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The anti-modernism rant- controversy warning!

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Of course it is elitist. What is wrong with elitism? Without it life is just a bland bowl of porridge...

 

elitism has the connotation that the person feels "leeet" but has jack $hit to back up the cockiness.. Well, at least to me, that's the reason why I call someone out as an elitist..

 

True, Vinay, But, the original focus function is usually not very impressive on cameras where it can be switched off. Regarding your analogy to medicine, well, I travel a lot in the third world and I run a foundation that sends surgeons into rural Malawi. It is amazing what is possible with very rudimentary equipment. Not even a fridge in the "lab"....

 

LOL, get rid of the x-ray machines! sharp surgical scaples? foggetabout it! It's chiseled rock slices or nothing! We have full confidence that the doctor can do his best with even the very rudimentary of equipment!

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hahahah jaap...... i will continue your point......

 

imagine a sprinter (athlet)...... working hard, all the sport science knowledge, hard work, secrifise etc etc.......... and then he runs like crazy braking new records ........... cool rite......... it is not exactly natural... then man/woman was working hard and coaches and scintists developed special programms for him and even spcial equipment and fasilities........

but great............

 

 

now imagine that another athlete drinks all those drugs that feels as though he has a super sonic rocket in his ass when he runs ............ still athlete ?????????????????? still great ???????????

 

)

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I remember selling my Nikon F4S for a Hasselblad because I felt that it had too many bells & whistles...but this whole "anti-modernism" thing is nothing new. I think the onslaught of digital imaging has merely increased the pace of what some perceive as a dumbing down of the medium.

 

I personally feel that I tend to overshoot when I am shooting with a DSLR...but that doesn't keep me from using manual settings & manual focus when needed. I'll be the first to point out that those who work with the professional grade gear have an advantage in dialing out the auto everything switches over the consumer stuff - it can be done if you want. But you can blame the internet for creating digital shoeboxes and carousel for the world to see. So instead of being confined to wood paneled finished basements, now we can all enjoy photos of Aunt Edna or the trip to Tuscany your neighbor won't shut up about. And you don't have to leave the comfort of your Aeron. How nice.

 

The public wants simple, this is what they get.

 

It's especially fun to see a thread such as this originate on the M8 forum....

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elitism has the connotation that the person feels "leeet" but has jack $hit to back up the cockiness.. Well, at least to me, that's the reason why I call someone out as an elitist..

 

 

 

LOL, get rid of the x-ray machines! sharp surgical scaples? foggetabout it! It's chiseled rock slices or nothing! We have full confidence that the doctor can do his best with even the very rudimentary of equipment!

 

Actually, stone scalpels work better than steel in some cases. See: Obsidian Scalpels.

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Guest stnami
Sure? The camera decides exposure, focus and timing. Framing is left - but face recognition is starting to be implemented. Next thing : auto-framing, auto-composing. Point your machine, set the jog-dial to HCB for street shooting or Eva Besnyo for the kids and sit back whilst the computer builds the perfect shot...Where does that leave us?
.......................................... a simplistic view of a the world or a narrow view of photography? Just buy the books jaap and what you save on not buying cameras you can buy more books.............

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hahahah jaap...... i will continue your point......

 

imagine a sprinter (athlet)...... working hard, all the sport science knowledge, hard work, secrifise etc etc.......... and then he runs like crazy braking new records ........... cool rite......... it is not exactly natural... then man/woman was working hard and coaches and scintists developed special programms for him and even spcial equipment and fasilities........

but great............

 

 

now imagine that another athlete drinks all those drugs that feels as though he has a super sonic rocket in his ass when he runs ............ still athlete ?????????????????? still great ???????????

 

)

 

Depends what you are interested in! How fast can a man run? OR... How fast can a man run *without drugs*?

 

If it's a good picture, does it matter how it was taken?

 

If a man runs really fast, does it matter how he gets there?

 

These may be different questions. But I was never much of a sportsman (hence they "may" be different questions...)

 

Forget about the process and consider THE PICTURE. The end result. Is it moving? Does it have something to SAY? Does it have an impact in the mind of the observer? Does it resonate, does it last beyond the moment of viewing, does it give something back?

 

If yes to any of these, then please, please, please everyone, who gives, in the words of John Steinbeck, a flying fuggit the moon about how it was done? P&S, cameraphone, Leaf digital back, Leica... really, really not important. We choose tools so we can enjoy ourselves and to suit our ways of working. They should always be transparent to the end viewer of the image.

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Heh - I personally don't like autofocus, but that's mainly because I often focus by feel or distance setting on 'thin air'. I find the ergonomics of doing that kind of focussing on AF cameras very tiresome (where it's possible at all).

On the other hand, a nice spot AF for the 50/1.4 I would kill for on the M8 - so I guess 'it all depends'.

 

jaapv - have you seen this: 2point8 » Whileseated Vs. World’s Best Street Photography Robot

whatever people may think of street photography, google may just be proving that if you gave ten thousand robots a camera each - you'd end up with Winogrand.

 

I look back at the photographs from my childhood, shot mainly on very cheap kodak instamatic cameras. They are pretty much all absolutely awful in terms of focus and clarity. The vast majority of people are waaay better off with modern AF point and shoot cameras, and are empowered by digital post-processing to actually have some semblance of control over the final image.

 

In my opinion, the capacity via the web for us to see the photo albums of millions of digicam users is giving the false impression that there is somehow less 'proper' photography going on now than there was before. I don't think this is the case at all, it's just that before you really only saw a tiny fraction of the images that were being produced, and then in books or other 'edited' collections.

 

IMHO - this guy Flickr: Photos from Hugo* is a real good example of what can grow from a point-and-shoot digicam.

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What is important in photography is much more abstract than setting the exposure and focusing. Almost anyone can learn to do that with just a little bit of instruction and practice.

 

Understand light, communicating with your subject, having something to say are important elements. It is also great if you have useful understanding in a field such as, fashion, wildlife, biology, architecture, food, beauty, sports, whatever. In some types of photography, all of the elements have to be chosen and controlled by the photographer - choice of location, propping, models, styling, make-up, lighting, etc. The photograph is litterally constructed from nothing. This is called production.

 

In photojournalism, you may need to do a lot of research and preparation to get access just to be in the position to tell a compelling story. The real requirements of good photography will never change and requires skills and a unique vision.

 

If anyone is going to worry about it, then maybe you should focus your concern on developments in software:

 

Scene Completion Using Millions of Photographs

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On the other hand, a nice spot AF for the 50/1.4 I would kill for on the M8 - so I guess 'it all depends'.

 

My point precisely. I hereby challenge any M-series wielder to spot a scene happening in the street and to bring camera to eye, compose, spot-focus at f1.4 and shoot the incident in less than half a second. That's perfectly possible with a good DSLR.

 

Which is still not to say that manual isn't also preferable at times. Just that we shouldn't, in the terminology of Yoof, "diss" automation. It's there to help. Sometimes HC-B's "decisive moment" is happening right in front of you and you need to move very, very fast. Rapid capture ditto on this last: sometimes you want continuous. Why else do Leica sell a motor-drive for their film cameras?

 

And Aunty Mabel's poodle pictures may well be the stuff of sociology dissertations a hundred years' hence, trust me...

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Can't resist any longer ... (pulls on waders) ...

 

Good work, meaningful work that is based on accomplished human creativity and skill, has always been and always will be distinguishable from the hack stuff. Think about it: artists have always used the same tools as the hobbyists -- the same paint brushes, the same paints, whatever -- and achieved results worthy of the study, effort, and "art" applied.

 

I personally think the bells and whistles are wonderful. I also personally avoid them a lot of the time because they prevent me from learning. But isn't it great that mom and dad or Aunt Millie can now take sharp, reasonably exposed pics of the kids with a higher success rate than ever before? Isn't it great that the researcher or engineer can do the same without having to learn the details of a whole new craft? Photography has lots, and I mean LOTS, of applications.

 

Having said that, I do think that the acessibility of "easy" cameras has precipitated a problem in the form of invasive photography, which is beginning to backfire on serious photography in general. But as far as the art is concerned, no worries at all.

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Jaap, I like this last formulation much better than your first one, but generally the people who most fear democratization, as you put it, are themselves those with privilege.

 

I think it's not a question of whether we're on the slippery slope. We are far into that slope, and it's just the way all things go in a post-industrial society. Technology flattens the equation and allows those without skill or the patience to craft access to what formerly took a lot of skill. Think woodworking (I'm a woodworker, though not professionally)--machinery in that industry allows people without any skill or knowledge of wood to participate in the production process. Take the internet as another example--very few words (or images for that matter) on this forum and countless others would ever have been committed to paper 25 years ago. Automation has made it easier for many to communicate both artistically and not so artistically.

 

Whether you consider the "flattening" of access to a field of knowledge through technology a slippery slope downwards or an enabling medium for those without the luxury and privilege of being able to otherwise participate depends, I suppose, on your disposition, your sense of entitlement, and fear that the masses don't and can't know what they're doing.

 

I think of things on far less broad terms. I didn't like taking pictures with a professional DSLR. So I switched to something more manual. I don't conflate "manual" with "refined" or "better"--there are people with fully automatic DSLRs and no skill who take far better photos than I do, and there are people with amazing equipment in their woodshops who make far better furniture than I do. I don't really care--I like my rangefinder much better so I use it, as I use my handplanes for woodworking.

 

I think it can be fun to ruminate over shallow and petty philosophical questions such as whether photography as an art form is dead or not or whether technological advance and mass adoption are good or bad things. But really in the end I find most of the people arguing such things publicly are really just defending their right to buy expensive equipment, justify its output somehow superior simply because they conflate expense with craft or lack of automation with purity, and as an inevitable corollary--only a select few should have access to these privileges. Let's face it here--as worded, the argument is that through automation we've democratized things too far. I'm sorry, I can't agree with the premise that preventing many from gaining access to facets of human experience is a good thing.

 

In the end I pay more attention to the photographs and the wood shavings I make, and the techniques I can learn from others in order to better my own craft. It's fine with me if someone wants to stick a piece of wood into a CNC machine and have a finished product after pushing a button. That's not what I'm interested in doing, and I'm not going to whine about others finding ways they want or need to work.

 

Jaap--hope you don't take anything in this message personally.

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I hereby challenge any M-series wielder to spot a scene happening in the street and to bring camera to eye, compose, spot-focus at f1.4 and shoot the incident in less than half a second. That's perfectly possible with a good DSLR.

 

 

Less than half a second, huh? I presume you constantly walk round with your DSLR viewfinder glued to your eye. Half a second? Come on now, let's get a bit of realism.

 

Next you will be telling us that 35 million people tell you that you don't exaggerate.

 

I am also intrigued as to how all those great press pictures from the past could possibly have been taken with just manual focus and no Photoshop to sharpen them up.

 

I guess they were just lucky?

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My point precisely. I hereby challenge any M-series wielder to spot a scene happening in the street and to bring camera to eye, compose, spot-focus at f1.4 and shoot the incident in less than half a second. That's perfectly possible with a good DSLR.

Actually - that's when I least want AF - because I either use zone focus or do it by feel on the way up. The problem with AF in this situation is that it assumes you want to focus on a particular thing, and not on the empty space where the thing is about to be, or a point in the middle of a group of people at different distances from the camera. For street stuff, I'm just not that concerned about precise focus - it was after all the same man who coined the phrase 'decisive moment' who said 'sharpness is such a bourgoise concept'

 

When I'd like to have spot AF is when I'm trying to get a portrait dead sharp with the 50/1.4 or 90/2, which is difficult for me on the M8 (although I just got a 1.25 magnifier, so that may become a lot easier).

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...I am also intrigued as to how all those great press pictures from the past could possibly have been taken with just manual focus and no Photoshop to sharpen them up.

 

I guess they were just lucky?

 

They weren't lucky they were skilled and ready. But a lot of good shots were probably missed too.

 

Regarding Nick Ut's famous photo, "Both David Burnett and Hoang van Danh changed film in their cameras during the peak moments of the action. Danh managed a few pictures when Kim Phuc had reached the line of photographers and soldiers and sold a few of them to UPI. "Nicky, you got all the photos," said David Burnett. "

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I do think that the acessibility of "easy" cameras has precipitated a problem in the form of invasive photography, which is beginning to backfire on serious photography in general.

 

Agreed. And that's something we should all be far more concerned with than this silly thread.

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Actually - that's when I least want AF - because I either use zone focus or do it by feel on the way up. The problem with AF in this situation is that it assumes you want to focus on a particular thing, and not on the empty space where the thing is about to be, or a point in the middle of a group of people at different distances from the camera. For street stuff, I'm just not that concerned about precise focus - it was after all the same man who coined the phrase 'decisive moment' who said 'sharpness is such a bourgoise concept'

 

When I'd like to have spot AF is when I'm trying to get a portrait dead sharp with the 50/1.4 or 90/2, which is difficult for me on the M8 (although I just got a 1.25 magnifier, so that may become a lot easier).

 

I see your point. I just like to combine "street" and "portrait" sometimes.

 

As for sharpness being bourgeois, that can be true too. Certainly we all worship at the altar of the sharp, zone-systemed, perfectly-exposed technical photograph far too much. There's more in heaven and earth, Horatio, than is dreamt of in your zone system. Nan Goldin for a start.

 

PS My girl insists I add that anything is bourgeois if it's done often enough.

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elitism has the connotation that the person feels "leeet" but has jack $hit to back up the cockiness.. Well, at least to me, that's the reason why I call someone out as an elitist..

!

 

Actually elitism has lost most if not all of the negative connotations it used to have in the time that egalitarism ruled, with a high point in the Sixties. there are a number of reasons for that. For one thing the ultimate egalitarist theory, Communism, produced the most elitist states. Current-day educational institutions recognize, that in order to stay competitive, they have to encourage an elitist attitude. It seems that it is the natural state of Human society. And Leica users have clay feet in this respect anyway...

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Jaap, I like this last formulation much better than your first one, but generally the people who most fear democratization, as you put it, are themselves those with privilege.

 

I think it's not a question of whether we're on the slippery slope. We are far into that slope, and it's just the way all things go in a post-industrial society. Technology flattens the equation and allows those without skill or the patience to craft access to what formerly took a lot of skill. Think woodworking (I'm a woodworker, though not professionally)--machinery in that industry allows people without any skill or knowledge of wood to participate in the production process. Take the internet as another example--very few words (or images for that matter) on this forum and countless others would ever have been committed to paper 25 years ago. Automation has made it easier for many to communicate both artistically and not so artistically.

 

Whether you consider the "flattening" of access to a field of knowledge through technology a slippery slope downwards or an enabling medium for those without the luxury and privilege of being able to otherwise participate depends, I suppose, on your disposition, your sense of entitlement, and fear that the masses don't and can't know what they're doing.

 

I think of things on far less broad terms. I didn't like taking pictures with a professional DSLR. So I switched to something more manual. I don't conflate "manual" with "refined" or "better"--there are people with fully automatic DSLRs and no skill who take far better photos than I do, and there are people with amazing equipment in their woodshops who make far better furniture than I do. I don't really care--I like my rangefinder much better so I use it, as I use my handplanes for woodworking.

 

I think it can be fun to ruminate over shallow and petty philosophical questions such as whether photography as an art form is dead or not or whether technological advance and mass adoption are good or bad things. But really in the end I find most of the people arguing such things publicly are really just defending their right to buy expensive equipment, justify its output somehow superior simply because they conflate expense with craft or lack of automation with purity, and as an inevitable corollary--only a select few should have access to these privileges. Let's face it here--as worded, the argument is that through automation we've democratized things too far. I'm sorry, I can't agree with the premise that preventing many from gaining access to facets of human experience is a good thing.

 

In the end I pay more attention to the photographs and the wood shavings I make, and the techniques I can learn from others in order to better my own craft. It's fine with me if someone wants to stick a piece of wood into a CNC machine and have a finished product after pushing a button. That's not what I'm interested in doing, and I'm not going to whine about others finding ways they want or need to work.

 

Jaap--hope you don't take anything in this message personally.

 

I think my argument is rather the opposite: Through automatization we are losing the basics - and thus preventing those that have no acces to thoase basics (any more) to reach the level of creativity theat they could reach. An anti-democratizing move.

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Guest guy_mancuso

Let's just sue the bastards and get it over with including this thread:D

:D

 

someone had to say it

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I think my argument is rather the opposite: Through automatization we are losing the basics - and thus preventing those that have no acces to thoase basics (any more) to reach the level of creativity theat they could reach. An anti-democratizing move.

 

Jaap,

You've been saying this from the very beginning of this thread, I'm not sure why some members thought you were making statements regarding "individuals with cameras" while your true meaning was "all people are the same" given the right circumstances.......

....if that's the case, I beg to differ. ..Not all peoples are the same, just a matter of reality, and for those who don't agree, that's ok .....I couldn't care less:D ...

I have to admit, the thread sometimes went to unexpected places, including artists for the arts. That is a very important, people spoke about maintaining a clear distinction between producing an image for the visual amusement and an image that conveys thoughts, ideas, feelings, etc. (...a pic is worth a thousand words...)

 

 

Regards,

Ed.

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