Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
plasticman

Photography dies?

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Well, before I begin my vacation I thought I'd light the fuse...

 

http://www.imx.nl/photosite/comments/c039.html

 

(I have a feeling this must have been discussed here before, but I can't see a reference to it, so here goes!)

 

Twaddle on the same scale as the prediction in the 19th century that art (ie painting) was dead because photography had been invented...

 

Photography didn't die when people stated using dry plates instead of collodian wet plates...

It didn't die when people started using 'miniature' cameras and roll film instead of dry plates...

It didn't die when colour film became more popular than monochrome...

 

It won't die now just because the film has been replaced by pixels...

 

Anyone who argues otherwise is just posturing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me I could care less if you used a camera phone, pin hole camera, grabbed a still from a video stream or made a contact print from a 20x24 banquet camera negative on to paper you coated yourself . If you created something worth looking at it really doesn't matter how you got there and it all falls under the umbrella of photography. Whether the photographer is a master printer, photoshop artist or leaves it to someone else matters little as well.

 

I think you mean that you *couldn't* care less. <G> People often say one when they mean the other. And, I couldn't care less either unless the photograph has some sort of forensic or related purpose.

 

It's become clear over the past couple of years that I Erwin and I see this medium, lenses, cameras, art, etc. very differently. Various other comments I make here would be better held in mouth with tongue firmly bit.

 

This is an exciting time for photography, which is vibrantly alive. Moreover, I'm seeing some contemporary work that is outstanding even if it isn't yet widely exhibited.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just my two scents (sniff):

 

Solarization is dead;

Collage is dead:

Wet Codillion is dead

Oleobroms are dead;

Chrysotypes are dead;

Anthotypes are dead;

My spell-check function may be dead;

Declarations about death should be dead . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, Erwin should stick to lenses.

 

Some may take exception to this (politely please) but I think he misses the boat on lenses sometimes, despite what seem to be very technical and knowledgeable discussions of them. I never would have suspected that until I started testing lenses myself. At very least, he and I are sometimes seeing different things when we test lenses. I'd like to see a lot more illustrations from him to back up some of the claims that he makes and conclusions he draws. Not graphs and charts, side-by-side comparison *pictures*.

 

If we were to present the content of this forum primarily in graphs and charts, rather than typed prose, would we really understand each other? The medium is the medium is the medium.

 

That said, I think he's right in some things he writes about lenses, or at least they match what I've seen as well.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<quote>The essence of film-based photography is not only the fact that the mechanism of capturing an image and fixing it in a silver halide grain structure creates a final picture that can hardly be altered.</quote>

 

Partly true I suppose if you only take transparencies.

 

Untrue for negative/positive.

 

Negs can be modified with bleaches/reducers intensifiers.

The final print is dependent upon so many factors - for example:

 

Paper choice - make, surface, cold/neutral/warm tone

Paper developer and processing methods

Toning/bleaching

Contrast control

Print exposure

Local dodging/burning

Enlarger light source

Enlarger lens

 

Also, it's interesting to note that it's entirely feasible to mix digital and 'alternative' processes by creating inkjet negatives from digital files and then making Cyanotypes or prints on printing-out paper - if that's what lights your candle.

 

<quote>The best way to understand this difference is to take pictures with a film-loading camera like the M7 and the sensor-provided M8. Handling of both cameras is quite similar, but mentally and in the workflow there is a world of difference.</quote>

 

Another part-truth. If you have two film cameras, one loaded with negative file and the other with transparency, the thought processes are entirely different, as with one it involves controlling shadow exposure, and the other, highlights. If one shot transparency film and digital, the thought processes would be the same with respect to getting the exposure right. Can't argue with the workflow bit though...

 

 

 

I don't think we've ever had it so good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Silly is the word. Photography is the process of arranging photons on a receptor in such a way that the resulting image makes some sort of sense to the viewer. The receptor has an influence on the outcome, sometimes radically so ... but so what - its still photography, whether the receptor is a chemical emulsion or an electronic gizmo!

 

The only issue that might be argued here is the definition of the word 'photography'. Perhaps this term should be reserved for conventional emulsion-based imaging and we should invent a new word for digital photography. Perhaps not .. personally I think that would be pointless, because to do so would be to rename the process rather than the outcome .. and its the outcome that matters - a photograph - an enduring image resulting from the focussing of photons on a receptor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

I saw a recent show in NY of Magnum photographers - they showed their proof sheets alongside a final print of a famous image. I can't remeber exactly who the photographer is, but it's the picture of Kruschev from behind in front of the Lincoln monument. Lo and behold, the negative was actually retouched to remove a stanchion poking out from the side of his head. Makes it a better photo and doesn't invalidate the authenticity of it IMO.

 

Puts is a putz.

 

Oh yeah, as much as I miss my darkroom I also don't miss poisioning myself and dumping all that chemistry down the drain. I still shoot primarily on film but now scan and inkjet print (or have my lab make matching fiber). Things change - life moves on. Things got done and people came together before the cell phone and internet yet I doubt Puts or any of us would forgo those essentials now (though god knows we'd sometimes like to!). It's just the way it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I don't think we've ever had it so good.

 

I agree. And I think many forget all of the selective decisions that are made before the shutter is pressed. Rules is photojournalism can be very strict about how a picture is manipulated after the shutter is pressed but often pay little attention to the manipulations that happen before that.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I, too, share Mark Pope's sentiment that "I don't think we've ever had it so good.".

 

Photography, as both an avocational and vocational activity is bigger, richer, and more vibrant than ever. There are cameras and photographic technologies today to meet nearly anyone's budgets and interests. Film and digital coexist, each with their strata of sophistication.

 

The core of Mr. Putts' essay is his personal emotional opinion at the moment. His thesis -- that the decline of chemical photography also represents a corresponding decline of photography itself -- is deeply painted in his own feelings and not buttressed by any more substantial evidence. Consequently, opinions of his rightness or wrongness carry no more value than opinions concerning favorite colors. These are merely his feelings, not scientific or statistical discoveries.

 

When I read such positions I suspect that I am reading the fears of a middle-aged person who feels socially or culturally dislocated or marginalized. But what middle-aged person doesn't harbor such feelings occasionally in a world where youth and pervasive change are as valued as hard currency?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Erwin, of us all, should know that as long as there are women who will take off their clothes, photography will live. HAR!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree. And I think many forget all of the selective decisions that are made before the shutter is pressed. Rules is photojournalism can be very strict about how a picture is manipulated after the shutter is pressed but often pay little attention to the manipulations that happen before that.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

 

I think todays photojournalism's ethics are very strict about how things are manipulated before the shutter is pushed. In May I was in a PJ workshop and that was strongly stressed.

 

If you look at the NPPA code of ethics you'll see it addresses staging and directions.

 

"Resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities."

 

" While photographing subjects do not intentionally contribute to, alter, or seek to alter or influence events."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love film, still find I like it better than any digital for a of reasons, but this essay is lame, seems to be the result of too much wine on a non-eventful evening...

 

You can still buy film and shoot it like many of us do and will continue to do, but to say photography is dead in light of digital is retarded...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the moment, the visitor count to the various l-camera-forum areas is:

 

Digital: 68

Leica M8: 53

Film: 5

 

Which doesn't exactly suggest a great need for Leica to pour more resources into film cameras, but someday in the future, who knows: Here in 2007, vacuum tube electronics, vinyl LPs and mechanical wristwatches are still around, even fashionable in some instances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
At the moment, the visitor count to the various l-camera-forum areas is:

 

Digital: 68

Leica M8: 53

Film: 5

 

Which doesn't exactly suggest a great need for Leica to pour more resources into film cameras, but someday in the future, who knows: Here in 2007, vacuum tube electronics, vinyl LPs and mechanical wristwatches are still around, even fashionable in some instances.

 

Jeff,

fair point, however in my experience there are lots of photographers still using film, its just that they are not using internet forums.... I speculate that people more attuned to digital are also more likely to be 'on-line'.

I respect Putts' opinion when talking about lenses, I stop reading as soon as he strays off that subject!

Guy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeff,

fair point, however in my experience there are lots of photographers still using film, its just that they are not using internet forums.... I speculate that people more attuned to digital are also more likely to be 'on-line'.

I respect Putts' opinion when talking about lenses, I stop reading as soon as he strays off that subject!

Guy

 

Also, if this were a Hasselblad or Mamiya forum it might be different. Also a lot less new issues to deal with film. Those that have been shooting it for a long time have their "workflow" down so to speak, whereas new photographers are mostly starting with digital and/or film photographers are switching over or doing both. Digital technology and processes are constantly changing, whereas Tri-X in D-76 has been the same for the last 40 years (or however long).

 

I also think that because of curiosity and issues surrounding the M8 this has become the defacto forum. This thread might as well be in the Film forum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The technical aspects of photography can be learned in a few weeks by an apt student; the problem is seeing. Whether or not "seeing" can be learned is an open question. In any case, Puts seems to believe that the essence of photography lies with the camera, or with physics, rather than the eye. Not a position I would want to defend, although one that is implicit in many online arguments...hence the arguments over full-frame vs. cropped sensors, when the eye can't be relied upon to tell the difference in a print.

 

JC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
At the moment, the visitor count to the various l-camera-forum areas is:

 

Digital: 68

Leica M8: 53

Film: 5

 

Which doesn't exactly suggest a great need for Leica to pour more resources into film cameras, but someday in the future, who knows: Here in 2007, vacuum tube electronics, vinyl LPs and mechanical wristwatches are still around, even fashionable in some instances.

 

Lol...I'm a film only shooter with the M system...yet I do lurk & read these forums...they fascinate me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I, too, share Mark Pope's sentiment that "I don't think we've ever had it so good.".

 

The core of Mr. Putts' essay is his personal emotional opinion at the moment. His thesis -- that the decline of chemical photography also represents a corresponding decline of photography itself -- is deeply painted in his own feelings and not buttressed by any more substantial evidence. Consequently, opinions of his rightness or wrongness carry no more value than opinions concerning favorite colors. These are merely his feelings, not scientific or statistical discoveries.

 

There was a revolution in the technology of musical instruments in the 19th century. Woodwind and brass key mechanisms became more sophisticated. Tone hole placement and size were no longer limited by the size and placement of the player's finger. One could play with much more even facility, volume and tone color in all keys. And the instruments were louder, more powerful. The strings were modified to better match the the new winds, gaining longer necks, metal and metal-wound strings, and a different bow.

 

What was lost was a certain subtlety and nuance of tone. Listen to a recording by a "period instruments" ensemble playing music written in the 1700s, and you'll hear what I mean. The strings have a silvery quality that just doesn't exist today, and some of the expressive qualities of the winds were lost in favor of easier fingerings.

 

Then as now, people complained about what was being lost. They were right, but the majority of people involved decided that the gain was worth it.

 

Sound familiar?

 

It wasn't the death of music. Any more than digital image capture is the death of photography.

 

--Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A very apt analogy, Peter. Indeed, while a particular instrument's design and construction may affect a musician's range it does not define music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue., Read more about our Privacy Policy