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Author Topic: Is it Over?  (Read 38863 times)

ibarryhyman

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Re: Is it Over?
« Reply #80 on: May 29, 2016, 07:35:08 pm »

Thanks for the welcome, but I still disagree with you. Even at 1 : 100 photography moved in better direction with more philosophy and concern for the environment than Ansel could of ever dreamed or composed.


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Rob C

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Re: Is it Over?
« Reply #81 on: May 30, 2016, 05:35:46 am »

Thanks for the welcome, but I still disagree with you. Even at 1 : 100 photography moved in better direction with more philosophy and concern for the environment than Ansel could of ever dreamed or composed.


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The welcome is unconditional; in this democracy you are free to disagree with me or anyone else.

I'm not, of course, saying that I believe in a total democracy, as it's my opinion that the number if idiots exceeds the number of non-idiots, but that's life, as Aristotle was given to saying, and it seems the lesser evil of the several choices of governance available to us. It remains to be seen whether Britain will come out on the right side of the Brexit situation - perhaps it will and perhaps not. Isn't it ironic, perverse even, that the freedom of the vote puts such an illogical demand upon the population - that we shall trust in (and be bound by) the decisions of those we might consider less able?

But insofar as we think about it in photographic terms - I can't change my mind and accept your approach. Photo-chemistry was eventually recognized for the hazard that it was, and in Britain at least, before the 80s, it was made legally compulsory for darkroom chemicals to be collected safely and removed for recycling or whatever the chemical process was called. I remember this well, because it marked the period where my life switched almost completely away from darkrooms to the joys of Kodachrome.

Embracing art: what's art, is the first problem. Some see it's apogee in kicking a ball around a field, yet others in hitting it with sticks. In most of these instances the definition of greatness seems to be derived from - or based upon - the attendant difficulty in performing well the 'task' experienced. In that vein, as the photographic 'task' has been ever reduced in complexity and skill required to reach an even minimal level of competence, I can only conclude that the entire concept has been devalued so far that it will soon stop being though of as art at all. Happy days!

Rob C

ibarryhyman

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Re: Is it Over?
« Reply #82 on: May 30, 2016, 06:06:30 pm »

Rob C , The time we live in this moment is very religious and a turn to the right in the political realm leaves the voters to not believe social programs can't work. Art has suffered in the consequence especially from perception . I've been reading the photography literature from Shawn Tomlinson he brings the bottom line for photography. His books are between 3 and 4 $ apiece. He loves the color that older digital cameras create, and discusses the lost world of the area where he lives. He shows the beautiful photos he's taken with the different older cameras between 2 1/2. megapixel to 14 1/2 . The insight is the way he and his family and friend find their way in photography. Give it a read, maybe you could lose some of the hopeless feelings you
have about living in the present. :)


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samoore

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Re: Is it Over?
« Reply #83 on: July 03, 2016, 07:16:34 am »

Our current technological period has range of choices unrivaled by any other period in photographic history. If your process is to use 100 year old lenses and wet plates, there is a thriving group of people doing that, or if you just want to make silver prints off film, thats alive and well. C-prinitng? Yeah there are still some people rocking it, or if you like me use a hybrid process and scan, then you can do that. How about full on digital? At this second we are riding the very apex of technology (or you could choose to use older digital technology to make a statement). If you wanted to you could even have robots take photographs for you, it happens in factories and sorting facilities millions of times a day. I mean being worried about interpolation is like being worried about dye couplers or something... Because the color isn't really there, but through process is added later. I'm sure when people really started to embrace film the guys coating their own plates were saying "thats bogus!" too  ;).
« Last Edit: July 03, 2016, 07:27:55 am by samoore »
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GrahamBy

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Re: Is it Over?
« Reply #84 on: July 04, 2016, 11:20:24 am »

I think I've figured it out. Once upon a time, there were a few people making high quality photos, and they sold them to people who needed them.

Now there are many, many, many photographers, some of whom buy things they think will help them make high quality photos: not just cameras, but courses, subscriptions, printers, exotic textured papers, cloud space where they can exhibit. They might even rent a real gallery to show their photos to their friends.

Photographers are now the market.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2016, 06:17:58 pm by GrahamBy »
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Rob C

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Re: Is it Over?
« Reply #85 on: July 04, 2016, 02:58:16 pm »

I think I've figured it out. Once upon a time, there were a few people making high quality photos, and they sold them to people who needed them.

Now there are many, many, many photographers, some of whom buy things they think will help them make high quality photos: not just cameras, but courses, subscriptions, printers, exotic textured papers, cloud space where they can exhibit. They might even rent a real gallery to show there photos to their friends.

Photographers are now the market.


I think you have made quite a discovery, there. I'd never really thought of it in those rather absolute terms before.

We've always managed to be a market of sorts for magazines and photo-product makers, but I have to agree - we now seem to be more closely connected with marketing to one another (within photography) than we were before.

Not a good sign; strikes me as one of those bubbles that comes along now and again and then explodes, leaving a sticky mess behind it.

Rob

samoore

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Re: Is it Over?
« Reply #86 on: July 04, 2016, 04:20:01 pm »


I think you have made quite a discovery, there. I'd never really thought of it in those rather absolute terms before.

We've always managed to be a market of sorts for magazines and photo-product makers, but I have to agree - we now seem to be more closely connected with marketing to one another (within photography) than we were before.

Not a good sign; strikes me as one of those bubbles that comes along now and again and then explodes, leaving a sticky mess behind it.

Rob

There's always been a vanity market for photographic enthusiasts, all you have to is look in some old photo magazines and you'll see the same kind of stuff that was marketed back then today, but on a nonmaterial level the internet can work wonders if you can use it properly. As far as social networks go Instagram is the only one I really use besides Tumblr, but its opened my up to new circles of artists who I'd never see otherwise. Thats really something special, especially when you can trade with them, and exchange critiques or support. Awhile ago I was talking with a photographer I used to assist, and he was telling me that in the days where a printed book would travel around to reps or clients it was almost like espionage to get a look inside, but now the world is at your fingertips.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2016, 04:23:09 pm by samoore »
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GrahamBy

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Re: Is it Over?
« Reply #87 on: July 04, 2016, 06:26:53 pm »

Thats really something special, especially when you can trade with them, and exchange critiques or support.

Absolutely, and you are free to take it all very seriously and do excellent work... provided you have some other way of paying the bills.

Once upon a time, driving a car was quite a technical challenge, and so being a chauffeur was a job. Cars became easier to drive.
Of course there are still taxi drivers, but their skill is not driving, but knowing their way around... and that is being taken away by GPS, as Uber have demonstrated. So aside from artificial protection by legislation, the only remaining driving jobs are for heavy trucks (which doesn't pay much) or delivery vans (even less).
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 01:01:34 pm by GrahamBy »
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Is it Over?
« Reply #88 on: July 04, 2016, 08:53:40 pm »

Our current technological period has range of choices unrivaled by any other period in photographic history

Absolutely.  This is The Golden Age of Photography.  Right now.  Today.

Rob, I share your fondness for camera fondling and the Pentax Spotmatic that caused me to fall in love with photography is still an object of private tactile engagement.  My D800, however, elicits no such feelings. But the Pentax sits unused in a drawer, while the Nikon continues to amaze and inspire me.  Not because I can't feed the Pentax with film, but because the Nikon makes better images.  Far, far better images.

Many have made the point that "there's no comparing the moment you first see one of your images emerge in the dev tray".  I disagree.  Having had that seminal moment myself many years and many darkrooms ago, I can say that seeing a four by six foot print emerge from my Epson was just as significant.

If you want to hear real whining about the loss of the wonderful days of film, talk to cinematographers.  They used to hold the keys to the kingdom.  Now, they're just another crew member.
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Rob C

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Re: Is it Over?
« Reply #89 on: July 05, 2016, 11:11:34 am »

There's always been a vanity market for photographic enthusiasts, all you have to is look in some old photo magazines and you'll see the same kind of stuff that was marketed back then today, but on a nonmaterial level the internet can work wonders if you can use it properly. As far as social networks go Instagram is the only one I really use besides Tumblr, but its opened my up to new circles of artists who I'd never see otherwise. Thats really something special, especially when you can trade with them, and exchange critiques or support. Awhile ago I was talking with a photographer I used to assist, and he was telling me that in the days where a printed book would travel around to reps or clients it was almost like espionage to get a look inside, but now the world is at your fingertips.


Yes, and those 'books' - portfolios - got one a lot of work, even if not always all that similar to the work in the book. The secrecy was clearly defensive: why let the competition see what you were using to get work? They'd only copy what you did and dilute your own value. You could also buy space in a couple of very expensive publications, and get international exposure that way.

Today, all that secret weaponry is dead. You have to have a site, and everybody in every country can look and, if they find it, copy as much as they like. I've never been able to fnd a website for the David Bailey; I wonder what he does - probably doesn't even care. In a way, I imagine that all this free access and exposure is why there are now so few standout photographers; today, they are all pretty much clones of the same generic style, everybody copying everybody else. Only some of the older ones seem to have been able to hang on to some identity of their own.

Rob

samoore

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Re: Is it Over?
« Reply #90 on: July 05, 2016, 12:11:32 pm »

Absolutely, and you are free to take it all very seriously and do excellent work... provided you have some other way of paying the bills.

Once upon a time, driving a car was quite a technical challenge, and so being a chauffeur was a job. Cars became easier to drive.
Of course there are still taxi drivers, but there skill is not driving, but knowing their way around... and that is being taken away by GPS, as Uber have demonstrated. So aside from artificially protection by legislation, the only remaining driving jobs are for heavy trucks (which doesn't pay much) or delivery vans (even less).

I find that sentiment rather freeing. I sort of self identify as an artist who works photographically, and I'm about to take the plunge into MFA land soon... I grew up with a father who was a professional photographer, and I just never really wanted to work in that world, I did for awhile as an assistant, but I kind of prefer to keep it separate from my livelihood, and therefor preserve it for myself in some way.
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Diego Pigozzo

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Re: Is it Over?
« Reply #91 on: July 06, 2016, 03:58:05 am »

The challenge with digital archives is not about their intrinsic archivability or lack thereof, it is whether anyone will bother keeping the stuff.

The only problem is the amount of stuff you have to keep in order to access the digital archives, because it isn't enough to keep the digital archives themselves: you have to keep the software that can access those archives.
And the operating system that can run that software.
And the hardware that can run that operating system system.

A failure in any of these component will make the digital archivers unaccessable.

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Rob C

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Re: Is it Over?
« Reply #92 on: July 06, 2016, 05:57:00 am »

The only problem is the amount of stuff you have to keep in order to access the digital archives, because it isn't enough to keep the digital archives themselves: you have to keep the software that can access those archives.
And the operating system that can run that software.
And the hardware that can run that operating system system.

A failure in any of these component will make the digital archivers unaccessable.


Is this something for which we ever wished?

Rob

petermfiore

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Re: Is it Over?
« Reply #93 on: July 06, 2016, 06:00:26 pm »


Is this something for which we ever wished?

Rob

NO!!! This never ending insane cycle is so much more of an expense then film ever was...

Peter

ptarmigan

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Re: Is it Over?
« Reply #94 on: August 03, 2016, 11:45:49 am »

I believe digital images to be equal to and as valid as those made on film (or slides). I don't think it matters what gear was used or how 'great' the photographer is propertied to be. The image should stand and speak for itself.

It's not helped I suspect by the fact that almost all images are now viewed on a monitor/screen and from 18" to 24". Why oh why pixel-peep at 100% and more when (as an example) the final output should be viewed as a 3 foot wide print and from 6 feet away. 

I've been a photographer for over 40 years and as a teenager developed my own mono images in the family bathroom. These days like most people I rarely if ever use film though I still own a 1932 Leica II D and a plethora of Olympus OMs including perhaps my most favourite camera of all time, the Olympus OM3 which is I might add is in mint condition. Over the years I've shot everything from 35mm, sir, rangefinder, tlr, MF, LF studio cameras and of course now dslr, digital rangefinder and iPhone. Am I less a photographer now than I was then?

When I became a photographer, most things were tricky. The gear, especially SLR or rangefinder equipment necessitated a degree of competence and understanding to use it effectively. You needed to know your gear well and understand exposure as well as tricks of the trade from composition to panning techniques and beyond. Then of course was the film; which to use and in what circumstances. And if you did your own developing and printing, push and pull, Ilford vs Kodak etc, film vs slide, fuji velvia, kodachrome 64 etc etc. Oh and not to mention my favourite of all agfa scala 200!

I could go on! Cameras went on for years and years. My OM3 first introduced in 1983 is still as good as ever. I remember shooting a Zenit E with a 400mm lens attached having to prefocus to obtain shots of fast moving, often high flying motocross bikes. You needed to build and develop your skills well to get any decent images. Is my work less valued (if at all!) than it was in days of yore? Of course I am not suggesting that one doesn't need much of this knowledge and many of these skills today.

For me photography has always been an art form, something to be cherished and to be executed technically well combined with all the other elements to make great images (hopefully) more often than not. Less was always more. These days of course everyone's a photographer what with smart phones/camera phones and point and shoot 'mode' cameras. There's no doubt that for many, these new cameras take away much of the guess-work and the necessity for many of the 'gear' skills once needed. I recall watching a short video of a sports photographer shoot a 'dance' gymnast performing with a ribbon. Shooting at 10 FPS with a long 400mm lens and VR he managed to capture the perfectly timed image. Nothing wrong with that, I'd have missed it for sure in the olden days.

Perhaps familiarity breeds contempt? Perhaps less perceived (or actual) effort in the making results in a lowering of the worth of our output? Images surround us now, more than they ever have but is that at a cost? I believe so. Whilst it is great that photography is therefore available to everyone often at least cost and with greater ease there is for me personally a massive downside.

Mediocrity.

The great shame despite all these 'improvements' is that rather than use the high ISO capabilities, faster shutter speeds, amazing AF systems, truly marvellous dynamic ranges et al to create better and more exciting images, many just use them to shoot poor images that get added to the plethora of mediocrity that abounds throughout the internet. Many of today's so-called photographers shoot hundreds if not thousands of images in the hope that just a few will be worthy. Many don't understand exposure, don't get composition, can't manage to focus on the right point, do not understand depth of field, depth of focus, when to use which focal length and how to use subject to lens distance for effect.

Of course, lets not forget pixel peepers; where would we be without 100% and 200% view? And then there's the forums. Self proclaimed experts who argue from I'll-informed positions spouting option as fact. Where will it all end! Don't get me started on Ken Rockwell either!
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 11:50:50 am by ptarmigan »
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scooby70

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Re: Is it Over?
« Reply #95 on: August 04, 2016, 08:58:11 pm »

Of course, lets not forget pixel peepers; where would we be without 100% and 200% view? And then there's the forums. Self proclaimed experts who argue from I'll-informed positions spouting option as fact. Where will it all end! Don't get me started on Ken Rockwell either!

The kit and how an image is produced has changed, how images are viewed has changed, who can get involved has changed and the debates and arguments and where they take place have all changed. Everything has changed, but isn't it all just the same? Back in the day we did things differently and we argued about different things in different ways so what's changed? :D
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Otto Phocus

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Re: Is it Over?
« Reply #96 on: August 05, 2016, 05:52:58 am »



Once upon a time, driving a car was quite a technical challenge, and so being a chauffeur was a job. Cars became easier to drive.
Of course there are still taxi drivers, but their skill is not driving, but knowing their way around... and that is being taken away by GPS, as Uber have demonstrated. So aside from artificial protection by legislation, the only remaining driving jobs are for heavy trucks (which doesn't pay much) or delivery vans (even less).

That is an interesting analogy.  I suspect that professional taxi drivers have the same complaints as professional photographers concerning technology affecting the customer's perception of the worth of the professional. There are also similarities concerning taxes and insurance between the two professions.

I wonder how many professional photographers use Uber?
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Rob C

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Re: Is it Over?
« Reply #97 on: August 05, 2016, 09:42:56 am »

That is an interesting analogy.  I suspect that professional taxi drivers have the same complaints as professional photographers concerning technology affecting the customer's perception of the worth of the professional. There are also similarities concerning taxes and insurance between the two professions.

I wonder how many professional photographers use Uber?


Client perception has always been paramount, especially in situations where finite quality, if that's even measurable, is open to opinion. That's why people with good clients seem to attract more good clients: each reinforces the confidence of the others in choosing a particular photographer. Or taxi firm.

Rob C

Zorki5

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Re: Is it Over?
« Reply #98 on: August 05, 2016, 12:11:27 pm »

Client perception has always been paramount, especially in situations where finite quality, if that's even measurable, is open to opinion. That's why people with good clients seem to attract more good clients: each reinforces the confidence of the others in choosing a particular photographer. Or taxi firm.

I find GrahamBy's analogy to be spot on -- as far as technical skills are concerned.

What you're talking about is business skills, which are not to be underestimated, of course (up to a point that more often than not they outweigh everything else...), but that's a different matter.
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KevinA

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Re: Is it Over?
« Reply #99 on: August 10, 2016, 04:57:52 pm »

It comes down to the photographer in the end and how they see it, professional work I have no choice it has to be digital, no client would wait for film scans and would have no idea what to do with transparencies if they fell out of an enveleope onto the desk.
Take the client out of the equation and I have my reasons for choosing film and not liking digital, but it's my opinion for my work, I have to please no one else or justify my choice. When shooting digital I am aware of most digital techniques and use them, it's great I can control DR ,saturation, tone curve and the end result has nothing to complain about for technical quality.
So why choose film? my vision of the difference and it's only my view is digital lacks soul, it's too easy, I miss the journey you go on with film from loading it in the camera, processing, printing. A decision has to be made at every stage and most are not reversible.
My digital cameras are just as the article says data collection devices, I collect raw files then turn them into whatever takes my fancy whenever I want, for many that is the reason for preferring the digital  capture.
In the end use what you want for whatever reason.
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