Has the way we appreciate photos changed with digital?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Digital Photography Now, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. I've written an editorial at DPNow.com that explores the idea that we have
    fundamentally changed the way we appreciate our photography since digital
    took over - and I'm not sure it's all to the good.

    There is also a short survey to find out how people in general view their
    photography. If you have the time to read the article and provide some
    feedback and comment via the short survey, I'd be very grateful.

    The article is at:

    http://dpnow.com/2871.html

    The survey results will be revealed in the near future in a follow-up
    article.

    Thanks,

    Ian Burley

    Editor

    Digital Photography Now
    http://dpnow.com
    Digital Photography Now, Aug 4, 2006
    #1
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  2. Digital Photography Now

    John Guest

    "Digital Photography Now" <> wrote in message
    news:kyJAg.35820$...
    > I've written an editorial at DPNow.com that explores the idea that we have
    > fundamentally changed the way we appreciate our photography since digital
    > took over - and I'm not sure it's all to the good.


    Excellent work.

    Are you familiar with the huge study Kodak did in the seventies in order to
    engineer a new camera into Decision Free photography? I have an article I'm
    working on that points to the study and describes how the product outcome
    changes users' perceptions, makes them self-limited in their picture making.

    It's happening all over again, generally, however your particular point
    regarding the strange outcome of a particular camera points to a transient
    trend where digital product development is being run by uninformed
    technicians gone mad, enamored with "what can be done" ("we have the
    technology") rather than what should be done to make the market, a part of
    it which is the seasoned, competent professional.

    john at stafford dot net
    John, Aug 4, 2006
    #2
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  3. Digital Photography Now

    bmoag Guest

    Personally I believe that the quality of images consumers are getting out of
    digital P&S cameras is far superior to comparable 35mm P&S cameras. I think
    this is primarily due to the spohisticated jpeg algorithms built into the
    digital P&S cameras and the execrable quality of commercial consumer grade
    photofinishing. The issues the editorial raises with regard to small sensor
    image quality are, from my point of view, irrelevant for mass market
    consumer snapshooting.
    Consumers definitely are switching to computer monitor viewing more than
    looking at prints. I don't see this as a bad development, simply a shift in
    paradigms.
    bmoag, Aug 5, 2006
    #3
  4. No problem with your observation, but doesn't that mean the megapixel race
    is pointless, along with all the moaning about poor 1:1 image quality
    observed on-screen?

    I do agree that even modest point and shoots are now producing better
    consumer photos than even consumer SLRs and commercial D&P did - it's
    certainly my experience.

    But I'm also sure that if you don't print some of your photos, you are
    losing some of the essential experience of photography.

    Ian

    Digital Photography Now
    http://dpnow.com

    "bmoag" <> wrote in message
    news:ypQAg.2303$...
    > Personally I believe that the quality of images consumers are getting out
    > of digital P&S cameras is far superior to comparable 35mm P&S cameras. I
    > think this is primarily due to the spohisticated jpeg algorithms built
    > into the digital P&S cameras and the execrable quality of commercial
    > consumer grade photofinishing. The issues the editorial raises with regard
    > to small sensor image quality are, from my point of view, irrelevant for
    > mass market consumer snapshooting.
    > Consumers definitely are switching to computer monitor viewing more than
    > looking at prints. I don't see this as a bad development, simply a shift
    > in paradigms.
    >
    Digital Photography Now, Aug 5, 2006
    #4
  5. Digital Photography Now

    Guest

    John wrote:
    > "Digital Photography Now" <> wrote in message
    > news:kyJAg.35820$...
    > > I've written an editorial at DPNow.com that explores the idea that we have
    > > fundamentally changed the way we appreciate our photography since digital
    > > took over - and I'm not sure it's all to the good.

    >
    > Excellent work.
    >
    > Are you familiar with the huge study Kodak did in the seventies in order to
    > engineer a new camera into Decision Free photography? I have an article I'm
    > working on that points to the study and describes how the product outcome
    > changes users' perceptions, makes them self-limited in their picture making.
    >
    > It's happening all over again, generally, however your particular point
    > regarding the strange outcome of a particular camera points to a transient
    > trend where digital product development is being run by uninformed
    > technicians gone mad, enamored with "what can be done" ("we have the
    > technology") rather than what should be done to make the market, a part of
    > it which is the seasoned, competent professional.
    >
    > john at stafford dot net


    We have met the enemy and they are us. Folks in seventies and eighties
    worried far more about convenience than image quality. So Kodak and
    others pushed convenience at the expense of image quality. But results
    were so bad in some cases, such as 110 film that the format was a flop.
    Still, folks did accept 126, and that was a big success. One can see
    the results today in that the high end digitals, such as the DSLRs, are
    available for those who value image quality, while the low end P&S is
    the rage for those who don't.
    , Aug 5, 2006
    #5
  6. Digital Photography Now

    Guest

    Digital Photography Now wrote:
    > I've written an editorial at DPNow.com that explores the idea that we have
    > fundamentally changed the way we appreciate our photography since digital
    > took over - and I'm not sure it's all to the good.
    >
    > There is also a short survey to find out how people in general view their
    > photography. If you have the time to read the article and provide some
    > feedback and comment via the short survey, I'd be very grateful.
    >
    > The article is at:
    >
    > http://dpnow.com/2871.html
    >
    > The survey results will be revealed in the near future in a follow-up
    > article.
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Ian Burley
    >


    Just like there were good film cameras and bad ones, the same thing is
    true in digital age. I am on my third digicam now, and the quality of
    images from the new one is head and shoulders above the older ones. It
    comes close to the expected theoretical resolution based on sampling
    theory. It makes fine enlargements up to 11 x 17.

    I think the cheaper digitals continue a trend that began decades ago
    when people accepted poor image quality for convenience and low price.
    The 35mm film camera survived for those folks who would not accept
    quality of images from Instamatics. Fortunately there are now high end
    digitals as good as the 35mm cameras we still have, but don't use much
    now. I will have to revert, though, as my wife is going on a one week
    vacation and taking our good digicam, while I am going elsewhere and
    still want to shoot pics, so back to my old AE-1 :-(




    > Editor
    >
    > Digital Photography Now
    > http://dpnow.com
    , Aug 5, 2006
    #6
  7. <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >


    >>
    >> john at stafford dot net

    >
    > We have met the enemy and they are us. Folks in seventies and eighties
    > worried far more about convenience than image quality. So Kodak and
    > others pushed convenience at the expense of image quality. But results
    > were so bad in some cases, such as 110 film that the format was a flop.
    > Still, folks did accept 126, and that was a big success. One can see
    > the results today in that the high end digitals, such as the DSLRs, are
    > available for those who value image quality, while the low end P&S is
    > the rage for those who don't.
    >


    I'd question the 126/110 references. I used to work in a photo store in the
    early 80s and 126 film and processing was an occasional sale, while 110 sold
    by the box full. Maybe the 126 era was over by 1982, not really sure, but
    110 was in full swing at that time. Granted, image quality from 110 was very
    poor, but not as bad as Disc cameras - remember those?!

    I'd also say that recent generation point and shoot digital cameras produce
    prints (6x4 or 5x7 kind of size) that are, in many ways, more pleasing than
    your average 35mm compact camera.

    Ian

    Digital Photography Now
    http://dpnow.com
    Digital Photography Now, Aug 7, 2006
    #7
  8. Digital Photography Now

    Frank ess Guest

    Digital Photography Now wrote:
    > <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >>

    >
    >>>
    >>> john at stafford dot net

    >>
    >> We have met the enemy and they are us. Folks in seventies and
    >> eighties worried far more about convenience than image quality. So
    >> Kodak and others pushed convenience at the expense of image
    >> quality.
    >> But results were so bad in some cases, such as 110 film that the
    >> format was a flop. Still, folks did accept 126, and that was a big
    >> success. One can see the results today in that the high end
    >> digitals, such as the DSLRs, are available for those who value
    >> image
    >> quality, while the low end P&S is the rage for those who don't.
    >>

    >
    > I'd question the 126/110 references. I used to work in a photo store
    > in the early 80s and 126 film and processing was an occasional sale,
    > while 110 sold by the box full. Maybe the 126 era was over by 1982,
    > not really sure, but 110 was in full swing at that time. Granted,
    > image quality from 110 was very poor, but not as bad as Disc cameras
    > - remember those?!


    In case anyone's forgotten:
    http://www.fototime.com/inv/578B6215AD4B332

    A single frame from one disc still around, somewhere here.

    [...]

    My memory is not good in that era, but I think this was from a Kodak
    disc camera: flat, convenient, and (apparently) not worth the effort.
    Seems to me it broke before I quit using it, but I'm not sure.

    I don't think there will be much difference outside the time factor,
    for most people, between the way they appreciated photos back then,
    and the way they do now, with digital. The world at large is not the
    same for most people, compared to the denizens of a rec.photo.* group.
    My non-photbug friends, relatives, and acquaintances just plain don't
    remark on anything beyond the quickness and the content of photos,
    including snapshots and serious stuff. They almost invariably lose
    track of everything but what is going on in the image.

    If by "we" you mean people who attend these Usenet gatherings, Yup.
    Lotsa difference in the way we appreciate photos. It takes relatively
    little effort to generate myriad versions of any image. We _know_
    that, and it underlies our apprehension of any photo that falls under
    our gaze. While a film photo image is never really the last of the
    last, as long as negatives, slides, or scanners exist, the cheap (in
    terms of time and effort) chance to change a digital photo lends a
    different aura to the experience of viewing. There is always that
    tickle in the back of our consciousnesses: "Maybe a slightly different
    crop? More/less sharpening? More/less contrast/brightness/vividity?"

    All that apart from the "Who does s/he think s/he is kidding; that's
    not a photograph, it's a graphic!" factor.

    --
    Frank ess
    Frank ess, Aug 7, 2006
    #8
  9. Hey Frank, that Disc shot isn't too bad, surprisingly. The colour is wrong,
    but a bit of Photoshop work would soon fix that. It probably wouldn't
    enlarge much, though.

    Of course, the printing quality at the time could have been a major issue.

    Ian

    Digital Photography Now
    http://dpnow.com

    "Frank ess" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Digital Photography Now wrote:
    >> <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >>>

    >>
    >>>>
    >>>> john at stafford dot net
    >>>
    >>> We have met the enemy and they are us. Folks in seventies and
    >>> eighties worried far more about convenience than image quality. So
    >>> Kodak and others pushed convenience at the expense of image quality.
    >>> But results were so bad in some cases, such as 110 film that the
    >>> format was a flop. Still, folks did accept 126, and that was a big
    >>> success. One can see the results today in that the high end
    >>> digitals, such as the DSLRs, are available for those who value image
    >>> quality, while the low end P&S is the rage for those who don't.
    >>>

    >>
    >> I'd question the 126/110 references. I used to work in a photo store
    >> in the early 80s and 126 film and processing was an occasional sale,
    >> while 110 sold by the box full. Maybe the 126 era was over by 1982,
    >> not really sure, but 110 was in full swing at that time. Granted,
    >> image quality from 110 was very poor, but not as bad as Disc cameras
    >> - remember those?!

    >
    > In case anyone's forgotten:
    > http://www.fototime.com/inv/578B6215AD4B332
    >
    > A single frame from one disc still around, somewhere here.
    >
    > [...]
    >
    > My memory is not good in that era, but I think this was from a Kodak disc
    > camera: flat, convenient, and (apparently) not worth the effort. Seems to
    > me it broke before I quit using it, but I'm not sure.
    >
    > I don't think there will be much difference outside the time factor, for
    > most people, between the way they appreciated photos back then, and the
    > way they do now, with digital. The world at large is not the same for most
    > people, compared to the denizens of a rec.photo.* group. My non-photbug
    > friends, relatives, and acquaintances just plain don't remark on anything
    > beyond the quickness and the content of photos, including snapshots and
    > serious stuff. They almost invariably lose track of everything but what is
    > going on in the image.
    >
    > If by "we" you mean people who attend these Usenet gatherings, Yup. Lotsa
    > difference in the way we appreciate photos. It takes relatively little
    > effort to generate myriad versions of any image. We _know_ that, and it
    > underlies our apprehension of any photo that falls under our gaze. While a
    > film photo image is never really the last of the last, as long as
    > negatives, slides, or scanners exist, the cheap (in terms of time and
    > effort) chance to change a digital photo lends a different aura to the
    > experience of viewing. There is always that tickle in the back of our
    > consciousnesses: "Maybe a slightly different crop? More/less sharpening?
    > More/less contrast/brightness/vividity?"
    >
    > All that apart from the "Who does s/he think s/he is kidding; that's not a
    > photograph, it's a graphic!" factor.
    >
    > --
    > Frank ess
    Digital Photography Now, Aug 9, 2006
    #9
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