1. BadPenny
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    BadPenny Member

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    Digital Photography

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by BadPenny, Jun 10, 2009.

    I was at the sea horse exhibit in the Monterey Bay Aquarium when I noticed how many people were taking pictures of the animals, while never seeming to really look at them. The more I see, and the more I think, the more I believe that the accessibility of digital photography has changed memory and experience in many people. I wonder...

    Since we can count on detailed reminders, do we try as hard to capture our moments?

    Do we really experience our surroundings, or do we look at them through a camera?

    Does sharing our photographs foster, or inhibit, real intimacy?

    What do you think?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I think it has little to do with digital photography, and more to do with the overall pace of living. We are becoming a society of channel surfers and multitaskers who are forgetting how to just

    Stop

    and take a few minutes to watch a sunset develop, peak, and subside into dusk. In fact, digital photography can literally become a tool to focus on such thing, depending on who is holding the camera and why. Being able to capture a long series of shots can let you review an experience later, in a way that a 36-shot roll (and attendant film and priocessing costs) did not. Of course, that carries the cost of divining your attention between the experience and the recording of it. It is still very rewarding to set the camera aside and just let the experience take you.

    I wonder if the same concerns were lamented when the Brownie Bullet camera flooded the market in 1957, or when the Polaroid Land camera made instant photography possible in 1947.

    There will always be the shutterbug who snaps everything in sight, for a later that never comes, but it isn't every camera user.
     
  3. Carmina
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    Carmina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I love the way the world looks through the lens of a camera. The world is a huge. The field of vision is wide. A few weeks ago, I went to the beach. I spent some time just sitting and watching the waves, the people, the seagulls. But there was no focus. It was all big picture. Then I picked up my camera and went looking for shots. I got some beautiful pictures of shells, driftwood, seaweed, etc. These are things that most people don't notice. But, framed in my camera, I could see their beauty and capture it. This isn't to say I didn't pay attention to the feel of the sand, the sound of the waves, the sights of dogs and children playing in the water. Just, I am able to see something different and special when I see it with my camera.
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The following is from before digital cameras:

    I once knew a girl named Becky. She had an addiction to photographs. Those large Rubbermaid storage bins that you can get at Wal*Mart and Target and Home Depot, she had a small room in her apartment filled with them, each one filled with print photos.

    I never really understood until I had a talk with her one day. She explained in an overtly indirect way (because a direct admission would have been damaging to her) that this was her way of assuring that she was living and participating. All of these hundreds of thousands of photos (there really were that many) were her proof.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Some day your prints will come.
     
  6. BadPenny
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    BadPenny Member

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    You guys are right- this isn’t a new phenomenon. Why, Socrates lamented the use of the written word as the death of real learning. And, photography is inarguably a great way to focus attention and capture something special.

    I just worry about the growing group of shutterbugs that I’m seeing everywhere- especially children and teens. Has anyone else noticed them?
     
  7. Carmina
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    Carmina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just look at MySpace or Facebook. Teens take TONS of pics. I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing though. Although, as easy as it is to take pics and do photomanipulation to perfect them...I worry that people will loose appreciation of photography as an art form. Ansel Adams won't get any respect. People think photography is easy and forget how difficult it has been and can be.
     
  8. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not just teens...I'm 23, and I probably have more pictures on my myspace than anyone else. Seriously. I've got like 35 albums with hundreds of pictures in each.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    So true. I still have, and will never give up, a little Pentax K1000 which I bought, second hand, in Monterey California while I was attending language school. I love the magic of surprise of what the photos will be.
     
  10. Carmina
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    Carmina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I love being in the darkroom. You flash some light on a blank piece of paper. You drop it in the developer. Then, this image appears like magic. And the smells of the chemicals and everything...oh..I miss it.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yup, trays and tanks and spools, safelights and lighttraps and GraLab timers. The good old days ...

    I still have most of the equipment, but haven't touched it in years.
     
  12. Carmina
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    Carmina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I did it in college...graduated and lost access to the darkroom. :(
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I started in college, and got into it enough that I built up my own darkroom. For a long time, I only shot black and white, having decided I would master that both in camera and in darkroom before moving forward to color. For the same reason, I started with a manual camera with no meter, then a manual with a built-in spot meter, before allowing myself an auto-exposure camera.
     
  14. MrEmerson
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    MrEmerson Member

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    Now I want to buy more TMAX 100 film and have fun again.

    D76 developer is quite cheep now
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    some folks have been doing that ever since hand-held camers were invented, so don't blame the digital version... that just makes it easier for those poor sods who can't make themselves want to see anything with their own eyes...
     
  16. BadPenny
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    BadPenny Member

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    I think the limits and the anticipation is one the things lacking in digital photography. I remember having 3 shots left on a roll of film, and saving them for those images I just could not leave behind. I really savored them.

    But, oh- film is so expensive! I love my digital camera. I just wish our appreciation would remain the same despite the ease.
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    More often than not, the frame limit has caused good photo opportunities to be lost, just because the photographer hesitated for exactly that reason.
     

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