I have said it before and I will say it again;
Digital is destroying all aspects of photography.
Ansel Adams once said that the future of photography looked wonderful and that Digital Photography would revolutionise the photographic medium. Little did Adams know that behind the gigantic Dye Bond print standards and quality would fall to the point where amateur and professional would blend into one big pixalated mess.

Lets take fashion photography as an example.

The make ups not quite right, the hair is a little tatty, the model is a little out of shape and is a little spotty, the lights a little harsh, the image is not quite sharp, theres creases in the background, the shoes are the wrong colour. But none of this matters because we are going to pay someone to make it look totally different and get what we want. We will pay the photographer the same as we did ten years ago because we need the money to pay for the retouching which has quadrupled the budget. Then we will take all the rights away from the photographer and do what we want with the images. Who cares about the quality, we can always make it more saturated and up the contrast so it looks better on peoples i Phones because even though we complain about the drop in magazine sales we still need to publish the magazine for free on the web because thats what everyone else does.

How about the family album;

I got a great shot of baby Jaden the other day on my phone. I printed it out on my little printer and put it in the album. The quality is not great but you can tell its him. (Fast forward twenty years). You were such a beautiful baby Jaden, I just wish I still had those baby pictures of you I took on my phone...

I made a point of mentioning photography which I do not personally do as doing so would just make my rant even longer. We live in a time of mass manufactured crap from some other countries that couldn't give a stuff what they pump out into the stratosphere. The word Quality does not seem to exist any more, be it in photography, in products, or even in life..


rob said...

I've just upgraded to 10x8. It might not make me a better photographer but at least I'll sweat a little. keep ranting.


Anonymous said...

and of course elliott erwitt has said his piece!


marcus doyle said...

The mighty 10/8, the Hydrogen bomb of the camera world.
If you can pull off 10/8 you can shooting anything.

marcus doyle said...

Mr Brook,
Thats a nice blog you have there. That pic of Elliot Erwitt is great. Must get one of those T Shirts.

Andrew Bruce said...

Coincidently I up-sized to 10x8 recently also!
But yes, I could not agree more..
I do not think digital has been overly positive for photography..
It has it's place no doubt (i love my new pocket-sized Canon S90 with its brilliant aperture ring) and i think that camera represents the best of digital photography- small, quick and clever.. but that is pretty much where the love ends for me..
What you haven't mentioned is the flippant attitude towards making photographs now, newer photographers (i mean, the generation who have never ever touched film) have no feeling for the controlled pace that you get from working analogue... and the thought of really taking care over you images (taking months of careful preparation or waiting just for that single click) its like a completely different language to them... And I think this has a knock-on effect, it's not surprising that photographers who are used to clicking a few hundred times a day (and pressing delete almost as much) and working mostly with images on the screen, are going to be sloppy with the printing...
Printing is my biggest gripe, as for me, the print MAKES the photograph, in my opinion it should be a beautiful object just like a sculpture - hence i'm determined to only have true hand-prints made using the 10x8, show people how stunning a print really can be..

the show 'Crash' at the Gagosian showcases some stunning giant handprints from Dan Holdsworth and Vera Lutter..

marcus doyle said...

I know only too well about print quality having started my career as a printer back in the day when the only retouching to be done was with a spotting brush.
I think a 10/8 contact will always knock the socks of anything in terms of that luminous quality and richness of tones.
Regarding the show Crash. I went to college with Dan and we share the same printers for the big un's. Michael Dyers in Covent Garden, nothing beats them for big hand prints.

Andrew Bruce said...

Hi Marcus
yes, i'm pretty taken by the 10x8 contact..
As for Dan, he's who invited me to the show, i'm supposed to be assisting him some time within the next few weeks.
I used Michael Dyer for my last series also (after many many recommendations) was very impressed, and not to mention they gave me a huge discount..

marcus doyle said...

Say hello to Dan for me and ask Michael Diemar if I can have a discount..(Not really, they have always been good to me)