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Old 06-06-2005, 14:16   #1 (permalink)
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Frustrated painters

The more I look around this place the more I come to think I'm sharing a forum with a bunch of folks that would rather have a paint brush and pallete in hand to a blacked out box and glass. :lol:

Now, I have no problems with potatochop and I use it for work daily (although not nearly as well as many people here) but I still have a major issue with using it on any image I've crafted that I care at all about.

There isn't much of a point to this post I supose, other than to see if anyone else out there still strives to create the grail on the ground glass and considers the shot to have failed if needs more manipulation than can be done with an enlarger, some silly bits of cardboard and a cut up wire hanger.

I should just add that I love to see any photographs and I am constantly grateful for the oportunity to see peoples effort and passion on this site.
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Old 06-06-2005, 14:31   #2 (permalink)
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Your post isn't pointless dazza.
I try capture the photograph on the camera how it will be displayed 99.9% of the time.
All I do is fix the exposure and add sharpenning on most of my images.

Now and again I will play with an photograph to see what can be done with this excellent tool called 'potatochop'.

IMO, A photograph stops becoming a photograph as soon as you add/remove parts from it, it then becomes an image.
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Old 06-06-2005, 14:35   #3 (permalink)
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It's good to try and capture the image "in-camera" but a lot of photographers, esp. B & W, used to dodge, burn, selectively expose (matron) etc in the dark room. Personally I see a difference between photographs and images.
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Old 06-06-2005, 14:42   #4 (permalink)
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I consider myself to be a photographer, but it's the final image that's important to me and if I can't make it straight from the camera I'll happily shop around
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Old 06-06-2005, 14:43   #5 (permalink)
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but a lot of photographers, esp. B & W, used to dodge, burn, selectively expose (matron) etc in the dark room
.. and this is where I cant help but see some hypocrasy (sp?) in my whole perspective on this. I am more than happy to take a shot with printing manipulation in mind and this is still a photograph. Possibly somehow even more pure to the original concept of the craft.

BUT as soon as it comes to manipulating pixels I cant help but feel totally different about the end result.

Interesting use of past tense for B&W btw. :lol:
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Old 06-06-2005, 14:54   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Matt
IMO, A photograph stops becoming a photograph as soon as you add/remove parts from it, it then becomes an image.
Agreed. I never remove things from my shots, apart from the odd spot or distracting post. The only things I do in Photoshop is to adjust colours and levels. I may add a layer to the shot to stop the sky being burnt out too. The darkroom was needed to develop film, just as Photoshop is needed to develop RAW files. Its pretty silly to ignore using Photoshop considering everything you take on a digital camera is essentially a processed image, of sorts. I don't think I've actually anything but photographs on this forum. Aside from the photoshop comp, I don't think I've seen any real kind of image manipulation.
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Old 06-06-2005, 14:57   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzajl

.. and this is where I cant help but see some hypocrasy (sp?) in my whole perspective on this. I am more than happy to take a shot with printing manipulation in mind and this is still a photograph. Possibly somehow even more pure to the original concept of the craft.

BUT as soon as it comes to manipulating pixels I cant help but feel totally different about the end result.

:lol:
You remind me of that guy waving the flag in the desert when everyone else has gone home. :lol:
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Old 06-06-2005, 15:01   #8 (permalink)
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[smilie=t: Dinosaurs are us at your service. :lol:
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Old 06-06-2005, 15:02   #9 (permalink)
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i have to crop and alter everything i take, cos im rubbish otherwise, lol...
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Old 06-06-2005, 15:23   #10 (permalink)
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:lol: Don't become a dinoasaur mate. We did have this discussion in depth some time ago anyway, but it really is a nonsense looking backward, digital photography is here to stay, and we see few images in magazines and the media these days which aren't heavily manipulated in some way anyway. What do we think we achieve by denying ourselves the same tools? The recognition of being a 'proper'photographer? Do leave it out. :wink: Photography has changed out of all recognition and the initial nay sayers have abandoned film in their droves recognizing the enormous advantages of going digital.

I think what some people resent is the loss of the mystical alchemy practised in the dark by the glow of a safe light, and the ease with which it is now possible for the newomer to produce quality images with a minimum of technical knowledge. Photography is still about creativity and it's the final image which matters - not the process. We should all be thankful for the new media and the powerful editing tools at our disposal. :wink:
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Old 06-06-2005, 15:40   #11 (permalink)
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That is most eloquently put CT. 8)

It's not that I'm anti digital (well not very much) although I do believe it has made lfe almost too easy for the pro, as there is little presure remaining to capture that elusive moment as a quick peek at the preview and the histogram will tell you if all's well. I guess I still feel that it was the mastery of the "mystical alchemy" that allowed us to charge a hefty fee and stand proud knowing that we were offering something far beyond that which a client could achieve.

In the modern era it's only by using a large format camera, the very very best glass and a ridiculously expensive digi back that lets me offer that "far and above" level of quality.

Using digi capture for work means I take probably less than 2% of my output on film these days but it's still that 2% that I get any real sense of satisfaction out of. Why? I don't think it really comes down to the choice of silver crystal or pixel, as I can achieve a very similar quality of end image either way and digi is certainly far cheaper. For me I think the answer lies in the fact that it IS harder to produce the results on film and somehow that makes it more worthwhile.

Does that make me mad or just stupid? dunno :lol: but as long as someone still makes film I'll be giving them the dosh I earn by turning my back on it.
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Old 06-06-2005, 15:57   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Interesting use of past tense for B&W btw. :lol:
An unintentional past tense tension (o_0) - a result of too much research today into the intricacies of the blessed Freedom of Information Act i.e. I should read through a post first! Brain in imminent shut-down alert...

Edit: I'd like to give a panaromic camera a go though; maybe a Fuji GX617 for example.
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Old 06-06-2005, 16:27   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dazzajl
I guess I still feel that it was the mastery of the "mystical alchemy" that allowed us to charge a hefty fee and stand proud knowing that we were offering something far beyond that which a client could achieve.
I know plenty of graphic designers and web designers who haven't a clue how to do the things I do in Photoshop. These are people who've been using Photoshop longer than me. On the flip side I don't know how they do the things they do in Photoshop. Its not about reading books and knowing what button does what, its simply about having the skill, the eye for a good photo. Web design is a far more saturated industry than photography. Everyone can make a website using things like Word or Publisher, but does that make them web designers? It certainly doesn't. I'm sure there will always be a place for someone with the right skills and talents in this world.
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Old 06-06-2005, 17:57   #14 (permalink)
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Don't get me wrong Daz, I'm forever looking at 'blads and other medium format and studio cameras on fleabay which are going for silly money these days and it's very sad to see the demand for these cameras declining. Tempted as I sometimes am though, I know full well it's highly unlikely I'd ever put a roll of film through one if I bought. it. Big format cameras still rule, but the day will come, and you'd be wise to keep a firm foot in the other camp pending that day, as I'm sure you're well aware. :wink:
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:18   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Frustrated painters

Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzajl
The more I look around this place the more I come to think I'm sharing a forum with a bunch of folks that would rather have a paint brush and pallete in hand to a blacked out box and glass. :lol:

Now, I have no problems with potatochop and I use it for work daily (although not nearly as well as many people here) but I still have a major issue with using it on any image I've crafted that I care at all about.

There isn't much of a point to this post I supose, other than to see if anyone else out there still strives to create the grail on the ground glass and considers the shot to have failed if needs more manipulation than can be done with an enlarger, some silly bits of cardboard and a cut up wire hanger.

I should just add that I love to see any photographs and I am constantly grateful for the oportunity to see peoples effort and passion on this site.

Strange post... but interesting. Why has it failed unless it needs darkroom work only? Surely, the computer is just replacing teh darkroom? How come people can spend hours in a darkroom... pre-flashing paper, dodging, burning... spending hours cuting out masks to burn in, or dodge out a small part of a print... then mixing toners... toniong prints, bleaching prints.... etc, etc, etc...... but that's ok to do all that on an image they've "crafted" and care about, but using Photoshop is somehow not as noble.. not as desireable... as if it's cheating. I don't know about you, but the vast majority of what i do in PS is pretty much only what I'd do in a darkroom. i.e., burning, dodging etc. The only difference is you can be more precise with PS. You have levels and curves control, and precise masking, but it's still dodging and burning, and levels and curves is nothing more than the equivalent of using multigrade paper and a set of contrast filters if you're honest with yourself. So... why do you have a major issue with using it on any image you're crafted and care about? WHat you gonna do when film is all but dead and buried and you have to use a digital camera? Just give up Photography, or accept that PS IS the new darkroom, and whether you use it to replicate the darkroom, or to butcher your images is entirely up to you!

The darkroom is dead... deal with it, and accept that manipulating your image in PS is the same thing.... but with the light on.... and you don't get your hands wet :lol: You don't have to use filters, and ruin your images you know? Photoshop can be a subtle or as wild as you want. The real photographers just use it to do what they either did or wanted to do in teh darkroom... or create something that completely validates the sceptics.

If you're gonna be that precious, then from now on, no more multigrade paper!! You can only use grade 2 or 3 paper. No BURNING, NO DODGING..... no toning, no pre-flashing.. No N+1 devving, and definitely no zone system.... OK? Just shoot, process, and STRAIGHT print! Anything else is cheating..... right??

:lol:
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:24   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzajl
That is most eloquently put CT. 8)

It's not that I'm anti digital (well not very much) although I do believe it has made lfe almost too easy for the pro, as there is little presure remaining to capture that elusive moment as a quick peek at the preview and the histogram will tell you if all's well. I guess I still feel that it was the mastery of the "mystical alchemy" that allowed us to charge a hefty fee and stand proud knowing that we were offering something far beyond that which a client could achieve.

In the modern era it's only by using a large format camera, the very very best glass and a ridiculously expensive digi back that lets me offer that "far and above" level of quality.

Using digi capture for work means I take probably less than 2% of my output on film these days but it's still that 2% that I get any real sense of satisfaction out of. Why? I don't think it really comes down to the choice of silver crystal or pixel, as I can achieve a very similar quality of end image either way and digi is certainly far cheaper. For me I think the answer lies in the fact that it IS harder to produce the results on film and somehow that makes it more worthwhile.

Does that make me mad or just stupid? dunno :lol: but as long as someone still makes film I'll be giving them the dosh I earn by turning my back on it.

Digital hasn't made my life easier at all... it's just made it different. Shooting loads in teh hope of getting one right doesn't work mate... never has, never will, and only a fool tries that. I don't understand why you find it easier with digital at all. I find it... exactly the same! :lol: For example: If I want to darken a sky to match a foreground, I either use a grad, or I do it in teh "printing" stage. Either way, I meter teh same, compose the same, shoot the same... I've changed nothing with the way I work. To me digital is just another kind of "film". Why is it harder with film? In some cases, digital is just as fussy with exposure, especially highlights... colour can be just as big an issue, if not MORE of an issue actually. No.. it's no harder with film... in fact, if I had to put money on it, I'd say film is easier. I have to wonder what sort of work you do if you're finding film more difficult.

As for quality, i use a H10 back for work, and it rocks! Easily outperforming 6x7 tranny film. I stopped using 5x4 ages ago anyway as I didn't need teh movements, but to be honest, the quality I can get from teh H10 is almost there if you use the whole chip. The days of quality being an issue with digital are long gone.
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Old 09-06-2005, 11:12   #17 (permalink)
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This is quite interesting. Digital is simply a different technology for producing images, in exactly the same way that 35mm is an technological advancement over ambrotypes, and all technology in a camera now is an advancement from the first Camera Obscura.

I can't help wondering if, as the various changes were happening, people were also having the same debate about getting rid of glass plates etc. I also seem to recall discussions about the merits of autofocus and whether or not it would take over from a decent manual focus camera. What I'm getting at is that I think the discussion might be a function of time, and possibly nostalgia, rather than technology. After all the cream always rises to the top, no matter what the medium is.
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Old 09-06-2005, 13:02   #18 (permalink)
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Good points from all the digitalists (have I just made up a word there?) and I don't disagree with much of it at all. In fact the only part I would defend is that digital IS easier. I shoot on a Valeo 11 which will soon be a Valeo 17 and that gives me 12 stops of usable range and an instant look the image file with a histogram, whether working tethered or not. There are always thingts that can go wrong with an exposure on any camera but with film you aren't goign to know untill you have it processed.

For me it's a little like a discussion about whether you prefer a manual or auto car, they both do the same sort of thing but it's the feel thats different. I can have an emotion about a bloody huge great tranny on a lightbox as it's the VERY same media that was infront of the light that made tha image. I can hold it and it has a tangible existance. I just cant get as excited about an SD card or hard drive on the Valeo.
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Old 09-06-2005, 14:07   #19 (permalink)
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:lol: Give it up!

I don't accept digital is 'easier' My missus knows **** all about photography but I could give her my old Nikon F4 set on Auto and it would produce at least technically good results the majority of the time, as will the digital 20D I'm currently using. If on the other hand you were to ask me to go out now with a manual camera (no metering) and a hand held meter, that I grant you would be a bit of a culture shock initially. :lol: Why though, would I want to do that, when I have a choice of three high tech metering systems in the camera, any one of which is going to give a pretty good starting point on the occasions when the metering needs some human intervention?

Photography has been getting considerably easier for years now, long before the advent of digital cameras, and it's perfectly possible for the average Joe to get good results without knowing anything about photography other than being able to select the appropriate programme. If by 'easier you really mean more convenient, then digital definitely is more convenient which is why it's taking over at the rate it is.

I was shopping for some picture frames the other day and looking at the huge numbers of 10X8 frames available, I was reminded that this stupid size is still a leftover from the days when the frame would be filled by a contact print from a 10X8 plate. It's not that long ago that 10X8 users poured scorn on half plate and medium format users. In it's turn medium format became the chosen tool of gazillions of journos who ridiculed 35mm- until film quality improved considerably when they soon made the switch. Interestingly, Rollei made the switch to 35mm far too late and a hugely successful corporation went under - from terminal complacancy. :wink:
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Old 09-06-2005, 15:01   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Give it up!
Are you mad? This is way too much fun. :wink: :lol:

So, we are all agreed that the first priority in good photography is passion and equipment comes a very poor second or even third. We also seem to agree that pixel and crystal feel different to work with. Given that I do find it hard to believe that I'm the only person who has a preference for film.

I should repeat that I don't have problem with digi capture or potatochop at all and get along just fine with the three different cameras I have.
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Old 09-06-2005, 16:22   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CT
If on the other hand you were to ask me to go out now with a manual camera (no metering) and a hand held meter, that I grant you would be a bit of a culture shock initially. :lol: Why though, would I want to do that, when I have a choice of three high tech metering systems in the camera,

Because not ONE of them will be as accurate as the hand held meter... that's why. Incident reading is the only true way to get a reliable reading as it measures the light falling ON the subject, and isn't dependant upon the refelctivity of the subject you're photographing. The only way to get your camera's meter as accurate is to spot off a grey card, and if you're going to dick about doing THAT, you may as well just take an incident reading.

Having said this, of course, in most real life situations, the meters in modern SLRs are more than capable in 95% of the situations you'll come across.... you should still have a decent incident meter in your bag tho, especially for shots where speed is NOT an issue... take your time, take a proper reading instead.
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Old 09-06-2005, 16:24   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzajl

So, we are all agreed that the first priority in good photography is passion and equipment comes a very poor second or even third. .
Amen to that Daz.
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Old 09-06-2005, 16:25   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzajl
For me it's a little like a discussion about whether you prefer a manual or auto car, they both do the same sort of thing but it's the feel thats different. I can have an emotion about a bloody huge great tranny on a lightbox as it's the VERY same media that was infront of the light that made tha image. I can hold it and it has a tangible existance. I just cant get as excited about an SD card or hard drive on the Valeo.
True.. I can understand that, I really can, but in order to actually USE that tranny for anything other than decorating your light box, it needs to be scanned, and then printed at some stage, so eventually who cares? I know you can have a cibachrome made of it (oops, not called that anymore is it.. I forgot), but the flexibility of having it scanned is too tempting, and only a purist for the sake of being pure would go the whole chemical route.

It IS nice to see a large format E6 on a light box, but in reality, there's not much practicality in it anymore.
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Old 09-06-2005, 16:27   #24 (permalink)
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[quote="Pook"][quote="CT"]If on the other hand you were to ask me to go out now with a manual camera (no metering) and a hand held meter, that I grant you would be a bit of a culture shock initially. :lol: Why though, would I want to do that, when I have a choice of three high tech metering systems in the camera,
Quote:


Because not ONE of them will be as accurate as the hand held meter... that's why. Incident reading is the only true way to get a reliable reading as it measures the light falling ON the subject, and isn't dependant upon the refelctivity of the subject you're photographing. The only way to get your camera's meter as accurate is to spot off a grey card, and if you're going to dick about doing THAT, you may as well just take an incident reading.

Having said this, of course, in most real life situations, the meters in modern SLRs are more than capable in 95% of the situations you'll come across.... you should still have a decent incident meter in your bag tho, especially for shots where speed is NOT an issue... take your time, take a proper reading instead.
Well that told me! :lol:

I do actually have an incident light meter gathering dust somewhere. Recognizing the truth of those words of yours Pook, I think I'll dig it out. :wink:
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Old 09-06-2005, 16:39   #25 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by CT

Well that told me! :lol:

I do actually have an incident light meter gathering dust somewhere. Recognizing the truth of those words of yours Pook, I think I'll dig it out. :wink:
Of course, the reading is only as accurate as the meter is calibrated. If it's an old analogue meter that's been lying around for decades, then I'd rather trust the SLR to be honest, but a modern, digital meter... I'd rather trust it every time if you have the time to take a hand held reading.
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