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Has the digital era resulted in photographic complacency?


Consulo 17 840 10 Scotland
20 Mar 2005 10:50AM
I remember during one of my first "formal" photography lessons, the tutor saying something that I'd like to hear your views on.

Basically, he was talking about film and digital, but not launching into a rant about one being better than the other, but more about how the two mediums "teach" you as a photographer.

He reckons that for all of digitals advantages, such as instantaneous feedback, film still has the advantage over digital. The example used was that with film, if you bracket a lot, you can look at your negatives and see which exposures worked best in certain situations; thus, you learn more about how to master exposure by using film than you do with digital. With digital, you can just keep deleting things that don't look right, and subsequently you might not be taking on board as much as you could be, as you don't have a permenant record to compare things.

Would you agree with this, or do you think that digital is just as viable as a way to really teach yourself the intricacies of techniques like exposure?
UserRemoved 17 4.2k
20 Mar 2005 10:56AM
Dont agree.

One word - EXIF.

More information than you can shake a stick at.


What has caused complaency IMHO is the wee head, sprinter and mountain symbols available on all cameras, film or digital. Now everyone can take photos the way Mr Canon/Nikon/Fuji etc thinks you should take them.
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
20 Mar 2005 10:57AM
That is true only if you delete in camera. If you experiment with exposure and delete in the PC then you learn. With film, unless you keep notes as you go, you forget the exposure experiments you have made and so the results will stay a mystery.

If with digital you use the level data you can get a better understanding of exposure. You can look at the view in front of you and relate it to the exposure information you are receiving. I have learnt more about exposure with my digital camera than I ever managed with a film SLR.

But like much it is about how you work.

**Edit**

Joe I agree about those annoying automated features.
patters 17 1.8k 1 United Kingdom
20 Mar 2005 11:01AM
totaly agree. Joe, I think you might have missed the point, or maybe me, but i read as... Digi user, set pic settings, take a pic, look, no good, change settings, take a pic, no, try again, after 10 pics, upload, that one looks good. Job done. Later, "how did you take that" answer, "no idea"
If you have to wait to see em, you take more notice, write stuff down etc.
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
20 Mar 2005 11:12AM
Film user takes pick, get film back no use, mutters under breath brackets next time. Brackets photo's, forgets/loses notes, gets film well that one is better why? Only one shot left dam what do I do? Gets film back thinks, photo 1 has bad exposure but like the motion bur. what was shutter speed?

digi user. Takes photo, see's error, notes which part of picture was wrong, corrects it in correction direction, thinks, shadows looked good in first, will keep both and think about blending.

Six months later is going on similar shoot so looks at old photo's notes the ones that worked best, read EXIF data, thinks about it.

Digi user at football match. Takes photo's in direction he intends for game, notes best exposure compensations, exposure solved, now get on with getting the photo's. Film user, should I bracket some?

I find my chances of getting exposure correct 1st time had improved with dSLR as I am starting to comprehend how the metering works better. And that is only through having quick feedback.

EDIT **Patters. You get tons with EXIF, focal length, aperture, shutter, exposure comp, flash comp, active focus points, camera mode date and time.
sillyconguru 17 4.4k
20 Mar 2005 11:19AM
Another digital Vs film thread, great..... NOT !
philwig 16 817 1
20 Mar 2005 11:28AM

Quote:[...]With digital, you can just keep deleting things that don't look right, and subsequently you might not be taking on board as much as you could be, as you don't have a permenant record to compare things.


Here's a tip for your tutor: don't delete anything if this is what you're trying to do. It's not mandatory, in fact I don't bother. I can do it much better here on my big screen.

Next problem?
digicammad 18 22.0k 40 United Kingdom
20 Mar 2005 11:36AM
No disrespect Michael, but why do film users insist on spouting such condescending rubbish about digital. All it has done is brought photography to more people, which is no bad thing. The people who want to take photography seriously still do so and still care about learning the techniques properly.

Ian
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
20 Mar 2005 11:39AM
Nah enjoy the fun! One day the film users will learn and see the light or die out like the dinosaurs.

Seriously I would not like that, as I do sneak in the occasional roll of B/W film so each to their own.

My view is if you pay attention to what you are doing with either medium then you should start to have some knowledge and experience. With film or digital you can click away on automatic settings and learn very little. With either you can decide to pause and think. you have the choice.

Second point, this argument rages for ever. Many film users are obsessed with the ability to takes lots of photo's and delete lots with a digi camera. Does it mater. The digital camera normally records bucket loads of data on pictures taken. It is for the user to decide what they keep and learn from and what they ditch. I only delete the disasters. i.e the dam I kit the button while picking the camera up, or the oops I wobbled badly there, or it is so badly exposed you do not need a brain surgeon to tell you its gone. Bracketed ones stay till weeding out time on PC, and then many of them stay. Lets face it a 2 inch square screen is not ideal for detailed keep/go decisions.

So I keep banging on in these debates because the is it good or bad is entirely in the photographers control. Its all about will power.
Consulo 17 840 10 Scotland
20 Mar 2005 11:45AM

Quote:Another digital Vs film thread, great..... NOT !


See, I can't understand why people post things like this - if you don't like the discussion, don't get involved.


Quote:No disrespect Michael, but why do film users insist on spouting such condescending rubbish about digital. All it has done is brought photography to more people, which is no bad thing. The people who want to take photography seriously still do so and still care about learning the techniques properly


I'd agree, Ian, just wondered what the conscensus view was. Smile
patters 17 1.8k 1 United Kingdom
20 Mar 2005 11:49AM
i bet if you had a digi only user and a film only user pointed at a possible pic, with no camera, the film only human would be better able to say what iso/f/t would probably suit. RIGHT, DONT DISAGREE FOR THE SAKE OF IT. GRrrrrrrRRRRR
keithh 17 25.8k 33 Wallis And Futuna
20 Mar 2005 11:51AM
Perhaps only in your case, Patters?
Wink
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
20 Mar 2005 11:52AM
I would say it is the same. Lets face it you are doing photography to control/play/record with the light. so you want to know how your little box will record the light, what sort of depth of field....

Why would choice of medium negate this or make it different. The impact of shutter speed on a moving object is the same.
patters 17 1.8k 1 United Kingdom
20 Mar 2005 11:56AM
i hate keith
laziness. An an-alla-gee (cant spell) might be 2 kids, one learnt his times table, the other was raised with a calculator. I know both types of camera have a light meter, so dont start.
Ohhhh.. I know what I mean.
ZenTog 19 7.9k 1 England
20 Mar 2005 11:58AM
as joe fox says no point deleting until on the pc as memrory cards are so large capacity and relative cheapness
i dont delete much if at all in the feild wait till i see it on the pc

for my rant
I personally think that the digital SLr makes me work harder to get the right picture in the filed rather than braketing where 4or 5 pics are "wrong" and really only one correct in exposure, using film this would be finacally crippling on big shoots

also I think digital photographers have more freedom to experiment. on a shoot i did in challanging light conitions at Stonehenge solstice I exxperimented until I got the exposure right and from then on had the freedom to take the shot with out hte worry of braketing, if I had used film the majority of the shots would have been binned on recieving the slides back and problly only 5% would have ny merit, with digital much higher numbers re good and higher still are perfection

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