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Author Topic: RE: Image Disembodiment  (Read 25342 times)
dalethorn
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« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2008, 10:24:56 AM »
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I've been carrying a Toshiba Libretto for 9 years now, and whether I'm on a photo shoot with the metro parks clubs, or sitting in a restaurant, I commonly pop out the computer and show a dozen or so photos to whoever is around.  And people remember that.  So whether the future is electronic paper or something else, for me it's a current process.  And why haven't electronic books taken off?  Mostly because of copyrights and restrictive formats.  I'm not talking about encryption et al, I'm talking about PDF's and such that make text extraction and reformatting such a pain that nobody wants to do it.  In spite of that, I have the equivalent of over a thousand books of reference info on my computer, in plain text, most of which is accessed by my plaintext hypertext viewer for instant cross-ref's and research.  The future was here years ago, and most of y'all missed it.
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Rob C
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« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2008, 04:21:25 PM »
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Thatīs an interesting point of view, but to someone less enthusiastic about electronic gadgets it underscores very strong reasons why there will probably be paper or similar material prints for many years to come.

Apart from the problems that we shall face regarding energy supply, there is something very nice about there being no more effort required to see an image than to just raise the eye to the framed thing; what a drag to have to switch things on or off - TV is a pain too far already! Speaking of which, we had thought about going from our ancient Sony Trinitron, still working well (Fate, please donīt feel tempted), to one of those newer elongated jobs. Then we thought about the content and realised that it wouldnīt be improve one iota. We decided not to take the purchase idea any further.

The thought of going to visit someone and having to watch their photo-screen endlessly showing Baby, the uncle, last yearīs holiday or anything else would certainly provide a good incentive for staying at home with a sudden diplomatic headache.

Rob C
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« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2008, 05:36:35 PM »
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We're almost there! When I first saw my images on a full HD LCD TV I knew the future of print was changed forever. Sony already makes a picture frame LCD TV of up to 40" (http://www.sony.co.uk/article/id/1209376192786).

I for one think images look much better on a LCD TV than on a piece of paper. I never really liked inkjet prints compared to wet darkroom prints. I've bought some from alleged top photographers in the US and have consistently been disappointed.

In a few years you can probably have LCDs with higher resolution and customizable mattes and frames.

The fine art print collecting market is so tiny that it isn’t worth considering into this equation. Very few photographers can live from print sales anyway, but that has sadly always been the case.

While change can be sad in many ways, I for one will not cry when ink sales plummet. Epsons and HPs greed has never done anything good for photography.
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« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2008, 07:28:27 PM »
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Epsons and HPs greed has never done anything good for photography.
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You mean, other than financing the development of the rapid advances in printer technology that we have enjoyed over the past several years? Maybe those long hours of daylight up in Arctic Norway have reset someone's circadian rhythms or something....

So let me once more, for the umpteenth, tiresome time on this and other forums, take you through Capitalism 101:

1. It takes capital to finance the sort of R&D, manufacture, marketing, and distribution required to bring printers and their consumables to the customer, who is not under obligation to purchase them. Hence, a powerful incentive to make good stuff people actually want. Making bad stuff no one wants, or good stuff too expensive for people to want, results in bankruptcy. (q.v. General Motors.)

2. Capital comes from investors/shareholders, who seek the highest possible rate of return on their investment; and from customers, who purchase products they want at prices they consider acceptable. These are VOLUNTARY transactions, done on terms agreeable to all parties.

3. Companies have to generate revenues sufficient to cover operating costs and a sufficient rate of return to their shareholders--"sufficient" defined as "compared to other possible uses of capital at similar risk." Inadequate ROI-->no investment in the company-->no R&D-->no products at prices you'd be willing to pay.

This stuff doesn't just pop out of the ether for us all to enjoy. It has to be made from the sweat of someone's brow and the coin from someone's pocket.

I eagerly await someone's explanation of where "greed" fits into this scenario. You don't like the products, don't buy them. The company is not morally obligated to give its private property away at fire-sale prices because someone thinks they're too expensive.

Time for a little Ayn Rand I think....
« Last Edit: August 18, 2008, 07:31:05 PM by mikeseb » Logged

michael sebastian
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« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2008, 09:35:21 PM »
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Enjoyed your article Bernard, I believe that paper will be with us for quite some time (otherwise Epson, HP, et al will be very upset!!) however with that said I recently purchased an Apple TV box after reading a piece about it in a recent Outdoor Photographer magazine. It took all of 90 seconds to set up and while I'm fairly sure the "your photos" feature wasn't intended to be it's selling point, it is amazing! Now my HDTV acts like an ever changing display of my photos, it's rendering of them (in HD BTW) is superb, there is the occasional glitch in that an image that was intended to be displayed in portrait orientation is displayed instead in landscape mode but these are very few. When not actively displaying a slide show of selected shots it can be configured to display thumbnails of your library in an ever moving, swirling pattern. As an added benefit, it's great for showing off images to customers in a very relaxed and comfortable setting.
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 I suspect most amateur's photos will never be printed in the near future, but viewed on HD TV screens ( or similar type displays.)  Small prints will never happen, just files of bits displayed as needed.

I find slide shows of my images, via my Apple TV, on my 52 in LCD HD TV, quite pleasant and I anticipate in a few years displays will get even better.  

Prints will survive, just as oil and watercolor images survive, but they will have to make room for a newer, bigger, brighter, display as well.  It will be interesting to watch.  Daguerreotypes are still around also, but not commercially viable for very many folks  these days.

Photojournalism is already merging, melding with video journalism - HD displays will just augment this as well. I believe.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2008, 09:36:02 PM by pathfinder » Logged
Ray
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« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2008, 11:26:35 PM »
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I also found Bernard's article interesting, but I suspect that much of the advanced technology he refers to will take a very long time in development before it even approaches the capability of displaying the subtlety of detail one can find in a fine art print.

I've long been interested in the transition from standard definition TV to high definition TV, but the process is taking such an inordinate amount of time, I'm beginning to lose interest.

I recall reading about 30 years ago that the Japanese had developed their own analog HDTV system, but the transmission wasn't compatible with existing standard definition sets.

One could say that the transition from SDTV to HDTV has been going on for at least 30 years and that it's not complete yet by a long shot.

It so happens that I have a very fine, but old-fashioned, German-made Loewe CRT TV set that has a 'tint' control that can be used during PAL transmissions and which allows for very accurate fine-tuning of color hues. The black levels, contrast ratio and flicker-free image quality are superb, yet it's only a standard definition set.

Every time I go shopping, and get the urge to pop into an electronics store to check out the latest plasma and LCD screens on offer, I come away disappointed. I get the unshakable impression that there's no High Definition option that retains the same over all image quality of my old Loewe set. I see lots of garish images with blown highlights, blocked-up shadows and inaccurate hues.

Now I know that this impression may largely be due to the fact that those displays in the store are not calibrated. With a device like the ColorMunki I might be able to get a vast improvement, but the ColorMunki requires a computer to be connected to the display and any calibration profile created resides on the computer (or laptop). Such calibration would definitely be useful for displaying photos, having a slide show for one's guests.

After a bit of research on the net regarding plasma & LCD display quality, I find it is true that these large plasma & LCD displays (40" to 60" diagonal) have not yet caught up with the black levels of a good CRT set. The ones that come closest seem to be the Pioneer Kuro models (kuro being the Japanese word for black).

The latest Pioneer Kuro models are expected in Australia around October, about the same time as the latest Epson wide-format printers that provide reduced ink costs, no ink wastage when switching from matte paper to glossy, and presumably increased gamut and less bronzing compared with my 7600.

New technology can be expensive, but $5,000 for the latest high definition display which, by still photography standards, is not high definition at all, but very low definition, and which doesn't even have the black levels of an old-fashioned TV set of even lower resolution, doesn't seem a great buy to me.

Consider: 1920x1080p is approximately 2mp. Even the cheapest and most basic P&S camera will exceed that resolution. My next DSLR will likely by 24mp.

I'm not aware of any movement to progress beyond the HDTV standard to the next level.

I think Bernard's futuristic scenario is a long way into the future.
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Rob C
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« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2008, 03:16:50 AM »
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You mean, other than financing the development of the rapid advances in printer technology that we have enjoyed over the past several years? Maybe those long hours of daylight up in Arctic Norway have reset someone's circadian rhythms or something....

So let me once more, for the umpteenth, tiresome time on this and other forums, take you through Capitalism 101:

1. It takes capital to finance the sort of R&D, manufacture, marketing, and distribution required to bring printers and their consumables to the customer, who is not under obligation to purchase them. Hence, a powerful incentive to make good stuff people actually want. Making bad stuff no one wants, or good stuff too expensive for people to want, results in bankruptcy. (q.v. General Motors.)

2. Capital comes from investors/shareholders, who seek the highest possible rate of return on their investment; and from customers, who purchase products they want at prices they consider acceptable. These are VOLUNTARY transactions, done on terms agreeable to all parties.

3. Companies have to generate revenues sufficient to cover operating costs and a sufficient rate of return to their shareholders--"sufficient" defined as "compared to other possible uses of capital at similar risk." Inadequate ROI-->no investment in the company-->no R&D-->no products at prices you'd be willing to pay.

This stuff doesn't just pop out of the ether for us all to enjoy. It has to be made from the sweat of someone's brow and the coin from someone's pocket.

I eagerly await someone's explanation of where "greed" fits into this scenario. You don't like the products, don't buy them. The company is not morally obligated to give its private property away at fire-sale prices because someone thinks they're too expensive.

Time for a little Ayn Rand I think....
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215905\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]




Mike

There is no better way of which I know to lay out the commercial realities of life than you have just done. All thatīs missing, perhaps, is an illustration of the other side: Germany in the East during the long reign of Soviet occupation. I can hardly wait to buy one of those beautiful, reliable little cars, shop in one of those delightful little boutiques - almost makes me want to fly right over to Russia and try out one of those pre-capitalist flagship stores: Gum.

But that apart, I think Ray, in his post here, has touched on another reality: the sheer lack of interest in new technology when it becomes too expensive for Mr Average to buy into the dream. As I said in my previous post, the latest TVs are not in my home, not because of price, though I do think they are too expensive for what they are - but because the purpose to which they would be put isnīt worth the candle: WYSIcrap.

Somebody mentioned the difference in the number of exposures made to the number of prints that ever see daylight. What would be different? Would you want to look at your own crap either? If not, would you feel good about displaying it to others in even more revealing horror?

The number of collectors might be small, in a world sense, but the number of photographers chasing them is ever growing, as you can see from the ever rising sales of magazines like B&W and the personal websites devoted to that objective - sales to buyers.

Reports of the death of print are somewhat premature.

Rob C
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ashaughnessy
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« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2008, 03:44:42 AM »
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This thread sounds so similar to the threads on the death of traditional photography when digital photography was just appearing (e.g. about six or eight years ago). People pooh-poohed the idea that digital photography would take over from film. They said digital cameras would never have enough resolution to equal the quality of film, etc... But it happened.

I think Bernard might be right. I have no doubt that some people will still prefer prints (myself included - I don't like computers) but you have to look beyond your personal preferences and look at what is likely. I think most people will prefer to view their pictures electronically as soon as that becomes cheap enough and convenient enough. Note that I don't say "as soon as the quality is there" because quality isn't very important to most people (most snapshot shooters) and the quality today is almost certainly good enough for them.

I think the "fine art print market" might be different, but that's a niche compared to the great mass of snapshot shooters.

I already know many people that never get their pictures printed. They show them to family and friends on the computer, on the telly, or on their mobile phone screen. They don't see the need to make prints.
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Rob C
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« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2008, 04:05:41 AM »
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I for one think images look much better on a LCD TV than on a piece of paper. I never really liked inkjet prints compared to wet darkroom prints. I've bought some from alleged top photographers in the US and have consistently been disappointed.

The fine art print collecting market is so tiny that it isn’t worth considering into this equation. Very few photographers can live from print sales anyway, but that has sadly always been the case.

. Epsons and HPs greed has never done anything good for photography.
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Svein


I have the opposite experience to yours: my own printing (black/white) on an HP Pro B9180 is much better than anything I did in the wet darkroom, and I was known to be a very good printer in the commercial world where I earned my living.

I do not like matt papers because of the loss of tone; however, once I put those matt prints into proper crystal plastic sleeves, or behind glass, they regain the full magic of the monitor and that, combined with the almost total local control of Photoshop, makes for the best prints of my life.

Just the day before yesterday, whilst thinking about the skirmish on the MF Digital Picture Show, I pulled out my set of prints on A3+ and was knocked out with just how great they look after not having seen them for a few weeks. I was sorry not to be able to show them off, but as mentioned some longish while back, I fear litigation and must hide my light behind the bloody bush - at least, off the blatant web. I have to say, coming from 35mm transparency film and a humble D200, I was not in the least embarrassed by the technical exhibition over on that MF thread. In fact, quite the opposite. Sadly, I canīt publicly prove it, but have the personal satisfaction of knowing the facts and that will probably have to suffice - at least for now.

All that said, I cannot vouch for the quality of the prints that you bought from whomsoever you bought them - thatīs another matter - but that does not diminish the quality that is really available.

On your other point, it isnīt relevant if many photographers live off their prints or not: the same number NOT living off them today is still buying the material to make the prints today, and it is prints that matter to them, otherwise, theyīd just stick their JPEGS up on the TV and let it go at that.

Rob C
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svein-frode
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« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2008, 08:13:22 AM »
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You mean, other than financing the development of the rapid advances in printer technology that we have enjoyed over the past several years? Maybe those long hours of daylight up in Arctic Norway have reset someone's circadian rhythms or something....

So let me once more, for the umpteenth, tiresome time on this and other forums, take you through Capitalism 101:

1. It takes capital to finance the sort of R&D, manufacture, marketing, and distribution required to bring printers and their consumables to the customer, who is not under obligation to purchase them. Hence, a powerful incentive to make good stuff people actually want. Making bad stuff no one wants, or good stuff too expensive for people to want, results in bankruptcy. (q.v. General Motors.)

2. Capital comes from investors/shareholders, who seek the highest possible rate of return on their investment; and from customers, who purchase products they want at prices they consider acceptable. These are VOLUNTARY transactions, done on terms agreeable to all parties.

3. Companies have to generate revenues sufficient to cover operating costs and a sufficient rate of return to their shareholders--"sufficient" defined as "compared to other possible uses of capital at similar risk." Inadequate ROI-->no investment in the company-->no R&D-->no products at prices you'd be willing to pay.

This stuff doesn't just pop out of the ether for us all to enjoy. It has to be made from the sweat of someone's brow and the coin from someone's pocket.

I eagerly await someone's explanation of where "greed" fits into this scenario. You don't like the products, don't buy them. The company is not morally obligated to give its private property away at fire-sale prices because someone thinks they're too expensive.

Time for a little Ayn Rand I think....
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215905\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I work as an investment banker, so you can spare me your oversimplified Chicago-School approach to capitalism. There are greedy capitalists and there are not so greedy capitalists out there. I could also give you countless examples of R&D which has been motivated by far greater goals than filling some investors pockets.

My nits with Epson and HP printers are the following:

1) HP made me waste ink by creating software that tells the printer the cartridges were empty when they in fact were not.
2) Epson made me waste ink by cleaning all nozzles each time I needed to change a cartridge. In fact, changing a cartridge should not trigger a cleaning cycle unless it is needed.
3) Epson made me waste ink by cleaning all nozzles each time I hade to clean the nozzles used by only one cartridge.

Not only does the printer manufacturers overcharge me, they force me to produce waste and pollute the environment in more than reasonable amounts. As greedy capitalists they should be forced to pay for their lack of moral responsibility in a way that makes their owners cry all the way to their bank. In a well functioning democracy capitalists should, like all members of society, work for the greater good of the people, not individuals, and in accordance to ethical standards.

I have read both of Ayn Rand bestsellers and her flirtation with fascism and devotion to egocentrism made them a chilling and horrifying read, especially since her vision of the world is becoming more of a fulfilling prophecy each decade.
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« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2008, 08:37:05 AM »
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Svein
I have the opposite experience to yours: my own printing (black/white) on an HP Pro B9180 is much better than anything I did in the wet darkroom, and I was known to be a very good printer in the commercial world where I earned my living.

On your other point, it isnīt relevant if many photographers live off their prints or not: the same number NOT living off them today is still buying the material to make the prints today, and it is prints that matter to them, otherwise, theyīd just stick their JPEGS up on the TV and let it go at that.

Rob C
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I'm glad inkjet is working out for you Rob. It's probably more about who prints than what printer they use. I have a couple of excellent B&W silver prints at home and just love the smooth grain free appearance, not to mention the extremely smooth transitions of colour in the very dark areas. After a couple of bad giclee (?) purchases maybe I'll check one of your prints out - just to see how good it can be done .

Of course, none of us can predict the future, but the demise of film had most of us baffled a few years ago. In Norway it is almost impossible to get hold of film and a lab to process them. Prices have also sky rocketed.

As for amateurs, all my friends and family who used to make paper copies, do so very rarely now. Most images never leave their computer or cellphone. I also see very many printers collecting dust (mostly because people are amazed at the cost of new ink cartridges). We're still in a period of transition and if the digital revolution has thought us anything it must be that things happen faster than anyone could imagine.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2008, 08:38:14 AM by svein-frode » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: August 19, 2008, 08:56:38 AM »
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As greedy capitalists they should be forced to pay for their lack of moral responsibility in a way that makes their owners cry all the way to their bank. In a well functioning democracy capitalists should, like all members of society, work for the greater good of the people, not individuals, and in accordance to ethical standards.
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QED.
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michael sebastian
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« Reply #32 on: August 19, 2008, 09:45:40 AM »
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[quote In Norway it is almost impossible to get hold of film and a lab to process them. Prices have also sky rocketed.




I can still buy film in Mallorca, but as I have a freezer full of it already, which I canīt get processed locally, the negative circle is almost complete. Barcelona, Iīm assured, still has labs open to E6, but as you say about Norway, the costs are higher than seem worth considering.

Rob C

Edit: On the matter of print quality, perhaps itīs more a matter of not expecting too much in the way of mechanical/electronic instant perfection fom the computer.

This site - I donīt bother with any others anymore - does have a very strong group-interest in computer magic, computer calibration, this, that and the photographic other. Whilst I agree without reservation that all of these things are positive contributions to print quality, I have this gut feeling, now that I have spent a fair amount of money on doing digtal printing, that we have not really pushed the goalposts that far from where they used to be in at least one sense: there still seems to be no substiture for repeated testing of prints until the final, wanted result is achieved. Only the way to that point is new; the journey is still unavoidable.
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peterpix2008
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« Reply #33 on: August 19, 2008, 10:55:40 AM »
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Thirty years ago I formed a publishing company with a fellow who wanted to reprint rare and out of prints books, mostly history and genealogy. He was a scientist and had worked on lasers for the Navy. While I argued that we should print hard bound books because the books were history and meant to be around for a long time, he believed that books would be obsolete by the year 2000 so he only wanted to print paperbacks. I left the company soon after, but it still exists and still printing paperbacks, waiting for the book era to end.
Amazon's kindle is a great idea if you want or need to carry books around with you, but for me and apparently millions of other nothing beats holding the book in your hands, smelling the paper and being able to quickly check back a page or two to reread a paragraph or make a note in the margin. Will I even buy a Kindle? Perhaps some day but I won't stop buying books.
Which brings us to photographs. No screen is ever going to be able to replace the feeling of holding a print by Paul strand, Ansel Adams, William Neill, Stephan Johnson, etc.
Thanks, Bernard, for bringing up the ideas. Yes, the times are a changin, but if the only way we can read is on a Kindle or see photos on a screen, what a sad world this will be.
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« Reply #34 on: August 19, 2008, 10:58:16 AM »
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QED.
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Dum inter homines sumus, colamus humanitatem...
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« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2008, 12:18:53 PM »
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Which brings us to photographs. No screen is ever going to be able to replace the feeling of holding a print by Paul strand, Ansel Adams, William Neill, Stephan Johnson, etc.
Thanks, Bernard, for bringing up the ideas. Yes, the times are a changin, but if the only way we can read is on a Kindle or see photos on a screen, what a sad world this will be.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=216034\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]





I couldnīt agree more. There is little to beat a real book, and the screen is nowhere near a substitute.

I recently bought the reprint of Haskinsī Cowboy Kate and paid for it with my own hard-earned. Would I have done this if the same pleasure were to be had by merely looking at pics on the internet?

There isnīt much space around the house anymore, but what I have been able to use for books holds the things that give me most pleasure, amongst which is the Taschen one on Jean Loup Sieff. Incidentally, I have seen that spelled Jeanloup and also Jean Loup, and in the back of the front part of the dust-jacket it is Jeanloup. However, on the cover, it seems very much to be written Jean Loup.

The ease of turning back a page or two is similar to the simplicity of holding a loup(e?) over a transparency and editing that way, as compared to doing the same thing on a monitor. Perhaps it comes with age. But I wouldnīt swap without protest!

Rob C
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« Reply #36 on: August 19, 2008, 12:22:20 PM »
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Dum inter homines sumus, colamus humanitatem...
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And people think that I live in the past!

Rob C
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« Reply #37 on: August 19, 2008, 01:08:00 PM »
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Dum inter homines sumus, colamus humanitatem...
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Senecam tuus tenes. Te veneratio!

Non congruere congrueamus!
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michael sebastian
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« Reply #38 on: August 19, 2008, 01:39:52 PM »
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I still can't get over the fact that the latest and most expensive HD displays cannot display the full resolution of an image taken with the latest mobile phones, which now boast 5mp built-in cameras.

HD displays are deliberately bright and contrasty with generally oversaturated colors in order to attract customers. Has any mention been made in this thread, of the long term eye strain of staring at transmissive screens?

I recall well, at the time I bought my first computer I also bought a CD containing 1750 books of the classics, out of copyright and very cheap. I thought, this is just fantastic. I have effectivley a huge personal library of great works of literature for just a few dollars, instead of a few thousand dollars that the printed versions would cost.

But the reality is, I'm not motivated to read books on a computer monitor. Perhaps that's because I already spend so much time processing photographic images on a monitor. Others might spend a similar amount of time playing computer games, chatting on the net and reading email.

There's something special about a book, but I'm losing interest in newspapers.
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svein-frode
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« Reply #39 on: August 19, 2008, 02:09:38 PM »
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I still can't get over the fact that the latest and most expensive HD displays cannot display the full resolution of an image taken with the latest mobile phones, which now boast 5mp built-in cameras.

HD displays are deliberately bright and contrasty with generally oversaturated colors in order to attract customers. Has any mention been made in this thread, of the long term eye strain of staring at transmissive screens?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=216075\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Most TVs can be calibrated and adjusted to your taste. I have the TV calibrated with the same system I use for my PC monitor! For normal viewing I use an energy save mode which dims the screen considerably.

Full HD is just 2MP, but I imagine future LCD screens will come with increased resolutions for picture viewing, just as you can change the resolution of your PC Monitor.
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