Bruce Barnbaum Website

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by photomc, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. photomc

    photomc Member

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    I am aware that some here have attended the workshops of Mr. Barnbaum, visited his website last night and read what I consider a very nice article on his "Thoughts on Digital". Rather than the same old debate, Mr. Barnbaum just covers some of the pitfalls of digital vs traditional and does so in a very nice way, IMO. If you would like to read the article it can be found here..I did contact Mr Barnbaum to ask permission to post this link, and as always he was quick to respond and very gracious.

    http://www.barnbaum.com/thoughts.html

    I think many here would agree it is nothing new to most of us, but still nice to see someone of Mr Barnbaum's status state the facts, the way most of us see them.
     
  2. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    QUOTE:
    .....nothing has the radiance of a finely crafted silver print. Nothing.


    How True
     
  3. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    Well, except for a finely crafted gum over platinum print, which basically crushes any silver gelatin print ever made.
     
  4. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    You don't really think we're going to take that bait, do you? I think this forum has grown out of that sort of thing.
     
  5. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    I believe Clay's opinion to be every bit as valid as Barnbaum's. They are passing judgment over a subjective subject--you can't quantify this subject (and who would want to?). The question "You don't really think we're going to take that bait, do you?" could also be said about the quote from Barnbaum.
     
  6. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    As with most things in photography, it depends who is reading it. The article has been in the site for a while. Those who do digital bashed him for comparing apples and oranges, those who do mostly analog agreed with him. Of course at the time the thread where the guy lost 4 files he spent gobs of hours working on did not exist.

    Me, I am sticking with what I like and know works.

    As to the silver print coment, to each its own, dont agree with him but I am not bothered by his comment either.
     
  7. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    Replace "silver print" with "contact print".
     
  8. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Well said Jorge, I think we all have a particular look we prefer and that is the one we attempt to emulate. In this vein, it does not matter the medium - silver, gum, plt/pld - oil or water color. The point is, why not accept that others do not have to like the same format or media, at least there are still people out there using more than one part of their brain, and maybe something a little deeper.

    Clay, having never seen a gum over platinum, but respect you and your work so will say nothing more than will have to get out and see one in person. My personal opinion is that Most photographic medium does something for me - dags/albumen/plt/sliver - I don't find one better than the other any more than I find any of the master photographers better than another...heck I still think a tin type is pretty neat..doesn't mean I want to go out and make some.
     
  9. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    This is all fine and well, but for those of us whose cones and rods work nothing beats a cross processed chrome printed on fujiflex.
     
  10. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I can understand the passion one has for a favorite or particular process. For me I love the simplicity of working with silver but I have undertaken the goal of learning wet plate collodion in the next year. I think some truly stunning results are obtainable with different collodian mixtures combined with using modern lenses.

    But every time I see a different type of work in person that is good I am simply blown away. Carbon, platinum, chrysotypes, Azo contacts, silver prints, etc. Truly the most stunning to me are orignal dags. The depth and sharpness are amazing. And their is something very "pure" about capturing the image on a polished mirror of pure silver.
     
  11. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    Sorry, i should have put a smilie emoticon on that post. My intent was completely in the ironic smart-a** 13 year old boy mode.

    My point, as some others have recognized and pointed out, is that a proclamation like this is basically a statement of taste, rather than an assertion of fact. Of course, my taste is superior to everyone else's, and I suspect you would say the same about your preferences. Taste is different for all of us, which is good, since otherwise all of us men would want to marry the same woman.
     
  12. lee

    lee Member

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    I posted the same link on a list that I read and there is a lot of digi heads there that were really pissed at his poor attitude. That was the reaction I was looking for. They took the bait, hook line and sinker. :smile:

    lee\c
     
  13. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Psssttt!! Hey Clay...I think we all Are after the same woman, her name is photography.

    Jim, wet plate huh! Remember reading about the process in the old Time-Life photography and thinking then - What a cool process. Seems like those guys used some rather large (read ULF) cameras, do you have any idea what size you plan to use?
     
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  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Didn't he publish that in print a while back? Maybe in _View Camera_ or _LensWork_, or possibly _PhotoVision_?
     
  16. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    Chi Chi Rodriguez was asked " What is your approach to golf?" He replied " I try to get the ball in the hole the best way I can." Make the best picture you can..Evan
     
  17. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    photomc,


    I plan on working in 11x14 and something more square such as 14x14. I have been interested for quite awhile. The process has seen quite a revival with many photogs using period cameras and lenses or period replicas. There are quite a few who work with Civil War re-enactment groups and there are those such as Luther Gerlach who explore the process from a more artisitc approach. I am planning on taking a workshop late winter or spring to learn how to coat and process the plates and to learn the finer points of working with the chemistry.
     
  18. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Jim,
    Please us updated on your progress...I find this to be a really interesting process. Have always been fascinated with the fact that many of the early prints from the west were done with wet plate, how the heck did those guys do that? Did O'Sullivan use a wet plate for the more or less famous shot of White House Ruin in Canyon de Chelly? Knowing what it took to just get the equipment down there and having held one of the prints from the negative...Wow!

    Thanks for the information.
     
  19. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    wow it's amazing to watch how a thread can mutate.
     
  20. michael9793

    michael9793 Subscriber

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    I have gone complete circle, from silver to digital to palatum to silver. And you know, all have there place. And anyone of them done to the upmost will look fantastic. We just have to understand that the image that we see still has to be stimulating. Taking a average image and making it silver, palatum, digital,or Gum is still a average image. That doesn't change. And we are seeing way too many average images these days and not being critical enough before showing our work! And of course that include me.

    Mike Andersen
     
  21. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell Member

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    I've never know a photographer who doesn't consider darkroom work pure drudgery. Sometimes supremely exhilarating, yes. But always necessary, and always drudgery. Especially when you have to clean up after a session is over and you're tired, and it's late, and you've got to be bright eyed and bushy tailed in a few hours when you're back in the real world. Perhaps Mr. Barnbaum doesn't have to clean up his own darkroom. Replacing the traditional wet darkroom with a computer can make it all a pleasure again, and THAT, not dogged dedication to a grueling archaic process, is what makes for great photography.
     
  22. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Bruce cleans his own darkroom and very well. He also is one of the luddites who doesn't care much for computers. You should meet him. He is a very warm and caring personable man. I'm sure many here will voice the same sentiment.

    BTW I don't consider darkroom work drudgery. I think of it as magic.
     
  23. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Could not disagree more Bill, in my own case I do not mind darkroom work at all - so there goes the first statement. Clean up is necessary with any task, Yes even computers need clean house keeping. It just depends on what YOU enjoy. I work with computers day in and day out, THAT is drudgery..be it 8-5 or 2 a.m. - it pays the bills, but provides no thrills.

    Hope you get as much enjoyment from your new technology that I do from something you see as grueling and archaic. Good Luck
     
  24. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    You might change your tune about that if you ever see any of Bruce's work. From the tone of your post I discern that you haven't. Believe me, he takes great pleasure in producing his art. Even if he didn't he would still produce great photography. And I'm also convinced that if digital processes could give him better prints, he would use them.

    While his methods are in many respects diametrically opposed, both aesthetically and technically, to those of my photographic mentors, I recognize him as one of the greatest of contemporary masters. He's also a profoundly effective teacher.
     
  25. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Very well said!
     
  26. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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