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Old Feb 20, 2003, 2:02 AM   #11
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I hear a lot of complaints about the ability to fix pictures in Photoshop as being "sloppy"...no more sloppy than fixing them in the darkroom. I've seen samples where the film negative is very light or very dark, and a perfect print was made from it with correcting in the darkroom...these days the negatives are sampled by machine and the exposure automatically corrected.

Although Ansel Adams was a great photographer, his darkroom techniques make the pictures change from night to day...there was an exhibit which showed pictures of his work from the camera and after being worked on in the darkroom, http://memory.loc.gov/pp/manzhtml/manzabt.html

I see the darkroom, and these days the digital darkroom as part of the process...sure I try to get the best picture I can "in-camera" but if I fix up the print in a photo editing program it isn't "sloppy" or "cheating"!

Some resources for learning:

http://www.photocourse.com/ (free online "book")
http://www.photonhead.com/exposure/simcam.htm (depth of field simulator)
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Old Feb 20, 2003, 11:21 AM   #12
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There is no substitute to getting the photo right in the first place. As good as PS etc is, it still cannot replace getting it right at the moment.

To those filmies who think digies are snappers - they are wrong and they are clinging to old technology maybe for fear of change.

Do the large format brigade call 35mm snappers.

At least digi is a good leveller of talent. It's easier to get it right by taking lots of snaps and those with loads of money have that advantage in the world of film.

I used to go out taking pictures with my wealthy mate. He'd take 3 or 4 pics of everything, I'd make do with one of each if I was lucky.

He seemed to be the better photographer but it wasn't a level playing field.
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Old Feb 20, 2003, 11:55 AM   #13
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Interesting & informative responses. I've also posed the same question on rec.photo.digital and rec.photo.equipment.35mm and gotten good responses--just about equally split between the two camps ("yes you can learn valuable lessons with film" vs "digital is better for learning photography").

I must admit that a big attraction for me towards film SLR-type is the comparative costs and flexibility. A gripe I have with my C-4000 is its built-in flash--which wouldn't consider using except for fill-flash with strong daylight shots (this is a common complaint for ALL--film and digital--camera built-in flashes). So, in order to achieve good indoors flash shooting, it's advisable to buy an external flash. I can spend approx. $400 for the Olympus FL-40 flash and bracket and cable, or maybe around $200 for a third-party model that won't do TTL adjustments for flash. So between the camera and the dedicated flash unit and cheapo telephoto converter and accessories, we are talking about almost $1,000.

Now with the film: I can get an entry-level SLR (either Canon EOS Rebel 2000 or Nikon N65) body for around $200. A decent, fixed-focus 50mm f/1.8 lens would add another $90 or so. A flash unit, $30-$150 (generic or dedicated model that actually communicates with the camera for optimal flash shooting). Then, there are lenses--more lenses that I would know what to do with. I can get a Nikon 70-300mm zoom lens (not the best quality, but probably good enough for a beginner) for around $100.

Before, I was leaning towards buying a digital camera with a long zoom lens--maybe the upcoming Panasonic FZ-1 with 12x optical zoom with IS--to complement my C-4000, but I am beginning to lean more towards getting a film SLR with a long zoom lens.

Well, nothing's decided yet--just daydreaming, more like.
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Old Feb 20, 2003, 12:07 PM   #14
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Why do these (FL40) flashes cost so much. Are they that sophisticated or a rip-off????

Fortunately I mainly do outdoor none flash stuff so I don't really care - just interested.
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Old Feb 20, 2003, 12:17 PM   #15
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From everything I've read and heard, the FL-40 is a superb flash, but I'm sure there's a premium built into the price when it's the only "official" camera that Olympus sells that works hand in glove with their digicams--TTL metering and all.

Another shortcoming is that if I were to buy the FL-40 flash, I'd for sure want to stay with the Olympus cameras in the future so that I could use the flash with it.
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Old Feb 20, 2003, 12:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Another shortcoming is that if I were to buy the FL-40 flash, I'd for sure want to stay with the Olympus cameras in the future so that I could use the flash with it.
Sure puts you off buying it. You'd think they would bring out a cheaper unit - less sophisticated but powerful.
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Old Feb 20, 2003, 3:13 PM   #17
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If you are willing to spend some time playing with flash photography and learn the basics, there's not much you can't do with a good aftermarket flash I have used my Sunpak with all my camewras and have been able to get good results, even though I really stay away from flash photography..... This would allow you not only to get different cameras without sacrificing your flash, but also use the same unit with other cameras at the same time.

Just a humble comment:
Quote:
I hear a lot of complaints about the ability to fix pictures in Photoshop as being "sloppy"...no more sloppy than fixing them in the darkroom.
The comments I usually hear are about the picture at the shooting stage. It doesn't matter one's p-shop expertise level if you look at the monitor and feel you should have set the tripod a couple of feet lower at the beginning. Where post-processing is concerned, the computer lacks nothing to the chem darkroom.
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Old Feb 20, 2003, 9:06 PM   #18
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Great topic, Hyun...I've held off posting 'cause everybody else's responses are so good and so thoughtful...but I can't help myself.

I had a love of taking pictures when I was a kid over 40 years ago with a Kodak Instamatic...no expertise or lessons...just took pictures to please myself and waited impatiently after the film was sent off to see what I got...

Never really got into photography as something to study until 1981...I took a beginners photography class after my wife bought me a Canon AE1...I loved that camera...I still love that camera...it takes great pictures...I read books, bought some lenses, filters, flash, tripod, and had a great time learning...

Never had a great artistic eye...I look at photos in y'alls galleries and think "wow...how did they see that?"...and sometimes I'll look at award winning photos and wonder what's in there that I'm missing...but I still enjoy taking photos to please myself.

I kind of got away from it for awhile, due to time constraints and doing a lot of travel by plane and the desire to not haul all that gear...still took lots of pics but got an APS point-and-shoot that takes nice shots and I really like but basically made me feel like an "advanced snapshooter."

Also had too many times (everyone has them, but those of us with limited ability get them maybe more)...where I took the camera out with several rolls of film, fired away getting what I thought were great pictures, only to find out several days later that I my efforts were, uh, substandard.

Also felt that to be a true photographer I would have to get into darkroom work rather than rely on somebody else to process my shots...but due to having a day job, kids, and a couple of other hobbies, it would be very impractical for me to get into it properly.

I held off maybe too long getting into digital, waiting for quality to improve and the capability of computers to improve...but now that I have taken the leap I am really excited...for an amateur like me there are just SO many advantages. The portability, instant feedback, and ability to do my own digital darkroom work are a dream come true.

Sure, maybe having instant feedback makes you sloppy with technique...but on the other hand, maybe it makes you better...maybe it makes you try things that you wouldn't try otherwise.

The photographic principles seem to me to be basically the same...though there are differences (light balancing with film and filters vs. how to properly use white balance comes to mind)...and new things to learn...What the heck is a "pixel"?...sounds like the Keebler Cookie Elf to me.

I think you learn photography by studying the work of others and by taking lots of pictures, and you can do it with either medium...you can still be systematic and deliberate with digital photography.

Digital seems to be the thing for a guy like me...

But I'll probably still pick up the AE-1 once in a while...damn that camera feels good in my hands!
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Old Feb 20, 2003, 9:32 PM   #19
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I also stopped using my film camera once I went digital and I haven't looked back. I have learned more in the past 18 months about photography using a digital camera than I did from 30 years of shooting film. The instant feedback is the primary factor. I also think not worrying about whether I am "wasting film" helps - I know I can shoot all I want and it costs me little except battery time. The ability to easily edit and print myself makes the digital format very appealing. I get many compliments on my framed works at home and in my office and am receiing more and more requests for prints. The most common remark is I have "a good eye", which we all develop with experience, not the format of the medium. I do agree that reading books on film is helpful and much of that knowledge transfers to digital. I recommend "National Geographic Photography Field Guide" by Peter Burian and Robert Caputo. Very good on several levels, explains the basics and also features short interviews with other HG photographers on style. There is also a series of other companion books in this series. Hope this helps. Best - john
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Old Feb 21, 2003, 5:40 AM   #20
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Quote:
Never had a great artistic eye...I look at photos in y'alls galleries and think "wow...how did they see that?"...and sometimes I'll look at award winning photos and wonder what's in there that I'm missing...but I still enjoy taking photos to please myself.
I know what you mean. I therefore copy others' ideas. I wouldn't see a good photo chance if it bit me on the bum.

I take loads and see what happens.

I'm also a lazy photographer - won't get up early or go out of my way for that special light.

I still really enjoy it though and talking on this forum is fun too.
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