Street Photography VIII

Some will say that a picture should need no caption, that it should stand on its own. It is true, in some cases, that a photograph can stand on its own and need no caption, or description. In many, I would suggest most, instances; however, some complementary text can be very important. Our own personal experiences play a large part in how we perceive visual imagery. A photo of Birkenau has a very different meaning to someone who is Jewish than to a Christian or an Atheist. A different meaning still to those who are older vs. those who are younger. We are informed by our own history. I understand the particular areas of Toronto I shoot in. I know the neighbourhoods and some of the people. Others who know the areas have a similar understanding of the pictures as I do because they have that history. What’s that old saying about walking a mile in someone’s shoes? We do not all see the same things, nor should we. What is appreciated by one person may not be by another. And there is nothing wrong with that. Continue reading

Street Photography – Prologue

This man is a roving and impassioned daguerreotype that preserves the least traces, and on which are reproduced, with their changing reflections, the course of things, the movement of the city, the multiple physiognomy of the public spirit, the confessions, antipathies, and admirations of the crowd.

Victor Fournel, on the idea of the flâneur Continue reading

The ‘Forced’ Digital Upgrade – A Small Morning Rant

I’ve recently been a part of some discussions on commonalities between film and digital and film concepts that have carried over to digital. In particular, a discussion on whether HDR techniques could be used with scanned film (they can) and on whether Zone System concepts could be applied in digital photography (some can). Continue reading

Why Emulate Film?

A simple question. Does it have a simple answer? Is there a single answer?

Digital photography has taken hold. It’s established. It has supplanted film for the most part.

In the (relative) earlier days of digital, there was a trend to try to replicate the look of certain colour films – Velvia being, I think, the most common. There were actions and recipes available for creating the ‘look’ of different film stocks. These were popular for a short while but eventually receded into the background – for the most part. People came to understand and realise that digital was different from film – for the most part. People came to embrace that fact and deal with digital capture on its own terms – for the most part.

For the most part? Yep. For the most part. One area where there still seems to be a desire to cling to the analogue world is with respect to black and white photography. There still seems to be a yearning on the part of a good many people to try to replicate the look of a favourite b&w film. There are still plugins, actions, recipes and so forth that attempt (some better than others) to replicate or emulate the look of different black and white films. Why? Continue reading