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Author Topic: Is good good enough?  (Read 22480 times)

Alan Klein

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Re: Is good good enough?
« Reply #80 on: November 08, 2015, 02:51:03 pm »

I'm pleased that Michael's and Kevin's discussion included, "it's the experience that counts". I was very happy with my Nikormat camera and Agfa ISO 80 colour slide film, waiting a week for the results and showing them to friends and family on a slide projector; all very sociable. Then digital came along.
The upside for digital is I delete most, retaining only a few keepers. I post them on Flickr to share with my photo friends. The downside is we don't sit around a projector any more enjoying our photo-time together...


In the days of slide projectors, most guests would make up an excuse why they had to go home when they saw me pulling out my projector.  They didn't want to see another 40 minutes of slides of my last vacation to the mountains.  With digital photos, and scanning film slides, I've created slide shows using video program (Adobe Premiere) where I can add narration, music, titles, etc and burn a DVD.  Then I just turn the HDTV on and play the show before they can bail out and go home. 

Here's two I downloaded to the web.  They're short only 5 minutes or so each.  The Scuba show is from old film slides I scanned; the other Coney Island show is from digital photos. 

https://www.youtube.com/user/AlanClips/videos

jjj

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Re: Is good good enough?
« Reply #81 on: November 08, 2015, 03:01:47 pm »

We have a 27" LCD TV in our living room and I happen to think it dominates the room far too much. I look out of the window here and can watch TV on my neighbour's TV across the road as their TV appears to span half their living room hanging on the wall like a huge mirror. They seem to have turned their living room into a private cinema. Why? Surely there are better things in life than working all day just so you can watch TV.
If they enjoy watching TV, what's the problem with that. Should they be doing something they dislike instead? They made think you waste your time playing with photos on computer or chatting on here rather than relaxing in front of a good drama. If people enjoy what they are doing and it doesn't impact on anyone else, what's the issue?

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My TV gets switched on maybe 4 times a year, so I'd prefer it to be invisible most of the time. Frankly, a 65" TV would probably require me to knock down a wall... ;-)
Why even have a TV if it gets used that little.
My projector will shortly be hanging out of the way on ceiling and the wall it projects onto is painted white, so it takes up zero space when not being used and when it is it produces a great image that it far superior to a flat screen TV and makes for a far more enjoyable experience too. No downsides in my book.
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jjj

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Re: Is good good enough?
« Reply #82 on: November 08, 2015, 03:05:32 pm »

I remember even in the film days of the late seventies, that it had become a requirment for pro darkrooms to make 'proper' arrangements for silver waste disposal.
I was never entirely keen on film processing because of all the chucking icky chemical waste down the sink.
Not sure if all the electronic kit used for digital photography is any better all told though.
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Dave Millier

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Re: Is good good enough?
« Reply #83 on: November 08, 2015, 04:12:56 pm »

That high contrast ratio and brightness is what I dislike about screens. Prints (especially matte prints) are gentle and subtle, a screen is like staring at a car headlight. I spend 9 hours a day staring at an LCD screen and a lot more leisure time too, I don't want to display my pictures the same way. For me it's like the film era - enjoy a relaxed examination of a print vs sitting in the dark staring at a slide show. Never liked the latter, it's all bombast and "loudness".  I appreciate that many people do like to view this way, just not for me.


Dave,
Prints have a rather low contrast ratio. If you want your images to sparkle and show the full quality of the DR and color gamut that your modern DSLR actually captured, you need a modern 4k OLED display.

Standard LCD TVs are generally second rate. It's why I insisted on a plasma TV when I bought my 65" Panasonic. They behave more like the old Cathode Ray Tube TVs, with good contrast ratio, viewable from any angle.

I only watch TV when there's something interesting on, such as a display of my photos, or one of the many educational programs that are broadcast in Australia. Whatever I'm watching, a technically good picture quality at an impressive size increases my enjoyment.
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jjj

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Re: Is good good enough?
« Reply #84 on: November 08, 2015, 05:15:13 pm »

That high contrast ratio and brightness is what I dislike about screens. Prints (especially matte prints) are gentle and subtle, a screen is like staring at a car headlight. I spend 9 hours a day staring at an LCD screen and a lot more leisure time too, I don't want to display my pictures the same way. For me it's like the film era - enjoy a relaxed examination of a print vs sitting in the dark staring at a slide show. Never liked the latter, it's all bombast and "loudness".  I appreciate that many people do like to view this way, just not for me.
For similar reasons I also tend to prefer matt prints to glossy and cannot bear to watch flat screen TVs with their over cooked and plastic rendering of skin tones. A TV projector on a matt painted wall is so much nicer than lurid flat screen TVs.
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Ray

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Re: Is good good enough?
« Reply #85 on: November 09, 2015, 03:50:58 am »

That high contrast ratio and brightness is what I dislike about screens. Prints (especially matte prints) are gentle and subtle, a screen is like staring at a car headlight. I spend 9 hours a day staring at an LCD screen and a lot more leisure time too, I don't want to display my pictures the same way. For me it's like the film era - enjoy a relaxed examination of a print vs sitting in the dark staring at a slide show. Never liked the latter, it's all bombast and "loudness".  I appreciate that many people do like to view this way, just not for me.

Goodness, gracious me! If viewing your LCD screen is like staring at a car headlight, then it's obviously much too bright. Turn down the brightness. What? You can't see detail in the shadows when you do that?

Well, that's the disadvantage of the 'el cheapo', LCD TV. It has poor contrast ratio. However, an expensive LCD monitor designed for photography might be a different kettle of fish.

The OLED type of display currently provides the best image quality available, with a contrast ratio that is sometimes, misleadingly, described as infinite, because individual pixels can be completely turned off to portray the blackest blacks..

When one produces prints, it's advisable to calibrate one's monitor so that the general impression of the print matches as closely as possible what you saw on the monitor, taking into consideration the general differences between the emissive nature of a monitor and the reflective nature of the print.

Likewise, if one intends to use a large-screen TV as a substitute for making prints, one should have the TV calibrated so that the displayed photos match as closely as possible the appearance of the prints that you might have made if your printer had been big enough.  ;)
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Dave Millier

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Re: Is good good enough?
« Reply #86 on: November 09, 2015, 07:23:14 am »

I don't think I could turn down the brightness on my screens any lower - short of wearing sunglasses - which I have actually done at work!

There is nothing that can be done to significantly change the result - it's simply the difference in viewing extremely even reflected light vs direct transmissive light.  One has an intrinsically low contrast of around 1:100 and is easy on the eye, the other is looking straight at a bright white light with some dimmer bits with a contrast range of 1:10000 or whatever. 

It's similar to reading an e-ink kindle vs a tablet. One you can read for 2 weeks straight, the only is exhausting after a couple of hours. The advantage of the screen is punch and impact, the advantage of prints is gentle subtlety. 

I didn't arrive at this personal preferance from theory but simply from experience. When I started photography, my colour work was always slides viewed in a dark room on a projector, B&W was home processed prints on glossy paper, hot glazed. When I went digital everything was high gloss inkjet. Then I started using matte paper (for economy reasons) and was amazed at much better images look without specular reflections. Now I detest glossy images with their horrible hotspots; and rear illuminated LCD screens are tolerated simply because there is nothing else. Perhaps one day we will have high quality reflected light e-ink display of images. You never know.

Anyway, I'm fully aware that 9 out of 10 cats prefer intense contrast and saturation in their images; just not me. Hurts my eyes.

p.s.

Re: big screens as a substitute for big prints.  I still don't get this. Recently, Rick Decker over on the DPreview Sigma forum organised a "big print tour" - basically a bunch of large prints from Sigma Merrill and Quattro cameras sent from person to person through the post in a cardboard tube. Quiet a fun way for a dispersed community to share prints.  These were 48" wide prints, unmounted.  A 48" print is HUGE.  My living room is not large enough to stand back far enough to view it properly and matted and framed it would be as big as a window. Those sorts of prints are for galleries and New Mexico range houses IMO.  I have some 24 x16 and 30 x 20 shots made of Iceland landscapes but they are rolled up in tubes. Where could I put them? 10" x 10" square prints in a 23" x 23" black frames is the biggest I have in my house. Most of my images are printed 9"x 6" in A3 frames.  If it's good enough for Michael Kenna...

Goodness, gracious me! If viewing your LCD screen is like staring at a car headlight, then it's obviously much too bright. Turn down the brightness. What? You can't see detail in the shadows when you do that?

Well, that's the disadvantage of the 'el cheapo', LCD TV. It has poor contrast ratio. However, an expensive LCD monitor designed for photography might be a different kettle of fish.

The OLED type of display currently provides the best image quality available, with a contrast ratio that is sometimes, misleadingly, described as infinite, because individual pixels can be completely turned off to portray the blackest blacks..

When one produces prints, it's advisable to calibrate one's monitor so that the general impression of the print matches as closely as possible what you saw on the monitor, taking into consideration the general differences between the emissive nature of a monitor and the reflective nature of the print.

Likewise, if one intends to use a large-screen TV as a substitute for making prints, one should have the TV calibrated so that the displayed photos match as closely as possible the appearance of the prints that you might have made if your printer had been big enough.  ;)
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jjj

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Re: Is good good enough?
« Reply #87 on: November 09, 2015, 09:47:19 am »

Re: big screens as a substitute for big prints.  I still don't get this.
The obvious benefit over a print is you can have it to change the image every so often. So you can display say 25 favourite shots, rather than just one.
Another benefit is that when images change over they catch your eye and you then look at them. I find that framed pictures/art can disappear into the background and I cease to notice them after a while. But when staying at my Mum's I often end up looking at shots she has cycling though on a small frame as they catch my eye. Oddly enough she didn't want the frame at first [it was a present] as she prefered real prints, but now quite likes it as it is like an album on constant display.
Still not a fan of then myself [yet], but I did use a 60" TV to display photos in a shop window in my city centre rather than 3 or 4 big prints that the space otherwise permitted. Attracted more attention than usual I was told. When they do less glossy displays I may be more interested.
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Ray

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Re: Is good good enough?
« Reply #88 on: November 09, 2015, 09:58:16 am »

I don't think I could turn down the brightness on my screens any lower - short of wearing sunglasses - which I have actually done at work!

There is nothing that can be done to significantly change the result - it's simply the difference in viewing extremely even reflected light vs direct transmissive light.  One has an intrinsically low contrast of around 1:100 and is easy on the eye, the other is looking straight at a bright white light with some dimmer bits with a contrast range of 1:10000 or whatever. 


It sounds to me that something is very wrong here in your setup. There should be no reason why a photo of a landscape, for example, displayed on a calibrated TV screen, should be any brighter, or even as bright, as the original scene that you photographed. Are you in the habit of photographing scenes that hurt your eyes?

When calibrating a monitor for display of photographic images, the usual recommendation is a maximum brightness of 100 cd/m2.
As regards reflections, I believe the new OLED TV designs have reduced this to a minimum. Following is a comment from a review of LG's OLED screens.

"The LG OLED TV has the lowest screen Reflectance of any display that we have ever measured, just 2.2 percent, which is half of the previous 4.4 percent record an impressive achievement. LG accomplished this by using both an anti-reflection screen treatment together with circular polarizers that suppress light reflections."

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Re: big screens as a substitute for big prints. I still don't get this.
A 48" print is HUGE. My living room is not large enough to stand back far enough to view it properly and matted and framed it would be as big as a window.

Didn't realise you have such a small living room, Dave.  ;)

As I mentioned before, to appreciate all the detail present in a standard HD image (1080p vertical) on my 65" plasma TV, I need to sit no further than 2.5 metres. Since I'm not fanatical about seeing all the detail, any viewing distance between 2.5  metres and 4 metres is fine.

The advantage of using a TV screen in place of large prints is that you need only one 4ft wide space on your wall.
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GrahamBy

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Re: Is good good enough?
« Reply #89 on: November 09, 2015, 10:15:36 am »

One has an intrinsically low contrast of around 1:100 and is easy on the eye, the other is looking straight at a bright white light with some dimmer bits with a contrast range of 1:10000 or whatever.

No, not really. Those huge contrast ratios are marketing BS: a typical display has a real range of about 8bits (you're only sending it an 8-bit signal), ie from d+0 to d+255, where d is minimum the screen can achieve in normal controlled state (ie not switched off, which is what is done to obtain the silly advertising numbers). So at best the ratio will be 256:1, which happens to be a Dmax of log(256)=2.4, about the same as a gloss print under ideal conditions.

If the white on your screen requires sunglasses, you have a rather large d, and so in fact your contrast ratio will be rather a lot less than 8 bits...
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jjj

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Re: Is good good enough?
« Reply #90 on: November 09, 2015, 11:04:31 am »

If the white on your screen requires sunglasses, you have a rather large d, and so in fact your contrast ratio will be rather a lot less than 8 bits...
If the bolded is true, then TV is either rubbish or very poorly set up. The latter is nearly always the case for displays seen in shops as they are usually put in shop mode - i.e. overcooked and oversharpened to stand out in a showroom, so ghastly looking.
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Dave Millier

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Re: Is good good enough?
« Reply #91 on: November 09, 2015, 04:13:45 pm »

I'm sitting 18" away from a large flat panel screen lit by a flourescent tube for 10 hours a day. I don't sit in front of a print like this for obvious reasons but if I were to do so, it would be a lot gentler an experience.  The screen I'm typing at is a Dell 23" LCD. I have the brightness set to 0 and the contrast to 75. These settings are significantly duller than those recommended by my Spyder calibrator and it's pleasantly dim compared to almost any other screen I see but it's still several times brighter than putting a print next to it.

A rather important point seems to be missed in all this discussion of numbers and the like - like consumption of Naga Ghost chillies, no one can really decide for another when hot is too hot...



It sounds to me that something is very wrong here in your setup. There should be no reason why a photo of a landscape, for example, displayed on a calibrated TV screen, should be any brighter, or even as bright, as the original scene that you photographed. Are you in the habit of photographing scenes that hurt your eyes?

When calibrating a monitor for display of photographic images, the usual recommendation is a maximum brightness of 100 cd/m2.
As regards reflections, I believe the new OLED TV designs have reduced this to a minimum. Following is a comment from a review of LG's OLED screens.

"The LG OLED TV has the lowest screen Reflectance of any display that we have ever measured, just 2.2 percent, which is half of the previous 4.4 percent record an impressive achievement. LG accomplished this by using both an anti-reflection screen treatment together with circular polarizers that suppress light reflections."

Didn't realise you have such a small living room, Dave.  ;)

As I mentioned before, to appreciate all the detail present in a standard HD image (1080p vertical) on my 65" plasma TV, I need to sit no further than 2.5 metres. Since I'm not fanatical about seeing all the detail, any viewing distance between 2.5  metres and 4 metres is fine.

The advantage of using a TV screen in place of large prints is that you need only one 4ft wide space on your wall.
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jjj

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Re: Is good good enough?
« Reply #92 on: November 10, 2015, 06:58:16 am »

I'm sitting 18" away from a large flat panel screen lit by a flourescent tube for 10 hours a day. I don't sit in front of a print like this for obvious reasons but if I were to do so, it would be a lot gentler an experience.  The screen I'm typing at is a Dell 23" LCD. I have the brightness set to 0 and the contrast to 75. These settings are significantly duller than those recommended by my Spyder calibrator and it's pleasantly dim compared to almost any other screen I see but it's still several times brighter than putting a print next to it.
You should look into getting some  bias lighting.
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Ray

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Re: Is good good enough?
« Reply #93 on: November 10, 2015, 09:50:59 am »

I'm sitting 18" away from a large flat panel screen lit by a flourescent tube for 10 hours a day. I don't sit in front of a print like this for obvious reasons but if I were to do so, it would be a lot gentler an experience.  The screen I'm typing at is a Dell 23" LCD. I have the brightness set to 0 and the contrast to 75. These settings are significantly duller than those recommended by my Spyder calibrator and it's pleasantly dim compared to almost any other screen I see but it's still several times brighter than putting a print next to it.

If you were looking at your print in a dark room,  next to your Dell monitor, you would hardly be able to see the print at all. Is that how you prefer to view your prints?  ;)

The emissive display is a much more flexible way to view your images. It can tolerate a variety of lighting conditions whilst still delivering a reasonably accurate presentation of your image.

As you know, photography is all about lighting, and that includes the viewing of a print on the wall. Different lighting conditions in any room, throughout the day and evening, will significantly affect the impression that a print creates. Ideally, a print on a wall should have its own constant light source for the best viewing experience.

If you dedicate just one space on your wall, or corner of the room, for viewing all your images, you can make sure that the large TV display occupying that space has been ideally placed to minimize reflections from windows and lights, in relation to the seating arrangements.

Jeremy's suggestion of bias lighting placed behind the TV seems a great idea. I might try that myself, even though I do not suffer from eye strain.  ;)
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amolitor

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Re: Is good good enough?
« Reply #94 on: November 10, 2015, 09:53:38 am »

"I don't like monitors"

"You ought to! Monitors are awesome! You should spend all kinds of money and effort until you agree with me!"
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jjj

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Re: Is good good enough?
« Reply #95 on: November 10, 2015, 02:10:41 pm »

Jeremy's suggestion of bias lighting placed behind the TV seems a great idea. I might try that myself, even though I do not suffer from eye strain.  ;)
It's not just for TVs but any kind of monitor. I have lighting behind my computer screens for that reason.
I never used to watch the TV in a dark room as it wasn't nice and had some sort of bias lighting [though I didn't know there was such a thing then], but I do watch my projector in a dark room just one does in the cinema and it's lovely to watch.
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Dave Millier

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Re: Is good good enough?
« Reply #96 on: November 10, 2015, 07:52:35 pm »

It's not just for TVs but any kind of monitor. I have lighting behind my computer screens for that reason.
I never used to watch the TV in a dark room as it wasn't nice and had some sort of bias lighting [though I didn't know there was such a thing then], but I do watch my projector in a dark room just one does in the cinema and it's lovely to watch.

I thank everyone for their suggestions and the time taken to consider them. But the truth is similar to whether you like your tea black or with milk or with sugar or without. I don't want 3 spoonfuls of sugar in my tea because that is the way experience has taught me I respond. It's not a theory or some particular number but experience. It doesn't matter that other people like 3 spoonfuls or think I'm silly for prefering one (or none), that's just the way my body responds.

Likewise it doesn't help me that other people think a monitor is great or that the numbers say it is or that there are ways of finessing the environment to improve things. It is obvious to me after one second in a completely unsophisticated and untutored instant natural physical reaction that monitors are horrible and prints are lovely. For me. If the opposite is true for you, wonderful, life will be more convenient. But my reaction to display medium is mine, personal and not shareable.  That's it really. It's an interesting reaction to logically argue against personal preferance - it makes no sense because you are you and everyone else is everyone else. By all means debate facts, but leave personal preference out of it because even if someone's tastes are wrong, they are what they are for that person...


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Ray

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Re: Is good good enough?
« Reply #97 on: November 10, 2015, 09:26:24 pm »

I thank everyone for their suggestions and the time taken to consider them. But the truth is similar to whether you like your tea black or with milk or with sugar or without. I don't want 3 spoonfuls of sugar in my tea because that is the way experience has taught me I respond. It's not a theory or some particular number but experience. It doesn't matter that other people like 3 spoonfuls or think I'm silly for prefering one (or none), that's just the way my body responds.


I don't think your analogies make much sense. If you have such an aversion towards viewing images on a monitor, one wonders how you manage to process images for printing. It can't be a particularly enjoyable experience for you.

Perhaps you've misunderstood my argument. You seem to be confusing the experience of closely viewing a small monitor for many hours of the day, with the experience of viewing for short periods, an image on a large monitor from an appropriate distance.

I also like prints. I like them so much that I bought a professional, 24" wide printer a few years ago, even though I'm not a professional photographer. However, I've experienced a number of difficulties. First it takes time and expense to properly mount a print. Secondly, unless I make a diptych, or triptych or polyptych, I'm limited in size to 24". Thirdly, I have limited wall space on which to hang large prints, especially taking into consideration that not all wall space is ideally suited for viewing prints; and fourthly, having gone to the trouble of mounting a particular print, there is a tendency to leave it on the wall forever more, rather than replacing it with another print, perhaps storing the previous one in the garage, or giving it away, or hopefully selling it.

A large, high quality, UHD TV display is simply an option to address these difficulties. It's a much more efficient way to view one's images, especially if one has thousands of images, as I do, and it also allows one to get the experience of effectively viewing  a much larger print than one could produce on one's printer.
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amolitor

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Re: Is good good enough?
« Reply #98 on: November 10, 2015, 11:04:07 pm »

You don't have to love standing up for hours in the dark with trays of bad smelling chemicals to make wet prints, do you?

Do you have to love getting up early and being cold in order to shoot landscapes?

Isn't it enough that you're willing to put up with the negatives in order to accomplish things you would like to do?
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Ray

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Re: Is good good enough?
« Reply #99 on: November 11, 2015, 12:49:45 am »

You don't have to love standing up for hours in the dark with trays of bad smelling chemicals to make wet prints, do you?

Do you have to love getting up early and being cold in order to shoot landscapes?

Isn't it enough that you're willing to put up with the negatives in order to accomplish things you would like to do?

These are false analogies. The question should be, 'Why stand up for hours in the dark with trays of bad-smelling chemicals, when you can sit in a pleasant environment in the daylight, and process images with far greater ease and greater flexibility than was ever possible in the darkroom?'

As for getting up early and being cold in order to shoot landscapes, that would only be necessary if one wanted to shoot a dawn scene in winter. Even then, if you have the option of sleeping in a heated room, and you have adequate, warm clothing, why should one feel cold, or why should one choose the more uncomfortable option of being cold when it's not necessary?
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