DIGITAL CAMERAS-is perfection sterile?

scorcher
3rd May 2009, 14:47
I bought my first digital camera with 2 million pixcels...upgraded to
3 million then to 9 million.I enjoy their results very much especially
with a 10 x zoom. I have noticed that as the specs improve the results
are in danger of becoming sterile. Emulating the air brushed hyper-realism
of holiday brochures with their perfect blue skies and seas.
There is a danger that more photographers are seeking perfection with every rivet or porthole showing in razor sharp focus.
The danger being that ATMOSPHERE and MOOD is being lost.
When I view my earliest b & w shots taken on a basic fixed focus camera
(back in 1959) they seem to have a certain quality that hyper-reality
loses.
I value the performance of my digital cameras yet am aware of this
disparity. My point is , I wonder how many SN members have old b&w
negatives which they feel are substandard because of comparing them to
the latest digital offerings?. If so I think we could be missing out on
a valuable contribition of lost gems.
I do realise there is a minimum quality that should be maintained but
surely one must guard against feeling that perfectly good photos are not good enough.
I do not wish to make work for the Moderators by them deleting substandard photos ...but at the same time would love to see archive photos that may be lingering in lofts out there!.

Andy
3rd May 2009, 15:02
I do not wish to make work for the Moderators by them deleting substandard photos ...but at the same time would love to see archive photos that may be lingering in lofts out there!.

Hi,
Moderators do not remove substandard photos from the gallery due to it being such a subjective/personal issue.
As long as the photo is not too tiny to be of no use, they stay.
SN positively invites old photos that members have taken from the distant past.
cheers,
Andy

K urgess
3rd May 2009, 15:04
I still have my first and only digital camera. A miserable 2 megapixels and quite adequate for the rare occasions I need to use it.
I still use a film camera a lot of the time.
Modern photography tends to devalue the product because there are so many of them.
And yes they are relatively sterile but a good manipulation program will allow you to put a bit of life back into them just as it will allow you to improve your old scratched negatives and prints beyond recognition.
The whole idea of the gallery in the first place was a place that us old salts could exhibit our cherished snaps from our years at sea. It's taken on a life of it's own and is now a prime research resource for all aspects of the marine industry past and present.
We never delete pictures out of hand but try to help the member as much as we can to improve his offering.
As Andy says the only pictures removed are those that are too tiny to be recognisable and even then the member is asked to try and load a bigger one. Even to the extent of offering to do it for them.
Scanning is a black art and needs a lot of practice to get the best results.
I've moved this to the forum more appropriate to the subject.

benjidog
3rd May 2009, 16:15
Some of the best photos I have seen were taken on a Box Brownie - others on half-plate and 5x4 cameras - all using black and white stock.

The technology is only 10% of the final result - the rest of it is determined by the photographer. Any idiot can created a perfect digital image with a digital camera - that is not the same a a perfect photograph.

MARINEJOCKY
3rd May 2009, 17:12
Next you will all be saying that the best ride you ever had was in a Model T Ford.

I went thru' a phase years ago when I thought I was going to be phtographing models of the female kind for the rest of my life. Unfortunately that did not work out however I kept my Canon AE-1 body and some basic lens but sold most of the real expensive ones.

I went thru' numeorus digital cameras from the Sony Mavico which I think was below 1 megapixel and still have hundreds of small 3.5" discs with up to, yes up to seven images of "High defination" on each disc.

Now using the latest Canon Digital SLR's which you can get up to 21 Megapixels allows me to do my job so much easier. The picture quality is great and I can do all kinds of things that a photographer of our calibre would only dream about 10 years ago never mind 30 years ago when I was at sea.

I can carry thousands of images in a tiny little portable hard drive or disc and these can be instantly looked at thru' a tv, computer and in my case a tablet computer that is carried in one hand.

Thankfully digital images are now accepted in a court of law which was not always the case as it was thought it was too easy to change the images. Using boroscopes, digital cameras and thermal imaging cameras has certainly changed things and now even having better quality cameras in the cell phones allows us all to send instant images.

K urgess
3rd May 2009, 17:30
There was a news snippet on local TV last week about a pair of professional photographers going round the country taking glass plate and large format film pictures because they preferred film to digital.
There's still something about the "randomness" of film that beats the regimented pixels of digital photography every time.
A bit like the difference between a transistor/IC amplifier and one employing thermionic valves. The quality of light on film being the equivalent of the valve's quality and depth of sound.
Digital has the distinct advantage of being able to see the results instantly and the ability to take as many as your media will hold until you get it right makes it the favourite modern media.

scorcher
3rd May 2009, 20:09
Firstly I apologise for starting a thread in the wrong forum.
I have read all the postings avidly and many interesting points were made.I never meant to suggest that Moderators were heavy handed in filtering uploads. I used to be a member of a camera club but left when the priority was the equipment over the actual photography.
Maybe I was too sensitive but such boasting over the best gear such as Leica/Hassalblad made me feel inferior with my Olympus Trip and my photos were rejected because of my camera.The merit or otherwise of the photograph not being taken into account.
They could have been rubbish but my sense of aesthetics told me otherwise.
I concur with Marconi Sahib entirely over band gear.I had an AC 30 once and traded it in for an early transistor job.Bad move.
My point is that I hope no SN members will be reluctant to submit photos thinking they may be substandard.After the assurances given by the Moderators that all are welcome my fears are misplaced.At least it may be a wake up call to rumage around the attic especially as old negatives can degrade and be lost for ever.
ps...Glad to know that those guys are preserving modern images on film.
I have had two Fuji 1 gig XD cards fail.I know the factory may restore them but it still leaves an empty feeling.

Andy Lavies
3rd May 2009, 20:28
I think one of the main advantages of digital is being able to plink away without worrying about the cost of processing. I walked in the New Forest this morning and took 45 pictures of deer, trees, swamps, etc. Wouldn't have done it is I had to pay Boots a days pension for the results.
Andy
P.S. Most of them look good but this is the wrong site to show them off!

non descript
3rd May 2009, 20:55
P.S. Most of them look good but this is the wrong site to show them off!

But they would be great here (http://www.worldphotographyforum.com/) (Thumb)

Scousegit
3rd May 2009, 21:05
This weekend I have taken my Mamiya Press plus to lenses (150 & 250mm) and my Nikon F90 out just to remind myself as to why now use digi.

Apart from the near impossability of getting E6 proccessed, 120 B&W film stock as far as I know is only available at one stockest in Liverpool; processing chemicals are just as hard to find and paper can only be found in Manchester apprently - not that I'm going to get the darkroom going again.

With digi, I sort out what I want on PS2 save it on my stick and then off to ASDA were a 10x8 print cost 1-25 and an A4 2.68 and they are ready for me 10-15 min later. If I want bigger prints then it's off to a shop at Woodside were they are done just as fast and cheaply, so no contest I'm afraid.

I'll still do B&W of course and scan them in to the computer just keep my hand in but it's going to interesting just how long film and wet processing will remain - sad but that's progress - apprently.

Scouse.

benjidog
3rd May 2009, 22:53
Next you will all be saying that the best ride you ever had was in a Model T Ford.


MJ,

I still like to knock off the odd daguerreotype now and then for old times sake but did convert to one of the first Canon digital SLRs. :)

Recently I have gone for convenience and use a Sony DSC W300 - fits easily into your pocket and takes a decent photo under most conditions - also takes pretty reasonable videos. I still prefer the SLR really but the kit weighs thirty times as much.

scorcher
3rd May 2009, 23:58
Benjidog wrote; "I still like to knock off the odd daguerreotype now and then for old times sake .."

Have you uploaded to any on line gallery? As a great fan of
Robert Demarchy ..I am curious to see them....

Thanks for the link Tonga....another great site to scan on wet afternoons.

J Boyde
4th May 2009, 12:14
I still have a large number of slides to transfer through digital. There must be very many slides sitting with there owners wondering what they can do to display them. I do have a projector but what can I do when the bulb goes pop. All the ships I have sent via SN have been passed through my printer which has the ability to run a slide through to a computor. To send slides to a photo shop is a very expensive process.
Jim B

stein
4th May 2009, 12:30
I had a Rollei copy by Yashica once: two lens reflex with matte screen you looked down into with the camera on your stomach. I treaded the 4 by 4cm 12 picture film in the camera on diverse toilets with the lights out, and retreaded them in a developer tank later, and made my own copies. The only thing I miss is the method of composing the picture, as if above a drawing table – I think that before single lens reflex and the camera stuck to your face you developed a different attitude towards photographing, more painterly like. You had the camera hanging steadied on your stomach, both hands moving it back and forth while watching that square screen change content, and with few pictures per film you gave a lot of thought to each.

Before Nikon took over in the early sixties, nearly all professionals used a Rollei, and there were a hundred black & white photography magazines, Life being the best known, all with a kind of photography I believe is gone.
I picked up a stack of 40’ies yacht magazines recently, all with great covers in one colour, all attempts at making art, with skies and coastlines and people dominating the vessels, and the small lettering sparse and way out in the corners. Compared with the shiny product presentation that screams on today’s covers, it’s another world.

I was in Hamburg some thirty years ago, btw, and saw a fifties Rollei in the window of a used camera dealer. I thought I’d pick one up cheap – but the price he gave me was several times what you would have to pay for a new Nikon.

No, really, today’s cameras have quite a lot going for them, but as with all technical revolutions, something got lost. I am not going back to film, but I really miss looking down into the black box on top of a two lens reflex. Regards, Stein.

Scousegit
4th May 2009, 13:40
Stein,

I understand completly what you mean I still have my Fathers two Thornton-Pickard quarter plate cameras, both in working order.

As an aside, about 25 years ago I noticed a Leica 111c in a shop window not far from home, it was 150 but I just had to have it! I still do of course and take it out from time to time. Compared to modern lenses the results are a little on the soft side and the contrast not so biting but, I can or could, pull a 20x16 print off it without any problem.

Scouse.

scorcher
4th May 2009, 20:28
It seems that the argument for digital is financial and not aesthetic?
When the cost of film plus developing etc...goes on rising and therefore
becomes scarcer and scarcer until it is no longer available due to the
public buying digital...the choice is not there is it?.
There is a new shop here on the Island displaying and presumably selling???
A1 size prints razor sharp with every pebble and shell in clear definition taken
with a digital camera and edited on the computer.
I do not blame the camera of course but the operator who is seduced by the
ability to render perfection to every ******* shell and pebble in hyper reality.(MAD)
No doubt cleaned up on photoshop etc....to erase any "untidy" strands of seaweed.
Live and let live I must....down the road another shop has closed after the owner/photographer passed on...gone are the prints to enchant
and beguile. I have used most tricks on Adobe etc...so I speak from
practical experience. With a flick or two of the mouse and clever use of filters
I can ( or rather the software can ) transform a basic sea scape into a psychedelic "masterpiece". It is seductive and addictive but I can resist it.
Others it seems are happy to delude themselves into thinking they are artists.
Art it is not....Witchcraft it is.(Hippy) I always return to Turner for sustenance
of the soul....(A) he could render art plus information. He knew the details of
rigging in every vessel he painted but he was modest about it was he not?
A sign of a great genius.

K urgess
4th May 2009, 21:09
I can't remember when my parents gave me my first camera but it must've been sometime around age 10. School photographic societies and just about every photographic media known to man later, and I still can't take a decent photo. [=P]
When film runs out (hopefully after I do) I shall get an all singing, all dancing digital SLR.
I'll then switch off all the electronic compensations for operator error and see if I can simulate the way I like to take pictures.
I love my film cameras dearly but they rarely get used anymore unless I'm feeling particularly artistic or masochistic. If I could get a digital back for my Yashica 230-AF I would be a happy chappie. All those lenses that won't fit anything else and all those functions I can't find together on the same camera. (Sad)
I don't normally need to get arty-farty anymore when taking family pics or reference pics to post on here so my little Fuji serves it's purpose.
It's still possible to catch atmosphere on a digital without resorting to Photoshop or whichever manipulation program turns you on. Although rare to see because of the temptation towards digital perfection.
Maybe it was because it was so difficult to get it right with the tools available that really excellent photgraphs were so outstanding. It's too easy now.

Anyways, we have such a knowledgeable and experienced membership to help with all those old slides, negatives and prints that there's no need for them to hide away in those shoeboxes in the loft.
The more the merrier.
This is purely selfish because, although I've sailed with hundreds of people and lots of people with cameras, there's not a single picture of poor old Fubar in the gallery that wasn't taken on my camera. (Sad)

Griffon
6th May 2009, 08:54
Some interesting point in these threads. I've still got my old Pentax MX, that was my second SLR. I've thousands of 35mm slides all still in their boxes that I keep saying I must get a scanner that does slides...
Just as an aside in all this, Paul Cullern who used to be the British Aerospace Photographer, who did all of their 'Air-to-Air' stuff had an old Leica lens attached to a hand made plywood box which used glass plates. He swore by this stuff even for colour, and I still have some 4ftx3ft photo's he took. One day he dropped his camera out of the back of a Herc low level over Salibury Plain, but good old 230 Sqn helped him find it. (They also found the 'jimpey' barrel they misplaced too.) I digress.

I use a digi now, it's over 10 years old now, Oly 3030Z, I bought it to do various types of work on the ground, it's not brilliant in the air as the fastest speed is 800th of a second. However, my study has 30 A4 pictures on the wall that I took with it.
In some respects what you can do with the image processing software can take over some of the camera's attributes. For example, digital zoom on a camera, forget it. Never used it. Mechanical zoom of a lens yes.
Swear by one of Mr Nikon's finest for the day job though!

I also PM'd a couple of guys on SN and where they had scanned a torn old photo and cleaned it up for them, but I did not change the original feel or attributes of their original. The old one's really are some times the best. That's why I still draw!
regards Paul
(Smoke)
May the Fourth be with you.....

scorcher
6th May 2009, 11:12
Griffon wrote; "That's why I still draw! "
So the spirit of Cartier-Bresson lives on.(Thumb) ...we was supreme at both.
I am convinced his drawing made him a better photographer and his
photographs made him a better artist. Vive la differance !

Pat McCardle
6th May 2009, 11:34
I still have my late fathers Leica camera built in 1933 & still in perfect working order, although I prefer the Panasonic FZ28 & Nikon D40 these days(Thumb)

K urgess
6th May 2009, 12:31
One of the reasons I still have my Fuji Finepix is because of the 6x optical zoom which was the bees knees when I got it. Although it's a bit slow at actually taking a picture at that zoom factor. Targets have been known to disappear by the time it makes up its mind what to do. (EEK)
If I really want to zoom in on something I have a pair of Simmons "CaptureView" binoculars to play with.
Never used digital zoom or any resolution above the optical 4800 that my scanner will do.
I'm very envious of the Leica, Pat. Even something like a Russian copy will cost you over a ton. I've got a cabinet full of old cameras from box Brownies to sound recording cine that are worth zilch. They look nice but don't 'alf take some dusting.
Although I used AutoCad for years professionally for engineering and electrical drawings, I still prefer to do quick construction sketches by hand and like a nice hand drawn artist's impression over a 3D computer model any day. Unless there are some fancy parts to make up, that is. Even my AutoCad engineering drawings invariably turned out like Victorian engravings. [=P]

GWB
6th May 2009, 12:38
I was given SLR 350 Sony by the shore bosun as as a christmas present last year and did a course on how to use it, NOT using Auto great fun, trying to get the training in to use. One thing the teacher said it is better to day as you have the results today and don't have to wait on film coming back 10-14 days later and remember what the conditions where USE the TECHNOLOGY great advice.
Still have old Cannon 1963 but hard to get film.

George

K urgess
6th May 2009, 12:48
I find it amusing that my local film developing emporium has a machine that does all the business and then scans the negatives before printing them digitally. [=P]

stein
6th May 2009, 18:18
I do not find that that funny, as none of the film developers here bothers with much pixels for the process, so what what you get from them is thick card, warm colours and glossy surface, but less details than a jet printer on ordinary porous paper. I refused to pay the last time, and after much screaming that was accepted. I am still angry about it, not getting decent copies from film... Regards, Stein.

K urgess
6th May 2009, 18:27
This is why I also decline the prints and only get the film developed, Stein.
I have noticed that some of my 40 year old negatives are in better condition than a newly developed film after you have cut it up for scanning.
Maybe it's the instant processing that softens the emulsion. (Sad)

Duncan112
7th May 2009, 21:57
This is why I also decline the prints and only get the film developed, Stein.
I have noticed that some of my 40 year old negatives are in better condition than a newly developed film after you have cut it up for scanning.
Maybe it's the instant processing that softens the emulsion. (Sad)

Possibly to do with the length of time the film is rinsed for between baths and after the final bath - when I used to do my own work I rinsed for about 20 mins in running water with the tube down the bottom of the dev tank (no water meter then!!) be interesting to see how much rinsing goes on now.

Duncan

benjidog
8th May 2009, 00:22
I still have an enlarger somewhere in the depths of the garage which takes half-plate film. It is wall mounted and weighs over a hundredweight. I also still have an MPP 5x4 cut-film camera somewhere too. You can do things with those things that Photoshop would struggle with by adjusting the bellows, angle of the lens and backplate etc. Excellent for sorting out the perspective of buildings. Not sure you could get the film stock for it any more though. :(

Griffon
10th May 2009, 12:19
Griffon wrote; "That's why I still draw! "
So the spirit of Cartier-Bresson lives on.(Thumb) ...we was supreme at both. I am convinced his drawing made him a better photographer and his photographs made him a better artist. Vive la differance !
I guess there's hope for me yet then!
regards Paul

(Smoke)

andysk
12th May 2009, 12:36
..... Not sure you could get the film stock for it any more though. :(

I imagine you could but not from anywhere like Jessops, or even a local (ie) non chain, camera shop. There are probably still specialists around who would sell that film stock; you could try the professional photo mags - if you are still keen to play with those toys !

Thamesphil
12th May 2009, 17:41
An interesting thread this Scorcher. Personally, I'd never go back to the days of film and processing. My first 'real' camera was an Oly OM-10. A great camera once I'd got used to it, but I rue the photos of classic ships that I ruined because at first I didn't know how to use it properly. I also rue the fact that I let so many ships pass the camera lens by, always 'saving film' for something better. But that 'something better' didn't always turn up, meaning that many ships that were common at the time, but now long gone, never got caught on film. Film and processing was an expensive business in those days, especially when you were a youngster just out of school. I gave up photographing ships in the 1980s and sold my OM-10. Then the internet came along and sites such as this and shipspotting regenerated my interest. What's more, the digital age had also come along making the prospect of cheap and cheerful photography appealing again. After going through a series of digital cameras, I have now settled on a Panny DMC-FZ50. Someone earlier mentioned Leica, and this camera has the famous leica branded lens coupled with the electronics of Panasonic which, I believe, is the dream combination. Whilst not being a DSLR, it has a 12x optical zoom and image stabilisation. Would I next go for a DSLR? Well, I have thought about it but the Panny is half the price and none of the inconvenience of a good DSLR zoom kit. One thing is for sure, I will never go back to film.

Cheers
Phil

benjidog
12th May 2009, 22:43
I imagine you could but not from anywhere like Jessops, or even a local (ie) non chain, camera shop. There are probably still specialists around who would sell that film stock; you could try the professional photo mags - if you are still keen to play with those toys !

Thanks for that Andy but overall I think it would be too much trouble. I used to love developing my own films and prints but it is messy and time consuming and you can do most things better with photoshop. I suppose the best compromise would be to get some kind of bolt-on digital thingy to replace the cut-film holder on the back of the camera. I guess that would cost an absolute fortune though.

I guess I really only keep the old kit for sentimental reasons and just get the old MPP camera out now and again to admire the workmanship of those that built it.

scorcher
13th May 2009, 00:44
The postings about the pros and pros ( not many cons!) about members
digital cameras makes more entertaining reading than the correspondence columns of the photo-mags. I was dreaming of buying
a camera like Phils....the Panny with Leica lens but reality kicked in and I settled for a Fuji 9500.The added bonus on this camera (which I only found out after I bought it ) was that it has video mode of 30fps plus 60fps and at 640 x 480 it is good enough for web uploads or better !.

I can also relate to the self discipline of rationing shots on the film.
I bought a racing bike in 1960 and with a fixed focus camera and a 5 bob
a year photo licence from the P.L.A. plus lunch would cycle on sundays
50 miles and visit all of the London docks judiciously choosing which 12
ships to photograph on my 120 film !!!.Many gems were never recorded for posterity including 19 th century vintage timber ships from Finland and other Scandinavian countries.

I would like to reprieve my original thoughts about this thread. I am not
anti-digital as I use mine every day....I do wonder though if some members have dust laden shoe boxes in their lofts stuffed with curling b & w photos taken with the illustrious Brownie etc etc which they are reluctant to upload having seen the pristine modern digital offerings on the site. Surely "tis better to upload than to have them dumped or digested by rodents ?.I was tempted to say send them to me and I will work the miracle of restoration with software...but my time is fully taken up alas.....

scorcher
16th May 2009, 09:40
The postings about the pros and pros ( not many cons!) about members
digital cameras makes more entertaining reading than the correspondence columns of the photo-mags. I was dreaming of buying
a camera like Phils....the Panny with Leica lens but reality kicked in and I settled for a Fuji 9500.The added bonus on this camera (which I only found out after I bought it ) was that it has video mode of 30fps plus 60fps and at 640 x 480 it is good enough for web uploads or better !.

I can also relate to the self discipline of rationing shots on the film.
I bought a racing bike in 1960 and with a fixed focus camera and a 5 bob
a year photo licence from the P.L.A. plus lunch would cycle on sundays
50 miles and visit all of the London docks judiciously choosing which 12
ships to photograph on my 120 film !!!.Many gems were never recorded for posterity including 19 th century vintage timber ships from Finland and other Scandinavian countries.

I would like to reprieve my original thoughts about this thread. I am not
anti-digital as I use mine every day....I do wonder though if some members have dust laden shoe boxes in their lofts stuffed with curling b & w photos taken with the illustrious Brownie etc etc which they are reluctant to upload having seen the pristine modern digital offerings on the site. Surely "tis better to upload than to have them dumped or digested by rodents ?.I was tempted to say send them to me and I will work the miracle of restoration with software...but my time is fully taken up alas.....

PS...just an afterthought as a suggestion to all new users of digital cameras. After the photos have been uploaded to a computer (and backed up preferably ! ) deleting the images does not remove them from the card only re;formatting does .

K urgess
16th May 2009, 13:15
All that normally happens, and this applies to hard and floppy disks as well, is that the directory entry is marked with a character like a tilde (~) that means the entry and disk/RAM/EPROM space is available for re-use.
This is why defragmentation is needed every so often. A larger file will be written to available clusters left by smaller files so can be spread all over the disk or memory locations on electronic media. With disks this means that finding the whole file takes longer to load because of searching and seeking for bits. Particularly as a return to datum is required to read the directory entry for each location.
Most recovery programs find these entries and then search to see if the space has been re-used yet. Some search the whole disk for clusters that are all part of the same file and ignore the directory entry.
A high level format will write and read to the disk with 0s or 1s several times to allow for any variations in head positioning.
If you're really paranoid you have to take the drive apart and either scrape all the oxide off the disks or swipe a very strong magnet across each disk.
At least that's the theory I was taught. A bit off topic I know, Sorry about that. [=P]
The only things that have changed are due to improvements in IC technology and micro-engineering.
The nomenclature (names) come from the good old days when a disk drive was a drum the size of a spin dryer. Which is why tracks are cylinders.

I also use my digital camera every day for instant results but would need to upgrade seriously if I wanted to use it for arty stuff. I don't do enough to justify it these days so the old analogue film camera will satisfy my "Meldrew Factor".

Cheers
Kris

benjidog
16th May 2009, 14:33
Another thought for digital photographers is that it is perfectly acceptable to delete the poor shots - you don't have to keep them for posterity or indeed upload them onto SN with the good ones. :)

stein
16th May 2009, 15:08
Sneaky that one Brian :sweat:. Regards, Stein.

scorcher
16th May 2009, 19:18
Kris wrote " this applies to hard and floppy disks as well, is that the directory entry is marked with a character like a tilde (~) that means the entry and disk/RAM/EPROM space is available for re-use....etc "

Now if I was clued up enough to have written that..I would have...
This SN site is like doing a giant jigsaw...when one has a space
and no piece....one is offered....but the "jigsaw" has no end !(K)
Thanks Kris.