Why I Went Back to Film Photography

Discussion in 'Photography' started by cfb, Nov 11, 2006.

  1. cfb

    Salty Dog Guest

    Everybody assumes. I assume that you have some severe limitation
    regarding photographic skills - based on your difficulty in using a
    digital camera in a creative manner.
    No, s/he is dealing with a simple minded and creativity challenged
    person. There are subtle differences.

    Salty Dog, Nov 14, 2006
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  2. cfb

    Salty Dog Guest


    Creativity is within the person, not the availability of whatever medium
    that person chooses to use.

    Salty Dog, Nov 14, 2006
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  3. cfb

    Salty Dog Guest

    Your response has no relevance to what was said.

    Salty Dog, Nov 14, 2006
  4. cfb

    Salty Dog Guest

    That she had enough sense not to spend too much time around you?

    Salty Dog, Nov 14, 2006
  5. cfb

    Salty Dog Guest

    No, but you did propose that ease of use and greater volume of available
    shots limited creativity, so the response, although a little satirical,
    was valid.

    Salty Dog, Nov 14, 2006
  6. cfb

    Salty Dog Guest

    You might hope that it isn't about you, but guess what? It is *only*
    about you. Others don't seem to suffer from your limitations.
    So now you are "implying" (not saying) that from the advent of digital
    cameras, photography is destined to become a lost art?

    Stop splitting hairs.

    You have made it very clear that you believe that creativity is limited
    by use of digital media.

    Salty Dog, Nov 14, 2006
  7. cfb

    Salty Dog Guest

    What irony?

    The fact that someone else who finished school in third grade has
    recognised your cluelessness and is claiming kinship with you? That's
    not irony, that's just sad.

    Salty Dog, Nov 14, 2006
  8. cfb

    Salty Dog Guest

    It doesn't sound simple - you sound simple.

    Absolute garbage. You are quite clueless. You apparently are lacking in
    creativity and are looking for external causes - excuses.
    Gibberish. Nonsense.
    You are not people. You can only speak for yourself. That fact that
    *you* are not creative has no bearing on other more proficient and
    creative photographer.
    It isn't supposed to. You are supposed to be creative, not your camera.
    I looked. I didn't see anything that changes my opinion of you and your
    simple minded reasons for lacking creativity.
    No one, including you, has (in this thread) suggested that some cameras
    aren't better or worse than others. With film the same thing occurs - or
    hadn't you noticed? It has nothing to do with the digital versus film
    creativity argument that you are so miserably failing to present.
    So? Even if you are correct (you aren't BTW) it makes no difference.
    Greeting cards and magazines also have a need for creative photography.

    Salty Dog, Nov 14, 2006
  9. cfb

    Salty Dog Guest

    But I'll bet they would have loved to have them.

    Salty Dog, Nov 14, 2006
  10. cfb

    Salty Dog Guest

    Can't you just imagine this strange little person back in the days when
    the first 35mm formats first appeared?

    Standing there with his huge wooden large format camera, wheelbarrow
    full of plates, and two hundred pound tripod, cfb says: "Those little
    things limit creativity, if you don't have to spend two hours getting
    your equipment in place and setting up the shot, how can you possibly
    have time to think about taking it creatively?"

    He obviously has problems being creative or he wouldn't have broached
    the subject in the first place, but he also has problems is recognising
    the problem lies with him, not with his tools.

    I wonder what he will say when holographic photography is commonplace.

    Salty Dog, Nov 14, 2006
  11. cfb

    Salty Dog Guest

    The only thing that hinders creativity is you. You seem hung up on trivia.

    If you really want to be creative, and believe what you are saying, take
    a ten or better megapixel camera, shoot raw only and take only enough
    memory for five or six shots. I'll bet it wouldn't improve your
    creativity, although you would have eliminated your argument against

    Salty Dog, Nov 14, 2006
  12. cfb

    Salty Dog Guest

    More bullshit.

    When are you going to stop splitting hairs?

    Your thread is "why *I* went back to film ...

    Your implication is that it limits *your* creativity.

    Salty Dog, Nov 14, 2006
  13. cfb

    Salty Dog Guest

    Salty Dog, Nov 14, 2006
  14. cfb

    Salty Dog Guest

    Probably the same part that you didn't understand. After all, you
    responded to him after claiming that you were "done with" him.

    Salty Dog, Nov 14, 2006
  15. cfb

    Salty Dog Guest

    Don't say that to him. He sounds like the sort of guy who spends a LOT
    of time having fun with himself.

    I mean girls offer too many choices regarding having fun, they probably
    stifle his creativity.

    Salty Dog, Nov 14, 2006
  16. Or even holography?

    Now that would be impressive.
    Richard Polhill, Nov 14, 2006
  17. cfb

    smb Guest

    Regarding this whole thread started by cfb: It started out friendly
    enough, but it became obvious that he has trouble dealing with people
    and came across as someone arrogant and way too much into himself, the
    classic case of being educated beyond one's intelligence. Several of
    us here called his bluff and challenged him, which was good - that
    kind of online behavior should not be tolerated.

    That being said, he's still a human being, and should be respected as
    such even though he didn't show respect to others. Let's look at his
    ideas, even though he doesn't seem to be around any more to shoot

    Is digital photography less creative than film photography? My
    unqualified answer is a resounding "it depends." Cfb's point seems
    to have been that digital encourages shooting too many pictures,
    therefore lessening the value of each one as creative expression.
    That's basically a supply vs. demand economics kind of thing applied
    to creativity. I believe that kind of thinking is rubbish because it
    assumes that there is some kind of zero-sum property to creativity,
    ie, there is only so much of it to go around, therefore it shouldn't
    be squandered. To the contrary, the very nature of creativity is
    that it constantly renews itself.

    However, it is probably also true that the ability to shoot more
    pictures for less cost can encourage sloppy photography, and no doubt
    there are many who take that approach. (To be fair, there are those
    who also take that approach with film, but at a greater cost per image
    in terms of consumable materials.) The point crb didn't seem to
    understand is that this is not a function of the medium, but rather of
    the photographer. No matter what the format, taking a hundred
    pictures without much thought, and expecting to find one that is good,
    is not a creative approach. Digital makes it easier to take a
    hundred pictures without changing film. So what? That's irrelevant.

    This all begs the question of, "What is creative?" Crb's objection
    was that you can go to an online photo sharing site and see lots of
    pictures that look similar to other pictures, therefore proving there
    is no creativity. What about that?

    I think it is wrong to dismiss someone's work as not creative just
    because it looks like something that has been done before. By that
    thinking, *everything* has already been done before and there is
    nothing new to be done. So what if a photograph of a building against
    a cloudy sky looks like other pictures of buildings against cloudy
    skies made by thousands of other photographers over the past several
    decades? As long as it was something seen, captured and/or created
    by the photographer, then it is creative. How can we say something we
    create is not creative just because someone created something similar
    under other circumstances?

    If anyone is into classical music, Antonio Vivaldi was accused of
    having everything he composed sounding alike. However, each piece he
    wrote is still unique and a joy to listen to, even though it has
    similarities to other compositions. The same could be said about
    Mozart. Or Mick Jagger.

    However, that is not the same thing as imitating the work of others as
    a substitute for creativity. If we go to the same spot that Ansel
    Adams stood, at the same time of year, using a camera with the same
    angle of view, under the same weather conditions, etc, as when he
    made one of his famous images; THAT would be very uncreative because
    we would be trying to duplicate what someone else had uniquely done.
    But if we had never seen an Ansel Adams print and happened to come
    upon the same scene and photographed it in a similar way because
    that's how we saw it; then that would be every bit as creative as the
    original. It is creative by the very act of creating it.

    Drb's apparent dismissal of digital being most suitable for greeting
    cards, photojournalism and magazine ads misses the point. All
    photography is creative, the end use of the photograph doesn't really
    define that. If digital allows more people to create photographs,
    then creativity expands. If digital allows people to experiment more
    as they develop their own style, then so much the better.

    At the end of the day, it's not about the number of pictures you
    shoot, but the actual images you create. Weeding out the good from
    the bad has always been a part of photography, even film. Anyone who
    has done darkroom work knows exactly what a contact sheet is.

    So I wish drb well in his pursuit of creativity. We may be f***ing
    idiots in his mind and he doesn't care what the f*** Ansel Adams did,
    but don't let that stop you from making creative images with your
    digital slr's.

    The above is my own simpleminded opinion, of course. :)

    smb, Nov 14, 2006
  18. cfb

    Salty Dog Guest

    I understand perfectly what cfb meant; I just disagree with his "one
    size fits all" reasoning.

    It may sound way off topic, but when I was a kid I learned to be a very
    good shot. On my twelfth birthday I was given a .410 shotgun and a .22
    bolt action rifle. For a few days I had a ball, setting up and shooting
    targets, but wasn't very effective as a marksman. My grandfather then
    took away the .22 repeater and replaced it with a single shot. The .410
    already was a single shot weapon. He also took away the ammunition.
    After school each day I could decide on which weapon, then I was given
    one round and allowed to hunt rabbits (we would eat any that I shot).
    With only one round I was very reluctant to fire until I had the perfect
    shot - waiting until tomorrow for my next chance didn't appeal. Before
    that when a saw a rabbit or a fox I would start blazing away, often
    missing entirely.

    I am still an excellent marksman, something I doubt would have happened
    if I had access to unlimited ammunition like many of my friends.

    If we were all kids with cameras, I think that his reasoning might have
    merit. We are adults and can avoid childish/childlike responses, can
    learn to take care - abide by rules, apply good technique etc., and as
    such, his reasoning doesn't apply to all. It may apply to some, to
    himself apparently. I see similar arguments in many areas of life. Some
    dieters believe that the only way to lose weight is to have a home
    devoid of all tempting foods. I believe that is nonsense, and that self
    discipline is the best approach.

    I am in my early fifties and have owned and regularly used a camera
    since about eight years of age. I bought my first "good" camera, a Nikon
    F SLR in Hong Kong on my first visit (I am ex Navy) and have been
    using an SLR ever since, both Nikon and Minolta systems. I became a
    journalist after leaving the Navy and bought a Titanium bodied Nikon F2
    which I still use - though not very often nowadays. I have slowly moved
    from experimenting with digital to mostly using digital over the past
    four or five years. Now with relatively inexpensive large sensor DSLRs
    there hardly seems to be any real reason to use film. I have given up my
    darkroom and equipment - it was wasting space - and now rely on a lab on
    those occasions when I do shoot film.

    Both mediums have merit, the one that is most often overlooked is the
    competency of the photographer. You should use whatever is going to
    allow you to effectively use your skill and experience to produce the
    best results.

    I have found that digital photography and Photoshop have increased my
    enthusiasm, made photography more fun, far more interesting. I certainly
    have not experienced a drop in the quality of my work. I will now
    sometimes shoot with the express intention of using Photoshop to
    complete an effect that I am trying for, not just as a method of
    correcting errors or changing depth of field etc. With the recent
    purchase of a very high (optical) resolution scanner with slide and
    negative capabilities I have been enthusiastically dragging out film
    taken or owned by long dead great grandparents, grandparents and
    parents. Some of the negatives taken with those old large format cameras
    on their huge tripods have remarkable clarity and detail when scanned
    and explored in Photoshop.

    I don't disparage anyone for their preferences, film or digital,
    brunettes or redheads, but I do have a problem with closed minds and
    arrogant assumptions that what personally applies to one individual must
    automatically apply to all others.


    Salty Dog, Nov 15, 2006
  19. cfb

    jeremy Guest

    You wrote a very nice article, and if everyone would just discuss the
    equipment, rather than take cheap shots at the posters, this NG would be a
    much more productive place.

    It seems that half of all the posts end up revolving around the "Film vs.
    Digital" debate, which has been argued to death already. It gets boring . .

    I have continued to shoot primarily film because of the joy that I get from
    working with my 30+ year old, non-plastic equipment. There is something
    about the feel of heavier, more substantial camera bodies and lenses that
    just is not there when using plastic-bodied, fully-automated gear. My only
    observation is that there are far too many younger photographers that have
    never even had the experience of using that equipment, and who are somewhat
    deprived for it.
    jeremy, Nov 15, 2006
  20. cfb

    smb Guest

    Hey Salty,

    I agree completely with your assessment.

    You and I have very similar backgrounds and age... except I was Air
    Force instead of Navy, I spent my overseas time in Greece instead of
    the Far East, and in the "old days" Canon slr's were my first good
    cameras. I do use a Nikon now (D200), very nice piece of equipment.
    I can't remember the last time I shot a roll of film, and I don't have
    any plans to do so.

    One thing I've found use for some of my old darkroom equipment is
    this: I have tons of b&w negatives from my Pentax 6x7 that I put in
    my old enlarger's negative carrier to hold flat while I dupe them with
    the D200 and macro lens. I can invert and tweak them in Photoshop,
    and the results are quite good. My only dilemma is, do I call what
    results the product of film or digital photography? :)

    smb, Nov 17, 2006
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