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Old 02-06-2013   #41
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I am in the middle (buried) of processing thousands of images my wife and I took during out trip to Myanmar the first two weeks of this year.

We shot with to manny camera's:
  • 2 x iPhone 5
  • 2 x Holga
  • 1 X Yashica 128G
  • 1 X Holganon 612 (Holga 120 Pan modified with a Angulon lens)

Scanning the 55 rolls of MF film my old statement is once again confirmed. "Expensive camera's are way overrated..."
Yes the X100 and 128G take technically perfect images. But the humble Holga shots have a character that makes them stand out. Both Holga's have different flaws and its up to the photographer how to take advantage of that..
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Old 02-06-2013   #42
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To me, what this all comes down to is another flavor of the 'film vs digital' silliness.

I don't let what other people do affect me. I enjoy photography, and don't care whether good photography is done well with a digital camera or with a film camera. I appreciate the differences when the results are successful, don't account as one is better than the other, and ignore the crud that I think is just bad photography in either.

I also like nice old film cameras and have developed a similar affection for some of the more interesting digital cameras I've owned and used. I'd chuck a half a dozen of the supposedly glorious old film cameras I've owned and used in favor of the Olympus E-1, for instance. It's just a brilliant camera.

So don't let dyspepsia get you down, look at other folks' work for what they have done to inspire you—ignore it otherwise, and use whatever equipment makes you happy.

G
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Old 02-06-2013   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Patterson View Post
Exactly! Most of the places I go disappoint me, as I have seen photos taken there before I was born, and when I get there
It is all a tourist trap. Maybe I need a Tardis instead of a new camera...
I dunno. I love to travel. But what I love about traveling is meeting people, visiting with people whom I've met before, and looking deep, not surface.

I go to the Isle of Man every year I can. I have been there twelve times, for periods up to three weeks. It's an island 40 miles long and 10 miles wide. There is a lot of history there, but mostly it's a perfectly modern, small, semi rural for the most part little place.

I think I've seen about 20% of it now. I'll be there again in a few weeks, for a couple of weeks, and I'll be happy to see another 2%.


In Ramsey - Isle of Man 2011
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There are an infinity of things to see in the world, subjects to photograph, ways to photograph them. Adjust your expectations and enjoy the world as it is, not as you would want it to be.

G
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Old 02-06-2013   #44
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Well, you're right, Roger. Even Ansel Adams' work, love him or hate him, can't be duplicated today because of air quality issues. I can't tell you how many times over the years in the '80s and '90s I tried to get a shot of Half Dome... and got haze instead. The world has changed, and although we may be more physically comfortable in many ways (at least in the industrialized nations) I'm not sure all of those changes have been for the better.

On Edit... one more thought... I had the opportunity to visit the east coast of Australia in 2006. I expected... well... to see things Australian. And I did, in fact, get to see a few things that were natively Australian, but Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast are, for all intents and purposes carbon copies of southern California from Morro Bay south to the border. Burger King, MacDonald's, and the Hard Rock Cafe were everywhere. Culture, at least in the English speaking world has become very homogenous.
Wenn ich Kultur höre...entsichere ich meinen Browning!

Translation: When I hear [the word] 'Culture' I release the safety catch on my Browning [pistol]

One reason I like living in (continental, non-Anglophone) Europe.

Cheers,

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Old 02-06-2013   #45
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One of his friends suggested that he try digital, which at first he resisted. However, he did try a medium format 645 back and was quite impressed by the quality. Since the medium format back setup was a bit large, he eventually settled on the Canon full frame (1Ds-something?). However, he still uses it like in the film days: his assistant makes contact sheets for him, and his camera is modified to give the same 645 ratio he is used to. He also has the images processed to look like Tri-X. For prints, a lab converts the data into a 645 negative and prints using traditional darkroom process!
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Old 02-06-2013   #46
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Originally Posted by CK Dexter Haven View Post

Then, something odd happened. Digital photography took over. It became easier for amateurs to get great results. It made it easier to eliminate technical issues in lighting and composition (just reshoot, on the spot), processing and printing (WYSIWYG, on the spot). It democratized the process. There were MORE images to see. All technically 'perfect.'

But, isn't anyone else regretting the 'compromise?' Convenience in lieu of that 2%? The MAGIC 2%?
I feel the same way, since digital took over the amount of technical perfect pictures increased significantly but nuances due to the process involved in film-based photography vanished. Same lens, same sensor, same processing algorithm and often enough same subject and treatment created a huge pool of more or less identical looking and technical perfect pictures.

Therefore, I don`t believe in the often stated "Only the final image is important, the recording media doesn`t matter". For me, the recording media is the key to the final image.
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Old 02-06-2013   #47
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The OP is responding (I think) to the tension between those who see no significance in process and medium, and care only about the "final product", and those who know that the process is an integral part of what is created. The process is where the "magic" lies.

This is a debate that appears on RFF in various guises, usually film vs digital, but also "real human relationship" vs social media. I think it is a central issue of our time, and I appreciate the OPs thoughtful take on this .

Randy
+3 or 4

I love film photography because the process is rational and ritualistic. For me, I simply don't connect with the digital photographic process, convenient though it is, it is not satisfying. For me, I don't value computer post processing skills as much as traditional darkroom skills. The film photography process makes the final image more meaningful to me.

This is all about me. I don't care/mind if others feel as strongly pro digital. Good for them, good for me, good for us all.
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Old 02-06-2013   #48
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Originally Posted by FrankS View Post
+3 or 4

I love film photography because the process is rational and ritualistic. For me, I simply don't connect with the digital photographic process, convenient though it is, it is not satisfying. For me, I don't value computer post processing skills as much as traditional darkroom skills. The film photography process makes the final image more meaningful to me.

This is all about me. I don't care/mind if others feel as strongly pro digital. Good for them, good for me, good for us all.
Pretty much, and I still use digital for a good amount of my work, do great things with it. I think there is far too much inquiry placed on the person who prefers film like "you need to give digital more time, you hate digital, you are not good at it, you think film is better when it is not, you are anti-digital, blah, blah, blah".....insecure much?

When it just comes right down to how do you want to spend your time, what do you value in life and most of all....where is your heart at?

It's real simple, my heart is in film and darkroom work, so the resulting photos will show that.
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Old 02-06-2013   #49
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Originally Posted by KM-25 View Post
Pretty much, and I still use digital for a good amount of my work, do great things with it. I think there is far too much inquiry placed on the person who prefers film like "you need to give digital more time, you hate digital, you are not good at it, you think film is better when it is not, you are anti-digital, blah, blah, blah".....insecure much?

When it just comes right down to how do YOU want to spend your time, what do you value in life and most of all....where is your heart at?

It's real simple, my heart is in film and darkroom work, so the resulting photos will show that.
I guess I walk on both sides of this fence. I get to enjoy the greener grass no matter where I put my feet.

I developed many many techniques for processing and producing great negatives ages ago. They all still work. Never had a decent enough home darkroom to really achieve what I wanted in prints ... the equipment makes a huge difference there, which I found out when I worked for a photofinisher/custom lab. Never had the budget, the time, or the space to do that to my satisfaction.

I applied those skills to creating development processes that allowed me to make the best negatives for scanning when scanning became feasible, and I developed image processing routines to render what I wanted from the scans. I enjoyed that immensely.

When decent digital capture became available, I threw my head into it and found that much of what I learned about exposure analysis for film worked just beautifully ... all I needed to do what understand the capture characteristics of the new medium and apply the same principles. Learning the image processing for raw image data and color management made perfectly logical sense to my techie geek mathematician head, much more so than manipulating PV/NT chemical equations. I was never a chemist. ;-)

When decent printers for home use surfaced about 7 years ago, I bought one and learned how to make top notch prints with inkjet. It's all been upside since then as papers and inks have gotten better and better.

Today I shoot with film and digital cameras. I process and scan the film, I render the scans and the raw files, and I print them. It's all wonderful process, and the equipment to produce superb results on the processing side costs a trifle compared to what the professional darkroom that I needed in the '80s and '90s would have. The cameras cost more or less the same at the level I'm using. And it all even fits in the small office I've got at home...

It's all good. Do what makes you happy, and what produces good photographs.

G
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Old 02-06-2013   #50
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If you have bad light, you should see it before film is wasted. Bad expressions, same.
Bad compositions, same. You should learn to meter.

Now the only immediate advantage digital has is the exposure can be confirmed on the spot. The high MP digital cams, Leica M9, M, Nikon D800, D4 will put a film image to shame if both are executed properly.
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Old 02-06-2013   #51
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Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
I dunno. I love to travel. But what I love about traveling is meeting people, visiting with people whom I've met before, and looking deep, not surface.

I go to the Isle of Man every year I can. I have been there twelve times, for periods up to three weeks. It's an island 40 miles long and 10 miles wide. There is a lot of history there, but mostly it's a perfectly modern, small, semi rural for the most part little place.

I think I've seen about 20% of it now. I'll be there again in a few weeks, for a couple of weeks, and I'll be happy to see another 2%.


In Ramsey - Isle of Man 2011
Ricoh GXR + Skink pinhole

There are an infinity of things to see in the world, subjects to photograph, ways to photograph them. Adjust your expectations and enjoy the world as it is, not as you would want it to be.

G
I was thinking of Sedona Arizona. WAY too commercial. A few miles down the road is Gerome. Much more interesting....

I guess once the rich "find" a place it just ends up turning me off.
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Old 02-06-2013   #52
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The film gets loaded into a film camera.
The film camera is a machine a proper machine. With gears and sprockets and levers, dragging the film from one spool to the next. And your brain sings with joy at the atavistic level, not unlike threading a piece of tall grass down an ant hole for some of us, a simple machine. None of that is found in the digital camera. No atavistic yummy spot activation.....nothing.
...and other's, much further up on the evolutionary scale are perfectly happy using both or just digital. Crazy ...right?
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Old 02-06-2013   #53
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Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
To me, what this all comes down to is another flavor of the 'film vs digital' silliness.
G
There's no silliness.
They are so different in almost every aspect.
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Old 02-06-2013   #54
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Yes, I too notice the differences, and it's the reason I went back to shooting film exclusively a few years ago. It was the best thing I have ever done with regards to my photography. I don't try to over-analyse it, but I know I am much happier now.
^Bingo! Well said!
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Old 02-06-2013   #55
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I'm about ten years older than you. My photographic career has been a very different journey from yours, but I find myself bored to tears with the majority of photography being produced today. I've thought about that a lot, and I'm convinced that the medium is irrelevent... digital or film... what's changed is the overwhelming amount of it; most of it poorly done. The "problem" with digital in general isn't that it's not "film" but that it's available to everyone, everywhere who then feels the need to publish every result every time they push the shutter release, or whatever serves as a shutter release. And then there's some blog or social media site that puts it out there. Very little is original any more. We're overwhelmed and overloaded with images... some of them even very good images, but because we're SO bombarded every day, it's tough to find the joy in them.

In the "old days" we waited breathlessly for Nat Geo, or Vogue, or Life, or Look and saw images of things we knew we'd likely never see in person. Big images. Some color, some B&W. They expanded our world. They inflamed our imagination. They somehow made the world seem challenging and somewhere we wanted to explore. We knew that those images were just the tip of the iceberg about what was really out there and we wanted to grab those experiences for ourselves.

For those of us in the U.S. mid-west, New York and L.A. seemed so cosmopolitan, and so exotic and romantic... London, Paris, Bombay, Cape Town... may have all been on Mars, but we got to see all those places through the lenses of the magazine photographers. And the images were stunning... or gritty... or whatever emotion they evoked... but evocotive they were! They all spoke of lives we could aspire to live... someday.

Today, we're bombarded with images. iPhone images... p&s images... poorly done images... if you want to see something, you just type the place into Google, and there are more images than you can stand to look at in one sitting. And most of them are, frankly, not worth looking at. We're overloaded... bombarded... tired of seeing them.

The old images still talk to us as they still spark those dreams. If they'd been digital they'd still have done that because they were new and fresh, and the world was challenging and exciting. That, is what I believe the problem to be. There are still amazing images out there. There are unexplored places. There are images yet to be made, but how to differentiate those images from from noise is what has become the problem. Places and fashion and art are all mundane because we're inundated with them. That makes images of places and fashion and art mundane because little is new and fresh any more.

Sometimes it's good to take a break for a while. Take the opportunity unload some of the noise... re-evaluate what you want to see, and then really begin looking again with fresh eyes.
I feel exactly the same way. The power (well, one of them) of a photograph is showing things that we otherwise couldn't see, both places and people, even when they have ceased to be.

I recently had a discussion about why we liked the recent James Bond films far less than the old ones (though I think Skyfall was a good action movie), and my conclusion was that James Bond would introduce us to all these exotic places. These days it's not only far easier to go anywhere on vacation yourself, you don't even need to if you just want to see the places, just go on internet.

I am lucky (I think, not all agree) to be living far away from my home country, so I can show my friends,family, and even strangers in the Netherlands pictures from Japan. They have all seen temples and mount Fuji, but the little details in everyday live, funny advertising posters, people sleeping in the train, funky dressed Japanese kids, these are things that are often still exotic and interesting to them. They don't really care if it's film or digital, but I like to do both. They are both real images I feel. So it's more the place or subject, but it needs me to take it, and I need technology to shoot. So to answer the OP's title: Yes!

One thing I sometimes think about is how we will look back in hundreds of years towards photography. Or over a thousand years! Will film still play a significant part in photo history, when over 90% of it has become digital? Will it just be a short technical page in the first chapter? Or will we have moved beyond digital, and film AND digital will just be 2 small eras each getting their own chapter, with many other chapters going to newer eras and techniques. I guess we'll never know! Anyway, food for a whole different discussion altogether!
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Old 02-06-2013   #56
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oh, why did i read this thread.
I had just made my mind up on a micro 4/3 purchase
More procrastination now ....doh.
I gotta stop reading stuff on the web.
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Old 02-06-2013   #57
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Originally Posted by CK Dexter Haven View Post
Sorry to have written so much in order to ask this [simplified] question:

Is it just me, or does anyone else acknowledge/notice/care about the subjective, qualitative differences?

I realize I can continue to shoot film. I'm asking about others' appreciation for the photography as you practice it, and with you as the audience. No change? What you see from others still motivates and inspires you as much as it used to?
I look through flickr groups. Today it's what the amateurs are doing that I find inspiring. I could care less about the pros. I can't even name one contemporary "pro" photographer, but I know dozens of names of dead ones.

I go through a group like the I Shoot Film group, and everyday I can find at least one photo that I really enjoy. It's stuff that wouldn't have been printed and distributed years ago. There's no reason to admire the big guys anymore, because you can find work from fantastic photographers now - who aren't in magazines and books. Sure that also means there is a LOT more boring photographs to sift through, but wow I like finding new photographers and new photographs.
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Old 02-06-2013   #58
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I look through flickr groups. Today it's what the amateurs are doing that I find inspiring. I could care less about the pros. I can't even name one contemporary "pro" photographer, but I know dozens of names of dead ones.

I go through a group like the I Shoot Film group, and everyday I can find at least one photo that I really enjoy. It's stuff that wouldn't have been printed and distributed years ago. There's no reason to admire the big guys anymore, because you can find work from fantastic photographers now - who aren't in magazines and books. Sure that also means there is a LOT more boring photographs to sift through, but wow I like finding new photographers and new photographs.
Yeah, go ahead, bash pros buddy....LOL!

Just because we don't spill our guts out on Flickr like you and your Heroes do does not mean we are not breaking new ground. Go attend Perpignan or Look3 and see great work from both pros and amateurs that you have never seen before, because not everyone posts on the web to join the giant circle on sites like Flickr, especially those who still make a great living at your hobby.

I can not afford to have cutting edge work on the Internet anymore, it's a damn free-for-all and I do really well with promotion that is off the radar.

But yeah, keep drinking coolaid as Google hot links directly to your biggest Flickr-tastic files with no attribution. Sort of sorry to be so rude but consider it a return serve in a game of BS...
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Old 02-06-2013   #59
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Yeah, go ahead, bash pros buddy, just because we don't spill our guts out on Flickr like you and your Heros do does not mean we are not breaking new ground.

I can not afford to have cutting edge work on the Internet anymore, it's a damn free-for-all. But yeah, keep drinking coolaid...
That's a bit beside the point since we're talking about inspiration. For better or for worse even the best photographer has nothing on say - a rainy day, or a good sunrise when it comes to inspiration. Feel free to yell at the clouds though for showing off for free.

Just because you're not making $$$ off of it, doesn't make it any less inspiring for me.
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Old 02-06-2013   #60
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Exclamation

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Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
That's a bit beside the point since we're talking about inspiration. For better or for worse even the best photographer has nothing on say - a rainy day, or a good sunrise when it comes to inspiration. Feel free to yell at the clouds though for showing off for free.

Just because you're not making $$$ off of it, doesn't make it any less inspiring for me.
That's common sense sir, but why bash pros twice in the last post? Ever since digital and the Internet, some really nasty attitudes and misconceptions have come about as far as amateur camera owners towards professional photographers. I just see more and more of it and its all BS, if you want to lock your self in a room called Flickr and say that is all the inspiration that anyone has....well that is where the BS comes in on your part.

And do you know what inspires me? Life in person, not on the Internet. Light, cold, heat, water, ice, sand, emotions, convergence, joy, fear....all full time too in Sam Abell's citing of the "Photographic Life".

But not wasting hours on end looking at pretty pictures on a computer screen using Flickr when I can be lugging my 4x5 up to 12,000+ feet tomorow after the fresh snowstorm we just had tonight...
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Old 02-06-2013   #61
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None of us can. The stuff gets ripped off quickly and then PSed and credited to some web troll. The web has become a waste land for photography.

Private sites or CDs in the mail..
pkr
Yeah, I know...I got suckered into another one of these damn threads, signing off. I am going to be launching a small site this year, all tear sheets, they tend to not get lifted and pretty much drive the point home.

Adios folks!
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Old 02-06-2013   #62
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And do you know what inspires me? Life in person, not on the Internet. Light, cold, heat, water, ice, sand, emotions, convergence, joy, fear....all full time too in Sam Abell's citing of the "Photographic Life".

But not wasting hours on end looking at pretty pictures on a computer screen using Flickr when I can be lugging my 4x5 up to 12,000+ feet tomorow after the fresh snowstorm we just had tonight...
Well the question I was responding to was asking if the work of others still inspired me. I answered honestly. It does. I can find a lot of work from a lot of people who aren't in books or magazines, and I find it inspirational. I'm sorry you don't appreciate that.

I worked for a bit over five years as a "professional" comic artist. Meaning I was contractually obliged to deliver and got paid for it, so I guess that makes me a professional artist of sorts. I know what it is like to work in an industry where publishers are used to amateurs giving them stuff for free or next to free. But the comic industry is astonishingly insular and reserved, so the amateurs were (and probably still are) about two or three years ahead of the pros. On everything. Style, form, story content, process, etc. Change usually started at the bottom with enthusiasts and amateurs and fought its way into the industry, not the other way around despite what some people liked to tell themselves. It's not that pro artists didn't see these things happening, but that editors for the most part will tell you that this progress is just a fad, or that readers don't actually like it, etc. etc.

I know of at least two people who were rejected by publishers on account of their "style" - essentially they were ahead of the curve at that time. Now both of them are working professionally a couple years later. The point being that because they could get their work online, and didn't have to suffer at the whims of publishers - they were still able to make some money off of their talents and drive. That's great. One of them even got a deal with a German publisher because of it - never would have happened without the internet. Never.

I don't discount amateurs or the internet, even if I don't always like the headaches they give professionals.

I could go on, but it's beside the point anyway really...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KM-25 View Post
...Ever since digital and the Internet, some really nasty attitudes and misconceptions have come about as far as amateur camera owners towards professional photographers. I just see more and more of it and its all BS, if you want to lock your self in a room called Flickr and say that is all the inspiration that anyone has....well that is where the BS comes in on your part.
Well you're giving out a pretty hefty helping of BS by saying that I said things which I didn't say, after trying to put my words into a context that they were not in when I wrote them. I never said flickr was the end all be all for inspiration despite your claim here. That would be a moronic thing to claim. Beyond that what I did actually say was a response to these questions: I realize I can continue to shoot film. I'm asking about others' appreciation for the photography as you practice it, and with you as the audience. No change? What you see from others still motivates and inspires you as much as it used to?

Yes. What I see from others still inspires me. Yes I see a lot of work from others on flickr. Am I saying all of my inspiration comes from flickr? No. Don't shove words in my mouth and twist my point around so you can make a straw man attack on it. I'm happy to have a site like flickr where I can find work by those who aren't published in books or magazines, or don't have the means or interest to put on shows regularly.
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Old 02-06-2013   #63
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Yeah, I hear ya...I just do much better in life if I avoid the Internet. I'll save everyone the time of reading my posts and keep away from here, it's really for the best...
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Old 02-07-2013   #64
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Roll over Beethoven...
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Old 02-07-2013   #65
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It looks, like you are worrying too much about the technology.
Personally, I dislike digital for various reasons, above all the ugly rendering in B&W, Then, I'm not a big fan of colour photography in general, thus digital, with its almost single purpose of generating lifelike colour shots, leaves me cold.
Moreover, I am also quite tired of looking at endless photo crap, which tends to be all digital ( but not only).
BUT, generalisations can cover up interesting facts:
1) Good photographers are still good, even if they use digital
2) Some digital cameras produce results that are getting VERY close to film (look up some Leica S2 B&W)
3) The fact of having such an enormous choice of techniques and cameras nowadays is actually a big bonus in my book, the only thing we could complain about is shortage of good quality scanners which do not require a mortgage.
4) This gives you the unique opportunity to be YOURSELF, i.e. to chose the camera type and technique that you care for, without minding what everybody else regards as mainstream, and to FOCUS ON YOUR EXPRESSION.

Get positive, try this and that, and then persevere in what you really like.
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Old 02-07-2013   #66
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Hi,

If I look at my serious work, which doesn't get on the www then I can't tell the difference between film and digital.

The difference to me is that I'd have nothing to do with it after taking the film out of the camera in the good old days but nowadays I have to do all the work, maintain and feed the printer expensive inks and so on.

The people who did all the work in the days of film were experts. I'd tell them what I wanted and they'd do it, for a price. I would, now and then, ask them to deal with snapshots from P&S's and they'd amaze me with the quality they could screw out of a negative. Even my son's Cosmic Symbol got this treatment once or twice and gave me a healthy respect for the thing.

Secondly, I wonder how many of us are talking/typing about prints in this thread. If we are comparing a magazine picture with a digital image on a monitor then they are chalk and cheese but not because of the camera and medium but because of how we view it.

And the selection process, starting with the editor deciding on the camera operator and so on right through to the printers deciding on the inks to use in the print run, is so completely different someone downloading a digital picture into a computer at home and looking at it on the (far from) calibrated laptop's screen.

Give your digital to as many experts as the magazine print had and you'd be surprised at the outcome, imo.

It's like the difference between my raw typing now and what got printed after the proof readers and editors had had a go at it.

Just my 2d worth.

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Old 02-07-2013   #67
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If you have bad light, you should see it before film is wasted. Bad expressions, same.
Bad compositions, same. You should learn to meter.

Now the only immediate advantage digital has is the exposure can be confirmed on the spot. The high MP digital cams, Leica M9, M, Nikon D800, D4 will put a film image to shame if both are executed properly.
I think this illustrates quite well the divergence of views on the topic, and perhaps that we don't even understand the views of each other.

For me, to say "high MP digital cams put a film image to shame" misses what I thought the thread was about. Sure, a high end digital will show better resolution than 99% of 35mm images, and worse resolution than 99% of medium format or large format images. But is that what we're worried about? Certainly I'm not, for me, going to digital is nothing to do with the technical image quality, which may be better or may be worse, depending on what you buy.

For me, it's more about something slightly undefinable, is it nostalgia, a desire to not "follow", a love of old cameras, an "authenticity" (whatever that is)?

The fact is, I don't know, and I doubt anybody else does either, but I will say with a level of certainty that it's nothing to do with digital putting film to shame or vice versa.

My own feelings are that it's not digital vs. film, it's that my interest is with film, and not with digital. Like I enjoy watching snooker, but not 8 ball pool.
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Old 02-07-2013   #68
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Nice. My wife said this morning, "All the places I still want to go, and haven't seen, I want to visit 50 to 200 years ago." The places we dream of -- the South Seas, Egypt, wherever -- are the images that were constructed before we ever read or saw them, and they no longer exist. Do we actually want modern Lhasa, Tahiti, even Delhi (which I first saw 30+ years ago)?

Cheers,

R.
This is so very true. Currently I'm working my way through the Aubrey-Maturin series of books. The world they describe is just not there any more, and has been gone for some time. Of course, the unpleasantness of it is gone to a degree too, but at least we can still go to see the ships, the buildings, and read about the history.
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Old 02-07-2013   #69
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fact, for me, is, that I do not know why I enjoy film photography and the results I get with film more than digital.

but I do not care
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Old 02-07-2013   #70
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what a stunning article!
i am totally dedicated to Photography. It's a must, a calling, a need, compulsion, almost a religion..
Digital as i use it has some very good features, in fact blessings.Some photography, done my way, with P/S Digitals allow me almost infinite depth of field.For social photography, everybody at a table is in focus.Well sharp anyway for a print. Yes! I make or have prints done. I have no faith in long term archival of the computer. Already cards have error, CD's are blank or missing data..read images..The only negatives that ever faded of mine, done by "pro-labs". My 1st negatives shot and processed in the kitchen are perfect. The year was 1960.
Today, images do indeed look all the same.
Digital cameras have no "soul". You use them, they break, tossed out.
Marketing has pushed us to "newer,better more features". We are drowning in technology.The whole digital craft is so bland, industrial and same!
I feel what is missing is "magic". Yes developing a film, in a small tank, each of us with own ideas of time/temperature/dilutions,chemicals choice/agitation/water availability/ all add to MORE than sum of parts.
Using cranky difficult to master cameras like a Deardorf, Hasselblad or Leica made us so aware of what we were doing. If anybody here thinks mentioning those 2 film cameras with a view one is wrong, suggest using them.. Loading a Hasselblad, makes one seek assistants, who load "them" for you! Leica's are pernickety, mean, vengeful and able to bond with your hand, fingers, body and mind. The Digital version is hygienic, clean and dead. No soul. The new shutter, the lousier viewfinders(i Have a M3.) Each "new" Leica boasts more features, more technology and poorer quality, lousier viewfinders and framing. Framing? Has the factory actually tied out the accuracy? Not close, not maybe.. That lack of decent framing, had me running to my Nikon-F,F2,F3 for seeing what i get.
Photo paper a mere ghost of the past. Yes digital paper has more surfaces than people alive, but it ALL looks same. Better poor than none.
Am i Luddite? Yes.
The other night scanning some negatives, i thought about
:CRAFTSMANSHIP:
It almost no longer exists.
i looked at my scans, "craftsmanship" and went to bed laughing..
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Old 02-07-2013   #71
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The OP is responding (I think) to the tension between those who see no significance in process and medium, and care only about the "final product", and those who know that the process is an integral part of what is created. The process is where the "magic" lies.

This is a debate that appears on RFF in various guises, usually film vs digital, but also "real human relationship" vs social media. I think it is a central issue of our time, and I appreciate the OPs thoughtful take on this .

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You nailed it. Excellent post!
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Old 02-07-2013   #72
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Agree completely with the OP.

Something else: in my own experience, the more commitment and dedication that is demanded by a particular process, the greater the achievment will be in the end result.

That is to say, outcome is correlated with effort.

Now, by "commitment" I do not mean "spending more money on gear"! Rather this: investing time, patience, study, research, learning, testing, thought, work, hardship, discomfort, "playing", forever exploring, pushing boundaries, and practice practice practice.

By its very nature, the mastery of film processes demands a commitment of its practitioners. Film based photography is "harder" than pushing the button of a digigizmo: slower, more time-consuming, more tedious, prone to error and accident. Yet it is precisely the challenges of film that makes the successes with it all the more satisying and joyful.

And incorporated within the aesthetic of film, all the efforts -- the choices and mastery -- of the photographer can be seen and appreciated.

Now here I will say that, in my own eye, the "best" and most pleasing photographic images are not even made with film at all. For sheer delightful photographic beauty, nothing compares to glass plate!
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Old 02-07-2013   #73
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I am probably about your age, midwestern, @ 18 I took a Greyhound bus to NYC, listened to John Coltrane, had a coffee with Allen Ginsberg at White Castle, rode the subway with St. Louis school milk tokens, and ate Howard Johnson fried clam strips on the Pennsylvania turnpike.

Last month I was mesmerized for hours by Christian Marclay's "The Clock," and rode my bicycle over the Manhattan bridge early in the morning, watching the sunrise.

There is more than enough good stuff to last 1000 lifetimes.
You are absolutely correct in that there is still more than enough good stuff to see... and photograph. I think it's just different stuff in a different era than it was in the grand days of Coltrane, Ginsberg and Howard Johnson. People today, in general, seem more harsh and distant and are less trusting. It seems we're all busier doing 'stuff' without really accomplishing much. Mass entertainment seems to be about being destructive and watching other people's misery rather than enjoying other people and being creative. We don't know our neighbors any more. The world's heroes used to have real lives, and were approachable; now they live in gilded cages.

Don't misunderstand; I'm not glamorizing the cold-war era. The global threats were great. There were real hardships for many around the world. Hatred and fear were pervasive... but for many, on a personal level, those threats seemed distant and not so immediate as they feel today. The post-war years were also a time of building, moving forward, and of hope. The photographers of those years inspired people to dream... inspired kids to hop on a Grayhound and go to NYC to seek their fortunes and to be able to listen to John Coltrane live or drink coffee with Allen Ginsberg.

Our world today is a very different place than that world that we saw in the great photo magazines of the 1960s. I think I mourn the passing of the Jazz Age...

Sometimes I wonder if that isn't part of the film-digital divide; if folks who use film are holding on to it because they're preserving some of that Jazz Age feel.
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Old 02-07-2013   #74
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Well, that's an interesting way to phrase the question. Because i began in the Film Era, i began as a fan of photography in general. But, now that there are two media, there is now an issue of 'which type' you're a fan of.
I began in the film era too. Most of the photography I look at is film because most of photography's history was on film. However, there just aren't enough differences between film and digital photography for me to make a distinction. It's all just photography. Content and framing matter more to me than some grain and a little more tonal range.
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Old 02-07-2013   #75
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There's no silliness.
They are so different in almost every aspect.
Please explain.
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Old 02-07-2013   #76
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I began in the film era too. Most of the photography I look at is film because most of photography's history was on film. However, there just aren't enough differences between film and digital photography for me to make a distinction. It's all just photography. Content and framing matter more to me than some grain and a little more tonal range.
...and tonality and curve shape. Yes, a great digi shot will beat a bad film shot every time. But depending on the subject matter and the photographer's intentions and mastery of the medium it is also possible that film will wipe the floor with digi, or (rather more rarely) vice versa.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 02-07-2013   #77
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But depending on the subject matter and the photographer's intentions and mastery of the medium it is also possible that film will wipe the floor with digi, or (rather more rarely) vice versa.
Of course. I guess my personal feeling is that there is a lot more similarities between the two than differences.
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Old 02-07-2013   #78
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I've got to agree with Roger here. If the OP were done with photography would have taken the time and care to draft such an impassioned statement? I think not. I hear yearning in this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Hmmmmm... Okay. Yes. You're right. If you don't want to do it, and your income doesn't depend on it, why bother?

On the other hand, I'm not sure that I can imagine such a minimal interest in photography. As you say, "That's my opinion and may not work for others."

Cheers,

R.
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Old 02-07-2013   #79
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I had never heard of Thomas Hawk, just looked at his portfolio now. I must say I find a lot of the photos quite striking and I'd be happy to have taken a lot of them. I don't really have an opinion one way or another on whether his "million photos" plan is a good one or not. What I will say is this: If a regular on this forum posted the same portfolio as his own work, most people here would be oooh-ing and aahhh-ing over how great it was, even more so if he'd traded his Canon EOS 5 for an M9 + Noctilux. It's easy just to presume he's sh*t just because he's all over Flickr, but the work itself is still worth a look.
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Old 02-07-2013   #80
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There is no one right way to work with photography thankfully.
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