Is digital photography too easy?

Started Aug 30, 2014 | Discussions thread
Lights Veteran Member • Posts: 3,587
Re: Is digital photography too easy?

bford wrote:

Lights wrote:

bford wrote:

Lights wrote:

bford wrote:

Lights wrote:

bford wrote:

Lights wrote:

Joris1632 wrote:

I recently came across this Ansel Adams quote; -

Any thoughts?

I think it's too fast. Photographers now have machine guns, instead of muzzle loaders. Never mind the smartphones.

I bought a medium format film folder, that needs the shutter cocked for every shot, that needs the film wound for every shot, and the focus set for every shot, and a light meter reading for every shot. And now with my digitals it's slowed me down some, thinking about that. It might be enough if I keep on using it, or it might help.

If you truly value slowing down then you shouldn't to have to resort to tricks like using a film camera and separate light meter.

I really don't think using a film camera is a "trick" - I think it makes a person "think" or maybe some of us would prefer not to.

It does not make a person think more. That's an individual choice. A person could shoot through a roll of film as fast he can on a digital camera.

It does seem a great many photographers from our past used film, to great effect.

They didn't have a choice. Film was the only thing available.

I was speaking in general terms, as to one of the weaknesses of digital, not to a weakness of mine in particular..but perhaps that's beyond the understanding of some.

There is no "weakness" in digital compared to film.

Or perhaps my explanation of the relative merits of one system against the other wasn't sufficient. However I think the differences do exist.

Differences clearly exist but there is nothing about a digital camera that causes people to shoot faster and less carefully.


Having shot film for some years, before I got into digital about 12 years ago, I would somewhat disagree in practice. While it's true in theory (or 'can' be in actuality) in the real world I don't think it's generally the case. When for example you have 12 exposures on a roll of 120 or even 36 on 35mm, you have to think in terms of conservation of shots (well you don't have to with an auto winder, which I quickly stopped using because film and development costs money).

I quickly tire of people telling me what's right for me, when they aren't me. Yes I do think it varies by individuals. I don't think shooting with film is a "trick pony" that will get everyone to slow down and consider, but for me going back and remembering to consider each shot, works "sometimes" for me, even though I'm sort of an intuitive shooter...and I don't consider it a trick, having shot in both media for some time...I've got probably 100,000+ digital photos, counting modifications of, on my HDs, my previous digital camera has 40,000+ shots on it. None of my fillm cameras came close to that. In a way a person can learn a great deal with the instant gratification and response and results of digital, but because of economics I think film caused people to think more, to worry more about the precision of each exposure, whether that 'thinking' helped get better photography by considering each shot, I have no idea and have my doubts...but in my mind it's something to try...the same as going out occasionally and shooting jpg only makes a person(me) slow down and think (even though I'm usually shooting at least jpg and raw). Everyone is different, everyone learns differently. I think digital isn't easier, but as I said the temptation is there for it to be faster...and I don't mean in terms of bracketing, which is nice...or shooting fast moving targets, which is nice. I don't know how you can make a statement that covers everyone, when everyone is different?

The point being, as I have already said, if you truly value taking your time and not shooting as much, then you can do that with digital. It doesn't require buying a film camera.

Easy? none of it's easy, if it were it wouldn't be very interesting...would it?

Photography isn't difficult.

I'm glad that you think photography isn't difficult, but I'd rather think to do it well is. Otherwise we'd all be famous eh?

I think it's more of the case that most "famous" photographers simply had/have better connections and resources rather than they are significantly better than other good photographers.

Ummm of course slowing down doesn't require a film camera. But I got a nice folder cheap, it's fun, it's different than digital and it's a medium (dying OK) in it's own right. But it has reminded me, in non intuitive situations to be more careful with digital in planning and methodology. That's me, no one else. I never said you or anyone else should go out and buy a film camera, to slow you down shooting digital. Going back to roots, helps me.

And yes the economics of digital vs film once the hardware is in place can have an effect on process, as can the great instant feedback a person gets from digital.

Only for people that do not have much self-discipline when it comes to their photography.

For me the going back to some roots, works, I've never suggested it should, could or will work for anyone else...So I'm not going to defend my creative choices taken out of context.

I have not taken anything you wrote out of context, nor have I said you are suggesting what others should do. I was merely questioning the reason for why you do something.

It's also my firm belief that the photograph is the crux of the matter, no matter what format or medium it's taken on.

Of course, but in that case the photo will be much easier to create digitally and it will be of superior technical quality.

I'm not going to state my case any farther, and do not feel that I have to explain or justify my creative process to you or anyone. But this article I think says it much better than I can in the face of such a smug attitude article here

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