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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by analoguey
    I wonder whether people who post such pictures actually look at them any larger than a 2/3" lcd or a phone screen.
    if they don't, then it simply doesn't matter what they look like bigger, though, does it?

    They've matched what they want to see to the context in which it will be viewed.

    If you are wet (or indeed inkjet) printing, you'll be doing exactly the same thing.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by blockend View Post
    This thread raises the interesting philosophical question of what 'aperture' we naturally see at, and does it matter for our photographic methodology. We don't naturally see in deep focus, so wide angle street photography is essentially an exercise in surrealism rather than realism, which is one of the factors that differentiates it from photojournalism. Everything happens at once and is captured three dimensionally.

    Shallow DoF, when taken to extremes, is also anti-naturalistic, locking the viewer into an uncompromising linear space. I would argue that the most naturalistic depiction of a subject (if we can talk about a mental phenomenon in optical terms), is clear focus on the subject with slightly larger defocused circles on the background, or the 'f4 effect'. None of this matters in a medium where time is an abstraction - with the unreality implicit in that deficit - but it's interesting to muse on the messages optics confer to an image.
    While this is true, our eye focuses from subject to background and back in a millisecond so we don't actually see that a background is in or out of focus really. I doubt it's consciously relevant whether the background is sharp or not.

    I'd argue that extreme 'eyes in, ears out, is surrealistic though.

    Of course since we don't consciously really notice these things in real life, perhaps subconsciously, we do and that's why some photographs that distort our natural perception are ones that attract us or we are drawn to, for just that reason.
    Last edited by blansky; 11-29-2013 at 11:58 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  3. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
    While this is true, our eye focuses from subject to background and back in a millisecond so we don't actually see that a background is in or out of focus really. I doubt it's consciously relevant whether the background is sharp or not.

    I'd argue that extreme 'eyes in, ears out, is surrealistic though.

    Of course since we don't consciously really notice these things in real life, perhaps subconsciously, we do and that's why some photographs that distort our natural perception are ones that attract us or we are drawn to, for just that reason.
    The longer I photograph (and it's been almost 40 years) the weirder I think photographs are. They imitate reality in a beguiling and seamless way, while having only a tentative and symbolic relationship with it. I've been forced to conclude that all photographs are lies, and photography is the act of lying to oneself.

  4. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by blockend View Post
    The longer I photograph ... the weirder I think photographs are. .
    and they're getting weirder in themselves too, I think.
    digital photography can now render details of a scene at a finer level than I can possibly make out with the naked eye if I am physically present at the same scene. New ways of seeing are emerging, and it's fascinating.
    As for reality ... well that really is a subject (or maybe an object) for a philosophical discussion

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdeeh View Post
    and they're getting weirder in themselves too, I think.
    digital photography can now render details of a scene at a finer level than I can possibly make out with the naked eye if I am physically present at the same scene. New ways of seeing are emerging, and it's fascinating.
    As for reality ... well that really is a subject (or maybe an object) for a philosophical discussion
    I agree. When someone tells me their new high-def TV makes it look like they are actually "there," I point out that they would never "see" things in that manner if they were actually there.
    Truzi

  6. #56
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    Consumer Culture:

    A) 50/1.8 lenses are inexpensive

    B) Crop sensor cameras encourage a fast 50 as an accessible, and desirable alternative to a slower zoom as a portrait lens. They have all but superseded 85mm lenses as the most prevalent portrait lenses on DSLRs. As these are the most widely used dedicated cameras next to a smartphone, they maintain a dominance over the types of images we see.

    C) Consumer culture of photography celebrates "pretty" and safe pictures, shallow DoF and somewhat softer images are culturally regarded as "pretty" and therefore they are overwhelmingly popular, along with sunsets and washed out pictures of broken bicycles/various other detritus.

    D) Composition is made easier because the picture is inherently less complex than the actual scene portrays. Additionally, prevalent with SLRs because you view the scene through a wide open lens, and therefore are accustomed to the look. Composition with an SLR is always done with shallow DoF, short of using the preview lever/button if there is one (most consumer SLRs these days lack them, so a non-issue).

    D) Reverse Instagram Scheimpflug (look ma, everyone on my iPhone is a toy figurine).

    E) Current trends in film-making and hollywood cinema.

    F) My pictures SO look like they were like shot on Kodak Delta Neochromeia. I'm thinking of getting into film you guys. It just has like so much more...realness...you know?

    G) "Noise is bad" = lower ISO = wider apertures.

    Within Photographic Enthusiast Circles:

    A) Format creep...that 50/1.4 doesn't do as nicely as a Tessar Swirlotron, which doesn't do as nicely as a 105/2.4 on 6x7, which is bested by a 210 or 300 on 4x5" (or an Aero Ektar...), which is all but obliterated by a long lens on 8x10"

    B) Tintypes / WPC in general

    C) People who want their pictures to look like tintypes / WPC.

    D) Reverse overcompensating fine-art Scheimpflug (look ma, everyone on my overpriced Ilfochrome / Carbroultrawhatever is a toy figurine).

    E) Gear that can give the effect is cheap now.

    F) Art.

    G) "Grain is bad" = only using slow films = wider apertures
    See my work at my website CHRISTOPHER LANGE PHOTOGRAPHY

    or my snaps at my blog MINIMUM DENSITY
    --
    If you don't have it, then you don't have it.

  7. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Lange
    Tessar Swirlotron
    I want one, and I want one now ...

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdeeh View Post
    I want one, and I want one now ...
    I think there's one near you in the classifieds right now...granted it is the nearly identical Schneider Xenar Swirlotar...
    See my work at my website CHRISTOPHER LANGE PHOTOGRAPHY

    or my snaps at my blog MINIMUM DENSITY
    --
    If you don't have it, then you don't have it.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by blockend View Post
    The longer I photograph (and it's been almost 40 years) the weirder I think photographs are. They imitate reality in a beguiling and seamless way, while having only a tentative and symbolic relationship with it. I've been forced to conclude that all photographs are lies, and photography is the act of lying to oneself.
    We discussed this in the "are photographs an illusion" thread and we sort of agreed that they are. And they can be manipulated to the originators point of view.

    Perhaps your epiphany is just the obvious conclusion of living a long time and experiencing life, because nobody ever really said that photographs are reality, whatever that is.

    You and I could live exactly the same life in the same place during the same times and our "reality" may look identical to an outside observer, while to us they may have no real similarities at all. One of us may be happy, sexually fulfilled, emotionally fulfilled, optimistic and generous, while the other's life experience may be the opposite.

    So for any photograph to be "honest" is a bit much to ask. Besides its goal should maybe be something else. Like, to make us think. Or feel. Nothing more.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  10. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by Truzi View Post
    I agree. When someone tells me their new high-def TV makes it look like they are actually "there," I point out that they would never "see" things in that manner if they were actually there.
    The trouble with hi-def 54" screens is the detail - the horribleness of so much programming is so much more detailed...

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