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Thread: Photography vs Digital Image

  1. #41
    DanK's Avatar
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    Re: Photography vs Digital Image

    A digital image is simply one that has been sampled digitally, no more, no less. Why both definitions appear to include some post-processing is beyond my understanding.
    Indeed. Any image I capture with one of my digital cameras is a digital image, regardless of what I do or don't do with it, and it is also photography. And the photographs I took with my film camera were photography, regardless of what I did with them.

  2. #42
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    Re: Photography vs Digital Image

    It is impossible for any kind of photography to reproduce reality.

    For a start it changes a three dimensional subject into a two dimensional representation.

    It transforms a dynamic temporal event into a semi permanent record.

    The optical system creates distortions, aberrations and produces perspectives very different from our own human vision.

    The electronic or chemical systems impose limitations and biases in colour and tonal renditions.

    Printing and display methods also introduce similar biases and limitations that alter our perception of the final image too.

    And then, there is the framing and compositional decisions that exclude contextual information from the wider scene.

    As it is obviously impossible to reproduce reality through this medium then we should have absolutely no expectation that that is what we are looking at when we view a photograph. I include photojournalism, landscape and natural history and any other kind of photo discipline in this fundamental lack of expectation as well.

  3. #43
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    Re: Photography vs Digital Image

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayland View Post
    It is impossible for any kind of photography to reproduce reality.

    For a start it changes a three dimensional subject into a two dimensional representation.

    It transforms a dynamic temporal event into a semi permanent record.

    The optical system creates distortions, aberrations and produces perspectives very different from our own human vision.

    The electronic or chemical systems impose limitations and biases in colour and tonal renditions.

    Printing and display methods also introduce similar biases and limitations that alter our perception of the final image too.

    And then, there is the framing and compositional decisions that exclude contextual information from the wider scene.

    As it is obviously impossible to reproduce reality through this medium then we should have absolutely no expectation that that is what we are looking at when we view a photograph. I include photojournalism, landscape and natural history and any other kind of photo discipline in this fundamental lack of expectation as well.
    Seems your base assumption is humans see the true reality. As a Buddhist I would disagree. The very little I nearly understand about quantum physics also indicate that humans don't see reality. The lens on the other hand may help us to come closer to seeing reality.

  4. #44
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    Re: Photography vs Digital Image

    No I don't assume that at all.

    Quite apart from physiological differences between our eyes and nervous systems, we perceive everything through a filter of our own experiences and prejudices.

    The closest thing I have to certainty is cogito ergo sum.

  5. #45
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    Re: Photography vs Digital Image

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayland View Post
    No I don't assume that at all.

    Quite apart from physiological differences between our eyes and nervous systems, we perceive everything through a filter of our own experiences and prejudices.

    The closest thing I have to certainty is cogito ergo sum.
    Thank you!

    Photography vs Digital Image
    .

  6. #46

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    Re: Photography vs Digital Image

    This is a subject close to my heart and I strongly believe that many photographers go way over the top, spending hours producing something they call a photograph but isn't. In fact, it is now becoming so normal, what with the plethora of ludicrously overworked images in advertising, in movies etc, that I feel we have properly entered a new stage of image appreciation. Thankfully, the distinction between an image on-screen and an actual printed photograph that one can hold is still concrete..in fact I would argue that it is even more so these days, but of course, there are still many prints out there which are really quite bad. I printed off a few shots a few years ago and they were snapped up by my colleagues who were just really pleased to have a framable print. The shots themselves were not particularly great, looking back, but they were real photographs of recognisable places and that meant a lot more to those who paid for them than any amount of digital perfection on a computer screen. There are photographers out there who use modern tools to genuinely enhance an existing image and I sincerely salute them. But the prevailing attitude these days is definitely "I can do what I like and I really don't give a damn whether you like it as loads of my mates do exactly the same thing...and actually, it takes a lot of work and effort to do what I do so keep your nose out thank you very much!" Of course, they never actually say that. They call themselves "Artists" and defend their "Art" as some kind of precious cultural relic, when much of the time it is nothing more than compensation for being unable to produce an inherently interesting shot. DPR have started talking about cameras in a way I find offensive, demanding that the output of any new FF camera can withstand a FIVE STOP PUSH, as if this was normal, rather than a work-around for obvious lack of ability.

  7. #47

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    Re: Photography vs Digital Image

    Quote Originally Posted by Shanghai Steve View Post
    This is a subject close to my heart and I strongly believe that many photographers go way over the top, spending hours producing something they call a photograph but isn't. In fact, it is now becoming so normal, what with the plethora of ludicrously overworked images in advertising, in movies etc, that I feel we have properly entered a new stage of image appreciation. Thankfully, the distinction between an image on-screen and an actual printed photograph that one can hold is still concrete..in fact I would argue that it is even more so these days, but of course, there are still many prints out there which are really quite bad. I printed off a few shots a few years ago and they were snapped up by my colleagues who were just really pleased to have a framable print. The shots themselves were not particularly great, looking back, but they were real photographs of recognisable places and that meant a lot more to those who paid for them than any amount of digital perfection on a computer screen. There are photographers out there who use modern tools to genuinely enhance an existing image and I sincerely salute them. But the prevailing attitude these days is definitely "I can do what I like and I really don't give a damn whether you like it as loads of my mates do exactly the same thing...and actually, it takes a lot of work and effort to do what I do so keep your nose out thank you very much!" Of course, they never actually say that. They call themselves "Artists" and defend their "Art" as some kind of precious cultural relic, when much of the time it is nothing more than compensation for being unable to produce an inherently interesting shot. DPR have started talking about cameras in a way I find offensive, demanding that the output of any new FF camera can withstand a FIVE STOP PUSH, as if this was normal, rather than a work-around for obvious lack of ability.
    This is a fairly solipsistic arguement. You establish boundaries according to what you like and then denigrate people who go beyond that as ludicrous and, by inference, the way you think things should be done is the right way.

    Some images are overworked in that they have not much worth to start with and 'effects' are piled on in an attampt to make them something more. This is much like adding spices in an attempt to make an ill-tasting dish more palatable.

    However many people see the initial image as just a waystation in the progress of their art. If the end point is good, then the path is irrelevant. The final result is all that's important.

    The image I use on my cards (http://lewlortonphoto.com/p332362737/eea5d025 ) took an enormous amount of work to recover from its color state - and indeed, I did what I wanted to do - but I don't think the amount of work that went into it is represented as excess in the final image.

    I like prints and think the worth of nicely done prints of nicely done images has appreciated as people become sated with the digital image. There is something about the color and composition on a heft piece of paper that seems to mean more as a creation when it is taken out of the digital area where we have become accustomed to expect that anything can be done.

    This may be, in the ultimate sense, wrong because I am giving the medium some weight. Just as images taken with a film camera are 'given extra credit' because some weight is given both the the effort of using film and a nod to tradition.

  8. #48
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    Re: Photography vs Digital Image

    Quote Originally Posted by thetraveler View Post
    This is a fairly solipsistic arguement. You establish boundaries according to what you like and then denigrate people who go beyond that as ludicrous and, by inference, the way you think things should be done is the right way.

    Some images are overworked in that they have not much worth to start with and 'effects' are piled on in an attampt to make them something more. This is much like adding spices in an attempt to make an ill-tasting dish more palatable.

    However many people see the initial image as just a waystation in the progress of their art. If the end point is good, then the path is irrelevant. The final result is all that's important.

    The image I use on my cards (http://lewlortonphoto.com/p332362737/eea5d025 ) took an enormous amount of work to recover from its color state - and indeed, I did what I wanted to do - but I don't think the amount of work that went into it is represented as excess in the final image.

    I like prints and think the worth of nicely done prints of nicely done images has appreciated as people become sated with the digital image. There is something about the color and composition on a heft piece of paper that seems to mean more as a creation when it is taken out of the digital area where we have become accustomed to expect that anything can be done.

    This may be, in the ultimate sense, wrong because I am giving the medium some weight. Just as images taken with a film camera are 'given extra credit' because some weight is given both the the effort of using film and a nod to tradition.
    as a famous man whose name escapes me said ' the medium is the message'.

  9. #49

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    Re: Photography vs Digital Image

    Quote Originally Posted by JBW View Post
    as a famous man whose name escapes me said ' the medium is the message'.
    Probably Marshal McLuhan

    Yes, and I think that it is too easy to be swayed by the medium.
    Large well-printed pictures look 'better' or impact us more.
    Semi-crappy wedding photos look decent, even good, in a nice album.
    Mediocre pictures bound in a book get a big more respect because someone took the effort to incorporate them in a book.

    I try to ignore all the medium issues and look at the image itself.

  10. #50
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    Re: Photography vs Digital Image

    Quote Originally Posted by Shanghai Steve View Post
    <> Thankfully, the distinction between an image on-screen and an actual printed photograph that one can hold is still concrete..in fact I would argue that it is even more so these days, but of course, there are still many prints out there which are really quite bad. I printed off a few shots a few years ago and they were snapped up by my colleagues who were just really pleased to have a framable print. The shots themselves were not particularly great, looking back, but they were real photographs of recognisable places and that meant a lot more to those who paid for them than any amount of digital perfection on a computer screen. There are photographers out there who use modern tools to genuinely enhance an existing image and I sincerely salute them. <>
    I do not print. For me the the only images I study are on my monitor. So may I ask what that distinction is?

    DPR have started talking about cameras in a way I find offensive, demanding that the output of any new FF camera can withstand a FIVE STOP PUSH, as if this was normal, rather than a work-around for obvious lack of ability.
    Is there a link to where they usually say that?

    Ta.

  11. #51
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    Re: Photography vs Digital Image

    Quote Originally Posted by JBW View Post
    as a famous man whose name escapes me said ' the medium is the message'.
    Marshall McLuhan

    Good guess Lew. We have a relatively limited number of Canadians who had such a major impact on the world, so we know about him.

  12. #52

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    Re: Photography vs Digital Image

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    I do not print. For me the the only images I study are on my monitor. So may I ask what that distinction is?


    Is there a link to where they usually say that?

    Ta.
    Make some prints and see for yourself. Of course you might feel differently, but I believe that a photograph isn't a photograph until it is a photograph. Until then, it is merely a digital file.

    Check out some of their latest reviews. I remember the review of a recent Leica in which they slate the camera for having noisy shadows when they were pushed by +3 E.V. They stated that it was "normal" for any modern camera to have noiseless results when manipulated in this way. Pushing shadows is the latest craze.

  13. #53

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    Re: Photography vs Digital Image

    Quote Originally Posted by thetraveler View Post
    This is a fairly solipsistic arguement. You establish boundaries according to what you like and then denigrate people who go beyond that as ludicrous and, by inference, the way you think things should be done is the right way.

    Some images are overworked in that they have not much worth to start with and 'effects' are piled on in an attampt to make them something more. This is much like adding spices in an attempt to make an ill-tasting dish more palatable.

    However many people see the initial image as just a waystation in the progress of their art. If the end point is good, then the path is irrelevant. The final result is all that's important.

    The image I use on my cards (http://lewlortonphoto.com/p332362737/eea5d025 ) took an enormous amount of work to recover from its color state - and indeed, I did what I wanted to do - but I don't think the amount of work that went into it is represented as excess in the final image.

    I like prints and think the worth of nicely done prints of nicely done images has appreciated as people become sated with the digital image. There is something about the color and composition on a heft piece of paper that seems to mean more as a creation when it is taken out of the digital area where we have become accustomed to expect that anything can be done.

    This may be, in the ultimate sense, wrong because I am giving the medium some weight. Just as images taken with a film camera are 'given extra credit' because some weight is given both the the effort of using film and a nod to tradition.
    No, it is an opinion. I do accept that you exist as a separate entity.
    In fact, you feel the same way, as you have stated in this post, i.e. endowed with artistic judgement regarding the work of others.

  14. #54
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    Re: Photography vs Digital Image

    Quote Originally Posted by Shanghai Steve View Post
    Make some prints and see for yourself. Of course you might feel differently, but I believe that a photograph isn't a photograph until it is a photograph. Until then, it is merely a digital file.
    Not helpful - since all I have is a cheap Canon all-in-one. May I ask again what the distinction is between an image viewed on-screen and one viewed on a print?

    Check out some of their latest reviews. I remember the review of a recent Leica in which they slate the camera for having noisy shadows when they were pushed by +3 E.V. They stated that it was "normal" for any modern camera to have noiseless results when manipulated in this way. Pushing shadows is the latest craze.
    Thanks. Do you recall what that "recent Leica" model was?
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 6th July 2016 at 04:16 PM.

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    Re: Photography vs Digital Image

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    Not helpful - since all I have is a cheap Canon all-in-one. May I ask again what the distinction is between an image viewed on-screen and one viewed on a print?



    Thanks. Do you recall what that "recent Leica" model was?
    No I can't recall which Leica. Probably an X model, since I was recently checking them out.

  16. #56

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    Re: Photography vs Digital Image

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    Not helpful - since all I have is a cheap Canon all-in-one. May I ask again what the distinction is between an image viewed on-screen and one viewed on a print?
    There are two kinds of differences, one real and one intellectual.

    The image on a screen takes advantage of the luminance from the monitor to give the image life but at the same time there is much less detail and, unless you have a very resolution screen you won't get the impression of detail that comes naturally with a print.

    A print relies for its appear of luminosity on the underlying medium (there is no white ink) and so is naturally duller than a monitor. On the other hand, it is a real thing, you can lift up up, look at it more closely, lay it down and the image persists. The printmaker has captured that image and laid it on a medium.


    To me, an image on a screen is ephemeral, tied to the machinations of a monito, graphics card and computer cpu. It seems that I am always sharing the image with technology - and it goes away when I turn the monitor off.

    A good print, to me, is a greater accomplishment, just that much further down the difficult path from subject, to camera to editing to reproduction, then past the monitor to print.

    Somehow, intuitively, viewers know that. They give more crtedit to prints than to images on a monitor. Also, wrongly, they give credit for size and manner of reproduction. That is almost impossible to avoid. I was at a show in a gallery in Chelsea and the images were all printed quite beautifully and very large. The show was impressive but, at the end I saw a notebook with the same images sized at 8 x 10 and not nearly as well printed; not only were they less impressive, they were banal.

    So viewers walk a fine line, ignore the method, the manner that tried to falsely enhance your appreciation, look at the image.

  17. #57
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    Re: Photography vs Digital Image

    Quote Originally Posted by Shanghai Steve View Post
    Make some prints and see for yourself. Of course you might feel differently, but I believe that a photograph isn't a photograph until it is a photograph. Until then, it is merely a digital file.

    Check out some of their latest reviews. I remember the review of a recent Leica in which they slate the camera for having noisy shadows when they were pushed by +3 E.V. They stated that it was "normal" for any modern camera to have noiseless results when manipulated in this way. Pushing shadows is the latest craze.
    A very good friend of mine has made a very profitable career as a photographer without the need to produce and supply printed images. He owns a city centre studio, has a strong list of returning clients and a regular supply of new projects to keep him busy and earning a good living. A small percentage of his work might end up in a glossy brochure or magazine but the vast majority of his output is for online/display use - are you saying because he doesn't make printed photographs just digital files he's not a photographer?


    Pushing shadows isn't the latest craze - I have pushed and pulled and generally manipulated negatives in the camera, the film dev and in a wet darkroom for 30+ years. All that has changed with the latest crop of digital sensors is the ability to recover significant amounts information hidden within the darker areas (that you are a person could see when you stood there) without significantly affecting the image quality so DPR are absolutely right - any modern sensor should have this ability as the technology exists and any sensor that fails to allow this should be marked down.

    Ps. Do you class a mounted transparency projected onto a screen as a photograph?

  18. #58

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    Re: Photography vs Digital Image

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Pearl View Post
    A very good friend of mine has made a very profitable career as a photographer without the need to produce and supply printed images. He owns a city centre studio, has a strong list of returning clients and a regular supply of new projects to keep him busy and earning a good living. A small percentage of his work might end up in a glossy brochure or magazine but the vast majority of his output is for online/display use - are you saying because he doesn't make printed photographs just digital files he's not a photographer?
    https://sites.google.com/site/skepti...-Small-Stories

    Anecdote - a short account of a particular incident or event, especially of an interesting or amusing nature.

    Data - a series of observations, measurements, or facts; information


    ** The plural of Anecdote is not 'Data'. (The origin of this phrase can likely be attributed to Frank Kotsonis or to Roger Brinner.)

  19. #59
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    Re: Photography vs Digital Image

    Quote Originally Posted by thetraveler View Post
    There are two kinds of differences, one real and one intellectual.

    The image on a screen takes advantage of the luminance from the monitor to give the image life but at the same time there is much less detail and, unless you have a very resolution screen you won't get the impression of detail that comes naturally with a print.
    Thanks for replying to my question, to which the addressee hasn't responded.

    Talking about "real" differences:

    "Taking advantage of the luminance from the monitor" almost sounds like cheating, eh? Still, if we like dull images like prints we can always turn down the brightness control, I imagine.

    As to "much less detail", yes: 96 dpi is certainly less than 600 ppi, 300 ppi or even 150 ppi. Fortunately for my poor vision, 96dpi on my monitor at a proper viewing distance is more than adequate; anything greater would be a waste of resolution . . . as would be an 8x10" printed at anything greater that 150ppi - a waste of ink, I reckon.

  20. #60
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    Re: Photography vs Digital Image

    Quote Originally Posted by thetraveler View Post
    https://sites.google.com/site/skepti...-Small-Stories

    Anecdote - a short account of a particular incident or event, especially of an interesting or amusing nature.

    Data - a series of observations, measurements, or facts; information


    ** The plural of Anecdote is not 'Data'. (The origin of this phrase can likely be attributed to Frank Kotsonis or to Roger Brinner.)
    Thanks for answering my question to another member - I haven't the foggiest what you're going on about but thanks anyway.

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