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04-11-2022, 08:22 AM   #61
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It could be said that digital ruined photography. Not many people know the joys of developing film and then printing it, taking a lifetime to master both, (well actually you never "Master" it) you just keep learning. Look, I realise that digital is incredibly convenient but there is something about the "click and you have an image" that sort of divorces you from the whole process. I still love the "Clunk" of my Pentax 67 shutter and I still love loading a roll of 120 film onto a reel and developing it. It's like you have to work to make the image. Digital photographers seem to blast away (with auto bracketing) and take 1000s of images. with film you slow down and learn to take a few good ones and then work your magic in the darkroom. I actually feel a little sorry for people that have never "made" a photo in the darkroom.

04-11-2022, 09:18 AM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bauie Quote
It could be said that digital ruined photography. Not many people know the joys of developing film and then printing it, taking a lifetime to master both, (well actually you never "Master" it) you just keep learning. Look, I realise that digital is incredibly convenient but there is something about the "click and you have an image" that sort of divorces you from the whole process. I still love the "Clunk" of my Pentax 67 shutter and I still love loading a roll of 120 film onto a reel and developing it. It's like you have to work to make the image. Digital photographers seem to blast away (with auto bracketing) and take 1000s of images. with film you slow down and learn to take a few good ones and then work your magic in the darkroom. I actually feel a little sorry for people that have never "made" a photo in the darkroom.
In the Age of Film, I shot slide film, and felt {and still feel} that the magic occurs in the field.
I don’t “blast” away - my wife is used to waiting while I carefully finish what began as a “5 minute photo stop”.

Last edited by gatorguy; 04-11-2022 at 10:32 AM.
04-11-2022, 11:43 AM - 2 Likes   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bauie Quote
It could be said that digital ruined photography. Not many people know the joys of developing film and then printing it, taking a lifetime to master both, (well actually you never "Master" it) you just keep learning.
Not many people do, it's true - but that was the case during the age of film too, was it not? Going way back, some early Kodak box cameras were supplied with film loaded... the lenses were fixed focus... the "photographer" took their photos with a single shutter speed and aperture (or a couple of aperture settings if lucky), then sent off their entire camera for film development and re-loading. Fast forward to the second half of the 20th century, and many photographers using rangefinder, SLR and fixed lens viewfinder cameras would rely on labs to develop and/or print their photos. In the '90s, families bought fully-automated point-and-shoot AF film cameras and used their local supermarkets for one-hour developing and printing. Home developing and especially wet printing seem to have been very much the domain of enthusiasts and professionals.

Given that, I'm not sure we can lay the ruination of photography at digital's door. It has certainly made the end-to-end practice of photography, from capture to print (or digital distribution), more accessible to folks... but I don't think we can say it's ruined it (I don't think it has been ruined - it's simply evolved)...

QuoteOriginally posted by Bauie Quote
Look, I realise that digital is incredibly convenient but there is something about the "click and you have an image" that sort of divorces you from the whole process. I still love the "Clunk" of my Pentax 67 shutter and I still love loading a roll of 120 film onto a reel and developing it. It's like you have to work to make the image. Digital photographers seem to blast away (with auto bracketing) and take 1000s of images. with film you slow down and learn to take a few good ones and then work your magic in the darkroom. I actually feel a little sorry for people that have never "made" a photo in the darkroom.
"Click and you have an image"... blast away (with auto bracketing)... take 1000s of images... With respect, these broad characterisations are easy to level at digital photographers, but I'm not sure they apply to the majority...

Most enthusiasts and professionals are using fully manual or carefully-chosen semi-auto modes (some of which were available in the late film era) so they can control all - or at least some - aspects of exposure, depth-of-field, motion capture etc. Whilst some may rely on in-camera JPEGs, many shoot raw files and process them in software later - a sort of digital darkroom. That post-processing may only take a few minutes, but could take hours to achieve a satisfactory end product. The skills are different than those in a traditional darkroom (though some are comparable in terms of intent), but they're skills nonetheless.

Regarding "blasting away" and taking "1000s of images", I just took a quick look in my photo library. A very busy afternoon's shooting for me would be 150 - 200 shots, so let's say the equivalent of around five rolls of 36 exp 35mm film. A more typical shoot might be 50 - 100 shots, equivalent to two or three rolls. Is that so different than the days of film? I know there are some photographers who use a strategy of taking many shots in continuous shooting mode, then picking the best of that bunch - including those capturing birds in flight, sporting and press events etc. ... but I'd suggest they're the minority.

In the last six months I've started shooting 35mm and 120 film and developing at home, though I'm digitising my negatives and processing them with software, rather than using a darkroom for printing. I love it (especially the old cameras - I agree, they're satisfying to use), and it's a whole new process for me with many skills to learn and much knowledge to absorb. I doubt I'll ever learn and master it all, even without darkroom printing... but then, as someone who started with digital photography, there's so much about digital that I have to learn too.

Would you be able to produce a gallery-quality shot of the Milky Way with your digital gear? I know I wouldn't. How about a National Geographic-standard macro shot of a large bug, with depth of field that shows the entire head and body in sharp focus using multiple image stacking techniques? Nope, I couldn't do that with my current level of knowledge and experience. Let's pick something more typical... a studio portrait of an attractive individual. Having achieved perfect exposure, could you produce a magazine-quality end result with perfectly-balanced contrast, highlights and shadows, finely-adjusted skin tone, troublesome skin blemishes removed, areas where the subject's foundation didn't reach the hairline blended in so they're not visible, stray hairs masked out, selected details sharpened realistically without affecting skin texture etc.? That's one I could achieve, just about - perhaps not to magazine quality, but still decent. I'd guess there's a good many who can't, though, and plenty who can do it better than me

So, "click and you have an image" might yield a pleasant holiday snapshot in full auto mode - but there's much more to digital photography and post-processing than that, IMHO...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 04-11-2022 at 02:50 PM.
04-11-2022, 02:48 PM - 1 Like   #64
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I began photography as a hobby when I was a college student over 50 years ago, as an adjunct to to my hobby interest in railroading. I still remember how a couple of friends back then studied a photo of a "Great Northern" locomotive to see how a particular stripe curved. I still tend to photograph places and actions for truth, not in an artistic sense of how I wish things were. My feeling is that I do take more photos than in the Age of Film. but I see I have taken 3512 photos with my KP since I got it on Black Friday 2018 - by my {literally 'back of envelop'} calculations, that is about 3 photos per day. Nobody has ruined photography for me.

04-12-2022, 01:21 AM - 2 Likes   #65
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I shoot a lot. I walk my dog through a nature reserve twice a day, I live in an old and very interesting city and I see a lot of shots. Over the last five years I have averaged 1000 per month, and I don't use burst mode last year however, much like @BigMackCam I started shooting film. I now both shoot and develop both. Film has impacted on my digital work in so far as I now pay more attention to composition. I still shoot just as many shots when I am carrying my KP but, thanks to the processes used in shooting film, my digital images are better. So, as I am shooting an MX, (alongside a gorgeous Yashica Mat), Pentax has fixed my digital photography
04-12-2022, 05:44 AM   #66
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I began ‘taking pictures’ in the 1950’s;
I began treating photography as a hobby in 1967.
Not until my Canon Elan made some kind of “burst” mode available to me in 1995 did I even have that available to me.
Sometimes, even when photographing a train moving at 50 mph, I don’t even remember that option.
In 2018, when taking a ‘ranger walk’ through the swamps that Lafitte used to roam, a Canon shooter let loose a burst for every shot I took {only the mosquitos were moving that hot day}.

Don’t blame Pentax for the tendency of users to ‘misuse digital photography”.
04-12-2022, 06:10 AM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
I began ‘taking pictures’ in the 1950’s;
I began treating photography as a hobby in 1967.
Not until my Canon Elan made some kind of “burst” mode available to me in 1995 did I even have that available to me.
Sometimes, even when photographing a train moving at 50 mph, I don’t even remember that option.
In 2018, when taking a ‘ranger walk’ through the swamps that Lafitte used to roam, a Canon shooter let loose a burst for every shot I took {only the mosquitos were moving that hot day}.

Don’t blame Pentax for the tendency of users to ‘misuse digital photography”.
Of course not. I blame smartphones.

That's partway in jest by the way, and not an invitation to stray off topic.

I can say for a fact that having a digital camera now has me making different photo decisions and with less aforethought, than when I only had a K1000 and a pocketful of film. There's a whole lot of the more "gosh I wonder if that makes for a good shot" and less attention paid to settings now. Blow one out and take another. Not sure I nailed focus? Take two more. Savign your critical resources (film) in favor of the perfect shop isn't as essential.

This past weekend's 2 hour trip to the marsh resulted in a little over 300 digital images. I'd never had taken that many if all I had were rolls of film, but would probably have missed two great action series. Trade-off's. No idea if I'm a better or worse photographer today than I would have been if film was my only option for the past 40 years.

04-12-2022, 02:52 PM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
Of course not. I blame smartphones.

That's partway in jest by the way, and not an invitation to stray off topic.

I can say for a fact that having a digital camera now has me making different photo decisions and with less aforethought, than when I only had a K1000 and a pocketful of film. There's a whole lot of the more "gosh I wonder if that makes for a good shot" and less attention paid to settings now. Blow one out and take another. Not sure I nailed focus? Take two more. Savign your critical resources (film) in favor of the perfect shop isn't as essential.

This past weekend's 2 hour trip to the marsh resulted in a little over 300 digital images. I'd never had taken that many if all I had were rolls of film, but would probably have missed two great action series. Trade-off's. No idea if I'm a better or worse photographer today than I would have been if film was my only option for the past 40 years.
As I did say, I sometimes forget I have burst mode now, and I sometimes press the shutter button late, but that was also true when I had Canon Elan with a motor drive. I still think like a film photographer, and that is fine with me.
04-12-2022, 08:26 PM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bauie Quote
It could be said that digital ruined photography. Not many people know the joys of developing film and then printing it, taking a lifetime to master both, (well actually you never "Master" it) you just keep learning. Look, I realise that digital is incredibly convenient but there is something about the "click and you have an image" that sort of divorces you from the whole process. I still love the "Clunk" of my Pentax 67 shutter and I still love loading a roll of 120 film onto a reel and developing it. It's like you have to work to make the image. Digital photographers seem to blast away (with auto bracketing) and take 1000s of images. with film you slow down and learn to take a few good ones and then work your magic in the darkroom. I actually feel a little sorry for people that have never "made" a photo in the darkroom.
Film certainly has it's way of teaching one to be a photographer. One of the largest motivations, I believe, is that film has "forced" people to learn because each press of the shutter costs money - both buying the film before the shutter is pressed and paying for the photos to be developed after the shutter was pressed (regardless if you pay to get them developed or develop them yourself, both have their financial cost).

Regardless, I think most of us agree that the 3 cornerstones of the photography learning triangle are shutter speed, ISO, and aperture size.


Film, however, we all know has its disadvantages. Particularly for the beginner that pays for countless bad shots when they are trying to master these 3 things and get back bad photos.

The one thing that has actually made me learn the most about photography is manual lens.

Last edited by Michael Piziak; 04-12-2022 at 09:53 PM.
04-14-2022, 12:11 AM - 1 Like   #70
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Hey, I'm perfectly capable of taking terrible photos with the ME and some Kodak Gold 200, thank you very much.

It *is* true that digital is more convenient, but there's no rule that says you can't use that convenience to slow down.

These days I've been hiking the snowy landscapes of Norway. As you all probably know, snow is quite tough in terms of exposure. Digital lets me double-check that I chose the right exposure compensation, taking the guesswork out. Yes, I could use a good, narrow-angle light meter and check all the complicated spots, but I'm not only photographing - I'm on a trail, with limited sunlight time. The faster I can get a shot I like, the better.

I've taken about 600 shots in this trip - and that's because about 200 or 300 are bursts of friends playing in the snow . Considering all the places I've seen, it isn't *that* many shots I've taken.
04-14-2022, 05:10 AM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Piziak Quote
Film certainly has it's way of teaching one to be a photographer. One of the largest motivations, I believe, is that film has "forced" people to learn because each press of the shutter costs money - both buying the film before the shutter is pressed and paying for the photos to be developed after the shutter was pressed (regardless if you pay to get them developed or develop them yourself, both have their financial cost).

Regardless, I think most of us agree that the 3 cornerstones of the photography learning triangle are shutter speed, ISO, and aperture size.
I'd agree to a point that film photography places limits on the picture-taking process, in terms of available shots and the cost of each image.

On the other hand, one might argue that the three cornerstones of photography are subject, lighting, and composition, which are critical whether one uses film or digital. Either technology requires a serious photographer to learn the craft.

- Craig
04-14-2022, 05:33 AM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
I'd agree to a point that film photography places limits on the picture-taking process, in terms of available shots and the cost of each image.

On the other hand, one might argue that the three cornerstones of photography are subject, lighting, and composition, which are critical whether one uses film or digital. Either technology requires a serious photographer to learn the craft.

- Craig
Both shutter speed /. aperture / ISO and lighting / composition are important regardless of what photography one is doing - and I learned about both while using film.
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