Generating Garbage Disguised As Pictures

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By shooting all those redundant, useless digital images I’m simply passing the buck to my future self, the one sitting despairingly in front of the computer.

via planet shapton.

There Are 19 Comments On This Article.

  1. LOL! …I became a photographer so I could live a life of adventure…but, alas, here I am, sitting at my computer too…waiting for endless megabytes of files to “Process” and Twittering. What can you say…work is work regardless of the field. This is why I still have a view camera…so I can go out and have some fun with photography once in a while.

  2. Using a 1 gig card is a challenge I’m gong to try. But I couldn’t help thinking about the very other end of the spectrum too: the theory of shooting with something like a Red Epic, and pulling stills from the footage. Sounds so great in theory–you won’t miss capturing anything–but also seems like it would lead to going insane, having to manage and look at it all and make a decision. And in the end, you might not get anything better than a skilled photographer with 36 frames at his or her disposal would get.

    • And in video, individual frames are often slightly out of focus and have motion blur. And of course, the resolution is quite low.

      I read about this whole ‘pulling stills from video’ idea, but in my experience its very rare that it works out for anything but reportage or very low end usage.

      • Yeah, the RED is a completely different beast, nothing at all like trying to pull stills from the average video recorder.

      • Pulling a still with a red will blow your mind. It is not like shooting with a 1/4 to 2/3 inch sensor camera. You can get great grab with 2k cameras and up.

      • The Bruce Willis shoot in W Magazine comes to mind. Many raved over the images, perhaps wowed by the technology, but to me they all looked a bit soft.

  3. Jean-Francois

    @Tim
    wow! this sounds like having a million monkeys and hope for a great book.

  4. I’ve reluctantly come to terms with ‘missing the moment”. It makes catching one even more special. (but then, again, I haven’t had a look at the new Canon 4K Cinema coming out yet either.)

  5. c.d.embrey

    I’ve never used anything larger than a 4Gig card. Having learned on film, I never got into spray-and-pray.

    I agree with Derek Shapton, if you can’t get it in 26 shots, you ain’t gonna get it.

  6. I wish people would understand that my time is very valuable to me, and spending hours editing useless garbage photos is the devil.

  7. this one loops back nicely to the post about the wet-plate pics.. and in most cases it’s not the photographer being responsible for the onslaught of images, but the customers demanding “options” – sometimes the graphic designers (understandable) but most notable advertising agencies creative people who dont want to decide on something beforehand. sometimes it even just feels like they are looking for excuses to justify their existence. and then the poor photographers get trained like monkeys to shoot more and more and this and that and another one and here and there and so on.
    being able to sell a process like wet-plate to a customer is the ultimate goal. a process that forces every party involved to think before taking the picture but also be ready to live with the outcome, no matter what. kudos to anyone being able to pull that off as a commercial photographer – artistic stuff may not apply.

  8. I’ve also been feeling the fallout of going digital. As a dedicated film shooter for my career up until the last 2 years, I was accustomed to economizing shots which made me emphasize the shots that I did make. Using a 4×5 lends a feel to the process that is more artistic, thoughtful, and patient than when I’m snapping away in RAW. I’m waiting to feel much attachment or emotional investment with the shots from my FX camera; they all feel a little cheap.

    Digital of course opens up many avenues and these are indeed exciting. The use of video in DSLRs has had a big impact. The low-light capabilities are miraculous. And cheap! No lab processing, no waiting.

    But…the dreaded file management. And all that extra time spent in front of a radioactive screen instead of over a lightbox. What about the myriad adjustments to make in the camera, and then in the computer? I don’t like that I’m paying so much attention to the camera in the field, as opposed to the subject. To quote george carlin…too many choices people; not healthy.

    I believe the limitations of film helped to make better photographers, and limitations are good things. Film forces you to work harder at the “pre” stage of shooting, the visualization. And while it doesn’t work as easily as digital for every application (weddings, journalism, etc), it does lend itself to easy editing – and maybe better shots – as was stated.

    I look at it as a parallel to music. Before digital, the Beatles made Sgt Pepper, Robert Johnson laid down his magic, and many other artists made incredible music within the limitations of the analog recording technology of the day. Nowadays, with digital, we have so many more options but IMHO, the quality of music overall is nothing like yesteryear. Same with photography.

    If all it took was unleashing the number of photos we could take, then where are all the incredible photos to be seen today compared to 20 years ago? The digital revolution has modernized us all but it’s what’s lost that may be more important.

  9. I think photography can only advance when it embraces technology which does mean we need to think how we can take photos that rely on a camera spitting out 11 RAW images a second.

    I am having an exhibition next month after photographing commuters in trains passing me at 40km/h. I couldn’t see them, nor they me, but my camera could. Maybe I ‘m just a very persistent monkey but I would like to think the exhibition offers something new and worthwhile to photography.