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Author Topic: Do You See What I See?  (Read 63533 times)
RSL
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« Reply #40 on: June 03, 2009, 03:22:53 PM »
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Quote from: TimG
A whole lot of nothing going on there...

In more ways than one.
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TimG
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« Reply #41 on: June 03, 2009, 04:08:36 PM »
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Quote from: dalethorn
I haven't posted anything on that site.  It's currently being managed by someone else.  So why you would make an issue of it demonstrates a lack of something in yourself.

Sounds like an excuse to me, bud.  And you know what they say about excuses.  Something definitely stinks around here.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #42 on: June 03, 2009, 04:48:30 PM »
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Quote from: TimG
Sounds like an excuse to me, bud.  And you know what they say about excuses.  Something definitely stinks around here.

If it stinks then you should get off of the pot.  What I post or don't post on dalethorn.com is none of your business.

Exactly who do you think you are to say such a thing?
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dalethorn
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« Reply #43 on: June 03, 2009, 04:52:19 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
In more ways than one.

Looks like you don't intend to let go.  Since you're the one who began the personal attacks on this thread, maybe you could be gracious enough to close this whole thing with an apology and a pledge to not do it again.
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TimG
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« Reply #44 on: June 03, 2009, 05:11:07 PM »
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Quote from: dalethorn
If it stinks then you should get off of the pot.  What I post or don't post on dalethorn.com is none of your business.

Exactly who do you think you are to say such a thing?

You claim to be a winner yet have nothing to show for it.  An interesting if not delusional method of justifying your existence, wouldn't you say?

Who am I?  Who are you, besides a king-sized pain in the ass stuck in godforsaken Akron, Ohio twiddling with computers and taking pictures of goddamned squirrels on fence posts?  
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dalethorn
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« Reply #45 on: June 03, 2009, 05:23:53 PM »
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Quote from: TimG
You claim to be a winner yet have nothing to show for it.  An interesting if not delusional method of justifying your existence, wouldn't you say?
Who am I?  Who are you, besides a king-sized pain in the ass stuck in godforsaken Akron, Ohio twiddling with computers and taking pictures of goddamned squirrels on fence posts?

Judging by your bigotry toward Akron Ohio and your use of extreme profanity, I'd say you have a serious mental illness. I'm sorry that I can't help you with that, but there are people who can. Please don't be discouraged, and cheer up.
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LightCapture
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« Reply #46 on: June 03, 2009, 05:42:04 PM »
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RSL and TimG: What we have here is an example of a psychological black hole. The closer you get to it, the more its anti-matter gravitational pull sucks you in. I'd suggest--trying to heed my own advice here--that you steer as clear as possible.

So now... where were we?
« Last Edit: June 03, 2009, 05:59:46 PM by LightCapture » Logged

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LightCapture
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« Reply #47 on: June 03, 2009, 05:59:24 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
Light, You're wasting your time. Every forum has at least one regular who will pontificate insultingly on any subject, especially subjects he knows nothing about. All you can do with someone like that is toss his logic back at him and get him to demonstrate his ignorance to everyone in sight so people stop paying attention to him. The responses you get from this kind of guy almost always are funnier than what you'd get from a stand-up comic. I'm sorry the thread took a turn for the worse and got away from your original statement. But look at it this way: some of these diversions add a spot of levity to the forum.

Regarding your original statement: Since the early fifties I've owned and worked with every imaginable kind of camera from view cameras to Rolleis, to Canons, to Leicas, to digital point-and-shoots, through several Nikon pro digitals to what I use now, a D3. I also sometimes work the street with an Epson R-D1. I think that everything depends on the photographer and his willingness to learn and his ability to look. Equipment doesn't change a thing. Either you look or you don't. Photographing, itself, is still nothing and looking is still everything. If your focus has turned away from photographs to equipment it's not because of the equipment. I do agree that we've created a world full of people with point-and-shoots, cell phones, etc., who haven't a clue what they're doing. On the other hand that sometimes helps. When I shoot on the street and awful lot of people don't realize I've made an exposure since they didn't see a flash.

Glad to hear that you got the personality-capturing shots of your dogs before they passed on. I have some of a long gone Dobe and a black lab that I treasure in the same way.

Well said, RSL. Now, on to your more pressing point...

I completely agree: "Everything does depend on the photographer and his willingness and his ability to look." My only concern is that SLR's today make the process of snapping a shot too easy, which affects one's willingness to look... and if you make something too easy, it eventually assays over into one's ability. To wit, I just received a new used Oly e510... have wanted to try one out for awhile and found a good deal on eBay. Pulled it out of the box and started clicking just to see what kind of interpolating it does... and you know, the whole process is just so damn easy. I can see some photographic green horn doing the same thing and make-believe he knows what he's doing just because he's got an SLR in his hands. Sigh... listen, I'm all for the democratization of snap-shooting. Bring it on. But I fear that all the bells and whistles of modern digital SLR's are actually discouraging, and not encouraging, the development of a photographer's eye.

I've also been using an SD14 for some time... reminds me of the Billy Joel song, "She's Always a Woman to Me." Definitely a quirky little gadget... but with a little work...
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tom b
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« Reply #48 on: June 03, 2009, 08:44:54 PM »
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Quote from: LightCapture
Well said, RSL. Now, on to your more pressing point...

I completely agree: "Everything does depend on the photographer and his willingness and his ability to look." My only concern is that SLR's today make the process of snapping a shot too easy, which affects one's willingness to look... and if you make something too easy, it eventually assays over into one's ability. To wit, I just received a new used Oly e510... have wanted to try one out for awhile and found a good deal on eBay. Pulled it out of the box and started clicking just to see what kind of interpolating it does... and you know, the whole process is just so damn easy. I can see some photographic green horn doing the same thing and make-believe he knows what he's doing just because he's got an SLR in his hands. Sigh... listen, I'm all for the democratization of snap-shooting. Bring it on. But I fear that all the bells and whistles of modern digital SLR's are actually discouraging, and not encouraging, the development of a photographer's eye.

I've also been using an SD14 for some time... reminds me of the Billy Joel song, "She's Always a Woman to Me." Definitely a quirky little gadget... but with a little work...

Modern digital cameras are a boon as far as developing a photographers eye. Instant feedback helps you to see what is happening with exposures. Cheap digital storage means that you can bracket shots or use exposure compensation. I couldn't afford to do that with film.

The real advantage with digital is that it allows you to experiment. You can take shots that would never have taken before. Quite often after taking the obvious shots in a landscape I will then look for unusual or eccentric images. This type of photography stretches your abilities and improves your eye.

A recent case was when I was taking photos recently on the South Coast. I was taking shots on the beach of waves crashing over rocks. The scene was very low key with a light sky, foamy white waves and a sandy beach in front. The only dark part of the images was the dark coloured rocks. Basically it was light disturbed by dark. As the light was fading I thought could I get dark disturbed by light images? I wandered down the beach and found some dark rocks that let parts of the sea and sky peek through. With digital I bumped up the ISO and started taking photos. Instant feedback meant that I could adjust my exposures so that the rocks weren't too light. The result was that I got some very interesting shots that I would never have got with a traditional approach.

At the heart of it is that digital cameras give you the ability to experiment with image making. The ability to view those images on a large monitor gives you feedback as to what works and what doesn't. Using digital techniques you can gain experience that would have taken much longer to gain with slow and reasoned techniques.

Hopefully the upside of this is with this experience you can avoid taking those shots that are never going to work and concentrate on getting better images. Hopefully by being able to experiment you can achieve a variety of images instead of taking safe and predictable shots.
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LightCapture
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« Reply #49 on: June 03, 2009, 11:59:07 PM »
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Quote from: tom  b
Modern digital cameras are a boon as far as developing a photographers eye. Instant feedback helps you to see what is happening with exposures. Cheap digital storage means that you can bracket shots or use exposure compensation. I couldn't afford to do that with film.

The real advantage with digital is that it allows you to experiment. You can take shots that would never have taken before. Quite often after taking the obvious shots in a landscape I will then look for unusual or eccentric images. This type of photography stretches your abilities and improves your eye.

A recent case was when I was taking photos recently on the South Coast. I was taking shots on the beach of waves crashing over rocks. The scene was very low key with a light sky, foamy white waves and a sandy beach in front. The only dark part of the images was the dark coloured rocks. Basically it was light disturbed by dark. As the light was fading I thought could I get dark disturbed by light images? I wandered down the beach and found some dark rocks that let parts of the sea and sky peek through. With digital I bumped up the ISO and started taking photos. Instant feedback meant that I could adjust my exposures so that the rocks weren't too light. The result was that I got some very interesting shots that I would never have got with a traditional approach.

At the heart of it is that digital cameras give you the ability to experiment with image making. The ability to view those images on a large monitor gives you feedback as to what works and what doesn't. Using digital techniques you can gain experience that would have taken much longer to gain with slow and reasoned techniques.

Hopefully the upside of this is with this experience you can avoid taking those shots that are never going to work and concentrate on getting better images. Hopefully by being able to experiment you can achieve a variety of images instead of taking safe and predictable shots.

You're absolutely right that the digital medium affords someone many more chances to get it right. In fact, an infinite number of chances given enough time. But I'm not sure that necessarily makes for a better photographer. I wonder just how many people have done a similar thing--adjusted and tweaked until they got the perfect shot, but then, had absolutely no idea either:
 
a) what the final shooting parameters were (A/S/etc.), and
b) more importantly, *why* that last shot actually worked.

It's very easy to be lazy about shooting with instant feedback, and I'd be willing to bet the bank that the vast majority of digital shooters today either tweak the parameters (ISO,f/stop,speed,WB,etc) until they get it right but if you asked them what the final parameters were they wouldn't have a clue; and/or they just shoot away and make all the necessary changes at their computer later. I find that with film, you *have* be more intentional and deliberate in your shooting and keep notes of what you did precisely because you don't have instant feedback. The process, in other words, is more exacting because you have fewer chances to get it right.

Who knows, you may be right, Tom, that digital makes for better photographers. But from what I've seen of the pics of friends who have taken up the hobby lately and also from the photog sites ubiquitous on the Net, I find a lot less attention devoted to photographic skill and a lot more devoted to either before-or- after-the-fact adjustments with no learning curve in the process. There's a reason the world's great photographers learned on film, and why virtually any photog class in the country worth its salt makes sure the students start with film before moving to digital.
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RSL
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« Reply #50 on: June 04, 2009, 11:12:33 AM »
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Quote from: LightCapture
Well said, RSL. Now, on to your more pressing point...

I completely agree: "Everything does depend on the photographer and his willingness and his ability to look." My only concern is that SLR's today make the process of snapping a shot too easy, which affects one's willingness to look... and if you make something too easy, it eventually assays over into one's ability. To wit, I just received a new used Oly e510... have wanted to try one out for awhile and found a good deal on eBay. Pulled it out of the box and started clicking just to see what kind of interpolating it does... and you know, the whole process is just so damn easy. I can see some photographic green horn doing the same thing and make-believe he knows what he's doing just because he's got an SLR in his hands. Sigh... listen, I'm all for the democratization of snap-shooting. Bring it on. But I fear that all the bells and whistles of modern digital SLR's are actually discouraging, and not encouraging, the development of a photographer's eye.

I've also been using an SD14 for some time... reminds me of the Billy Joel song, "She's Always a Woman to Me." Definitely a quirky little gadget... but with a little work...

I do think there's a difference in approach between a stand camera and a hand-held camera. With a view camera you have to set things up and focus and compose on the ground glass -- upside down -- usually under a cloth, then push in the film holder and draw the slide before you snap the shutter. It's a slow, contemplative process. But I can't see much difference between film and digital with a hand camera. When I was walking the street with a Leica the camera didn't seem any less easy to work with than my digitals have felt. I learned to judge light without a meter and I could almost always guess within a stop. I guess what I'm saying is that you need to become so familiar with your camera that you don't think about it any longer when you shoot a picture. You're right that it takes less time to do that with digital than it does with a non point-and-shoot film camera.

I find I make few if any more shots with digital than I did with film. Of course, I was loading my B&W cassettes from hundred foot rolls, so the cost of film wasn't too serious. But I think Tom made a good point about experimentation. The flexibility of digital lets you try things you couldn't have tried with film unless you were carrying several cameras.

I loved film, but I love the most recent evolution of digital too, and I'll never go back to film.
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« Reply #51 on: June 04, 2009, 11:14:42 AM »
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Quote
I wonder just how many people have done a similar thing--adjusted and tweaked until they got the perfect shot, but then, had absolutely no idea either:

a) what the final shooting parameters were (A/S/etc.), and
 more importantly, *why* that last shot actually worked.
I think you're overlooking one of the huge advantages digital has over film for learning and figuring out what works: EXIF. With digital I can evaluate my shots, compare them to each other, and take note of how exposure and other settings affected the outcome.

I have to wonder how many students learning with film will actually go through the painstaking process of manually recording all the exposure settings for each and every shot so that they can use that information to evaluate the developed film/prints. That just sounds way too tedious (not to mention error-prone) to me.

I just really don't get the argument that 'harder is better' when it comes to learning. In fact I would say that the ease of digital means users can focus more on photography and less on the technical craft of camera-work if they so desire. If getting the right exposure requires less effort, that just means more focus can be put on things like composition and perspective.

But for those who do want to hone their technical skills, digital is still a great learning tool. Maybe some people like digital so they can be lazy, but for others it's about efficiency, not laziness. I care about exposure, focus, etc, and feel I have a pretty good mastery of these issues despite not having learned on film. The efficiency of digital has helped me become a better photographer, not made me lazy.
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LightCapture
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« Reply #52 on: June 04, 2009, 11:39:13 AM »
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Quote from: JeffKohn
I think you're overlooking one of the huge advantages digital has over film for learning and figuring out what works: EXIF. With digital I can evaluate my shots, compare them to each other, and take note of how exposure and other settings affected the outcome.

I have to wonder how many students learning with film will actually go through the painstaking process of manually recording all the exposure settings for each and every shot so that they can use that information to evaluate the developed film/prints. That just sounds way too tedious (not to mention error-prone) to me.

I just really don't get the argument that 'harder is better' when it comes to learning. In fact I would say that the ease of digital means users can focus more on photography and less on the technical craft of camera-work if they so desire. If getting the right exposure requires less effort, that just means more focus can be put on things like composition and perspective.

But for those who do want to hone their technical skills, digital is still a great learning tool. Maybe some people like digital so they can be lazy, but for others it's about efficiency, not laziness. I care about exposure, focus, etc, and feel I have a pretty good mastery of these issues despite not having learned on film. The efficiency of digital has helped me become a better photographer, not made me lazy.

I think all these good comments from you and others on this forum about the benefits of digital begs an obvious question: what makes you and the others different from the vast majority of digital shooters? Well, for one thing, you're on this forum (and probably others like it), which means that you're more serious about the process of photography. The fact that you evaluate your shots, compare them to each other, take note, etc., already tells me you do far more than most. And if you're right about students learning with film who wouldn't bother going through the painstaking process of note-taking, then I wonder why so many photog schools (like the Pasadena Art Center College of Design, for example) have their students learn with film first? Tedium is not always a bad thing, which gets to your point about not buying the "harder is better" argument. If harder weren't better, then there would be a lot more great athletes, artists, and students in the world. But the fact is, hard is good--almost nothing in life worth having comes without hard work. And I don't think for a minute that "getting the right exposure" comports with "the technical craft of camera-work." Getting the right exposure is, as any photog worth his/her salt would tell you, more than half the entire battle. That's precisely where much of the skill lies. So you're comment, actually, goes a long way to making my point.

Yes, digital *can* be a good learning tool for the likes of you--but then, as I said before, you're on sites like this, which makes you the exception right out of the gate. Happy shooting!
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LightCapture
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« Reply #53 on: June 04, 2009, 11:41:48 AM »
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Quote from: RSL
I do think there's a difference in approach between a stand camera and a hand-held camera. With a view camera you have to set things up and focus and compose on the ground glass -- upside down -- usually under a cloth, then push in the film holder and draw the slide before you snap the shutter. It's a slow, contemplative process. But I can't see much difference between film and digital with a hand camera. When I was walking the street with a Leica the camera didn't seem any less easy to work with than my digitals have felt. I learned to judge light without a meter and I could almost always guess within a stop. I guess what I'm saying is that you need to become so familiar with your camera that you don't think about it any longer when you shoot a picture. You're right that it takes less time to do that with digital than it does with a non point-and-shoot film camera.

I find I make few if any more shots with digital than I did with film. Of course, I was loading my B&W cassettes from hundred foot rolls, so the cost of film wasn't too serious. But I think Tom made a good point about experimentation. The flexibility of digital lets you try things you couldn't have tried with film unless you were carrying several cameras.

I loved film, but I love the most recent evolution of digital too, and I'll never go back to film.

All good points, RSL. And my only response is that you, like Jeff and Tom, are certainly the exceptions, based on nothing less obvious than that you're on a forum like this--while 99% of other SLR digital shooters are not. Folks like you, in other words, are the exception that proves the rule.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2009, 11:43:19 AM by LightCapture » Logged

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tom b
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« Reply #54 on: June 04, 2009, 11:32:31 PM »
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Looking back I think that reason why I like digital is that the way I used film lacked points that you can get serious feedback.

With B&W I would load my own film, shoot, develop and then make proof sheets. I would then select shots that looked properly exposed and print them. My darkrooms included a outside toilet, basement and spare rooms all used late at night. Not many people can afford a dedicated darkroom. Any problems with the negative would be corrected principally through dodging and burning and paper selection. This was seen to be part of the craft.

The problem with this approach is that most of the shots are only ever seen in a 35x24mm rectangle on a proof sheet. Compare that to seeing every digital shot you have taken on a 20" screen with the ability to look at a 100% view of the image. Now I can see much more clearly lens problems such as pincushioning, barrel distortion and fringing. I can see where highlights have blown out and where shadows are blocked and I have much more control in fixing problems. However now that is not seen as a craft but as manipulation.

The other problem is that the other shots on the proof sheet aren't ruminated over but neglected as you try to get the best out of the handful of shots that are the 'best'. Getting feedback from these 35x24mm rectangles is very difficult. There is no data to tell you that you forgot to turn off exposure compensation for 6 shots, there is no data at all.

Shooting with colour film was no better. I would take my shots and get them processed into 6x4s. The lab would correct the prints for exposure and colour casts. Not really good for getting feedback about your original exposure. Transparencies were potentially better for feedback but as I only shot them for travel, once again the process got in the way. That is, cull the best, stick them in a tray and view them on a projector with a few white wines after dinner.

Unless you are working full-time with a limited range of film stock so that you can get to know it, digital wins hands down as a learning tool.

Did I enjoy using my film cameras? The answer is yes but I enjoy photography much more in the digital age and I think that I have learned much more in the past 7 years than I have in the previous 25 years thanks to digital technologies.
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LightCapture
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« Reply #55 on: June 05, 2009, 04:37:37 PM »
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Quote from: tom b
Looking back I think that reason why I like digital is that the way I used film lacked points that you can get serious feedback.

With B&W I would load my own film, shoot, develop and then make proof sheets. I would then select shots that looked properly exposed and print them. My darkrooms included a outside toilet, basement and spare rooms all used late at night. Not many people can afford a dedicated darkroom. Any problems with the negative would be corrected principally through dodging and burning and paper selection. This was seen to be part of the craft.

The problem with this approach is that most of the shots are only ever seen in a 35x24mm rectangle on a proof sheet. Compare that to seeing every digital shot you have taken on a 20" screen with the ability to look at a 100% view of the image. Now I can see much more clearly lens problems such as pincushioning, barrel distortion and fringing. I can see where highlights have blown out and where shadows are blocked and I have much more control in fixing problems. However now that is not seen as a craft but as manipulation.

The other problem is that the other shots on the proof sheet aren't ruminated over but neglected as you try to get the best out of the handful of shots that are the 'best'. Getting feedback from these 35x24mm rectangles is very difficult. There is no data to tell you that you forgot to turn off exposure compensation for 6 shots, there is no data at all.

Shooting with colour film was no better. I would take my shots and get them processed into 6x4s. The lab would correct the prints for exposure and colour casts. Not really good for getting feedback about your original exposure. Transparencies were potentially better for feedback but as I only shot them for travel, once again the process got in the way. That is, cull the best, stick them in a tray and view them on a projector with a few white wines after dinner.

Unless you are working full-time with a limited range of film stock so that you can get to know it, digital wins hands down as a learning tool.

Did I enjoy using my film cameras? The answer is yes but I enjoy photography much more in the digital age and I think that I have learned much more in the past 7 years than I have in the previous 25 years thanks to digital technologies.

I can only say that your experience with film and mine were quite different. When shooting color, I almost always shoot chrome for two simple reasons: I have greater control over the final output, and I know I'll have to cull anyway and it thus almost always ends up being cheaper than film. In particularly difficult lighting situations, I'll bracket incrementally from small to large (f/stop or ss or both) so that I always have a relatively good idea of what I've shot on any give frame. As for B&W, which is my favorite medium to shoot with, I try to do as little as possible in the dark room when I do my own processing. But even when I do dodge and burn or alter the chemical times, that's about all I'd do, which is a darn sight less than what you can do with photo software these days. And seeing a proof sheet with a loupe is more than enough for me to catch where "highlights had blown out and shadows were blocked." And dark room work is called an art form because it takes skill, knowledge, and time to learn how to do well. But with today's software, anyone can move their cursor up or down any number of gradients to tweak a shot to their heart's content without knowing the first thing about photography. And furthermore, digital technology hasn't figured out how to render b&w well enough to even get close to comparing to film. Show me two images of a scene, one shot with professional film and the other with the most expensive digital camera, and I or anyone else experienced in b&w photography will be able to distinguish between them in a country minute.

You write, "There is no data to tell you that you forgot to turn off exposure compensation for 6 shots..." Come again? Exposure compensation?? Ya see... you write as if that's a given, and when you're not told that it's "on" or "off," you interpret that to be a glitch. But here again, you've let a computer do the work of a trained eye. Where does it end? How about shooting with no compensation at all? In full manual mode. With no need for a light meter. Or better yet... a dead battery.

In the end, the computer age may be an equalizing force in the post-modern world when it comes to communication, information retrieval, art, and the like, but just because more people are doing something or have greater access to it, or it's easier to do, doesn't mean it's being done better--or even well, for that matter. We certainly have many more means to communicate with each other 24/7... but it seems to me we have less and less to say (present exchange excluded, of course). And just because my college students can "Google" just about anything they want to know doesn't mean that they're any smarter. In fact, talk to any teacher who's taught for the last 10-20 years and s/he will tell you that just the opposite has happened. So  just because digital cameras make it easier to manipulate data doesn't mean that it's been a boon to the art of photography. A boon to camera and lens companies? You bet, because they can make cheaper quality stuff and a lot more of it. But like any art form, dumb it down enough and you'll eventually turn it into a pastime.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2009, 04:39:27 PM by LightCapture » Logged

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bluekorn
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« Reply #56 on: June 08, 2009, 09:57:14 AM »
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"Digital imaging calls all the previous limitations into question. There are fewer limits and more possibilities. That means we can produce photographs in many more ways. And this in turn means we can make many more kinds of photographic statements. There’s never been a better time for a discussion of photographic composition."

Paul Caponigro  From today's "What's New" offering
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« Reply #57 on: June 08, 2009, 11:02:22 AM »
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Quote from: bluekorn
"Digital imaging calls all the previous limitations into question. There are fewer limits and more possibilities. That means we can produce photographs in many more ways. And this in turn means we can make many more kinds of photographic statements. There’s never been a better time for a discussion of photographic composition."

Paul Caponigro  From today's "What's New" offering

If "there's never been a better time for a discussion of photographic composition," then why have virtually all photo magazines become nothing more than a glorified advertisement for the latest gadget? And if that doesn't convince you--and it should--then take a look at this site. Under  "Raw & Post Processing, Printing" there are currently about 10,000 topic posts with 75,000 replies; under "Equipment & Techniques" there are 16,000 topic posts with about 143,000 replies; but under "The Art of Photography" there are only 1700 topic posts with 13,300 replies, of which approximately 3,600 replies are in the "Coffee Corner" which is committed to any topic under the sun including things that have nothing to do with photography. In other words, on the very site where you would expect a lot of "discussion of photographic composition," less than 5% of topic posts and replies are actually committed to that discussion. You do the math.

The plain fact is, we've become obsessed with the latest gadgetry and confused all this interest with a resurgence in photography. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Emperor has no clothes, folks. This is just another digital craze in the inexorable race for more bells and whistles, of which each bell and whistle dumbs the process down just a smidgen. And though more people may be taking glorified snapshots, the fact remains that interest in composition, the vagaries of lighting, etc. are being lost in the ether.

The Sigma SD14 is the canary in the coal mine. It's been panned from one reviewer to the next. Why? Because of its output and image quality? On the contrary. Pretty much every reviewer, including those who have panned it, recognize that it takes better pictures than just about any digital camera out there. It's panned because it doesn't have all these ridiculous little "helps" that the most advanced SLR's are apparently supposed to have. Fact is, the SD14 is for serious photographers who don't want/need any of those silly add-ons. Virtually every photographer I know who uses one puts it on Manual/RAW and never looks back. Can the same be said for any other camera out there? I don't think so.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 11:02:39 AM by LightCapture » Logged

In the right light, anything is beautiful.
Rob C
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« Reply #58 on: June 08, 2009, 04:40:35 PM »
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I have avoided writing here because I feel that there is a difference of minds polarizing into a position where whatever is said by one side is instantly refuted by the other as if a matter of principle.

Okay, since Iīm here, what do I find?

Remember Iīm retired after a long career as a photographer. By definition, all of that was spent with film, both b/w and colour tran and neg, with much experience of printing from all, including trannies. Thatīs my point of departure.

Since I retired I have shot very little film and, were it not for digital, might well have given up photography altogether. However, I have come to the conclusion that the best part of digital lies in the printing of film originals, and that Kodachrome has magically turned into as close to being a perfect colour/b and w material as ever existed. I am repeatedly informed that you canīt scan Kodachrome: surprising, to say the least; most everything I have printed has started as big K! Can only CanoScan scan K?

So what do I get out of my digital camera? So far, and it might only be limited by opportunity, a few b/w landscapes that I like - some skies that seem to be quite nice for grafting onto existing film shots and some pleasing (to me) shots of paint. I have not shot any people in a serious way and canīt say that I have been impressed with the casual shots that I have made. There seems to be something phoney-looking about skin.

How has it affected my technique? Very seriuosly. With film, there was never a time I guessed exposure: I always hand metered. Now, with film, faced with tricky outdoor lighting, Iīd probably be quite unsure about how to use my meter. I have become so damn dependent on the histogram that it has destroyed the confidence I had with a meter and film. In other words, itīs right where an earlier posted said it was: you become stuck on what the camera says or MIGHT be saying. Take the case of incident light metering with transparency. You took a reading which told you exactly where you could go to avoid getting clear film, the other colours/tones falling into place behind that highlight point.

Is the histogram the same? The hell it is. I cite my paint pics as an example. If one has a lot of white in it, then the histogram tells me one thing as I try to ETTR. In the same light, if I were to paint over that white with another colour already in the picture, why should that force a different setting on the digital camera, as it would? With transparency film in the same light, the same exposure would be correct in both cases.  Digital is an improvement? It takes me a darn sight longer to expose correctly than film ever did. The digital cameraīs metering system is defeated by the ETTR ethic. I follow ETTR because I think it might be correct, but with film I KNEW that the meter called the answer correctly. Looking at the meter reading in the camera, it goes all over the place when trying to use ETTR - it becomes as good as useless. And I used to think that Nikonīs Matrix was really accurate when all I did with the camera was street scenes or other open, general shots with all the tones and colour in the world. I suppose that thatīs what the camera metering systems are designed to handle: "average" scenes.

So, I think that digital photography (capture) has created a far more complicated and awkward way of doing things; I think that many of the wonder toys that are being introduced into MF digital are, in reality, nothing more than efforts to compensate for failures that film did not have. It has become a new wild west with the biggest and strongest running the others right out of town. The population didnīt do very well out of that scenario then, I doubt today will show a different result.

So, in my own case, and this is all it is, I find it a very mixed bag of pretty expensive tricks. When I wanted to shoot some slides, I didnīt need to buy a computer to do it! Nor to store them nor edit them. But then, perhaps thatīs where some find the photographic pleasure today, as in the other posterīs reference to photo magazines. It ainīt about the pics so much, more about the talking about the pics and the tools used to make them, perhaps?

Rob C
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 04:45:07 PM by Rob C » Logged

LightCapture
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« Reply #59 on: June 08, 2009, 05:54:50 PM »
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Well said, Rob. Couldn't agree more.

But why do I get the impression that in spite of it all, we're standing on the deck of a Photo-Titanic? What is that sound I hear rumbling in the lower decks? Is that North Atlantic water pouring into the hull (i.e. film developers closing up shop)? And what about all this hullabaloo on deck about grabbing the nearest lifeboat (i.e. digital cameras and all their attendant paraphernalia)? Are we who refuse to jump ship condemned to go down with it? I think so. Ten years from now and I wouldn't be surprised if photo-chemicals are a thing of a bygone era--and I suppose all the better environmentally speaking. But perhaps by then, we won't be limited to pixels that are the necessary stepchild of binary architecture. Maybe there's some promise in P-RAM or magnetic memories, polymers, or carbon nanotubes, but then what would be the purpose of all this photo technology (and this is where one can only <sigh>)? To emulate the luster and caste of liquid Kodachrome. And then we'll have ended where we began, and T.S. Eliot will have been correct where he wrote in Little Gidding:

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

In the meantime, I say rage against the machine and keep the little photo developers in business for as long as possible. Who knows? Maybe the Navy will develop an anti-magnetic cluster bomb that somehow accidentally detonates over the Nevada desert and makes all electrical currents inoperable in North America. Then sit back and watch the skyrocketing price of a Pentax K1000 on eBay. Oh, wait a minute... eBay would cease to exist. Well, it could be worse...
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In the right light, anything is beautiful.
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