A TOTALLY DIGITAL CONVERSATION !

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Annika1980, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. Annika1980

    Annika1980 Guest

    I was on AOL tonight and noticed a name from the past in my online
    Buddy List (and no, it wasn't D-Mac). One of the things I always
    liked about AOL was that you could make a Buddy List and it would tell
    you which of your buddies are currently online.
    Then you could simply IM (Instant Message) them and talk to them.
    Back when I was hot shit on AOL, I would have as many as 6 IM's open
    at once with different people. It's how I learned to type so fast
    (and believe me, typing with one hand ain't easy).

    I still have all my old people that I used to talk to 10 years ago in
    my list, some famous, some not. Anyway, tonight I noticed a guy who I
    haven't talked with in years who was a very serious photographer in
    NYC. I remember that he used a Sinar P-something camera and the guy
    couldn't stand digital (it was still in it's infancy when we last
    spoke). In other words, he was the evil Anti-Annika.

    So I was interested to see if his views had changed any or if he had
    become just another film luddite.

    Anyway, I enjoyed the chance to speak with the guy and I saved the
    conversation hoping that others might find it interesting reading. It
    is a bit long so you might wanna go grab a favorite beverage before
    you sit back to enjoy.
    I won't reveal my friend's name or his actual identity (that I just
    learned tonight) so I'll just call him "PhotoDude."
    Also remember that this was an IM conversation so sometimes one person
    (me) will type two or three lines before the other has a chance to
    answer.
    But here is the text of the conversation with only some personal stuff
    snipped:
    ======================================

    Annika1980: Taken any good pics lately?
    PhotoDude: hi there, I'm actually on a photo trip as we speak, how
    are you?
    Annika1980: fine. where are ya?
    PhotoDude: Idaho, then up to Montana in a day or 2
    PhotoDude: what have you been up to?

    Annika1980: sounds like fun. getting any good pics up there?
    PhotoDude: not yet in Idaho, I was in utah last week and got some
    good ones there
    PhotoDude: what's new with you?
    Annika1980: well, since i haven't talked to you in about 5-6 years
    years, everything
    PhotoDude: such as?
    Annika1980: i shoot almost all digital now. Canon, of course
    Annika1980: you still got that Sinar?
    PhotoDude: yep and other film cameras
    Annika1980: no digital?
    PhotoDude: I have a leica digital but that's for vacation snaps, I
    shoot film for my real work
    Annika1980: Leicas are for posers.

    Annika1980: are you like famous?
    PhotoDude: I'm getting there
    Annika1980: atta baby.
    i rememeber you showing me a pic of a fork or something like that
    PhotoDude: I do mostly landscape now
    Annika1980: got a website? i'd love to see them
    Annika1980: weren't you shooting fashion or something back in the
    day?
    PhotoDude: I'm not big on giving out my name on aol, but I'll email
    you a sample, I used to do advertising photography
    Annika1980: i like nature photography
    here's one I took the other day
    http://www.pbase.com/bret/image/75457158

    Annika1980: you can check out my other galleries there as well.
    Annika1980: i can understand your privacy concerns. you haven't
    changed much in that respect.
    Annika1980: your name is still in my buddy list and yet i don't even
    know who you are. kinda weird.
    PhotoDude I like the photo of the heron, good capture

    (He sends me a link to his website)

    Annika1980: glad to meet ya. finally.
    e-mail some pics when you get a chance. maybe something from your
    current trip
    Annika1980: hey, i've got a Q. for ya
    PhotoDude: mail, what's the q?
    Annika1980: where is the money to be made in photography these days?
    besides fashion and advertising (since i'm not in NYC)

    (He then e-mailed me one of his photos ... B/W of course)

    Annika1980: nice photo. a little too artsy-fartsy for me, but hey
    Annika1980: also, how do you sell your work?
    PhotoDude: advertising is not what it used to be, I'm out of it and
    now make my living selling prints through galleries across the US
    Annika1980: sounds like what I should be doing
    Annika1980: or at least that's what some tell me
    PhotoDude: it's not that easy, it's very competitive and you need to
    be artsy
    Annika1980: yeah, i know. the duller the better
    PhotoDude: not dull
    Annika1980: not too many collectors buying full color pics of herons
    these days
    PhotoDude: nope but they pay as much as $4000 for one of my B&W
    prints, artsy works

    Annika1980: have you ever tried doing any books?
    Annika1980: what size prints do you usually sell?
    PhotoDude: I did 2 books already, but not books of my personal work,
    I've had several offers but didn't have enough images, after this trip
    I will
    PhotoDude: 14", 20" 24" 40"
    Annika1980: sounds like everything is going well for you. i'm glad.

    Annika1980: i think in your biz its kind of a snowball effect. once
    you get your name out there the market gets more and more lucrative
    for you
    PhotoDude: yep, name recognition matters greatly
    Annika1980: a bit too greatly some would say

    Annika1980: i think the photography world is going downhill now that
    every idiot with a cellphone cam thinks he's ansel adams
    PhotoDude: yep, digital has had a hand in that

    Annika1980: do you photograph what you love to photograph or do you
    photograph what sells?
    PhotoDude: I photograph what I want, I'm lucky that what I like to
    look at is also appreciated by others
    Annika1980: yes, very lucky indeed.

    PhotoDude: lucky yes, but it's been a lot of hard work for a very
    long time and have made a huge investment in it
    Annika1980: glad we got to talk. I'll keep your website bookmarked
    PhotoDude: it was good to hear from you, keep shooting

    <snipped some personal stuff and some talk about high-end Audio>

    PhotoDude: I travel 4-5 months a year
    Annika1980: $4000 will buy lots of film and paper
    PhotoDude: or a set of cables
    Annika1980: tell you what .... next time you have a hankering to
    spend $4K on some cables .... buy me a 1DsMKII instead and go to Radio
    Shack
    Annika1980: for me, it's a Catch-22. I shoot with a Canon 20D cause
    I cant afford the really good gear. But if I had the really good
    gear, I could probably make it selling photos
    Annika1980: so i do the best i can with what i got

    PhotoDude: the gear helps but it's not the gear that makes the images
    good, it's the photographer, read less of the mass market photo stuff,
    especially the digital stuff and start reading more art oriented photo
    magazines like Lenswork
    Annika1980: yeah, i listen to Brooks Jensen's (of Lenswork) podcasts
    every day at work. it keeps me inspired

    PhotoDude: I'm pretty set with the audio stuff, I won't be buying
    that stuff for quite some time
    PhotoDude: do you read the magazine, look at the images?
    Annika1980: in some ways, audio technology is like film
    technology .... both of them are stagnant
    PhotoDude: films keep getting better, kodak just updated a bunch of
    film and fuji is doing so as well
    Annika1980: sometimes I look at lenswork. nice stuff, but the color
    seems to be a bit off
    PhotoDude: well it's a B&W magazine

    Annika1980: i figured you'd be shooting with a digital back by now.
    get with the program, dude!
    Annika1980: if i shot landscapes i'd use a scanning back
    Annika1980: like stephen johnston
    PhotoDude: scanning backs take too long,like 90 seconds, that can be
    a problem as clouds move, grass blows
    Annika1980: Photoshop, baby!
    Annika1980: multiple exposures!
    PhotoDude: it's the image that matters, all that other stuff screws
    up the process
    Annika1980: i agree with the first half of that
    PhotoDude: well, I've learned a thing or two about photography, but
    do what you do

    Annika1980: for the landscape shots that you take, what gear do you
    usually use?
    Annika1980: and which films?
    PhotoDude: sinar for 6x12cm and 4x5, Fuji GX617 for 6x17cm, Fotoman
    612 for 6x12cm, Fuji Gx60III for 6x8cm, Mamiya 7II for 6x7cm, Rolli
    6008i for 6x6cm
    PhotoDude: Tmax 100 and techpan,although techpan is discontinued
    Annika1980: someday i'll let you explain to me the need for 6
    cameras.

    Annika1980: why not just get the digital back on the Hassy or a Phase
    One back for your cameras?
    Annika1980: i think all that stuff screws up the process

    PhotoDude: some cameras I can fly with, some cameras are small and
    are ok to take on vacation, some cameras are bigger and use bigger
    film, I usually take 2 systems on a driving trip
    Annika1980: yeah, wouldn't it be nice if one camera did it all?
    Annika1980: oops, i forgot . the 1DsMKII does!

    PhotoDude: a digital camera is not going to give the the kind of
    image quality that I get with film,
    Annika1980: well it's a bit late here (1:00 AM) to begin that
    argument
    PhotoDude: a DSLR is not going to do what a Sinar can do
    Annika1980: do you think a photo like the one you just e-mailed me
    could not be done with a DSLR?
    PhotoDude: I can afford any camera I want, why do you think I shoot
    film and use the cameras that I use?
    Annika1980: because for you it is about the process as much as the
    image

    PhotoDude: it would not have the same image quality, also collectors
    pay much more for a silver or platinum print than they do for digital
    Annika1980: so I've heard
    PhotoDude: I don't care about the process, I want the image
    Annika1980: well if the image is all that matters then the top of the
    line digital stuff like the digital backs blows away anything film can
    do. but we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one

    Annika1980: hey, thanks for takin the time and talkin to me
    Annika1980: and good luck on your career.
    PhotoDude: Bret, I've been doing digital imaging professionally since
    1991, I can afford any camera I want, for B&W film is the way to go,
    If I shot color I would consider digital
    PhotoDude: anyway, I have to get to sleep, i need to get up at 5am
    tomorrow and go shoot, I'm glad you wrote,keep in touch, good luck to
    you as well
    Annika1980: fair enough. what do you say to people who claim that
    the new digital B/W printing processes are superior to the old?
    PhotoDude: I've tried them, you still need to use B&W film
    Annika1980: next time we'll talk about digital printing.
    Annika1980: cya
    PhotoDude: take care
     
    Annika1980, Mar 15, 2007
    #1
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  2. Annika1980

    Paul Furman Guest

    LOL
     
    Paul Furman, Mar 15, 2007
    #2
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  3. Annika1980

    Colin_D Guest

    Thanks for that, Bret. Very illuminating to read what a pro landscape
    photog uses and produces. $4000 ($ NZ 5800) is pretty good bickies for
    a print. Maybe I shouldn't have sold my Wista monorail {:-(

    I wonder how New Zealand landscapes would sell in the US??

    Colin D.
     
    Colin_D, Mar 15, 2007
    #3
  4. Very interesting conversation. Thanks for sharing with us, Bret.
    It's interesting that consumers would rather buy B&W film prints. I
    love B&W and IR.
    Helen
     
    helensilverburg, Mar 15, 2007
    #4
  5. Very interesting conversation. Thanks, Bret.
    It's interesting that consumers would rather buy B&W film prints. But
    then he is using medium format and viewfinder cameras. I used them as
    well for a few years, but found it a hassle to carry around such a
    heavy load of equipment. B&W and IR is definitely cool. OTOH color
    cannot be beat for certain circumstances. IMHO, we definitely need
    both!
    Helen
     
    helensilverburg, Mar 15, 2007
    #5
  6. Annika1980

    Kinon O'Cann Guest

    Hmmm....

    Here's a guy shooting for money, and can use any camera and proces he wants,
    and he chooses film, despite's Bret's "objections." I think there's a lesson
    buried in here somewhere...
     
    Kinon O'Cann, Mar 15, 2007
    #6
  7. Annika1980

    Annika1980 Guest

    Yeah, the lesson to be learned is: Luddites never change.
     
    Annika1980, Mar 15, 2007
    #7
  8. Yep! One of my friends humps around LF equipment to get his artsy fartsy
    stuff done, makes great money with it too. He does use digital for general
    snaps, though.







    Rita
     
    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Mar 15, 2007
    #8
  9. Annika1980

    Joseph Kewfi Guest

    Yeah, the lesson to be learned is: Luddites never change.

    Nope, the lesson is: you'll never sell any photography to discerning
    collectors.
     
    Joseph Kewfi, Mar 15, 2007
    #9
  10. Annika1980

    Kinon O'Cann Guest

    Give that man a cigar, he can be taught! Luddites know that it isn't the
    process or the camera, it's choosing the tools that will provide the desired
    end result, without prejudice. Let's see, who sells more? Luddite or Mr.
    Totally Digital?

    Think hard, there's a quiz later.
     
    Kinon O'Cann, Mar 15, 2007
    #10
  11. Annika1980

    Mike Guest

    I'm surprised he didn't bail after you repeatedly egged him on about his
    choice of equipment. You really need to get over the equipment aspect of
    photography. Just like Nick Brandt, here is another professional who
    apparently makes his living with high-end film cameras. Anything you see
    that is better than your snapshots, you call "artsy fartsy". I've seen it
    over the past years of lurking on this group.

    BTW-- Nick Brandt captures his images with TMX film, but all of his output
    is digital.

    Use the best tool for the job, whether it be film, digital, or a
    combination of both. Digital capture is indeed the best tool for many
    photographic jobs.
     
    Mike, Mar 16, 2007
    #11
  12. Annika1980

    Annika1980 Guest

    Not really. Hey, I can do artsy-fartsy too!
    http://www.pbase.com/bret/image/37379553

    I love a challenge. That's why I love shooting challenging subjects
    like sports, flying birds, macro shots and stuff like that.
    Landscape shots bore me, especially Black & White landscape shots.
    They take no talent. (That oughta get the pro-Ansel crowd fired up).

    The only thing difficult about most B/W landscape shots is getting
    there.

    When I use the term "artsy-fartsy" I'm usually referring to a photo
    that has artistic merit only because it happens to be B/W. I can take
    an ordinary color landscape pic, convert it to Black & White, work on
    it a while in Photoshop and 95% of the art fags will view it as some
    sort of artistic masterpiece.

    I can hear the Luddites shouting, "But color detracts from the photo.
    It is all about composition, lines, shapes, and form." Well I believe
    you can still have all those things in a color pic as well.

    So if you ever have a color photo you're working on and you just can't
    make it look right, just convert it to B/W, print it big and slap a
    big price on it. Somebody will probably buy it.
     
    Annika1980, Mar 16, 2007
    #12
  13. Annika1980

    That_Rich Guest


    A lot of words to say nothing.
    What an asswhole you are.

    RP©
     
    That_Rich, Mar 16, 2007
    #13
  14. Annika1980

    uw wayne Guest

    It is the same immemorial story about photographs....late in the the
    transcript he said, and I quote...."I don't care about the process, I
    want the image". Hey guys, that is the holy grail of photography!
     
    uw wayne, Mar 16, 2007
    #14
  15. Annika1980

    Annika1980 Guest

    Thanks for your valuable contribution.
     
    Annika1980, Mar 16, 2007
    #15
  16. But Pablo Picasso could take a scrap of old canvas, paint it with wash, work
    on it with a brush and a few color paints for a while, and 95% of the art
    fags would view it as some sort of artistic masterpiece......:^)
     
    William Graham, Mar 16, 2007
    #16
  17. Annika1980

    Noons Guest

    them's fighting words...
    :)
    damn right.
    that, I doubt. I mean, not the buying bit: plenty of
    suc^h^h^hconsumers out there...
    but like you said: the compo, lines, shapes and forms
    are important in colour as well. converting to b&w won't
    fix those.

    but I understand your point perfectly:
    lots of folks out there posing under the "artsy-farty"
    umbrella just because they desaturated a
    colour shot...
     
    Noons, Mar 16, 2007
    #17
  18. Richard Polhill, Mar 16, 2007
    #18
  19. Just like Bret. Unfortunately he only takes the snaps.
     
    Richard Polhill, Mar 16, 2007
    #19
  20. Annika1980

    Kinon O'Cann Guest

    Spoken like a true snapshooter!

    I guess you can produce a fine B&W landscape then, right? Post when it's
    ready.
     
    Kinon O'Cann, Mar 16, 2007
    #20
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