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Thread: Is the obsession with analogue gearing an obstacle to art?

  1. #11
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    Re: Is the obsession with analogue gearing an obstacle to art?

    It's not one or the other... If you have muscles, bring both. I hiked up a hill with my Nikon DSLR, Rolleflex, 4x5 this past weekend. When I got to the top, I set down the 4x5, tripod, and gatorade and wandered around shooting the DSLR and some 120. I saw things I wanted to shoot with the big camera, so I went back and left behind my Nikon and Rolleiflex and shot with the 4x5. Other times, I bring a different camera on the same walk/hike for different results in order to work creatively within the limits of each choice.

    Digital reignited my interest in photography in 2002 after I got away from it for a few years being an entrepreneur. The instant feedback and experimentation has amazing learning potential to a motivated photographer.

    Some things are perfectly boring shot with digital and are have more potential with film, though such a change does not guarantee a lack of boring. Some things are easier on the computer or with digital. A dusk or night photo, an action photo, or color photo might be easier AND better with digital. Other things I have grown to appreciate a film based workflow. Part of it is being more thoughtful and abstract while making the photos, part of it is preferring a B&W wet print over a B&W inkjet print. But most of the time what I shoot is not printed on either. Part of it is using lenses and formats for certain results for which digital is not an option.

    I've made terabytes of photos and don't want more volume of photos for the most part. Just a small handful of good photos per outing is more than enough. Yet I seem to self regulate and make as many photos as I have time for, and when time and results matter I'd rather not rush while shooting, and rather not spend days editing through too many digital photos.

  2. #12

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    Re: Is the obsession with analogue gearing an obstacle to art?

    Bobab, if film is not for you then don't use it; What's the problem?

  3. #13

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    Re: Is the obsession with analogue gearing an obstacle to art?

    I think that on this forum (as on many fora) you're seeing only a small part of what we, the members, photography actually is.
    Gear is easy and fun to talk about, technique the same. Yet many people here have large, thoughtful, and long-term bodies of work that rarely, if ever, show up on the forum, and for a variety of good reasons. Yet these bodies of work (that really qualify as art) do exist, and the artistic concerns that drive them are very important to their creators. Admittedly it's not easy to talk about those things, even in front of the original works; far less when experiencing a tiny jpeg (perhaps on a phone). And photography is after all a visual medium, and we work in picture-making because that's how we express ourselves... words like these in a 'reply to thread' box are inadequate. It's also true that there are many beginners here, who hope to benefit from others' knowledge and experience.
    So I wouldn't worry too much about the content here; if it's insufficient for you, dig into the links to people's websites and get a better idea of their photography, and what they are doing with their gear and technique. You may be very pleasantly surprised!

  4. #14
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    Re: Is the obsession with analogue gearing an obstacle to art?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobab View Post
    I have not been doing analogue for particularly long, but in the brief time I have been doing it, I have developed an uneasy feeling that this is not the best way if I really want to do something "creative" rather than just producing images which are poor knock offs of those which may have been ground breaking in the past. It really hit me when I watch an interview with Pedro Meyer on the "Art of Photography" youtube channel. I don't particularly like Meyer's photography, but I think I agree with what he says about art and photography.

    Hi Bobab

    The trick is to NOT make knockoffs. I might have missed something in you post, but how is using a digital camera to make photographs that are knockoffs any different?
    enjoy your coffee

  5. #15

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    Re: Is the obsession with analogue gearing an obstacle to art?

    Shoot with whatever you want and let the images speak for themselves. No one other than another photographer cares about your process.

  6. #16

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    Re: Is the obsession with analogue gearing an obstacle to art?

    The choice of process will not make your work "creative." That rests with your ability to see.

    With practice, whichever process you choose should not inhibit creativity. At least, this has been my experience.

  7. #17

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    Re: Is the obsession with analogue gearing an obstacle to art?

    Obsession? With gearing? Why do you reduce people to a single category? Siliconvalleyzation, Appleatomization, Micronormalization, Oracleization? Tweet! Like! (Annoyed grunt)

  8. #18

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    Re: Is the obsession with analogue gearing an obstacle to art?

    Let's (once again) straighten out some things:

    • "Art" is a meaningless word. Since it can be whatever anyone believes it is, it is anything. And it's nothing.
    • The word "photography" applies equally to digital methods and silver gelatin / alternative processes. There is no distinction, irrespective of what anyone claims.

    There. Now relax and do whatever you'd like. If your goal is to sell photography, take your best guess at the market and work. Forget all the rest of this nonsense.
    Last edited by Sal Santamaura; 23-Jun-2020 at 16:24.

  9. #19

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    Re: Is the obsession with analogue gearing an obstacle to art?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    The only answer is shoot more images with everything
    Use an iPhone, best camera I have, always ready
    Use 35mm
    use it all, X-Ray, big weird lenses, anything
    my time is shorter than it used to be

    do not go gentle into...
    That sounds encouraging. You are right. I need to shoot both and just experiment. Thanks for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by AuditorOne View Post
    You know, IMHO "art" is kind of a weird thing. I'm not too sure it has anything to do with limitations or with convenience.

    I don't think digital or film has anything to do with it. It just has to do what I want in that moment.
    You are right and I appreciate what you are saying. I guess I am so far away from doing anything I like that I was wondering whether my time and focus is in the wrong place – the hours spent trying to buy chemicals and film at the right price, or getting the right lens. Or time spent at 3am in the made up dark room in my bathroom because it is the only time of day dark enough with my makeshift blinds that I can develop anything. I just wonder whether it is better if one starts off with digital and develops a vision first, and then only goes to film when they want something very specific that only film can produce…
    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    We are not "doing analogue", we are exposing film and making prints. One at a time, by hand.

    Your idea is that the personal touch and interpretation is not worth it.
    I guess analogue was a shorthand, which I think is generally understood. Don’t think I am saying the individual touch / interpretation is not worth it. Just whether digital gives more scope for it given the speed with which one can explore. I don’t even know if I am right about that. Just wanted to hear others’ thoughts. And to be clear, I would really like to be persuaded otherwise, because I much prefer to shoot my rolleiflex than my partner’s mirrorless fuji.

    Quote Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
    Because you haven't developed a relationship with it yet...

    You can walk into a Target store and buy a camera, take it out of the box, put a battery and card into it, turn it on, and camera will (usually) expose a scene well... Machine gun a subject enough and you will get a shot (or few)... Run it through PS and ready for next step... What's wrong with that, it's a picture, right??? But the downside is the technically good images can be a bit soulless, so many folks lay heavily on the PS (like a pretty girl with too much make-up) that can cover the inherent beauty the materials can give...

    Steve K
    Thank you for your response. You are probably right. Maybe I am just in the phase where everything is new and I am somewhat overwhelmed. As you say, once the process becomes second nature, I can probably focus more on the image making.
    I am certainly not after a “technically good image”. I just want to shoot something that makes me feel something I guess. But perhaps have just been overwhelmed with the process at the moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    What is "analog photography''? Sounds like a demeaning expression coined by some minimum wage geeks in a consumer electronics store. Every time someone runs into me with a big camera and tripod set up, and asks me if I still do film photography, I simply reply, "Is there any other kind?" They sheepishly respond, "Well, uh, digital" ... Then I reply back, "Never heard of it". They get it, as they slink off with a smartphone in hand.
    Why would it be demeaning? It is what it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by jp View Post
    It's not one or the other... …
    I've made terabytes of photos and don't want more volume of photos for the most part. Just a small handful of good photos per outing is more than enough. Yet I seem to self regulate and make as many photos as I have time for, and when time and results matter I'd rather not rush while shooting, and rather not spend days editing through too many digital photos.
    Thanks. I appreciate that. I wonder whether it is better if one learns and experiments on digital and only goes analogue for very specific things? At least until one knows what one really wants.

    Quote Originally Posted by cowanw View Post
    Bobab, if film is not for you then don't use it; What's the problem?
    I like old analogue cameras. And I like idea that the image I have produced has been made by light leaving an object or person at a specific time going through my camera and leaving an imprint on a physical object. And that imprint is unique and will never be repeated. There is a permanent connection between that imprint and the moment that it captured. The digital photo feels too disconnected for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sampson View Post
    I think that on this forum (as on many fora) you're seeing only a small part of what we, the members, photography actually is.
    Gear is easy and fun to talk about, technique the same. Yet many people here have large, thoughtful, and long-term bodies of work that rarely, if ever, show up on the forum, and for a variety of good reasons. …
    So I wouldn't worry too much about the content here; if it's insufficient for you, dig into the links to people's websites and get a better idea of their photography, and what they are doing with their gear and technique. You may be very pleasantly surprised!
    I am sure you are right. Tbh, I have never looked. I was really talking about my own photography, rather than what I see in the forum. However, every time I have seen a review of camera equipment, whether digital or analogue, on either youtube or on a website, the photos have invariably been … dull.
    I will look around and be inspired.


    Quote Originally Posted by jnantz View Post
    Hi Bobab
    The trick is to NOT make knockoffs. I might have missed something in you post, but how is using a digital camera to make photographs that are knockoffs any different?
    Haha. Yes. Indeed. Not different at all. I was just wondering whether digital, given that it is less labour intensive, will free up time to progress so that hopefully, maybe, one day I can produce something which isn't derivative. But at the end of that, maybe what I need is courage to shoot thing things I want in the way I want.

    Quote Originally Posted by Merg Ross View Post
    The choice of process will not make your work "creative." That rests with your ability to see.
    With practice, whichever process you choose should not inhibit creativity. At least, this has been my experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by faberryman View Post
    Shoot with whatever you want and let the images speak for themselves. No one other than another photographer cares about your process.
    Maybe I am just too inexperienced. But I think that perhaps having analogue as one’s main tool, is unnecessarily handicapping oneself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Casper Lohenstein View Post
    Obsession? With gearing? Why do you reduce people to a single category? … Tweet! Like! (Annoyed grunt)
    I was describing myself. Not reducing other people. Sorry if it came across the other way.
    I just love old cameras and old mechanical objects. Or, at least, I like reading about them and owning them. But I am worried that this is stopping me producing images and learning in the most "efficient way". I am worried (particularly after watching the interview I mentioned) that this inefficiency will mean that I will never get to make an image that I am truly proud of. That if I shoot digital I would go through the discovery and development of my skills and vision in a much faster way. I could be wrong, but I am just anxious about it and wanted to know what others think.

    Let's (once again) straighten out some things:

    "Art" is a meaningless word. Since it can be whatever anyone believes it its, it is anything. And it's nothing….
    There. Now relax and do whatever you'd like. If your goal is to sell photography, take your best guess at the market and work. Forget all the rest of this nonsense.
    Absolutely. Who knows what "Art" is. We could spend hours debating it and we would not have a final answer. But what I do know is that until now I have not personally produced something that I think could enter the conversation as "art". I would like to change that and but don't want to handicap myself.
    Don't have any interest in selling photography. But I do want to create something that means something to me and that I am proud of. Still haven't managed it. Maybe need more time.

  10. #20

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    Re: Is the obsession with analogue gearing an obstacle to art?

    its only an obstacle to wana be artists with short attension spans. gearing isnt the limiter.

    digital allows people with potential to strive and shotens the learning curve since a computer does all the thinking... and so does auto tuners in the music world.

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