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Author Topic: Shutterstock, Silicon Alley's first billionaire  (Read 2349 times)
RSL
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« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2013, 04:35:54 PM »
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. . .personal skills are being inexorably replaced by the endless mechanical opportunities of the computer which provide for an infinity of attempts and failures (monkeys, typewriters and William S. come to mind). I thought myself a pretty hot printer in my day; now, I realise that what I did with my eye and moving fingers has been replaced by a mechanoical process with no soul or imagination, just the ability to go on endlesly until that moment of perfectly sterile perfection of not a lot. Hell, even the joy in the picture at the end is vanishing, lost to that sense of depleted personal input.

Rob, It sounds as if you're saying a good photograph can only come from hard work in the darkroom. To me, a photograph either succeeds or fails at the moment the shutter trips. Everything after that is grunt work, and the computer cuts down on both the difficulty and the tedium of the grunt work.

But I'll confess there was tactile satisfaction in working with wet paper in my hands and watching a print come up under gentle agitation. I think the loss of that satisfaction is mainly what people who are unsatisfied with computer processing are mourning. I miss it too, but I wouldn't go back to it on a bet.

I know that you and Walter both believe it's not possible to produce a print on a digital printer that's the equal of a good gelatin-silver print, but if both kinds of print are equally well done I just can't see any difference. In B&W I don't think a digital print can beat a gelatin-silver print, but I do think it can equal it. In color, to me at least, there's no comparison. Today's advanced printers and inks can beat gelatin-silver-dye color prints hands down, and of course their longevity is an order of magnitude greater.

I certainly agree that "perfectly sterile perfection of "not a lot" is overtaking every branch of art -- not just photography, but I don't blame digital techniques. I blame the people who are producing "not a lot." Were we still depending on gelatin-silver the same people who are using digital would be producing "not a lot." It's a problem with the culture, not the tools.
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mezzoduomo
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« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2013, 05:41:53 PM »
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Okay, scrub 'leads' and paste in 'is conduit to' finer things. However you choose to word it, I believed that the evolutionary trend was upwards towards better, in the sense that our lives might improve as direct consequence of those changes... In the case of photography and photographers, I belive it's gone backwards quite rapidly. The work available is vanishing; the standards are different but not, in my mind, better; personal skills are being inexorably replaced by the endless mechanical opportunities of the computer which provide for an infinity of attempts and failures (monkeys, typewriters and William S. come to mind). I thought myself a pretty hot printer in my day; now, I realise that what I did with my eye and moving fingers has been replaced by a mechanoical process with no soul or imagination, just the ability to go on endlesly until that moment of perfectly sterile perfection of not a lot. Hell, even the joy in the picture at the end is vanishing, lost to that sense of depleted personal input.

Actually, I think that the amateur is coming off worse than the professional. For the pro, the constraints of time and money make quicker options attractive propositions, but for his ‘personal’ work - and by extension that of all the true amateurs – the input is not now one just of personal skill and experience, but more of patience. The resulting sadness at the knowledge that pretty much anyone can do it if they keep the computer on for long enough, is surely a constant downer for anyone who knew the old crafts.

No, I seek neither argument nor several rounds of fisticuffs; just making a point that rankles me more than a little. Maybe that’s why I’ve lost so much enthusiasm: it doesn’t seem a worthwhile thing to do these days – you press a button, feed something in and play with some more buttons and a mouse, and there you are: your picture. What fun. Where the excitement and the waiting for that little yellow box? Or that wet roll to dry so you can contact it?

Instead, we have instant gratification married to the knowledge that over ninety per cent of what we shoot dies stillborn, victim to the cheap and easy ride.

Evolution? Suicide?

Rob C




Strong support for the (understandably nostalgic) grumpy old man stereotype. Digital has obviously added so much to the art and science of photography that carping seems quaint and selfish and....narrow minded.
I'm not going to cry for the people who want to be pros (in a dead model) any more than I'd cry for the typewriter repairman or the post office or record store owner.  I recently saw Joe Walsh reduced to a whining mess, going on and on about the 'death of the music business'.  Tell that to my 18 year old son and his buddy who composed, recorded and distributed an album's worth of original music in a month's time using little more than a Mac Air and a $50 electric guitar.
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Isaac
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« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2013, 07:11:32 PM »
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...now, I realise that what I did with my eye and moving fingers has been replaced by a mechanoical process with no soul or imagination...

After The Golden Age we do the best we can with what we have.
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Rob C
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« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2013, 02:47:34 AM »
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After The Golden Age we do the best we can with what we have.



Mechanoical.... I like that; sounds almost perfectly, evolutionarily formed to function; must indulge in a few more neologisms in the future - thanks for bringing it to my attention - this creative stuff is becoming quite catchy.

Yes, you're right: post-GA it's all been downhill. Thank goodness more now realise the fact; could be the start of a beautiful revival! As with '59 Coupe de Villes, I'll hold my breath for more I can't afford to buy.

;-)

Rob C
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 03:12:08 AM by Rob C » Logged

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