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Film vs Digital Discussions about the relative advantages and disadvantages of Film vs Digital are important as they can help us understand our choices as photographers. Each medium has strengths and weaknesses which can best be used in a given circumstance. While this makes for an interesting and useful discussion, DO NOT attack others who disagree with you. Forum rules are explained in the RFF FAQ linked at the top of each page.

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Old 12-16-2012   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickett Wilson View Post
But is it as personally satisfying? It is broader than just digital. The Nikon F6 or Canon 1V are sophisticated, computer controlled film cameras. Has the increasing sophistication of cameras made any difference in your personal satisfaction with photography?
I don't use cameras that do "everything" very often at all. I'll pull out the T3 or the Ti28 from time to time, but even those I most often shoot in A mode, not P. I much prefer a camera that stays out of the way. This last few months I've been working with the view camera a lot again, and just this last week been working without a camera at all - just exposing paper directly to light. Hard to be any simpler than that.

When I have to read the instructions to figure out how to use a camera I figure it's not for me.
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Old 12-16-2012   #42
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Nope. Learning to use Photoshop, and learning about color management, scanning, raw conversions, and other issues that digital brings was a lot of work. Its not as simple as film printed in the darkroom was. Even if it were super easy to do it right, most people take crappy photos because most people have no artistic talent.
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Old 12-16-2012   #43
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Technique is the easy part. Always has been. Finding your way of seeing, now thats the hard part. The technique in some ways, in some situations, easier now but the later is still every bit as difficult as it ever was.
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Old 12-16-2012   #44
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I use both film (Nikon F100) and digital (Nikon F7000). As has been the experience of many serious amateur photographers, I get different esthetic results from film and digital. If anything, my digital camera has enhanced and indeed, rescued, the pleasure of photography for me. I enjoy both and use both every day. A big draw for me with my DSLR is the wonderfel prints I've had made. I looked at my first large (for me!) print at 10X15, and I was thinking, "medium format!"

My F100 is used for b/w and Ektar 100. I still have that feeling of anticipation when I pick up a package of prints. I even process some of the b/w film myself, and that's a pleasant way for me to spend an evening. I will enjoy using both for the foreseeable future.

Is it too easy? No, I don't think so. I still have to be mindfully present during the time I'm taking photos or I get junk. Digital just makes it easier for me to dump the junk before I pay for it in processing and printing fees.

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Old 12-16-2012   #45
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Bad photography is always easy. Good photography, almost never is.

Digital has made photography more ubiquitous and that means there is a lot of bad photography around. Other than this I think the answer has to be "no" it has not made it too easy.
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Old 12-16-2012   #46
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Digital hasn't changed much. It can be quicker and provide immediate results.

A person can only go so far to try to cover up for their ineptness during the process stage with digital photography, utilizing software like Photoshop to save their behinds.

To be successful a person needs a sound foundation of the basics. After many years of getting the basics down, the rules can be broken as a person would understand they are being broken and they have a good idea of what the results will be by breaking the rules of basics.

Some believe, well if I take a large number of photos, in most events, they can number thousands, some will turn out OK.

Ya, sure.
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Old 12-16-2012   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
Nope. Learning to use Photoshop, and learning about color management, scanning, raw conversions, and other issues that digital brings was a lot of work. Its not as simple as film printed in the darkroom was. Even if it were super easy to do it right, most people take crappy photos because most people have no artistic talent.
I disagree. As a professional printer and lab owner I can tell you the barrier to high quality colour images is lower than ever, Photoshop is hugely easier than doing it conventionally! I can tell you as a darkroom printer who made a living from printing volume high quality work when I first used Photoshop (version 2) I thought I'd died and gone to heaven–it's just so easy!
I wonder have you tried to do an unsharp mask the traditional way? how about selective colour balance? changing the colour of one individual element in PS is a simplistic task that used to take hours in the wet lab days.

Colour management was way harder too in a wet lab; control strips to test chemistry, setting under and over slopes in each channel for each film type, and then having to do machine balances for batch changes in paper; endless 'bulls eye' printer targets which needed to be read on a densitometer and then entered manually into each film channel, digital CM is a comparative walk in the park.

No, it is way easier to create almost perfect colour images now compared to back then, I think people who imagine PP and colour management are tough now probably didn't do the things Photoshop has made so simple back in the Lab days.
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Old 12-16-2012   #48
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Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Digital hasn't made choosing content and framing content any easier.
Hi there, while I agree, but I'm tempted to play the devil's advocate...

With the increase of file size, resolution, continuous shooting speed, large memory card, etc... I suppose one could just machine gun a scene and pick and crop to their choosing later in front of the computer? Of course, that still require some good taste to pick the right frame and crop, but perhaps it's done later then before? What if one day we can simply take any still frame in a video clip and process it like a photograph?

I feel that sometimes when something is too easy, it cheapens itself.
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Old 12-16-2012   #49
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the technology always changes...makes the technical part easier...
the art is the hard part.
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Old 12-17-2012   #50
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Digital (full, simple automation) has given us the ability to remove technology from picture taking and one can more or less focus completely on the important things: concept, subject, light, composition.

Everyone now has the basic tools and most don't know what to do with them. If I were teaching, I'd have the students use their phone camera or a p&s until they brought back good pictures.

Good photography still results from hard work.

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Old 12-17-2012   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hosermage View Post
Hi there, while I agree, but I'm tempted to play the devil's advocate...

With the increase of file size, resolution, continuous shooting speed, large memory card, etc... I suppose one could just machine gun a scene and pick and crop to their choosing later in front of the computer?
Sure, they can... if that is what fits their needs. People have been doing this in action photography for many, many years (with film too). Even if you don't machine gun, you still pick the best ones from your outing. It's called editing.

Quote:
Of course, that still require some good taste to pick the right frame and crop, but perhaps it's done later then before?
Well, it still needs to be framed properly, have great composition, and have compelling content... these are not easy even if you have technology. The art of photography is what you choose to include (or exclude) in your frame.

Quote:
What if one day we can simply take any still frame in a video clip and process it like a photograph?
You already can...

Quote:
I feel that sometimes when something is too easy, it cheapens itself.
You have to get over the technical stuff (which only other photographers care about) and realize that content and composition are the main part of photography. Even if you use a point and shoot on auto to get your prized photo and all you did was push the button... you chose the right content and the right way to frame it. This is the essense of photography... the decisive moment is only one sliver of photography. Many of the best images in photography's history did not include a decisive moment.
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Old 12-17-2012   #52
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i don't think that digital is much easier (beside for snapshots). a good film does a lot of work for you, that otherwise you would have to do in postprocessing when going digital.

and my digicam has more knobs than my film cameras
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Old 04-05-2013   #53
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You avoid the chemical processing step. That is all. Getting a decent photo s as difficult as before.

The $100,000 CRT display and printer and now your home computer. You can adjust to the cows come home at little cost. Then send it to the printer either at home a commercial one and IF YOU DID EVERYTHING CORRECTLY, the prints are stunning.
Everything is softproof, profiles, and calibration. Cut a corner, it is garbage in, garbage out.
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Old 04-21-2016   #54
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A tongue in cheek response, it has simply because there are fewer excuses. The meter was inaccurate, I didn't take the filter factor into account, I had a different film loaded than I thought, I couldn't focus fast enough, the shutter speed led to camera shake, etc, etc, excuses all out the window. Now why are my photographs still not that great if not for technical reasons? On a more serious note, my first digital camera made photography enjoyable, took a lot of mystery out of the process, closed the feedback loop and smoothed out the technical details. What I was left to face was my actual ability as a photographer, instead of as a camera operator.

On the technical side, I've worked backwards, digital made it easy to see the connections between the camera settings and the photograph, so now I can work as readily with any format, large, medium, 35mm, digital, camera phone, or whatever, and usually come out with a technically competent photograph.

Where I fall short is learning where to stand, how to interact with people to get the best image, how to light a scene, especially a live action one, how to investigate my environment and compose a scene, and most importantly to pursue ideas in the shape of photography. I don't think any of these factors are the sole purview of photography, they're nearly universal in the visual arts, so digital or analog doesn't really make a difference in what's important.
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Old 04-21-2016   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mich rassena View Post
On the technical side, I've worked backwards, digital made it easy to see the connections between the camera settings and the photograph, so now I can work as readily with any format, large, medium, 35mm, digital, camera phone, or whatever, and usually come out with a technically competent photograph.

Where I fall short is learning where to stand, how to interact with people to get the best image, how to light a scene, especially a live action one, how to investigate my environment and compose a scene, and most importantly to pursue ideas in the shape of photography. I don't think any of these factors are the sole purview of photography, they're nearly universal in the visual arts, so digital or analog doesn't really make a difference in what's important.
Oh my, what you have express is exactly where I am right now.

About the fun of digital, these days when I want colour or night scene I'll go with digital, for outdoor black and white I always go with film, both have very different kind of fun I must say.
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Old 04-21-2016   #56
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yeah.

I can bang out a shot on my lunch break, come back, edit, post all in less than 10 minutes.

Where is the craftsmanship? The finesse? No time to savour the flavour. I have an M8 now and shoot with it when I don't feel like wasting film. But I still much prefer shooting film.
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Old 04-21-2016   #57
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Stuff and nonsense. No camera forces the user to not be creative. One can be as deliberate as one wishes to be, convenience or no.

Saying that the ease of using a camera makes one a worse photographer is to simply say one is a poor photographer who lacks self control and wishes to blame the camera for their shortcomings.
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Old 05-10-2016   #58
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Has digital made photography too easy?
No.

But digital has made it too easy for people to produce megatons of crappy photos on a daily basis.
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