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Thread: "New Thoughts on Digital Photography" by Bruce Barnbaum

  1. #61
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    Re: "New Thoughts on Digital Photography" by Bruce Barnbaum

    Quote Originally Posted by Old-N-Feeble View Post
    I respect actions, common sense, integrity/honesty, and complete openness... not authority.
    Me too. Respect is to be earned. It doesn't automatically come with authority.


    Steve

  2. #62
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    Re: "New Thoughts on Digital Photography" by Bruce Barnbaum

    Quote Originally Posted by rdenney View Post
    I hope you are never asked to write a 100-page report
    Without a PC? Pen and paper.


    Steve.

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    Re: "New Thoughts on Digital Photography" by Bruce Barnbaum

    Quote Originally Posted by rdenney View Post
    I hope you are never asked to write a 100-page report, at a billed rate that encourages your client to demand you do it quickly. I type faster on an iPhone than on an iPad (the "keys" lack the tactile response to allow touch typing but are too far apart for hunt-and-peck). On a real keyboard with real keys, I type about four times as fast as on an iPhone. Maybe ten times as fast.
    I have a Blutooth keyboard. Quite handy, even use it while on the treadmill.

    Quote Originally Posted by rdenney View Post
    Some would argue that it's just more words, but that's not the point. I'm not seeing a reduction in words as a result of iPads. I am, however, seeing a reluctance on the part of people to read and write complete thoughts, which sometimes require more than 140 characters. I'm also seeing thoughts that aren't worth more than 140 characters, or often rendered completely senseless by garbled word replacements. I could have been fired for some of the things my iPhone thought I meant to say instead of what I actually said, but for my fat thumbs. It's a powerful tool for keeping small problems from becoming big problems, but it becomes a like a brother-in-law who came over one evening to help you build some bookshelves and three years later is still on the sofa drinking your beer. Maybe you'd rather he do that than drive your car into a tree, but then again maybe not.
    I agree that a lot of written thought is dumbing down. It is becoming so easy to use text that people expect it to be as simple as communicating via voice. To be successful though outside a very small group that requires context and understanding and trust and an understanding of the medium's failings and the coded messages we all give.

    Quote Originally Posted by rdenney View Post
    Where I live, I'm doing good to get 700KB/S data rate, with frequent interruptions and sometimes enormous latency. And if I move more than 8GB a month, I pay extra. And the service I use is already expensive. It's also the only service available where I live. Forget online backups; forget replacing my hard-wired landline; forget canning my satellite TV service. So much for the cloud--I cannot depend at any time on fetching my stuff from somewhere else. I probably pay four times what you do for the same basic services, but at a much lower service model. I am not alone--even in cities, I see people saying the foulest things to to their cell phones when they walk behind a building and their call is dropped. But your model is even more dependent on an infrastructure beyond your influence than is Mr. Barnbaum's darkroom. I'm not even willing to discuss the point that reading 4-point text on my iPhone is making me even more blind than I was before.y
    I agree about the iPhone, I only use an iPhone because that's what the company gave me. IMO they were too cheap and too tied to thinking that they need voice communication outside face to face meeting to take the leap to an iPad.

    Since I have my own iPad I transfer most of the 4pt stuff over there to read and manipulate.

    I'm not saying that everybody can do without a Laptop or desktop. What I am saying though, is that the majority of the world can do very nicely without them.

    The hurdle in a productive sense isn't really the data transfer rate, it's the reliability. If the data we are working on is in the cloud (only transferred "up" once), and the program is there on the server too, then all we are doing after the upload is using our local devices to move things around in the cloud; we're sending text and control commands that require very little bandwidth.

    Quote Originally Posted by rdenney View Post
    Back on the subject, I, in fact, do approach photography differently with a digital camera than with a view camera. But that really is a false comparison--the differences between my Canon 5D and my Sinar are vast beyond the relatively trivial fact that one is digital and the other uses film. Still, I do take advantage of the ability to see the image I just made, and to check the data in that image. We used to do that, too. It was called Polaroid. And it was (and is) expensive. Fast feedback is a seductive learning tool. We can't escape the fact that the marginal cost of another provisional digital photograph is zero with the digital camera, which makes succumbing to the seduction relatively cost-free.

    Mr. Barnbaum's darkroom is not as future-proof as he describes, and he cannot extrapolate the reliable availability of the necessary materials over the last 30 years to the next 30 years. At any time, he is subject to his darkroom becoming unusable if just a handful of manufacturers no longer make the few products that he critically needs. Sure, he can coat his own paper and try to find the raw materials needed to mix his own chemicals--that would test his commitment to the notion that convenience is bad for art--but I suspect that will impose a far greater modification of his work than printing digitally. With film photography, we are depending on an industry with a rapidly declining demand base. We all hope the decline stabilizes in time to sustain the minimal production infrastructure on which we depend. But we are all scared it won't, and I wonder why we keep kicking the dirt about it instead of being honest about our fear. With digital, we are depending on our own ability to maintain our computer infrastructure, which most of us do anyway, and that is not what really scares us. At the crossover points--such as keeping our prior film images relevant by scanning them--we are especially vulnerable. But what really scares us is that are hard-won skills will be seen as irrelevant, as they already are by most people.

    A considered approach to the digital revolution would start by describing, free of any underlying technology, how we make our art, and then extracting requirements on technology to support that described approach. But that does not happen. Instead, products are designed for people unlike most of us, and we must live with products that fulfill someone else's requirements. Without understanding those requirements, all articles like Mr. Barnbaum's--on both sides of the debate--answer questions that have not been asked. One of those questions is whether the photographers of the future will even care to make prints. If they don't, even our digital print-making may become vulnerable to obsolescence. How's that for a cheery thought?

    Rick "thinking Mr. Barnbaum's pronouncements a thinly veiled desperate fear of becoming irrelevant--and knowing how he feels" Denney
    I heard a thing on NPR, a piece on a new book, a while ago about disappearing technologies.

    The upshot of the piece was that that no technology that has ever been developed by man has ever completely disappeared. Not even one.

    I do agree that we, as a community, aren't really discussing the right things and that ego and emotion very much get in the way because of our fears.
    You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. ~ Mark Twain

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    Without a PC? Pen and paper.
    You are kidding, right? I'm even slower with pen and paper than I am with an iPhone, and there are no typists to hand a manuscript to in any case. That ship sailed about 20 years ago, and longer in many industries.

    Rick "fingers cramping at the very thought" Denney

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    Re: "New Thoughts on Digital Photography" by Bruce Barnbaum

    I think people need to realize Bruce's writing is titled "New Thoughts on Digital Photography". Not "An Authoriative Thesis on Digital Photography". That it appeared on his website -- not Scientific American or some peer-reviewed technical or cultural publication. It has not even appeared in Popular Photography (is that still around?)

    His website, for cripe's sake! He forced no one to read it, he makes no claim of it being the "last word" on the subject.

    We are a silly bunch of people...

  6. #66
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    Re: "New Thoughts on Digital Photography" by Bruce Barnbaum

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    His website, for cripe's sake! He forced no one to read it, he makes no claim of it being the "last word" on the subject.

    We are a silly bunch of people...
    Indeed. Pot calling the kettle black. But then I assume the OP's intent in calling attention to it, was to generate insightful discussion (not that I contributed any), and he must ultimately take the rap for the thread, not Barnbaum.

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    Re: "New Thoughts on Digital Photography" by Bruce Barnbaum

    When photography entered the world 150 years ago the great painters did not embrace it!!!! It was the devils work; it took 80 years before it became a significant art form.
    One has to remember that Eugene Atget, Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, and all of our past photographers waited for new technology to enter into their world, and embrace it with open arms. One has to remember Ansel Adams and what he did to help Polaroid photography along and his work in digital photography in the early early years.

    But one thing is evident there’s a lot more people in the world photographing and having their images published, good or bad.

    It all comes down to one thing for me, it doesn't matter if it was done under the dark cloth or in a wet darkroom or a printer generated by a computer. If it can’t hang on the wall and please you, year after year after year the image is not worth it. No matter how it was produced.

    Photography is a technology-based art, always has been and always will be, so combine the two, old and new together to create something great.

    Keep the passion, the journey is the art.

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    Re: "New Thoughts on Digital Photography" by Bruce Barnbaum

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Barendt View Post
    Oh Jay, if only your thought we're true life would be so much simpler.
    Logic can be persuasive within scientific research, but even there it has to fight emotion. In sales emotion wins over logic, in politics too.
    The very reasons most people photograph things is for fun or love, not for logic.
    The story (true or not) we tell about something adds value, without a story things are generic/commoditized/cheap.
    mark,

    I think I might have confused you. The logical structure of an argument is much like the structure of an equation, with the elements of argument (premises, inferences, conclusions,etc.) substituting for the terms of an equation, and an argument is strong or weak depending on its logical structure, but proving an argument isn't absolute the way solving an equation is. The persuasiveness of an argument depends not only on its relative strength, but also on the biases of the person(s) argued to. If you want to argue that I'm very attractive and smell like vanilla and rose petals, I might be persuaded by even a very weak argument containing obvious logical fallacies, due to my biases, but if you want to argue the same for yourself, I might be less persuaded by even a strong argument due to my biases.

    So an argument can be weak and persuasive, or strong and unpersuasive, and it can contain true premises and arrive at a false conclusion or have false premises and arrive at a true conclusion. Understanding the structure of an argument, and learning to identify logical fallacies and biases provides tools for evaluating premises and arguments. For example, when you say:

    In sales emotion wins over logic, in politics too.
    That's a premise. As worded, it's absolute -- in sales and politics, emotion trumps logic, period. As a rule of thumb, absolute statements are usually false, so i'm not inclined to agree with your statement without a supporting argument that is persuasive. One reason absolute statements send up red flags is because any person can rely on personal experience alone to disprove one. If I say, "I've personally made purchases and/or voted based on logic alone, so your premise is false", how can you respond? For your premise to be true, mine must be false, and we've entered into a zero sum game prone to degrade to logical fallacies like ad hominem, appeal to strength, numbers, etc. -- in other words, to get emotional.

    If instead, you'd written:

    "Emotion can play a dominant role in sales and politics"

    I'd be more likely to agree outright, even if I'm not sure what point you're trying to make by your premise.

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    Re: "New Thoughts on Digital Photography" by Bruce Barnbaum

    Quote Originally Posted by ROL View Post
    I assume the OP's intent in calling attention to it, was to generate insightful discussion (not that I contributed any), and he must ultimately take the rap for the thread, not Barnbaum.
    Yes, I thought it might generate some insightful discussion, or at least help a few members consider the issues.

    Personally, I don't think that we can ever reach a judgement about any aspect of technology, because "progress" is inherently paradoxical, like the proverbial double-edged sword.

    A vacuum cleaner makes it easier to clean a room, but requires electricity and all the problems that come along with getting it. The net effect of so many household devices may be greater pollution and flabbiness. Advanced medicine may save countless lives (or prolong them at least), but introduces problems of overpopulation. We may send our children to school in a bus instead of making them wal, but we need to set aside hours of exercise for them during the day, lest they become restless and... obese. And while buses may be convenient, providing fuel for them introduces a host of problems. In the casino, the house always comes out ahead, because the game is rigged. By analogy, scientists observe something called Entropy.

    Those cave-painters depicted in the cartoon, may have been right all along. They were perhaps the first "Carbon printers", and some of their works have lasted 35,000 years.
    Last edited by Ken Lee; 13-Apr-2012 at 10:50.

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    Re: "New Thoughts on Digital Photography" by Bruce Barnbaum

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    ...Those cave-painters depicted in the cartoon, may have been right all along. They were perhaps the first "Carbon printers", and some their works have lasted 35,000 years.
    I'll have to remember that line next time someone asks how long my carbon prints will "last"!

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