The making of pictures out of light sensitive materials, what photography has always been, is a different process with a different relationship to subject matter and a different relationship to the aware viewer.

    It doesn't become the truth that digital picture-making is photography even if millions of people say it for a hundred years. Consider a sharp analogy. Californian wine, dry, white, and bubbly was labelled and sold as Champagne for more than a century. Millions bought it and drank it in good faith as Champagne. But it never was the real thing; the wine from Champagne in France. Today Californian wine makers can still (legally under US law) label product as Champagne but few would do it. They would not want to be thought of as people of ill repute. In years to come labelling digipix as photographs will seem just as tacky.
    Don't agree. Or with the analogy.

    I think confusing the process with the goal is not correct. For me being an analog photographer for 30 years and digital photographer for around 5 years and the exclusive printer of both, the tools used is not the real point. The point is the print. What goes on the wall. A artistic likeness of a subject.

    We can debate the process and love of process, but using the process as the whole point seems wrong.

    We can argue a beautiful processed silver gelatin print is better/worse than a beautifully processed inkjet print but there are two viewers involved. The creator and the buyer/appreciator. And framed and under glass, what the buyer/appreciator is more moved by is subject matter, not process. What the creator values could be process or subject matter or both but what process it took to get it on the wall probably should not be the deciding factor of what constitutes photography.

    Until I can look at something and think it onto the wall, then the process of using a camera and an image manipulator (computer or enlarger or chemistry) is to me, photography.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  8. #28
    keithwms's Avatar
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    I don't think the art of photography is in decline or the end is near or any of that. Not for an instant.

    Those who remain committed to analogue / traditional processes will (I keep saying over and over!) be delighted to find that their work is valued more as time goes by. I see this very clearly.

    Those who get involved with digital and hybrid processes will see more interesting and individual capabilities and a steady improvement in standards; we just have to remember that digital photography is still in its youth, relatively speaking, and still has quite a long way to go.

    On both sides -analogue and digital- there are those people who bitch and moan and think things have gone to hell and the art is finished. Whatever. That's just a completely useless and de-motivating point of view. What these people want remains an enduring mystery. A warm bottle and a blankie? Whatever. Adapt or perish.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post

    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
    Interesting video, gosh if I woke up to all that "stuff" I would have a heart attack, can't even bush your teeth w/o being bothered. What is funny to me is that Microsoft came out with one of those future visions of the world videos a month or so ago, and the Microsoft video is essentially the same as the one Corning made...odd how they think we will be so connected...sigh....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6cNdhOKwi0
    Andy

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwms View Post
    I don't think the art of photography is in decline or the end is near or any of that. Not for an instant.

    Those who remain committed to analogue / traditional processes will (I keep saying over and over!) be delighted to find that their work is valued more as time goes by. I see this very clearly.

    Those who get involved with digital and hybrid processes will see more interesting and individual capabilities and a steady improvement in standards; we just have to remember that digital photography is still in its youth, relatively speaking, and still has quite a long way to go.

    On both sides -analogue and digital- there are those people who bitch and moan and think things have gone to hell and the art is finished. Whatever. That's just a completely useless and de-motivating point of view. What these people want remains an enduring mystery. A warm bottle and a blankie? Whatever. Adapt or perish.
    I believe that you are 100% correct, Keith. The appreciation for analogue/traditional processes will remain strong and will increase as time goes by, positively. Digital may have made it more difficult to stand out, but when one does, it makes the hard work even more rewarding. Those who bitch and moan, on both sides of the pond, are just wasting time and losing focus (pun intended).

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