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  1. #51
    ParkerSmithPhoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddie View Post
    Digital just continues the democratization of photography which Kodak began. There are 250 million photos uploaded to Facebook every day.... Vestal was right. The technological advances have lowered the bar.
    How is some random person making a digital snapshot any different than some random person making a Brownie snapshot? There isn't the slightest difference, as I noted in my first post. It's easier and faster for people to make snapshots now than it was 100 years ago, with instant gratification, but so what? None of that affects the spirits of a Paul Strand circa 1920, or a Roger Ballen circa 2013. They are going to use photography to do their thing regardless of how many photos are uploaded to Facebook every second. Do you think Salgado really gives a crap? Why would he? Why should you? Why should David Vestal?

    I'm in the trenches here. I feed my family with my photography, so I'm sure I feel the digital crunch far more acutely than most. There are a million "moms with cameras" shooting portraits for a $25 session fee. And everyone has 8MP right on their iPhone. It's brutal. But people still come and pay me to do it. Just like 100 years ago, and probably just like 100 years from now.

    Quote Originally Posted by eddie View Post
    There are now more "professional photographers" than there were 20 years ago, but the percentage of quality ones has gone way down.
    Digital has spawned an incredible amount of creative photographers. The feedback loop is just tremendously powerful, the learning curve so much faster. You may perceive a lower percentage of quality simply because every dingle with a digital now has a website to show their work, for what it is or isn't worth.

    That being said I think most of what's happening in the consumer market (tacky filters on every image, flare) as well as the fine art market (all the Alec Soth clones) will look horribly dated in ten years. I think the whole "pump and dump" 40x60 micro-editions from the photographer du jour selling for $40,000 each is going to pop. People are going to come back down to earth and say "Is this image really in the same league as Brett Weston? Is this really worth what I could spend on a vintage Strand?"
    Parker Smith Photography, Inc.
    Atlanta, GA

    Commercial & Fine Art Photography
    Portrait Photography

  2. #52
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
    So what was the excuse pre-digital?
    I'm no expert on the market of film photography, but I think pre-digital there wasn't such a plethora of equipment for next to no money to be had. Like enlargers, for example. Two of my three enlargers are 'rescues' that I got for free, and a lot of it was had for peanuts. Today that is possible, but back then probably not as much. That could well be one reason why some people would shun away.
    On the other hand, more public darkrooms were available, so maybe my theory is garbage from the get-go. I'm not sure.

    I have to add that today the cost of doing darkroom printing is getting to be a very expensive undertaking. A part of me wonders for how much longer young photographers with a desire to learn silver halide photography can actually afford to get into it. Price is always an issue.
    "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

  3. #53
    SchwinnParamount's Avatar
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    When my wife and I were in Paris last year, we had a conversation with a charming Parisian man who described his current relationship by saying "It's complicated". He said that in un-accented American English while the balance of his speech was in Parisian English. He obviously learned the phrase in a movie and relished using it in conversation. God bless him.

  4. #54
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParkerSmithPhoto View Post
    The entire history of photography is a story of "dominant and entrenched technolog[ies]" being replaced in the space of a few years. Read Beaumont Newhall if you need a refresher on this.

    And every single advancement made it easier to make photographs, which is the whole point of technology. While I greatly admire many of the photographers who have sounded in here, by much of the logic we should have stopped at wet plates. "Dry plates? That's sissy stuff!"

    There is certainly a great deal of craft in making a fine pigment print on watercolor paper. I've made pure carbon pigment prints on hot press paper that have a higher Dmax (yes, on a matt paper) than any silver print. You know what? It's a bitch! If you are going to do it well, it's a complete bitch.

    You might by the same arguments say "anyone can make a photogravure!" Yeah, anyone can smear some ink on a plate, and anyone can create a blog and call themselves a "writer," anyone can grab a DSLR and call themselves a photographer, and anyone can "play piano" however crude it may be. None of this changes the fact that in any enterprise done very well there is craft.

    And how many people are making "pigment on whatever"? Answer, not many in contrast to the market. I can shoot a project for a client and correct and deliver it in a couple of hours. By any stretch of the imagination it is far easier than it was. I'm simply sick of people saying that d* is hard. It's not. If someone wants to make it hard by doing stuff with it that it sucks at (print making) and pull their hair out to make a decent print, then yes, that is difficult. It's also non applicable to the majority who are casual or commercial photographers. I get where your coming from, and I buy it in the narrow sense, but I don't buy it over all because I flat out know better. Compared to what we used to do it is easier, far easier. It is also not the quite same thing. Not better, not worse, and not the same. Now what that has to do with the OP I forget.
    Last edited by JBrunner; 01-31-2013 at 10:30 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #55
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    It's tribalism pure and simple. As I get older, I don't want to alienate anyone by thinking that I'm better than anyone just because of what ever. A lot of people cloak their insecurities with an air of superiority. It's too much work to constantly defend what is better. Dogma is exhausting.
    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

  6. #56
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainecoonmaniac View Post
    Dogma is exhausting.
    Except for some Maine Coon lovers I have known, to whom no other animal measures up.
    Actually, it's more appropriate to call it catma.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  7. #57
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    My karma ran over your dogma!
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  8. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainecoonmaniac View Post
    A lot of people cloak their insecurities with an air of superiority.
    I'm even more arrogant than that... I cloake with an AIRE of superiority.

  9. #59

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    ... and before LX has a chance to respond; yes, it is a lot of HOT AIRE and BS.

  10. #60
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    ... and before LX has a chance to respond; yes, it is a lot of HOT AIRE and BS.
    Well, those are your initials!
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

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