Film VS Digital

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Battou, Jul 22, 2009.

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  1. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Or Should I say Grain VS Noise.

    I don't know why I bother posting photos any more, it seems to me the people around here are more interested in silky smooth plastic immitation look to imagery than the image it self, and this has been an ongoing thing. I shoot 35mm film and I am seriously sick of people bitching about "Noise", it ain't noise, it's film grain. Yes, I am well aware that slower speed film has less noticable grain and there are ways to reduce the apperance of grain in higher speed films, but this is not the problem here. It's almost as if the current generation of photographers on TPF is absolutely clueless that there difference between digital Noise and Film grain.

    Seriously kids, just because it's displayed on the computer does not mean it's digital photography.

    The same Photo posted on three different sites, of the six comments it has recieved in it's first twenty four hours online across those three sites the two here on TPF had to chip in some crap about noise.

    [​IMG]

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    Now,

    What the hell is wrong with this picture? No, I do not mean the photograph, I mean the commenting patern.

    With TPF seeming to get a lot of beginners and first timers, What does it say about modern photography education?
     
  2. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    I don't really blame them as they may not know about grain! Seriously, quite a few people on here STARTED with digital and thats the only thing they know. They know noise (even though it has a different look) and just appeared to them to be noise.

    And unfortunately, I don't think its going to change any. As more people learn photography. It's most likely going to be people starting straight from digital. So, again to them its going to be noise.

    Also, alot of poeple are fair weather and fair light photographers. They have not experienced using 3200 Tmax or 1600 provia inside without flash or strobes (or the equavillant in digital). Or outside close to dusk, and your taking picutres and each time you switch rolls of film your jumping up a couple film speeds at a time.

    As for modern education. Again, noise is taught. Unless someone takes a traditional film course, but even they are going away. My first college sold off all its darkroom equipment 2 years ago. They are 100% digital in the lab and classes now.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The fact of the matter is that many (maybe most) of the current members here haven't shot with a 35mm film camera. Their entire photographic lives have been in the 'digital' era, so they have no concept of film grain. Or if they do, the subtle difference between film grain and noise might be lost on them.

    It's no great secret that film and digital photography has considered cleaner images as something to strive for...so that is basically the prevailing attitude.

    Of course, there are those who love film grain or at least don't find it to be an eyesore. But those are getting to be few and far between, especially in the digital era.

    OK...but why would someone, who's first and only serious camera is a DSLR, learn about film grain. It's likely that they will never use a film camera and very likely that they will never process their own film etc.
    Sure, it can be annoying when people call out your grainy images as noisy...but I think you have to just chalk that up to ignorance and learn not to take it so seriously.

    You are starting to sound like a senior citizen complaining about the way teenagers dress these days. :lol:
     
  4. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The way people (not just here) only seem to care about silky, buttery smooth images is something that's been bugging me for a long while. Sure, I like a smoother image too, but grain, or even digital noise (to an extent) doesn't bother me if the image itself is good. Sometimes grain can even add to an image, something the whippersnappers seem to be missing out on.
     
  5. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sorry, but I was brought up under the belief "Ignorance is no excuse". Now, I am not so arrogent as to assume that everyone knows me well enough to know I shoot 35mm film or that ignorance is so wide spread and deep as to simply not knowing film photography exists. I mean seriously, my nine year old neice knows that my camera is different than her mothers in that she can't see the picture right away because it's film. Granted she is not going to know about grain or noise but she does know film and digital are different media and she is also aware that I do put my film photos on the computer.

    So to answer your question with a question, Why should it be safe to assume that a photo with some spotting is digital because it's displayed online?

    Like I said earlier, I am aware that cleaner images is something to strive for and can be obtained, even at ASA 800 and up. So it's not like the grain being pointed out is the issue here. Yes, I think perhaps I oversharpened the image used for the example and exadgerated the grain that is there, but I'm human, I make mistakes, big deal. One of the major differences between grain and noise is that grain does not follow a patern like noise does, that said noise reduction software does not work on grain. The results are even more unsightly bubbles and smudges...Been there, tried it, was called on it. It's the grain being misconstrued as noise and the viewer expecting it to be and/or should have been removed that has been irking me for some time now.

    What I'm getting at is the fact there is a difference is such a simple and basic concept, Regardless of wether or not digital photography is all the viewer knows there is no reason not to know there is a difference, especially after it has been put into plain black and white text that the shot was taken on film. I am not expecting everyone to know that heavy grain can not be removed after the fact or how to lessen it's visability, that is a different beast. I also have a problem with the fact no one is teaching it, it's almost like modern photography classes have forgotten film even exists.

    I'm 27 years old, I'm beginning to feel like a senior citizen being surrounded by all these digi-boomers, so I suppose it's only natural I begin to sound like one.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You're right, ignorance is not an excuse...but you can't expect everyone to learn what you know or even consider to be common knowledge.

    Another point. We know that film gives us grain, not noise...and even when the image 'becomes digital' it is not the same as an image from a digital camera...you can still get noise from the scanning process, can you not? Probably not the same as the noise you get from a digital camera but scanning can certainly add a similar element.

    Can you honestly blame them (the schools/instructors)?
    Imagine if you ran a school that taught photography classes. Like everyone else, you have a budget and I'm certain that enrollment in digital classes would far outnumber enrollment in film classes. It might be hard to justify a film class...or even to find time for including film in a general class. And if you wanted to teach developing & printing, the costs of maintaining a working darkroom (especially one big enough for classes to use), the costs are probably astronomical...especially compared to a computer lab which can be used for any number of classes, not just digital photography.

    It's the same cycle that previous generations have gone through. When color film came to be more popular than B&W, there were those who thought that the 'kids with their color' were ignorant and/or uneducated. When photography became popular, there were painters/artists who didn't like it.
    In other words, this isn't a battle you are going to win. You can either keep fighting the good fight or just forget about and concentrate on something more productive.
     
  7. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    True, you are correct in that accessment. The scanning process does create an element of noise, but that can be and (atleast in my case) is removed.

    Well, yes. Simply neglecting it would be no different than cutting history out of grade school. It's a part of photography and it should be covered in some form or another. It does not need to be indepth but covered.

    Yes, but they did not have the internet to throw a coniption fit on....:lol: But anyways, how can I concentrate on something more productive when the images I produce are ignored because I am unable to (and in some instances refuse to) remove some spekeling that the viewers repeatedly misinturprit as something it's not.

    All I want is for people to learn something and to not have to repete my self over and over again with every other photo I put up for display only to have that statement be the last comment the image ever recieves. I mean after all arn't a good portion of these beginners learning the bulk of what they know from the internet. If even one person learns something from my pissing and moaning then it's been productive in some form.
     
  8. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    I was at an Art gallery the other day and I was appalled! Not one person noticed that you could see the brush marks in some of the paintings.
    It's perfectly clear to me that any so-called artist who gets brush marks on his work is nothing more than an amateur and their work should not be taken seriously.
    I'm going back to the gallery tomorrow to scrutinise the sculptures and if I find just one chisel mark...
     
  9. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    This needs a sticky in a beginner's forum. Agreed, but it's not necessarily a film vs. digital thing - I usually shoot low-ISO films, where that much graininess doesn't apply (except with big prints of course).
     
  10. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    just as an fyi

    i have more and more teenagers take my traditonal darkroom classes, and in fact earlier this summer a week long workshop was full with a waiting list.

    they had a great time and seemed to love the experience.

    in my digital classes i do talk about grain/noise and how they are different and can at times add to the visual impact of an image.
     
  11. Clawed

    Clawed TPF Noob!

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    Honestly, it is the ignorance of the uneducated here. However, many phtographers cannot recognize the difference between film grain & noise on sight (whether they shoot film or digital). But, this does not mean one should automatically attack a given image for having 'noise.'

    You beg the question about 'modern photography education' and in my opinion, digital phtography is modern photography, not film. I say, include a disclaimer with your images if you do not want feedback about the noise or simply disregard those comments. Digital noise is undesirable so you will continue to get those comments from those that assume that is what they are seeing in your photos.
     
  12. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Grrrr... I swear to God, thats what I most often see from Battou... one compainfest after another (which may not be the case, its not like I view every post here, but the parts of the site that I do visit... these are the impressions that I do get).

    The "ignorance is no excuse" also kinda rubs me wrong too. Forgive the obvious that not everyone know everything!

    It is not wrong to not know somethinng and give an opinion based on limited knowledge. The info may be wrong, but that is a chance to educate... not get bent out of shape. Also, this is not a court of law where the term "ignorance of the LAW is not an acceptable excuse" is even on the same planet of being an acceptable term or phrase to use in this case. You're talking about a perception of bloody grain in a film shot vs digital noise, fer pete's sake! :lmao:

    I do agree that some people have not caught on by now that grain IS NOT noise. Film grain is caused by many things and is not as linear as digital noise would be, it is not as all encompassing as digital noise is either. Digital noise is known as a form of artifacting that gets introduced into the image by the digital camera due to the sensor & the software's inability to record the finer points of the scene due in high ISO and/or highly dark/shadowed areas... whereas "grain" is an inherent part of the film processing and image creation process, and can give it a certain "feel" or "character" but arises from similar reasons like in digital.

    Mike really hit it right on the head with his perception of the issue, I will bet that most here have not shot film much if at all... that is no excuse to go out on a rampage.

    But that said... in the end, a noisy picture and a grainy picture are not my cup of tea... I do perceive them both as negative traits more so than anything positive and will do what is needed in my digital world to avoid or remove it. I want every one of my shots to be as noise free as humanly possible.

    So... lack of grain OR noise... IMHO, for MY photography, is the desired result. For me... LESS is MORE. I do not like the look of a grainy or noisy image from film or digital, and that is my personal opinion. Plus, not all images without noise or grain are plasticy or bad just becuase they lack this artifact either. ;)

    ISO 6400... yes, noise was cleaned up, no its not plasticy looking.
    [​IMG]

    To each their own... live and let live, I say... but when it comes to me and MY photography... any form of artifacting that interferes with my ability to show clear, clean artifact-free shots is something that I will fight to remove or minimize, or do whatever it takes to avoid. :thumbdown: I buy cameras that are clean at high ISO, I buy the fastest lenses possible and when needed, I will introduce noise reduction software to get rid of it. :mrgreen:
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2009
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