What is photography?


walkeja

Link Posted 07/01/2011 - 14:22
What is photography?
When I first started using a camera many moons ago, the only medium was negative black and white film. I found this very boring and dull. Then colour film was released to the masses and I bought my first proper camera - a K1000- and took negative colour photographs. I was then persuaded by a work colleauge to try taken slides instead as I was not interested in the darkroom. By taking slides I soon learnt that what I saw is what I got, and that is how I view photography today.
I recently bought a photo magazine which came with a free DVD on digital photography. I was sat watching this and the expert was showing how to use use, I think it was Photoshop, and the wife said, "That is not photography!", and I agree completely.
I have seen photographs of members of my local camera club where the images have been completly altered by use of a computer to look like oil paintings. Learn to paint!
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Pentaxophile

Link Posted 07/01/2011 - 14:33
walkeja wrote:
...the only medium was negative black and white film. I found this very boring and dull.

Really???

'What is photography?'

Surely it's just making images from light? As long as that's the starting point for the image, I don't think we need to be restrictive in our definition of what is or isn't photography.
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Last Edited by Pentaxophile on 07/01/2011 - 14:34

Father Ted

Link Posted 07/01/2011 - 14:45
walkeja wrote:

I recently bought a photo magazine which came with a free DVD on digital photography. I was sat watching this and the expert was showing how to use use, I think it was Photoshop, and the wife said, "That is not photography!", and I agree completely.

Funny, that's what my wife says.
Yet; in those good old days, did photographers not use tools such as Dodging or Burning in the dark room? Is that not the old fashioned versoin of Photoshop?

I agree that some images which are made to look like paintings or drawings, and that may be a step too far ( IMHO ), even excessive HDR can look unreal.
Getting there! Thanks to you guys

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Don

Link Posted 07/01/2011 - 14:46
walkeja wrote:
What is photography?
When I first started using a camera many moons ago, the only medium was negative black and white film. I found this very boring and dull. Then colour film was released to the masses and I bought my first proper camera - a K1000- and took negative colour photographs. I was then persuaded by a work colleauge to try taken slides instead as I was not interested in the darkroom. By taking slides I soon learnt that what I saw is what I got, and that is how I view photography today.
I recently bought a photo magazine which came with a free DVD on digital photography. I was sat watching this and the expert was showing how to use use, I think it was Photoshop, and the wife said, "That is not photography!", and I agree completely.
I have seen photographs of members of my local camera club where the images have been completly altered by use of a computer to look like oil paintings. Learn to paint!

If you want to be any good at photography, you better learn to paint.
Karsh would be a nobody, if Rembrant hadn't taught us lighting.

Paintbrush + paint
Mechanical Camera + chemicals
electronic camera + computer software
all different means to the same ends... visual communication.
It's a tool. get over it.
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.

walkeja

Link Posted 07/01/2011 - 15:04
It seems, apart from one, that people are suffering from the modern affliction of either not understanding or ignoring what has been written. I took slides, therefore the darkroom was not involved, was not interested in the darkroom. What you see is what you get.
Pentax K1-ii and MZ6
Pentax Lenses 28-80 F, 300 DA*, 80-200 F, 35 F2.4 AL, M50 F1.7, 28-105 DFA, 20 F4 SMC
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Pentaxophile

Link Posted 07/01/2011 - 15:12
walkeja wrote:
It seems, apart from one, that people are suffering from the modern affliction of either not understanding or ignoring what has been written. I took slides, therefore the darkroom was not involved, was not interested in the darkroom. What you see is what you get.

I was pulling your leg over your oft stated boredom with B&W images, but I understand where you are coming from re WYSIWYG photography vs darkroom or digital manipulation. I just strongly disagree with you! I even think 'what you see is what you get' is impossible in photography.... you're always doing something which 'distorts reality' to some degree.
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]

thoughton

Link Posted 07/01/2011 - 15:13
walkeja wrote:
What is photography?
When I first started using a camera many moons ago, the only medium was negative black and white film. I found this very boring and dull. Then colour film was released to the masses and I bought my first proper camera - a K1000- and took negative colour photographs. I was then persuaded by a work colleauge to try taken slides instead as I was not interested in the darkroom. By taking slides I soon learnt that what I saw is what I got, and that is how I view photography today.
I recently bought a photo magazine which came with a free DVD on digital photography. I was sat watching this and the expert was showing how to use use, I think it was Photoshop, and the wife said, "That is not photography!", and I agree completely.
I have seen photographs of members of my local camera club where the images have been completly altered by use of a computer to look like oil paintings. Learn to paint!

Yes, yes, we know you feel this way. Thanks for telling us ... again.
Tim
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Last Edited by thoughton on 07/01/2011 - 15:14

johnriley

Link Posted 07/01/2011 - 15:16
Quote:
When I first started using a camera many moons ago, the only medium was negative black and white film.

Good grief, how old are you? Considering colour processes were available in the late 1800s....
Best regards, John

Father Ted

Link Posted 07/01/2011 - 15:17
I don't believe I either misunderstood, or ignored anything.
I was responding to the point that digital manipulation "is not photography!".
My point is that manipulation appears to have always been a part of photography.

I take your point about getting it right "in camera", but let me ask a question: Was Ansel Adams less of a photographer than Henri Cartier Bresson?
HCB, as I understand, was of the school of thought of getting it right "in camera". AA, on the other hand, used the tools available to him.
Both are heralded as great photographers.
Getting there! Thanks to you guys

Pentax K10d, *istDL, Kit lens ( 18-55mm ), 50mm f1.7 lens, Tamron 70-300mm lens, Prinzflex 70-162 manual lens, Various old flashes.

walkeja

Link Posted 07/01/2011 - 15:20
Colour photos may have been availabl;e in the late 1800s, but the cost was very prohibitive, which is why b&w was so popular, even by Hollywood.
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johnriley

Link Posted 07/01/2011 - 15:21
There is a feeling that sometimes people think there is a certain purity of spirit in getting things right in camera. I don't see why though, because photography is a very artificial medium, just like painting is.

We use our skills as best we can to make fine images. Which skills we use is irrelevant IMHO.

Even Cartier-Bresson did not get things right in camera. He got the moment, but not the crop and he wasn't the person who printed the image.
Best regards, John

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 07/01/2011 - 15:23
B&W also remained (remains?) popular because home processing and darkroom manipulation was more possible.
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Don

Link Posted 07/01/2011 - 15:24
walkeja wrote:
It seems, apart from one, that people are suffering from the modern affliction of either not understanding or ignoring what has been written. I took slides, therefore the darkroom was not involved, was not interested in the darkroom. What you see is what you get.

well there was always film and development choices... double exposures, selective dof, tricks, lens choice, perspective controls, selective compositions, juxtapositions, staging shots, all available to distort the viewers perception of what they see....

There is no such thing as wyssywyg, even when looking with your own eyes, because if there were, every magician would be out of work.

I understand what you are saying. I disagree with your veiwpoint.
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.

Don

Link Posted 07/01/2011 - 15:35
I'll give you an example...
there was a news report a while back depicting some instances where completely unaltered images were found to have been deliberately misleading... turns out one woman and one man appeared repeatedly in photos released by agencies representing the Palestinians. (you can google it and search if you want) apparently there was a woman repeated photographed wailing in front of cameras at several conflict sites she was paid to pose. Apparently there was also a Hamas official that repeatedly showed up at conflict sites with blood soaked blankets who would take a healthy child, wrap him up with the blood soaked blanket, and pose for photos as if he were rescuing an injured child.

then there were at least two photographers that were fired for submitting digitally altered photos during conflicts in recent years, at Reuters.

and you're complaining that digital artwork is fake?
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.
Last Edited by Don on 07/01/2011 - 15:55

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 07/01/2011 - 16:03
Can't find that Don, Google just gives me all too real images of Palestinian children severely wounded with white phosphorous....
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