Imagine if you will....

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by severian, Oct 7, 2006.

  1. severian

    severian Member

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    that the day that you have long dreaded has arrived. April 12 2015. After this day there will be NO MORE FILM. All the manufactureres have thrown in the towel. No one will be selling emulsion recipes and setting up coating plants in India. Hasselblad has been out of the film camera business for years. Ilford b&w division has cried "uncle". No film. No paper. You have examined that digital world and found that it doesn't satisfy your aesthetic demands. "Those digital prints aren't photographs they arenothing but posters". You must make photographs. Those gorgeous b&w prints that you have mortgaged your life in order to perfect. Gone.
    You stand naked in a bleak landscape. How do you escape? How do you satisfy your soul? What is your solution? Show us how creative you will be. Find a way.

    Severian, autarch of urth, Jack B, aka Mr. Orwell
     
  2. doitashimashite

    doitashimashite Member

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    Very hypothetical. I'm pretty sure film will always be around, though the number of manufacturers will diminish by time, and prices may be a lot higher then they are now. But as long as there are film photographers, there will be film!
     
  3. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    We will Buy film from PE.
     
  4. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    I'm returning to making traditional silver-gelatin prints because I love them, not because I hate digital photography. I will make images one way or another.
     
  5. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    What really ticks me off is that you, Jack, as "autarch of urth" would let things come to such a desperate patch! I think it's just a shameless dodge to get us to start thinking about learning to draw and paint and increase the enrollment at the school where you teach. If such terrors do come to pass, PhotoEngineer will become an icon...a folk hero...!! Perhaps you're in cahoots with him, trying to drum up 'learn to coat your own' business (which, btw, is a very good thing!). I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you!! Hrrrrummmph!!
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Many beautiful photographs were made in the nineteenth-century before film was an industrial product. I'll just coat my own. I'm already set up to shoot 5x7" and 4x5" glass plates, if need be.
     
  7. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Gives me a wee case of the willies to think about. I don't hate digital, just haven't learned it. I suppose, if I must, I will learn it because I can't see not making images. I expect it would actually be quite a task to learn to do it well. Perhaps, that's why I haven't really tried it yet.

    Of course, I'd expect to get my pencils and charcoal out and go back to sketching again. I should do that anyway, and I will always use some non-digital means of making art. Think they'll stop making pencils?
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    ยก would stop using a camera to record on film but glass+metal instead.
    (i already coat with pre-made silver emulsion ... )
    if silver nirate was no longer available (for the gentleman-scientist),
    i would use the sun plants and water to record on paper.
    i would grow poppies in a window box for my light senesitive-stuffs.
     
  9. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    I think you're at least a quarter of a century out, and probably more like a century. And by 2115 (a) it's unlikely to be my problem (I'll be 165 years old) and (b) there's a very good chance that even a tiny niche market will be big enough to justify film coating.

    Coating lines aren't THAT hard to find or operate (that's from someone who operates one, in discussion at Photokina). The difficult bit is raw materials -- and I learned of some interesting trends that will keep those alive too. Unfortunately the information in question is commercially confidential.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  10. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    If you know the right people, the raw materials are not a problem either. Utah is a great state!
     
  11. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I suppose I would dabble with some wet plate or making my own emulsions to satisfy a certain desire to use a hands on craft approach, but for 90% of my images I would simply go digital. Most of what I enjoy doing requires film and paper that provides sharp resolution and a broad tonal scale. While wet plate and hand coating film can produce wonderfull results and I would love to try them, they will never produce the results I want for most of my work..

    I suppose the cut off point for me concerns time. I can see where one could spend an enormous amount of time producing emulsions and preparing materials and less and less time actually making images.

    I don't think we need to worry about film going away. That has been discussed a million times already. However, when the price gets to be around 1$ per 4x5 shot, finances may force my hand to change to digitial.
     
  12. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Aggie,

    No doubt it is a great state -- but are there many baryta coating plants for paper base, or manufacturers of some of the more arcane sensitizing dyes?

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Wanna bet?

    Not to me. So, I say that there are some problems, as I noted in the thread on film quality.

    I have details on sources and prices that I had to glean for my emulsion work. I have talked to people directly that supply these chemicals. This stuff is not confidential if you dig enough or know what to dig for.

    PE
     
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  15. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear PE,

    What's confidential is who's buying how much of what/selling how much of what and why -- not what's available.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  16. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Roger, in obtaining the supplies for my work, I often find out as a sidebar the information you refer to. Perhaps we have the same information and perhaps not. I'm not even sure how accurate it is.

    In any event a lot of what we both allude to is available for one who looks. Only time will tell us how reliable the information was.

    PE
     
  17. DBP

    DBP Member

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    Why would I want to imagine such a thing? And frankly it is more likely that I will be gone in 9 years than that film will.
     
  18. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Aw jeez, here we go again!

    It's enough to make me a digi-shooter. Just to avoid this "gloom and doom" yo-yo.

    Talk about a topic that belongs in the Soapbox!

    Give it a rest; go shoot some film. I burned off a couple of rolls today and no one looked at me weird!

    EDIT: BTW, what the hell does this have to do with "Ethics and Philosophy" anyway?
     
  19. Bromo33333

    Bromo33333 Member

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    Given that you can still get instamatic film, the death of other emulsions are highly overrated!

    I plan on shooting film as long as it is offered - several decades I figure.

    If at some point if digital is somehow able to surpass film (isn't anywhere near at this point) then passing of film will not be a sad event. But since they cannot even get the same quality as 35mm from digital - and they have been at it more than 10 years - who knows how long it will be.

    I think we have 50-100 years to go!
     
  20. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I would use my camera as a telescope and enjoy the view. I would enjoy photography books and going to galleries and work in graphic design.
     
  21. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    I'll be grateful I learned wetplate in 2005, 10 years before this happened.

    My solution will probably still be Lea's Landscape #7 collodion.

    :cool:

    Joe
     
  22. Pastiche

    Pastiche Member

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    POP, Tintypes, Glass Plate... and digital. What's the issue... Ease? only for those who CAN do something else w. themselves... for those who can't... well... no issue. You do what you have to do. Period.

    When I learned film, digital was already hot and happening.... digital was ALREADY easier.... same goes for learning alt techniques today .. .. . those who want to -DO- those who only think they want to.. . .. they mumble...
     
  23. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    Did all paints and oils, and dyes for canvas painting go away and was no longer sold 20 to 30 years after the film emulsions was invented?

    Did newpapers and magazines disappear 10 years or so after the internet was created?

    Did Manual Transmission cease to exist in cars decades after auto transmission was placed in cars?

    Also if it was as bad as that, someone like myself who has shot digitally for a straight 5 years, and never even gave thought to film, developing, or printing probally would have not gone 95% film for nearly a year and a half now this late into the digital 'revolution'?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2006
  24. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    Go back to drawing and become a rambly old man who throws stainless steel dev tank spools at anyone who walks on my lawn.
     
  25. butterflydream

    butterflydream Member

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    That will be great business chance to start a new film and paper factory.
     
  26. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear PE,

    You are of course right, especially about the accuracy and reliability. But let's take baryta paper as a simple example, where the real choice today is Felix Schoeller or Mitsubishi -- and I don't know anyone in Europe who buys from Mitsubishi. I am however told that the old Guilleminot baryta paper coater is still in use, slightly modified as it is not being used for baryta coating.

    Now, barium sulphate is not hard to source, and nor is paper base, and I believe it would be possible to put together a consortium to coat baryta; but it would obviously be easier to keep Schoeller coating the stuff. It's that kind of thing -- and of course film base -- that I was referring to. Arcane chemicals can usually be synthesized (at a price, barring environmental objections) but film base production is another matter. I believe (though I do not know) that there are enough other applications for film base that it is not endangered; but I have also heard assertions to the contrary. Another endangered species is roll-film backing paper.

    Plates can be coated on an artisanal basis, again at a price, but roll-film is more of a problem, and if any film goes, I fear 120 may be the first casualty. I don't think it will happen, but unlike 35mm and LF and plates, I am prepared to accept that it might happen.

    Cheers,

    R.