Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2008/03/12

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Subject: [Leica] Re: Not Buying M8
From: luisripoll at (Luis Ripoll)
Date: Wed Mar 12 17:04:11 2008
References: <> <>

Hi Peter,


Saludos cordiales

-----Mensaje original-----
[] En nombre de
Peter Klein
Enviado el: jueves, 13 de marzo de 2008 0:59
Asunto: [Leica] Re: Not Buying M8

This discussion really interests me. I think that any relatively new medium
(e.g. digital photography) spawns a number of ways of using it,with respect
to the old medium (e.g. film). They boil down to three basic categories.

1. You use the new medium to do things you did with the old, but now it's
easier, faster, more precise.  This is the Photoshop-as-darkroom metaphor,
or Nathan Wajsman's Rules of Photoshop Ethics.

2. You do things that are still in the realm of the old medium, but with
techniques from the new visbly added as "enhancements." Example:  Heavily
Photoshopped photos that are still recognizable as photos, but with
background textures and colors altered surreally.

3. You radically break with the old medium completely. One uses it only as a
starting-off point.  Example:  Unreal composites of several photos,
human-created and photographically captured elements mixed together with
impossible perspective.

With photography, there's another element:  Because people have looked at
photography as a recording tool, we have to ask how much the photographer
intends a photo to be a truthful recording of the photographed scene. And
how much the viewer believes that he/she is seeing a basically true
recording of that scene. Is what you see basically real, or is it imaginary?
Are you conveying information with some degree of subjectivity, or
subjectivity with some degree of information?  We could argue many hours
where that line is drawn.  I'd say it's more of a zone than a line.

In all this, perspective choice, focus, DOF, cropping, dodging, burning,
exposure and contrast control, not to mention lens and film (or digital
sensor) choice are all part of the old language that we accept as reality,
as long as we don't stretch too far and break the acceptance and trust of
the viewer (or is it suspension of disbelief?).

Me: I'm basically of the first category mentioned above.  I like to take
reality as I find it, using traditional photographic vocabulary. I pick
digital techniques that are in line with that vocabulary.  So I might use
distorted wide-angle perspective, but I won't heavily "warp" a picture. I
might enhance the color saturation of a high-contrast scene to match what my
eye perceived, but I'm not going to paint people green.

Here's where I go a little farther than darkroom equivalence--I would not
clone out a central element of a photo, but I do occasionally remove a
distracting background element whose whose presence or absence did not
change the basic truth of the image.


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In reply to: Message from pklein at (Peter Klein) ([Leica] Re: Not Buying M8)