Film Vs Digital (not the usual question)

Started Sep 4, 2013 | Discussions
hjulenissen
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Re: Film Vs Digital (not the usual question)
In reply to Dennis, Sep 5, 2013

Dennis wrote:

cmc1 wrote:

It's great to see "straight out the camera, no PP" on posted images

Not for me; I translate that as "not the best I could do, but I was too lazy to bother with it".

- Dennis

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If you are photographing dead people for the coroner/police, you probably want to limit the amount of human-biased photoshopping that is carried out on an image. One way of improving the credibility of such images may be to use the default camera processing, as it is perhaps less likely that a general-purpose development algorithm set by some Asian engineers will remove a gun from the image or something similar.

In some photography settings, viewers may have similar expectations. If you show an amazing landscape image and it turns out that you assembled a nice sky shot taken in Mexico in 2008 with a land shot taken in Canada in 2013, many would be disappointed in you. Those things are possible in photoshop, but not practically possible in-camera. Thus some may appreciate the "honesty" of in-camera images.

Me myself, I only want my images to be "pretty" or "interesting". I'll happily use any trick that I have the time and resources to execute well.

-h

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Jim Cassatt
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Re: Film Vs Digital (not the usual question)
In reply to cmc1, Sep 5, 2013

Just finished reading the autobiography of Lee Miller by her son Anthony Primrose.  Miller was a very beautiful woman who began as a high profile model for Vogue and other magazines.  She learned her photogrpaher from her lover Man Ray, the great surrealist photographer, and also became a well-respected photographer.

The book reminded me of the extent surrealists went to modify their images, both at the negatiove and printing stages.

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jrtrent
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Re: Film Vs Digital (not the usual question)
In reply to Dennis, Sep 5, 2013

Dennis wrote:

jrtrent wrote:

TheDman wrote:

Dennis wrote:

cmc1 wrote:

It's great to see "straight out the camera, no PP" on posted images

Not for me; I translate that as "not the best I could do, but I was too lazy to bother with it".

Exactly. Or "I don't know the first thing about post-processing so I will make it sound like I chose not to do it". Sort of like portrait photographers who proudly exclaim that they use "only natural light, not harsh studio light", because they don't have a clue about lighting.

Well, if we're re-translating other people's statements, yours and Dennis's read likes "anyone who doesn't agree with me or do things the way I do is not only lazy and/or incompetent, but also a liar." Is it really so hard to accept that not everyone likes to do things the same way?

Of course people like to do things differently. And some of them like to do things in lazier ways than others. I shoot my portraits in natural light. And yes, it's because I have no clue about lighting and am too lazy to bother. I'm good with that.

The word "lazy" has strongly negative connotations to it, as a quick glimpse of a list of its synonyms will show. For you to ascribe your own experience and choices to others is natural, but faulty, and calling others lazy without knowing their motivation is being unfairly disparaging.

My post was a reaction to the flawed notion that "straight out of camera, no PP" is somehow more noble; something to look for. Unless you're specifically looking to see how a camera's jpeg engine works, I see no specific merit in it. When I read it, I always wonder why the photographer felt the need to mention it (I don't say how I post processed a photo when I post it); it's nothing to brag about and it usually feels apologetic to me. Along the same lines as "just a quick snap, but wanted to share" or "didn't have a tripod with me".

I agree that there's nothing noble or pure about straight out of camera pictures--it's simply a preferred way of doing things--and I also agree that the simple statement "straight out of camera, no PP" is far from helpful. But then, neither is it helpful when those who post-process their images don't describe how they did it. DPReview used to include this statement in their rules:

"Unless it's discussion of a specific technique or setup please do not post "here's my latest picture / gallery" type posts in the camera specific forums, instead please use the Samples & Galleries forum."

What makes a posted picture more interesting for me is some discussion of how it was made; for example, camera and lens settings, camera supports used, metering technique, bracketing, any post-processing that was used, other angles or focal lengths that didn't work as well, or anything else pertinent or unique to getting the results you were after. And if it's an automated point-and-shoot shot, made with the camera's default settings, that's interesting to know, too! Just saying it was straight out of camera doesn't tell us very much.

So, to summarize: I have no issue whatsoever with people shooting jpeg only; I'm lazy about lots of things, including some aspects of photography.

The OP unfairly characterized those who post-process their images as either lazy or of having poor taste, and you're doing the same for those who prefer to see what they can do when limiting themselves to the processing that can be set up to be performed in-camera upon the pressing of the shutter release.  One is not more pure and noble than the other, nor is one more lazy than the other; it's simply different ways of enjoying the hobby.  In target shooting, I prefer handguns shot freehand with open iron sights while my friend prefers rifles, scopes, and a bench rest--one way is not better than the other, it's just two different ways to enjoy the range.

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jrtrent
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Re: Film Vs Digital (not the usual question)
In reply to TheDman, Sep 5, 2013

TheDman wrote:

jrtrent wrote:

TheDman wrote:

Dennis wrote:

cmc1 wrote:

It's great to see "straight out the camera, no PP" on posted images

Not for me; I translate that as "not the best I could do, but I was too lazy to bother with it".

Exactly. Or "I don't know the first thing about post-processing so I will make it sound like I chose not to do it". Sort of like portrait photographers who proudly exclaim that they use "only natural light, not harsh studio light", because they don't have a clue about lighting.

Well, if we're re-translating other people's statements, yours and Dennis's read likes "anyone who doesn't agree with me or do things the way I do is not only lazy and/or incompetent, but also a liar." Is it really so hard to accept that not everyone likes to do things the same way?

You're missing the point, which is anyone who thinks photos out of the camera are unprocessed are betraying their ignorance, as are people who think studio lighting is harsh. Both are statements covering for the speaker's lack of knowledge of the subject.

I didn't see anyone say that out of camera photos are un-processed, only that they are not post-processed. In any event, that is not the point you made in your previous reply; you made it sound like anyone who chooses to post a picture with the information that it has not been post-processed does so because they lack the skill to do any post-processing and because they want to deceive others. I find that an unfair characterization.

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Dennis
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Re: Film Vs Digital (not the usual question)
In reply to jrtrent, Sep 5, 2013

jrtrent wrote:


The OP unfairly characterized those who post-process their images as either lazy or of having poor taste, and you're doing the same for those who prefer to see what they can do when limiting themselves to the processing that can be set up to be performed in-camera upon the pressing of the shutter release.

I tried to explain that that's not exactly my thought here ... it's not so much about the decision to shoot jpeg (which I can respect, though it's not what I do).  It's about what I read when someone not only shoots jpeg, but for some reason, decides to declare that a posted image was "SOOC".  To me, that reads as a disclaimer, like the photographer is apologizing for not doing better.  (Admittedly, that's not always the intent; sometimes it's just pure technical info).

If I've offended any jpeg shooters, I apologize.  As I said, there are undoubtedly countless jpeg-only shooters who are much better photographers than I, and I freely admit to being lazy about many things.  It was a reaction to the OPs comments and a bit overstated, but I think you get my point.

- Dennis

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Dennis
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Re: Film Vs Digital (not the usual question)
In reply to hjulenissen, Sep 5, 2013

hjulenissen wrote:

In some photography settings, viewers may have similar expectations. If you show an amazing landscape image and it turns out that you assembled a nice sky shot taken in Mexico in 2008 with a land shot taken in Canada in 2013, many would be disappointed in you. Those things are possible in photoshop, but not practically possible in-camera. Thus some may appreciate the "honesty" of in-camera images.

Fair enough.  My comment was overkill.  I wanted to suggest to the OP that SOOC is not necessarily an attribute deserving more attention that PP'd and threw out a flippant comment that is not only an unfair generalization, but not even really my own view.  What I really think of a "SOOC" label accompanying an image has everything to do with context.

- Dennis

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Gerry Winterbourne
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Re: Film Vs Digital (not the usual question)
In reply to jrtrent, Sep 5, 2013

jrtrent wrote:

What makes a posted picture more interesting for me is some discussion of how it was made; for example, camera and lens settings, camera supports used, metering technique, bracketing, any post-processing that was used,

I agree in principle but it's rarely easy in practice. EXIF is easy, as long as the system you use doesn't wipe it, but processing is very tricky. For example http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52090803 , a post I made a couple of days ago to show edits I'd made to someone's shot.

Some extracts: "reduced saturation and luminosity of the sky" but didn't say how much; "applied a tone curve" but didn't show its shape; "ran Topaz Detail to bring out the textures" but didn't show the settings I used.

other angles or focal lengths that didn't work as well, or anything else pertinent or unique to getting the results you were after.

I think the only time I mention alternative FL or POV is to explain why I had to use what I did if the output is suboptimal.

I do tend to mention lighting, although rarely more than something like "multi-source flash". I sometimes link these shots, but more often as tips for general use rather than to describe my own settings http://www.pbase.com/gerrywinterbourne/demos_methods

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TheDman
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Re: Film Vs Digital (not the usual question)
In reply to jrtrent, Sep 5, 2013

jrtrent wrote:

TheDman wrote:

jrtrent wrote:

TheDman wrote:

Dennis wrote:

cmc1 wrote:

It's great to see "straight out the camera, no PP" on posted images

Not for me; I translate that as "not the best I could do, but I was too lazy to bother with it".

Exactly. Or "I don't know the first thing about post-processing so I will make it sound like I chose not to do it". Sort of like portrait photographers who proudly exclaim that they use "only natural light, not harsh studio light", because they don't have a clue about lighting.

Well, if we're re-translating other people's statements, yours and Dennis's read likes "anyone who doesn't agree with me or do things the way I do is not only lazy and/or incompetent, but also a liar." Is it really so hard to accept that not everyone likes to do things the same way?

You're missing the point, which is anyone who thinks photos out of the camera are unprocessed are betraying their ignorance, as are people who think studio lighting is harsh. Both are statements covering for the speaker's lack of knowledge of the subject.

I didn't see anyone say that out of camera photos are un-processed, only that they are not post-processed. In any event, that is not the point you made in your previous reply; you made it sound like anyone who chooses to post a picture with the information that it has not been post-processed does so because they lack the skill to do any post-processing and because they want to deceive others. I find that an unfair characterization.

No, that is not what I said. I said anyone who uses phrases such as "straight out the camera, no PP" or "only natural light, not harsh studio light" doesn't have a good understanding of either process. People who have an understanding of pre and post-processing options don't say things like "straight out the camera, no PP". They just present their image. They understand that the amount of processing that goes into an image is irrelevant. "straight out the camera, no PP" is a keyphrase indicative of a newbie. It's akin to saying "I drove to the store all by myself!". People who have been driving for 50 years don't say that.

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JackM
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In reply to cmc1, Sep 5, 2013

Well for one thing when you shoot film you make darn sure you have good light. Because anything over ISO 400 is practically unusable, and the lower the better.

The current ISO race is sort of funny. Unless you're shooting indoor or night sports, or a stage performance, if you find yourself wanting to go past 3200 it's probably time to just put the camera away and enjoy the company.

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Gerry Winterbourne
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Re: Film Vs Digital (not the usual question)
In reply to TheDman, Sep 5, 2013

TheDman wrote:

"straight out the camera, no PP" is a keyphrase indicative of a newbie.

Sometimes.  But it also describes a philosophy, often but by no means invariably adopted by people who learned on film, where the purity of the medium is held in high regard.  Or it can be used by someone who's the opposite of a newbie - someone with enough experience to be able to tune their camera to the output they want.

As with any philosophy, some people get messianic about it; but the strident few don't make the general idea wrong.

It's akin to saying "I drove to the store all by myself!". People who have been driving for 50 years don't say that.

I think a better analogy is the difference between driving (anywhere) in a car with a manual or automatic gearbox.  I knew someone who used a manual box for 50 years, changed to automatic because he was getting on in years and wanted to simplify things - and told people.

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jrtrent
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Re: Film Vs Digital (not the usual question)
In reply to Dennis, Sep 5, 2013

Dennis wrote:

jrtrent wrote:

The OP unfairly characterized those who post-process their images as either lazy or of having poor taste, and you're doing the same for those who prefer to see what they can do when limiting themselves to the processing that can be set up to be performed in-camera upon the pressing of the shutter release.

I tried to explain that that's not exactly my thought here ... it's not so much about the decision to shoot jpeg (which I can respect, though it's not what I do). It's about what I read when someone not only shoots jpeg, but for some reason, decides to declare that a posted image was "SOOC". To me, that reads as a disclaimer, like the photographer is apologizing for not doing better.

Yes, I understood that and appreciated your clarification.

It was a reaction to the OPs comments and a bit overstated, but I think you get my point.

I thought I got your point, but then reacted (overreacted?) to your continued use of the word "lazy" ("Of course people like to do things differently. And some of them like to do things in lazier ways than others. . . So, to summarize: I have no issue whatsoever with people shooting jpeg only; I'm lazy about lots of things, including some aspects of photography.").  Maybe I'm just touchy about the word because I'm in denial about the real reasons for my preferring JPEG . . .

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Re: (n/t) It's 2 different medium's with superficial similarities. . .
In reply to Glen Barrington, Sep 5, 2013

Hooray. At last a poster with sense!

One thing that the long winded thread 'Film vs Digital' has proved is that the vast majority of posters don't understand the different media and know F* all about film / film processing but spout off anyway. Possibly the same crowd who think Bud is good beer and watch Fox News.

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seilerbird666
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Re: Film Vs Digital (not the usual question)
In reply to cmc1, Sep 5, 2013

cmc1 wrote:

But can we all agree on the fact that HDR shots SUCK? (rapid arrow cursor over like button and click)

I would like to see HDR banned from all serious photography sites along with instagram type filters

i have yet to see an hdr shot that i like. However millions of photographers love HDR and I see no reason to deny them the pleasure of using it if they wish.

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Henry Falkner
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In reply to cmc1, Sep 5, 2013

cmc1 wrote:

I feel at lot of images posted on-line now are over processed and not a true reflection of the Camera users true skills, abilities or passion for photography.

There is some over-processing going on. I myself tend to put in a bit more punch by extending the dynamic range of low contrast pictures.

I am not from the analogue era myself but I know a few people who were trained using film and appear to be far better photographers for it.

I did get a diploma in scientific and technical photography, and I have been a photographic technician doing large duplicate transparencies (10x8inch) and large prints (4 foot wide). But as a photographer I have always been a glorified hobbyist.

I would be interested to know what widely used techniques were used for processing and what are their modern equivalents?

You could select sheet film qualities for detail or contrast in black and white, and select print paper for various contrasts. With colour I remember reversal slide sheet film and a slide sheet film to be printed from negatives (I did colour). With printing you could shade and burn. Any other effects were done by graphic artists.

Also, wouldn't it be good if there were modern software that limited digital post processing to the same level as film?

The modern digital programs combine the jobs of the photographic technician with that of the graphic artist. The limits you perceive did not exist. The terminology used in the digital programs was already used in the film and print days.

It's great to see "straight out the camera, no PP" on posted images.

In commercial photography there was never such a thing as 'straight out of the camera'. All that happened was that there was more than one person involved between the camera shot and the artwork supplied to the customer.

Henry

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Glen Barrington
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Re: (n/t) It's 2 different medium's with superficial similarities. . .
In reply to Jaberwok, Sep 5, 2013

Jaberwok wrote:

Hooray. At last a poster with sense!

One thing that the long winded thread 'Film vs Digital' has proved is that the vast majority of posters don't understand the different media and know F* all about film / film processing but spout off anyway. Possibly the same crowd who think Bud is good beer and watch Fox News.

Your theory is wrong, I drink Bud (doing so as I type), and watch Fox News, and you've already established that I have good sense.  Can't have it both ways!

(though in truth, the only beer I won't drink is "Natural Light")

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Dennis
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Re: Film Vs Digital (not the usual question)
In reply to jrtrent, Sep 5, 2013

jrtrent wrote:

Maybe I'm just touchy about the word because I'm in denial about the real reasons for my preferring JPEG . . .

Honestly, for me, it boils down to what I enjoy doing.  I'm not a hard-working photographer.  (I'm an amateur; no clients except me !)  I enjoy post-processing; occasionally it's a drag, but it's part of the fun.  I never did darkroom - once I helped someone develop a roll of b/w and had no clue what I was doing, and never really got terribly interested.  I know I should use polarizers more, but can't be bothered.  I don't use my tripod enough.  And on and on and on ... hardworking photographers feel free to call me lazy.  I yam what I yam

I just don't post photos saying: "handheld low light" or "no polarizer".  There are so many, many decisions that affect the outcome of a photo; why are some labeled "SOOC" ?  (Rhetorical question).

- Dennis

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Re: (n/t) It's 2 different medium's with superficial similarities. . .
In reply to Glen Barrington, Sep 5, 2013

Always open to correction..except I stand by the statment that 95% of the halfwits posting here about film vs  digital have never used it and couldn't load it or even recognise it if their lives depended on it. This thread is a complete waste of DP bandwidth!

Curiously I sold a Fuji 645zi to a Dutch museum last week. Not for their collection but for archive work: They want it for trannies: the original goes in the freezer after they make up a digital copy. Apparently they have grave doubts about the ability to read jpegs in 2113 but they reckon the future ought to manage a lightbox -scanner.

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Jeff_Donald
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Re: Film Vs Digital (not the usual question)
In reply to jrtrent, Sep 5, 2013

jrtrent wrote:

I didn't see anyone say that out of camera photos are un-processed, only that they are not post-processed. In any event, that is not the point you made in your previous reply; you made it sound like anyone who chooses to post a picture with the information that it has not been post-processed does so because they lack the skill to do any post-processing and because they want to deceive others. I find that an unfair characterization.

Everything after pressing the shutter button is post processing.  It doesn't matter if it's film, digital, involves a darkroom or a computer, the image is defined the instant the photons strike the sensor and starts an electrical process.  This is the same as photons hitting the film and starting a chemical reaction.  Everything after that is post processing if we're following the film analogy.

Or we could also throw out half a century of photography history and Bresson's notion of the "Decisive Moment."   Are you somehow wanting to define photography as something different?

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Ron Poelman
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In reply to JackM, Sep 5, 2013

Love #3, Jack

Great illustration of how, (with a little innovation)
a happy snap can be as effective as any "art" shot;
the body angle just nails this one.
Did you try for the vignette or was it an unexpected bonus ?

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jrtrent
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Re: Film Vs Digital (not the usual question)
In reply to Jeff_Donald, Sep 5, 2013

Jeff_Donald wrote:

Everything after pressing the shutter button is post processing. It doesn't matter if it's film, digital, involves a darkroom or a computer, the image is defined the instant the photons strike the sensor and starts an electrical process. This is the same as photons hitting the film and starting a chemical reaction. Everything after that is post processing if we're following the film analogy.

You can define things how you like, but that's not the sense in which the OP meant it.  As for film, whether Kodachrome or Astia, I bought processing mailers, not post-processing mailers.

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