The Past "Photography" the Future "Imagery" Not for ME!

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fcheh
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The Past "Photography" the Future "Imagery" Not for ME!
5 months ago

Just food for thought in the good old days we had Photography: Are we at the Tipping Point of "Imagery" where we PS the F* out of the image and call it Photography? I would love to start a forum just for "What I Saw is What You Get" no post processing allowed, not even cropping just natural the way it happened pictures!

One reason why I love a great zoom lens is you crop as you go, you compose then shoot. Primes are great BUT they give you the SAME point of view as everyone else using them.

Think of the days when each and every shot cost MONEY and was composed, waiting for the light, several takes then the lightbox, sorting for the best.

2014 and we have "BURST" shoot the S* out of something and hope something good comes of it and by the time we sit down and view 400 shots of nothing we forgot what we were trying to capture.

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Beachcomber Joe
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Re: The Past "Photography" the Future "Imagery" Not for ME!
In reply to fcheh, 5 months ago

fcheh wrote:

Think of the days when each and every shot cost MONEY and was composed, waiting for the light, several takes then the lightbox, sorting for the best.

And then to the darkroom where hours would be spent burning, dodging, masking, manipulating exposure and development times after carefully selecting the right paper to print upon.

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Les Berkley
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Re: The Past "Photography" the Future "Imagery" Not for ME!
In reply to fcheh, 5 months ago

>Think of the days when each and every shot cost MONEY and was composed, waiting for the >light, several takes then the lightbox, sorting for the best.

And waiting for the clip to come back from the lab, adjusting exposure, pin registering the contrast mask, sandwiching the chromes in the Repronar, then giving the airbrush guy his instructions...

Guess it's time to make the popcorn.

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Jim Salvas
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Re: The Past "Photography" the Future "Imagery" Not for ME!
In reply to fcheh, 5 months ago

So, you never had a darkroom?

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ShawnHoke
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Re: The Past "Photography" the Future "Imagery" Not for ME!
In reply to fcheh, 5 months ago

fcheh wrote:

Just food for thought in the good old days we had Photography: Are we at the Tipping Point of "Imagery" where we PS the F* out of the image and call it Photography? I would love to start a forum just for "What I Saw is What You Get" no post processing allowed, not even cropping just natural the way it happened pictures!

One reason why I love a great zoom lens is you crop as you go, you compose then shoot. Primes are great BUT they give you the SAME point of view as everyone else using them.

Think of the days when each and every shot cost MONEY and was composed, waiting for the light, several takes then the lightbox, sorting for the best.

2014 and we have "BURST" shoot the S* out of something and hope something good comes of it and by the time we sit down and view 400 shots of nothing we forgot what we were trying to capture.

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Frank S Cheh
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Don't understand what's stopping you from just taking your time and practicing "photography" versus "imagery." I realize that it's all about the latest and fastest AF and burst mode to sell new bodies, but no one is forcing you to use them.

I use four bodies regularly and only one of them even has AF. Hell, only one of them is digital.

There's nothing inherently wrong with using Photoshop, post processing, or cropping either. Do what you enjoy and save your money!

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tko
tko
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same old same old
In reply to fcheh, 5 months ago

fcheh wrote:

Just food for thought in the good old days we had Photography: Are we at the Tipping Point of "Imagery" where we PS the F* out of the image and call it Photography?

I guess when you've built you own darkroom and developed your own film you don't whine as much about using Photoshop and the unfair advantage and the good old days of photography, blah blah blah.

I would love to start a forum just for "What I Saw is What You Get" no post processing allowed, not even cropping just natural the way it happened pictures!

To get what I saw I post process. Simple. Otherwise you get what the camera saw. Not good.

Everything is post processed. The lazy way is to let your camera pick the parameters. The smart way to to do it yourself. Nah, that's too much like work.

One reason why I love a great zoom lens is you crop as you go, you compose then shoot. Primes are great BUT they give you the SAME point of view as everyone else using them.

Some people think of zooms as lazy shooting, and yearn for the good old days of primes only

Think of the days when each and every shot cost MONEY and was composed, waiting for the light, several takes then the lightbox, sorting for the best.

Thankfully those days are gone.

2014 and we have "BURST" shoot the S* out of something and hope something good comes of it and by the time we sit down and view 400 shots of nothing we forgot what we were trying to capture.

Or, you have people who use today's superior tools to take better photographs. The bar has been raised, are have you been left behind in those "good old days?"

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GodSpeaks
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Re: The Past "Photography" the Future "Imagery" Not for ME!
In reply to fcheh, 5 months ago

fcheh wrote:

Just food for thought in the good old days we had Photography: Are we at the Tipping Point of "Imagery" where we PS the F* out of the image and call it Photography? I would love to start a forum just for "What I Saw is What You Get" no post processing allowed, not even cropping just natural the way it happened pictures!

Wow, you obviously never shot film nor owned a darkroom.  I can remember the nights spent dodging, burning, cropping.

One reason why I love a great zoom lens is you crop as you go, you compose then shoot. Primes are great BUT they give you the SAME point of view as everyone else using them.

Zooms also give you the same PoV as everyone else, just a matter of which route you prefer.  Composition is the final arbiter.

Think of the days when each and every shot cost MONEY and was composed, waiting for the light, several takes then the lightbox, sorting for the best.

Good photography requires patience and dedication.  That means composing, waiting for the light and the correct moment to capture the image you see in your mind's eye.

2014 and we have "BURST" shoot the S* out of something and hope something good comes of it and by the time we sit down and view 400 shots of nothing we forgot what we were trying to capture.

Only amateurs and snapshoots shoot like that.  However, there are times when burst shooting works, but you also have to know what  you are doing to capture what you wanted.

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DenWil
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Balderdash.
In reply to Beachcomber Joe, 5 months ago

Beachcomber Joe wrote:

fcheh wrote:

Think of the days when each and every shot cost MONEY and was composed, waiting for the light, several takes then the lightbox, sorting for the best.

Good grief. Exaggerated and overworked. I shoot MF film for a living to this day- skip the theatrics. It ain't that complicated !

And then to the darkroom where hours would be spent burning, dodging, masking, manipulating exposure and development times after carefully selecting the right paper to print upon.

Not the case.  That's comedy.  A proper negative  requires one or two test prints  to get perfect for agencies in New York. 90% of my negatives  print  a first exhibition quality enlargement  in 15 minutes or less.

Your  time description may apply to  Bobby Kennedy  on the kitchen floor or   Adams "Sunrise..."  but  those are unique situations, not  regular work. And those are wet versions.

With todays scanners and properly processed film  it's a cinch and the time in post to fine tune files is minutes.

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mgd43
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Re: The Past "Photography" the Future "Imagery" Not for ME!
In reply to GodSpeaks, 5 months ago

There has always been the ability to manipulate photographs. It's just easier now. But we still have free will. We can choose how much postprocessing we want to do. We can even choose to do no postprocessing.

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T3
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dictatorial nonsense
In reply to fcheh, 5 months ago

fcheh wrote:

Just food for thought in the good old days we had Photography: Are we at the Tipping Point of "Imagery" where we PS the F* out of the image and call it Photography? I would love to start a forum just for "What I Saw is What You Get" no post processing allowed, not even cropping just natural the way it happened pictures!

One reason why I love a great zoom lens is you crop as you go, you compose then shoot. Primes are great BUT they give you the SAME point of view as everyone else using them.

Think of the days when each and every shot cost MONEY and was composed, waiting for the light, several takes then the lightbox, sorting for the best.

2014 and we have "BURST" shoot the S* out of something and hope something good comes of it and by the time we sit down and view 400 shots of nothing we forgot what we were trying to capture.

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Frank S Cheh
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The great thing about photography (and art in general) is that you can do it the way you want to, without some dictatorial tyrant setting down restrictive rules on how things can or can't be done simply based on his own narrow ideology. If you want to take an "no-touch, as-my-camera-shot-it" approach to photography, go right ahead. But to whine and scream that everyone should do it the same, and to limit the art of photography to such a narrow sliver of of style is simply foolish, egocentric, and delusional. Besides, many of the great photographers of the world, past and present, would certainly disagree with you.

No cropping? LOL. Here's Henri Cartier-Bresson's original negative of his famous "Behind the Gare St. Lazare", aka "man jumping a puddle" photo:

Here's the final image after cropping.

Here are other famous photos before they were cropped:

Che Guevara Original

Che Guevara cropped

Picasso original

Picasso cropped

Igor Stravinsky original

Igor Stravinsky cropped

Robert Frank's "Rodeo", original

Robert Frank's "Rodeo" cropped

No post-processing?  Here are some famous photos and their markups to show the extent of darkroom work they underwent (original article here: marked-photographs-show-iconic-prints-edited-darkroom/ ):

Post-processing and cropping are valuable tools that every great photographer knows to use.  That's simply part of photography.  If you think that "true" photography should be limited to what the camera spits out at the moment you press the shutter button, you're delusional and are pursuing a false ideology that even the best photographers don't prescribe to.  At the very least, you have to understand that the camera doesn't always give you exactly what you wanted, or even saw.  Plus, you're living in an idealistic fantasy world if you think that we should all be going around perfectly nailing the composition and framing every time we take a shot.  Not even the best photographers believe in that!  The belief that many of the world's great photos came out of the camera exactly as we know them today is simply an illusion.  Most of them are a product of skillful cropping and post-processing, which is an important skill for any photographer to know, understand, and practice.

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Jim Salvas
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Re: dictatorial nonsense
In reply to T3, 5 months ago

That was a great, well-argued response. I'm bookmarking this, so I can refer to it every time someone spouts the same sort of nonsense as the OP.

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Jim Salvas

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Leonard Migliore
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Great Kahuna!
In reply to T3, 5 months ago

That's one of the best answers to anything that I've ever seen. It would take me years to come up with that content.

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edispics
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Fix your website URL
In reply to fcheh, 5 months ago

You spelled it wrong, in case you're wondering why no one has bothered looking.

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MaxTux
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Re: dictatorial nonsense
In reply to T3, 5 months ago

Yes, photographs have been manipulated (or, to use current term, "post-processed" in the age of wet photography too. But two facts about that "post-processing" should not be ignored:

- the practice was mostly restricted to monochrome printing.

- the amount of effort required served as a natural limit for the degree of change.

The ease with which the processing is performed on digital files is such that the process is more and more "overdone" for the aesthetic sensibility of some (obviously, the OP is among those).

He is not calling for any dictatorial intervention. He appears to be searching ("I would love to start a forum...") for those whose taste matches his. However, since this site is about the gear and not about the aesthetics, he came to the wrong place.

MaxTux

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T3
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Re: dictatorial nonsense
In reply to MaxTux, 5 months ago

MaxTux wrote:

Yes, photographs have been manipulated (or, to use current term, "post-processed" in the age of wet photography too. But two facts about that "post-processing" should not be ignored:

- the practice was mostly restricted to monochrome printing.

I don't see what difference that makes.

- the amount of effort required served as a natural limit for the degree of change.

I don't see what difference that makes either.

The ease with which the processing is performed on digital files is such that the process is more and more "overdone" for the aesthetic sensibility of some (obviously, the OP is among those).

The art of photography spans a huge gamut, from non-processed to heavily processed to full-on digital manipulation.  It's partly because technology has allowed the art of photography to expand far beyond its past technical limitations, and partly because technology has made photography so much more accessible to a more diverse group of participants.  It's also expanded the definition of photography to include a more diverse range of images and image-making techniques.  Because the branches of photography have now branched out far beyond what many consider to be "traditional", many people think some of these branches of photography as being "overdone."  Well, I guess that depends on how narrow your idea of photography is.  There was a time when the early impressionist painters weren't considered real painters because their images deviated too far from the expected norms of painting (i.e., realistic depictions of nature, objects, etc.).  I guess we're going through that same thing today with digital photos.

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MoreorLess
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Re: dictatorial nonsense
In reply to T3, 5 months ago

T3 wrote:

Post-processing and cropping are valuable tools that every great photographer knows to use. That's simply part of photography. If you think that "true" photography should be limited to what the camera spits out at the moment you press the shutter button, you're delusional and are pursuing a false ideology that even the best photographers don't prescribe to. At the very least, you have to understand that the camera doesn't always give you exactly what you wanted, or even saw. Plus, you're living in an idealistic fantasy world if you think that we should all be going around perfectly nailing the composition and framing every time we take a shot. Not even the best photographers believe in that! The belief that many of the world's great photos came out of the camera exactly as we know them today is simply an illusion. Most of them are a product of skillful cropping and post-processing, which is an important skill for any photographer to know, understand, and practice.

As you've pointed out there seems to be a large disconnect between what many people assumed photography ment on the days of film(related to their own practice of dropping off rolls of film to be devolped by someone else) and what actually took place with higher end photographers who'se work they likely hold us as an example of films success.

The assumption normally is that any skill or mind-set carried forward from the days of film is a positive one but to me it seems in many cases like we have people rejecting post processing due not to an artistic choice but a lack of understanding or what high level film use often entailed or ingrained laziness.

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tex
tex
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Let me amplify something you skipped over...
In reply to T3, 5 months ago

T3 wrote:

The great thing about photography (and art in general)

Here is the place I'll jump in, speaking as an artist who uses photography as one medium among a number. Photography is image making. It stands in relation to all the other image making methods that are millennia old. I have often been mystified by the often self-imposed apartheid conjured up as by the OP---a detachment from all these other modes of image making.

Besides the excellent examples of cropping and darkroom work that you gave in your excellent response to the OP, there is this "and art in general" bit. That is actually the huge part of your answer. I have always been mystified at the self imposed apartheid a certain set of photographers have created for themselves and the medium. As a quick snapshot(pun intended) of this, just consider how many times a certain cadre of great photographers are trotted out as examples of how to do things, or what to aspire to, yet others never are. It is as though these others are not even photographers, but something else entirely. An iconic example would be Man Ray, but any of the 1920's-30's surrealist photographers would do, as would several notable collagists and constructivist photographers. But then of course in a real sense it is true they are not "photographers"---they did not let a medium dictate to them what their work was about. Such dictation is the penultimate academicism and reactionary conservatism.

And putting oneself in a ghetto of a medium additionally cuts you off from seeing how different media can inform one another in one person's work. No better example of this than Charles Sheeler, someone else no one here thinks of as a "photographer" (if they even know who he is....), but the quality of whose photography most here would give their left arm to achieve.

Well, it is much easier to buy new gear than open up one's mind.

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Dennis
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Re: The Past "Photography" the Future "Imagery" Not for ME!
In reply to fcheh, 5 months ago

fcheh wrote:

Just food for thought in the good old days we had Photography: Are we at the Tipping Point of "Imagery" where we PS the F* out of the image and call it Photography?

Photoshop the f-stop out of the image ?

I would love to start a forum just for "What I Saw is What You Get" no post processing allowed, not even cropping just natural the way it happened pictures!

Cool, go for it ! You'd get along great with the 70-year old judges of photo contests at the county fairs.
(Edit: no offense intended ... I know a couple of those judges, and they're even more open-minded than the OP).

One reason why I love a great zoom lens is you crop as you go, you compose then shoot. Primes are great BUT they give you the SAME point of view as everyone else using them.

Yes, because as well all know, "everyone else" is using primes. The SAME primes, no less. You're the only one using a zoom; the rest of us are all using the 50mm prime that came with our kit.

2014 and we have "BURST"

Hurray for BURST ! 2014 is proving to be a great year !

shoot the S* out of something
and hope something good comes of it and by the time we sit down and view 400 shots of nothing we forgot what we were trying to capture.

Gosh, sounds like you should go back to shooting like you did in the good old days. I'm glad I don't have one of those new 2014 cameras with BURST !

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MaxTux
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ghetto of a medium?
In reply to tex, 5 months ago

tex wrote:

... And putting oneself in a ghetto of a medium additionally cuts you off from seeing how different media can inform one another in one person's work. ...

I'd newer tell someone what medium and what manipulation of the material stock of that medium he can or can not use to express himself or herself artistically. This is especially true if he seeks and finds the communication with an audience receptive to his particular form of expression.

However, I am not prepared to accept any arbitrary "expansion" of the definition of an art form - in this case "photography" (as an art form) - merely because the expanded process shares with that, previously established art form, some technical devices. At the same time, I fell that once there is a critical mass of creators and consumers, a new art form is born, and I will gladly let those that find aesthetic pleasure in the products generated by the (in this case) intrusive computer manipulation of digital imagery define their art and its canons.

I will, for sake of mutual understanding, try to quickly define my boundary between acceptable and intrusive computer processing something like this:

Computer processing does not push a camera-generated image beyond the definition of photography if it is restricted to the following:

  • Selection of a sub-set of the image generated in camera ("cropping")
  • Change of geometry that could have been achieved by selecting a different lens and/or different optical axis vs. sensor geometry (rotation, tilt, shift).
  • Change of light response characteristics which are applied to the complete image area and could have been achieved by camera settings.
  • Correction of optical and sensor uniformity errors.

MaxTux

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knickerhawk
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Re: ghetto of a medium?
In reply to MaxTux, 5 months ago

MaxTux wrote:

I will, for sake of mutual understanding, try to quickly define my boundary between acceptable and intrusive computer processing something like this:

Computer processing does not push a camera-generated image beyond the definition of photography if it is restricted to the following:

  • Selection of a sub-set of the image generated in camera ("cropping")
  • Change of geometry that could have been achieved by selecting a different lens and/or different optical axis vs. sensor geometry (rotation, tilt, shift).
  • Change of light response characteristics which are applied to the complete image area and could have been achieved by camera settings.
  • Correction of optical and sensor uniformity errors.

MaxTux

My thanks to T3 and Tex for turning this thread into a thougtful/thought-provoking discussion instead of the usual simple-minded back-and-forth bashing between one camp and the other.  As for your effort to define the boundaries of legitimate processing, I'm afraid you're going to find it turns to quicksand.  Let's consider the bolded "rule" above.  This  rule would also disallow the use of optical grad ND filters.  Is that really your intent?  More fundamentally, it delegitimzes virtually all of Adams' ouevre and a great many other master B&W photographers.  Is that really your intent?

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