Ctein goes digital!

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by jglass, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. jglass

    jglass Subscriber

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    Have not seen this referred to anywhere on APUG and I thought I would solicit your thoughts. Famous technical/photography writer Ctein (his entire name, pronounced "kuh-tine") abandons film entirely for digital.

    http://theonlinephotographer.typepa...pher/2010/02/what-cant-digital-do-for-me.html

    My thoughts were expressed in the comments. Essentially: why would a high profile photography writer find it necessary to do this when film is endangered? What's the point, what do we gain, what do we learn? (I think it's obvious what Ctein and The Online Photographer gain). What can we do about it?

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    Who? "Who cares" are my thoughts.

    Regards, Art.
     
  3. coigach

    coigach Member

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    Yawn. Who cares what he thinks? (Ctein, not Art...!)

    Just get out there and take your own photos on film... :smile:

    Cheers,
    Gavin
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2010
  4. jglass

    jglass Subscriber

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    Um. I think the point is that many people care what he thinks. Many. Which is not good for film. So, I care. This kind of "expert goes digital" news is just the kind of thing that threatens film in the markets, where it really counts.

    Or am I wrong about any of that?
     
  5. wfe

    wfe Member

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    "Experts" have been going digital for years. It's old news and I agree, who cares?
     
  6. Muihlinn

    Muihlinn Member

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    Not me, and as time passes, I grow up grumpy and cannot take too seriously what I read on sites - or any kind papers - which are full of ads, either side they are.
     
  7. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    good for for him, i hope he finds what he is looking for !
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Ctein, one of the worlds great photographers and maker of dye transfer prints, is finding it harder and harder to get materials for making good dye transfers and good prints in general. As we go forward, digital improves as is inevitable. It is his opinion that we have crossed a point where the tools he needs for his best work are impossible to get and digital has become good enough (with photo shop I assume doing some fixup) to satisfy his needs.

    Remember that his work is nearly all if not all, color. It is not like many of us who do a lot of B&W work!

    PE
     
  9. Ken N

    Ken N Member

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    Hmm. Another vacancy in the analog world for an expert.
     
  10. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Probably for the same reason he feels the need to tell everyone constantly that he was trained as a physicist, err should I say, has a bachelor's degree in physics. He might be one of the world's best color printers, but as anyone knows who has gone to graduate school in science, there is a LOT more to being a 'trained as scientist' than having a BA or BS in it. Heck, there's more to it than having a Ph.D. as well.

    Maybe some people are impressed by it, but I find it off-putting. He's written some informative things, but I could really do without 99% of his commentary. Including this piece. Who cares?
     
  11. AshenLight

    AshenLight Member

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    My wife and I own several of Ctein's dye transfer prints. They represent the work of a master and to be honest, how he arrives at the final print is immaterial to me considering the artistry of his work. I find it hard to judge a photographer (or any other artist for that matter) by the medium he or she chooses to create the final image. If someone's art moves you, why does the methodology used to create it matter?

    Ash
     
  12. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    I was going to buy his book, but not now. No way.
     
  13. Shaggysk8

    Shaggysk8 Member

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    Well all his reason seemed fair enough and film is not endangered so I hope he finds a new lease of life, I mean we do all have to challenge ourselves after all.

    Paul
     
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  15. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I've never found Ctein's photographs to be anything more than competent, and there are an awful lot of those folks in the world. I'm sure the prints are excellent, but if I'm not all that taken with the image, the print is immaterial. Now he'll just be one more pixelographer in the ever expanding sea of pixelographers, and won't even have the distinction he accords himself of being the best dye transfer printer in the world. Congratulations, Ctein, on making yourself irrelevant.
     
  16. AshenLight

    AshenLight Member

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    My, what a stunningly narrow view. The general intolerance here for any photographer that uses any medium but film is amazing. :sad:

    Ash
     
  17. Jerry Basierbe

    Jerry Basierbe Member

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    Agreed.

    Jerry

     
  18. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If it's where he wants to be now for the work that he does, I don't see what I have to say about it. I'd still recommend _Post-Exposure_ 2/e as a must-have book for any darkroom worker, and I'm happy to own one of his dye-transfer prints.
     
  19. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I've heard about the guy because of his technical articles I don't understand. I've heard he makes nice prints, but I've never had chance to see one. I wonder if photography is unique in that people judge artistic output by equipment choice, I also wonder if in any other medium an artist would announce to the world when they change technique.
     
  20. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    For quite some time Ctein branded himself as a superlative dye-transfer printer, maybe even the last great colour printer overall. Last time I checked there was truly no limit to the hyperbole. That said, I have heard from many that the prints, when viewed in person, are indeed very special.

    It will be a loss for the analogue community if/when the dye transfer method of printing is gone, but we must also remember that the method and the man are two separate things, and nowhere is it written that dye transfer is the best that can ever be.

    This may also be a great risk for him, because, frankly, his fame is largely derived from his methods and his stockpiled resources. If it is true that he is going digital then he is cutting out something that really distinguished his work. So I wish him the best of luck with that.

    P.S. I would hasten to add that I strongly believe that people should use whatever tools they need to put their thoughts onto paper. If something just isn't working then, hey, experiment and try new things. Maybe he felt he was in a rut. It happens.
     
  21. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    Why are we unable to separate the concept of capture, from the concept of output?! What Ctein now chooses to use to capture his images remains independent of his darkroom mastery of a classic print making process. Yes, it does raise a question about how he obtains a color negative image with which to make his exceptional dye transfer prints!
     
  22. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    We are able to do that. But until this point he was not doing that: he marketed his work based on the quality of his method. That is the issue for him, going forward, as I see it.
     
  23. frotog

    frotog Member

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    This doesn't surprise me one bit. As a technician the degree of control one has over the printing process is so much greater in digital than it is in analogue. After seeing the Eggleston show at the Met where dye-transfers were seen side by side ink-jet prints the differences were too subtle to merit real attention. But then that was Eggleston, with work as derivative as Ctein's the technical aspect is just about all there is so yeah, for him it's a big deal.
     
  24. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    I've (honestly) never heard of this guy. :smile:

    (And I've been happily taking and printing photos since I was a school-kid, so I guess I'll not worry too much.....)
     
  25. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    My thoughts are:

    "Who the F*** is the guy? Who cares with what he does or think?":munch:
     
  26. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Have to agree, I'd never heard of Ctein until I joining this forum, and I don't rate his work as outstanding.

    But if he's shooting all colour work then I'm not remotely surprised at his decision.

    Ian