Is there reconciliation between digital and analog world in alternative processes

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Mainecoonmaniac, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    As with most philosophical questions in life and in photography, I don't expect any "right" answers. But I've been feeling conflicted lately. I've seen beautiful platinum prints by Irving Penn and other old time photographers and I know that older prints are purely an analog process. I've just started to explore the world of alternative process that require contact printing.
    Just recently within the past 10 years, the world of computers and inkjet prints have fueled a Renaissance of platinum and palladium printing. I personally don't think there's a difference in quality of a print done with a well made digital neg and an analog neg. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    I'm mainly a film shooter but also shoot with a digital camera. I have some beautiful shot in digital that I'd like to print in palladium and some analog negs that I have to scan to enlarge for larger palladium prints. My gut feeling is not to reject an image because It's shot in digital nor be a slave to the analog process by contact printing original negs.

    I'm posting this thread to start a dialog about the philosophy of platinum/palladium printing and the hybrid methods.
     
  2. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    A lot of people do it happily. Sandy King does a lot of digital negatives for carbon printing, and he is active on the Large Format Photography Forum and Hybidphoto.com with these topics.
     
  3. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    You are well on the road to enlightenment.

    Some of the best photographic work today is a hybrid mixture.
    Irving Penn would be using any and all means of perfecting his prints.. he was obsessive in his experimentations.

    Though using an all analoque method of producing platinums, silver or other processes it totally acceptable.
    If I could lug a 20 x24 film camera around and make contacts directly from the original with contrast reducing and expansion masks on top I would also think be hard to beat.
    This is just not practical for me, to consider physically and financially, also even though I use an 8x10 camera, I prefer looking at larger prints so I do need at some times to go the hybrid route.


    I have tried discussing the merits of the hybrid process here and basically most of the APUG community does not want to hear about it and that is ok with me. I am not sure how far this thread will get with this dialog about hybrid .



     
  4. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    Based on my observations, I'm not sure that saying "most" is accurate. From recent comments in another thread, it appears a large portion of the APUG community are using both technologies; only a few seem to have a rabid dislike for things digital.
     
  5. Pioneer

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    A number of APUG members who enjoy using hybrid processes are also members of DPUG as well, at least I am. I find both forums interesting and track them both. It can be hard to separate analog and digital now days but I find having the two forums helpful. Just my 2 cents.
     
  6. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    I primarily shoot and print with full analogue means. I have played around with digital negatives, created from digital capture and from scanned color or black and white negatives. As for the final print quality in a platinum print, I don't really see a difference. Nevertheless, in my own shooting, the images are different. This is mainly because the tools at the taking stage are different. Just as my silver LF and MF images are different, if I shoot with a small camera, film or digital, the image will be different from one shot on 8x10 or 16x20. Personally, I enjoy the process of shooting the larger cameras, even though they greatly limit the subject matter. I work differently with large format. The difference shows up in the final images, but it is a difference in character, not print quality.
     
  7. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I'm not the type of person that sees the world in black and white. I think there's a false dichotomy of digital and analog. The world exist in shades of gray. (18% gray) :wink:. Those who are rabidly anti-digital don't fit view of photography. Successful immigrants that assimilate throw out what they can't use in the new world and adapt things that are useful for them. I love analog photography, but I'm not dogmatic about it.
     
  8. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    I'm 1000% with Bob here . At some point we'll all have to face reality. I've just returned from a five day workshop with Paul Taylor at Renaissance Press doing copper plate Photogravure. It was one of the best experiences ever and the resulting prints are more beautiful than almost anything I've ever seen. The first two days of the workshop were spent discussing and making digital positives using QTR, Piezography and Mark Nelson's PDN. I'm not going into details here, as this thread will I'm sure be zapped in no time, BUT after recently also making digi-negs for silver printing, I am 100% confident in saying that all gaps have been closed. I can make a silver print from a digi neg that could MAYBE only be differentiated from an enlarger one under a microscope. it would be foolish to deny all the incredible possibilities that this brings, including promoting darkroom printing to digital users and to the many who still shoot but only scan film and would be interested in making wet prints without using an enlarger.
    To answer your question: no, there is no difference at this point, in a print made from a good digital negative and conventional one. In the case of photogravure, which I will be doing a lot more of, there simply isn't a choice for film positives so I am simply grateful that digi-world allows me to continue and perfect one of the most (if not THE most) beautiful and satisfying processes.
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    the gap is closed for some but for others it is wide as ever.
    these people are angry, still, at a whole range of things
    and while they often times rant about how "the otherside"
    tries to cram their POV down the throat of an analog devote
    it is equal on both sides. to hold ground i guess.

    i think the gap is pretty much closed, and current technology and
    old technology have found a common ground. if my ink-thing was the right
    kind i'd be making OHP film now, but i can't see spending the $$ on toys
    these days when i have a 5x20x8"trench cut in my front yard and 600+ bricks
    ready to herringbone, windmill and common bond ...
     
  10. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I am visiting Sandy next month, I want to bone up on carbon theory before I start mixing some platinums and carbons together... from digital output negs.
    He is not active on hybrid whatsoever, lots of people bitch slapped him there and he left , along with a whole bunch of us as well.


     
  11. Pioneer

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    I agree, lots of things to do in this old life so you have to pick and choose what is most important at the time. Besides, I am still learning a lot I didn't know just working with the old enlarger and printing my analog negs. But I am certainly watching the work that has been done with digi negs very closely and have committed to going back to school this fall to learn some digital techniques. Not so much to walk away from analogue but so that I can begin learning the basics I need to be able to do some of my own experimenting with digital negatives.

    I love analogue and there are many, many benefits that are not actually related at all to the print. But there are many, many ways to accomplish something and I want to play around with as many as possible so I know how my current processes compare, or how they can be further improved.
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I think there is a difference between those who do not want to see hybrid discussions here on APUG and those who do not believe in the value of hybrid options.

    Personally, I prefer to keep the discussions elsewhere, but find the hybrid options interesting - as long as I can let others do the experimentation for now.
     
  13. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    To be honest, I haven't' been to hybrid photo in over a year, myself. I spoke to him in person back in October and I know he said he rarely comes onto this site, but does participate on LFPF when time allows. He sat through a lecture I gave on my own photographs at a conference and had some nice comments and thought provoking questions afterward. Tell him I said "Hi".
     
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  15. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I will

     
  16. Pioneer

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    The Ride Is Certainly Exciting

    When you think about it, we are living in the midst of a magnificent and wonderful revolution that is turning the world of photography upside down. As always, change can be painful and there are some that can never really adapt. But to be living in the midst of a period when the field of photography is being totally turned on it's ear is for me a real privilege. This type of major change in any field is quite rare. The norm is incremental improvement and change that happens over many years, decades, and can last for several lifetimes. But we are seeing huge, rapid changes. New technology and complete changes in equipment in a period of just a very few years. Just think, two years ago my cell phone had no camera, now it takes pretty nice snapshots. And I want to be a part of this. I do not want to turn 90, look back, and realize that I did not take the chance to participate. :sad:

    Right now we are in the midst of the uproar and there seems to be this massive tug of war going on between each side. But if you really look around you see some people quietly working to meld the two processes into their own workflows. This is because there are too many advantages with both processes. However it plays out, the ride is certainly exciting! :D
     
  17. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    The world may be more colorful than you think it is. In addition to black, white and 18%... there are 253 other shades too! :laugh:
     
  18. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    It is exciting indeed! This technology makes this faster but not necessarily better. I hope technology won't make us forget our humanity and why we create art. Again, I'm trying to keep what I can use with technology and throw out what I don't need. I think injet technology is useful in making negs for platinum printing. However, I think inkjet prints sometimes leaves me cold. I would like to use technology, but not let technology use me.
     
  19. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    *Warning - may contain hybrid content*

    Perhaps requiring content discussing hybrid technology to start its' Descriptive Title with a warning "*Warning - may contain hybrid content*" or **H** might satisfy those who strongly dislike digital technology by allowing them to skip over the message thread if they so choose.
     
  20. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    This warning seems to make hybrid content obscene. Lets dig a a little deeper here. Does "Hybrid" mean to some that we've somehow compromised photography or our analog values? I'm not saying the warning is wrong. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop and have this thread taken off APUG :wink:
     
  21. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Rated H for Hybrid Content?
     
  22. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I have no problem with digital technology, as long as the original capture is on film. This provides the original image has a real physical integrity. There after the means of reproduction and transference is not important.
     
  23. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    I come to this site for discussions of analog photography, equipment, and techniques. It is nice to have a site that is devoted to analog methods, where photographic challenges are couched in analog terms, and solutions are contemplated in the same vein.

    I do not dislike the discussion of digital or hybrid photography and techniques, but I prefer to engage in it on other forums. APUG is where I come for a breath of fresh fixer, and when I feel up to it, polysulfide toner.
     
  24. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    Well said, Clive. For those who dabble in alternate processes (platinum, carbon, gravure, etc), digital now pretty much offers the only mean of reproduction and transfer, so there isn't much to argue there. Those who do, simply shoot themselves in the foot. I'd consider myself a fool if I stood my purist ground and refuse to print platinum or gravure simply because I don't want to touch digital. I consider myself lucky that technology has offered a way to continue these amazing processes at a quality level that is equal to the analogue ways. More importantly, I see this as a tremendous opportunity to teach the young about various printing processes in a way that incorporates current technologies they can relate to. In turn, that keeps analogue alive and well for those who do not want to embrace digital in any form. Everyone wins.
     
  25. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    I sit in between the analog and hybrid worlds, as most of my shooting is reversals.

    I did use the hybrid site for a while, but I found the people there rather high strung and abusive. Too bad really. I had lost the job and fell off the planet during that last downturn. When I returned, i had many nasty posts (pm and public) because i wasn't responding. Oh well.... People with no brains, and all that.

    So I just live here and never mention my other toys. The reality is there is needed expertise on film that resides here and not on dpug. They should dial down the sensitivity because it will only result in the loss of that important knowledge.
     
  26. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    A vbulletin genius recently helped with our server migration and server optimizations to this new server. I've asked him for his thoughts on a viable way to interlink the two forums (APUG & DPUG). The ideal solution is that everyone has one user name, one profile, one "new posts", etc and can use both sites seamlessly. vBulletin 4.2 is out and may have better back end tools to accomplish this.