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sanking
31-Aug-2015, 08:05
Some may find this article interesting.


http://time.com/4003527/future-of-photography/

I found this observation from the article illuminating.

"Digital capture quietly but definitively severed the optical connection with reality, that physical relationship between the object photographed and the image that differentiated lens-made imagery and defined our understanding of photography for 160 years. The digital sensor replaced to optical record of light with a computational process that substitutes a calculated reconstruction using only one third of the available photons. That’s right, two thirds of the digital image is interpolated by the processor in the conversion from RAW to JPG or TIF. It’s reality but not as we know it."

Some of the implications apply, it seems to me, not only with digital capture, but anytime analog capture is digitized.


Sandy

Dan Fromm
31-Aug-2015, 08:32
Sandy, do you really take that nonsense seriously?

Kevin Crisp
31-Aug-2015, 08:36
This sounds a little like Neil Young's rant against MP3's.

Sal Santamaura
31-Aug-2015, 08:38
Two things about the article jump out.

First, the main problem revealed by its thrust is that we're still using the term "photography." If (and I didn't research all the detailed technical points) there's so much different about modern imaging methods, it seems a new descriptor for them would be appropriate. "Computography" or something like that.

Second, I found this quote to be key:


"...isolating ourselves in an historical backwater of communication, using an interesting but quaint visual language removed from the cultural mainstream..."

Since childhood, I've been removed from the cultural mainstream. It's a very comfortable place for me, one that feels quite natural.

Carry on. :)

Bruce Barlow
31-Aug-2015, 09:12
Since childhood, I've been removed from the cultural mainstream. It's a very comfortable place for me, one that feels quite natural.

Carry on. :)

+1

mdm
31-Aug-2015, 09:21
I think young people now are all doing exactly what Edward Weston was doing with his peppers, Caponigro with his apple, Adams with moonrise, Atget with old Paris, Sudek with a vase and window, Gursky with his 50 cent, the lady whose name escapes me with her film stills, the beautiful young thing with her selfies. Defining their reality. Reality has always been subjective, we were only pretending. Sometimes I am blown away by the visual discernment I see in the Instagram feeds of twenty something's. And by the crap that people calling themselves photographers regurgitate. I have no idea what I am trying to say with my photography, I am not trying to say something, but I have no doubt they say something, and it's their voice not mine. My photography is about loosing my voice and finding it at the same time. And painting with the palette of your choice, lf or iPhone, analog or hybrid or digital, paintbrush or tattoo gun. Is the medium still the message?

Sal Santamaura
31-Aug-2015, 09:59
...Reality has always been subjective...This is one example of something that's generally accepted by the cultural mainstream with which I strongly disagree and am far removed from.

Reality is completely objective. It's commonly denied and frequently not perceived, but it's nonetheless real. Perception, on the other hand, is subjective. :)

Michael R
31-Aug-2015, 11:01
It is not entirely nonsense. I've had several discussions about this with someone on another forum. My initial position was that any differences in the way film and digital sensors record are irrelevant because in the end ALL photographs are illusions/abstractions anyway. However I have since come to acknowledge the nature of digital "capture" does involve an additional layer of abstraction at the taking/recording stage vs film. It then becomes a philosophical discussion.

mdm
31-Aug-2015, 11:24
This is one example of something that's generally accepted by the cultural mainstream with which I strongly disagree and am far removed from.

Reality is completely objective. It's commonly denied and frequently not perceived, but it's nonetheless real. Perception, on the other hand, is subjective. :)

Religion, that's where you are heading, stay away. I will say though, take a look at the imagery in any church.

Sal Santamaura
31-Aug-2015, 11:47
Religion, that's where you are heading, stay away...I neither intended nor wrote anything about religion. The rest of your post #9, however, introduced that prohibited subject. It seems the reality is that you ought stay away from it here. :D

Heroique
31-Aug-2015, 11:59
Reality has always been subjective…


Reality is completely objective…

2,400 years later, and people are still at it.

mdm
31-Aug-2015, 12:00
Reality is a concept, an idea, a platonic ideal. Like a circle, triangle or square, find a real one, it's impossible, no such thing. It exists only in your mind, and tell me, is your mind objective, is mind objective? Go and stare at your reflection in water, like narcissus, and ponder reality. Echo, echo, poor echo.

Michael E
31-Aug-2015, 12:53
"Digital capture quietly but definitively severed the optical connection with reality"

No, it didn't. It changed photography less than many claim. As long as photons are recorded through a lens on a light sensitive surface, the basic principle stays intact. What is really changing the way we create and perceive pictures is the advancing CGI technology (and its use). Many images in advertising or movies have not been captured, have no "reality" in front of a lens. They are created on a computer, often using original product blueprints/design data as a skeleton. Technolgy has advanced so far that these images are hard or impossible to distinguish from photographs of real things. This is quickly changing the way we generate images and perceive images/photographs.

That smart phone camera "revolution" on the other hand is very similar to the changes that the introduction of the first Kodak cameras caused: Photography picks up volume and loses its exclusiveness.

pdh
31-Aug-2015, 13:10
It is not entirely I have since come to acknowledge the nature of digital "capture" does involve an additional layer of abstraction at the taking/recording stage vs film. It then becomes a philosophical discussion.

I think you've been led up the garden path a bit by that individual's apparently plausible "argument".

But these debates circle round and round. Entrenched positions are taken, buttressed by spurious but firmly adhered to arguments. You may as well be witnessing a "debate" about creationism and evolution.

The question that never seems to be adequately addressed is, if "digital" photography and "analogue" photography are truly so radically different ... What actually follows from that? What are the consequences?

Michael R
31-Aug-2015, 13:28
From a physical science perspective the argument is sound. Does it have consequences? I'll leave that to others to debate.

Sal Santamaura
31-Aug-2015, 13:33
2,400 years later, and people are still at it.


Reality is a concept, an idea, a platonic ideal. Like a circle, triangle or square, find a real one, it's impossible, no such thing. It exists only in your mind, and tell me, is your mind objective, is mind objective? Go and stare at your reflection in water, like narcissus, and ponder reality. Echo, echo, poor echo.Yep, still at the philosophical navel-contemplating babble. Imagine how advanced humanity could have been if those millennia and that energy had instead been spent on positive, reality-based endeavors. :D :D

Iluvmyviewcam
31-Aug-2015, 16:43
Yep, still at the philosophical navel-contemplating babble. Imagine how advanced humanity could have been if those millennia and that energy had instead been spent on positive, reality-based endeavors. :D :D


Well, you got to understand the LF mentality...anal and nitpicky. The small format photog, especially the street and doc photog is much looser and freer - they are only looking to be marginally perfect. The LF mentality tries to be 99% perfect. That is the problem.

Here is the 'reality' guys. By the time the LF takes off the lens cap and farts this shot would be gone...

http://img15.deviantart.net/3fbf/i/2015/007/d/9/deer_still_life_2014_daniel_d__teoli_jr__by_ilovemycam-d8cy3rw.jpg

My advice...split hairs less...press the button more. (If your using air old pneumatic shutter, then just take a deep breath and squeeze!)

Sal Santamaura
31-Aug-2015, 17:07
Well, you got to understand the LF mentality...anal and nitpicky...The LF mentality tries to be 99% perfect. That is the problem...It might be a problem for some, but it's a goal for many. Especially those here at a large format photography site. :)


...Here is the 'reality' guys. By the time the LF takes off the lens cap and farts this shot would be gone...The reality is that's not a shot one typically attempts using large format. I suggest striving to use appropriate technology.

LabRat
31-Aug-2015, 20:09
Some may find this article interesting.


http://time.com/4003527/future-of-photography/

I found this observation from the article illuminating.

"Digital capture quietly but definitively severed the optical connection with reality, that physical relationship between the object photographed and the image that differentiated lens-made imagery and defined our understanding of photography for 160 years. The digital sensor replaced to optical record of light with a computational process that substitutes a calculated reconstruction using only one third of the available photons. That’s right, two thirds of the digital image is interpolated by the processor in the conversion from RAW to JPG or TIF. It’s reality but not as we know it."

Some of the implications apply, it seems to me, not only with digital capture, but anytime analog capture is digitized.


Sandy

When was a photograph ever reality!?!!! If someone took a picture (even in ULF) of the Umpire State Building, and showed it to someone else, it's not the building, it is a photograph (of the building) they are holding in their hands...

Granted, it is almost SOP to rework images via PS these days, so that would be even further be removed from what was "seen", and entered into an image process...

But there is the mind/eye of a photographer who can explore what is there, that can open up new ideas (without doctoring the photos)...

So maybe we need more photographers with "vision"... And less "high tech", to produce photographs... We all have more than enough stuff to do it...

Oh no, is Art & Photography "DEAD" (again)!?!!!!

Steve K

fishbulb
1-Sep-2015, 08:13
Agree with Steve. Photography of any type has a tenuous connection with reality at best.

If it was the late 1800s and people were making the first color photos, I'm sure someone would be ranting about how it has "definitively severed the optical connection with reality" because of the three-color process and triple negative.

Sal Santamaura
1-Sep-2015, 08:33
When was a photograph ever reality!?!!!...None of my previous posts in this thread discussing whether reality is subjective or objective were related to photographs. While potentially subject to forensic analysis when seeking to determine facts about the reality they were exposed to, original film-based images are only "reality" insofar as they're real objects themselves.


...If someone took a picture (even in ULF) of the Umpire State Building...I don't normally photograph architecture, but might find shooting that structure interesting. Where can it be found? In Cooperstown, NY, near the Baseball Hall of Fame? :D

Heroique
1-Sep-2015, 11:26
Three fun baby steps to help Sal and the journalist in Sandy's article with elementary philosophical thought:

1) Define reality in two or three sentences. (And no more "reality is what's real" circles.)

2) Name one philosopher (just one) who disagrees – Western or Eastern tradition, ancient or modern.

3) Provide one example of reality that is not a physical object.

You may use Google and Wikipedia to help. ;^)

pdh
1-Sep-2015, 11:49
3) Provide one example of reality that is not a physical object.



my dreams ...

Sal Santamaura
1-Sep-2015, 13:06
Three fun baby steps to help Sal...with elementary philosophical thought...Your snide post is not pleasant. You confuse my disdain for philosophical babble with ignorance of its history and content. I've been thoroughly "educated" on the whole mess and still consider it totally useless.


...1) Define reality in two or three sentences. (And no more "reality is what's real" circles.)
2) Name one philosopher (just one) who disagrees – Western or Eastern tradition, ancient or modern...
You've proven my point that the entire field is and always has been comprised of endless, meaningless babble. Of course they disagree. They're not part of the reality-based community.


...3) Provide one example of reality that is not a physical object...Simple. It's an objectively observable reality that philosophy is a waste of time.

Peter De Smidt
1-Sep-2015, 13:42
Simple. It's an objectively observable reality that philosophy is a waste of time.

Which is a philosophical position. :)

In it's widest sense, 'philosophy' simply means 'world view.' It consists of many things, such as our ideas of self, value, reality, and many other things. We all have one, even Sal. I emphasize with Sal that some paths that academic philosophy have taken aren't very useful, except for getting tenure.

Sal Santamaura
1-Sep-2015, 14:02
...some paths that academic philosophy have taken aren't very useful, except for getting tenure.Inculcating it to subsequent generations of philosobabblers is the only practical use for that "discipline." :D

RSalles
1-Sep-2015, 17:40
Me think the point argued by Sal has been a subject of "analysis ad nauseam" by many: Bacon and Sagan, for instance, and also making almost the same mistake they did, IMHO:
You're talking about the nature of the reality (Metaphysics), one branch of Philo, but skipping Dialectic, Logic, and Ethics, which are also fundamentals of philo, and I'm sure few of us keep the point of view that logic and ethics is a complete lost of time, more or less what Sagan argued against psychiatry...
The point you're talking about has almost no connection with philosophy as a complete knowledge "entity", but only with one "branch".

Someone argued about "religion" being a subject restricted as a subject of discussion in this forum, but Metaphysics also could be - as religion being a metaphysics component, or what?

Cheers,

Renato

LabRat
1-Sep-2015, 19:02
I don't normally photograph architecture, but might find shooting that structure interesting. Where can it be found? In Cooperstown, NY, near the Baseball Hall of Fame? :D[/QUOTE]

Nah, I was watching the cartoon "Baseball Bugs" the other night... The top of that building was the place where Bugs made that epic catch that won the game...

But, if you would like to find it, the guy in front of the general store gave me detailed directions... "Go a few country miles north of town, go over hill and dale, and make a left where the old schoolhouse used to be, and you can't miss it"... And take the long way home, 'cuz you find the best stuff when lost!!!!

Steve K

Willie
2-Sep-2015, 01:17
Two things about the article jump out.

First, the main problem revealed by its thrust is that we're still using the term "photography." If (and I didn't research all the detailed technical points) there's so much different about modern imaging methods, it seems a new descriptor for them would be appropriate. "Computography" or something like that.

Second, I found this quote to be key:


"...isolating ourselves in an historical backwater of communication, using an interesting but quaint visual language removed from the cultural mainstream..."

Since childhood, I've been removed from the cultural mainstream. It's a very comfortable place for me, one that feels quite natural.

Carry on. :)

Have an Uncle who labels his digital output "Pixelography" and the prints he sells from it "Pixelographs".

rbultman
2-Sep-2015, 03:06
I hang my C-41 negatives on the wall in special back lit frames so that I can view them. They are like little light tables on the wall. I do this so I can view these reality-based images in their purest form.

To me a C-41 negative is no more real than a digital image file on a computer. They only make sense to me when they are rendered in some final form as they were meant to be viewed, either digitally or on a print.

Digital is just another imaging system. When you start talking about which is more real, it gets deep pretty fast.

Regards,
Rob

Roger Cole
2-Sep-2015, 03:41
I thought I agreed with Sal when he was disagreeing that reality is subjective and insisting that something we might call "objective reality" exists. On board so far.

But dismissing all of philosophy I can't agree with. What I thought I was agreeing with is, as Peter points out, a philosophical position, and part of Sal's (and mine for this bit) world view.

hoffner
2-Sep-2015, 05:18
I've been thoroughly "educated" on the whole mess and still consider it totally useless.


Simple. It's an objectively observable reality that philosophy is a waste of time.

Hope you will not stop feeding us that simplicity.

Jac@stafford.net
2-Sep-2015, 08:18
I have two professional documentarian associates, one which produces quite ordinary work recognizable to almost anyone in North America and most world-wide. The other makes singular images which are recognizable in the same way, and while his works are straightforward they extraordinary in framing, sometimes astounding, especially in series.

Each is trying to simply inform us, to show the world. I very much appreciate their work.

The profound difference between their work and the free-flowing, free-falling CGI manipulated or created imagery is nonetheless exciting. I find it liberating - as long as I can still find work that informs me of the rest of the world.

Sal Santamaura
2-Sep-2015, 09:39
Hope you will not stop feeding us that simplicity.One of the most important things someone can learn in this life is to employ an appropriate level of complexity when analyzing and dealing with issues/situations. Concerning the extensive mental masturbation of "formal philosophy" as developed, documented and practiced over the millennia, I contend that simplicity would have been and still is a much more appropriate approach.

hoffner
2-Sep-2015, 09:47
You rarely disappoint.

rbultman
2-Sep-2015, 09:57
Philosophy is good to a point until it begins to interfere with pragmatism.

Peter De Smidt
2-Sep-2015, 10:06
One of the most important things someone can learn in this life is to employ an appropriate level of complexity when analyzing and dealing with issues/situations. Concerning the extensive mental masturbation of "formal philosophy" as developed, documented and practiced over the millennia, I contend that simplicity would have been and still is a much more appropriate approach.

Socrates would agree. Imo, he'd hold that much of academic philosophy has been taken over by sophists, but that's not all that philosophy is or can be.

hoffner
2-Sep-2015, 10:07
Philosophy is good to a point until it begins to interfere with pragmatism.

Pragmatism itself is philosophy, how can they interfere? Please explain.

rbultman
2-Sep-2015, 10:28
Pragmatism itself is philosophy, how can they interfere? Please explain.

I'm clearly not educated enough to even answer your question nor should I have replied to this thread in the first place.

I meant pragmatism in what I would call the laymen's sense, not in the sense of the philosophical tradition. The point at which philosophy is no longer pragmatic is the point at which it no longer helps me to get something done or to create a better image.

After spending 2 minutes reading the Wikipedia entry on philosophical pragmatism, I realize that I am basically a pragmatist in the philosophical sense. From Wikipedia: "pragmatists consider thought an instrument or tool for prediction, problem solving and action. Pragmatists contend that most philosophical topics—such as the nature of knowledge, language, concepts, meaning, belief, and science—are all best viewed in terms of their practical uses and successes."

I lose interest in some of the arguments here and on other forums discussing "what is a photograph" or "does a digital image represent reality." The discussion, for me, goes off into the weeds and does not help me to understand photography or how to make a better image. In my view they are akin to the arguments regarding how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, ultimately pointless, IMO.

Perhaps a better way to have phrased my post to which you replied would have been, "Some philosophical discussions are good to a point until they begin to interfere with my views as a pragmatist."

Regards,
Rob

hoffner
2-Sep-2015, 10:45
I understand. Philosophy is good only if it is the pragmatical philosophy. Simple.

rbultman
2-Sep-2015, 11:00
I understand. Philosophy is good only if it is the pragmatical philosophy. Simple.

Right. I'm like everyone else. I'm interested or agreeable until your philosophical world view disagrees substantially with mine, regardless of how we label ourselves.

I'm even willing to have philosophical arguments for arguments sake, even when they are no longer useful (pragmatic). That can be fun. However, some people can't recognize that there are different viewpoints and exhaustively try to convince you of theirs using the same arguments. That is when the discussion is no longer useful (fun) as it does not move forward.

Regards,
Rob

hoffner
2-Sep-2015, 11:35
I'm interested or agreeable until your philosophical world view disagrees substantially with mine, regardless of how we label ourselves.

However, some people can't recognize that there are different viewpoints and exhaustively try to convince you of theirs using the same arguments.
Regards,
Rob

Agreed, it's like having a cake and eat it.

Randy Moe
2-Sep-2015, 11:42
Evolution begins with wild card

Crazy

Heroique
2-Sep-2015, 12:03
"Seek simplicity but distrust it" is, I think, a useful, two-step way to be philosophical in any pursuit – intellectual or practical, elementary or complex.

I've always advocated K.I.S.S. principles for LF.

The imperative verb "keep" implies a healthy, ongoing measure of distrust.

The adverb "simple" describes the least amount of complexity that satisfies one's requirements.

And the noun "stupid" is a person (temporarily) lost to philosophical thought.

I accept but distrust this simple explanation. :cool:

Sal Santamaura
2-Sep-2015, 12:26
...the noun "stupid" is a person (temporarily) lost to philosophical thought...Even less pleasant than your post #22.

mdm
2-Sep-2015, 12:39
Go and make some photos, or print something, or develop that film that's been sitting in a holder since last year, fellas.

Heroique
2-Sep-2015, 13:26
"Seek simplicity but distrust it."

BTW, I should add this is Alfred North Whitehead's tip.

An English mathematician, as most here know, with extraordinarily complex and engaging thoughts about reality – expressed with the greatest amount of simplicity suitable to his ideas. A master, that is, of numbers and language.

Reminds me of determining the simplest camera movements to get the most difficult and elusive of my landscapes on the GG!

dwross
2-Sep-2015, 13:58
Go and make some photos, or print something, or develop that film that's been sitting in a holder since last year, fellas.



+1 (The only way to find your voice is to practice speaking. We're too lucky to be arguing over this kind of thing. We have cameras help us speak.)

Randy Moe
2-Sep-2015, 14:29
+1 (The only way to find your voice is to practice speaking. We're too lucky to be arguing over this kind of thing. We have cameras help us speak.)

:).

Heroique
2-Sep-2015, 17:01
+1 (The only way to find your voice is to practice speaking. We're too lucky to be arguing over this kind of thing. We have cameras help us speak.)

The only way? "One way" or even "The principal way" would be better in my book.

Otherwise, one denies reading, listening, watching, sharing, thinking, debating, and yes, philosophizing about LF, as helpful means to improve field work, darkroom work, scanning work, exhibition work.

One might describe these efforts as "auxiliary," "tangential," "supportive," or "educational," but no matter the name, I personally view them as indispensable, not superfluous, when seeking a balance that best serves LF work.

Personal examples: reading AA's famous books + participating in the best threads on this forum have proved immeasurably valuable to my practical work and imaginative vision. A more specific example: forum posts by the late Ted Harris have made me a much better scanner, and therefore a much better (visualizing) photographer.

In a phrase, LF is more than a camera.

Or better, LF is more than a bearded guy applying camera movements. ;^)

Toyon
2-Sep-2015, 18:22
The three commandments of digivangelism:

1) It is forbidden to criticize or negatively compare analog vs digital photography.

2) It is forbidden to not mention the equivalency of digital and analog photography (as in "its all photography")

3) It is forbidden to offend a digital or hybrid photographer by mentioning items #1 and #2.

Sal Santamaura
3-Sep-2015, 09:34
...LF is more than a camera...In objective reality, at this site, it's not. It's a nominally 4x5 or larger camera. By definition.


...LF is more than a bearded guy applying camera movements...More snide. Doesn't add to the discussion.

Heroique
3-Sep-2015, 11:43
Here's a fun poll that I naturally remember to help people recognize the humor about beards around here:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?93440-A-poll-about-LF-men-amp-their-beards

According to the poll, if you're an LFer, chances are about 50% you have a beard; but the hilarious comments are even better than poll results. :D

Peter De Smidt
3-Sep-2015, 12:50
http://www.ted.com/talks/donald_hoffman_do_we_see_reality_as_it_is/transcript?language=en

Sal Santamaura
3-Sep-2015, 13:30
Here's a fun poll...Wasn't fun/humorous when you started it. Isn't now either. Adds nothing to the discussion.

Randy Moe
3-Sep-2015, 17:42
http://www.ted.com/talks/donald_hoffman_do_we_see_reality_as_it_is/transcript?language=en

Right there, I think.

Heroique
3-Sep-2015, 18:10
http://www.ted.com/talks/donald_hoffman_do_we_see_reality_as_it_is/transcript?language=en

This may be the most entertaining link I've ever followed outside the confines of this forum – thank you Peter.

For anyone curious, it's a lively speech about vision-based consciousness and evolution; that may sound daunting, but click it and you get a 15-minute magic carpet ride about the human mind.

My favorite moment is the speaker's suitable sum-up: "Dare to recognize that perception is not about seeing truth, it's about having kids."

After that article, one may never think in the same way about images on the GG – or digital capture, either.

r_a_feldman
4-Sep-2015, 12:27
“In the future, there will be no such thing as a ‘straight photograph’ … Digital capture quietly but definitively severed the optical connection with reality … The digital sensor replaced to (sic) optical record of light with a computational process that substitutes a calculated reconstruction using only one third of the available photons.” - Stephen Mayes

I may be over-generalizing here, but art critics like to define new trends and make statements that can be seen as new and insightful. Much of what Stephen Mayes states should be pretty obvious to anyone with knowledge of photographic technique.

Digital imagery is inherently more open to manipulation than traditional photography, in as much as the light sensors must be read electronically and an image created from that data by a computer. But that does not mean that a digital image is any less a record of what we see as the “physical world” or “physical reality.”

A traditional photograph also uses only a partial sampling of the photons falling on the film as the basis of the image. Think here of grainy film or a low-resolution lens, or a photograph printed in a newspaper using a dot screen. Further, as a number of posts have pointed out, a photograph is a two-dimensional translation of the three-dimensional world; a black and white photograph further “sever[s] the optical connection with reality” by translating the different wavelengths of light that our eyes and brain interpret as colors into shades of grey.

Manipulation of images is not new. We all know that many traditional photographers (e.g., Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, as MDM noted in Post #6) manipulated photographs in the capture and/or printing. Photoshop allows one to do the dodging and burning, and cutting and retouching and multiple printing, in an easier and more reproducible way. But is it really such a sea change, as the Time article says?

What is newer and more interesting is Mayes’ discussion of digital imagery becoming more dynamic, where a static print can no longer capture all of the image. He suggests that images that incorporate multiple "dimensions" of data and can only be viewed by using a computer (and a smart phone is a computer with cellular communications capabilities) is the wave of the future. That could be the “Next Revolution in Photography,” but I doubt that, as he argues, “In the future, there will be no such thing as a ‘straight photograph’.”

rbultman
5-Sep-2015, 05:27
The article ref'd in the OP is a load of bollocks wrapped in hyperbole. It is incoherent. I can only summarize it as: Technology changes. People find ways to incorporate different kinds of technologies into new packages. This trend will continue. Yay!

Going from some static image to dynamic is, what, a movie? I traffic camera? A slide show? A Lytro 'slice' show where the point of focus is varied over time?

People may want something that is dynamic but that is also still recognizable in a conventional sense. I doubt very seriously that people want to take pictures of their babies using the latest Cubist camera.

The article by Taylor Davidson is the better article. He mentions the Lytro which is, IMO, a true imaging innovation, something that is a completely different method of image capture than what came before. (Some may argue that the digital sensor fits this description too, but its ability to capture information is much closer to film in that each image has a single point of focus and depth of field.)

There is one sentence in Davidson's article that I take particular issue with: "The meaning of a photograph has changed alongside the behavior change: photos have become a form of communication, and the unending flow of imagery has changed everything about how we interpret and value photographs." Photos have always been a form of communication and their flow has been unending. Technology has made the production rate of photos much higher and less costly. You could argue that sites like Snapchat changed the way we value photos. Photos sent via Snapchat are meant to be ephemeral, not timeless. Perhaps prior to digital devices people valued photos more highly because of the cost of producing them. Now that they essentially cost nothing, it is much easier to communicate using a picture instead of words. Pictures taken and used in this way are more like jokes told at the water cooler. They are timely, not timeless and are not meant as works of art.

It was not the advent of smart phone apps (software) that present some sort of shift in photography. Software has been eating the camera since the first microcontroller appeared in them. For many years, software in cameras amounted to higher levels of convenience, exposure determination systems that were less easily fooled by difficult lighting situation, etc, and auto focus. Image stabilization was the next big step and required a combination of hardware and software to work. (I'm discounting here the image processing in digital cameras as a necessary by-product of converting the data captured by the image sensor into usable images.) Software can now in-camera, correct for lens distortion making the output of mirrorless cameras rival pro DSLRs. In almost all cases, the initial software performing these functions did so relatively clumsily but have improved over successive generations of products.

The same can be said of the quality of the smartphone camera. The first were relatively crude. The cell phone is now killing the P&S market, not arguably because of the apps that are available but because of the convenience (one device, sharing) and acceptable quality of the images to most people. It is interesting that many of the apps that manipulate images give them a retro look (sepia) or degrade them in a Lomo way.

If we hadn't invented the canvas and roofs to protect them, people would still be creating images in caves that are meant to be lasting. Since the cave painting days, it has all been about making images more cheaply, more conveniently, and making them more easily seen.

Regards,
Rob

pdh
5-Sep-2015, 05:59
rbultman, I like you ...

John Kasaian
5-Sep-2015, 07:35
This is one example of something that's generally accepted by the cultural mainstream with which I strongly disagree and am far removed from.

Reality is completely objective. It's commonly denied and frequently not perceived, but it's nonetheless real. Perception, on the other hand, is subjective. :)
I quite agree with you, Sal. We perceive what we photograph, while making the physical photograph is indeed a reality.
If one's perceived photographic reality doesn't perceive the venomous snake, that doesn't mean the hazard isn't a reality.

Peter De Smidt
5-Sep-2015, 07:49
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hoffner
5-Sep-2015, 08:00
Hope strongly Don Quixote will come soon to enlighten us. He knows how to fight for the reality.

Sal Santamaura
5-Sep-2015, 08:28
Hope strongly Don Quixote will come soon to enlighten us...Some people are beyond enlightenment.

hoffner
5-Sep-2015, 09:44
Some people are beyond enlightenment.

I do agree with you.

Sal Santamaura
5-Sep-2015, 10:13
I do agree with you.I doubt it. Those people you consider beyond enlightenment are very likely not the ones I'm referring to.

Kirk Gittings
5-Sep-2015, 11:46
Digital.........."It’s reality but not as we know it."

And film is? That notion was destroyed long before digital raised its "ugly" head.

John Kasaian
5-Sep-2015, 12:41
I think photography can be employed to record what is physically real within the media's capabilities to do so. A photo finish at a race track, for example. Certainly it is that representation of reality which HABS/HAERS as well as evidence photography seeks to record---a perception driven more by physical evidence than an emotional desire, perhaps?
But I didn't think that was the OP's intent, was it?

Heroique
5-Sep-2015, 12:47
For those who don't read Cervantes and spread misleading rumors about that loveable genius, Don Quixote:


"How," Don Quixote asks his squire (i.e., us), "How is it possible for you to have accompanied me all this time without coming to perceive that all the things that have to do with knight errantry appear to be mad, foolish, and fantastic. …not that they are so in reality: it is simply that there are a lot of enchanters going about among us, changing things and giving them a deceitful appearance, directing them as suits their fancy, depending on whether they wish to favor or destroy us."

Don Quixote is a crazy sane man whose creator once again outwits us and expands our knowledge of reality and illusion, just a little more.

We miss him here, indeed.

Peter Gomena
5-Sep-2015, 13:11
Going back to Sandy's original post, I would argue with the quoted article in that only some percentage of the light that enters a film camera is captured by a negative, and only some percentage of that information is transmitted to a print. Add the photographer's interpretation/interpolation of what he wants to reveal and how he/she wants it to look, (photographer's brain as organic computer.) I don't see a lot of difference. Different tools, similar results, just different media. One is no more a reflection of reality than the other. It's just easier to manipulate images with software.

sanking
5-Sep-2015, 13:58
One of the obvious flaws in the reasoning of the article is that the link between photography and reality was lost a long time ago, in the early days of photography for that matter and long before digital. But that view does not appear to be held by some on this forum, at least from the comments here.

What got my interest in the article was the suggestion that the 2-D medium would be replaced with a new and more dynamic medium. I read the article shortly after watching a report on the action musical called "Terra Cotta Warrior 3-D" now being produced in Denver, which raises all sorts of issues about both the meaning of events, and how the events are told. If you have not heard of it, do a search on "terra cotta warriors 3D."

Sandy

Randy Moe
5-Sep-2015, 14:18
Yes, that is a beginning of change. 3D has been fascinating to some for a long time. Stereo image creation/viewing comes to mind. Virtual Reality (VR) has been improving. Holograms are old news. Ford Motor Co had Holographic full size 3d car modeling decades ago, which replaced clay modeling. It was top secret for a long time. The car was in the room, but you could not touch it.

I have seen interactive Live Dance performed in 2 locations and wall projected on 2 stage walls, 20 years ago.

We have computer aided surgery with 3d screens and Doctors running remote instruments. I think France is advanced in this.

I truly believe we soon will have images, sound transmitted or viewed inside our heads. No screen required.

Whenever I postulate the last thought, I lose my audience. :)

John Kasaian
5-Sep-2015, 15:19
Yes, that is a beginning of change. 3D has been fascinating to some for a long time. Stereo image creation/viewing comes to mind. Virtual Reality (VR) has been improving. Holograms are old news. Ford Motor Co had Holographic full size 3d car modeling decades ago, which replaced clay modeling. It was top secret for a long time. The car was in the room, but you could not touch it.

I have seen interactive Live Dance performed in 2 locations and wall projected on 2 stage walls, 20 years ago.

We have computer aided surgery with 3d screens and Doctors running remote instruments. I think France is advanced in this.

I truly believe we soon will have images, sound transmitted or viewed inside our heads. No screen required.

Whenever I postulate the last thought, I lose my audience. :)
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Glinda says: "Keep tight the things inside your head. Their magic must be very powerful or technologists wouldn't want to mess with them so bad."

Paul Metcalf
5-Sep-2015, 15:45
"It won’t be long before photographers are making images of what they know, rather than only what they see."

So I guess that's what is meant by "reality" nowadays.

I'm not sure how the 14 pictures at the end of the article relate. Of course I see and know nothing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmzsWxPLIOo

letchhausen
5-Sep-2015, 19:29
That article reminded me of the art critics in Artforum circa '99-'00 who were so sure that future of art was going to be web pages and all that physical mumbo jumbo would be done in ten years. It also reminds me of the "photography is dead" art crit obsessing in '08-'09 that sounded the death knell from digital. Funny that the Getty has a huge alt-process show up right now and paintings and sculptures still are being produced in abundance. Typical critics with their heads you know where. The truth of that matter is that, as several people here have pointed out, the change is in technology and I feel that digital imaging is a new medium and in some ways is being held back by the idea and structures of photography. The idea that this is the death of straight photography is ridiculous but tech nerds are the same guys that were positing that the internet circa 1999 was going to usher a new utopia of connectedness and understanding. Right. I saw Tacita Dean at Paris Photo LA this year and she discussed how as a film maker that her medium is 16mm film and that digital is no replacement because to her it's a different medium. She doesn't have a problem with people shooting digital video just is trying to save film so she can continue to work as an artist. See her web site: http://www.savefilm.org/

I think some of what's happening with digital imaging is interesting and like any medium most of it is utter rot. Same with painting, sculpture etc. Every medium has a specific meaning to the ideas that it is used to express. But I get tired of these guys decrying the death of something for sheer headline hyperbole. But then when photography came around it was supposed to be the death of painting so there is a long history of this sort of rant. Apparently the only thing that is unable to evolve is man. But hey, we're good at improving the prosthetic of technology.

jp
6-Sep-2015, 06:32
But I get tired of these guys decrying the death of something for sheer headline hyperbole.

That is an art form in itself. aka clickbaiting.

Kirk Gittings
6-Sep-2015, 10:18
yep.

Heroique
6-Sep-2015, 11:00
C'mon guys.

Let's not be too hard on the Time.com journalist.

After all, less extravagant claims and less fuzziness with big words ("reality") mean less ad revenue.

;^)

Randy Moe
6-Sep-2015, 12:36
139286
Glinda says: "Keep tight the things inside your head. Their magic must be very powerful or technologists wouldn't want to mess with them so bad."

Sci-Fi has been a good predictor of our future.

If we can imagine it, we can do it. Magical thinking...

To Infinity and Beyond!

I have never seen the movie which posited this paradox. :)