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Parkwood Photos

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1 Parkwood Photos on Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:09 am

Julia

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I was stunned by the quality, colours and clarity of Parkwood's images on Tuesday night. I don't just refer to the standard of their photography but for the purpose of this posting I am meaning the digital projection. Compared both of our team's slide projection there was absolutely no contest. The digital projection far outshone our old fashioned sldes. I have tended to sit on the fence with regards to keeping or phasing out slide competitions as my belief is that they will sooner or later phase themselves out.
Theren are very few members that I am aware of that still take transparencies and even then it is not their medium of choice. All those I have seen always proudly reach for their new Nikon D300 first.
I have traditional cameras left and about 3 years ago put a roll of film in it purely for a slide competition. I was a little disappointed with the results and the expense. The only thing that was an advantage was that I ony had 36 exposures to play with and thought a bit more carefully before pressing the shutter. Since then I found that you can easily have your selected digital images turned into a transparency. Every time I have wanted to enter a competition that is the only way I have produced my entries.
Is this not hipocritical?
Entering a slide competition with a digital production?
How many sides are produced this way?
What is the point of projecting a digial 'slide' and the expense of producing it?
Why are we clinging on to dear life to his old fashioned medium?
Having compared the good 'old' slide with the digital projection the other evening I feel that we need to change. We project both on a screen so there really can be no arguement.
It is like clinging to glass plate negatives when the roll of film came in.
Head above the parapit now, let's hear your views.... Rolling Eyes


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2 Re: Parkwood Photos on Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:33 am

I've never actually taken a slide myself, and it's years since I've seen any projected, so I can't really cite comparative examples myself - but, if slides don't significantly excel digital pictures in terms of images quality, given no other criteria apart from costs to produce, I'd say digital wins hands down.

I can see that those who have invested a non-trivial amount of time and money in amassing a several thousand slide collection may fear that they will never be seen again!

A historical slide collection is surely a valuable image resource to pull upon, but in these digital days it must be getting less and less practical to show them in their existing form, and digitizing them, although obviously possible, would be expensive in terms of time and/or money, which is a shame.

I agree with you, producing new slides must surely be a pointless exercise?

In competitiions where judgment of photos is done in a serial fashion by one person I'd much rather see projected images, be they slides or digital, than printed media, which from 10+ feet away isn't that easy to appreciate.

Cheers,
Shaun

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3 Re: Parkwood Photos on Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:51 am

Julia

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We have a digital competition next week. Out of the whole club there are 26 entries at the moment from 5 members. Alan may be putting some in to make up the numbers. Is this a true representation from the club? No.
Showing one's old collection of stock is not the way forward. Maybe we can turn it into a nostalgia evening.


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4 Re: Parkwood Photos on Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:11 am

Julia I think you meant to say "we have a slide competition next week..."!

I agree with your comments by the way and I thought that Parkwoods projection was superb, much better than the digital projection we had some weeks ago.

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5 Re: Parkwood Photos on Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:16 am

Julia

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Yes, well spotted!
I meant slide.
I think we need to ask Parkwood how their projection is set up.
Parkwood members.... Suggestions please?


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6 Slide vs digital on Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:17 am

I agree with some comments so far but this is going to continue to be a massive bone of contention. Parkwood's images were excellent but, how many of them were originals? How many did not involve some use of Photoshop or equivalent? This is where I feel that the category of "Projected Images" is very unfair to transparencies which have to be as they came out of the camera. I still have film cameras, Nikon F100 and Olympus OM models from 1 to 4 and I enjoy using them, especially the Olympus with the more manual approach. It may well be that I will end up, in a few years, selling them and working solely on my D300 (or whatever it is I have by then) but until then I will continue to use them and look for an outlet for the images I take.

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7 Re: Parkwood Photos on Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:22 am

I’d be more than happy to give advice where I can on setting up your projector(s).

We have gone through a learning curve ourselves at Parkwood and have now made a small investment in a Spider Elite 3. You may find some criticism on this instrument with some saying that it is inferior to the Eye One. I personally own an Eye One for calibrating screens and printers and have done a direct comparison test on LCD screens and I can honestly say that the two instruments gave identical results. I realise this doesn’t necessarily mean that a similar test result would be the same for projection calibration. All I can say is that the Projector used at your club on Tuesday was calibrated using the Spyder Elite 3 and this instrument is a fraction of the cost an Eye One.
Kev Bell

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8 Re: Parkwood Photos on Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:48 am

peter.walker wrote:I agree with some comments so far but this is going to continue to be a massive bone of contention. Parkwood's images were excellent but, how many of them were originals? How many did not involve some use of Photoshop or equivalent? This is where I feel that the category of "Projected Images" is very unfair to transparencies which have to be as they came out of the camera.
Peter,

I agree, slide vs digital is not a fair set-up for a competition as you can’t manipulate a slide but the worlds your oyster with digital. There’s still a place for slide competitions but surely all entries should be purely film based and not digital converted to slide or digital projection.

I also consider the resolution and definition quality of a good slide, viewed using a quality projector is far superior to that given with current digital projectors.

My thoughts on digital manipulation, for what it’s worth, are that is perfectly acceptable especially when you consider this has gone on in the darkroom since the beginning of photography (remember dodging, burning, pushing, pulling, unsharp masks, etc) The only difference is, it is now within the means of the average Joe Blog to do this – all you need is Photoshop Elements and a computer not a dedicated room in your house, messy chemicals and expensive equipment.

Kev Bell (Parkwood)

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9 Re: Parkwood Photos on Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:04 pm

Julia

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Ah Kev, now you've opened up the next can of worms about manipulation! Even with slides there is the opportunity basic manipulation in the form of sandwiching and masking down. Photography is all about manipulation from even before picking up of the camera. Choice of equipment (Toy camera/large format/shift lens/lens babies/artificial lighting etc),Filters, bracketing exposure, pushing a film speed, cross processing etc.
Yes, it is unfair to pit a digitally enanhanced slide against a traditional one, or is it? It all depends on what has been done to the digital one. A 'straight image' from an amateur camera cannot compare to the superior quality of a decent transparency. When displaying prints do we ask or care if the final print was made from a straight print from a negative or a digital image? I would say not.
Digital projection, slides and prints are just a way of displaying our images.


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10 Re: Parkwood Photos on Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:22 pm

We had a very similar argument at our club a few weeks back. As someone who has never shot film (at least not as anything other than throw away cameras as a kid) I've only ever known digital, but we were having the discussion about when does a photo become something other than a photo. How much manipulation can you do on something before it is no longer photography?

For me photography is an art form. When I take a photo I try to see it as a work of art. But I also see it as an image as well as a photo. I strive to create fantastic imagery. But, and this is the key. You cant get good imagery without the initial photographic skill. Composition, exposure, Depth of Field etc.

All in all as long as you dont physically cut something and paste it into another photo then you're holding on to photography.

As long as people still want to shoot film and present slides then there should be a place for it albeit a niche spot. Much like vinyl records, it might not be the future but it certainly holds a place in the present. But digital is the future and now with the 5D mk 2 allowing high definition film to be chopped into photos who knows where we'll be in just 5 years time!

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11 Re: Parkwood Photos on Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:21 am

I think that Kevbell mentioned something of interest here concerning the projection of a good slide on a top notch projector in that the quality can be far better.

With digital the best affordable resolution available is 1920 X 1080 (for widescreen movie viewing) pixels. But for data projectors designed for presentations these are usually 800 X 600. These are quite low resolution numbers in comparison to most digital cameras potential resolution. Also these type of projectors do have quite specialist bulbs of 2000+ lumens output (very bright)with modern zoom lenses. That is why it is important to calibrate before projection as colours can shift (and blacks become less so) at this brightness level. So, by displaying a punchy bright image of lower resolution the digital projector, to the human eye, looks better than the slide projector.

BUT as Kevbell says slide projection in all its analogue ways, CAN look better if used with a top notch projector as its resolution is not limited by pixels and uses the full resolution of the original slide.

Now factor in the cost of a digital projector (£500+) against a slide projector (£100? if available) I do wonder if the same was spent on a slide projector today (£500) built with this same modern lamp and lens technology (if one was available) what would the slide image produced have looked like on the screen? Cool

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12 Re: Parkwood Photos on Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:09 am

I personally regret the passing of slide competitions especially at a national level like the PAGB Warwick Projected Image which is now all digital. Quite simply, the quality of digital projection is not available to match slide, and a well made high resolution digital image produced as a slide will vastly exceed the quality of the same image projected digitally. Equally I agree though, the traditional film based slide workers have the right to feel agrieved that they are competing on an unequal playing field if digitally produced slides are allowed, but without maintaining the option for digital workers to enter I fear that we won't see any slide competitinons in 1 to 2 years time.

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