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Has technology made photography better??

Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Damien_Demolder, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. Rhys

    Rhys Sasquatch

    [my opinion]An image created by traditional darkroom practices - if it looks exactly the same as an image created by modern digital methods will hold no special meaning for it's production to anyone viewing it unless the notes on which are viewed along side the image. Only the originator or each final image will feel any connection with and defend it's method of production against the other.[/my opinion]

    There are skills attributed to both methods of production ranging from choice of film and how it is developed to create a negative (personal preferences in contrast and tonal values etc.). Then there is the paper choice, chemical choice for developing the paper - whether a water bath is used to bring out highlights, whether the paper is flashed before using the neg.. and so on.. then there's all the other stuff involving cotton wool/cardboard and other bits and pieces. Compared to digital (I'm pretty mew to this side of things I must confess) in which you don't get wet, covered in toxic chemicals and see less daylight than a vampire :D Image manipulation using software is a skill in itself to bring out the best in an image.

    six and two 3's spring to mind - each has its followers and each has its benefits. I don't have the room for a darkroom set-up. I wish I did as I have everything for one. What I do have is a computer and a digital camera with the ability to try and create that which I used to. If that makes any sense? One to me isn't better or worse than the other, it is merely a different way of achieving the same goal.
  2. TheFatControlleR

    TheFatControlleR :Devil's Advocaat: Forum Admin

    Why should they differ, other than through some outmoded snobbery. Chances are they were both initiated by an artist/sculptor, but finished by an artisan. The sculptor working in his medium of choice creates the template, the bronze then cast by a foundry-man from a mould. A similar, or even the same, mould could be used in the plastic-injection process. The 'original' work is the same piece.

    And what of the artist who conceives a piece to be made in plastic, which is later, posthumously, re-cast in bronze for posterity. Which is the better, the original as the artist envisioned it, or the later version?

    The difference would not be the work itself, it's intrinsic beauty or otherwise, but on a more tactile level. A 'plastic' faux-bronze replica sat against an original (out of arms reach) could be virtually indistinguishable with todays techniques, so which would be the better 'visually'. After all, we're talking about a 'visual' art form. :D

    Similarly fine art prints are being produced in both traditional and digital arenas. And what of the digitally originated wet-darkroom finished works?

    My point being; surely, it's the work that speaks, not the process, the artists intention, not the viewers perception.
  3. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    I think we're all allowed to interpret art in our own ways :cool:

    ...not that I care what medium is used ;)
  4. Photocracy

    Photocracy Well-Known Member

    I don't necessarily disagree with your logic. But in life, people tend to value a rarer and/or more difficult thing more. Maybe it would be not so much "outmoded" but pointless snobbery, but I bet it happens nonetheless. A lot of the kudos surrounding art of any form is derived from pointless snobbery.
  5. TheFatControlleR

    TheFatControlleR :Devil's Advocaat: Forum Admin

    Well, that's true enough. Two words; Tracy Emin. :rolleyes: :eek: :D
  6. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    I thought foul language had to be confined to the Lounge......... ;) :D
  7. Photocracy

    Photocracy Well-Known Member

    Of course, to counter my argument, if he or she who was appreciating the art was into kitsch, they would value the injection-moulded plastic sculpture more and who can say they would be wrong? :D
  8. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Art is what I li.........

    No........... let's not go down that road............ :D
  9. TheFatControlleR

    TheFatControlleR :Devil's Advocaat: Forum Admin

    What, a box of chocolates...? :D
  10. Ellie527

    Ellie527 Well-Known Member

    I really can't believe that a picture from a film camera will, by its nature, be more "aesthetically pleasing" than one produced digitally, simply because it takes a long time, uses loads of different chemicals and some personal skill to get it onto paper.

    I remember printing stuff, and feeling very proud I'd managed to get it right. Is that what's meant by 'kudos'?

    Surely a rubbish picture is a rubbish picture, no matter how it's been created?
  11. Photocracy

    Photocracy Well-Known Member

    LOL.....or Damien Hirst :eek: I mean, that cow certainly wasn't easy... ;)
  12. Hotblack

    Hotblack Dead Horse Flogger

    True enough. Darkroom work is difficult but it's so easy to cock-up digital work as well unless things are used subtley. Also there are many darkroom workers who find the transition to digital work confusing, especially if they are unused to computers or imaging software.
  13. Photocracy

    Photocracy Well-Known Member

    It was "a great picture" when I started, and now you've turned it into rubbish! :)
  14. Photocracy

    Photocracy Well-Known Member

    For some reason and despite help from Tracy Emin and Damien Hirst, something tells me the tide of opinion is against me here so I concede defeat (not something you see often on forums). But remember my prediction. If it comes to be, I will look very clever! Until then, I remain gracefully defeated. :eek:
  15. TheFatControlleR

    TheFatControlleR :Devil's Advocaat: Forum Admin

    P'ah! Defeat my [****], a mere agreed differing of opinion. ;)

    I actually think you're right, in terms of, shall we say, 'human nature'. A significant value (and not just financial) is attached to anything produced in a 'traditional' way.

    One only need look at the car industry; costs aside, the Mazda MX5 is a capable two-seater, albeit mass produced. Yet a Morgan, hand-made with it's traditional wooden frame is, to my mind, superior in every respect. I'm sure there are MX5s out there that have been 'pimped' that would exceed the cost of a Morgan, but I know which I would prefer.

    Personally, I'd rather see a hand printed, framed image than a high-end digitally printed image - although I guess that's more about the presentation than the image itself.
  16. Ellie527

    Ellie527 Well-Known Member

    :D I was thinking along the lines of the first picture I ever developed. I was intensely proud of it, because it was all my own work, but my goodness, it was a rubbish picture!
  17. Photocracy

    Photocracy Well-Known Member

    Thank you. I feel less defeated now. :)
  18. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Yeah, it makes you look like an idiot. Why struggle when you can get the same technical excellence with far less effort?

    On your logic perhaps those of us that want to get noticed should be producing only daguerrotypes...

    N.B. this is emphatically not an anti-film (or anti-digital) rant - I don't believe that film processing and finished image production is necessarily more difficult than digital, or vice versa. It's just different. Similarly I don't see why you shouldn't try to master a difficult technique for personal satisfaction - but please expect the public to judge the finished product on its obvious merits, not on the craftsmanship that was involved in its production.
  19. TheFatControlleR

    TheFatControlleR :Devil's Advocaat: Forum Admin

    True. I'm sure most of us could produce a Baked Alaska with a blow-torch, but fewer could get it right using an oven. :rolleyes: :D

  20. In the late 1970s, my best friend ordered a Morgan. Two years elapsed and I accompanied him to the factory. A tour followed and we were duly shown round a 1930's style assembly shop. Craftsmen shaping & fitting things by hand - skills long dead in the rest of the industry.

    Unfortunately, there was no fairy tale ending. The car was a toy - to be pampered and put away in a garage perhaps.

    The 1920s front suspension was just not up to the job - days were spent replacing various bits! The bodywork also could not stand the rigour of daily use. The ride was so hard, that our respective wives said they would never ride in it again after a journey to the coast (it was the four seater version)

    He sold it just before its second birthday and bought a Lotus Elan+2! (some people never learn!)

    My son has just bought his second MX2. He swears by them - boring says he, but ultra reliable!

    So what do you want in a car? Reliability or "Olde Worlde Craftsmanship" I know what the depreciation curves say, but one is an everday motor and the other is best pampered and taken out on high days & holidays.

    "Superior" is a view through "Rose tinted" spectacles!


    Me? I'm looking for a nice plastic bodied Berkeley Sports!
    Totally unreliable, but exciting!

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