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Thread: Please, take me out of this misery...

  1. #1
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    Please, take me out of this misery...

    It's been almost a year since I got my first DSLR and since then I can't get an answer to a simple question:

    Why does digital look so... digital?

    I have asked this question to many photographers and I've spent hundreds of hours searching the web looking for an answer... but nothing.

    Maybe you, like many others, think that the answer is easy and would reply with one of the options bellow:

    1) "It's not the fact that it's digital. It's just a bad photo."

    2) "Lighting is the secret."

    3) "You need a good camera and, most importantly, good lens."

    4) "You need to master the digital darkroom. The answer is in post processing."

    5) "It's the dynamic range, stupid."

    Well... none of these is false, but they do not close the discussion.
    There's a "quality" in film photography that is not comparable to digital.

    Before anyone thinks that I'm a nostalgic old man... I must say I'm a 28yo guy who has never owned a film camera in his life. But realized since day 1 that the look and feel in photography that made him get his first SLR is not achievable in digital.

    A feel examples (please tell me that you see the diference and understand my frustration)

    Film:
    Scan-6478-003 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!_ | Flickr - Photo Sharing!Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Digital (5D mkII):
    Rhea portrait | Flickr - Photo Sharing!Hindu pilgrim in Varanasi | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Please, put me out of my misery and enlight me.

    ps: this is my first post here. I registered just to ask this question.



  2. #2
    Chief Free Electron Relocator
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    Well, even a scanned film image can be post-processed. Unless we know it isn't we can't really address the 'quality' of it. It would be exceedingly easy to take the 'digital' image and make it look like a scanned 60's-era image.
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  3. #3
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    I have been an avid photographer for 35 years. I have used everything from Hasselblad to pinhole cameras. I now use digital cameras. While I do use some very high end glass, I was able to get excellent results from kit lenses.

    You are young. You are stressing too much about this. Let it go. Go out with the gear you have available and have fun. Spend your time with thoughts about what you can do to improve your composition. Play with the many tools and software apps that will test your creativity.

    Life is good. Focus on enjoying its potential.

    If you still have angst about this, reply back and lets discuss how to have more fun with your current gear.

    Dan

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delphititan View Post
    I have been an avid photographer for 35 years. I have used everything from Hasselblad to pinhole cameras. I now use digital cameras. While I do use some very high end glass, I was able to get excellent results from kit lenses.

    You are young. You are stressing too much about this. Let it go. Go out with the gear you have available and have fun. Spend your time with thoughts about what you can do to improve your composition. Play with the many tools and software apps that will test your creativity.

    Life is good. Focus on enjoying its potential.

    If you still have angst about this, reply back and lets discuss how to have more fun with your current gear.

    Dan
    Hi, Dan.

    Thanks for your kind reply.

    I understand your point and I really try to make the most of my current gear. But what bothers me is spending so much time in photoshop trying to achieve a 'look'.

    I took this picture in a trip to Paris: http://i.imgur.com/t2r3t.jpg
    I really like it as a whole, but it's too digital. Too flat... no depth...
    (you're seeing the raw file, btw)

    I have spent countless hours post processing it, but I feel like it's never good enough.
    Then I see a simple photo taken with a medium format and I'm stunned by the 'look and feel' of it. This would be a perfect example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/brianadams/7065871047/in/pool-31794144@N00/
    T
    here's nothing special about the photo... but the tones make me wanna cry. =)
    They look so good.

    Why?! Am I going crazy?

  5. #5
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    Some company just paid a billion dollars for an application to make images look like your first example and other film "looks" .......


    I guess I don't see the issue, since you can get any "film" look you want with digital with the right post processing and not be able to tell the difference.

  6. #6
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    I drive one of these every day. A couple weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to drive one of these. I just don't understand why they're so different.

    Seriously.... I don't see how you're comparing the two images.
    jake337 likes this.
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    Lens Across America, ROUND 3!!!!


  7. #7
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    I can't agree, Tony.

    Instagram is for fun. It's overdone and it doesn't qualify as what I'm describing here.

    Even with serious post processing, in 90% of cases you can tell when it's fake.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
    I drive one of these every day. A couple weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to drive one of these. I just don't understand why they're so different.

    Seriously.... I don't see how you're comparing the two images.
    Sparky, don't get me wrong. I never meant to compare them as equivaent images.

    I'm asking for you to focus on the quality of tones, depth and colors. Please feel free to add a digital image that you consider a 'Ferrari'. We can go on from there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by galapagos1859 View Post
    Sparky, don't get me wrong. I never meant to compare them as equivaent images.

    I'm asking for you to focus on the quality of tones, depth and colors. Please feel free to add a digital image that you consider a 'Ferrari'. We can go on from there.
    The only way you can compare two images is for them to be taken with the same lighting, subject, etc. To compare those two images is like comparing apples & spark plugs.
    I own stock in FotoMat.
    Go forth and actuate!


    Lens Across America, ROUND 3!!!!


  10. #10
    I spend too much of my life on TPF!
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    I'm in the "you're looking too closely" camp, but between the images you posted, the biggest differences I see are in "grain" and white balance. The film shots are warmer and have more grain/noise than the digital shots.

    Both grain/noise and white balance can be altered in post. If you like warm/grainy images (and many do) there are plenty of tools to achieve the look. Lightroom is one of them. There are numerous others.

    Here's a <3 min edit of one of the digital shots you linked to:
    tpf_10APR12.jpg
    * Image used for illustration/educational purposes. The original can be found via the OP's link above and is presumed copyright by Yago Veith at yago1.com

    Does this edit address any of your likes/dislikes?
    WhiskeyTango
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  11. #11
    I spend too much of my life on TPF!
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    Quote Originally Posted by galapagos1859 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Delphititan View Post
    I have been an avid photographer for 35 years. I have used everything from Hasselblad to pinhole cameras. I now use digital cameras. While I do use some very high end glass, I was able to get excellent results from kit lenses.

    You are young. You are stressing too much about this. Let it go. Go out with the gear you have available and have fun. Spend your time with thoughts about what you can do to improve your composition. Play with the many tools and software apps that will test your creativity.

    Life is good. Focus on enjoying its potential.

    If you still have angst about this, reply back and lets discuss how to have more fun with your current gear.

    Dan
    Hi, Dan.

    Thanks for your kind reply.

    I understand your point and I really try to make the most of my current gear. But what bothers me is spending so much time in photoshop trying to achieve a 'look'.

    I took this picture in a trip to Paris: http://i.imgur.com/t2r3t.jpg
    I really like it as a whole, but it's too digital. Too flat... no depth...
    (you're seeing the raw file, btw)

    I have spent countless hours post processing it, but I feel like it's never good enough.
    Then I see a simple photo taken with a medium format and I'm stunned by the 'look and feel' of it. This would be a perfect example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/brianadams/7065871047/in/pool-31794144@N00/
    T
    here's nothing special about the photo... but the tones make me wanna cry. =)
    They look so good.

    Why?! Am I going crazy?
    The images really aren't comparable, as others have pointed out. One is a landscape (sort of) and the other is portraiture (sort of).

    The biggest diff (other than the obvious above) is depth of field. The landscape shot looks to be shot with a very deep depth of field. Everything is in focus. The portraiture shot is fairly shallow depth of field. The subject(s) are in focus, but the background is not.

    DoF is achievable (easily) in both digital and film.
    WhiskeyTango
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    • "All good things come to those who wait." -Abraham Lincoln
    • "I hate waiting." -Inigo Montoya

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiskeyTango View Post
    I'm in the "you're looking too closely" camp, but between the images you posted, the biggest differences I see are in "grain" and white balance. The film shots are warmer and have more grain/noise than the digital shots.

    Both grain/noise and white balance can be altered in post. If you like warm/grainy images (and many do) there are plenty of tools to achieve the look. Lightroom is one of them. There are numerous others.

    Here's a <3 min edit of one of the digital shots you linked to:
    tpf_10APR12.jpg
    * Image used for illustration/educational purposes. The original can be found via the OP's link above and is presumed copyright by Yago Veith at yago1.com

    Does this edit address any of your likes/dislikes?
    I appreciate your effort, Whiskey. Unfortunately, it's as 'digital' as it was.

    This is my 3 min attempt and I can still see the digital behind the post process:
    http://i.imgur.com/5ekK8.jpg

    =(

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiskeyTango View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by galapagos1859 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Delphititan View Post
    I have been an avid photographer for 35 years. I have used everything from Hasselblad to pinhole cameras. I now use digital cameras. While I do use some very high end glass, I was able to get excellent results from kit lenses.

    You are young. You are stressing too much about this. Let it go. Go out with the gear you have available and have fun. Spend your time with thoughts about what you can do to improve your composition. Play with the many tools and software apps that will test your creativity.

    Life is good. Focus on enjoying its potential.

    If you still have angst about this, reply back and lets discuss how to have more fun with your current gear.

    Dan
    Hi, Dan.

    Thanks for your kind reply.

    I understand your point and I really try to make the most of my current gear. But what bothers me is spending so much time in photoshop trying to achieve a 'look'.

    I took this picture in a trip to Paris: http://i.imgur.com/t2r3t.jpg
    I really like it as a whole, but it's too digital. Too flat... no depth...
    (you're seeing the raw file, btw)

    I have spent countless hours post processing it, but I feel like it's never good enough.
    Then I see a simple photo taken with a medium format and I'm stunned by the 'look and feel' of it. This would be a perfect example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/brianadams/7065871047/in/pool-31794144@N00/
    T
    here's nothing special about the photo... but the tones make me wanna cry. =)
    They look so good.

    Why?! Am I going crazy?
    The images really aren't comparable, as others have pointed out. One is a landscape (sort of) and the other is portraiture (sort of).

    The biggest diff (other than the obvious above) is depth of field. The landscape shot looks to be shot with a very deep depth of field. Everything is in focus. The portraiture shot is fairly shallow depth of field. The subject(s) are in focus, but the background is not.

    DoF is achievable (easily) in both digital and film.
    Yeah... I totally regret putting those 2 pictures together. It didn't clarify my point...
    But believe me, DoF is not part of the equation =/

  14. #14
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    Perhaps you're seeing the noise cause by ISO 2500.
    I own stock in FotoMat.
    Go forth and actuate!


    Lens Across America, ROUND 3!!!!


  15. #15
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    ok... so I found a side-by-side comparison




    Can you guys see it now?

 

 
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