"This thread has generated a wave of nostalgia in my deepest recesses. I could never afford an actual Rollie as a kid, but finally managed to obtain a Yashica Mat, and really loved it. Sadly, I sold it along with all my film equipment when I "went digital" several years ago, and I regret having done so.Still, the adventurous striving for image "perfection" in the digital idiom is deeply rewarding, just "different".Ah, well........... . Jack Winberg"
This, posted in a thread about Rolleiflex, made me lean back in the chair and think.
It brought me to the realisation that there are basic communication problems here in photography land. For some, it’s all about the quoted “perfection”, and for others, apparently a tiny minority, it’s still about pictures, with technique being a factor of less importance, in the sense that once you know how to do something reasonably well, it’s time to forget the technique and just concentrate on the image.
I realised, in my own life, that when faced with less than excellent models because of budgets, reasonable technique was the single factor that allowed me to bring home something useable. Work carried out under such constraints never soared, but it certainly knew how to fly high enough to pay the bills.
This lower dependency on “perfection” might have been partly due to film. We were all accustomed to seeing grain, in some degree or another, and it didn’t do anything particularly negative to us; our attention was pretty much always concentrated on the image within the page – how well or otherwise some editor had used it, whether we wished we’d taken that shot ourselves, all of them aesthetic considerations. Today, I get the sense that that sort of looking has become a thing of the past; today, it’s as if the technical “perfection” referred to in the quoted post has taken over from the emotional kick of the message within the image – the medium, in fact, really has become the message.
If this needs further proof, then I believe that I see it in the digital retouching, which appears to me to have become far more important than the subject matter that’s been retouched into fantasy. Does photography itself become diminished?