À moi, maraud! Monjoie! Saint-Denis!
Originally Posted by DannL
Using film since before it was hip.
"One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal
, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11
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What is a photograph? Photographs are made through a lens or pinhole aperture which control the ultraviolet, visible, and/or infra-red wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation (light) onto a surface sensitized to react with light in a controllable manner. The sensitized layer of this surface, (its primary sensitized constituent being metal, electronic, or other), can be the final product, or it could be the first of several steps between the initial and final images, all of which are also made with light sensitive materials. The subject or artistic interpretation rendered as a photograph is limited only by the imagination of the photographer...not by rules adopted by others.
Last edited by MurrayMinchin; 04-11-2006 at 09:48 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.
Originally Posted by mhv
I was meaning to say artists convey truths in their work, and the method of straight photography defined by the artists like Ansel Adams is not necessarily the answer to it. I just gave Ansel's name here because I still have a fresh memory of what I saw at the exhibit about a week ago.
I don't know if all the straight photographers and their students are accountable for representing the truths in their visions. That's a bit off topic, and I'm not one of them.
I think part of the comment posted by fellow APUGer Dannl, on the technique such as burning-in and dodging, implied that may be those techiniques are used too much in some particular styles of photography therefore these styles of photography don't represent truths. But to me, straight photography no different from those styles in his mind.
Meanwhile speaking of the propagandists, how about Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Will"? It's a famous Nazi propaganda film, but it still conveys the truths about what that regime was all about. It has many layers of facts as well as artistic inputs of the filmmaker. Maybe we have to put art work in a historical context to examine what it is that we are looking at.
That's why it's hard or almost impossible to measure "accuracy" in one's perspective in photography. Even the new security cameras have problems with accuracy.
What a wonderful pace this is ... from a fairly mundane, rambling post by moi has developed a really good discussion about this art form. It has helped me see some things in a better perspective and made me more comfortable with my own efforts.
Interesting how propoganda has been discussed-it demonstrates just how IMPORTANT art is in life.
As to my original question I still believe that a photograph needs some interpretation by the person taking the image, even if it is one made with a 2Mp camera 'phone (yes I do do that for my snapshots). However I think that the attitude of 'shoot more and keep less' is slowly erroding that ideal, I just feel worried that on my College course the attitude is very prevelant and that some of those who find it harder than I do would have benefited from some 'short term pain long term gain' teaching of the basics with fully manual film cameras. That said the pressure to produce good work quickly may well have turned them off photography for good.
As for me I will keep on trying to reach the standards of my fellow APUGERS, keep enjoying my MF work, try to become a competent darkroom worker in colour and mono, get the 35mm out more often --- and save up for that Crown Graphic I have promised myself :-)
Thanks for all the inputs !
It's not just in photography where digital makes people lazy. I meet many people who can't spell and don't even try because the spell checker will fix it. Mental arithmetic? Why bother just use a calculator. I realised when writing out the cards for the postcard exchange that I hadn't handwritten a communication for a long time.
We live an age whereby everything is instant. People get peed off when you don't answer (or even worse don't own) a mobile phone. News is beamed into our living rooms within seconds of the event happening. Email must be replied to immediately etc. Ebay is a perfect of example. Prices are sometimes way over the top because the buyer has to have it now and won't wait for a better deal.
We can't deride people for taking digital photographs and processing them in the manner that they do. The only thing I do question is do they enjoy it or is it all a matter of the final result? The fact the the D5 guy will take a couple of hundred shots then spend 4 hours per image in front a computer in order to produce a "perfect" image just sounds too stressful. I also get the impression that these perfect images will be enjoyed briefly before moving on to the next "perfect" image. The thought of only producing 3 or 4 good prints a year would be an anathema to this mindset.
Part of photography for me is spending time by myself and enjoying that time and the environment. I played music professionally and when I didn't enjoy touring any more I stopped. That's not to say that I don't get frustrated with photography but it took me years to learn to play the piano competently and photography will be no different. It may even be that I don't have a natural ability for seeing and producing a photograph but that will certainly not lead me to fabricate an image any more than I could play a song by inputting the music note by note into a computer. Maybe that is the dissatisfaction that D5 user is experiencing. When he looks at his images is he seeing a complete image or the individual parts of his composite?
So many drummers, so little time.
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Henry Peach Robinson used several negatives in his picture "Fading Away" of 1858. This technique, also used by others, ultimately led to the foundation of the "Naturalistic or Realism" movement in photography by the pictorialists. Not quite the same thing as described in the opening posting but along similar lines.
Cogito, ergo sum.
Where to start? You know, when I graduated from photography school we all thought anyone using one of those new fangled cameras with a built-in meter was cheating and didn't know anything about photography.
Then came auto-focus and I almost gave up on photography as a being a serious image making medium because now you had people who couldn't be bothered to actually learn how to focus a camera making photos.
You're ranting about digital? Haaaaahhhh. Sorry, the slipperly slope's already been passed.
Talk about a "cop out for lazy" to quote a previous post = auto metering with auto focus.
The problem with the attitude is that it doesn't matter when it comes to the final image. I use auto focus cameras plus auto metering for a number of different applications and I'm damn glad it's available.
Digital does not make you lazy unless you're inherently lazy to begin with. The fallacies ascribed to digital photography speak more about the person making the claim than the medium itself.
Working digitally is as challenging as working with film when you pursue it to the fullest extent. If you don't, it's no different than working with film and dropping your film off at the nearest photo processing lab, then coming back to pick up the prints.
Wow, that's REAL photography all righty because you're using F.I.L.M.
Really, just how difficult is it to make a print? I can teach anyone to properly expose a print, and how to process it in less than 1 hour. Dipping a print through 3 chemicals and washing it is not the pinnacle of difficulty.
Can I teach a person to see a unique image? No. Can I teach a person to make an expressive print of an image? No. That holds true whether it is done with film or digitally.
Sour grapes? Just sounds like you're resentful. Do you feel you're in competition with this person for some reason?
At a personal level, photography is a lot like golf. The only person you're playing against is yourself regardless of the golf course. If I were you, I'd quit worrying about what other people do and how they do it; and just try to make the best images you can.
Wow, sweet post. I couldn't agree more.
Originally Posted by steve
Thanks for the plug, I appreciate all the free advertising I can get. But I don't recall writing on the subject of burning-in and dodging. It must have been "my other self". Please correct me if I'm wrong. This is the downside of being famous. You are accused of saying and doing some fairly fantastical things. But that's cool. I'll just have to sleep on it and then deal with it in the morning. LOL!
Originally Posted by firecracker
On the different note . . . I wonder if Ansel, when he started consulting for Polaroid, said . . . Polaroids suck, they're for the lazy people. No more developing, no more darkrooms, handheld cameras, NO WAY!. This will ruin the art!
No, you can't if the image has been produced correctly unless you want to use a 10X loupe on the print's surface.
I can tell when I'm looking at a digital image.
Can you give me the source for this?
The human eye can resolve 120 megapixels.
More like 40 mp for medium format and more for large format.
I don't keep up with digital technology, but I'm guessing the high end cameras record 20 megapixels.
Really? How? What level would that be?
I think at some level my eye sees pixellation, even though it's not obvious.
No, that's not how a sensor works. Each pixel site records only ONE signal level which can be used to produce a color level that can equate to a shade of grey. If the image is recorded as a 16 bit image there are about 65,000 shades of grey. The eye can discriminate a little over 256 individual shades of grey - do you really think you can see the difference in 65,000?
Then there are the shades of gray. Digital records a discrete number of shades per "photosite" on the image sensor.
Not really, look closely at a B&W print. Use a 10x loupe or grainy film. There's only oxidized silver (black) and paper base white. There are NO shades of grey - it's all an illusion.
Our eyes are used to seeing more variation. Film's shades are continuous, not discrete, more like what the eye sees.
Look closely at a color print - you see dye cloud blobs in cyan, magenta, and yellow. So, no photo print is actually continuous tone - they all simulate it.
Then you've never seen a really well done digital print. While different than a wet darkroom print, digital prints can be every bit as 3D.
Film capture and traditional printing, when done well, can make the image feel three-dimensional. That's what digital lacks, and that the main reason why I shoot film.
What you've seen is apparently the low end home inkjet printers and is not indicative of the capabilities of fine digital printing. Believe me, learning to get everything out of the digital print process is exacting, challenging, and not as easily done as you imagine.
I see many, many bad digital prints of all types including some done by "professional" print services. But, I've also seen hundreds if not thousands of examples of bad wet darkroom work - so, I'm not surprised.
When digital is done well it can be really, really, good. When it's not - it sucks badly. But, then the same can be said of traditional photo process printed images.