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  1. #11
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Puccio View Post
    With digital, I could easily see what I did right after I did it (chimping) and then in more detail a few minutes later on the computer. It kept detailed notes on exposure (f-stop, ISO, shutter) as well as focal length and the camera's metering mode automatically. I've since abandoned my digital SLR to eBay and shoot almost exclusively slide film in an M6.

    It would have easily taken me twice as long to learn what I now know if I had to remember to keep detailed notes in a notebook and wait several weeks to mail out the film and get it back. (I don't consider it worth mailing out one roll to develop, I prefer to spread out the shipping costs between several rolls.)

    I don't see why you think adding a long delay and requiring manual meticulous notekeeping and increasing the cost per photo makes learning on analog easier, those all seem to be negative attributes.
    You are assuming that you have to mail off your film to get processed. Part of the learning process, at least when an instructor is involved, should be teaching how to process your own (black-and-white) film. It's a foundational thing - if you get to understand not only how to capture an image from a compositional standpoint, but also how the image is produced and how to control how that image is rendered in the final print, you will be in a much better position to execute your vision whether you do it digitally or analog. When you process your own, you can have that feedback in as little as 30 minutes. If you learn how to develop color film (which really isn't any more complicated than black-and-white, just trickier in regards to maintaining proper temperature), you can have the same 30-minute feedback. Or, at least in most metropolitan areas, there's still a good lab around, and still a reasonable supply of 1-hour minilabs (no guarantees on the quality of their work).

  2. #12

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    The term is wrong

    There's no "analog" camera. Only a film camera.


    Quote Originally Posted by Steven L View Post
    This is the statement I made yesterday at the local community center. The spokesman/teacher of our photo club was discussing the foto's made that month. Every month, all participants send in one or two of their best photo's to discuss on a big screen. After that, the teacher shows various ways to alter/enhance digital pictures with PS. Many of the basic ajustments could have been done when the picture was taken. Exposure, filter, position etc. A lot of ajustments could be done while printing (analogue). Only a few ajustments have to be done digitally.
    Most "mistakes" are made while taking the shot. Wrong ISO number, wrong exposure time, wrong position. With the current digital camera's, a lot of the learning process is taken away with the fact that it doesn't matter how you take the picture. It doesn't cost anything to press the button. No film is wasted. If you had film to waste, you'd be more aware of the fact that a picture is bad.
    I started hobby photography with a compact 35mm camera when I was a kid. Every picture was supposed to be good, because I had to pay for my own film. When I was older I bought my first digital compact. I didn't have the pressure to make a perfect picture, so I started to experiment with exposure, focus, digital filter etcetera. After a while, it felt like the pictures didn't have the extra value. It doesn't cost anything to store a digital picture on a computer and printers can print whatever I want. I went back to analogue to add the value of a good shot and the use of limited film.
    Back to the photo club, yesterday. Someone send a picture of a house with the walls at an angle, due to the position of the camera, the lens and the position and shape of the house. It's called perspective, but the teacher wanted to show how to use PS to pull the walls straight again. He did a decent job at it and explained his steps good, but what he should have done was tell what to do to prevent unwanted slopes on walls. I told him after he finished his editing:"the photographer should have walked a few steps back and zoom in or use another type of lens." This type of teaching tells us that it's okay to screw up a photo, you can always photoshop afterwards. It's better to teach basic analogue photography than to PS. Even with a digital camera.
    Am I right? Does anyone have that same experience?

  3. #13
    MaximusM3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    And with one single focal length lens, too.

    The most important aspect of photography to learn is the seeing. The technical BS can be picked up anytime.
    Absolutely, Vaughn! And, it is the hardest thing to learn (and hard to teach as well). That's why most focus on cameras, film and developers instead.

  4. #14

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    I really like the idea of starting with one lens (which is all some rather famous photographers used), forcing the photographer to use his/her feet, eyes and brain.
    Nikon 35mm, Mamiya 645 & RB67, Leica IIIb, other bits and pieces

  5. #15
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    The University, Art School and even the CC teach photography and they ALL start students out with film. They run the whole gamut by teaching shooting, developing and printing. By doing it this way they teach patience in waiting for the final print. The student is focused more on how the camera is set up from metering correctly and composition by seeing the subject and framing in the view finder. Shooting film takes away all pretense and puts all the emphasis on the subject before you and not on the back of the camera. How does a teacher keep a student from looking/chimping or deleting, we have become a Nation of instant gratification, we want it NOW. Film humbles you, makes you slow down and consider the shot before you take it. Digital, there is no learning curve, spray and pray and fix in PS.
    Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
    And sleep to dream till day
    Of the truth that gold can never buy
    Of the bawbles that it may.

    www.silverhalidephotography.com

  6. #16
    Jenni's Avatar
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    I learned on film. But shoot both. It sounds to me like the class was one for photoshop not one for photography. They are separate beasts and photoshop has been a sore spot for film users since its creation. I teach my students (basic photography) with whatever camera they own. My philosophy is the same, take your time, get it right in camera and use the darkroom/photoshop to compleat your art.

    Get it right in camera is how photography should be taught. It's how I was taught, it's how I teach. Teaching PS its important to know everything the program can do so you work efficiently and quickly. I personally would rather be making images with my camera then sitting at my desk. So I work hard to nail the shot.

    When I started with Digital 8 years ago I had a huge learning curve. The dinamic range was killing me. Old habits die hard. And learning photoshop was hard, very difficult to get it right. So easy to over do it. Anyway that's my .02¢

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by waileong View Post
    There's no "analog" camera. Only a film camera.
    Rubbish. Film produces an analog analog of the scene. A digital sensor produces a digital analog of the scene.

  8. #18
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    Learning to see is the most important thing. Who cares what cameras are used?

    Film can be good, because it teaches patience and a contemplative approach, and with manual cameras forces an understanding of the mechanics of aperture, shutter speed, film speed, etc.
    Digital can be good, because it teaches composition, framing, and light very effectively, with immediate feedback, where you can see what went wrong.

    I think in this day and age a combination of both is good, but don't ever lose track of helping the student to see. You can use a Diana or a Hasselblad H-series. If you can't see the rest is pretty much worthless. You can't polish a turd, as they say.
    "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

  9. #19

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    processing and printing has nothing to do with making good photographs.
    its about seeing, and understanding how to use one's equipment, not processing film in the darkroom.
    processing film and making prints just leads to bragging rights, and suggesting something is better because
    it was made by whoever made it in a darkroom, in the end it doesn't matter ...

  10. #20
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    processing and printing has nothing to do with making good photographs.
    its about seeing, and understanding how to use one's equipment, not processing film in the darkroom.
    processing film and making prints just leads to bragging rights, and suggesting something is better because
    it was made by whoever made it in a darkroom, in the end it doesn't matter ...
    That all depends on how it is taught - if the instructor is an insecure asshole who feels a need to claim superiority based on use of a specific process, then it doesn't matter if they're teaching digital or film - they'll be teaching a "my way or the highway" approach to image-making. The point, in my perspective, of starting with film is to provide not only good fundamental skills, but also historical perspective - so many tools in Photoshop or other image editing programs have their roots in wet darkroom/traditional graphic arts studio practices. What you're talking about is image-making without regard to process, and when you are speaking of image-making, I agree that making a good image has less to do with the craft employed to produce it than it does having the vision to percieve and/or invent the image in the first place. However, I thought this discussion was about how to learn the craft of photography. Learning the CRAFT of photography is very much about building technical skills to execute the image-maker's vision. And lets face it - if you don't have the technical chops to execute your vision, we won't know if your end result executes your vision or not, and you certainly won't be able to repeat your execution. I'm not saying that every photographic image has to be an f64/Ansel Adams, full tonal-range, maximum acutance image to be artistically successful. But if your goal is to produce images of beer-laden vomit (or even USING beer-laden vomit as a developer), you need to know HOW the beer-laden vomit interacts with your other media so you can do it again and get a controlled variation of the original result. That's true regardless of whether you're puking on silver-gelatin paper or on an inkjet print.

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