PICTURE ONLY GALLERY LINKS
The life without the APA pictures are here
The The Forks ~ there's no place like home gallery is here
The ART ~ conveys / transports / reflects gallery is here
The Decay & Disgust work/book is here
The single women selects/book gallery is here
The picture windows selects/book gallery is here
The kitchen life selects gallery is here
A 10 picture look at Tangles, Thickets, and Twigs ~ fields of visual energy is here
I'll give Nik0n credit for offering forth a digital camera without video capability. Hip, hip, hooray. However, while it took some balls to do so, I would also opine that those same balls disappeared into Nikon's collective lower body cavity when it came to the rest of the camera's design.
Yes, it has a traditional manual shutter speed on the top deck, the shutter release accepts a standard cable release, and, low and behold, it accepts virtually every legacy Nikkor lens ever made (I have 5) but ....
... unfortunately, the Nikon marketing mavens screwed up the rest of the camera. In the words of a dpreview review of the camera, "All things being equal, if you can add a function, why not do so?" To which the marketing wizards quite obviously replied, "OK. We will." The camera is digital-era function spec-ed out to the max.
So, instead of producing a mechanically simple picture making machine*, what they ended up with is a mish-mashup which just might put it in a betwixt and between place where it doesn't really satisfy either the crowd which wants a "retro" approach to making pictures - shutter speed, aperture, focus, and slam bam thank you ma'am - or the crowd which could care less about picture making simplicity and which never saw a function / feature they didn't like - the more, the better is their motto.
I was drawn into looking into the camera because of its ability to accept my older Nikkor glass. Fortunately, 2 items sent me scurrying in the opposite direction - 1) a clutter fuck UI (user interface) that is neither here nor there and for which you get to shell out 2) $2800.00USD (body only).
What were Nikon thinking and when are they (and, for that matter, virtually every other camera maker) going to tell the marketing department mavens to shut the fuck up and let a still picture maker be an integral part of designing a digital camera?
And, will someone pay that dpreview(er) person a visit, making sure he/she brings along a lobotomy kit?
*by one definition (mine), that would be a camera which doesn't require a 150+ page manual
One of the laments, re: the impending death / fading / changing / evolution / graying (pick one, or substitute your own word) of "traditional photography" ("TP"), is that it is only / primarily the old (graying) coots who are concerned with "getting it right" when making pictures. The young twitfacetumblrs whippersnappers, on the other hand, are concerned primarily with getting it to market (AKA: social media sites and/or distributed to their "friends'" devices), full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes (AKA: IQ).
IMO, that assessment is so full of holes that it wouldn't stop a single rat as they flee a sinking ship.
In the first place, virtually all of the old picture making coots I know or know about who are concerned with "getting it right" are much more concerned with getting the content "right" as opposed to being obsessed about things technical. And technique matters only inasmuch as it helps to convey the picture maker's intent, vision and voice. In other words, for them the technique / technicals of picture making are not the sine qua non / holy grail of "getting it right".
The only picture makers I know or know about who think that, if the craft ain't "right" then a picture can't be "right", or, at the very least, it could be "righter" ( ... if only he/she had ...), are gearheads and pixel peepers. For clarity, by pixel peepers I mean those whose first inclination when viewing a print is to view it nose-to-substrate in an effort to first assess technical IQ before moving on to contemplating content and the picture maker's intent / vision and voice.
That is, if they ever move on to trying to discern intent, vision or voice, because, in large part, these are the same people for whom there is no other intent other "wow". If one doesn't hit into the cheap seats (preferably a grand slam), one has struck out.
In the second place, I would opine that there are more picture makers, coots and whippersnappers, who are concerned (not obsessed) with getting the craft "right" than there ever were. I base that opinion on the fact that there are more dedicated / serious picture makers out there than there ever were and all of those picture makers have one form of a digital darkroom or another - in a much higher ratio, darkroom to picture maker, than in the wet darkroom days.
In the wet darkroom days, most sent their film to a lab for processing and many, if not most, also had their prints made at a lab (in both cases, more so for color than for BW). In today's digital world, I don't know a single "lab" which "processes" digital files. As for print making, I have no doubt that many more dedicated / serious picture makers make their own prints at home than did those in the wet era.
Consequently, when it comes to the craft of "getting it right" - "processing" a picture file (digital negative) - I believe there are significantly more picture makers, dedicated to "getting it right" (in the sense of conveying intent, vision and voice), than there ever were. And, IMO, it is in the darkroom, wet or dry, where the real craft of picture making is conducted.
Other than the act of selection, which is neither a craft nor an art, the act of making a picture file in camera is, for the most part, a technical exercise. It is only in the darkroom where craft comes into play. For it is in the darkroom where a mechanically produced file is "translated" into a visual expression of the picture maker's intent, vision and voice.
If one does not "get it right" in the darkroom, then it is quite possible that no one outside of the darkroom will "get it" at all.
In any event and all of that written, I don't believe that "TP" is under any assault or faces any threat at all. More people are making pictures than ever before. That is to write, indulging in what the medium is all about - making pictures. If that's not "traditional", I don't know what the hell is. And, IMNSHO, I belief that the craft of "getting it right" is thriving like never before, no matter what the gearhead / pixel peepers have to say.
"TP" has never been about using the best gear, retina bleeding sharpness, the Zone System, or any other technique. The best the medium has always had to offer is found in the pictures of those who "get it right" content, intent, vision and voice wise, even if it "just" a slightly fuzzy and grainy picture of grandma processed and printed at the local drugstore.
The recently concluded PhotoPlus Expo in NYC has apparently ignited a kerfuffle (V23) replete with a new round of accompanying wailing and gnashing of teeth. The results are in and, as a result of the fact that sales of mid>top-tier dslrs and lower-end P&S cameras are dropping like the top of a 170 million year old rock formation in Goblin Valley State Park, the end of "traditional photography" is right around the corner, or so some might think.
However, IMNSHO, that thinking is pure poppycock supported by little more than a bathtub filled to the brim with flapdoodle and green paint.
While there is little to dispute regarding the idea that sales of mid>top-tier dslrs are in a sales tailspin from which they most likely will never recover and that the low-end of the camera market is being driven to an early grave by camera phones (or is it "phone cameras"?), what if anything this has to do with an impending photogeddon, "traditional photography" ("TP") wise, is beyond my scope of comprehension or gullibility.
A big part of the specious reasoning (if that word is appropriate here) behind the end of "TP" (as embraced and loved by a quite literally dying breed of graying old coots - you'll have to pry my full-frame dslr from my cold dead hands) is that the younger twitfacetumblr social network picture making crowd (aka: young whippersnappers) just plain don't give a crap about IQ (Image Quality). After all, who needs a billion megapixels or the machines which make them if all you're doing is making with, sending and looking at pictures on your smart phone or some other electronic device?
OK, taken at face value I can get down with that fact, but to use that paradigm as the foundation for the demise of "TP" is ridiculous. To buy into that reasoning, one must also accept the idea that the hordes of analogue/film snap-shooting picture makers, toting their Brownies, Instamatics, Polaroids, and other such "amateur" cameras (not exactly high IQ picture making machines) were, in their day, also destroying "TP" because, quite frankly, not a whole lot of them gave a crap about IQ. And, if they were tearing down the hallowed halls and walls of "TP", then it's a wonder how anything resembling "TP" ever made it to this late date.
In either case, I am not all that certain that, percentage wise, the number of defilers of "TP" vs practitioners of "TP" is all that different from what it was in the "golden days" of "TP". The number of casual picture makers have and always will vastly exceed those of the more dedicated / serious persuasion. And, just as Kodak did, the big boys, camera making wise, will always pursue the biggest market segment and leave the smaller segments to the boutique camera makers.
The fact that many of those boutique camera makers are currently facing shrinking sales - which, I might add, is very different from shrinking markets - has little to do with an assault upon, or, at the very least, an indifference to "TP". IMO, the diminishing sales have much more to do with the fact that the dedicated / serious picture making crowd has come to the realization - IMO, rather belatedly - that one does not need to climb to the top rungs of the picture making machine ladder (nor does one have to pay the price of walking around with the camera equivalent of a millstone around one's neck) in order to make pictures with a remarkably high level of IQ, technical wise.
For a large segment of the dedicated / serious picture making crowd, the megapixel race to the top has run its course and camera makers need to come to that realization as well. The boom market for mid>top tier digital picture making machines has ended. The majority of serious / dedicated picture makers who wished to move from film to digital have done so and have subsequently settled into a gear paradigm with which they are quite content and no amount of "innovation" will motivate them to keep on spending-and-getting in pursuit of the next big thing.
IMO, it's that simple. There will always be a very small market segment that demands ultra-high IQ - advertising picture makers, IQ obsessed amateurs, and fine art pictures makers whose stock in trade is 40×60 (and up) prints - which can only be delivered by ultra expensive picture making machines and related gear. For the rest of us dedicated / serious picture makers ... well ... unless one is a status conscious boob who needs to carry around a high-end camera for some kind of personal image validation or is still clinging to the idea that bigger is better, there are lots of mid-level picture making machines which, if one is honest with him/her self and has a grip on her/his actual picture making needs, more than fit the bill.
After all, if making pictures is one's goal, how much "innovation" can there be re: the bedrock fundamentals of picture making? Think about it - aperture, shutter speed, focus, and shutter release. What else does one need?
FYI, my 2 dslr behemoths have sat, mostly unused, on top of a bookcase in my living room for the better part of the past 4 years. Not unlike my 2 Nikon F-series film cameras have (on a different bookcase) for the 6 years preceding that. I jumped onto the diminutive µ4/3rds train within a few months of the introduction of the Olympus E-P1 and I have never looked back.
About the only time either of the dslrs are used is when I have a new client shoot and I bring them along only to "prove" I am a pro picture maker even though I always end up using my Oly Pens for the assignment.
Long live traditional photography. All the rest is just window dressing.
Another weekend has passed and so has another getaway. This time it was a trip to the Catskill PARK - a down-state mini Adirondack PARK of sorts - and the village of Phonicia. The purpose of the trip was to attend a birthday party for one of the wife's brothers.
That purpose aside, one of the things I like about Phonicia is the fact that the village is art oriented - live theater, galleries, craft shops / boutiques and the like, not to mention several excellent small eateries and a classic diner. And add to those features the fact that there is a rather large contingent of past-their-prime hippies (lots of white hair, beards, and pot). Suffice it to state, it's a very mellow place to be.
When staying in Phonicia, the wife and I never know what our sleeping accommodations will be - a bedroom in main house, a tent in the backyard or the Magic House. On this visit we were surprised and quite pleased with a new option, the art studio - a detached art studio with a bedroom. A place I found to be a rather inspiring place to sleep and dream.
All of that written, there is no question, in my mind at least, that an art oriented community is an all together pleasant and somewhat inspiring place to be. And, I might add, a the wife's family get together without the 100˚ heat and 100% humidity of the South Jersey Shore is also quite enjoyable as well.
There is a difference between looking at photographs - which has become a common cultural practice - or seeing the image. The latter refers to reconstructing the photograph by exploring the deep structure of the image--which involves the application of practical knowledge and creative insights and relies on the cultural or historical consciousness of the reader. Looking is the visual routine of readers, seeing is the visual practice of the literate. ~ Hanno Hardt