Photographers Stuck in the Past

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by skieur, Aug 31, 2012.

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  1. skieur
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    skieur New Member

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    Boy, I am amazed at how many photographers cling to the past, which seems to me to be a fatal mistake for any serious photographer or potential pro.

    The first group is those that cling to black and white. The only high quality black and white was done by those who did a considerable amount of work on tonal variations, detail, and contrast control in the darkroom. That type of quality represents perhaps 1% of what I have seen. Generally what I have seen is from those who assume that black and white is easier than dealing with all the variations of colour with results that are usually muddy, unnatural, and poor quality. A sub group here is those that selectively colour. When it was a new approach it was interesting, but when it became repetitious and badly done, it became no longer effective and had far less visual impact.

    The next group is those that cling to 35mm film. Digital surpassed 35mm film sharpness quality when it surpassed 10 megapixels. The difference I saw in a wedding shoot. The guy using film had excellent shots of my daughter in her white wedding dress. My shots using digital however showed the texture and detail in the dress design missing from the film shots. The immediacy of preview and possible retake makes digital impossible to beat in any photo situation.

    Then there are the MANUAL shooters which is a large percentage. Initially it was the way to go, because AUTOMATIC was a very rough estimate of what was needed in adjustments for a particular shot. Any good photographer could do better with manual by recognizing the need for perhaps a faster shutter speed, more depth of field and a higher fstop, and perhaps manual focusing. Technology has changed and the chips and sensors have tremendously improved. Now the manuals even indicate that AUTOMATIC will accurately handle ANY photographic situation and the further scene and picture modes will ensure a perfect photo.

    Those photographers who change with the times have realized that AUTOMATIC and MANUAL have been replaced with PRE-PROGRAMMING. The photographer who does scenics for example, sets the fstop for the depth of field that fits his/her style, the ISO that most often balances available light with noise issues, the white balance, contrast, dynamic range, etc. and then records his/her settings on a dial or button. The same technique for portraits, sports shots etc.
    The result is faster shooting for the photographer to get the shot and less tweaking in post.


    skieur
  2. rexbobcat
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    rexbobcat Well-Known Member

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    If a photographer gets the job done well I don't think it matters how far in the past they choose to live.

    It's just when they assume I am interested in how authentically vintage or w/e they are that I have an issue. (Hint: I usually don't care)

    This all seems like its geared towards going fast, fast, fast. That's not always necessarily the point.

    I also think that saying these are "fatal" is a little dramatic.
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  3. Ysarex
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    Ysarex Well-Known Member

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    :popcorn:
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    rokvi New Member

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    I shoot manual. However I don't preach to anyone that it is the ONLY way to shoot. Also I don't think it a mistake either. If people want to do B&W, let them. If people want to shoot with 35mm film, let them. If I want to shoot in manual, let me!
    What Im amazed about is so many people are worrying about what the next person is doing.

    :D
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    Trever1t Well-Known Member

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    Poloroid FTW!
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  6. pixmedic
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    pixmedic Critical Care Paramedic Staff Member

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    BEST. TROLL. THREAD. EVER!
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    mjhoward New Member

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    Talk about hipocrisy!
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  8. MLeeK
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    MLeeK New Member

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    Is this just to start drama?

    I am pretty sure my "clinging to the past" hasn't proven fatal to me in any way. It's made me who I am. I shoot full manual all of the time and control every aspect of the image. I SUCK in the assisted modes and I have cameras that don't even have AUTO at all. So...
    And I sure use a whole lot of black and white. In fact my entire home page slide show is in black and white. It sure seems to land me a whole lot of work.
    So, I'll cling to the past. Every year is better than the past without fail, so it's definitely not fatal.
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  9. PlanetStarbucks
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    PlanetStarbucks New Member

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    Pfh...whatever. Only the true artist can work in the medium of the past. I prefer Pictograms, Hyrogliphs are so post stone age.
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  10. Tuffythepug
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    Tuffythepug New Member

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    I'll bite. I am one of those people who feels that it's not such a bad idea to keep all avenues of photography alive. My feeling is that black and white photography is all about the challenge of making a good photo without relying on pretty colors. Digital color photography is of course the standard of the day. Who knows what will be the next big leap in photo technology. I am getting out my developing tanks, enlarger, etc. and getting back to b/w photography for one reason: When I plan a shot, execute it, develop the film, and watch the print slowly start to emerge in the developing tray I am connected to it in a way that you could never achieve with a click and a check of the monitor. It's more satisfying in the long run.

    Black and white film photography is all about tone, texture, form, and composition. You can't fall back on nice bright colors to make a pleasing image. Some of the finest b/w prints every made would have been just average if they had been done in color instead. B/w when done well is a powerful medium. It can also be mediocre and boring when done poorly.
    You know, some people like to drive a fast car and others like to ride a motorcycle, while many folks just like a nice walk. It doesn't matter how you get there. As long as the journey is enjoyable and you get where you wanted to go.
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  11. cgipson1
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    cgipson1 New Member

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    Mlee... you know what they say... Those who Can't DO, ***** about those that can! ;)
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  12. Majeed Badizadegan
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    Majeed Badizadegan TPF Supporters

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    "The disadvantage of men not knowing the past is that they do not know the present. History is a hill or high point of vantage, from which alone men see the town in which they live or the age in which they are living."
    G. K. Chesterson


    Black and white is still a powerful medium that has it's own purposes and it's own place.

    From what I know about those who shoot film seriously, this is dead wrong.

    So let's put the tiny micro-chip brain of the camera to work, instead of using our own? :lol:

    I shoot manual, almost exclusively. Why would I trust the microchip in the camera to make exposure decisions when I can do it better myself? Photography isn't about "speed" or "convenience" to me. Why would I forego image quality to save myself a few seconds in the field?
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  13. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    The past started just as I commenced typing this sentence.

    Everything is in the past, now is fleeting, and the future never arrives.
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  14. Derrel
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    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I love fishing. I love to shoot fishing photos, so I have some experience in this area. I prefer deep-water, controlled depth trolling. Downrigger trolling. This post is more like flatline trolling, which only dredges the top 5 to 15 feet of water, and seldom gets down to where the really BIG chinook run, which is from 60 to 200 feet or so on many days. This was a nice, flatline trolling pass by the original angler. Flatline trolling though...it catches lots of shakers. But I'm more interested in fish that'll make "smiley".
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  15. brooklynyc
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    brooklynyc New Member

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    It all depends on what you enjoy shooting with. I love shooting with film and developing my own film, but I also enjoy shooting with a digital camera. The love of film photography and black and white photography has nothing to do with being stuck in the past, neither does shooting with a manual lens. Film and digital are very different, but each has it's own strong points and weaknesses. As far as quality, a film image actually captures more information than current digital sensors because a digital sensor looses information between the receptors. As technology continues to develop, film can continue to be scanned at higher and higher resolutions. Watch at this video from Kodak about film and digital sensors: here. Film is actually not as outdated as it seems. I guess that's why movies are mainly shot in film, and then scanned. I personally prefer the look of film because I mainly shoot street photography.
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