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Thread: is there any traditional photography digital can not replace?

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Oct 2001

    is there any traditional photography digital can not replace?

    to follow up just a bit - obviously the consumer market will go completely digital very soon. for more critical and fine art work, it will take longer for technology to find an equally compelling reason to move in that direction, but it will, at some point become equal to if not better than conventional film. i think there will always be a place in the profession for something akin to film, again a digital negative of some type, as a primary and archival storage medium - something that will not rely on any type of current technology to reproduce, and which will be as effective as film has always been in this area.

    i also think of the analogy of digital audio. in my spare time, i run a small recording studio. i apprenticed at a recording studio way back in the 1970s while in college, and have always enjoyed doing that - my wife is a musician and we have actually made two CDs that are selling well. anyway, while there are still a few analog diehards out there, almost the entire recording industry has switched over to digital recording systems. no, it is not perfect yet, and you make certain sacrifices in audiophile level qualities, but the benefits are nothing short of staggering - 10 years ago, a recording device like i now own would have cost over $1 million - i bought mine for $2000 - it provides literally total control over every aspect of the sound, and does it at extremely high-quality. technology has given the average person the ability to make CD-quality recordings in their own homes at a price anyone can afford. digital photography will soon get there - it has the potential to create a camera the size of a point and shoot that will have the capability to render image quality surpassing that of today's large-format film-based cameras.

    in the end, there will always be a certain percentage of artists who will continue the tradition of chemical photography because it is a valid, stable, and finely articulated medium. just as there are still lithographers, and people who bind books by hand, and any number of other similar pursuits. but it will be by choice, not because the digital medium is in any way inferior. it can only open new doors for us all to explore.

  2. #12

    is there any traditional photography digital can not replace?

    When will digital equal the cost of film for the same amount of data and resolution? At around 50-75 cents a sheet of film I think it will be a very long time coming. Can you take your digital file and hold it up to the light to see what magic you have wrought?

  3. #13

    is there any traditional photography digital can not replace?

    "technology has given the average person the ability to make CD- quality recordings in their own homes at a price anyone can afford. "

    But photographicaly, I have that now. Hey, maybe my old Eastman will end up in the corner of the front room like an old rinky tink piano coverd with doilies and fruit bowls (I was going to say photos, but they'll be in the LCD-wall paper). Since we got CD's no one plays the old upright beasts, and with digital floorboards, no-body's gonna take pictures either. Dean
    Dean Lastoria

  4. #14

    is there any traditional photography digital can not replace?

    Eventually (sooner rather than later) no. In terms of the appearance, there is no inherent reason why ANY visual effect can't be produced or recorded digitally. What we SEE at the end of the day is simply color, hue, saturation, etc,. etc., all of which are effects that CAN be expressed in digital terms.

    This doesn't mean digital will be the easiest or most enjoyable way to do things of course. I find printing Pt/Pd with in camera 12X20 negs more enjoyable than going thru all of the rigamorole to produce a digital neg or interneg, though others may feel differently.

    I think what will be on the way out a lot faster than film is anguished discussions like this. The generation that feels terrified or threatened by things digital will be gone before film is, if film ever goes. People will choose traditional techniques because they've tried it all and enjoy the traditional approach, not because they look towards digital with a cross in hand and garlic around their necks.


  5. #15

    is there any traditional photography digital can not replace?

    Yes, the magic of seeing an image appear on the paper...whether it is alternative or silver printing after all these years I still get a tingle when I see the image appear, and even more exiting when that image is perfect, just as you saw it in your mind.....I have yet to see a digital person say that!

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Apr 2002

    is there any traditional photography digital can not replace?

    This reminds me of the typesetting business. I had a friend who was a hot metal typesetter. Phototype came along and he refused to move forward into this new technology. He ended up sitting at a desk proofreading! I was a phototypesetter for years; eventually desktop publishing came along and threatened the way I did business. I had two choices - learn the new technology, or perhaps end up sitting next to my friend proofreading! I chose to move forward. I still don't consider the quality comparable to phototype, but I no longer spend a fortune on chemicals and film, the effort to clean and rechemical the processor, and hours of time in pastup. If you don't move forward with technology, it eventually passes you by. I love photography - some of my fondest moments have been in a darkroom - but I also enjoy the freedom digital gives me to take tons of photos of anything and everything because I won't have to spend a fortune developing them to see which is the best! I also haven't had a single disappointment because the photo I thought I had didn't work, and the opportunity was gone forever! Love, document and appreciate what you've done, while opening your minds to what is new!

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