Art Critics Discover Dry Plate!

Discussion in 'Silver Gelatin Based Emulsion Making & Coating' started by dwross, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

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    Hi All,

    Congratulations to Tony Zinnanti! Tony has been working with dry plate emulsions in California and carried his vision through to artistic success.

    http://www.the-signal.com/news/article/21016/
    and
    http://zinnanti.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=47&Itemid=66

    Tony has been working with Kevin Klein's recipe from The Light Farm (http://www.thelightfarm.com/Map/DryPlate/Recipes2/DryPlatePart3.htm), adding his own research and craftsmanship to the process. He is making a beautiful, consistently ASA 2 emulsion. Tony will be writing an article about his work soon, but one tip he can pass along right now is to chill 1:1 Dektol to 46-50F and use minimal agitation during a three minute development time.

    :smile: d
     
  2. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    Congratulations, Tony! I look forward to seeing your article.
     
  3. wildbillbugman

    wildbillbugman Member

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    Hi Tony,
    Very nice! Question: Since the prints are larger than the camera, they were obviously made with an enlarger. Are you using Kevin's emulsion in camera, or as a paper emulsion,or both? Excuse me if the answere is in the links and I missed it.
    Bill
     
  4. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Great news and congrats to Tony, but I wish the article was more about the art and less about how it was made.

    The process can be one of a multitude and still have similar or the same results (and it doesn't matter whatsoever what camera he used!), but it's the photographer who is integral in the creation of the art. The article just talks about him using dry plate and a 100-year old camera as if those are the sole reason for the show.
     
  5. domaz

    domaz Member

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    You are kidding yourself if you think the process to create art isn't as important as the art itself. Part of the attraction of art is it's rarity- humans love rare things. Anything that makes a piece of art more rare increases it's value. Dry plate is rare and unusual and thus makes it more interesting.
     
  6. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    You are kidding yourself if you think the value placed on the craft is higher than that of the craftsman.

    So you're saying these photographs are not as good artistically had they been made on factory-made silver gelatin film and printed in a series of 1000 with photogravure? Or if they had been shot digitally and printed with an inkjet?

    Your first sentence deals with what is important in art and the rest a rant on values and rarity, which are 2 different topics. Rarity and value are marketplace considerations which don't enter into the artistic process for me as I don't make art with the marketplace in mind. As to the process of artistic creation, this has been proven time and again to only be important to those who place importance on the process (Andy Warhol, Christopher Jordan, Helmut Newton, etc all worked in ways which remove them from the process at some point, but the marketplace does not care). There is nothing wrong with this and I place a high level of importance on my devotion to my craft, but I don't delude myself into thinking someone else cares how long it took me to pre-soak my paper for proper acidification before coating it in pt/pd.

    Edit: My initial post is based on Tony getting the media coverage for how he did it and not what he created, which is where the credit should be given.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2009
  7. totalamateur

    totalamateur Member

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    Not to start a urinating competition, but if the final product is all that matters - I've got some really outstanding shots from my Canon 20D, far better than anything I can reproduce (yet) with my eastman No.1 View. Would you recommend I post them to the critique gallery?

    I think the process is important. I think that the process is what gives the final product - the silver gleatin, wet-plate, kodachrome, colloidoin, and all the other things everyone is trying so desperately to preserve here --it's "thingness". The problem with so much "art" these days is that it's lost its tactile qualities.

    I can browse flickr all day long and see things taken with camera phones that are goregeous, but I'd much rather hold an over developed contact print my buddy made 15 years ago in a hall - closet - darkroom because the art is in the object - and the object is neccesarily the result of the underlying process.

    Now that I've outted myself as a digital photographer i'll probably be banned from the forum all together. :smile:

    On the otherhand, my last 6 months of photographic expenditures consist completely of gear made long before I was born and chemicals, so perhaps I'll be spared banishment because I'm starting to see the light (through a ground glass)
     
  8. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    When my palate gets dry, I find a nice local IPA re-wets it in a pleasant fashion, but I can't claim it is art.

    Whoops, its plate, not palate....never mind. :wink:

    Jeremy...relax and have a cold one. :smile:

    Vaughn

    PS...thanks for the news/link, Denise!
     
  9. wildbillbugman

    wildbillbugman Member

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    "Philosophy on this Forum?!
    Now I have seen it all! As for me,I am happy if I make one finished piece of "art" in a whole year. Thats working on it everyday. For me, process IS the art and its value. I apologize to no one about my lack of "prolification" (is that a word?).
    My desire is to be able to produce,in real matter, the images that I see when I "pre-visualize" Also That I "make" every phase of the process. Or if I cannot "make" it, to at least understand each step of the process. I am no student of electronics. Therefor I do not use digital anything in my work.
    Bill
     
  10. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    Hey Bugman! It is all one process to me, too...from loading the film holders to framing the final print. Perhaps one day I will extend my process to include making the film (dry plate). The image is only part of the process.

    But it sounds like I will have to take a sleeping bag with me into the redwoods while I wait for the ASA 2 plate to get enough exposure!

    Vaughn
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Vaughn, that is why I make an ISO 40 plate formula as well.

    pe
     
  12. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    PE...ASA 40 sounds a little more managable. I already have done 30 minute exposures with ASA 125 film (at f64 or f90) without a breath of air moving the ferns or leaves, though 15 to 15 minutes exposures are more common.

    Exposure increases due to Reciprocity Failure might still require a nap. Makes me tired just thinking of it. :wink:

    Vaughn
     
  13. wildbillbugman

    wildbillbugman Member

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    PE and Vaughn,
    I have seen some realy intresting large format pinhole photographs where exposure was measured in months.
    One of my 'TO DO' projects is to do pinholes using my 5x7 "one shot tri-color camera". That should put me into houers, at least.
    Bill
     
  14. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    It is a shame more photographers don't work on that one good piece of art a year principle. It would sure be good on storage space, and save many of us from a lot of mediocre photographs.

    I think the perfect process for low productivity is tri-color carbon with original pin-hole separations made in a separation camera. That would be setting the bar pretty high.

    Sandy King
     
  15. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    Photography is one of the few art forms where so much emphasis is placed on the technical side of the craft. As to similar results with a multitude of of processes it relates to my investigation into shooting wet plate collodion. As you look at the work of wet platers you begin to see work by some that is so flawless in their technique that you do not see much difference from a print done on film, especially if they are enlarging onto modern paper with a glass negative. I know that one of the "advantages" to collodion is it is grainless compared to film, but how much grain is there in an 8x10 contact from 100 asa film?

    As far as the look of a plate with swirly bokeh, and limited depth of field that is a product of the lens being used which is pretty much predicated on the limitations of the speed of the collodion (asa 1). The glass plate or tintype is itself an art object so that adds some to the appeal, but as far as a final image you can get near identical results with film, vintage (and some more modern) lenses and filters at a fraction of the trouble and cost.

    But yet there are certain practioners of wet plate (and other processes) that just seem to be able to get something out of their process that others can't and cannot be duplicated or approximated in other mediums. I think this is where hobby evolves into craft which evolves into art.
     
  16. wildbillbugman

    wildbillbugman Member

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    I think the perfect process for low productivity is tri-color carbon with original pin-hole separations made in a separation camera. That would be setting the bar pretty high.

    Sandy King[/QUOTE]

    Sandy,
    Jim Browning has suggested in camera color separation based upon silver-gelatin chemistry with dye spectral sensitization specific for each color "cabon" tissue. This remains in the back of my mind as I work on a panchromatic silver emulsion. Color separation is at the core of all my work. I have been facinated with it since I took my first course in ColorPhotography.
    Bill
     
  17. domaz

    domaz Member

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    I'm not saying that at all. What I'm saying is that people do judge art by how it is created. Read the placards on the walls next to pieces in mueseums for modern artists and a very large percentage of them explain in detail the artistic process the artist uses- whether it be miminal or complicated. It is interesting to most people how art is created and I don't think you can completly seperate process from the final result. They are two important pieces of the artistic puzzle.
     
  18. zinnanti

    zinnanti Member

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    Hi Folks -

    I just found this thread. I didn't even know it was up. Thanks for posting it Denise. I appreciate the encouragement and all the help you have given me since I started with dry plate work.

    The reporter who wrote the article got a lot of things wrong (as is obvious from the content of the article). This hang was a survey of several techniques for creating negatives and plates. Everything was enlarged except for the 8x10 contact prints. The images were shot with a variety of cameras - not just my 8x10.

    Two of the pieces hanging were dry plate. Both dry plate images were printed out to 16x20.

    I appreciate the paper doing the piece. But, they based in on the written show abstract. They never interviewed me, though it sounds like they did.

    Anyway, don't believe everything you read.

    Tony
     
  19. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

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    I think we all bemoan the general lack of knowledge about photography among gallery owners and art critics. It's understandable to a certain extent. Photography is perhaps the most technically complex of all artistic expressions. Still, one could wish for a world where every little detail of what we do do didn't have to be spelled out -- only to watch the eyes glaze over when we try :smile:. So, again, Tony, thank you for being out there on the leading edge, making it just a little easier for the rest of us who follow! I very much look forward to your next body of work.

    d
     
  20. wildbillbugman

    wildbillbugman Member

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    -- only to watch the eyes glaze over when we try.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Is that why my eyes glaze over when I talk to myself?:confused::rolleyes: