Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Down

Author Topic: Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article  (Read 10447 times)

jjj

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4728
    • http://www.futtfuttfuttphotography.com
Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article
« on: October 08, 2015, 01:43:13 pm »

Quite an interesting article and I know exactly where the author is coming from. Constantly learning rather than doing can be detrimental to the practice of whatever you are practicing
However knowing when to stop upgrading moving on is key I'd say to doing this successfully.

Digital tools are now quite mature and vast improvements on even what we had just a few years back.
This is why subscription models started appearing as the yearly must have upgrades are no longer essential or making such a big difference.
So now is quite a good time to mark a line in the sand if pursuing that strategy. Not sure that 6 years ago was, the time Huntington has preserved his computer hardware.
And yes PS 4.0 was quite good - at the time. But all later full upgrade versions of PS have made my life much easier and the introduction of LR easier still.

So as soon as the law of diminishing returns starts to appear [which may be the case for many of us now], then would in my mind be a good time to think there's no point in constantly replacing your tools.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2015, 01:45:33 pm by jjj »
Logged
Tradition is the Backbone of the Spinele

Telecaster

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3686
Re: Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2015, 04:45:41 pm »

Yeah. I took one such break from the gear replacement merry-go-round, from late 2007 through early 2013. This was due in part to nerve issues with my right hand & shoulder that forced me to reduce my pic-taking activity, but mainly due to being happy, comfortable & confident with the stuff I had. Then I finally dealt with the nerve issue (via surgery) and have been experimenting with an array of new gizmos ever since. Think I've reached my limit again, though, and at a point where meaningful (to me) tech improvement seems to have plateaued. Now it's time to put some serious wear & tear on my favorite tools!

As for software…I've let my Adobe stuff lapse and am using standalone apps only. Except when printing I do all my post work on my iPad with Sandy's PhotoRaw and the LR-ish Photogene. These tools are unrefined compared to their desktop/laptop counterparts, but I don't mind working within their constraints.

-Dave-
Logged

Stardog2

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10
  • I look good fat, I'm gonna look good old . . .
    • My Dynamic Range
Re: Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2015, 05:08:35 pm »

At the Age of 65, I can say I've been involved in photography for 53 years, since I was 12.  I can't imaging the number of times I've had to re learn photography and the technological weight that has always accompanied it.

I don't consider that to be a burden, I consider it . . . what?   Part of the price of doing photography and an opportunity to re-invent myself, at least a little bit.

Every time I've had to upgrade to a new version of Windows, when I stopped using Lightroom and migrated to ACDSee Pro (Now using Ultimate 9, so VERY cool!), when I switched from film to digital and gave up my Canon SLRs, changed from my Canon G3 to an Olympus E500, then an E30, and now, an E-M10,  I've learned something new and my photography has changed.  Do not think the change from 4/3s to m43s was easy, it was not!

Our technology affects our perceptions, and our perceptions change how we think and what we think about.  Maybe no one else can see the changes in my photographs, but they are there.

Now, I'm going backwards, and experimenting with attaching my ancient Canon FL series lenses to my E-M10.  Trying to merge the lenses of my young adult self with the technology of my old man self.  I'm finding that these lenses offer a subtle difference in color and tonality that we simply don't see in modern lenses.  I have no intention of sitting back and watching "Wheel of Fortune" on TV!




Logged

jjj

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4728
    • http://www.futtfuttfuttphotography.com
Re: Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2015, 05:16:50 pm »

At the Age of 65, I can say I've been involved in photography for 53 years, since I was 12.  I can't imaging the number of times I've had to re learn photography and the technological weight that has always accompanied it.

I don't consider that to be a burden, I consider it . . . what?   Part of the price of doing photography and an opportunity to re-invent myself, at least a little bit.
New tools and new processes can be a great thing as they get you out of a rut and refresh your eyes. I like travel for the same reason, new places, new thoughts.
Logged
Tradition is the Backbone of the Spinele

Andy Ilachinski

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 27
    • Sudden Stillness
Re: Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2015, 09:18:40 pm »

In my own case, as I struggle with keeping up with the latest and greatest (though with as much pleasure as angst;-), I take a particular - if slightly vicarious - delight in the fact that my youngest son (a 12 yo) is (1) deeply unimpressed by dynamic range this, megapixels that, features over there,... and (2) is just about joined at the hip with his beloved - and ancient! - SX-70 polaroid. I wrote about some of his early explorations here, and remain fascinated - and proud, as photographer and dad - at his "retro" sojourn into photography! :-)

mikeodial

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 34
Re: Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2015, 10:18:04 pm »

Well I cannot argue with your skills as a photographer. The images say it all. However, as someone who has spent my life in the software industry, we cannot hide from technology. Even if you want to have a time capsule to keep things the same, they will change around you. For myself, not all new tech is good of course, but it does move the bar. Just as artists move the bar on what is art. 

Sometimes backward, then forward, but always changing. Who would have predicted the phone would be the camera. We have more photographers than ever as a result. The same with video. It has become mainstream.
The technology starts out in a specialized form, but always becomes more affordable.

Yes, there will be those who want film and the darkroom, or a hybrid, film and the digital darkroom. Sensor technology and PP tech will eventually give us the same characteristics and more than film could never give us. Movies are made with digital cameras, unthinkable until recently.

David Hockney's book Secret Knowledge is perhaps the best answer as a long view look at technology and art. Even the birth of the "photographic image" before the science was invented.

This is the change that surrounds us.

Having said all of that ... it's good to reflect. Thank you for your article.
Logged

Paulo Bizarro

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6397
    • http://www.paulobizarro.com
Re: Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2015, 04:04:01 am »

There are several pragmatic aspects:

1. If you make a living from photography, you need to be aware of the latest and greatest technology, just to compete against others. Unless you are very famous and can just dump your memory cards with your printing person, and leave your business details with a trusty associate.

2. If you are just shooting for yourself, sure, use whatever you are comfortable with.

GrahamBy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1811
    • Some of my photos
Re: Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2015, 04:12:12 am »

Constantly learning rather than doing can be detrimental to the practice of whatever you are practicing

A couple of weeks ago I found some framed B&W prints I made after my first trip hitching around France in 1984. Shot on an OM4, possibly on XP1, printed on my $100 Chinese enlarger on multigrade Ilford RC. Y'know, I would have been happy to have taken and printed them yesterday  :D
Logged

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 24074
Re: Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2015, 06:23:58 am »

A couple of weeks ago I found some framed B&W prints I made after my first trip hitching around France in 1984. Shot on an OM4, possibly on XP1, printed on my $100 Chinese enlarger on multigrade Ilford RC. Y'know, I would have been happy to have taken and printed them yesterday  :D

Seconded!

I can think back to '65, the year before I went solo, to some prints I made for the 'boss' from his M3 and a 21mm lens, of some sets we did for BBC TV in Glasgow. Black/white and amazing. I never found that b/w 'colour' again using Nikon, Rollei, Mamiya nor Hasselblad. Honest Kodak WSG papers, no Multigrade nor any other aberration to be 'different', 'convenient'. When resin coated papers came in I was lucky: I no longer really needed to print, I was pretty much totally Kodachrome or Ektachrome.

All digital printing has done is save the need to 'borrow' the wife's transparent nail polish.

Yep, far finer control has arrived, but does it help? There is very much such a thing as over-perfection. It kills character and personality, because perfection owns neither.

Rob C

GrahamBy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1811
    • Some of my photos
Re: Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2015, 07:06:52 am »

A strange parallel: during the five consecutive years that Mick Doohan was 500cc motorcycle world champion, he said his main off-season task was persuading Honda to NOT change the bike. The year he retired due to injury, the title was won by his team-mate, Alex Criville, who at the end of the year agreed to let Honda build him a more powerful bike. He was never in the running for the title the next year and retired at the end of it from a stress-related psychosomatic illness.
Logged

JeanMichel

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 504
Re: Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2015, 09:46:32 am »

obsolete adj 1 it works as it always did.

Still, I find it refreshing and re-juvenating to use new ways of producing photographs. I am looking forward to see and use what is yet to come in our field. However, I am now faced with either spending about $2500 to repair my Epson 7890 or a couple more thousands to replace it, and that is just after 3 years of use. The printer is not obsolete, but it does not work! My obsolete Omega D2 enlarger, bought used when I was a student in the late 60's, can be brought out of storage today and make prints. Assuming that obsolete paper is still available  :)
Jean-Michel
Logged

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 24074
Re: Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2015, 10:06:43 am »

On the topěc of liking or not liking having to learn new techniques, I certainly do not!

In my view, technique should be learned/studied until it is no longer thought about and you just make pictures, never asking yourself how to make them. Just like driving.

You can't reach that happy state when the tools keep changing for no better reason other than to force you to buy something new.

From removing focussing rings, diaphragm rings, depth of field scales, it's all dumbing down to suit the thickest guy with the biggest wallet.

Rob C

GrahamBy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1811
    • Some of my photos
Re: Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2015, 11:00:46 am »

From removing focussing rings, diaphragm rings, depth of field scales, it's all dumbing down

But it's not compulsory. I have my K3 set to spot meter, so I can take a spot reading and hold it. I also have it set to spot AF, independent of the shutter button: So I point it at what I want in focus, press a button. Point at what I want as mid grey, press a button. Turn a dial under my thumb to set aperture, the one under my forefinger to set shutter speed. I allow the camera to set the ISO that will work with those two, so I can fiddle them to put it where I want. So basically it's a match needle manual exposure system like my Minolta SRT100 of 1978?? with semi-automatic pre-focusing. DoF scale would be nice, but partly that comes automatically from practice and knowing what a given lens does at a given aperture.

Obviously if I was doing sports photography to feed myself, I'd be using matrix metering and intelligent follow-focus and all the other tricks... but I'm not, so I don't. I do like the fact I can shoot at ISO 25000 and get something that looks like Tri-X at 400, I like the fact that the image stabiliser lets me shoot 1/20s hand-held with a 70mm lens to grab a clean head shot in a semi-dark stairwell, so I use it.

With this set up, I have sufficient manual control to feel like I'm in control of the process, while relaxing a few of the technical constraints (dynamic range and speed) associated with film. It makes me happy, what more can I ask?
Logged

Telecaster

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3686
Re: Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2015, 04:03:45 pm »

But it's not compulsory.

Right. I use my Leica M8.2s in the same way I've always used film rangefinders. Manual mode with fixed ISO (though I do sometimes change the "film speed" from pic to pic if conditions warrant). At this point I've sussed out the metering to the extent that I rarely feel the need to check exposure post-shot, and the rear screen is low res enough that trying to judge focus and/or sharpness is hardly worth the bother. I just take 2 or 3 exposures whenever possible, as I often did with neg film, and then choose the best one later.

I'm less trusting with AF and "evaluative" metering, though, and so far more inclined to verify on the spot.

-Dave-
Logged

wingtangwong

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1
Re: Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2015, 04:14:04 pm »

Going the legacy route incurs its own costs. You need to retain backwards compatibility and make sure that nothing in your workflow has dependencies that won't force an upgrade.

Dependencies:

* The camera produces files (normally JPEG and RAW). The Jpeg(s) will probably be readable by future tech... but the RAW files may fall out of support.
* The software for handling the RAW files depends on the operating system, libraries, perhaps even plugins or third party applications.
* The operating system depends on hardware. Hardware can fail. Or if you want more processing power, your current operating system may not be supported anymore.
* The printer that you print your images on... ink cartridges, paper types, rollers, drivers. Eventually, if you need a replacement printer and can't get one, your OS may not have the drivers to support the new printer.

Tools and technology changes. There is a cost to upgrade and relearn. The iterative cost is relatively small, especially if you are in the habit of upgrading and are used to re-learning. However, the longer one puts it off, the bigger that cost will appear. In the end, you will be paying interest on the upgrade cost by having to maintain and support aging systems that aren't supported anywhere anymore.
Logged

langier

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1309
    • Celebrating Rural America, the Balkans and beyond
Re: Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2015, 04:31:23 pm »

IMO, the tools keep evolving, but the core tools from the early days of Photoshop are still with us, just now better augmented. However, though the tools are evolving, the craft is still the same as from the days of film.

I've watched Hunter's works from the late 1970s and am always impressed with his vision and his craft. His work is simply superb! The digital tools he's used for many years now simply broadened his craft, especially with his floral work from a few years ago. In both film and digital, his work is always well crafted and pleasing to the eye.

Rather than always chasing new tech, perhaps we should all step back and simply use what we have and enjoy it, rather than continual chasing of new software, tools, technique. The grass will always seem greener, but sometimes one should be happy on the present side of the fence. There's nothing wrong with simply standing back and simply working our images with whatever tools we already have.

It's the final print that matters, not the path, software, camera, technique. A good photo is timeless no mater how we get there.
Logged
Larry Angier
ASMP, ACT, & many more! @sacred_icons
https://angier-fox.photoshelter.com

Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10299
Re: Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2015, 10:19:07 pm »

I think it's necessary to distinguish between upgrading simply because it's the latest technology and is a 'cool' thing to do, boosts your ego and appears to raise your status among your friends and peers etc; ...and upgrading because the new camera or software overcomes the limitations of the old equipment which has caused some disappointment during your processing of images in the past.

It is the latter situation that has always applied to me whenever I have upgraded my camera equipment, or software such as Photoshop.

Let's take a simple example of dynamic range. Long before Nikon began producing FX cameras with enhanced DR, compared with their major competitor, Canon, I was experiencing frustration and disappointment with some of my Canon images when trying to raise shadows that contained interesting detail (to me), or detail that I felt made the image more complete.

I understood the processes of HDR and ETTR, but the fiddling around required to get an optimum exposure for a single shot, and the carrying around and setting up of a tripod for multiple exposures when HDR was a clear necessity for the capture of good shadow detail, was a distraction and a pain. It was not emotionally satisfying, perhaps because I'm not a 'gear head'.  ;)

If one takes the example of moving from film to digital, the same principle applies in a much more obvious way. If spending a good proportion of one's life in a dark room, developing negatives and prints in a cumbersome way, and breathing in noxious fumes from the chemicals as a side effect, is an emotionally satisfying experience for you, then it's quite understandable you would not want to make the transition to digital and deprive yourself of that emotionally satisfying experience that you could continue to have in a dark room using obsolete technology.

Fortunately, the attractions of life in a dark room never appealed to me. Long before Adobe came out with Lightroom, I began processing my old film with a scanner and making prints in a light room, which I've always thought is a much better and more satisfying environment than the photographic Darkroom.  ;)
Logged

BernardLanguillier

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13723
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/
Re: Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2015, 01:17:18 am »

A strange parallel: during the five consecutive years that Mick Doohan was 500cc motorcycle world champion, he said his main off-season task was persuading Honda to NOT change the bike. The year he retired due to injury, the title was won by his team-mate, Alex Criville, who at the end of the year agreed to let Honda build him a more powerful bike. He was never in the running for the title the next year and retired at the end of it from a stress-related psychosomatic illness.

Sure. At the same time, it seems pretty clear to me that Roger Federer would have won a few more Grand Slam titles had he decided 3 years earlier to move to a more modern racket. ;)

I am far from thinking that always using the latest equipment is a winning strategy, but it makes sense to look objectively at the shortcomings of one's current equipment relative to one's usage when new stuff is released.

Cheers,
Bernard

GrahamBy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1811
    • Some of my photos
Re: Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2015, 02:55:00 am »

Indeed. I think the moral of the story is to select the improvements that are useful to you, rather than the ones the engineers or marketers tell you are cool :-)
Logged

jjj

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4728
    • http://www.futtfuttfuttphotography.com
Re: Obsolescence Be Damned! - LuLa Article
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2015, 09:31:02 am »

On the topěc of liking or not liking having to learn new techniques, I certainly do not!

In my view, technique should be learned/studied until it is no longer thought about and you just make pictures, never asking yourself how to make them. Just like driving.

You can't reach that happy state when the tools keep changing for no better reason other than to force you to buy something new.

From removing focussing rings, diaphragm rings, depth of field scales, it's all dumbing down to suit the thickest guy with the biggest wallet.
Things have been changing a lot recently because the tech is new and still not quite mature. Software is already starting to mature and digital cameras are not far behind in many ways.
Don't forget that only ten years back most people didn't even have a digital camera of any kind.
As for dumbing down, no more than it ever has been, plenty of 'complex' cameras out there for those who don't want the modern equivalent of a box brownie point and shoot.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2015, 09:32:37 am by jjj »
Logged
Tradition is the Backbone of the Spinele
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Up