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Thread: 8x10 negs

  1. #71
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    So, if you create a hand made oil painting you call it an oil painting. If you have a digi-tablet, use a brush style for oil painting, paint an oil painting on the digi-tablet, then export that digital painting to paper using oil based injet inks, it is still an oil painting?

    If you hand craft a wooden table, then laser scan it, then have lasers cut an exact duplicate out of a block of wood, has it created another hand crafted table?

    If you have a digital piano that produces the same sounds as a real piano, then isn't it a piano?

    If I go to NASA, hop in a space shuttle simulator and do some flying, do I go home and tell everyone "I flew the space shuttle today"?

    There are many arguments that digital photography is the same exact thing as traditional photography, just given to us in a different way. It's hard to put my finger on it, but it's that minute difference that overshadows the whole foundation of digital methods vs. traditional methods. I will not disagree that traditional and digital are similar. They have similarities, but I think their differences justify digital being classified as a new type of artistic expression. Another example, we have hand drawn animation, and the more recent computer animation. I don't see computer animators calling their work hand drawn animation, or animation for that matter. They've created a new medium and recognize that new medium by classification. So why can't "digital photography" do the same and call it "digital imaging"? I believe this is because the marketing powerhouse behind digital imaging needs to use the word "photography" as the cornerstone of their sales pitch.

  2. #72
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    "Isn't the "digital" modifier enough to sufficiently differentiate it from traditional photography?"

    BINGO jdef

    The 'digital' modifier is being removed by the digital camp as we speak. I am starting to loose count of how many digitally created images I see now that are just called "photographs". The digital camp does not want the "digital" modifier and are working hard to remove it. Lightjet prints are not even called lightjet prints anymore, they are being called C-prints. I believe it is digital photography's intention to replace traditional photography, not work along side it as an additional type of photography. Computer animation does not need to do this because it can stand on it's own. However the digital photography camp refuses to stand on their own as a new and independent form of expression. I find this sad because they would have NO problem standing on their own as a powerful form of artistic expression. I think they are selling themselves short by trying to become another established medium.

  3. #73

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    If indeed the "digital" modifier is being removed as you suggest Sean then that is IRRITATING. Maybe it is an admission that they wish they could replicate what could not be completely replicated digitally. Otherwise why the removal?
    Francesco

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    I've been sitting here reading the discussion with interest, and think its maybe time to say what I think!

    Firstly, I'd dissociate the taking of an image with a camera from the printing of the image, as I see those as distinct activities. To me, it doesn't matter whether the camera uses film or a digital sensor; the act of taking that image is photography. You may want to categorise it sometimes (eg infrared photography or digital photography) when distinctions matter for some reason, but all are branches of photography, and rather than 'taking an image' taking a photograph' is a valid description. (I don't want to have to say I don't know whether I'm 'taking a photograph' until after I've decided how (or if) I'm going to print it.)

    Printing an image is a different matter, and I have some sympathy with those who want to say that a digital print is not a photograph, as technically it isn't as no light is used in this stage.
    A suggestion was made earlier that 'photograph' should be reserved for all the light-based processes (including platinum, cyanotype, gum etc.) and digital prints should have another name. In practice though, those that use the 'other' processes don't generally refer to their prints as photographs, but describe them by the process - platinum prints, cyanotypes, and gum prints. Why not then, if we are proud of the process you use, name your prints accordingly - lith prints, silver gelatin prints (or perhaps silver prints if you use that expensive Berger Prestige Fine Art paper), toned silver print. This then gives us an opportunity to explain the distinctive features of our craft, rather than lumping our prints in with the prints that people get for a pittance from the chemist (drugstore for our American friends).

    I should add, as I haven't got round to writing an introduction, that I do sell digital prints from my website, and have no problem naming them as such, and explaining a little about them. I might some day also sell darkroom prints, and if I did would name them as above, and describe that process too.

  5. #75

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    Ultimately, the two mediums are competing for the same markets: 1) fine art print collectors who want to be sure that their collections are unique & archival, 2) professional photographers who have to create/capture images for clients whose requirements are speed & cost, 3) amateur photographers with varying requirements. The corporate world recognizes that digital is a cash cow (technological obsolesence), but needs to appear to meet requirements of all the above. Being recognized as part of photography helps marketing.

    If analog computers had remained a viable alternative to digital computers, we would also have analog electronic cameras as well as analog film cameras & digital whatever.

  6. #76

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    Except I think there aren't just two mediums. I'm pretty sure that the fine art print collectors distinguish between platinum, gum, cyanotype, kallitype, and silver gelatiin.

  7. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdef
    Yeah, I don't understand that either. If I wasn't proud of my medium, I'd choose another. I might be wrong, and I hope I am, but it seems like some of the digital photographers I know find traditional darkroom work too difficult and esoteric to learn, despite it's superior results, and pin their hopes on the evolution of the digital media. That would account for some of the envy, frustration and coopting of traditional nomenclature by some digital photographers. I know others who work in both media, and they use each selectively for good reasons. I don't let it bother me too much unless someone confronts me directly and tries to sell me their process, reasoning that mine is destined for extinction. I don't think that's the case, and I can make a pretty good argument to support my medium, if they're willing to listen.
    One of the arguments that I hear and read from people doing digital output is that they have much more control over the image, yet when you ask them how much time they spent calibrating their paper to their film as they do with their printers and monitors, 99 out of 100 never did it. Is it any wonder that digital "appears" to give greater control?

    Those of us who have chosen alt methods have learned to do this to save money, others, like Michael A Smith have done this intuitively, mostly I have found that those who are successfully in making wonderful images are so because they have learned to calibrate their materials and they know how they behave. Since digital requires and forces the user to calibrate before they even make their first print, I am not surprised they think they have greater control than in the darkroom.

  8. #78

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    Is it a narrow margin of error, or just sloppy work and working on the computer to fix all the problems? I can see where aesthetic desicions might require serious manipulations, but it seems to me a lot of this people spend a lot of time making masks, etc to correct sloppy work when taking the picture or developing the film. I guess the greater "control" means " I can fix my mistakes faster"..no?

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