Just a bit of whining

molested_cow

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I was interviewing for a job not related to photography, and just happened that the person who i was interviewed by is very much into photography. He's well known for various reasons, and has published several photo albums.

He's an old guy. Basically his knowledge of everything he talked about was stuck at least 20~30 years ago.

Like many old-time photographers, he insists on shooting in film.

reason? He has no experience with digital.

Oh and btw, he doesn't even get involved in the post processing of his negatives and prints. He just shoots and pays the shop to do the rest.

If he wasn't the son of a once-powerful politician, I really doubt he can make it this far.
 

bentcountershaft

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Ross Halfin does the same thing. He's moved into digital but he has an assistant do all his editing. When he shoots film, which is fairly often, he pays a lab like he always has. He seems to have done ok so far. Different strokes I guess.
 
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molested_cow

molested_cow

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I'm sure everyone here will agree that post processing, dark room or photoshop, is a huge part of the final outcome. To claim the entire authorship of a photo without getting involved in its post-processing is really beyond me.
 

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I'm sure everyone here will agree that post processing, dark room or photoshop, is a huge part of the final outcome. To claim the entire authorship of a photo without getting involved in its post-processing is really beyond me.

Wut?

About 80% of my photos I just adjust the contrast and mess with the color balance and that's about it.

Colors can be adjusted in-camera, even with film (filters), and contrast can also be adjusted with filters, or high contrast film, or by underexposing and pushing (Even if the lab techs do this, it's not really a huge artistic decision. No more than hitting "auto-tone" or "auto-color" in photoshop). So you can get plenty decent images from the lab without giving up any serious artistic decisions at all.

Unless your lab technicians are sitting there artfully dodging and burning every image for you, how would this even remotely constitute a questionable claim of authorship?
 
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molested_cow

molested_cow

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I guess my approach is very different from yours. When I take a photo, I am not thinking what the camera is going to give me, but what I want to get out of the RAW file. Of course I need to know what setting I need to use, but that's as far as where my camera takes me. The rest is me and the software. Camera usually gives me good results, but I want better results.
 

SCraig

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I'm very much of the opinion that photography is the epitome of the statement, "It doesn't matter how you get there, it's the results that count". I'm also of the opinion that the only critical items that you must get right in-camera are focus and, to a lesser extent, exposure. From there on it doesn't matter to me how a photograph comes to be, only that it does. I don't look at a photograph and try to decide what was done in-camera and what was done in post-processing, I look at a photograph for the quality of the overall image and how it is presented.

That being said, there are many instances in which I've looked at a negative or slide or digital image and found a better way to present it after I shot it. Perhaps some straightening or cropping or perspective correction. Perhaps some color correction or exposure correction. Perhaps change absolutely everything about the way it came out of the camera. Does it matter? Not in the slightest to anyone viewing the photograph because they won't even know.

As an example, molested_cow, if the person you were talking about showed you an excellent photograph that he had taken would you ask him how much was done in-camera and how much was post processing? Or would you just look at it and say, "That's a GREAT shot!"? It's the final result that counts, and the steps taken to get there are immaterial. I have no doubt that some of the shots this person has taken could be improved with some diligent tweaks but if he's happy with the result is that not what's important?
 

radiorickm

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I guess my approach is very different from yours. When I take a photo, I am not thinking what the camera is going to give me, but what I want to get out of the RAW file. Of course I need to know what setting I need to use, but that's as far as where my camera takes me. The rest is me and the software. Camera usually gives me good results, but I want better results.

I guess here is where I go a different way to....maybe too old-school. The way I look at this, is if I have to do anything to the picture in post (other than the RAW to JPEG conversion stuff) then I failed in capturing the correct image. In my days as a press photographer, and dark-room tech, my "punishment" for making a poor image was all of the time I spent dodging and burning and having to make a mask, or what ever I had to do to fix what I broke, to make the had-to-have image for the paper.

But let me say this: Ansel Adams. He was indeed a great photographer. BUT......he was also a great and wonderful darkroom technician. The two things, although closely related, are not the same thing in my mind.

My goal (hmmm..... desire .....wish....dream...creative struggle) has always been about capturing the moment...making the image. I have NEVER really asked myself...what can I do with this in photo-shop.

So, for me it's about 90% camera and 10% software.

That's what makes this such a great hobby I guess, everyone can focus on the area of it that interests them.
 

radiorickm

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As an example, molested_cow, if the person you were talking about showed you an excellent photograph that he had taken would you ask him how much was done in-camera and how much was post processing?

See, that's where I have to say YES. It does make a difference to me. When they tell me....well I had a picture of a moon I took last month, and I though It would look good over a farm house picture, and I put them together....that totally RUINS it for me.

It shows you have great skills as a computer technician, at digital image manipulation, but NOT as a photographer.

BUT I totally agree, IT IS about what you want to get out of it.
 

SCraig

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See, that's where I have to say YES. It does make a difference to me. When they tell me....well I had a picture of a moon I took last month, and I though It would look good over a farm house picture, and I put them together....that totally RUINS it for me.

It shows you have great skills as a computer technician, at digital image manipulation, but NOT as a photographer.

BUT I totally agree, IT IS about what you want to get out of it.

But what if, instead of sticking a farmhouse in the shot, all they did was adjust the contrast and brightness and crop it differently? I'm not a big fan of compositing images either, they nearly always look manipulated. Adjusting values within the image are completely different to me, and nothing that I couldn't have done in a darkroom decades ago.

The bottom line, in my opinion, is that if I can tell that the image was post-processed then I went too far. If the image just looks better than what came out of the camera then I did what I needed to do.
 

Overread

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It doesn't matter how you get there, only that you are honest with what you produce, how you produce it and that the shot looks good/great.

A great many people (esp with colour film) didn't do much home processing and would rely on a quality lab to do the work for them. So long as the lab did well its no different to jpeg mode on the DSLR or using the auto/suggested settings in editing on the computer yourself. It's just applying a constant general approach to the photos, and most of the time you will be just touching up the common things to a general formula.

Yes you can go very arty or very creative with the editing phase, if you want to. It doesn't have to be a part of every photographers creative process and whilst the results can be superior its important to realise that the chase for "perfection" is a false chase because you'll never get there (as with most artwork its not a case of getting to perfection but getting close enough that you can stop and move on and be happy with the work).


As for sticking to film I think its important to realise that digital and the whole computer world is a MASSIVE technology jump. For some people that jump is just a bit too much - in fact its sometimes quite scary to them. That is not to say that they could never adapt to it; with the right instruction many could and they could come to greatly enjoy it. However if there is no pressure on them to adapt (and lets not forget film is still a very powerful medium, its only in the last few years that digital is really starting to surpass it at a technical level*) chances are they will not and they'll keep using film and churning out great photos.



*the big market shift to digital was not just prompted by quality, but more so the fact that suddenly you could write off masses of developing costs, as a professional, because now you don't have to pay for every roll of film to be developed nor have to invest in it before each shoot - nor store it in coolers running 24*7 etc.... Indeed one could argue that the main shift to digital actually took a small step back in the overall possible quality when you consider things like dynamic range - of course if you're doing portraits in a studio that is something you can easily control with lighting modifications - landscapes and such where you can't control also support this argument as that is often an area where film has remained very strong - along with the fact that medium and large format digital cameras are still VERY expensive.
 

Dikkie

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I'm sure everyone here will agree that post processing, dark room or photoshop, is a huge part of the final outcome. To claim the entire authorship of a photo without getting involved in its post-processing is really beyond me.

Well, I understand lots of postprocessing is necessary, certainly when shooting in RAW.

But I have much respect for people who shoot slide film (positives), and can make nice presentations of gorgeous things with a projector on a screen, without cropping or manually postprocessing the photos by themselves.
I used to see such flawless presentations as a kid, accompaigned by music, done by old men in the era where there was no digital stuff available yet.

At this moment, people don't seem to be able anymore to make a picture without correcting them after the shot.
 

imagemaker46

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One of the great joys of shooting film, started when the roll was put in the camera, from shooting to processing and then time spent printing. It was time consuming and it was relaxing. There was a greater connection between photographer and photograph.
 

Derrel

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I guess my approach is very different from yours. When I take a photo, I am not thinking what the camera is going to give me, but what I want to get out of the RAW file. Of course I need to know what setting I need to use, but that's as far as where my camera takes me. The rest is me and the software. Camera usually gives me good results, but I want better results.

There are a number of differences between "photography" and "digital imaging". Most people on this forum are involved with "digital imaging". The old guy who interviewed you was doing "photography".
 

Overread

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One of the great joys of shooting film, started when the roll was put in the camera, from shooting to processing and then time spent printing. It was time consuming and it was relaxing. There was a greater connection between photographer and photograph.

I wouldn't say its a greater connection between the photographer and the art, but I would say that its a much more direct tactile and physical connection where as digital is just as connecting and just as indepth, its just a little removed because the tactile aspect is with the computer not the photo itself. I can certainly appreciate that the whole touching and feeling and smelling of the whole film experience can feel more rewarding than the more clinical and clean digital workflow.

I guess my approach is very different from yours. When I take a photo, I am not thinking what the camera is going to give me, but what I want to get out of the RAW file. Of course I need to know what setting I need to use, but that's as far as where my camera takes me. The rest is me and the software. Camera usually gives me good results, but I want better results.

There are a number of differences between "photography" and "digital imaging". Most people on this forum are involved with "digital imaging". The old guy who interviewed you was doing "photography".

Dem's fightin words - you going for the Western style with revolvers are high noon or the British style at dawn with pistols?
 

Designer

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The most I ever did in color film was cropping, as I didn't even develop it myself. In B&W I fooled around some with dodging and burning, but not even very much of that.

I just liked taking pictures, and was sometimes even proud of them.

Now, with digital, I will do more just because I can.

Your old-time photographer can still produce good images, even without doing the chemistry.
 

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