Why I Hate Digital! - Part One

February 09, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
You know, one of the things I hate about digital is how it has ruined my holidays. I recall a two week holiday to Jersey in 1984, I took my Pracktica MTL5 and five rolls of the cheapest colour film I could buy. I was on the fifth with a few frames to go when I arrived back at home. Bergerac has a lot to answer! The film was popped in a Bonus Print envelope and duly posted. Two weeks later you heard the ominous plod of the postie coming down the garden path, the pause at the door as he takes the package from his sack, the struggle as it is forced through the trap door-cum-letterbox and the dull thud as the package hits the mat. Yes! The excitement, the adrenaline, my photos had arrived. The excitement knew no bounds as, and in the company of eager family and/or friends, each 7”x5” print was handed around. “Oooh, I like that one”, “Ha! Look at Uncle Frank with all those bottles”, “That one didn’t come out”. A veritable mix of disappointment, excitement and satisfaction. Recent memories were discussed, group laughter ensued.
 
All gone now thanks to digital.
 
Replaced by crappy photos by the billion, shared only by impersonal social media, rarely printed. Even with my immensely insular and private nature I really, really miss this aspect of holiday making. Today, when friends go on holiday I generally say to them "make plenty of pictures and you can invite us around for a cuppa and a slide show". Friends nod in agreement and say words to the effect "Sure! that'll be fun". IT NEVER BLOODY HAPPENS! Even after a number of prompts.
 
I hate how technology has made people more remote. It's OK for me, my nature is highly insular by default. It is NOT healthy for 'normal' people. Normal people need human contact. Digital, sharing sites and social media has made people, is making people, especially the young, increasingly isolated.
 
Hmmm. Technology better?

Revival?

December 18, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

During my usual browsing of photography sites, I came across this article on the Amateur Photography website. It's an interesting read. Now, I haven't anything against digital, but, I do think, as stated in the article, that digital, with its increasing reliance or rather, easy of automation does reduce photographic skill. Since my education English has changed, mine has not.The article uses the rather inept and uneducated word "deskilled", but, I digress. It's really great young people want to make traditional photography. It's very encouraging. Click HERE to go to the link.

 

​This little article has prompted me to write a post entitled "Why I use Film (with an uppercase F)". I hope to write it during my forthcoming visit to Portugal. You never know, it may be of interest to someone!

 

Best Regards as always.

 

Wye Photography.


BARRY THORNTON

December 13, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

I am not the most communicative person. I tend to avoid the Human species as much as I can. That is why my blogging is infrequent to say the least. I find the need you Humans have for communication and the amount you communicate rather disturbing, so, I suppose, when I blog it has to be important. Well, to me at least.

 

I never met Barry Thornton. I first came across him when I saw one of his regular adverts in Amateur Photographer magazine in the late 90’s early 2000s. I always thought “I have to speak to this guy”. He ran photography workshops and was renown the the quality of his craftsmanship and technical expertise.  As per usual this attitude of “I have to do something about this” (referring to the lack of quality and ability in my own work and the desire to book a session with Mr. Thornton) amounted to nothing. Then in September 2003 I purchased his, I think, recently released second book “The edge of Darkness”. I was entranced by his warm writing style, his obvious mastery of the subject, the depth of his technical expertise, the amazing ability he had as a photographer and master printer. I was hooked and devoured the book (intellectually speaking). Very sadly Barry died the following month in October 2003. Ten years ago! 

 

To my mind Barry’s dedication to his art and the quality of his work is unsurpassed. He took what Ansel Adams did and surpassed it. 

 

It is a great shame that he doesn’t get the recognition he so posthumously deserves. It is a shame that his home town of Chepstow doesn’t recognise his contribution to the art. It is a shame I never made any effort to meet Barry. It is even more shameful that he actually only lived a few miles from me (I didn’t find this out until after his loss). 

 

I suppose the lesson I have learned from this is never put things off and, generally you only learn to value someone when they have gone. I console myself that I have both his books and the first book “Elements” is a signed copy. Cold comfort.

 

If, in the remotest chance any of Barry’s friends or relatives read this, I want you to know, if its of any worth, that his influence is still profoundly felt by me to this day. I only wish I was as good.

 


Cadair Idris

August 05, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Hello again, it's me your not so favourite photographic polemic. OK, so its been quiet, but, I promise to liven things up a little with a couple of posts on which I am currently working. 1) Take-a-view Landscape Photographer of the year, a blog post coming soon on that, and 2) Sharpness and resolution obsession. But, for now, a brief post. Last Saturday I walked Cadair Idris with a couple of good friends. Although I have a few quite satisfying photos from this lovely lump of Welsh rock, I want more. Didn't get them on Saturday though. I used my Contax RTSII and 35mm f2.8 distagon. I used, for the first time, Ilford Delta 100 in 35mm. I have used Delta 100 a couple of times in medium format and found that, overall it is a great film. Nice feel and tone to it. I have used HC-110, dilute Rodinal and Prescysol with this film and always had a pleasing result. Nice grain, good sharpness, nice feel and tone with only one "but". That "but" is what the digital boys call dynamic range. It is not as wide as HP5+ or Tri-X. Using Prescysol or Dilute Rodinal or dilute HC-110 helps a lot. You'll find the highlights or shadows just drop off. That puts me off quite a lot. Still, I managed to shoot about 44 frames. I'll probably develop it in a week or two (when the memory has faded) and probably in Prescysol. I think the result will be OK, and here I am talking about the actual photos and not the quality of the film. Now if Delta had the dynamic range of HP5+, then, WOW, that would be just amazing. So, overall, I had a great day on the rock, as for the photos, I am sure they are going to be so-so. 


Some Photography related jokes

July 30, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Yes, I have to confess, they are all mine.

 

Did you hear about the camera that took up boxing - it was a Welta weight. Or the camera that was a manic depressive, or as they call it now-a-days Bi-polaroid. I have a new camera, bought it from Argus. Or the camera that worked for Microsoft and was on the Windows Wista team. Don't stop, I have some Wray to go and haven't even reached my Zenith. Did you hear about the camera that joined the Navy, he was an Ensign. In the future, cameras will not only take pictures, but make the tea, wash the car, do the house work, they'll be Robots then. Take a Leaf out of my book and give up now. That is Phase One finished, here we go. The camera who went to America and started to make buns for a living, he called it the Nagel Bagel. Then there was Miranda who was a Wirgin and really into The Lord of the Rings, her favourite character was Gandolfi. Do you know Diana who is married to Holga and they live in Ilford? Are you FED up? The Irish once made a camera from stone, it was Petri-fied. Did you hear about the camera that became a mathematician? Wasn't very good at it because they did not know the difference between a sine and a cosina. Remember, a camera in the hand is worth two in the Busch. The government is introducing a tax on writing implements, yes, its a Pen tax. And on that note, I'm off to Weston. Did you know Dracula is based on the Wallachian prince, Hassel Vlad the impaler. I had better shutter my face. And finally, what do you call a camera that cuts the grass really short - a LOMO.

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