[vcf-midatlantic] OT: film photography

Dave McGuire mcguire at neurotica.com
Sun Dec 2 10:55:51 EST 2018

On 12/1/18 3:27 PM, Laura S. Reinhard via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
> True. I just can’t afford to work the way I love most. Working
> digitally was great at first and still has many advantages
> especially for making photomontage. But I miss the level of
> control and patience that film took. I can’t even print my own
> color prints from negs anymore. The machine simply does not
> exist. (At least not operating). C’est les vis.

  I think this is pretty much universally the case when technological
advances enable the general public to do something that was formerly the
exclusive domain of either the highly trained, the highly talented, or
the rich.  It becomes commoditized.  Not just the equipment, but the
activity itself.

  I watched this happen with photography.  I grew up in the 1970s; my
mother was (and is, among other things) a journalist and a photographer.
 I grew up watching the incredible work she did, both at photo shoots
and in the darkroom.  It is art of the very highest order.

  Now everyone has digital camera.  Everyone has a crappy one in their
phone, and lots of people have good real ones.  A lot has been gained;
we can all take half decent pictures now, but a great deal has
lost...almost nobody can take truly great pictures now.

  The general public now thinks of photography as "taking pictures"; and
they don't understand the effort and talent that used to comprise nearly
all of photography.  It has been diluted almost beyond recognition by
the advent of cheap digital cameras and the subsequent commoditization
of the field.  But when people see the work of, say, Ansel Adams, they
say "WOW!" and sometimes wonder how he did that using such "primitive"
tools.  "No Photoshop, OMG!"

  Like other fields, the truly artistic side of it will be kept alive by
people like you and my mother.  Even just talking about occasionally,
like here in this thread, it raises awareness and keeps it in the public


Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
New Kensington, PA

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