October 27, 2005

Film and Digital; Embrace them both....

Although in the last blog I blasted digital media over film, I wish to clarify more meaning of the two. Digital media is a very important part of the photography aspect and is the direction photography needs to go. What I wanted to get out in the last blog is how important this medium is for a learning tool, that learning tool is not being utilized to its fullest degree.

I was taught in the basis of how film works and how film can be manipulated by light and control of the camera. This is a very important concept that new students are being deprived by dropping the costs of dark room equipment, film costs, and time. There is also the aspect that is missing transferring film into a digital format, the ability to convert the old in to the new. PhotoShop has been one of the best digital manipulators whether you use film or digital imaging as the main source of capturing your image.

As I import a strip of film in to the computer and compare it to a digital image I can still see a major difference. I believe it is going to take about ten years before we are able to get film like quality in a digital image, at least one that is generally affordable to the average consumer. I would say that as soon as film hits the 60 mega pixels, we will see a new generation of photograph and photographer.

Digital imaging is a great new medium that does teach a great deal about photography. For about ten years as an amateur photographer, I shot film and had to wait anywhere from an hour to maybe three weeks (depending how lazy I was getting my film developed) to get any kind of feed back. Even in a darkroom setting, it took me at least an hour to get the results of developing my film.

With digital, I was able to get immediate feedback from my manual settings and I was able to correct and understand my lighting conditions with more confidence. Every photo I post has either been shot with film and converted to 0s and 1s or has been shot with a digital camera. The other thing that will be missed if digital buries film is the “old school” manual cameras. Some of the best images I have taken have been with these work horses of the past.

These work horses serve as a symbol to the dying breed of amateur photographers that still have a great love for film. (The difference between an amateur photographer and a professional photographer is that one shoots for love, the other shoots for money.) The amateur photographer is being transformed into a society of hobby photographers. Photographers who want to take as many pictures as they can to impress with the quality of their photographs which are in the most part due to very impressive digital technology. No longer will they understand the true control of a photograph, it will turn in to composition, subject matter, and trial and error to get what is intended on capturing.

The new world of hobby photographers is now going to be bombarded by the average consumer who will now photograph their entire family, friends, and places around. This will create a new generation of document photographers that will be forever imprinted on hard drives, CD-ROMs, and DVD-ROMs that may never see past the technology that holds them together. Let’s face it, now that we are able to take hundreds if not thousands of photographs, when are we going to have time to go back and organize everything.

I am not afraid of the future of photography, I am afraid that the past will be washed away by a sweeping changes in attitudes because of our need for fast results and the need for more information. Our memories will change from solid paper in hand to data that is in the concept of a machine that has no concept of what it holds.

- Shawn Kringstad

Bombs Bursting Mid-Air -sk2004

"Velvet Core" -sk2003

"Shaded Fountain" - sk2002

"Standing Tall" - sk2001

"the portrait" - sk2000

October 23, 2005

Losing the foundation of photography

With the coming of new technology comes the loss of the foundations of photography. When I watch new photojournalism students, I have started to see a new generation of uneducated photographers. These new photographers are ignorant when it comes to film (the basic foundation of photography.) Film and film development is one of the most important aspects of photography(or the history of.)

It's not the person who has jumped into digital imaging, it is the fact that technology can easily kill old techniques for ease of use. The digital camera is a great learning tool because you are able to see your picture right after you adjust your manual settings. This ability gives a person feedback immediately to understand what settings work together. Again it is a wonderful tool that would normally take an individual that uses film months or years to figure out.

With that said, there is still this wonderful feeling of seeing your film in action. The process is long from start to finish after hard work of shooting, developing, and printing. Even though it is long there is something that is lost from the film to digital conversion. Say the printing process, just like a camera you need to adjust the aperture of your enlarger and like the shutter speed of the camera you are able to control the amount of light that goes on the paper.

These basic fundamentals are transferred to the digital age as they did for the prior century that harbored the birth of photography. Digital still requires the ability of aperture and shutter to create a single photograph (unless you only use program, then there is very little knowledge about photography.)

Anyone can pick up a digital camera and get a good image, but the ability to create an image through a vigorous process seems to give the ability to master light and the surroundings you wish to control.
- Shawn Kringstad

October 18, 2005


Photography is my output when nothing else in this world seems to be. Now with the addition of writing as my new form of release, I feel I have so much more to offer. Whether I feel alone or crowded, smart or stupid, anxious or calm, or fearful or courageous I know that I have something I can hide myself in. I can express myself in colorful ways that show my mood or use my photography as a way to persuade the mood of others.

By raising the hue I can tell a story of prosperity or give an unrealistic impression that life is a little better than it actually is. I can also lower the hue of my photographs to show a sense of loss or a sense of an aged time that begs the question of what it must have been like then. I have been know to get rid of the colors I cherish to either give an effect of emptiness that one holds somewhere below his mind and behind his soul.

Photography is much more than a standard picture… it is a story that gives you a glimpse of a time or a place. It shows the feeling or mood of that particular time with details that will shove the viewer in that instant state of mind. The power of an image can take the viewer anywhere the destination of the mind can take us. With photography we carve our personalities into the minds of future generations that will someday learn from our examples.

Next time someone shoots your photograph, take some time to think how it may be presented, and what people “the day after tomorrow” will think about you and your surroundings.

- Shawn Kringstad

Untitled under the bridge - sk2000

Frozen to the Bark - sk2003

Exhilaration - sk1998

Oh Deer - sk2004

October 13, 2005

Photography; The interactive art!

I had someone tell me one time that Photography was not an art. There are just too many people that take pictures and that just shows that it is a hobby. I replied like this: Photography is an art, the only way it is a hobby is if you let the photographs sit and rot in a drawer for the rest of your life. Then the photographs either gets passed down through the generations of your family, they get destroyed, or end up at an estate sale where someone buys them and then tries to sell them one hundred years from now as an antique.

But if you actually do something with your photographs such as scrap booking, detailed album creation, or frame your work to show you are using photography as an interaction. Once you leave this world, you will be able to tell a story about who you where, who the people around you, and what your world was like while you where around. Photography is the art of capturing the world around you at an exact moment and an exact location. Getting involved with your photographs can be a powerful form of therapy that will allow you to remember your life as you grow old.

- Shawn Kringstad

Autumn Shadows - sk2001

Staring Contest - sk2002

Bliss of an Autumn Afternoon - sk2000

October 11, 2005

Photographs to love or hate: not to ignore.....

I recently had a thought about how my photographs affect me, and how I hope to someday have an audience that really enjoys the photographs I take. I can take rejection and I can take acception, the hardest concept to take is somebody ignoring what I have worked so hard to produce.

I am using this blog as a way to show my photographs and maybe get some feedback on some of the work I have done. Please Enjoy!

- Shawn Kringstad

Eager Carousel - sk2004 *

Emerald Waters - sk2004 *

How now, brown cow - sk2004 *

Somber Pumpkin - sk2004 *

Little Pig - sk2004 *

Blooming Star - sk2004 *

The Portrait - sk2004*

Life Sentence - sk2004 *

* Works created before 2004, deemed finshed 2004.