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  1. #1

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    Nice response to the 'digital question'

    http://www.wisner.com/digital.htm
    art is about managing compromise

  2. #2
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    Pretty cool article. His statement at the end has different meaning for both camps though:

    "Digital imaging is just one more medium both for self expression and as a tool for practical image making, and will take its rightful place along side other media".

    Traditional Photographers consider digital 'another' medium, but hard core digiheads do not consider digital another medium, their attitude is that digital falls under the traditional medium as 'photography', not digital imaging. I think this is where a lot of hostility arises in the pro-dig and non-dig debates. Hard core digital users refuse to acknowledge it is a different medium. I think that's probably what irks me the most about the digital camp.

  3. #3

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    Yep very nice, he also has a good article on ABC pyro, apprently he uses a greater dilution than most, I am curios about it and with DBI it should be a snap to try it.
    And of course take a look at the cameras...ah men, I am in love...

  4. #4

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    My problem with hardcore digiheads is their arrogant attitude. To hear them talk, only digital is valid, film is dead, and everyone else is an idiot. It's like they were preaching some New World Order that we will be forced to join. That's what gets my hackles up. I don't care if someone chooses to shoot digital, just don't try to jam it down my throat. "Digital imaging is just one more medium...." It is not the only one.

  5. #5

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    I'm agree with Ron. Leave photography to the people that love photography.

    Jorge, I have been using this ABC dilution with efke pl100 @ 100, and have found it much more controllable, it is done in about 10 minutes as opposed to 5. The greater volume also makes it easier not to scratch the film. You can get whatever contrast you want out of this combo.

    --Aaron
    art is about managing compromise

  6. #6

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    The Wisner article has a lot I can agree with. The part about "The vintage print, like the contemporary print, both share an essential quality. They were both handled by the artist. With his own hands he made the object, and then passed it on to other hands, and with it conveyed a singular existence which can only beheld by one person at a time."

    The touched by a human and individual and unique aspect of traditional photography are what appeal to me, not just the final image. Just like early American folk art it doesn't necessarily have to be fine art to be appreciated. It can be appreciated just because a human made it, not a machine.

    I doubt if Wisner's reasoning would be appreciated much by the "digital is best" crowd as they have quite different priorities. I can see their view as Wisner does, but they are blind to other roads or priorities. I think that makes me the better man and just kind of chuckle at their attitude.

    The digicrowd is often the same bunch that feel the sharpest newest multicoated lens is always better then any other lens dispite many fine images that prove otherwise.

    BTW - Jorge. At the risk of getting you going again, did you notice he used the term "old analog"?

    Bob




  7. #7

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    LOL...BobF...yeah I saw it and the first thing that came to my mind was the thread at photo.net and those fools!

    Aaron, thanks for the info I will try it.

  8. #8

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    I think the point has been well made here.

    Too many people seem to see digital as THE medium.

    Which brings up an interesting issue.

    In my experience there seems to be two kinds of photographers - "Convience Photographers" and "Artistic Photographers".

    Now, what I am about to say will irritate many, but I doubt they are on this site....

    In my few years of serious shooting I have found that there are those photographers who seem to be wholly interested in simply getting the shot. Period. They will use the easiest, most effective methods possible to do this. For example, they will ignore the Zone System because they can just go out and buy an F5 with color metering or get a camera with good matrix metering. They will learn enough to use DOF, but have no idea of what bokeh means. They think that The Circle of Confusion is a band out of Seattle. Their goal is to just get the shot. To them digital is a god-send because they can do this cheaply now. They care little for anything but mega-pixels, which is ironic as they have usually NEVER picked up anything larger than a 35mm before.

    Then we have the "Artistic" types. These are the people who think things like "Hey, calotypes could be fun..." They care not so much about getting the shot as CREATING the shot. They study various mediums. They play with them. They have pyro in their veins. To them photography is about options. It is about exploration. Everything has its' place. They might see digital as fine for photojournalism, but realize that a sunset on 4x5 Velvia is so much nicer.

    Official Photo.net Villain
    ----------------------
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]DaVinci never wrote an artist's statement...[/FONT]

  9. #9

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    I was sure "The Circle of Confusion" WAS a band from Seattle - now I'm confused...

    I'm a fence sitter on the digital issue. While the "digi-heads" can be snobs, the analoggers are reverse snobs to the point that if it hasn't been done analog it can't be art.

    I really don't care how the image has been produced. If it is interesting to look at, it might be art. If it's boring - I don't care how much time it took to produce or how it was made.

    In fact, Michael Fatali's web site and approach to photography is ridiculous in posting how long it took him to make the photo. Does the amount of work or time spent somehow engender more appreciation? If that's the case, I have some photos that I've gone back to the same place for 5 years in a row, and spent a week each trip going back every day at the same time trying to get it "just right." So what? The photo either works - or it doesn't no matter if you spent 20 minutes or 20 years.

    As to digital imaging being different from analog photography, there are so many levels to digital imaging that I think this is not a "black-and-white" issue (pardon me, couldn't help myself).

    If I take a photograph using a 4x5 with reversal film and decide to have it output through a LightJet printer, I have to deal with digitizing the image for final output. This can involve color correction, contrast correction, and retouching (spots, blemishes, etc.) - but this is not outside of what I would do to an image produced in a wet darkroom. So what's the difference? I don't get that one. Is it no longer a "photograph" because it's been digitized? Or is it because the output is on a LightJet? It uses standard color photo paper and processing. Again, what's the difference? Perhaps it should be called a "digitype print" because the output is through a digital process, but it certainly is still a photograph.

    Let's go one step further. Let's compare Jerry Uelsmann's images to John Paul Caponigro's images. Uelsmann's work is done in the darkroom while John Paul Caponigro chooses to use the digital imaging process to create his images. The final print from both artists being a composite print made of mutiple photographic images. Since both people started with images taken with a camera on film - is the final print a photograph no matter how it was put together? Or, do you get more analog brownie points for using multiple enlargers instead of software - therefore, the wet darkroom print is a photograph (and "art"), while the digitally produced image can't achieve that status because of the (often wrongly) perceived "ease" in which a digital image is made?

    Now let's look at an image generated with a digital camera and output through a digital process. Is that a photograph? Hmmmmmm....I don't know. It might be. I don't think I can write it off because it was recorded as digital bits on memory media. In an earlier post, Robert Kennedy railed against people who just "want to get the shot."

    So, where is the turning point in Art / Not Art? Where is the tradeoff point when someone uses an F-5 and film, or a 4x5 with a digital back? If the point is to make a lot of work out of it - and that's art because you're suffering - then, again I just don't get it. If I'm using a 4x5 with a digital back and lugging a portable computer with extra batteries in a back-pack - is that enough work to qualify as "art"?

    The last case is the totally digitally produced image. To me that one is easy to categorize - it's an illustration and not a photograph because no part of the image was generated using a camera.




  10. #10
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    Personally, I just feel that when something is 'digitized' it then becomes a copy or representation of what was real. It lacks being 'the real thing'. A lot of people can argue that on a molecular level film does the same exact thing, but I disagree. Does film not take an analog waveform, capture it's values, and store it in the emulsion? A ccd or cmos, takes the waveform, produces an electrical charge from it which is converted to 1's or 0's and stores it in a memory chip. The original essence or soul of the waveform is lost in the conversion and storage to computer memory. Now, most people can probably not tell the difference between some digital or analog images, and probably don't care. If it looks exactly like the real thing then why care right? But I'm the kind of person that wants a real Rolex on my wrist, not one I purchased on a street corner that looks exactly like a Rolex, but is called a Rolax. Maybe no one will ever know it's a Rolax, but I will, and that will bother me. If I'm devoting my creativity, time, money, and energy towards a piece of artistic expression I don't want to feel that it merely 'looks' like the real thing,, I want to take pride that it is the real thing and I know it.

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