The technology Karma Police came to visit me this afternoon while I was at the developing lab as I attempted to explain to one of the Young People, the holder of a degree in photography attained with the exclusive use of a manual medium format camera, how to operate a 35mm film SLR. I hope her college lecturers permitted her to do flash photography without forcing her to mix her own magnesium powder.
Who is this dapper chappie?
[I’ve only just begun working my way through your negatives, Paulie, but if you don’t want to see any more of them on PooterGeek then I’m afraid you’re going to have to pay my new Privacy Surcharge.]
I think I’m more than a little scared that a university handed out a degree in photography without, you know, checking their student could use anything other than the one particular type of camera, especially since DSLR stands a good chance of completely replacing MF by the time she hits a career 😉
Also… He may be dapper, but the composition’s a little off, isn’t it? I’d crop the left and top quite brutally…
It depends what kind of degree you want, I think. It used to be possible to get a degree in medicine (which is extremely tightly regulated) without knowing much about how to deal with patients. Many computer science students graduate without any formal training in a commercially relevant programming language. I choose both of these subjects because they are considered “impure” or applied sciences. Photography is at the impure or applied end of fine art. Supposedly, one difference between a university degree and a diploma is that a degree is, by definition, academic. Even a Master’s in engineering is insufficient for you to be qualified as a professional engineer.
The woman in question has a much tighter grasp of the underlying principles of photography and a better eye than most photographers. She also has steady work in the business so I’m not going to knock her training. I reckon she could probably learn enough to produce good images with a digital camera in a week whereas many digital camera jockeys couldn’t produce good images with a medium format camera after a month—if ever. She certainly understands what is possible with digital processing after a negative has been scanned, which I think is more important than knowing how to generate a digital image.
The image caught my eye as I was working my way through some lo-res previews, and Paulie had recently commented here, so I just downsampled and spun the parent scan and posted it to tease him.
Yes, the composition isn’t right, but I’m not going to crop it brutally. I don’t think the World needs another photograph where the subject’s head occupies the top corner of the frame. As it is, the centre of Paulie’s face falls on thirds*, as does the dividing line between his jacket and the man next to him. The rotation is lousy though, and needs correcting before I do the final edit for printing.
*[The “rule” of thirds will be the subject of an upcoming post here.]