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Author Topic: 1958 photography insights  (Read 1090 times)

Ivo_B

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1958 photography insights
« on: July 02, 2018, 11:32:16 AM »

I have a nice collection of technical photography books. It is very interesting to read how photographers of the first part of the 20s century where also carpenter, plumber and electrician to create the tools they needed. Building hinges, pedestals, light boxes and other contraptions was key to achieve desired result.
Not hampered by technical indulgence men had to understand the very basics and I found invaluable information that made me understand the background why things are as they are today.

Another big fun is to read the books with historian mind.
Lot's of actual discussion are the same today as they where in 1930. Technical or esthetic changes are (not) welcomed today as it was in old times. With exactly the same arguments.

Davis Charles was one of the authors who subtle mingled his own frustrations or objections in his books. He was a fervent supporter of glass negatives and didn't have a lot of appreciation for hand held camera's, not mentioning 35mm film.

His opinion about using a 35mm is one that could literally be found today as an opinion on digital photography or even on photography not obeying to one or another dull definition. see and enjoy =>

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RSL

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Re: 1958 photography insights
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2018, 12:12:24 PM »

Aren't we glad those days are long gone?

OmerV

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Re: 1958 photography insights
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2018, 01:20:16 PM »

Hell, give our daughters a smartphone camera and we’ll see all the good photography we need.  A Phase One? Like, seriously?!

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: 1958 photography insights
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2018, 02:21:30 PM »

Aren't we glad those days are long gone?
+1.

(Now where can I get glass plates for my Canon G5X?)
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Rob C

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Re: 1958 photography insights
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2018, 05:35:06 PM »

Aren't we glad those days are long gone?

Glad they are gone because they would make amateur photography too expensive for the return on effort expended.

Were somebody else paying, and the stuff available, I'd be perfectly happy working through the good light with Kodachrome. It was kinda nice having that collection of film in the cool bag, ready to drop off at Kodak for their pro 24hr service at a small, additional charge. Gave my wife and myself another night in the Post House at Hemel Hempstead after a trip somewhere. It was the slow coming down from a very high high during the shoot. Life was something being lived at speed, at the top of its possibilities (mine) and worth every wrinkle I own on my face today.

But, situations always change, and digital means a quick happy snap with no real meaning to anything other than my own attempt to fill a void.

Do I like digital? I don't really know, but it is the only route to making a picture today, as I indicated when I came in. Darkroom skills have gone, along with the challenge of their human dexterity limitations, and been substituted by a situation where art and skill have vanished, to be replaced by the boring reality that if you sit there long enough, you can create anything you damn well want to create. The problem, then, of the very wealthy man with nothing beyond his reach, who just keeps his hands in his pockets instead.

Equipment? That's a poor joke. Nothing has replaced the ease and "oneness" of, and just downright rightness of either the F or the F2, the slr equivalents of what the Leica M cameras were to others. On a tripod, Hassy 500 was and remains my undisputed favourite mistress. Digital bells and whistles have induced in me a dependency on automation that is terribly similar to the keyboard one, which has rendered my handwriting unintelligible even to myself ten minutes after I scribble a note about something. I have scraps of paper lying in the office, loaded with great ideas and bits of information lost forever because they have become nothing more than unreadable files.
 
Worse, though I find an excuse for myself in the dinosaur, there is none for today's youth that often appears as useless as time makes most of us much later on in the plan. You can't grow your mind when you desert human memory for a disk. Just because one can Google the answer to something in seconds doesn't imply that one actually learned anything.

Win something, probably always lose a lot more.

:-)

Alan Klein

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Re: 1958 photography insights
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2018, 09:28:59 PM »

Rob, film processed by labs and then editing the home made scans as digital combines both processes.  Plus you can breathe clean air. 
https://www.flickr.com/search/?sort=date-taken-desc&safe_search=1&tags=v600&user_id=55760757%40N05&view_all=1

Two23

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Re: 1958 photography insights
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2018, 09:35:45 PM »

+1.

(Now where can I get glass plates for my Canon G5X?)


From this guy:

https://www.pictoriographica.com/dry-plate-blog/j-lane-dry-plates-at-phsnes-photographica-87


I just ordered my third box. :)



Kent in SD
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Ivo_B

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Re: 1958 photography insights
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2018, 02:36:08 AM »

Glad they are gone because they would make amateur photography too expensive for the return on effort expended.

Were somebody else paying, and the stuff available, I'd be perfectly happy working through the good light with Kodachrome. It was kinda nice having that collection of film in the cool bag, ready to drop off at Kodak for their pro 24hr service at a small, additional charge. Gave my wife and myself another night in the Post House at Hemel Hempstead after a trip somewhere. It was the slow coming down from a very high high during the shoot. Life was something being lived at speed, at the top of its possibilities (mine) and worth every wrinkle I own on my face today.

But, situations always change, and digital means a quick happy snap with no real meaning to anything other than my own attempt to fill a void.

Do I like digital? I don't really know, but it is the only route to making a picture today, as I indicated when I came in. Darkroom skills have gone, along with the challenge of their human dexterity limitations, and been substituted by a situation where art and skill have vanished, to be replaced by the boring reality that if you sit there long enough, you can create anything you damn well want to create. The problem, then, of the very wealthy man with nothing beyond his reach, who just keeps his hands in his pockets instead.

Equipment? That's a poor joke. Nothing has replaced the ease and "oneness" of, and just downright rightness of either the F or the F2, the slr equivalents of what the Leica M cameras were to others. On a tripod, Hassy 500 was and remains my undisputed favourite mistress. Digital bells and whistles have induced in me a dependency on automation that is terribly similar to the keyboard one, which has rendered my handwriting unintelligible even to myself ten minutes after I scribble a note about something. I have scraps of paper lying in the office, loaded with great ideas and bits of information lost forever because they have become nothing more than unreadable files.
 
Worse, though I find an excuse for myself in the dinosaur, there is none for today's youth that often appears as useless as time makes most of us much later on in the plan. You can't grow your mind when you desert human memory for a disk. Just because one can Google the answer to something in seconds doesn't imply that one actually learned anything.

Win something, probably always lose a lot more.

:-)

[Advocate of the devil mode]
About using mr. Google, and playing the Devils role: Why should one use his short term memory to remember things easily parked in a smartphone. And why clutter the long time memory with triviality if it can be found on the net.
Maybe (maybe) freeing up our memory is what we need to let our mind grow.
[/Advocate of the devil mode]

The tricky part of falling back on 'external memory' lies in the fact we tend to loose our common knowledge, historical understanding and not feeding our human ability to differentiate between, and separate false from true logics...

David Charles assumed in 1958, not using glass plates would be a dramatical loss of quality of the commercial and industrial photography. Well.....
Same arguments are used today to push back modernism.
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KLaban

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Re: 1958 photography insights
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2018, 03:17:08 AM »

The mere thought of having to go back into the darkroom or having to go back to shooting film fills me with horror.
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Rob C

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Re: 1958 photography insights
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2018, 04:54:22 AM »

[Advocate of the devil mode]
About using mr. Google, and playing the Devils role: Why should one use his short term memory to remember things easily parked in a smartphone. And why clutter the long time memory with triviality if it can be found on the net.
Maybe (maybe) freeing up our memory is what we need to let our mind grow.
[/Advocate of the devil mode]

The tricky part of falling back on 'external memory' lies in the fact we tend to loose our common knowledge, historical understanding and not feeding our human ability to differentiate between, and separate false from true logics...

David Charles assumed in 1958, not using glass plates would be a dramatical loss of quality of the commercial and industrial photography. Well.....
Same arguments are used today to push back modernism.

Exactly!

And those concepts are available to us in a visceral manner, by process of natural, learned reaction, I guess. If we have to consult artificial memory for that information, then it will never form part of our own personal identity and come to our instinctive, reflexive aid whenever we need it.

That's some devil you used as advocate!

;-)

LesPalenik

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Re: 1958 photography insights
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2018, 05:19:01 AM »

[Advocate of the devil mode]
About using mr. Google, and playing the Devils role: Why should one use his short term memory to remember things easily parked in a smartphone. And why clutter the long time memory with triviality if it can be found on the net.

Quite often, when I look up something by Google, my short or semi-short memory remembers vaguely what it was, but when I google it again, their search program presents to me completely different links, and there is no way to find the previously found information. So while your memory is still working, it's definitely better and less frustrating to park it there than assuming that Google will find it for you again.

Ivo_B

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Re: 1958 photography insights
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2018, 07:48:07 AM »

Exactly!

And those concepts are available to us in a visceral manner, by process of natural, learned reaction, I guess. If we have to consult artificial memory for that information, then it will never form part of our own personal identity and come to our instinctive, reflexive aid whenever we need it.

That's some devil you used as advocate!

;-)

hear hear....
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OmerV

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Re: 1958 photography insights
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2018, 09:57:30 AM »

Exactly!

And those concepts are available to us in a visceral manner, by process of natural, learned reaction, I guess. If we have to consult artificial memory for that information, then it will never form part of our own personal identity and come to our instinctive, reflexive aid whenever we need it.

That's some devil you used as advocate!

;-)

And books aren’t external memory?

True and false logic are malleable, changing with time, experience, interpretation, etc. Some books become outdated and false. Yes, there is a lot of fakery and false “truth” on the web, but also a great deal of sincere effort. Whether one agrees or not is part of the ever changing natural process.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 01:36:49 PM by OmerV »
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Ivo_B

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Re: 1958 photography insights
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2018, 10:13:44 AM »

And books aren’t external memory?

True and false logic are malleable, changing with time, experience, interpretation, etc. Books become outdated and false. Yes, there is a lot of fakery and false “truth” on the web, but also a great deal of sincere effort. Whether one agrees or not is part of the ever changing natural process.

I have the (maybe false) idea book publishing is more self sanitizing than the internet....
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OmerV

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Re: 1958 photography insights
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2018, 01:44:02 PM »

I have the (maybe false) idea book publishing is more self sanitizing than the internet....

If you mean cathartic, I agree, but then I'm 65. Still, it would be hypocritical of me not say that I do, in fact, like being able to show my work without the difficult effort of publishing or getting a gallery show.

PS  Corrected my post to read "Some books..."

Gordon Buck

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Re: 1958 photography insights -- Argus
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2018, 02:58:14 PM »

In the late 1990s, by combining several eBay purchases, I managed to make up a kit having an Argus C44 rangefinder camera from the mid-1950s including the optional 35mm and 100mm lenses with a viewfinder.  I even found a flash and some bulbs.  The kit was in a beautiful leather shoulder bag.  With a little cleaning, it even worked!

I found a little book "The Argus Guide" from 1954 by Kenneth Tydings and set about learning to use the camera and teaching myself photography as though in the 1950s.

Mind you, having learned about photography with totally manual cameras in the late 60s and early 70s, I was aware of f-stops, shutter speeds, depth of field, ASA (back then) speeds, etc.  Plus, being an engineer, all this had come to make sense to me.  I just wanted to simulate getting an adjustable camera in the 50s and learning to use it.

What a daunting task!  I quickly came to realize that the best way to learn to use that camera (for me anyway) was simply to tinker with it using what I already knew.  My camera did not have an exposure meter so I used the general guidelines from handbooks.  Changing lenses was an ordeal; some say that the Argus interchangeable lens system is the worse on of all time!  I cannot imagine a newcomer to photography doing this successfully. 

But I did manage to get a few B/W photos from it even though the image quality was poor.  My best experience with that C44 was on a photo workshop/cruise.  I deviously set up the camera with the bulb flash, guessed at the settings and walked out onto the deck where the other attendees had gathered.  I then asked one of the instructors to take a picture of me and my wife with another instructor.  He said "Sure" and I handed him the Argus.  His eyes bugged out and he said that he didn't know how to use the camera.  I told him to just push the shutter button.  When he did, that entire deck was brilliantly flooded with light from that big bulb.  Sadly, I had guessed wrong at the flash exposure so the shot was badly over exposed but the experience is a wonderful memory. 

But I am glad that my photo education did not begin with an adjustable camera in the 50s.
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Ivo_B

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Re: 1958 photography insights -- Argus
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2018, 05:33:25 PM »

In the late 1990s, by combining several eBay purchases, I managed to make up a kit having an Argus C44 rangefinder camera from the mid-1950s including the optional 35mm and 100mm lenses with a viewfinder.  I even found a flash and some bulbs.  The kit was in a beautiful leather shoulder bag.  With a little cleaning, it even worked!

I found a little book "The Argus Guide" from 1954 by Kenneth Tydings and set about learning to use the camera and teaching myself photography as though in the 1950s.

Mind you, having learned about photography with totally manual cameras in the late 60s and early 70s, I was aware of f-stops, shutter speeds, depth of field, ASA (back then) speeds, etc.  Plus, being an engineer, all this had come to make sense to me.  I just wanted to simulate getting an adjustable camera in the 50s and learning to use it.

What a daunting task!  I quickly came to realize that the best way to learn to use that camera (for me anyway) was simply to tinker with it using what I already knew.  My camera did not have an exposure meter so I used the general guidelines from handbooks.  Changing lenses was an ordeal; some say that the Argus interchangeable lens system is the worse on of all time!  I cannot imagine a newcomer to photography doing this successfully. 

But I did manage to get a few B/W photos from it even though the image quality was poor.  My best experience with that C44 was on a photo workshop/cruise.  I deviously set up the camera with the bulb flash, guessed at the settings and walked out onto the deck where the other attendees had gathered.  I then asked one of the instructors to take a picture of me and my wife with another instructor.  He said "Sure" and I handed him the Argus.  His eyes bugged out and he said that he didn't know how to use the camera.  I told him to just push the shutter button.  When he did, that entire deck was brilliantly flooded with light from that big bulb.  Sadly, I had guessed wrong at the flash exposure so the shot was badly over exposed but the experience is a wonderful memory. 

But I am glad that my photo education did not begin with an adjustable camera in the 50s.

Great story, did the coast guards respond your arugula?
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Gordon Buck

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Re: 1958 photography insights -- Argus
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2018, 07:09:22 PM »

Great story, did the coast guards respond your arugula?

arugula?
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Ivophoto

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1958 photography insights
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2018, 12:52:11 AM »

arugula?

Sorry.
I ‘m Flemish speaking and didn’t know the English name of a SOS fire arrow. I guess Arugula is Rocket salad? Hahahahaha.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2018, 12:55:12 AM by Ivophoto »
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Rob C

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Re: 1958 photography insights
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2018, 09:59:47 AM »

Sorry.
I ‘m Flemish speaking and didn’t know the English name of a SOS fire arrow. I guess Arugula is Rocket salad? Hahahahaha.

A maroon?

Rob
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