those little dots, the origin of it all...

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by panocho, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    moved by the thoughts around another thread here, I would like to suggest a little thinking/comment on the following:

    a picture is basically an enormous collection of little dots of different colors/grey scale that put together and viewed from a proper distance create an image. This we all know.

    so, in digital those little dots are the pixels, whereas in film they basically are the result of the silver halide crystals reacting to light.

    now there is a difference, an important difference, in my opinion, between the two kinds of dots created by digital or film. It may sound stupid to some of you, but I really think there is a significant difference. And this is that pixels are perfectly arranged in vertical and horizontal straight lines, whereas the crystals are chaotically dispersed.

    In my opinion, this affects the image created. There is somehow a different "feeling" on a digital vs a film picture, one that probably most of the times no one could notice, but sometimes one could, and, anyway, somehow it is there. Honestly speaking, I've had noticed it sometimes.

    I started to think about this after reading an article of the never-ending comparison digital/film by a Spanish photographer. I recommend it to those of you interested in such topic (is there anyone still?). Why? well, he does it beacuse he was tired of such articles, most of them biased by one or the other formats. So he did it with a radical rigorousness, that may result interesting, as I say

    You can take a look at it here:

    http://www.hugorodriguez.com/ (then you have to go "artículos" and next, "digital vs película") it is in spanish, but you can at least analyse the visual results of the comparison

    well, back to the question. My point is that the difference between the two kinds of dots (the way the arrange to create the image) is significant. In which way? Well, I would say that the image created by film feels more natural, because of the more natural way to arrange the dots (chaotically). OF COURSE, most of the times no one would notice any difference at all, but it doesn't mean it isn't there, at the bottom, so to say, and that sometimes it can arise and be somehow noticeable.

    Well, this is basically it. What do you say? Would you agree? would any of you also say that sometimes has noticed some difference in a digital picture, some that you couldn't explain, but somehow you noticed?
     
  2. RedDevilUK

    RedDevilUK TPF Noob!

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    this is true... its also the way our pictures are displayed on a TV screen..... anyone who has ever been sad enough to go right up to the screen, until there nose virtually touches the screen...( sorry is that just me then lol)

    and as Digital cameras get better, there will be more and technically smaller pixels/dots creating better clarity and better results.

    although having said that... IMO anything higher than 4mp does a good enough job for me. the more MP you have though, the more digital zoom you are able to use while editing in PS
     
  3. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi Panocho, if you would like to round out the 'dot thing' take a look at this guy- Georges-Pierre Seurat.

    start here... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Seurat

    I actually knew someone who had one of his in their dining room. I was impressed and I didn't even know who he was until I looked him up. LOL

    If you are anywhere near one of his paintings, go see it! It will be worth the trip.

    mike
     
  4. blackdoglab

    blackdoglab yeah I'm easy.... but I'm not cheap

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    Oh yeah, I just realized something important. Silver hailide prints have a glow to them unreproduceable with an inkjet print.
     
  5. gmarquez

    gmarquez TPF Noob!

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    True...however, remember, the difference is the recording medium (negative film vs. positive (slide) film, vs sensor), NOT the display medium. You can have digital prints printed using regular photo papers...I am NOT talking about spraying ink or dye onto a surface (Giclee)...I am talking about actual exposed photo paper.

    Fine...get your digital prints "printed" on gelatin-silver (or equivalent) ...Kodak Endura, Kodak Metallic, Fuji Crystal Archive, Fujiflex. The "printers" all use a lasers or LEDs to actually EXPOSE photo paper.

    While we are at it, vinyl LPs are better than CDs, oils are better than watercolors, and classical music is better than rock and roll. Or is it... :banghead:
     
  6. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    One hting that obthers me is that in photoshop, you can start zooming in on a full size 100% photo, and it doesn't take tha tlong to see individual pixels. I don't know, somephotos are so brethtakingly sharp and beautiful, I just imagine things to be even smaller than they are.
    I want to see a future with not more pixels, but smaller pixels. in both sensors AND on computer screens.
     
  7. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Smaller pixels and sensors = more noise (grain) because the light hitting the smaller dots needs to be amplified more. Larger sensors with larger pixels = nicer cleaner images.

    Computer screen pixels - sure more are better. I currently hav3 a 21" monitor running at 1600 x 1050 px. It's nice having extra desktop space when using high resolution.
     
  8. lollypop

    lollypop TPF Noob!

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    what i learnt was that in film the grain are circular and have no defined edge whereas digitally speaking pixels are square therefore have defined edges- possiblily allowing digital in the future to be far supperior to film?

    I'm not sure i agree as i love film i love the whole process of being in the darkroom- lets hope its not a completly dying art :)
     
  9. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    basically, that would be precisely my point. Only that my conclusion would go in the opposite direction, i.e. prefering the "structure" of a film created image. (besides, I can't see why that would allow digital to be far superior)

    Please note that to me it is not a matter of quality (basically, sharpness, I understand in this case). I guess that this would only depend on sensors' size plus megapixels vs. format plus film sensitivity, etc. In which case both formats end up totally equivalent. We are talking from beyond that discussion, then. It is something else.

    As with sound (cd's, for example) digital reduces to the simple either 0 or 1 (you know, binary system). Not without a reason in French digital is "numérique". Thus the prefectly defined edges, by the way. Whereas film, as with vinyl, is rather a curve.

    My (weak? weird?...) point is that the image created by film feels more natural -even though 99% of the times no one will notice any difference. But somehow that "structure" of the image feels better to the eye than the 0/1 of digital.
     
  10. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    ah! and as I said in another thread devoted to precisely this, film will never die. As long as there are people like you and me who enjoy using it (regardless of the parallel use of digital -or not), don't doubt there will be people willing to make a bussiness in supplying that film!

    (sorry for my insistence on the matter, but: it is the same with vinyl. And it still exists, for those who want it!)
     
  11. gmarquez

    gmarquez TPF Noob!

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    Again, I think you are confusing the recording method (digital vs. analog) with the presentation method (photo paper, ink jet [Giclee], monitor screen).

    If you record and master music in digital form, but then transfer it to vinyl, you still end up with an analog signal from the vinyl. They vinyl in this case is the presentation method (as opposed to reading bits off of a CD). Will it sound the same as if it had been mastered with analog methods? Probably not. But it will have the vinyl "feel", because the 'data' recorded on the vinyl is analog.

    In the same way, if you photograph and post-process in digital, and have have the photograph "printed" on photo paper using a Cymbolic LightJet, what you end up with is an analog photograph.

    Is it exactly the same as transfering a negative or positive to photo paper? No. Do you still get an analog feel of continuous tones? Yes.

    Again, remember, I am not talking about printing digital prints by spraying dots onto the surface of paper (Giclee)...I am talking about using RGB lasers (or LEDs) to expose actual, REAL photopaper using a continuos tone process.
     
  12. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    what I'm trying to compare is what I've called the "structure" of the image, which corresponds with the recording method and not with the presentation. Sorry if I'm not clear enough or if the comparison with sound confuses instead of helping.

    of course, you can transfer an image to paper using both digital and analog processes. but that's another story. What I'm trying to compare, again, is the initial capture.

    In film, that is the negative. In digital, that is a file with digital information that initially has to be viewed on a screen. Then you can do a lot of things with both, and that's great. But my thoughts are on those two original recorded images.

    and there the dots. both methods are nothing but a bunch of dots put together. but different kinds of dots, though. And I suspect that "film-dots" are more "natural" than "digital-dots".

    sorry if I'm not clear enough. after all, this is not my language! :wink:
     

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