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The beauty of grain

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  • drmarkf
    replied
    Re: The beauty of grain

    Originally posted by Jim Ford View Post
    But I'd bet that if the images had been 'perfect' in the first place, you wouldn't say 'I wish that the images were knackered and grainy, because it would add to the story!'

    My memories of film days are that grain was an evil that needed to be struggled against by the manufactures of the film and developers, as well as the users.

    Jim
    True, Jim, but we would lose the interesting back story. I agree that Arbus' images would be better if technically improved, but Moriyama's would mostly be pretty dull if they were!

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  • Jim Ford
    replied
    Re: The beauty of grain

    Originally posted by drmarkf View Post
    For example, I wouldn't change a 'pixel' of the knackered and grainy images shot on Omaha Beach as Robert Capa struggled off the landing craft. This adds to the story, which includes how the film was damaged and almost lost during processing.
    But I'd bet that if the images had been 'perfect' in the first place, you wouldn't say 'I wish that the images were knackered and grainy, because it would add to the story!'

    My memories of film days are that grain was an evil that needed to be struggled against by the manufactures of the film and developers, as well as the users.

    Jim

    Leave a comment:


  • drmarkf
    replied
    Re: The beauty of grain

    Yeah, I'm broadly with Nigel & Paul, but the key for me is whether a technically poor image itself captures me because of its story or 'art'. For me the grain can either enhance such images, or just be an accepted part of them.

    For example, I wouldn't change a 'pixel' of the knackered and grainy images shot on Omaha Beach as Robert Capa struggled off the landing craft. This adds to the story, which includes how the film was damaged and almost lost during processing.

    The earliest images in the recent Diane Arbus show at the Hayward Gallery are grainy as hell because many are snatched in low light with limited 35mm equipment and [email protected] film stock. Nevertheless, she captured some unique and stunning moments that shine through the limitations - e.g. the first one here: http://time.com/4429334/diane-arbus-met/ Her technical quality lept when she moved to a Rolleiflex, but I'm not sure the artistic qualities changed much for me.

    Moriyama's shots in red-light Tokyo also live and breathe for me on their grain and 1-stop tonal range.

    I think it was Rick Sammon's dad who said "If the first comment you get on a picture is about noise then it was a pretty boring picture" and he's right.

    Leave a comment:


  • pdk42
    replied
    Re: The beauty of grain

    My opinions of the images much accord with Nigel's. Steve - I know you like film and grain, but IMHO if you look beyond that there's little here to commend. I fully accept that photography is personal and art in general is almost impossible to objectively calibrate, but when we have wedding portraits with people's heads chopped off, scratches on the negs, flare that renders the subject unrecognizable, poor exposure etc - then surely it's time to call the emporer naked!

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  • Naughty Nigel
    replied
    Re: The beauty of grain

    Originally posted by Ricoh View Post
    Quite a lot of photographers like to take literal pictures of what they see in front of their eyes, without much thought other than it being pretty, or it corresponds to some daft rule, such as the rule of thirds. But those sort of images show no imagination on the part of the photographer and in my opinion are best left to the individual's transient memory. They bore the ar$e off me.
    Hmmm. I would contend that a photographer can use imagination and create original art without dragging their negs across the gravel.

    There are some nice concepts in amongst the collection but they are crudely executed in my opinion.

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  • Ricoh
    replied
    Re: The beauty of grain

    Our vision systems and tastes in what we see and like are unique to us, so it's not too surprising that we differ in our opinions.

    Quite a lot of photographers like to take literal pictures of what they see in front of their eyes, without much thought other than it being pretty, or it corresponds to some daft rule, such as the rule of thirds. But those sort of images show no imagination on the part of the photographer and in my opinion are best left to the individual's transient memory. They bore the ar$e off me.

    Leave a comment:


  • Naughty Nigel
    replied
    Re: The beauty of grain

    Originally posted by Ricoh View Post
    Thanks Nigel, wasn't expecting so many, but a round of applause is due I believe. A*

    I will study your response in a while.

    By the way, I hear your son is Photography Grad., I wonder what he thinks of the images of Johnny and Heiko.
    In a word, crap I should think, but I don't want to prejudge his response.

    I know that we are supposed to be open minded about art, but I firmly believe examples such as these give art a bad name and do nothing to endear our craft to the great unwashed.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ricoh
    replied
    Re: The beauty of grain

    Thanks Nigel, wasn't expecting so many, but a round of applause is due I believe. A*

    I will study your response in a while.

    By the way, I hear your son is Photography Grad., I wonder what he thinks of the images of Johnny and Heiko.

    Leave a comment:


  • Naughty Nigel
    replied
    Re: The beauty of grain

    Originally posted by Ricoh View Post
    So I can uderstand your point of view, could you identify one or two and elaborate. Remembering of course his ownership and copyright etc.
    OK, without copying anything.

    No 1: What even is it? The film has also been damaged in handling. That is unacceptable in my view. On looking a little longer on my second (smaller) monitor I can see it is a face, but it is barely recognisable.

    No 2: This is little better and seems rather pointless to me. As one of a collection it is perhaps OK but not as a standard.

    No 3: I like this.

    No 4: I don't get this. My eye is drawn to the grain in the sky, away from the couple.

    No 5: I also quite like this.

    No 6: How is this a wedding photograph?

    No 7: The Violinist. This could be a good photograph without the film handling marks. A slightly shorter exposure would have helped too.

    No 8: What?

    No 9: A bunch of wilting flowers captured out of focus.

    No 10: The landscape portrait. I like this but it would have been a lot better as a portrait with the girl's hair included.

    No 11: OK-ish but spoilt by the light flare.

    No 12: Nice.

    No 13: OK-ish, but again spoilt by the light flare. This could have been better balanced.

    No 14: Groom and Groom. Why cut off Groom No 1's head?

    No 15: I quite like this. So he can do portraits after all?

    No 16: I am losing the will to live.

    No 17: I like.

    No 18: This really doesn't work in B&W. Why all the grain when presumably there was plenty of light?


    I am not going to critique every photograph but hopefully you will see where I am coming from.

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeOxon
    replied
    Re: The beauty of grain

    Wedding photography? The last one might make a good intro shot for a documentary about the battle of the Somme

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  • Internaut
    replied
    Re: The beauty of grain

    Originally posted by Ricoh View Post
    Ok, question to all the armchair photographers out there, how would you go about capturing the wedding reception; what equipment would you use if flash was not an option for aesthetic reasons, and the annoyance it would cause to the guests. MF film is probably inappropriate unless you're Don McCullen!

    Leave a comment:


  • Ricoh
    replied
    Re: The beauty of grain

    Jesus please help these poor earthlings ��

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  • Ricoh
    replied
    Re: The beauty of grain

    Originally posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
    Frankly I would ask for a refund if they were mine.

    There are some nice images in amongst them but the majority demonstrate poor photographic technique and film handling in my humble opinion.
    So I can uderstand your point of view, could you identify one or two and elaborate. Remembering of course his ownership and copyright etc.

    Leave a comment:


  • pdk42
    replied
    Re: The beauty of grain

    Originally posted by Ricoh View Post
    Pull your armchairs up real close, more film images to drool over, from 'just Schmidt'. Lovely stuff in my opinion!

    https://just-schmidt.com/analog-wedding-photography/

    What do you think of Heiko's work? Does it hit the spot for you?
    Yeuk! How to be pretentious by asserting it's art, when actually it's just out of focus, poorly exposed, poorly processed and poorly composed. There are a few I like, but the majority seem to exhibit only poor technique.

    Leave a comment:


  • Naughty Nigel
    replied
    Re: The beauty of grain

    Originally posted by Ricoh View Post
    Pull your armchairs up real close, more film images to drool over, from 'just Schmidt'. Lovely stuff in my opinion!

    https://just-schmidt.com/analog-wedding-photography/

    What do you think of Heiko's work? Does it hit the spot for you?

    Frankly I would ask for a refund if they were mine.

    There are some nice images in amongst them but the majority demonstrate poor photographic technique and film handling in my humble opinion.

    Leave a comment:

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