Black and White Photography Magazine

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by roy, Jan 28, 2005.

  1. roy

    roy Member

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    I see that with articles by Les and Baxter, APUG members are prominent in the February issue of this UK magazine. Well done.
     
  2. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I haven't even gotten the December issue yet, much less thinking about the February one. :sad:
     
  3. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    A comment on one of the articles, which disappointed me.....

    Article by Peter Hogan on stop and fix

    This appeared almost to cross the line from article to endorsement of his own products. IMHO the manner in which the information was presented also represented a 'favourable and evidence free' presentation of the supposed facts.

    One (especially novices) could easily easily take home the following messagesfrom the article:

    1. Acid stop is bad for your film, stopping the reaction in some cases too quickly. It may cause outgassing (pinholes) and retculation.

    2. Acid fix will almost certainly degrade your images, especially if you overfix (giving teh impression that this is easily done and almost innevitable with tabular films if you wish to remove the dye).

    3. Wetting agent must be used with distilled water or it will not work.

    4. To look after your negs and prints (as well as to produce the best results in the first place), using alkaline products is the only responsible thing to do (guess who supplies these).

    My issues here, which have been covered I think elsewhere are:

    a. How on earth have photographers managed over the years with acid fix and stop?

    b. Overfixing can degrade "deliocate highlights". Is this not an error often touted by advocates of alkaline fix? Surely overfixing would degrade areas of little silver density on the neg ie the shadows or print highlights. I may have my facts wrong, but this seems much more likely. Small amounts of bleaching could cause shadow detail to disappear. I would have thought the considerable density in the areas of neg correlating to print highlights would be much more robust. It reads to me like he is talking about overfixing the neg degrading print highlights? If I am correct about this, it reduces the whole argument to hogwash, apart from when clearly unneccessarily damaging fix times are used (not that I have ever experienced this). The apparrent confusion here suggests to me a lack of real experience and evidence of this happening. If it had, it would probably have been described more clearly

    c. Acid stop and fix should never be used with staining devs. I beg to differ. There may be reduced stain, but I have personally never seen this to my own eye and I have tried alkali and acid extensively (alkali fix from Barry T). Perhaps the difference is there (subtle) and I would venture that it would be more relevant to alt processes and possibly graded papers.

    d. I have always used tap water with wetting agent and it performs it task perfectly well. I never get drying marks, ever (once film is hanging I pour the water with wetting agent it has been soaking in for a few mins down the film). I have done this with water from many houses, but agree that there may be houses with (very hard?) water where it could cause marks more easily.

    My gut feeling was that with absolutely no evidene or testing done, the reader is deliberately led in one direction....to buy alkaline products. I may be wrong, but he is the only supplier in the UK is he not?

    As a final word, I know Barry Thornton raised some of the same issues, but IMHO in a far less absolute fashion. Additionally he did so in books under his own name, where promotion of his 'way' and his products would be expected. Had Peter Hogan presented evidence to back up his statements of fact (IMHO presented with a slight hint of scaremongering (making people think that acid process is lazy and harmful) I would have raised no objection at all. Not a peep. I also concede that I may be completely and utterly wrong in my asertions. However, in years of printing, including very delicate transluscent Lith highlights (the most susceptible to bleaching in fix of the lot) I have never experienced bleaching from overfixing. I know this as I often produce a pilot print which is fixed fully and then dropped into a tray of water. This tray often has plenty of other drafts in and would be laden with fix. I then at a later point (sometimes hours later) remove it, wash it for a few hours, dry it and assess it. The print will have been sitting it fixer laden solution (not withstanding that already in the emulsion) for ages. When I have returned to print final versions, where adjustments have been made perhaps to snatch point or dodging (and the final prints fixed in 2 bath, rinsed thoroughly immediately in fresh water and straight into a long wash or hypo clear then shorter wash) I have never seen any difference in delicate highlights when exposed the same. I would have expected the relatively slapdash technique with fixing and washing the pilot print to have bleached the prints, but nope....which is why I am slapdash with the pilot!

    Anyway, I have no issue with Peter Hogan and am pleased he has continued Barry T's products as well as his own, but think the editirial team could perhaps have ensured that the article was either an advert or perhaps more objective, considering which shop the conclusions point you in hte direction of. A line like...with certain devs and certain films there may be a chance of pinholes...(like Efke pl100...) and one needs to vastly overfix to cause bleaching of the low density areas of teh neg (print shadows!)....How hard could it have been to have exposed 2 rolls of a few popular fims and fixed one for normal time in acid fix and another for long enough to bleach. I would love to have known how long it would have taken to affect the final print. I am sure he could have used a densitometer to show how much harm occurs or shown prints as evidence.

    I remember another article by another columnist (michael someone I think) who regularly scoffs at people with exotic film choices and pet formulae.....but later says that to make prints that glow (giving his own absolute list of pet musts) one must avoid nikon lenses! What utter crap.

    I have no issue with subjective opinion, as long as it is not masquerading as fact.

    Tom
     
  4. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    The seamy side of living in paradise, Robert...

    On the other hand, my car thermometer read 1 degree F when I started up the car, this morning...
     
  5. roy

    roy Member

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    Living just up the road does help !
     
  6. BruceN

    BruceN Member

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    I can't seem to find this magazine anywhere. Nor can I seem to find their web site to subscribe. Can anyone help, or is this some sort of conspiracy?
    Bruce
     
  7. roteague

    roteague Member

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    You can easily order a subscription on-line, but it is expensive - 12 Issues with 10% discount Pay £46.50 which is $87 USD or $108 CAD; at current exchange rates.

    The address is: http://www.thegmcgroup.com/page--Photography-Magazines--phmags.html
     
  8. mikeg

    mikeg Member

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    Mine came this morning as well.

    The issue also contains an index to 2004's articles. Something that I've been wanting for ages. The front cover without all the text is wonderful for us subscribers but it makes finding an article in a back issue really difficult.

    Ailsa,
    Can we have an index for all the other issues please? Not just 2004! I expect it's a pain producing an index but I'm sure you can find some work experience student or somebody to knock one up :wink: By the way I love the new format. Being wider seems to allow reproducing images larger than before with less white space.

    Cheers

    Mike
     
  9. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    We are all entitled to a good rant occasionally Tom, I trust that you feel much better from having had yours. In this case I think the editor took the decision that most of her readership is adult enough to recognize a promotional article when they read one. I would not expect Peter Hogan to write about his products in anything other than a positive light, obviously he believes in what he sells. Judging by his images displayed on his website he’s quite justified in the belief. Check it out at:

    Monochrome Photography
     
  10. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Dave, yes I do feel better, but there was a rational, calm reason for me writing it (and I knew you would respond as you have - no insult intended). However, the association between Peter and his products was not made clear in the article (unless I missed it), so for those unaware of the link (probably the vast majority of the readership) my point still stands. When Kodak have someone doing 'pseudoreviews' talking about why they love TriX or whatever, it is clear that it is an endorsement angled peice of writing. This was not the case with the article to which I refer. This was not a trifling matter such as, 'I love this film cos.....' It was, '[sucking of teeth] dont go on underachieving and harming you images (by using acid processes), use alkali instead. No mention of the fact that he is the sole supplier .....(again, maybe I missed this).

    I still think it unreasonable that someone factually states the supposed fatal flaws in the basic film stop + fix process that 99% of photographers (successfully) use without a shred of evidence (and with a serious vested interest) without declaring that interest is not professional. I agree that many photographers' knowledge extends beyond that covered by the article, but many do not (otherwise there would be no point in the article).

    I checked out the site long ago and yes they are fine images, but so are those by many other photographers (who use acid processes, such as AA or Les), and fail to see how his production of fine images in any way bolsters his assertions. It is perfectly possible that he produces the goods regardless his practices not neccessarily because of them! Association vs causality - two very different things.

    Tom
     
  11. oriecat

    oriecat Member

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    Bruce, I first picked up a copy at the Lloyd Center Barnes & Noble. I would think all B&N would carry it. But I loved it so much I subscribed! It is expensive, but worth it...
     
  12. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Extending on Tom’s reply.
    I’ve revisited the article, and can still find little wrong with it. Peter has expounded his theory, and the practice that he has adopted to overcome his perceived problems. Having identified a problem, he has produced a product that he believes overcomes it. Note, however that there isn’t a single reference in the offending article to help the reader purchase his products. I do agree that Ailsa could have made reference to Peter’s commercial connections to maintain editorial balance, but, as Peter has avoided such reference, maybe she thought that she need not. As a further point we should know that every author is paid for their work, and are therefore under pressure to produce something different, controversial even, if they are to stand a chance of being asked to produce further work for publication. An article that simply pointed us at previously accepted methods or tomes of work would stand little chance of being published, and rightly so.
     
  13. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Dave,

    I do not disagree with your view' it is entirely valid. However, IMHO although no direct attempt was made to sell his products specifically, by virtue of being the sole UK distributer of products fitting the exact description he states are effectively essential, the line is crossed. Anyone concerned by the isssues he mentions, who them looks for UK supply of, say, alkaline fixer, would end up at his online shop. Again, were he to provide evidence to support his claims, one would only be able to conclude that it is a good job he is both able to educate us and provide problem solving products.

    I do wish him every success and believe it likely that his products are indeed very good and his intentions the same. As for your last point on originality, it is of course true. However were he to have shown how, say, acid fixing for 8 minutes instead of 3 had visibly degraded a negative (perhaps with two side by side identically exposed prints) that would have been very original (i've never seen it done) and would have made experienced darkroom workers think long and hard about the issues he raises.

    Tom
     
  14. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    I don't suppose that anyone has noticed, but I generally suggest neutral fixer as being the all-round optimum - and it happens to be obtainable the world over as it is widely used by photo labs. Did Peter's article consider it as an option? If it didn't then I'd smell a rat.

    I'm still in shock over page 75 of the Autumn 2004 issue (no 38). There's a picture of a pedestrian crossing a single traffic lane in the rain, in London. There are no visible vehicles in the traffic lane that she has just crossed. Apart from the unusually inclement weather for the location* the picture looks rather nondescript. But only at first: the full horror unfolds as you look more closely and read the accompanying text.

    She has jaywalked!

    '... The lights were set to give vehicles the right of way, which meant that pedestrians had to stand in the rain and wait their turn. Most did this but one woman was too impatient and launched herself through a gap in the traffic, disregarding a sign which should have controlled her action. I raised my camera and caught her just as she arrived on my side of the road, fortunately unscathed.'

    Now, although the picture does not provide the same dramatic evidence of the disgusting civil disobedience described in the text, I can only trust that the account is accurate. My question is this: faced with someone who is so blatantly defiant of the laws of a democratic society, so brazenly anarchic, why did he choose to take a picture of her instead of making a citizen's arrest?

    What sort of an image does this give to potential visitors to the city? That anarchists and naughty people are free to wander the streets? Is anyone safe?

    I can assure tourists that if anyone ever dared to try to jaywalk here in New York a dozen vigilant citizens would have the evil-doer disarmed and pinned to the sidewalk in less time than it takes a taxi driver to finish his phone conversation.

    I remain etc.
    Outraged of Hell's Kitchen (Miss)

    *For those of you who have never been there, London is almost always sunny and warm, whatever the season.
     
  15. roteague

    roteague Member

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    In Hawaii, pedestrians always have the right of way, even when jaywalking. In fact, there is talk about making the fines higher for drivers not yielding.
     
  16. arigram

    arigram Member

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    In Greece cars always have the right of way even when crossing a red light. Pedestrians that run over cars get the life sentence.
     
  17. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Yes, I saw that and the bit that amazed me is
    HA!.. If true, they must have been tourists - we do not DO "waiting for the lights to change" in London...

    So far, the powers that be have not latched on to the tax-raising possibilities of fining people for walking across the road - only a matter of time of course now the His Ponceness the Major has got rid of all the jump-on, jump-off Routemaster buses and replaced them with absurd monstrosities, 50 feet long that bend in the middle (in a city that still has it's original Medieval street plan - genius!)...


    Cheers, Bob.