Page 4 of 9 FirstFirst ... 23456 ... LastLast
Results 31 to 40 of 90

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

  1. #31
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    brooklyn, nyc
    Posts
    5,316

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    It is a lot cleaner and greener than the computer industry, but by no means clean and green.
    This is an old argument that has never made sense. Most people have a computer anyway, whether or not they use it for phtotography. It lasts years. I know people love to talk about the instant obsolescence of digital stuff, but my desktop computer was made in 2008. I bought it used, and in a few years when I outgrow it will sell it to someone who will use it for years more. This is becoming more and more typical ... hence the diminished growth in the PC market.

    Film, chemistry, paper etc... are consumables, and the need for them is directly proportional to the work you do. As is the effluent. The ecological costs are heavily tilted against traditional methods.

    It's not terribly relevant in these circles. Most of the photographic waste in the world came from snapshooters, and most of the silver effluent came from institutional darkrooms (minilabs, schools, hospitals, dental offices, etc.). A few fogies with view cameras are a minor source of the polution, whether using silver or silicon.

  2. #32
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    brooklyn, nyc
    Posts
    5,316

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Alpert View Post
    That is, the whole world of superficial convenience...

    Another argument the painters made against photography in the mid-nineteenth century.



  3. #33

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Seattle, Washington
    Posts
    2,920

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    I do not get that impression from Bruce's article, Jay.

    None of what he wrote refers to "serious" photographers, but instead, about those who are just getting into photography -- and how the characteristics of the equipment and process can help or hinder the learning process if the person is not aware of the possible traps. The basic trap being using the shotgun effect instead of thinking about such things as the quality of light and composition before one clicks the shutter. He only points out that the trap is easy to fall into with digital because of relative ease and the large number of tools available to making corrections with digital after the fact. He does neglect to point out that much learning can be done by looking at one's results.

    His whole point is that digital photography requires as much thought and "seriousness" as film-base photography to be successful. In that respect he makes no distinction between film and digital users.

    Except for the last bit where his bias towards silver gelatin prints surfaces, he goes to some length to not be anti-digital. His bit about costs, etc, seem to be right on...at least from my experience of running a 20 enlarger darkroom for 20 years, and seeing the expense of maintaining and upgrading a 24 station Mac digital imaging lab (along with printer/ink and paper costs).

    But, that is just how I approached his writings...YMMD, and probably will.
    Vaughn,

    I think you're moderating Barnbaum's writing. As I read it, he paints "digital shooters" with a much broader brush:

    ...I find it hard to make an exposure — a digital capture — without doing at least an initial quick assessment of some basic compositional elements within the scene...and also give thought to the quality of light before pressing the shutter. Unfortunately I see far too little of that from most (emphasis mine) digital users, especially those who have started with digital equipment.
    Even when he is (ostensibly) writing about students, his straw man is the kind of caricature that results when observations follow conclusions:

    Yet students who approach photography digitally seem to universally ignore the idea of learning about light, about composition, about the relationship of forms in both black-and-white and color, and even fail to understand their own emotional relationship to the subject matter they have chosen. While they are determined to become experts in Photoshop, they seem oblivious, and indeed hostile to the absolute need to understand the fundamentals of light, composition, and their relationship to their chosen subject matter. What results is inevitably: "Garbage in; garbage out."
    This brief passage succinctly sums up Barnbaum's view of digital photography and those who, through defects in their very personalities, it seems, fail to recognize its inherent inferiority. His use of universally, fail, oblivious, inevitably, and the old computer axiom, garbage in - garbage out, leaves no room for the reader to come to any conclusion but his. GIGO sums up the entire article and Barnbaum's muddled thinking on its subject. To wit, I'll close with this hilarious tidbit:

    But also be aware of the most critically important fact: you can't really change the lighting, the basic relationship of forms, or your "feel" of the subject matter through Photoshop.

  4. #34

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Humboldt County, CA
    Posts
    5,093

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

    I probably do moderate and you take it to the extreme. As far as that last bit, if asked, I am sure that Bruce would also say that the same is true when working in the darkroom. Same with GIGO -- start with a crappy badly-seen image on a negative, you'll end up with a crappy image on the print.

    But enough, we read and get different things out of the article...that's cool.

  5. #35

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Durango CO
    Posts
    622

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

    Quote Originally Posted by paulr View Post
    This is an old argument that has never made sense. Most people have a computer anyway, whether or not they use it for phtotography. It lasts years. I know people love to talk about the instant obsolescence of digital stuff, but my desktop computer was made in 2008. I bought it used, and in a few years when I outgrow it will sell it to someone who will use it for years more. This is becoming more and more typical ... hence the diminished growth in the PC market.
    The problem with your argument is that "disruptive technologies" interfere with the norm.

    My cell phone replaced my home phone long ago, and since moving to film and buying an iPad with 3G and using "the cloud" I have essentially eliminated my need for PC's and even a personal cell phone, and I'm not alone.

    The company I work for got my group (19 of us) iPhones and took away our laptops, only kept 2PC's; one for the boss, one for the admin.

    There are programmers replacing their PCs with iPads and online computing.

    Running and maintaining a PC is becoming like running a Hummer, a high cost endeavor compared to the alternatives.

    We are quickly entering the post PC world where they won't be the norm.

    Quote Originally Posted by paulr View Post
    Film, chemistry, paper etc... are consumables, and the need for them is directly proportional to the work you do. As is the effluent. The ecological costs are heavily tilted against traditional methods.

    It's not terribly relevant in these circles. Most of the photographic waste in the world came from snapshooters, and most of the silver effluent came from institutional darkrooms (minilabs, schools, hospitals, dental offices, etc.). A few fogies with view cameras are a minor source of the polution, whether using silver or silicon.

    Shifting the snap shooting to cell phones isn't all that bad in my mind.

    For my creative work though LF is very economical because I can take and develop a single sheet of 4x5 with very little waste and 1/4 the effluent of a 35mm roll.
    You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. ~ Mark Twain

  6. #36
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    6,861

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

    One can make prints every bit as good as Barnbaum's without buying into his personal lockjaw ideology. If his style of teaching works for you, fine ... otherwise there is more
    than one way to skin a cat. And I'm not referring to simply dkrm vs digital printing. So
    obviously, I do not consider him authority on printing, but just one more opinion.

  7. #37
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    6,477

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

    As Mr. Barnbaum writes:
    "There is nothing about digital photography that forces lack of thinking, but there is much about digital photography that encourages it."

    There is nothing about this forum that forces people to be rude and uncivil, but there are several members who encourage it.

  8. #38

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ellenwood, GA
    Posts
    191

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

    My immediate analogy is music.
    I remember a time when I used to sit and do NOTHING but listen to music.
    How many do this today?
    I bet not many, especially young people.
    Music has been cheapened to be background noise.
    And Amazon wants to sell me mp3s?
    Uhm, no thanks.
    I STILL like old vinyl and my tubes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Y View Post
    "they couldn’t care if it’s a dye transfer or a pigment print or whatever, as long as the object itself is totally amazing, that’s what they care about.”......that seems to be the way modern society is going

  9. #39
    Mike Anderson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    684

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    As Mr. Barnbaum writes:
    "There is nothing about digital photography that forces lack of thinking, but there is much about digital photography that encourages it."
    ....
    This is summarizes the misinformation. There's nothing about digital that encourages lack of thinking. Does a Kodak Instamatic encourage more thoughtful consideration than a Phase One back on a technical camera?
    Mike → "Junior Liberatory Scientist"

  10. #40
    ROL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,142

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

    Though not a particular fan of Barnbaum's work (too dark tonally), or some of his more extreme views even in the traditional realm, I didn't find anything in the otherwise well written article to disagree with, except its verbosity!. It's hard to know who this treatise is aimed at, though I suspect it may have been more of a mea culpa regarding his own feelings about digital. Come to think of it, the oppressive overtones of the article are entirely consistent with the heaviness I feel in his photos. All I can say is that you won't catch me writing such a lengthy article on the web – without pictures! Not that anyone would care to read anything I publish anyway.

    I've spent far too little time in my darkroom in the past 2 years, primarily due to financial stresses. Meanwhile, ever increasing physical limitations have forced me to investigate digital as a way to keep the juices flowing. But I have found that even, or especially, with the addition of easily obtainable video with the same device, it is no match for the process of traditional photographic methods. Still worrying about composition, lighting, and phantom "film" costs, it has taken awhile to get to the shoot first (hose) and ask questions later (Photoshop post processing) possibilities of digital. For me, the ends, if you can call a mass machine produced print an artistic end, simply do not justify the means.

    Coincidentally, I saw the film Everlasting on the Sundance Channel, recently. While not a very good flick generally, the life journey of the female protagonist, whose most transcendent moments occurred standing over a developing tray, reminded me of how much really do need to make more time for my own darkroom.


    Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
    Last edited by ROL; 12-Apr-2012 at 12:27.

Similar Threads

  1. Bruce Barnbaum's new book - Plateaus and Canyons
    By Jim Becia in forum On Photography
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 27-Dec-2011, 19:47
  2. Listing of Bruce Barnbaum's photographs
    By gary892 in forum On Photography
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 24-May-2010, 08:51
  3. Bruce Barnbaum’s claim — 20 months later
    By Heroique in forum On Photography
    Replies: 62
    Last Post: 4-Nov-2009, 11:06
  4. Bruce Barnbaum's book... The Art of Photography
    By Capocheny in forum On Photography
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 18-Sep-2006, 15:13
  5. Bruce Barnbaum's Art of Photography book
    By AnselAdamsX in forum On Photography
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 31-Jul-2006, 08:29

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •