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Thread: Is there any gratification in using the digital camera for convenience?

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    Is there any gratification in using the digital camera for convenience?

    I know that many digital photographers are excellent at what they do and are able to learn about the tools they are using in order to capture what they intended to capture. BUT, I also feel that even these very photographers take excessive advantage of post-processing in order to deal with issues in their files/exposures. It's not to say that all of them do this because the analog greats that moved over to digital "should" theoretically be just as careful in correctly exposing and making an image intended through their vision as they had done when they shot with film.

    With all of the power that post-processing allows/provides a person that shoots with a digital camera, one need only use the available resolution to do things like...

    -Major crops (cropping out only a tiny section of the image)
    -Apply all sorts of filters so the image looks however they want it to look
    -Stitch multiple shots together+alter the look so it looks like it was done with an MF/LF digital back.
    -Too much to list with all that a digital camera w/a computer can do.

    Is this convenience something that brings one happiness in the end with respect to how they got from and to the final print?

    My personal feelings reflect a question I was asked when I posted an image that I used VERY LITTLE post-processing on. If I never mentioned using any post-processing, I know the person never would have asked. The question asked was why I didn't use a filter for the exposure. He/She was correct in saying this, and even with such mild post-processing, I did not accept the post-processed version of the image as being something that I did, but rather, what the computer was able to do for me.

  2. #2

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    Re: Is there any gratification in using the digital camera for convenience?

    Yes it brings happiness. Yes this belongs in the lounge.

  3. #3

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    Re: Is there any gratification in using the digital camera for convenience?

    Does digital photography bring YOU gratification? You seem to have a bias that may be prohibiting you from being happy.

    Not that a bias is wrong... it's just that being happy shouldn't be this complicated.

    For me digital photography gets a job done. When I need to do something with faster results than I can get with film or MF/LF I use digital and don't bother pondering "what ifs". When I find the task is better suited to film or MF/LF, I use them. No matter the tool, if I get the job done... I'm gratified.

  4. #4

    Re: Is there any gratification in using the digital camera for convenience?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    Does digital photography bring YOU gratification? You seem to have a bias that may be prohibiting you from being happy.

    Not that a bias is wrong... it's just that being happy shouldn't be this complicated.

    For me digital photography gets a job done. When I need to do something with faster results than I can get with film or MF/LF I use digital and don't bother pondering "what ifs". When I find the task is better suited to film or MF/LF, I use them. No matter the tool, if I get the job done... I'm gratified.
    I agree about the use based point since there are situations where it certainly makes sense over anything else or can even serve to compliment a setup. My question is more in reference to the end product of one's own personal work, meaning, if you sit down with your closest photographer friends OR just want to keep something for your own eyes to view, can you get the gratification of a highly processed/computerized photo, or one that you worked very hard with all of your technical understanding, catching the light at the right time, and obviously capturing an image that is a representation of who you are.

    To the other poster, feel free to send this to the lounge or wherever it belongs. I didn't know where to post it.

    And for Brian, feel free to ask Abby what she thinks so we can get a nice feminist perspective on pinhole shooting through rusty vans in 110 degree desert temps)

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    Re: Is there any gratification in using the digital camera for convenience?

    Quote Originally Posted by Findingmyway4ever View Post
    My question is more in reference to the end product of one's own personal work, meaning, if you sit down with your closest photographer friends OR just want to keep something for your own eyes to view, can you get the gratification of a highly processed/computerized photo, or one that you worked very hard with all of your technical understanding, catching the light at the right time, and obviously capturing an image that is a representation of who you are.
    Again, it depends. Most of the "depends" on how much time I have. I, personally, LIKE to use good equipment that is traditional film-based. Format isn't the biggest issue but I understand film and the traditional photographic processes more than digital so that's what I prefer using.

    To be honest, most if not all of the viewers of my personal work, couldn't care less "how" the print happened. If they like it, they like it... no matter how much I toiled, or used traditional methods/tools, etc. They tend to be totally content based.
    In fact, my non-photographer friends often don't even care that much about photographic basics such as good focus or exposure... that's how "content-based" they are.

    Some of the viewers of my personal work are, ummm... being polite about the situation, rather impatient and want a digital file emailed to them ASAP and don't understand why that can't be done in every situation. When I know that is going to be an issue I tend to opt for digital equipment so I can cut the process/scan out of the timeline.

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    Re: Is there any gratification in using the digital camera for convenience?

    Why don't you write a letter to Dear Abby and ask her if a film photographer can find true happiness in a digital world?
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  7. #7
    aleatorist David R Munson's Avatar
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    Re: Is there any gratification in using the digital camera for convenience?

    If you're using digital for the sake of convenience alone, then no, it isn't going to bring gratification. Gratification ad satisfaction come from doing the job right using the tools that you know work best for you. Maybe that's digital. Maybe that's film. Maybe that's applying liquid emulsion to a whole cow's worth of leather and exposing it through a pinhole in a van that's been converted to a giant camera. I have no idea what it could be for you.

    I believe you've asked a question that, for your purposes, only you can answer.


  8. #8
    Peter J. De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Is there any gratification in using the digital camera for convenience?

    This is similar to asking, "Can someone who dodges, burns, tones, and in general manipulates prints in the darkroom find satisfaction in their prints?" The answer is clearly, "Yes." A large number of photographers find their prints made with post exposure controls, whether traditional or digital, satisfying. But if you don't, then your course is clear.
    "Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome." -- Samuel Johnson
    www.peterdesmidt.com/blog

  9. #9
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    Re: Is there any gratification in using the digital camera for convenience?

    Are you asking for permission to feel satisfied with a photograph that was made using a digital camera? Even if you used computer software to achieve the effect you wanted?

    If so, you have my permission.

    Rick "who is satisfied when an image expresses something worthwhile--equally elusive across all technologies" Denney

  10. #10
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Is there any gratification in using the digital camera for convenience?

    Maybe I'm easily satisfied, yet technically demanding and curious. I'm technology agnostic. A silver print is fun, a cyanotype is fun, a digital image is fun.

    Waiting 20 minutes in the blackest dark for a sheet of 8x10 to develop in a tray is not the most fun thing to. Nor is doing needless adjustments on a digital file for no good reason. I gave up color darkroom printing because it was fairly tedious for me to expose an image, watch it spin in a drum for a while, see it needs 5 less magenta, and go through the process again. Someone could do that same adjustment on the computer faster than most people can find their mouse cursor.

    My time is valuable, and I make digital photos as good as possible at the time of capture. Same logic as film. I work on computers all day and when I come home, when I use the computer, it's for fun rather than tedium.

    Upside is that I can get away without filters except for polarizer. I set the white balance in the camera using a white balance preset or shooting a card designed for that purpose. I use histograms to get the exposure right. When they are on the computer, i can batch apply a small white balance or curve tweek to a whole sequence, and the work is done.

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