Monday, August 28, 2006

How to define art?

Wherein I still use 35mm, but don't make a big a deal of it because I just haven't felt like dealing with the expense of switching over

Professional photographer, Photodude, makes fun of whiney Wired writer.

Tony Long doesn't think digital photography is art. For him, it's all about the craft of the darkroom:
In other words, it was hands-on. It required some honest sweat. It required time. When you were finished, and assuming you had done sterling work, you had produced a piece of art.

Mr. Stott responds:
One, truly great photographs are most often created the instant the shutter is snapped. Think Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald. It’s about capturing the moment, a place and time, not masturbating in the darkroom after the fact.

And two, a really good darkroom technician can take an average snapshot, and turn it into a nice reproduction. But that process does not change the fact the original is a snapshot. Because … class? ... it’s about capturing a moment, not darkroom magic.

And another bitch slap:
The tools I have today are an order of magnitude better than the tools I had a decade or so ago. Safer, too. Long ago, newspaper photographers used what were essentially hand held 4×5 cameras, most commonly, the Speed Graphic. Then along came 35mm film and cameras. Some old pros insisted they wouldn’t use those little toy cameras. But eventually, well, they stopped getting work. The 35mm guys got where they couldn’t, and came back with 5 times the number of photos.

The conversion from analog to digital is even more momentous than that. And only a relative dinosaur out of touch with current reality would make the kind of claims Mr. Long does.

Some good stuff, and there's plenty more. I believe the phrase is "Go read the rest." You don't want to miss the conclusion.


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