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

Started May 24, 2013 | Discussions thread
brianj Forum Pro • Posts: 14,657
Re: I would like to discuss the aesthetics of photography...

Great Bustard wrote:

brianj wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

...based on this post:


Particularly, this paragraph, and particularly the portion I highlighted in bold:

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.

What do people think?  It's a very interesting observation, in my opinion.

I have always thought this.

Extremely fine detail probably occurs at a similair size to the typical digital image distortion and becomes part of it.  The average person looking at this hideous mess thinks it has wonderful detail, but it is the very thing ruining the image.

I've no idea what you mean by that.

I'm suggesting that it is possible that the many distortions that are present in an image which are often not seen because they are very small or have no edge or object to react with, can be seen more readily when they iteract with fine details which are a similair size.  In other words, a small distortion against a large object will be a very small part of it and go unseen, but a distortion the same size as a fine detail will interact and completely change the shape of the fine detail.

Another source is stepping of slightly slanting edges, fine edges can be completely distroyed by this distortion.


I think what these people in your paragraph discovered is the photographic equivalent of hi-fi music compared to everday music especially MP3 type compressed music.

Could you elaborate?  Sounds almost like they said the exact opposite.

The argument has raged for years about whether some people can tell the difference between a vinyl record and digitized music from an uncompressed source such as a CD.  It can be heard by the discerning ear, and is most likely caused by the harmonic frequencies produced by the edges of the highest frequencies because a square wave (digitised bit) contains all frequencies, there will be a further mix of these frequencies which is distortion.  This is not present in a pure analogue source.  Of course all this is made worse in a compressed MP3 audio file, the same as it is when viewing a blocky compressed video.

This is simplistic as I am not a scientist, but wiki has a big article on it here.


This is the reason why I am so turned off by the constant talk of lack of detail on these forums.

So I am saying that the gallery prints must have been very free of distortion or fine detail above a certain frequency was filtered out.


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