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  1. #21
    cliveh's Avatar
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    To give an example of the gulf being developed in photographic understanding by this rampant commercialism: - Some time ago, I was demonstrating a pinhole camera to a group of students and one of them said “that will never work Clive, it’s got no batteries”. I was lost for words. Other comments I get are “I found an old camera; do you think it will work”? In other words if it isn’t the latest thing, it’s inferior. It annoys me that camera functions are given more emphasis than seeing.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maris View Post
    A very apt observation! In the old days there was writing but what people really wanted was text. Writing was a slow, vulnerable to error, and expensive way of getting text. The scriptoria of the dark and middle ages were the intellectual sweat-shops of their era. Moveable type enabled printing and the industrial scale production of cheap error-free text.
    Error-free? Typesetting and printing have never been error free. Cold-type typesetting was more of a sweatshop operation than any scriptorium; it usually involved armies of "apprentices" (i.e., unpaid child labor). And for 100 years after Gutenberg, wealthy patrons kept the scriptoria in business by insisting that only hand-copied books were "real" books. It was the emerging middle classes--growing ranks of merchants with new wealth--that drove the demand for printed books.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    In other words if it isn’t the latest thing, it’s inferior. It annoys me that camera functions are given more emphasis than seeing.
    Which answers why the big camera makers were so fond of digital technology: why would they sell you a camera once in ten years and then watch you hand over your money to Kodak, Fuji and Ilford from then on if they could sell you a new camera every few years, which means all your photo money goes to them? Combine this with the "old camera == bad camera" meme and there's a lot of money to be made. And let's face it: that is what marketing is for.
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
    I don't think it's quite that simple. I think there are people who are, by nature, inventors. They like creating "better mousetraps". There are also people who like to find ways to make money.

    Probably the best business partnerships are when the two get together. Apple in the early days is a perfect example. Woz was the inventor and Jobs the marketer.

    (snip)
    Of course it isn't always that simple, but it often is. Much of the technology we enjoy (including many of the advances in film technology) are the result of inventions not for invention sake, but invention to be marketed one way or the other. A lot of the technology we enjoy was developed for government use, initially, using government financial sponsorship - in other words, to be marketed to government buyers and users. Later much of it gets "commercialized" to be sold to folks like you and me. GPS is one example, and there are many others. Other funding sources for inventions are derived from corporate profit -- mostly so it can be sold to folks like you and me. There are still some folks still inventing in their garages but I'll bet the lions share of inventions are governemnt or corporate funded.

    Anyway, this is really an "anti-digital" discussion and is not restricted to just cameras. I, too, object to 'throw-away' electronics and the rate of change that ensures that folks like you and me are always buying replacement equipment. Mostly, though, the real enemy should be the masses who have this odd and unusal craving for instant gratification. Gotta have it now and gotta have the best and gotta have more & better than the Joneses.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    Other comments I get are “I found an old camera; do you think it will work”? In other words if it isn’t the latest thing, it’s inferior.
    I hear that too. But instead of "inferior" I have always interpreted their wonderment as, "it's decrepit and archaic".

  6. #26
    cliveh's Avatar
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    On a more positive note, I suppose it makes me more relaxed about going out with a 1932 Leica or an M2 to be more discerning about not wasting film and to capture something special. No whirring, flashing lights, shutter working 2seconds after you have pressed it, no flat batteries, shooting modes or gizmos.

  7. #27
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    The positive side of commercialization of technology is economies of scale that makes it cheaper for the masses. Look at cell phones, meds, cars, photovoltaic panels. I think we're so saturated with mass produced goods, some folks hunger for the handmade and unique items. Look at the contrast of ink jet prints vs hand made silver geletin prints. Am I way off here?

  8. #28

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    I think you are right on. My observation of people is that there are some who are so caught up in the commercialism, consumerism, and disposable lifestyle, and some who eschew those things. The majority of us (my guess that "we" are a majority; I may be incorrect) try to balance life and enjoy what is appropriate from both dimensions.

  9. #29
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    George Eastman wasn't bad at marketing - if he had been worse, I doubt that the analogue technology would have advanced as far and fast as it did.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainecoonmaniac View Post
    I think we're so saturated with mass produced goods, some folks hunger for the handmade and unique items.
    I agree, as proof look at the rise of Etsy and the massive amts of books/blogs about minimalism/consumerism. Think there is a massive movement of folks asking 'why'. Why do I need to upgrade my X...why do I need X number of Z....
    Andy

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