I would like to discuss the aesthetics of photography...

Started May 24, 2013 | Discussions thread
Great Bustard
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Re: Are you saying...
In reply to ROC124, May 24, 2013

ROC124 wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

Are you trying to say that they were talking about how *some* photos are processed as opposed to the whole of digital photography?  Because their comments absolutely did not imply anything of the sort.

I think it is about prcoessing and perception, not digital vs. film.

This makes eminently more sense to me than the quoted comments:

I had a recent (very successful!) gallery show of prints up to 20"x30" from the E-3. Got many comments about how "natural" the prints looked. Several people said they didn't realize at first they were photographs. They used terms such as "relaxed, smooth and inviting" to describe them. Several, including other photographers, thought they were from film, though the photographers said they were puzzled by the lack of film grain. They were surprised to hear they were digital. Several, including buyers, said they generally don't like prints from digital cameras because they are too "self-conscious" in that they have too much unnecessary detail, too obviously photographic, and too unpleasant to live with on the wall, even if initially striking.

The comments I related from that night, in combination with others heard over time, seemed to condemn a perceived digital "look." Thinking about what they meant reminded how few purely-film and optical enlargement images ever look over sharpened. Even with images made on medium/large format Velvia and printed on Cibachrome with eye-popping saturation, contrast and tremendous detail, they still seemed smooth without detail that dominated, even though it was present. Indeed, most of us probably didn't go to the bother of creating sharpening masks in our darkrooms. I didn't.

Of the photos I have displayed in my office, many are surprised that they are digital, not film.  I have a feeling that, to most, "digital" means what they are used to seeing from low-end compacts or cell phones.

I simply expected that the comments from those that viewed your photos to have been more educated about what digital is.

Digital can be different because it is easier to process but isn't constrained to any particular look.

Absolutely.

But I don't think it is inherently too detailed, too sharp or too anything. It is tremendously maleable and it is up to the photographer to determine to the final look.

I'm pleased to hear you say that.

Kind of reminds me of the vinyl vs. digital debate in audio. I don't find either to be superior; it depends on what the recording engineer did.

Well, it would appear we are on the same page.

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