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06-02-2011, 09:05 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by asaru Quote
More people look and listen than photograoh and record,
I agree about recording, but there are squillions of people out there taking photos on all sorts of gadgets. People love gadgets and with iphones and the like now with decent cameras built in and the facility to instantly share your masterpiece with the world there's not much incentive for the average punter to mess about with film. Likewise now you can share a pair of earpods with a friend and listen to 3000 songs on a gadget the size of your thumb. Who lugs around a portable gramophone and a stack of 45s any more? So I think a few romantics and diehards will hang on for a few more years but the sheer pace of changing technology will sweep us away in the end. I'm not even sure that any kind of two-dimensional photography will still be happening in 30 or 40 years time - it'll all be 3-D and holograms.

06-02-2011, 09:22 AM   #32
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I think film will hang on for a lot longer than many folks suspect even though the manufacturers may dwindle down to one or two. I see a lot of young photographers getting into film for the look, the nostalgia, and the sake of being different. I think film's future will be a lot like that of vinyl records. There will be a market, but it won't be anywhere near what it once was.
06-02-2011, 09:43 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wombat Quote
I'm not even sure that any kind of two-dimensional photography will still be happening in 30 or 40 years time - it'll all be 3-D and holograms.
Just as photography did not kill painting, not even naturalistic painting -- check out Estes: photography enabled realism! -- 3d art will not kill art. It's just be the natural middle ground between sculpture and painting/graphics/drawing/photography.
06-02-2011, 09:56 AM   #34
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06-03-2011, 02:36 AM   #35
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The thing is, people generally (myself included) like to hold and look at something physical, or see some kind of physical result - digital, while having it's numerous benefits, does not produce anything physical, and I believe people do not place as much value on these images due to this fact.

I certainly see film as continuing as a niche market, but I don't think we will see the point where it is no longer available for a fair while to come.
06-03-2011, 04:29 AM   #36
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Not being a film guy...

Film will be around so long as people perceive it as having some esthetic advantage over digital and there is enough of these people to support at least a small mass market.

Problem with this is how long will it be before photographers perceive digital, in it's own right, to be esthetically superior to analog without mimicking film?

Last edited by wildman; 06-03-2011 at 04:35 AM.
06-03-2011, 06:00 AM   #37
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^If it's purely a matter of aesthetics, then film will stay and just be "different" from digital photography.

Which, you know, it is very much. I look at all the "overprocessed" digital images, regardless of whether the processing, overlays, etc., took place in camera or out, and "think" it's "graphical art", not "photography". Note the quotes!! My point being is we've already had that split.
06-04-2011, 04:30 PM   #38
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The difference between film and digital has NOTHING TO DO with 'simple' photography vs 'graphic art'. Which by the way, I think is also a false dichotomy.

Post processing and even extreme 'special effects' have always been a part of film photography.

Photography has always been a means of producing graphic art... if graphic art is produced photographically i.e. by recording light, it is still photography. Whatever the final result looks like, nothing can change that!

06-04-2011, 05:33 PM   #39
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Went to my local Sam's Club to get a roll developed today and was told they no longer do that. Had to go to Walgreens instead. :|
06-04-2011, 05:34 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by ihasa Quote
The difference between film and digital has NOTHING TO DO with 'simple' photography vs 'graphic art'. Which by the way, I think is also a false dichotomy.
That's a very pedantic and artiste way of putting it, quite unnecessarily and unpleasantly so. Indeed we can analyze art definitions until the cows go our once again following the pigs having flown.

The thing is, however, that digital special effects retain a particular edge of unreality -- the normal human eye under natural light just responds to photo-stimuli differently -- that successive generations of ever more naturalistic films never even tried to achieve.
06-04-2011, 06:05 PM - 1 Like   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by asaru Quote
The thing is, however, that digital special effects retain a particular edge of unreality -- the normal human eye under natural light just responds to photo-stimuli differently -- that successive generations of ever more naturalistic films never even tried to achieve.
I wonder about that, though.

I think as a two dimensional reductive representation we tend to try to compensate - thus the various fashions such as narrow DOF/Bokeh, the extra-human levels of resolution, the WOW colors, and the eye-extending and widening lenses. Or, we seek to deny the representation and accentuate the graphic art bits...

I keep coming back to the audio analogy - back in the 70s my brain was... erm... entrained to the sound of stereos and LP records. Time went by... my audio habits got fancier and more refined, and I got used to digital sound. Then I found a big old Yamaha Natural Sound receiver at a yard sale - you know, the kind with the rosewood case and silver front plate... I put it in the system, cued up a LP, and instantly was back in the 70s. There are other things that have done this- e.g. the Phllly sound echo thing, the first time I shot with a 35/2 Nikkor... and I can recall also how I had to get used to digital sound and its artifacts. The artifacts may be less now, but also our ears have wrapped themselves around these... to where we are more able to hear - to startle - the sound of vinyl.

I hope I don't offend anyone by using the term 'hipster' - but I think in part there's that esthetic of getting back to the Philly sound... ears and eyes that are modern find a newness and a cool factor in old tech. Film startles, whether or not it is more realistic. (One of the things art does is startle, which is a spur to growth, the theorists tell us)

For us geezers - and I hope nobody is offended by that term either - there's something tried and true, a feeling of comfort, with film, that some of us don't want to give up, and some of us return to, like I returned to the Yamaha receiver, to find a charge of memories.

This photo isn't all that great - but to me it illustrates a certain look that's easy to get with film, but that a digital camera probably would see very differently:



There's grain, there's noise, there's color shift, and there's the sense of seeing deeper than all that... and for me, a whiff of the 70s.
06-04-2011, 06:34 PM - 1 Like   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by asaru Quote
That's a very pedantic and artiste way of putting it, quite unnecessarily and unpleasantly so. Indeed we can analyze art definitions until the cows go our once again following the pigs having flown.

The thing is, however, that digital special effects retain a particular edge of unreality -- the normal human eye under natural light just responds to photo-stimuli differently -- that successive generations of ever more naturalistic films never even tried to achieve.
Ektar 100 shooting blue skies or pools is unreal. By definition all B&W photography is an effect. I use Portra 400 and it can be used to achieve the unreal, as does this fellow:

Jonathan Canlas Photography: KODAK Portra 400 - Miami South Beach FL - Pushed to 3200

The issue is, I believe, the opposite of what you say. Digital is too real, too authentic. The life of analog film is going to be simply because we want to see something different than perfect reality run though the Photoshop mill. The norm is, and should be, something less than "real". Film can get there by different means.
06-04-2011, 11:07 PM - 1 Like   #43
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Aristophanes, I see what you are saying. Unprocessed digital photography "straight off the sensor" may well be more naturalistic in color rendition than various kinds of film. And you are absolutely right about B&W. That is a very fair comment because my previous point was all about color response.

I agree that digital can be "too real". It is too real because the human eye is much less perfect than a high-quality lens. Film's imperfections therefore compensate.

Going back to Nesster's point about hipness and subjectivity... I agree, but actually I think I want to take it further. I am convinced that every decade has a particular color palette associated with it. Not merely in photography, but in real life. Even the colors of the sky in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s were a little different from today's. I can think of various reasons why this should be so:

* solar radiation is not entirely constant, either in origin or the way it gets to the surface through the interplanetary space and the atmosphere;

* perhaps we perceive colors not just as an absolute and even spectrum, but with certain frequencies more powerfully seen. Fashion may train us to see certain colors more strongly, just as speakers of a language have very real difficulties distinguishing sounds which are not native to them -- like the Japanese troubles with "l" and 'r". Since fashion changes with time, so too may human color response.

* even more mystically, perhaps the mood of society, which evolves over time, or our own state of mind, affects our color response.

I think this may explain some of the endless arguments about whether film or digital is more "real", or which kind of film produces the most "naturalistic" image.

What I said above is far removed from Nesster's post 41, but it feeds off it. Look at the photo he attached and decide for yourself how "real" it is.

Thanks for the very interesting points, guys. As you can see they've evolved my opinion somewhat.
06-05-2011, 02:20 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
This photo isn't all that great - but to me it illustrates a certain look that's easy to get with film, but that a digital camera probably would see very differently:
Your post of this "film" picture raises a reasonable question I think:

Haven't you, in fact and by necessity, posted a digital picture? If you posted this picture to illustrate what film can do and digital can not do using a digital format (a JPG) haven't you contradicted yourself?

In other words any difference that makes no difference is no difference.

Or perhaps I just misunderstand your intent in posting the pic?

Last edited by wildman; 06-05-2011 at 03:45 AM.
06-05-2011, 03:32 AM   #45
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I think B&W film will last for a long time, colour I am not so sure.
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