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Thread: Film vs. Digital?

  1. #81

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    179

    Re: Film vs. Digital?

    Well, this thread is old at this point, but I thought I would add to it anyway.

    1) First of all, let me get one thing out of the way: Jerry, you make great photos.

    2) On the topic of spray and pray, I thought that this was what happened when you stagger into the bathroom at home after a long night out drinking, under some pressure to unload a bit, and discover to your dismay that the lightbulb is dead. Thinking about how your wife will react the next morning, should you miss, you...

    Anyway, Jerry, I find it surprising that while you appear to find spray and pray so distasteful in photography, you embrace it in communication. You have posted the same topic to thephotoforum.com (5), DPReview.com (20), fredmiranda.com (8), modelmayhem.com (85), here on largeformatphotography.com (10), facebook, twitter, and probably many other sites I am missing here.

    The numbers in the brackets are the total number of posts you have made on each of those sites. The largest of these, 85, is probably barely enough to get you out of the newbie category, for those forums which have such categories. In other words, you are not part of any of these communities to any significant extent, yet entered them all and pushed your piece. In many followup posts you added further links to yourself, your site, your youtube appearances, and so on.

    Personally, I don't find this impressive. It has the distinct feel of someone crassly marketing themselves without any care for the people they are talking at.

    3) The article's contents are nothing new. Large format photography has always been about discipline, pace and thought. Smaller format photography has always been about convenience, portability, faster reaction times, and so on. Photographers who have embraced multiple formats have always been able to take the best aspects from each and become more well-rounded photographers.

    Your criticisms about spray-n-pray shooting probably held true for people using film in the early days of photography, and I am sure that if the web archives reached back that far, we could google and find people using wet-plate techniques criticising the newcomers for their poor discipline, inferior technique, high shooting volume, and so on. Then someone wise would come along, proclaim that he used both, and that this helped him to bring the advantages of one to the other.

    4) This thread has become side-tracked a bit, I feel, into bashing the spray-n-pray photographers, but while there is a downside to s-n-p, there is also an upside. I don't practice it myself, but there is a kind of high-speed fashion photography where this approach is exactly right. Not every kind, but at least one kind. The photographers engages the subject, gets him/her to smile and move just right, squeezes off 5 shots, and engages them again. The first shot might be a dud because the subject blinked, but by the 3rd shot the pose is perfect. Just because someone uses motorized cameras does not mean that they disconnect from their subject. It is not slow, methodical, lumbering, but fast-paced, action-packed, energetic, and it is just as valid a form of photography as using a hand-hold meter and a camera which takes 10-20 minutes to set up for one shot. S-n-p is not my kind of photography, but I understand that it gets results. In the hands of a good photographer.

    In fact, I would not call it spray-n-pray, but action photography. It could be animals or people, or anything else which moves fast. If the action is furious, then squeezing off 5-10 shots can net you a better image. No one holds down the button and "films" the scene anyway, it is all about getting that one perfect moment which is impossible to perfectly anticipate in time.

    ---

    Anyway, that was my opinion, and just that, only an opinion. Now I'll slip back to my observer's seat.

  2. #82
    ARS KC2UU
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Morristown, NJ USA
    Posts
    740

    Re: Film vs. Digital?

    I made a comment earlier in this thread about being a spray and pray photographer myself.

    With 35mm, MF, and LF photography I sometimes tend to do this. One of my favorite times of day is sunset and I often plan out diligently when and where to be and what films I will use as the sunset progresses. Then when the time comes it is indeed spray and pray. When I was doing this with 35mm many years back, I used a motor winder and bracketed profusely, sometimes running through 2 or more rolls as the sunset or sunrise progressed. As I go back to these rolls today I am glad that I did because each frame is subtly different, even given that the tripod position never changed. And some of the frames in the sequence simply stand out as far more beautiful than the others.

    Here is an example of one I did in MF last week. It was the last shot on a ho-hum roll that had me thinking the whole roll was a waste of time. That was of course until I got this last frame on the scanner. Then I saw that it was well worth the effort and when I return to do the scene again in LF I will make sure to use that specific exposure when the sky reaches the same eV value and make the LF improvement on my 6x8-cm frame.

    So yes I am a spray and pray photographer and I am not ashamed.... Bob G.
    All natural images are analog. But the retina converts them to digital on their way to the brain.

  3. #83
    ARS KC2UU
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Morristown, NJ USA
    Posts
    740

    Re: Film vs. Digital?

    P.S. Here is another frame from my 35mm days that just crossed my scanner. Frame 3 out of roll 2 with half a roll more that followed as the sun rose above the world trade towers. And today I realize it is a scene that no-one will ever be able to duplicate because the towers are gone. And I have over 50-frames documenting the incredible sunrise on that day.

    Not a bad showing for the spray and pray technique. Enjoy. Bob G.
    All natural images are analog. But the retina converts them to digital on their way to the brain.

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