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Straight Out Of The Camera shots: SOOTC

by Editor David Williams 

'Golden Girl' by Mirela Momanu

We can’t really say “imagine no technology” as that is just ridiculous, but let’s just imagine cameras are still analogue. There is no photoshop, Lightroom, Nik etc. Just a camera, lenses and a darkroom.

You are restricted to say the least, but it forces you to make the best of what you have, and it interests me to see what people would come up with.

Would there be a saturation of “photographers” as there are nowadays? I don’t think so. Would print sales be more expensive? I believe so.
Would your services be more valued? Definitely.
Would people have an appreciation for your work as they still do for let’s say Ansel Adams and alike? I guarantee it.

People will argue until the cows come home and more about art and freedom of expression and using computers to show what they feel without any restrictions etc., but come on, what did the greats do? Their works are in art museums forever more, they have published books (not self-published) and furthermore they are remembered.

Now analogue is making a comeback, but digital photography still dominates the market. Is this because it’s easy? Of course, it is. Photography itself is not easy to learn, but computers are easy to learn. Why do you think there were only a handful of real photographers back in the days that could make a good living and now most are closed down or forced into a different profession.

Sure, I have a digital camera, but I studied analogue, so I have a complete understanding of actual photography and I use that knowledge for my work. I also have an analogue camera which I use often, as well as learning darkroom techniques.

Pros of analogue photography as per Wikipedia:
* The time and expense of analogue photography instils discipline
*  Depending on the film you can gain a great dynamic range

The first sentence really gets me thinking. In this fast-paced world where everyone wants it NOW, do we lack the discipline that the greats had? I believe so. How many times have I heard people say to me “I don’t have patience for animal photography” I believe instant gratification are the words I am looking for? Saying this, I do not have the patience for sitting in front of a computer for hours on end “creating” a photo so…

One of the “cons” mentioned by Wikipedia was this:
“Analogue photography needs more money and more time than digital does” which is pretty much what I said about time but is it really a con? Does anyone remember the excitement of an image coming to life when darkroom processing? I do and I am not that old! It was the main thing that got me into photography. The only thing I don’t miss is the smell, but sometimes when I do smell something similar, it makes me smile.

So, this brings me to 1X photo contest 'SOOC” from next week.

Of course, the use of a digital camera is permitted, but you only cheat yourself if you don’t follow the rules:
- Manual focus
- No looking at the LCD
- If you go analogue, limit yourself to one “roll” of film (24 exposures, choose your best one).

Photoshop or Lightroom are allowed but you only to use some of the basic darkroom techniques which are:
·         Dodge and burn
·       Toning
·         Vignetting
·         Contrast
·         Reversion to BW

What you take photos of is up to you. Need inspiration? Look around on 1X, get on the internet and study the greats and dare I say go to a library or a book shop.
So, what are you waiting for?
The contest opens on June 24th and we look forward to your submissions.

'Balance' by Paulo Abrantes

'A sudden downpour' by Marc Apers


'Fish seller' by Agus Laksana

 'Love Lost' by Rui Correia


'R' by Mihai (XaviRo) Cvasnievschi


'an ocean in between the waves' by Rui Correia


'London's peanuts (Film) by Didier Guibert


'no mercy in this land' by Rui Correia


'Atlantic days' by Paulo Abrantes

 'Cellulite' by Yvette Depaepe

n/t by Antonio Grambone


'Give No Way!' by Despird Zhang


'Legs' by Lorenzo Grifantini

'Futbol' by Andreas Bauer 

so many thanks, for choosing some of my pictures for the article. These ones chosen, yes, are SOOC. congrats, for the article.
I don't quite understand why SOOC isn't taken as the abbreviation says, no editing at all? - Manual focus? Even in analogue bodies there is an autofocus, my F80 works with the same lenses as my D750s or D3s... - No looking at the LCD? Well, a matter of discipline which makes it comparable to analogue photography, but SOOC does not have that meaning to me. Why shouldn't I try to optimize results iterative, trying different color filters for example? Photoshop or Lightroom are allowed but you only to use some of the basic darkroom techniques which are: · Dodge and burn? In b&w one of the strongest manipulations to a photograph. Yes, it's a classic lightroom technique, but so not SOOC · Toning... Agree, but can be done in-cam at recording. Actually I do that all the time. · Vignetting... Hard to do with quality lenses SOOC, I just don't see why a photograph with a clear composition and well defined light needs it. · Contrast? Can be easily enhanced in digital cameras SOOC, for structure, total contrast or using digital or physical color filters. · Reversion to BW? Again, either shoot b&w or not. Black&White photography needs clear subjects because there are less factors "leading" the viewer, you have to "see" b&w to capture it. Conversion again leaves top many possibilities to cheat yourself in this contest. Especially converters like e.g. Silver Efex. I'd rather see real SOOC shots in the upcoming challenge, while distortion of wide angle in my view would be worth considering to be allowed. Off-center subjects could be straightened at least. Mike - Senior critic
Great article David. That image, appearing out of the developer tray, is what got me hooked on photography also.
Thank you very much, Patrick. It’s appreciated.
Thanks to David for this inspiring article to participate to the next contest: SOOTC. Congratulations to the authors. Cheers, Yvette
Thank you , Yvette :) I hope people rise to the challenge of actual photography.