The anti-technology shoot

McGowanPhoto - Photographer
(Photographer Arizona, United States)

I used to shoot a lot with high-speed film and a soft-focus lens. The results were often interesting. Well, I decided to see if I could come close to the same feel in digital. I used the same lens, which rendered the digicam totally manual.

The image is in critique, but it's really hard to see it that small.

Here's a link to a full-size Web version:

Admittedly, it isn't the same as the old system, but I think it gets across the same feel.

Does it make sense to try to reproduce some special effects in digital? Should we just let digi be digi and film be film? Or should we just not worry about it and just try stuff? (I'm in the last category, but others may differ.)

Link: The critique image
Posted at 10:59 AM on Oct 23, 2005
McGowanPhoto - Photographer
(Photographer Arizona, United States)

Jay, to get the desired effect, the prints are typically 20x30. Not easy to reproduce online. The digital image is a rough approximation of the feel you get with those enlargements. When I've posted the stuff online (a few are at, the result just looks soft focus, and the grain isn't very apparent.

Posted at 10:25 PM on Oct 23, 2005
testshootcom - Photographer
(Photographer California, United States)

I am sure there are people that only need a hammer to build their homes, but I believe in specialized tools for specialized jobs. The thing digital+PS do are imitate approximately what you'd get from film, and while film is unpredictable, the possibility for strange things to happen as part of the process (grain, reciprocity failure...) is what keeps me there. I like to let the process take me where it does, and that uncertainty is what I still find refreshing with 100 year old technology.

For that reason you liked in grainy film and soft lenses, is what makes me happier to own a $19 holga more than my $5k Linhof.

Again, you can get from that old system what you feel comfortable with OR take the time to figure out how to replicate it. Grain still is random, while noise and photoshop do obviously look produced, it is so hard to get away from a liquid laying grain where it does and a mathematicl equation to fake the funk.

Posted at 06:38 PM on Oct 27, 2005

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