Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 70,002   Posts: 1,524,465   Online: 1054
      
Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 42
  1. #11
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Monroe, WA, USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,094
    Images
    48
    A digital image is at its core a logical abstraction of a real thing. It does not naturally exist in nature. It may be rendered. Indeed, it must be rendered in order to be experienced. But in and of itself it is nothing more than an abstract conceptualized pattern capable of being copied onto any number of electronic devices.

    A photographic negative is at its core a real thing. It exists in all four dimensions, occupying all three of space as well as the one of time. If a negative rests on a table, no other physical object may share that same location at that same moment. The original light struck object - negative or positive - bears silent witness to the events directly recorded upon it. It was physically present in proximity to the subject it recorded at the moment that recording took place.

    This is why the actual handling of glass plates or old negatives can be such a moving experience. Those Alexander Gardner plates were actually present right there only a few feet away when the Lincoln conspirators were hanged. As were those Robert Capa negatives exposed by him as he struggled through the unimaginable hell of the second wave on Omaha Beach. And the single negative that momentarily flashed past the high-speed motion picture shutter 0.016 seconds after the detonation of the first atomic bomb.

    An original digital image file, precisely because it represents only an abstraction, may be perfectly copied an unlimited number of times. By contrast, an original photographic negative exists in exquisite physical singularity. While it may be copied, all subsequent copies are - and indeed by definition must be - different from the original.

    As I've observed before, holding an antique photographic glass plate up to the light and taking a good long look is a profound experience. Holding a USB thumb drive up to the light and taking a good long look? Not so much.

    I'm afraid I have to go with 'Maris' on this one...

    Ken
    Last edited by Ken Nadvornick; 07-02-2011 at 05:10 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Clarity..
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  2. #12

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada. Ex-California
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    346
    There are no "chemical rays" and definitions based on that are therefore useless and should be discarded.

    A photographic negative does not naturally exist in nature. It is an abstraction of the scene. Tones are not in identical relationships as in the scene, colours are transmuted, sometimes radically into shades of gray, the dynamic range is limited compared to nature. It is absolutely an abstraction when you remember that it is rendered as clumps of silver. "The map is not the territory."

    We accept prints and prints made from internegatives as bona fide photographs, even though they are made in places far removed from the location of scene. Astrophotography scenes are far removed from even the camera. Proximity is not part of the definition of photography.

    It is very amusing to see people criticize digital photography simultaneously for both being "mechanical and automatic" at the same time as "mimicing painting and drawing", within the same post even!

    It is also amusing to see people claim that what they define as true photography does not mimic painting and drawing on a site that is filled with discussion about retouching and spotting and localized reduction and burning and dodging and painting a night scene with light and scraping negatives and artificial light, flash or continuous, and localized bleaching, ... and on and on. Even the word 'photography' literally means "drawing with light".

    People also forget that film photography is fundamentally electronic too. Photons knock electrons out of silver halide ionic crystals to create the latent image which is then read by the developer and converted into silver atoms.

    There were no sensors or film involved when da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa. This should be obvious.

    There are many people who fall into the trap of not only seeing the world in black and white, but in binary only black and white with no shades of gray. Ironic it is, when they are chauvinistic about B&W film photography. The reality is that there are no sharp bright dividing lines between many categories in the universe and no amount of yearning for prissy pigeonholes is going to change that.

    Just like there is no clear boundary between dance music and classical music there is no boundary that meaningfully excludes digital photography from the realm of photography. To claim that there is would be as ludicrous as claiming that a digital recording of a chamber orchestra is not music or that a little amplification of an acoustic guitar in a 1940s big band was music but a lot of amplification of a Jimmy Page guitar performance is not music.

    Ansel Adams is often invoked as an example of the epitome of 'true photography' as a silver gelatin fine art. This should be of interest to all who think that digital developments are antithetical to 'true photography':

    "I eagerly await new concepts and processes. I believe that the
    electronic image will be the next major advance. Such systems will
    have their own inherent and inescapable structural characteristics,
    and the artist and functional practitioner will again strive to
    comprehend and control them."
    -- Ansel Adams, in "The Negative", 1981 edition
    Last edited by Monito; 07-02-2011 at 08:00 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #13
    Jim Noel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    1,817
    Blog Entries
    1
    I find the essay very lacking in basic research. Too many false conclusions.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  4. #14
    Jim Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Rural NW Missouri
    Shooter
    4x5 Format
    Posts
    1,783
    Quote Originally Posted by Maris View Post
    . . . Digital picture-making mimics painting and drawing. Photography does not. They are radically different enterprises that become muddled with one another because the pictures they make can, on the surface, look similar. . . .
    Huh? From the beginning analog photography mimicked painting and drawing. As photographic technology progressed, photography began to include creative tools not readily available to the easel artist. From the beginning digital photography mimicked analog photography, and followed the same course of progress. The two are much the same, although digital photography in some of its capabilities is more like drawing and painting than is analog photography
    Last edited by Jim Jones; 07-02-2011 at 10:26 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #15
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Monroe, WA, USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,094
    Images
    48
    Quote Originally Posted by Monito View Post
    A photographic negative does not naturally exist in nature. It is an abstraction of the scene. Tones are not in identical relationships as in the scene, colours are transmuted, sometimes radically into shades of gray, the dynamic range is limited compared to nature. It is absolutely an abstraction when you remember that it is rendered as clumps of silver. "The map is not the territory."
    Careful here...

    Of course the photographic negative exists in nature. You can hold it in your hand. It occupies space and time. It was present in front of the subject when the scene it depicts was recorded onto it. The scene depicted on the negative is the abstraction.

    The digital image does not exist in nature. The imaging abstraction has been carried to the point where the very physicality of the medium itself has been removed. The image exists only as an idea. A non-physical logical pattern. A pure abstraction.

    It's sort of like the number '8' is only an idea. You cannot hold an '8' in your hands. Can't buy one at the store. It is a concept. Although its logical value will almost certainly be found somewhere as part of the representation of every digital image, it was itself not physically present at the point of exposure. It couldn't have been. It's not a thing. It's a pure abstraction.

    Both approaches are capable of recording an image abstraction which represents the scene before the lens. But one recording is itself a physical thing, while the other is not. While a paper map may abstract the territory it depicts, the map itself is not an abstraction.

    Some of us prefer to work with physical things. Within the context of a photograph, that distinction matters to us. Others don't care as much.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  6. #16
    michaelbsc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    South Carolina
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    2,092
    Images
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    ....
    It's sort of like the number '8' is only an idea. You cannot hold an '8' in your hands. Can't buy one at the store. It is a concept. ...
    Wow! And all these years I thought those little guys were real!

    Clearly you didn't inhale.
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada. Ex-California
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    346
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    Careful here... Of course the photographic negative exists in nature.
    Nonsense. It's made by humans. It is not produced by beavers or algae or geologic processes or nuclear fusion in the interior of stars.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    The digital image does not exist in nature. The imaging abstraction has been carried to the point where the very physicality of the medium itself has been removed. The image exists only as an idea. [...] It's a pure abstraction.
    What you are calling the "digital image" is exactly like the latent image of a film or undeveloped print. You can't see the electrons holding the latent image on film. The developing process produces an artifact.

    Likewise the digital developing process produces an artifact: a print. Or, if you prefer, a negative on film.

    No difference conceptually. They are just imaging processes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    Both approaches are capable of recording an image abstraction which represents the scene before the lens. But one recording is itself a physical thing, while the other is not.
    Nah. Both images are physical things: an arrangement of electrons on a sensor. In one case it is the latent image on film. In the other case a latent image of electrons in sensels. Both need to be converted to something visible. Which is exactly what we do all the time.

    You get sensual jollies from holding a negative in your hands. That's fine. But you do not gain credibility or superiority for analogue photography by pretending that digital photography is not photography.
    Last edited by Monito; 07-02-2011 at 03:23 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #18
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Monroe, WA, USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,094
    Images
    48
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    Of course the photographic negative exists in nature. You can hold it in your hand. It occupies space and time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Monito View Post
    Nonsense. It's made by humans.
    Hmm... I think I see the problem here...

    If I hold a photographic negative, or anything else real for that matter, in my hand and say to you that it exists, and you simply choose to ignore its demonstrable physical presence and claim it does not exist when in fact I am holding it up right in front of you, then all further discussion regarding the finer points and implications of that existence becomes moot.

    I suppose it's somewhat akin to attempting a discussion regarding the finer points and implications of global warming with someone who won't grant the base premise that the globe even exists.

    Kind of a pointless exercise to engage in, don't you think? So I won't bother you any further with it.

    I am more than happy to accept that your point of view on this topic differs fundamentally from mine. And that the two points of view do not constitute a zero-sum case. Both approaches to photography are valid. And both capable of creative expression. I simply believe that they are not identical approaches. And I have a preference - for all of the reasons I have previously stated - for one approach over the other. Your preference may be different. And just as valid for you.

    So I'll let it go with that and leave you to have the last word, if need be...

    (And I'm still going with 'Maris' on this...)

    Ken
    Last edited by Ken Nadvornick; 07-02-2011 at 09:43 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Fat fingers, skinny keys...
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  9. #19

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada. Ex-California
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    346
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    Hmm... I think I see the problem here... If I hold a photographic negative, or anything else real for that matter, in my hand and say to you that it exists, and you simply choose to ignore its demonstrable physical presence and claim it does not exist when in fact I am holding it up right in front of you, then all further discussion regarding the finer points and implications of that existence becomes moot.
    What a lovely strawman you demolished. I do not deny physical existence. You confuse the concept of "physical existence" with "natural".

    Quote Originally Posted by Maris View Post
    digital cameras do not make photographs; pictures, yes, but the pictures are not photographs.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    (And I'm still going with 'Maris' on this...)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    Both approaches to photography are valid.
    When you make up your mind you can post again.

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Wiltshire, UK
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    394
    Is the negative (as in the acetate base) the carrier require to hold the sensitized silver to enable a print to be made?
    Is the digital file the required carrier to hold the electric light values to enable an output to be made?

    Both processes require a practioner to make decisions to apply to the "start point" to interpret the possibilites into their vision of the finished image. Digital may be less visible as it live in a hard drive compared to analogue which lives on the acetate but they both still "exist" - a hard drive can have no space left for more images.

    Oil painting, watercolour painting, digital print, analogue print...

    Sim2
    *still thinking*

Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin