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Thread: A Short Jaunt to Antarctica

  1. #91

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    Re: A Short Jaunt to Antarctica

    The "Digi Freaks" are not photographers, they are "Snappers". They seem to have adopted the same attitude that the "Motordrive Loonies" adopted in the '70's, if I take hundreds of frames I'm gonna get a good one eventually.
    Frank Hurley did not have the "digies" advantages and needed to know how to use a field camera and achieve perfection by using the cameras movements and lenses to achieve some of the greatest images ever captured in the Antartic. The work of photographers as Hurley, J.M.Cameron, Louis Levey, Frank Meadow Sutcliff and so many of the pioneers and the later perfectionists (Adams, Link and a massive band of commercial photographers in the 50's, 60's & 70's) displays the advantage of using a view camera to capture the image as it is, in reality, through a lens, onto film. Not a second rate image that needs 5 hours of manipulation to "cosmetically improve it" in an overpriced digital manipulation programme that was initally written for the Graphic Arts Industry.
    Just an opinion,
    Pete.

  2. #92

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    Re: A Short Jaunt to Antarctica

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Watkins View Post
    Not a second rate image that needs 5 hours of manipulation to "cosmetically improve it" in an overpriced digital manipulation programme that was initally written for the Graphic Arts Industry.
    Just an opinion,
    Pete.
    I'm sorry, and darkroom work doesn't take hours? Ansel Adams was famous for making his images in the darkroom, some of his negs are reportedly very thin. Cartier Bresson said that he shot 2 rolls of film a day before breakfast, assuming he shot at other times of the day would you call him a snapper given the percentage of his known and iconic images relative to how much he must have shot to get there? Don't confuse your hate of digital with blindness to the realities...

  3. #93
    Doug Dolde
    Guest

    Re: A Short Jaunt to Antarctica

    Ben did you look at the images on his Amazon page? He took a Leice M8, a H2 with a Phase One P45 back, and a Canon 1Ds on his trip. I find it amazing what paltry shots he brought back for all that gear...or maybe he isn't showing his best work on his website...but then why wouldn't he?

  4. #94

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    Re: A Short Jaunt to Antarctica

    I did like Adrew Rodney's shots a lot better I have to admit! I've also thought for a while that his earlier stuff, before he started the mega bucks trips, is a lot better, perhaps more innocent, not trying so hard. I've felt that he's been going downhill for the past couple of years (with the exception of Bangladesh which was mainly documentary) but that is probably because he isn't concentrating on his own photography and is working to strict schedules, etc. His first trip to Iceland gave some incredible photos, the subsequent trips when he was taking groups, not so. Ditto Antartica (though I loved the penguin pool shot) and ditto China, Amazon, etc.

    I just think that he's trying too hard and showing stuff that would be better buried. I have a lot of respect for the guy, he's possibly the most hated individual in the photographic world, but some of his 'personal' work from 5 years ago thrashes his more recent and 'modern' style photography. Not to say that he isn't getting some incredible shots on these trips, but I only get 1 or so which catches my eye per trip. Maybe that is all he should be showcasing...

    Have you had a look at the recent work from Alain Briot who writes for the site? I can tell every single digital image on his page. They just look like they are trying too hard, using too much of the technology when they should be deleting half the layers used and just leaving it there! Since I got my 5D I found that the vast majority of images only needed some 3 layers from a RAW file to printable image. Doing much more than that is just overkill, starts looking unnatural. HDR looks horrific in almost every case, not like a 2D photograph. That said my B&W film scans need a hell of a lot of layers for all the dodging and burning, etc just as the negs need a lot of time in the darkroom...

  5. #95
    Doug Dolde
    Guest

    Re: A Short Jaunt to Antarctica

    Ben,

    Exactly. I could not have said it better myself. I have seen a few other photographers who post on the NPN forums who have also switched from medium format or 4x5 film to digital, most of them to a Canon 5D. There are a few that have made the switch with good results...and some whose film work was definately better.

    I'm not sure why this is. Digital is theoretically a better tool. I still use 4x5 tranny film because a) I get much better resolution than anything short of a P45, b) I can't afford a P45, and c) I really like the view camera process. My 4x5 and lenses are paid for and I get Imacon 949 scans done professionally for $14 each. But my volume is low. Getting 20 scans done a month means I have done a lot of shooting to have 20 portfolio grade shots.

    Yes Michael and Alain are both terrific at marketing. Alain is even selling his master files with all the layers...I think that's nuts but maybe it works for him. I also have seen the degradation of their work in moving to digital, more with Michael's than Alain's but both to be sure.

  6. #96

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    Re: A Short Jaunt to Antarctica

    Not sure that I agree that it is digital that has done it, MR's work now is shot in a far more 'modern' style, more trying to be arty than photography which is why I think that his work has been going downhill, Alains digital work is exactly the same compostion wise, just over post processed. I did wonder at the master file nonsense, he shouldn't have to 'prove' himself to anyone, it's the resulting image that counts not proving that how he got there was kosher, who is he trying to prove himself to anyway, it isn't snobby film only photographers that are buying his stuff...

    Maybe it's just that we are used to a photograph looking a certain way and the new style is jarring just because it's not what we grew up with, or maybe some photographers should be making digital images that look like photographs not computer art, don't think most people could tell which are the 35mm, medium format and digital images among my collection (www.bphotography.co.uk/fineart/fineart.htm sorry about the site, it's about to be majorly revamped) could they?

  7. #97

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    Re: A Short Jaunt to Antarctica

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dolde View Post
    I have seen a few other photographers who post on the NPN forums who have also switched from medium format or 4x5 film to digital, most of them to a Canon 5D. There are a few that have made the switch with good results...and some whose film work was definately better.

    I'm not sure why this is.
    It's most likely because they have not yet accomplished the same level of proficiency with their new tools (computer and software) as they had with their old tools (darkroom and chemistry). Which, when you think of it, should not be surprising at all, since most of them have invested at least a decade into mastering traditional darkroom vs. a year or two trying to learn how to do it on a computer.

    The fact that some people's computer skills suck, to put it charitably, does not mean that certain tasks cannot be done (better and more efficiently) on a computer, it simply means that they can't do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dolde View Post
    Digital is theoretically a better tool.
    Again, better for what? Blanket statements make little sense, no matter which way you aim them... Which technology is better for whom and for what can only be determined by each individual photographer, his level of skills, his needs and his means.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dolde View Post
    I still use 4x5 tranny film because a) I get much better resolution than anything short of a P45, b) I can't afford a P45, and c) I really like the view camera process. My 4x5 and lenses are paid for and I get Imacon 949 scans done professionally for $14 each. But my volume is low. Getting 20 scans done a month means I have done a lot of shooting to have 20 portfolio grade shots.
    Your reasoning makes perfect sense - for you. Any single reason of the three you cited is good enough. If you are happy with what you have why would you want something else, especially if you can't afford it.

    But for someone who can afford the digital back, who likes digital workflow and results better and who shoots high volume, going digital would make equally perfect sense.

    I really fail to understand why would someone else's choices and workstyle upset you so much that you would want to go out of their way simply to spit on their floor, so to speak. What's in it for you to feel so strongly and negatively about Reichmann's business?

    Is it because he is using digital or because he can afford it or is it because he is successful at it?

  8. #98

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    Re: A Short Jaunt to Antarctica

    I think Doug may be saying that the mindset when shooting with digital is different for some reason which makes the digital work of some photographers inferior to their film work.

    I could be wrong...

  9. #99

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    Re: A Short Jaunt to Antarctica

    I've been giving Michael R. the benefit of the doubt with regards to his pictures on his recent trips: maybe some locations don't lend themselves too well for photography, although I don't exactly believe that tenet myself. However, after seeing Andrew Rodney's pictures of the same place, and on the same trip (including an identical shot of dead trees on the river), um, well, they just make Michael's pictures seem awful by comparison (to me). I think it may be Michael's proclivity to look for abstracts, and how he manipulates his images, which always seem flat. In any case, Michael thinks highly of his own images, which is what matters most, I guess!

    Oh, I suppose it'll be polite to add a link to Mr. Andrew Rodney's pictures for those of you interested:

    http://digitaldog.net/ARsAmazonPicks
    Last edited by Rory_5244; 7-May-2007 at 18:26. Reason: Added link

  10. #100

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    Re: A Short Jaunt to Antarctica

    The TSA X-Ray inspectors in Antarctica are very rude.

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