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Author Topic: The Man on Digital  (Read 19298 times)

muntanela

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Re: The Man on Digital
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2016, 12:10:18 pm »

I think that McCullin is against the digital photography only because he is afraid of the manipulation of the photos, that kills the documentary photography, the only legitimate kind of photography, according to him. He is particularly hostile to photography as "art" (an american invention, according to him).

Here is a more articulated summary of his position:

 http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/nov/27/don-mccullin-war-photographer-digital-images
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chez

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Re: The Man on Digital
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2016, 03:08:29 pm »

I think that McCullin is against the digital photography only because he is afraid of the manipulation of the photos, that kills the documentary photography, the only legitimate kind of photography, according to him. He is particularly hostile to photography as "art" (an american invention, according to him).

Here is a more articulated summary of his position:

 http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/nov/27/don-mccullin-war-photographer-digital-images

That's his problem to over come. I wonder if he did any burning or dodging to emphasize his photo...sort of like what some landscape photographers do with colour to emphasize the sunset.

Have no time for narrow close minded people.
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amolitor

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Re: The Man on Digital
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2016, 03:45:43 pm »

It is not his problem at all.

This is reality: People no longer trust photographs as they once did.

That's a problem. That's my problem, it's your problem. If you use a camera with intent, it's your problem too.
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BJL

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image manipulation in film vs digital, and "when is photography art?"
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2016, 05:00:26 pm »

At most his point is that it is easier to manipulate digital images than film ones, and I add amolitor's corollary that people trust photographic images less than they used to.

Some counterpoints:
1) The long history of film image manipulation (already much discussed) suggests that it might actually be a good thing for people to have become less trusting of photographs: they never were throughly trustworthy, it is just that people are less gullible now.

2) For evidentiary photography like police work, there are specially modified cameras that provide authentication that "what you see is what the sensor saw" (tricks of perspective, lighting and such still apply though!) .  Digital images from these devices are more trustworthy than ones on film, so perhaps he should get one for his documentary/reporting work, and encourage his peers to do so as well.

3) This line is particularly absurd to anyone familiar with the color inaccuracy of films like Velvia and many photographers' choice if it partly for the sake of that color distortion: "McCullin particularly dislikes how digital cameras allow manipulation of color."

4) His Hadrian's Wall example is also ironic both about accuracy and whether his photography is art: the advantage he claims for Tri-X or HP5 over digital comes down to making a film choice for the sake of manipulating the image to suggest a certain mood (partly by removing color: see item 3!) whereas a "straight" digital image is probably more accurate.  And I would say that he made this choice of medium for the sake of "art".
« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 05:09:54 pm by BJL »
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AreBee

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Re: The Man on Digital
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2016, 05:19:44 pm »

Andrew,

Quote
This is reality: People no longer trust photographs as they once did.

That's a problem. That's my problem, it's your problem.

How do you propose to solve the problem?
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amolitor

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Re: The Man on Digital
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2016, 05:30:58 pm »

There isn't any solution, that ship has sailed. Make of the new world what you will.
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AreBee

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Re: The Man on Digital
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2016, 06:09:38 pm »

Andrew,

Quote
There isn't any solution...

A problem without a solution? That sounds rather defeatist.
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amolitor

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Re: The Man on Digital
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2016, 06:18:18 pm »

The world is filled with problems that do not have solutions. Each of us, one day, will die. Space is too big for humanity to ever leave this solar system. The teacup, once dropped, will hit the floor and shatter before you can snatch it. The plant has died from lack of watering.

These things are all a shame, but one just soldiers on anyways.
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Isaac

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Re: image manipulation in film vs digital, and "when is photography art?"
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2016, 06:49:28 pm »

At most his point is

afaict we're looking at a few out-of-context quotes and speculating about what they might mean :(

I would be interested in reading a full Don McCullin interview, but these "articles" are just scratching around for soundbites.


This is reality: People no longer trust photographs as they once did.

Perhaps that is your reality.

Meanwhile, a multitude gulp down photographic images in-wonder without question; a multitude have their trust in photographs personally re-affirmed by their own use of phone photography; a multitude understand that their kids photo-shopped granny's head onto a donkey, and yet still trust the photos from their acquaintances to be what they seem.
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chez

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Re: The Man on Digital
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2016, 08:20:16 pm »

It is not his problem at all.

This is reality: People no longer trust photographs as they once did.

That's a problem. That's my problem, it's your problem. If you use a camera with intent, it's your problem too.

It's his problem if he thinks only journalism is "true" photography...too full of himself.

As far as what the public thinks...I make photographic art and use whatever is at my disposal to create it. If someone asks me if I "photoshopped" my print...I gladly tell them the laborious process I had to go through to make the image. They typically are very impressed at the amount of work required to create the art.

I see nothing wrong with this. Historically the public was ignorant to the work that was done in the darkroom to enhance the image. Now at least the public understands there is manipulation and we as photographers don't need to lie about how real a print is.
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amolitor

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Re: The Man on Digital
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2016, 08:38:35 pm »

As I and many others have said, repeatedly, that basic trust that people have is a large part of what makes a photograph a photograph. I've probably said it in this thread, I dunno.

Painting, digital or otherwise, is a lovely thing. I have no objection to it. But it isn't photography. And photography loses much of what it is, what makes it itself, when trust is lost. If the default reaction anything visually interesting is "nice photoshop work" then we're all painters, whether we like it or not. If you're OK with that, well, great. Have you heard of these "brush" things? I hear they're pretty great too. Me, I'm not a painter.

This is basic stuff, I'm not making it up, I'm not some lone voice in the wilderness screaming crazy rantings. Everyone who bothers to think much about photography and how it fits in to society gets here pretty quickly, and then, often, they say "Oh Dear". Because it's an Oh Dear sort of observation.
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chez

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Re: The Man on Digital
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2016, 09:11:31 pm »

As I and many others have said, repeatedly, that basic trust that people have is a large part of what makes a photograph a photograph. I've probably said it in this thread, I dunno.

Painting, digital or otherwise, is a lovely thing. I have no objection to it. But it isn't photography. And photography loses much of what it is, what makes it itself, when trust is lost. If the default reaction anything visually interesting is "nice photoshop work" then we're all painters, whether we like it or not. If you're OK with that, well, great. Have you heard of these "brush" things? I hear they're pretty great too. Me, I'm not a painter.

This is basic stuff, I'm not making it up, I'm not some lone voice in the wilderness screaming crazy rantings. Everyone who bothers to think much about photography and how it fits in to society gets here pretty quickly, and then, often, they say "Oh Dear". Because it's an Oh Dear sort of observation.

I contend photographs have always been manipulated, whether it's the choice of film, paper, developer, dodging & burning, shutter speed and so on. It's just the public was ignorant on all this and we photographers duped them. Now they have caught on in the digital age and it becomes a big issue with you?

I feel better that the public understands what goes into a print rather than being duped into thinking otherwise. Even if you just make contact prints, you still influence the image by the film, developer, paper choices. Sure this is not like adding a 2nd head to a body...but none the less what happened in the darkroom by the masters was to change the image that was captured on film to what was displayed on the print.
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amolitor

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Re: The Man on Digital
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2016, 09:17:32 pm »

The point isn't whether or how someone burns and dodges. The point is whether people tend to default to believing in some indexical quality of the picture or not.

I'm not talking about technique or methods, I'm talking about society. Digital has wrought shattering changes and we have not the faintest idea what, if anything, will remain.
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chez

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Re: The Man on Digital
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2016, 10:13:16 pm »

The point isn't whether or how someone burns and dodges. The point is whether people tend to default to believing in some indexical quality of the picture or not.

I'm not talking about technique or methods, I'm talking about society. Digital has wrought shattering changes and we have not the faintest idea what, if anything, will remain.

Outside of journalism...why does it matter? What is this purity you are trying to hang onto with film and darkrooms?

Are the beautiful landscape images we see with digital with obvious exaggerated sunsets any different than the florescent green images we saw with Velvia or the glowing red images we saw with Kodachrome? The only difference today is people understand digital manipulation and yesterday they were ignorant what occurred in the darkroom. We as photographers were not anymore pure back in those film days than we are today with digital. The only difference is the public is starting to understand that photography does not tell the truth.
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amolitor

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Re: The Man on Digital
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2016, 10:21:03 pm »

I'm not trying to hang on to anything. There's nothing to hang on to, it's gone. You've got me confused with some darkroom curmudgeon waving his cane at these damn kids with their PhotoMarket or whatever it is.

At this point I'd just be repeating myself, so go back and look at what I said about the difference between painting and photography.

You should be able to pretty much have the whole debate by yourself at this point.
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D Fuller

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Re: The Man on Digital
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2016, 11:26:08 pm »

I contend photographs have always been manipulated, whether it's the choice of film, paper, developer, dodging & burning, shutter speed and so on. It's just the public was ignorant on all this and we photographers duped them. Now they have caught on in the digital age and it becomes a big issue with you?


The very act of framing a photograph is manipulating the image. Truth? If I photograph is a group of 8 people fighting, they fill the frame, and I call it a riot, is it? If the camera were turned anther way, what would it see? Are they eight of 800? Or are they just eight people going at each other? Everywhere you turn a camera, you exclude other information that would be available if one were there. But they're not, so we, the photographers decide what they'll see.

It's manipulative. It's always been so. It may be the truth from your point of view, but it's only your point of view.
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Alan Klein

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Re: The Man on Digital
« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2016, 11:46:37 pm »

I think the  difference people see or when they know you "Photoshopped" it is like the difference of going to Alaska to flyfish for salmon in the wilds or going to a local fish farm stocked with your fish.  In both cases you come home with a fish.    But there's something different about the way you caught it.  Average people usually don't apply the same value of work on the farm fish.  They think somehow your cheated or at a minimum that it's not real fishing.  Well. I think viewers look at photos the same way.  Photoshop has taken something away from photography. 

The argument that film was modified before doesn't fly for most people who photographed with film.  For them, they either shot  chromes and projected them with no modification at all.  Or they shot negative film and sent it out to a lab that printed the pictures on 4"x6" paper, also with no modification by the photographer.  So along comes PS which they now use.  They know the edits they can and do make.  So they understand it's not the same as film was years ago.  It's not the same as going to Alaska to fly fish.

razrblck

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Re: The Man on Digital
« Reply #37 on: January 12, 2016, 06:19:24 am »

2) For evidentiary photography like police work, there are specially modified cameras that provide authentication that "what you see is what the sensor saw" (tricks of perspective, lighting and such still apply though!) .  Digital images from these devices are more trustworthy than ones on film, so perhaps he should get one for his documentary/reporting work, and encourage his peers to do so as well.

I can tell you how this works in Italy for all police work.

Up until 10 years ago (in some places even less), police used to have Nikon FM2n cameras. The only kind of authentication was putting identification signs in the pictures themselves. All processing was later done at the internal lab of the police station by officers specialized in processing and printing using standardized processes so all pictures look the same (or close).

The transition to digital wasn't done in one single swoop, so some places still use Nikon D50 and D100, while others may have a D300s. Regardless of the actual model, none of those cameras are modifyied in any way. The pictures have to be taken by officers and they have to be certified, but they can be tampered just as much. Well, actually they do not shoot RAW, they only shoot JPG because it is harder to post process and gives a final image ready to print, so there's that.

I had the pleasure to talk directly with two police officers recently about this stuff, as they brought cameras for repair at my usual shop. They also explained to me that they give away their old cameras to charities, and this is how I managed to get my hands on a cheap and perfect FM2n last year.
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Zorki5

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Re: The Man on Digital
« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2016, 06:33:45 am »

The pictures have to be taken by officers and they have to be certified, but they can be tampered just as much.

Can you please elaborate on that? Especially what you meant by "certified" (officers have to be certified to take pictures, or pictures have to be somehow certified?)
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muntanela

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Re: The Man on Digital
« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2016, 08:51:18 am »

Est modus in (photographicis) rebus...
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