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01-13-2010, 02:47 AM   #1
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Tired of Digital Mayhem


Digital photography seems to have taken the fun out of the process. When before it was ok dealing with the limitations of the film loaded, or on occasion changing rolls mid-use, we could still easily concentrate on taking good pictures. We used to know deep in our hearts, generally, what the finished picture would look like. Photography used to be simpler and more satisfying. But today it is different. More time is spent on the camera than the subject.

Film cameras do not intrude on the creative process. I have owned several cameras and in the many years of taking pictures never did I ever have a camera caused disaster. When once I could pick up any camera, even one never before used, load it and use it successfully, it is impossible to do today. When using a film camera, there were no double thoughts on whether we had correctly compensated for an individual cameraís shortcomings. Today, each individual digital camera needs to be tamed before use. Today, cameras are mere appliances to be thrown away as new and greater devices are manufactured. No longer will a camera last a lifetime. In fact, perusing this forumís many posts, it is clear that one is lucky to have his DSLR last a few years before it becomes a worthless piece of plastic. The loss in dollars is ridiculous. On this forum alone, there seems to be more written concerning camera operation than producing accomplished photography. Today, a picture is not worth a thousand words. A picture is no longer the accurate record of a split-second in the life. Photography has been marginalized by complication. For the sake of taking 500 pictures a day, without cost, we have sold our souls to the digital false gods. We are no longer masters of our domain.

01-13-2010, 02:51 AM   #2
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Nothing like the good old days is there? I think Digital has it's own positive aspects though. You just need to get your head out of the past and embrace what the technology has to offer, resistance is futile.
01-13-2010, 05:11 AM   #3
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I think I'm going to slash my wrists now.
01-13-2010, 05:34 AM   #4
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Wow, hard to know what to say. Well the good news is that the younger generation loves digital and don't feel restricted by it. Cameras really aren't that different from maker to maker. I can pick up my brother's Nikon and put it in Av mode and get the shots that I want from it. Sure, some settings are deep in menus, but all is not lost.

I feel like digital allows people to get better at photography faster. When I shot film, it would often be quite a while after I shot a roll before I developed it. I didn't write down settings and so it was hard for me to remember what worked and what didn't. With digital, you can look at the EXIF data and see what you did wrong, etc.

Film is not a panacae. If you are good and have a good understanding of what works on film, sure you may be more comfortable with it. Great, go on shooting it, but digital works and works well for many photographers who do not feel the creative process stymied at all.

...And don't get me started about them new-fangled fax machines!

01-13-2010, 06:09 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by nuts43 Quote

Digital photography seems to have taken the fun out of the process. When before it was ok dealing with the limitations of the film loaded, or on occasion changing rolls mid-use, we could still easily concentrate on taking good pictures. We used to know deep in our hearts, generally, what the finished picture would look like. Photography used to be simpler and more satisfying. But today it is different. More time is spent on the camera than the subject.
Wow, it's all quite the opposite for me, I finally have total control from input to output and am well satisfied. As a bonus it's a fraction of the cost to shoot an equivalent number of frames on film. I've just effectively retired my original *ist D and I worked out the other day that it's ended up costing me about AU$0.08/shot, not bad. So the cost of the body pales into insignificance over a few years.
01-13-2010, 07:17 AM   #6
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Ahh, nostalgia. The funny thing about longing for the past is that the latter part of the word "nostalgia" is derived from the Greek ἄλγος, (Šlgos), meaning "pain".

So what you perceive as "the good old days" is just idealizing the past. You're fondly remembering the "pain" of film in a weird, Stockholm-syndrome-like reversal that assigns positive emotions to the expense, delay, and logistical limitations of rolls of film. To ignore the tangible benefits of digital is to be in technophobic denial of how far photography has come as a science and an art. You say digital makes photography complicated, I say digital makes photography accessible. You say digital makes photographers lazy; I say digital makes photographers liberated.

Or maybe you really just liked the way things were...but that's too simple, and doesn't afford me the opportunity to use the junior psychiatrist's license I got out of the back of a comic book.
01-13-2010, 07:40 AM   #7
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Ugh no like camera... only hand painting

Last edited by ivoire; 11-26-2010 at 06:59 PM.
01-13-2010, 08:23 AM   #8
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I emphatically disagree. Unless one did one's own darkroom work, film photography was an exercise in futility as far as I'm concerned. Digital technology has made photography meaningfully accessible to the likes of me (but I can understand that that's not universally regarded as a welcome development ;~)

01-13-2010, 08:48 AM   #9
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Another dogmatic old fogey who can't adapt to digital.
01-13-2010, 08:55 AM   #10
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i would agree with the OP on some points, before you would buy a camera let's say every 5-10 years. today the marketing divisions of the camera companies encourages a cycle of frequent and most likely unsustainable cycle of upgrades in the increasing consumer spending culture.

i'd also disagree with some of the film bashing here. if you're a fan of film, there hasn't been a better time to be shooting film. some of greatest photography equipment ever made is available for great prices, the quality of film is as good as it ever was and will be.

the wide degree of choices available now is what makes photography more interesting than it ever has been.

Last edited by k100d; 01-13-2010 at 09:01 AM.
01-13-2010, 09:00 AM   #11
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You still have the same ways of measuring light (spot, center weighted and matrix), at least my K10D and K-x has that, and most other DSLR's I've seen and tested, in common with my old Pentax Z-1p. And the same recording modes like M, Av and Tv, so I don't see the problem, no need to tame the camera, just use it as you always did. Of course, the sensor doesn't record light just like film does, so highlights and dark areas are different, but you get a histogram as well. It doesn't take much time to learn what works IMHO.

I do like to use the Z-1p, that's why i bought it, but I also love the digital ones, and use them far more.

And for "A picture is no longer the accurate record of a split-second in the life", how do you figure that? I completely disagree. Strange weird inacurate stuff has always been produced, and is still.
01-13-2010, 09:03 AM   #12
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I still shoot both, i still mess up with both, i do however do less darkroom time and more digital PP.

Welcome to the forums nuts, great bunch of guys here. Digital just has a different process once you accept that your "nostalgia" will also disappear.

Last edited by Clicker; 01-13-2010 at 09:20 AM.
01-13-2010, 09:03 AM   #13
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I gave film a try

Without my own darkroom and chemicals the process of going to a lab and then sitting there scanning each photo on my own (since i dont feel like getting crappy low DR jpegs), i am no better off than digital.

I could always print my negatives.. but i have no place to even do so, and i cant even think of a place that would do it for me (since all they do is scan and print)

The only thing i like about film is the dynamic range of negatives and the film-grain, however the former is being negated with advancements in sensor tech and the later has been accomplished with smart third party software.

As far as the creative process... if anything digital accelerated mine greatly.
01-13-2010, 09:03 AM   #14
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It's just too damn slow, you shoot the image then need to process the film which means you need a dark rtoom or you are at the mercy of some schmuck to process it for you.

It's VERY hard to learn as you need to literally write down your settings to track their effects, i could go on and on. There is a certain warmth and in particular B+W seems to be better on film, that I agree but the entire image creation and learning process is slow and laborious.

What's stopping people from just buying an old DSLR and treating it like a film camera in term sof their head space for taking it slowly and not being caught up in the upgrade path, is beyond me.
01-13-2010, 10:03 AM   #15
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I don't think digital photography changes the rules very much. You still need to learn about the camera and the process to get the most out of it. It just changes the way in which you go about getting the final image. Instead of shooting negatives you shoot raw files. Instead of "exposing for the shadows and developing for the highlights" you "expose to the right". Instead of finding a nice film speed and development combo, you find post processing software with the tools you need. Finally, getting the right paper and dev combo is now getting the right set of inks and paper for the inkjet.
I agree that there seems to be more camera models coming out which could lead to some wanting to upgrade more often. But I usually ask myself if the new model will make me a better photographer. And the answer is usually "no." :-) So in my case, I still need to focus on technique and using what I have. You seem to like film cameras more so why not continue using them? Film and digital both have their place and can both coexist happily. I had a smile on my face when I saw a friend take out his Graflex to shoot 4x5 film of some of the the mermaid parade last summer. He also shot with a Cannon digital SLR, so is not afraid of taking advantage of either one.

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