Going too far digitally?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by CDG, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. CDG

    CDG TPF Noob!

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    This thread could coincide with the rules thread, but I want to make the distinction here. Where the rules deals with, what constutes a "good" composition or photograph, I want to ask the simpler question. What is a photograph? My love of the feel of film, drove me to continue with the format, but my last two years of photography courses allowed me to experiment with the bizzare, the abstract in the world of digital. So with the digital darkroom you can take things may ways. I can make a black and white Sepia with a click of a button. I can falsely color an image, I can add the sun or the moon, I can paste multiple pictures into one, adding a good foreground and a good background to make a nice looking photo out of otherwise mediocre shots.

    However, I like to stretch the limits beyond what is acceptable. I like to do things that are "wrong", then try and throw my mind at the result, trying to "bend" my way of thought rather then the image. That to me is the beauty of abstract art. You get to bend your mind, rather then changing the art. As a result, my favorite piece of art would have to be Scream.

    I would post an example of my work if I could ever figure out how to post a flippin picture here! :x
     
  2. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Learning the 'rules' (I prefer 'conventions') of composition can obviously help, but personally I'm a big fan of trial and error, and instinct, over prescription and proscription. I'm now looking into the various principles in more detail, but I'm glad that for a good while I was blissfully unaware of them and got a chance to develop a 'feel' for composition. This resulted in many extremely poor shots, but also a handful of ones with which I was very happy. Ignoring the principles of photography can result in images that appear 'amateurish', but then sticking rigidly to them can give you photos that look pretty workmanlike i.e. unexceptional. Learn the 'rules', but remember that not only can you break the rules, but also that you don't have to follow any 'rules of how to break rules'. In short, don't be afraid to abandon convention and theory for the "That could be kinda cool" instinct.

    Of course, that's just my view. If you were attempting photography as a profession my advice would be different, but if not then where's the harm? After all this isn't architecture; no-one's going to fall and die if you fail to observe the major principles of the art (well, I guess if someone was standing on the edge of a cliff and you had a powerful flash, but anyway...) That's just my two units of currency.

    Yes, but surely you agree two sequels was pushing it a bit far? :p
     
  3. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    While maybe not as easily, all of these things can be, and have been done in the traditional, chemical darkroom.

    Check out Jerry Uelsmann.

    http://www.masters-of-photography.com/U/uelsmann/uelsmann.html
     
  4. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Yup, and somehow, multiple exposure on film is much more satisfying than trying to achieve the same effect in PS :)
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Well, that's up to the individual photographer. :) I'd probably be more likely to try something like multiple exposure in Adobe PS than in my darkroom; it's just not my thing.

    I was just saying the more things change, the more they stay the same. The tools get fancier, but the real change comes from within the photographer. ;)
     
  6. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    What is a 'good' photograph? One that does the job it is intended for is the simple answer.

    What is a photograph?
    Now there we have it.
    I have spent the last 10 years working the definition of that out as the mainstay of my PhD submission. Actually 'what is the definition of Photography?' is the basis but you can't define the one without the other. It was quite an eye-opener to discover that no-one had actually come up with an adequate or accurate definition.
    Taking the opportunity to sound smug I'm almost there - it touches all bases and stands up to scrutiny - but no-one is hearing it until I have the language nailed down. So don't ask.

    There is a simple and very useful definition, though. It encapsulates the whole thing quite nicely:
    "A photograph is a reasonably permanent image that is, in some way, produced through the action of light."
    It can be seen that this covers digital but it also includes x-rays and photocopies. I think that they have as much right as anything to be considered as photography.
     
  7. Mumfandc

    Mumfandc TPF Noob!

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    I really think it's pointless when people try to "simulate" film/darkroom effects onto digitally shot images. I mean...you don't see film users trying to simulate "mosaic tile effect setting" in their darkrooms!

    "Digital cyanotype/sepia/split-tone/film infrared/added grain"...doesn't really make sense to me. If your going to use digital (which I think is fine, if it works) I say "out with the OLD, in with the NEW".

    It just goes to show that people are still holding on to the qualities of film. In 100 years, when film is LONG dead...then maybe people will have a longing for photos with the "rustic digital Photoshop" look.

    That's just my opinion.
     
  8. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    There are some of us who have not had the chance to play in a traditional darkroom; but yet LOVE that film look.
    Attempted 'simulation' it might be, but at the end of the day it makes me happy.

    Just my opinion! :)
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    That works for me.
     
  10. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Not bad for ten years work, eh? That definition is actually mine.
     
  11. RobotJam

    RobotJam TPF Noob!

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    I find digital photo's kind of strange, to me being in the computer graphics industry for the last 12 years they are just another digital image. If it's in digital form its just a collection of pixels like any other digital image be it a 3d render or a digital painting.
     
  12. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    I think a photograph is capturing a moment and saying "hey world this is what I saw and or felt". The responsibility of that action can be taken on a million different levels. Some feel that a well thought out photo with correct exposure and depth of field is the way to go. Others feel that if you have 9 family members in one place that is worthy of a shot.

    I think the key is understanding what you are trying to capture and convey. The medium can be anything. It is the thought that counts.
     

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