It was originally coined by Fred Hoyle, a proponent of the then-competing Steady State theory. He denied that he meant it pejoratively and claimed he was just trying to paint a striking image for his listeners, but in any case it was intended as a descriptive term for a lay audience, not for scientists:
Originally Posted by ME Super
Basing your identity on something you detest is a huge turnoff.
If you shot normal high contrast color slide film in the 80's or 90's, blown is a good description for overdone highlights. You overexposed it and figuratively blew it, no fixing it, like you can't fix a blown light bulb or blown gasket. Blocked up isn't so great a description for highlights on slide film. But we don't want two different words for the same mistake but on different film technologies. Digital worked most like slide film in that it was easy to overdo the highlights, so blown seems to be a good word for "you blew it by overexposing and there is nothing you can do on the computer to fix it".
Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson
I think Thomas's point makes sense. Blocked seems a better term, particularly in a B&W context, because although the highlights are blocked, they are usually printable. "Blown", to me, implies there is no saving them and that they are just blank, devoid of information. Actually I find the entire thing is usually misunderstood, whether the term used is blown or blocked.
Shot, shoot, etc..
Capture, dynamic range, 3d effect?
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I understand about slide film, and thought about that yesterday, but decided it was better to be a rebel and contradict the establishment. I don't shoot slide film anymore, but when I did I didn't have any problems with overexposing, but rather the opposite. And anybody that has scanned an underexposed slide knows what 'blocked up shadows' look like (or tried printing them on direct positive paper). It's a black hole of nothing.
Originally Posted by jp498
Anyway, whatever the term actually means, the word 'blown' amuses me to no end. It is a highly ambiguous word, and one of those terms that don't immediately make sense, belonging in the department of 'special words I must learn to understand the technical side of photography'.
It can mean so many things: Blown - as in a device that has a fan built into it, like a lot of the heating and cooling systems in North America. Blown - as in blowing something up with explosives. I blew it - as in 'I screwed up' with no precise indication of exactly went wrong.
Swollen, or 'affected with bloat'. Being out of breath.
1: to build up or tout to an unreasonable extent <advertisers blowing up their products>2: to rend apart, shatter, or destroy by explosion
3: to fill up with a gas (as air) <blow up a balloon>
4: to make a photographic enlargement of
5: to bring into existence by blowing of wind <it may blow up a storm>
b: to be disrupted or destroyed (as by explosion)
c: to lose self-control; especially : to become violently angry
2: to become or come into being by or as if by blowing of wind
3a : to become filled with a gas
b : to become expanded to unreasonable proportions
1 a of air (1) : to be in motion <a breeze blew gently> (2) : to move with speed or force <the wind was blowing>
b : to move or run quickly <the linebacker blew past the tackle>
2: to send forth a current of air or other gas <don't blow on your soup>
3a : to make a sound by or as if by blowing
b of a wind instrument : sound
4a : boast
b : to talk windily
5a : pant, gasp <the horse blew heavily>
b of a cetacean : to eject moisture-laden air from the lungs through the blowhole
6: to move or be carried by or as if by wind <just blew into town>
7a : erupt, explode
b of an electric fuse : to melt when overloaded —often used with out
c of a tire : to release the contained air through a spontaneous rupture —usually used with out
1a : to set (gas or vapor) in motion <the fan blew hot air on us>
b : to act on with a current of gas or vapor <the breeze blew my hair dry>
2a : to play or sound on (a wind instrument)
b : to play (as a note) on a wind instrument
3a : to spread by report
b past participle blowed : damn <blow the expense>
4a : to drive with a current of gas or vapor <the storm blew the boat off course>
b : to clear of contents by forcible passage of a current of air <blow your nose>
c : to project (a gesture or sound made with the mouth) by blowing <blew him a kiss>
5a : to distend with or as if with gas
b : to produce or shape by the action of blown or injected air <blowing bubbles>
6 of insects : to deposit eggs or larvae on or in
7: to shatter, burst, or destroy by explosion <blow the safe open>
8a : to put out of breath with exertion
b : to let (as a horse) pause to catch the breath
9a : to expend (as money) extravagantly
b : to treat with unusual expenditure <I'll blow you to a steak>
10: to cause (a fuse) to blow
11: to rupture by too much pressure <blow a seal>
12a : botch 1 <blew her lines>
b : to fail to keep or hold <they blew a big lead>
13: to leave hurriedly <blew town>
14: to propel with great force or speed <blew a fastball by the batter>
— blow a gasket
: to become enraged
— blow hot and cold
: to be favorable at one moment and adverse the next
— blow off steam
: to release pent-up emotions
— blow one's cool
: to lose one's composure
— blow one's cover
: to reveal one's real identity
— blow one's mind
: to overwhelm one with wonder or bafflement
— blow one's top or blow one's stack
1: to become violently angry
2: to go crazy
— blow smoke
: to speak idly, misleadingly, or boastfully
— blow the whistle
: to call public or official attention to something (as a wrongdoing) kept secret —usually used with on
"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
Indeed and full of confusion, but we can't fix that.
Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson
Only the context might clue us in.
If an engine is blown, it's either terribly damaged or it's good thing because it has forced induction.
Or blow is cocaine, or a crude intimate verb.
Or blown is a bad thing, but full blown is a superlative.
I hate photographers who refer to themselves and other photographers as "Artist"
It's a more accurate description for me that hoarder/collector or gear whore.
Originally Posted by benjiboy
We don't all have to be artists, but why not if our pursuit in photography is mostly artistic?
Because in my experience of about sixty years in photography they are mostly barely competent photographers, and anybody these days who owns an entry level D.S.L.R. considers themselves one, and in my book "self advertisement is no recommendation" and talk's cheap.
Originally Posted by jp498