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Thread: Film philosophy

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Just FYI, there was such a paper written for delivery at the 2006 ICIS (International Congress of Imaging Science) meeting here in Rochester, but it was canceled at the last minute "due to lack of interest". I have a prerelease copy of it here somewhere. It is rather lengthy and very well written. If you are interested, I'll see if the author will allow me to pass his address on to you.

    PE
    That sounds great. I'd love to read it.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    I don't really understand what you are asking for. Do you need published reference material to form an opinion for your paper, because you do not know why people use film, or do you already have your opinion, and just need to find interesting passages to quote?

    For me, the philosophy of using film is not very deep, if existent at all. I guess the most philosophical thing about it is that I generally prefer to work with tangible physical media than with purely electronic digital media, be it in the area of music, photography, writing, etc. Aside from the physical differences in process, I feel that working strictly with something that is held in the hand is an important difference. I don't know if that is "philosophical." Perhaps just something that lubricates my imagination in an intangible way (perhaps because it is, quite simply, much more fun)...

    Other than that, the differences all come down to results, equipment, cost, and process – all very physical and tangible things. Not much philosophy there.

    Here is my personal favorite Internet article on why we use film: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/why-we-love-film.htm.
    I already figured out the tangible differences. I'm new to reading about photography and already know why I do it. The speech is supposed to be persuasive so I figured a philosophical approach in a college setting might work in addition to the tangible differences. Thanks for the link.

  3. #23
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    I agree with others above. It might serve well to included a few references and drop a name or too with whom you are in agreement. But I would be much more interested in a personal POV. So, again, what is your own philosophy and build out from there. Don't just recite, show a lot of insight.
    Thank you.
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  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by theblackcrusaders View Post
    I was thinking more of how the negative is a chemical recording of the time rather than something that a sensor picked up. Kind of like paint on a canvas rather than a digital image.
    It's a nice idea and I think it would work well, but why mention digital at all?
    Steve.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    You might want to visit Clyde Butcher's website and go to his face book page, etc. He talks about why he still uses film rather extensively. I would imagine someone as accomplished and recognized as Butcher would be a good one to reference.

    If I were to do this type of thing, I am not sure if I would go as far as to call it "philosophy." I use film because I like the result it gives me. I also like the process itself. It's calming. I don't have any grand scheme or philosophical reasons behind it. You could always approach it as why YOU do it, unless of course, referencing someone else is required per your professor.
    Thanks for the idea. I'll look into this.

  6. #26
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theblackcrusaders View Post
    That sounds great. I'd love to read it.
    My associate has agreed to correspond with you on his planned presentation. Please PM me with your contact information so that I can forward it on to him.

    PE

  7. #27
    Maris's Avatar
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    Read "Root Signifiers of Photograph" which is a thread on Photo.net. My post is a synopsis of a presentation I gave at a Technical College when faced with a "Philosophy of Film" challenge. The audience was a class of soon to be graduates who hadn't seen film since they were freshmen.
    Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.

  8. #28
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Problem is: nobody in philosophy of arts / aesthetics gives a damn about film as a material medium. Some are excited by the "possibilities" of digital medium and what it means for the future, blah blah, but the bulk of aesthetics writing on photography is either medium-agnostic or simply takes for granted that film is its natural medium. Obvious, since more philosophical writing on photo is historically coincident with the use of film as the primary support of photography.

    So if you want to contribute something to the discussion, you would be better served by using more general work, studying the role of medium in art forms, for questions such as What does marble contribute to the meaning of Michaelangelo's David? Look for people like Kendall Walton, Richard Wollheim, Noel Carroll, and David Davies (his "art as performance" is a tough, but very rewarding read on the role of medium).

    Avoid Barthes, Sontag, and Benjamin if you are remotely serious, philosophically speaking.
    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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  9. #29

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    A starting point you might find helpful is Criticizing photography by Terry Barret, just look on amazon .

    Barthes and Sontag have little to say on the use of film as a recording medium, both expired before the onset of digital so the option of use was not an issue. You may well take a look at Baudelaire . Michael Kohler Constructed realities is worth looking at for a discourse on approach to modern photography and basic aesthetic principals,and the combination of all three should give you a decent starting point

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwms View Post
    The idea of struggling to put into words what we can do more efficiently with images... it's a little bit too Susan Sontag for my taste.
    Thanks for that. Susan Sontag had a way of sucking the life out of photography.

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