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Old 06-14-2017   #41
honozooloo
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Makes you wonder how photographers were able to cover runway/backstage back in the film days.
That's why backstage/fashion show coverage kind of sucked in the film era, especially from a production standpoint. Well IMHO. Not trying to start some kind of crazy film vs. digital debate here or offend anyone but I don't think it's really open to debate - being able to shoot at ISO 3200-6400 and produce useable images that you can turn around for publication in mere minutes has been a huge boon to everybody in the media business.

For arguments' sake, push processed 120 could pull off higher ISO and low grain back in the day....and I totally get the value of film as "art," and I personally LOVE grainy, gritty black and white. That's why I still shoot film for personal reasons. But again, I'm just saying that from the perspective of a staffer working for the press/media, yeah well in the working world "art" takes a distant second place to other, more practical considerations. And from the working shooter's perspective, hells yeah the coverage then was a lot worse than it is now.

Better technology isn't good in and of itself, but better tools mean better product.
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Old 06-14-2017   #42
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I recently saw an Irving Penn retrospective. Imagine what he could have done with a spray and pray autofocus camera. Then again, let's not.
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Old 06-15-2017   #43
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I recently saw an Irving Penn retrospective. Imagine what he could have done with a spray and pray autofocus camera. Then again, let's not.
He probably could have done amazing work with one. Tools or medium do not define an artist, even if the two are intimately related.

Your comments seem passive aggressively critical of new technology. Are you suggesting that Penn's work would have suffered if he used a different medium (digital, modern) instead of a traditional one? If so, it seems to me the implication then would be that Penn's own creative vision and abilities were secondary to his tools, and that seems, well...sad.

My comments were meant to address the advantages of newer tech in a modern production environment, IE what modern publishers do. Sure, elite pubs like Vogue have the budget to hire elite shooters like Penn (well not any more, RIP), complete with an army of assistants in tow. But for most midrange regional companies like mine, such things are WAY out of our budgets. And for most publishers, heck yes digital technology has vastly improved the quality of coverage they do.

I agree that there's a beauty and an integrity in the film process. But, like vinyl LPs in the iTunes era, the reality of film in the modern publishing environment is totally out of step with the industry, unfortunately.

Do you think that in Penn's day there were photographers sticking to tintype instead of going Graflex (or whatever), all the while being critical of how those crazy newfangled triple digit ISO films were ruining the look of photography? Our passion (photography) has never settled on a single medium or format any longer than it has had to, especially once something better came along.
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Old 06-16-2017   #44
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Our passion (photography) has never settled on a single medium or format any longer than it has had to, especially once something better came along.
I 100% agree with this and I'd like to add that some of the most iconic photographers of all time are not 'just' (sic) iconic because of their talent, but also because they embraced the new tech of their era and used it too great effect
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Old 06-16-2017   #45
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Your comments seem passive aggressively critical of new technology.
Hardly. I only brought up Penn (I could have included Avedon, Halsman, and others) because you said "backstage/fashion show coverage kind of sucked in the film era." I shoot both film and digital, and do a fair amount of hybrid work in alternative processes, so I take advantage of both new and old technologies. I'm critical of a spray and pray approach and, when you don't get the shot, complaining the camera isn't fast enough. But if you think you need those capabilities for runway/backstage, there's the new Sony A9 which is about the same size as the Fuji, so you can still ditch your Canons. Beware though, the best shot is often the one between the frames, and the only way to get it is through skill and practice.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #46
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Hardly. I only brought up Penn (I could have included Avedon, Halsman, and others) because you said "backstage/fashion show coverage kind of sucked in the film era."
I stand by this statement. Especially the part where I qualified the above statement further by saying: "especially from a production standpoint." This was meant as a crittique of the deficiencies of film in the digital production era of print, and not necessarily a blanket statement, but whatever. When the greats were in their prime, for every Avedon and whomever else was out there, there were 1000s of less-talented photographers who produced, on average, much crappier results than the masters did backstage. And every master you've cited would likely have had a higher percentage of keepers with better technology. And might I add that back in the day where Avedon or Penn had a small entourage of assistants and lab technicians doing their film changes, processing, and other photographic mise en place for them...nowadays modern staff photographers have just themselves and a laptop to do the same job in 1/10 the time. If they're lucky and their publisher bought them a laptop that is, LOL.

Bottom line, yes there were people who used the tech of their era to great effect and produced images that are kick ass. But also, I believe that if you pay attention to the average quality of the work being produced back then, it is also lower than the average quality of work being produced today.

Most (if not all) of us are NOT the next Penn or Avedon or Leibowitz, etc. In fact most of the working photographers in media never, ever got the vaunted status that a few achieved. I’ll be the first to admit that I suck compared to anyone on your list, but hey I got over it a long time ago and now I use every tool I can as an advantage, because I need all the help I can get. And for all of us unfamous slobs, having better technology has allowed us to do more than we would have otherwise. And media consumers have, as a whole, benefitted from a lot better coverage on average. Unless you're going to tell me that the few great names you're dropping took ALL the backstage photos in the world back then.

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Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
I'm critical of a spray and pray approach and, when you don't get the shot, complaining the camera isn't fast enough. But if you think you need those capabilities for runway/backstage, there's the new Sony A9 which is about the same size as the Fuji, so you can still ditch your Canons. Beware though, the best shot is often the one between the frames, and the only way to get it is through skill and practice.
Oh gosh thanks a bunch, Obi-wan. I'm so glad you graced us with your constructive opinions and saw fit to write off the abilities of anyone using continuous AF and a framerate that goes over 3 FPS because you do not approve of it. I also apologize for not being as skilled as your heroes, and for using technology to produce the results I need to earn a paycheck. But. While I compared a few cameras in my review, I did not blame anything for any missed shots, I simply stated which cameras I felt were up to the task and which cameras were not.

And if your so-called "best shot" is in between frames, how do you capture it? That's like saying the best part of a song is the second of silence in between tracks. It sounds like ridiculous, pretentious drivel. When you take photos for a living, you learn that the best shot is the one you ACTUALLY HAVE IN HAND. Full stop. Nobody (well no editor at least) cares how you shot it as long as you didn’t steal it. I should use that best shot argument on one of my art directors next time they're upset I missed a look on the runway...I'm sure once I bring up Avedon and Penn they'll totally understand.

Look, I get what you're saying about the importance of "art" and composition, and deliberation. I like that stuff too. That's why I shoot film myself, and why my favorite digital camera ever is the M9. But if like me, you're just a working stiff with a camera, a 9-5, and an art department you have to keep happy, you use what you have and appreciate that tools like continuous focus and ultra high framerates are a thing now and you're glad your work day just got a little less stressful. And you welcome better, newer technology because it lets you focus less on what you are doing, and more on what you are capturing.

Because when I am on the job, it's not about my ego or my photographic sensibilities (which, like yours, f*cking LOVES the photographers we've mentioned in our exchange). If I wanted to work by such lofty creative standards I would have kept photography as a hobby, not taken it on as a career. I think that the loss of "art" in publishing is a bummer too, but since it's beyond my power to change the entire publishing industry, I live with it and try to be grateful to have the experiences and opportunities that I do.

I'm sorry you do not like faster cameras and high framerates but please do not make the mistake of assuming that anybody who does must somehow not be able to find your mysterious missing frame or have artistic vision...or that their concept of photography is inferior because they don't idolize a bunch of extremely talented photographers from the last century and frown upon modern equipment. That way lies a slippery slope which will find you using a tintype camera with an ISO of 12 because all that newfangled 35mm business gives you triple digit ISOs and 36 whole frames in between film changes…that’s just spray and pray yo. LOL.

I posted this review in the hopes that someone with similar working requirements might find my experiences helpful, not to debate over the merits of the technology itself. I’ve enjoyed this debate (well ok not really), but will not engage any longer as it’s clear we’re not talking about the same thing here.

Enjoy your hobby, and I will enjoy mine as well.
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