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Author Topic: Is photography, today, still photography?  (Read 4672 times)

Rob C

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Re: Is photography, today, still photography?
« Reply #80 on: August 20, 2018, 03:27:25 pm »

I'm happy that you enjoyed the thread; some would have preferred it not have flourished.

For myself, writing/reading about photographic "how to do it" is boring, not only because I have done little else since 1960, but because it is obvious that everybody with a recording device can do it, so it's hardly news...

If anyone wants detailed instructions, the manual has that, and many sites tell you how to used PS etc. so the interest has to be in something other than pressing that damned button, which is where one could be forgiven for hoping that a site such as LuLa could have the critical mass to take the other aspect, the soul of photography, to the level of debate; it's how we learn and develop broader ideas, unless, through pure good fortune, we know at an early age all that we need to take along with us on the trip.

It happens.

Hans Kruse

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Re: Is photography, today, still photography?
« Reply #81 on: August 20, 2018, 03:38:17 pm »

Yes, photography is still photography in my view. Looking at the end result why shouldn't it be? Too many are caught up in the technical details which does not really matter at the end of the day unless mistakes are done. Does it matter if it is done chemically or digitally? Not at all. Just like a wonderful poem written on a piece of paper or in MS Word does not matter what the medium is, only the end result. What more can I say? This is how I feel about it.

amolitor

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Re: Is photography, today, still photography?
« Reply #82 on: August 21, 2018, 10:49:15 am »

one could be forgiven for hoping that a site such as LuLa could have the critical mass to take the other aspect, the soul of photography, to the level of debate

Alas, not even here. My experience over the years is that this is not a conversation that can happen in a public forum of any kind. It appears to be, literally,  the single more reliably acrimony-inducing topic in amateur photography. At least in these decades.
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Rob C

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Re: Is photography, today, still photography?
« Reply #83 on: August 21, 2018, 11:28:40 am »

Alas, not even here. My experience over the years is that this is not a conversation that can happen in a public forum of any kind. It appears to be, literally,  the single more reliably acrimony-inducing topic in amateur photography. At least in these decades.


Or, people just couldn't care less about it.

I don't know which is the more depressing thought.

On the other hand, perhaps it takes a degree of obsession with it to make such things matter. Obsession to the point that it turns into the only interest in life next to survival, and the worry about where Brexit is going to leave my ongoing health issues once, as seems probable now, the previously interchangeable health services stop covering ex-member people stranded in other, once fellow-member countries.

What a fuck up.

:-(

KLaban

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Re: Is photography, today, still photography?
« Reply #84 on: August 21, 2018, 01:33:54 pm »


Or, people just couldn't care less about it.

I don't know which is the more depressing thought.

On the other hand, perhaps it takes a degree of obsession with it to make such things matter. Obsession to the point that it turns into the only interest in life next to survival, and the worry about where Brexit is going to leave my ongoing health issues once, as seems probable now, the previously interchangeable health services stop covering ex-member people stranded in other, once fellow-member countries.

What a fuck up.

:-(

Rob, you're not alone, there are approximately 1.3 million UK expats living in the EU who are watching this space intently.
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HSakols

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Re: Is photography, today, still photography?
« Reply #85 on: August 29, 2018, 09:47:28 am »

Sorry to be so late to the party.  Rob I've thought quite a bit about this.  For me an exciting time was around 2005 when I used medium format film and scanned it at home.  It was a time I felt like I was learning so much and that made me excited about photography.  I also looked more at my prints.  Today, for the hobbiest, we are flooded with images to the point that it trivilizes the process.  I see many photos on facebook by photographers that are wonderful, but many of these images will never be printed, thus removing an important step.  It wasn't until I started to print that I started looking more carefully at my craft such as shadow detail.  Also now that we are more of a global community we all come from different backgrounds and expereiences which is hard to put into context by just posting photos on the internet.  I think we are at a time where us non professionals need to find more local nitches to share our work.  By the way lately I've had to motivate myself to make a few prints every couple of monthes but it somehow makes the process more real for me.  Maybe I need to load one of my old film backs.  This said a good photograph is a good photograph and should be able to stand on its own, but now everyone can make it with little knowledge or thought including me. 
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amolitor

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Re: Is photography, today, still photography?
« Reply #86 on: August 29, 2018, 12:32:09 pm »

It is often said, and I dare say a bit of sleuthing would reveal that I have said it myself, that the quantity of photographs being made and shared today is in some sense desensitizing people to photography. That it is cheapening it.

Is there any evidence of this?

Be careful here, I refer specifically to the "glut of images" the "river of photographs" not the ease of access to the means of production. It is well established that the bottom has dropped out of swathes of the profession, but this is more reasonably attributed to the ubiquity, cheapness, and ease of use of cameras not of photographs.
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Rob C

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Re: Is photography, today, still photography?
« Reply #87 on: August 29, 2018, 03:15:31 pm »

It is often said, and I dare say a bit of sleuthing would reveal that I have said it myself, that the quantity of photographs being made and shared today is in some sense desensitizing people to photography. That it is cheapening it.

Is there any evidence of this?

Be careful here, I refer specifically to the "glut of images" the "river of photographs" not the ease of access to the means of production. It is well established that the bottom has dropped out of swathes of the profession, but this is more reasonably attributed to the ubiquity, cheapness, and ease of use of cameras not of photographs.

Yes and no: cameras have become more easy to use (if you don't really understand the medium) and so more pictures are made, largely by chance, that survive the bin.

The quantity of images around has led to the penny-stock genre and business always looks for the easy ways to save money because, to the bean-counter, that's like making it (or is it, sometimes, how not to make money?). The older generation of guys who worked in advertising was accustomed to sending people away with big budgets and even bigger hopes. That generation has either retired or been put into different management positions and the replacements are probably quite unaware of how it used to be done, and growing up in the ethos of cheap snaps, that's inevitably how they have learned to think.

The move away from print has also removed an important, moderating part of the whole, where price was looked at in an entirely different way. For illustration, I need look no further than my own years in calendar production. Printing a reasonably sized one was very expensive, and the major part of my budget; taking that into consideration, my model, travel and photography charges seemed rather modest, though in reality, both the models and I did very nicely, thank you. Of course, the printers were hit with high paper costs, too, and so the cake had one helluva lot of slices in it, but as a whole, it made everything look proportionate. Anyway, I always quoted as a complete package, but were price ever to be challenged, then a handy breakdown would have made me look modest. My experience was always that people didn't want to know about anything but bottom line, cost either killing the project or giving it the green light.

I suppose that the changes within the communications/advertising world go far beyond just the photography-related ones. Was a time some of us thought the ad agencies milked all of us; today, I think the agencies themselves have a lot of worries ahead of them from the very same democratization of communications.

Arlen

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Re: Is photography, today, still photography?
« Reply #88 on: August 31, 2018, 02:23:12 pm »

I am just now getting around to reading this thread, but it is quite an interesting one, Rob. It might have been useful had I read it before posting a "photographic image" in the User Critiques forum a couple of weeks ago.
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Rob C

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Re: Is photography, today, still photography?
« Reply #89 on: August 31, 2018, 05:17:06 pm »

Possibly so, Arlen, but don't forget that unless it's commissioned, work is best done for the pleasure it gives its creator. If you get lucky, you can achieve both objectives at the same time.

This afternoon I was mooching around the apartment and saw my late wife's Chanel spray which still lives where it always did. I watched a documentary recently on Coco Chanel and her battles over her eponymous 5, and I'm sure that made the connection that today led me to setting up a crude still life in the office (photography always needs more space than you have). Having almost no skill in that field, and no lights that I was willling to set up only to increase my space frustration, I opted to put my Kodak light box on its side and use that as source. I haven't put the files into the computer yet, but probably will tomorrow, thus giving myself something to do... the point being, with my limited experience in that genre, shots at that level would never go near any client, but that removed, they still (I hope!) might give me as much entertainment tomorrow as they did this afternoon. It's photography's best present.

Rob
« Last Edit: September 01, 2018, 03:39:46 am by Rob C »
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Two23

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Re: Is photography, today, still photography?
« Reply #90 on: August 31, 2018, 08:52:13 pm »

...I refer specifically to the "glut of images" the "river of photographs" not the ease of access to the means of production. It is well established that the bottom has dropped out of swathes of the profession, but this is more reasonably attributed to the ubiquity, cheapness, and ease of use of cameras not of photographs.


Twenty years ago I was working on a Master's Medical Science degree, and working nights at a huge Fuji TruColor "industrial" film processor.  Every night trucks brought rolls of (mostly) 35mm film from all the "big box" stores in four surrounding states.  It would not be unusual to process something like 15,000 roll per night.  We had a print processor the size of a motor home.  It shot out eight streams of 4x6 on tremendously long rolls, heading to the cutter.  I used to like to stand there and watch as thousands of photos flowed in front of me like a fast moving river.  It was an awesome sight!  Some observations.  I'd say about 90% of those photos were of a family member or loved one (I'll include photos of a teenager's first car here ;D ) or pets.  About 8% were scenery of some kind, usually from a family vacation.  Less than 2% seemed to be composed with any deliberate "artistic" sense in mind such as are posted on LuLa.  Maybe that was less than 1%, I don't know.  My point is that "rivers of photos" is nothing new, and probably dates back to 1904 and Kodak Brownies.  Most images are made as a sort of "keep sake" or record of something, such as your son & girlfriend going to high school prom etc.  The number of images made for "artistic" reasons has always been a niche and small one at that I think.


Kent in SD
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Rob C

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Re: Is photography, today, still photography?
« Reply #91 on: September 08, 2018, 07:49:49 am »


Twenty years ago I was working on a Master's Medical Science degree, and working nights at a huge Fuji TruColor "industrial" film processor.  Every night trucks brought rolls of (mostly) 35mm film from all the "big box" stores in four surrounding states.  It would not be unusual to process something like 15,000 roll per night.  We had a print processor the size of a motor home.  It shot out eight streams of 4x6 on tremendously long rolls, heading to the cutter.  I used to like to stand there and watch as thousands of photos flowed in front of me like a fast moving river.  It was an awesome sight!  Some observations.  I'd say about 90% of those photos were of a family member or loved one (I'll include photos of a teenager's first car here ;D ) or pets.  About 8% were scenery of some kind, usually from a family vacation.  Less than 2% seemed to be composed with any deliberate "artistic" sense in mind such as are posted on LuLa.  Maybe that was less than 1%, I don't know.  My point is that "rivers of photos" is nothing new, and probably dates back to 1904 and Kodak Brownies.  Most images are made as a sort of "keep sake" or record of something, such as your son & girlfriend going to high school prom etc.  The number of images made for "artistic" reasons has always been a niche and small one at that I think.


Kent in SD


But Kent, the diminutive elephant in you lab was this: art photography isn't pushed through huge processing plants. Either you do it in your own darkroom/lightroom or hire a specialist printer.

Your conclusion is based on a skewed, non-representative base insofar as "art" images may be concerned, but on the wider front there is no argument: most photography is and always was about nothing much. Even, I would suggest, most of the "art" photography wherever, whenever, printed.

Rob

Dave Rosser

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Re: Is photography, today, still photography?
« Reply #92 on: September 08, 2018, 09:29:51 am »



No, I don't at all mind you asking.

In 1960 I switched, in my fourth year of an engineering apprenticeship, to the photographic unit of the same aero-engine company.

Rob
Out of interest Bristol or Derby or elsewhere?  If Bristol and you were in the West Works home of the photographic department then I had the benefit of your fumes, the ventilator chimney for the darkroom was right outside my office in APRG (Advanced Propulsion Research Group  for the in initiated).

Dave
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Rob C

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Re: Is photography, today, still photography?
« Reply #93 on: September 08, 2018, 01:40:48 pm »

Out of interest Bristol or Derby or elsewhere?  If Bristol and you were in the West Works home of the photographic department then I had the benefit of your fumes, the ventilator chimney for the darkroom was right outside my office in APRG (Advanced Propulsion Research Group  for the in initiated).

Dave


Neither: the Mobile Photo-Unit, as it liked to call itself, was based in the R-R branch in Blantyre. I think the main part of it was in Derby.

I have to say, I learned a helluva lot about printing and processing there, if not a lot else! I sometimes yearn for those years of relative innocence.

From what I can gather from friends who worked there too, it was closed after a few years and the work subcontracted out, originally, AFAIK, to a new company made up of the fired staff - Product Support Graphics, I think they called the operation - though no idea to whom or where the work went after that, as I heard they went down the tubes... As there was quite a security issue, I really think it must have been a tough call finding a safe alternative.

;-)

Rob
« Last Edit: September 08, 2018, 01:48:47 pm by Rob C »
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Dave Rosser

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Re: Is photography, today, still photography?
« Reply #94 on: September 08, 2018, 03:20:38 pm »


Neither: the Mobile Photo-Unit, as it liked to call itself, was based in the R-R branch in Blantyre. I think the main part of it was in Derby.

I have to say, I learned a helluva lot about printing and processing there, if not a lot else! I sometimes yearn for those years of relative innocence.

From what I can gather from friends who worked there too, it was closed after a few years and the work subcontracted out, originally, AFAIK, to a new company made up of the fired staff - Product Support Graphics, I think they called the operation - though no idea to whom or where the work went after that, as I heard they went down the tubes... As there was quite a security issue, I really think it must have been a tough call finding a safe alternative.

;-)

Rob
When I retired from RR in 2000 the photographic dept seemed to consist of one man in Derby.  I'm not sure what you did it you wanted high quality pictures of some component - outside contractor I suppose. Ah well times change.

Dave
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