Proposed APUG Definitions

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Ed Sukach, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    In response to a recognized need for establishing standard definitions for the initial purposes of communication here in APUG, I'll start by establishing a field for discussion. As those who work directly with various processes, it is in our interest to describe our product succinctly, so that there may be little confusion of the actual character of our finished product. either deliberately or inadvertantly.
    These standard definitions are VOLUNTARY, and I suggest that we each consider that their use will be applied under the control of our own honor and we will never lose sight of the negative effect their misuse would have on something I assume we all hold dear - our reputations.

    First, let us categorize the initial capture:

    1. FILM. A work from a straight negative, exposed in a conventional camera, with primarily mechanical attributes. The image has been exposed to a light-sensitive chemical emulsion, en bloc one or more times, and will be completed by chemical action, and none other.

    2. HYBRID. An image captured on film, and further modified by computer processing. A film negative scanned and modified by any computer aided methods, for contrast, or spotting or in any other way for enhancement will be considered Hybrid.

    3. DIGITAL. An image captured on a light-sensitive electronic array will be described as a "Digital" image - even though a transparent negative may be produced and printed by conventional methods and processed chemically.

    After the Initial method of capture, there are various traditional printing methods. Here is where those with hands-on experience can add a significant amount of input.

    1. "Silver Gelatin Print". A print composed of light-sensitive silver carried in a flexible emulsion, usually gelatin. The print is exposed to a light source with or without optical control, en bloc (that is to say at one time, with NO sequential scanning), and processed chemically to produce the final print.

    2 "Traditional Color Print" (Anyone with a better category name?) A print composed of several light sensitive layers, each dedicated to light of a particular wavelength, exposed en bloc and processed chemically to yield a visible image.

    That's it for now. We need more, many more, for everthing from Carbon to Salt, Platinum, Ambro .. and lots more up and down the scale.

    Suggest modifications anywhere. We will discuss everything on TECHNICAL grounds.

    I would suggest we all refrain from NEGATIVE comments, in true brainstorming style and that the Moderators take particular note of the process here and try to maintain a productive structure.

    Let's go.
     
  2. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Or transparency.
     
  3. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    OK, here's a sticky point about wet-process color prints...

    Many labs (mini and otherwise) that produce "wet process" color prints are actually printing digitally. The negative (or transparency) is scanned and adjusted, then printed using a digital optical printer. These same labs can produce "wet process" prints from digital camera originals.

    Many, if not most, commercial labs are now using printing systems such as these because they CAN handle digital as well as film. Does the intermediate digital step make this a hybrid? I like to differentiate between "Machine Prints" and "Custom Hand Printing", but most of the labs in my area now are doing everything with machines such as the D-lab2.

    I'm probably just pissing up a rope...
     
  4. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    Ed,
    Not an argument in any way but an honest question for my own understanding:

    "2. HYBRID. An image captured on film, and further modified by computer processing. A film negative scanned and modified by any computer aided methods, for contrast, or spotting or in any other way for enhancement will be considered Hybrid. "

    How does the image captured by camera and film, processed in wet chemistry and printed via enlarger on Silver Gelatin paper AND THEN scanned and tweaked for internet gallery showing fit in. Does this meet the standards of Hybrid or is something yet to be decided.

    I'm only asking, not challenging.
     
  5. Pastiche

    Pastiche Member

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    seems to me that somewhere along the lines we may benefit from denominating the work as a series of "generations" . .
    i.e. a shot made on film, then printed in the dark room, then scanned, and printed again on an inkjet (laser, bubble, whatever) would have three generations, with the first two being film, silver gelatin, and the last being hybrid....
    here's another twist.. let's say you start out from a printed work... just as an example, a film shot of a portion of an image from a book (which includes a whole different printing process).... the film is then developed, and scanned, and printed on a clear base (acetate) and printed in the dark room... Sounds far out? Its something Ive been working with...
    It may be simpler to call the processes "wet" or "hybrid", or "digital", that keeps things very very simple, and makes it clear what general techniques were used.
     
  6. Pastiche

    Pastiche Member

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    let's not forget lithography, intaglio, and relief processes.. which while also "traditional" are far far from the "standard" historic photographic processes, although photographers have transfered their images into these various other media since the very begining of the trade...
    oh gosh. . then there are Fresson prints, offset prints... gum prints.. um.. . this really does go on and on...
    why not construct a "definitions" page here on site for refference, and whenever applicable, the OP can refer to what pertains... if they wish to give out details... or is that were we are going with this?
     
  7. lee

    lee Member

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    this discussion in my opinion is best left in the hands of curators and not photographers with an agenda. It was not too long ago that a lot of the people here thought calling a gelatin silver print too howty towty (sp?) and stuck up. Now alot of people want to call the shots and define what each process is. I am of the opinion that has been done. Call a museum that has a photographic curator.

    lee\c
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2005
  8. Pastiche

    Pastiche Member

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    hmm .. that's certainly a valid point. there are people who make a living at this kind of thing, and surely, they will have spent more time getting educated and thinking about this matter than we, who concern themselves with making.
    AND, I can see where it would benefit this community of creators to be familiar with the definitions and standards for concise discussion used by the "authorities"...
    I guess that leaves us in search of a curator to speak to... I happen to be by the Center for Creative Photography, which if any institution would, they should have such definitions and conventions for their own use... Next time I drop by there I will ask for some info... dont hold your breath, but it will come...
     
  9. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    No thanks Ed. Let's please no go there. Creativity cannot be codified. Codes and standards are fine for building things to ensure they are safe, or manufacturing products to ensure uniformity. But I don't believe they will serve any useful purpose here.

    By your own definition, your proposed standards are voluntary. OK, right from the getgo, what use are they? Do you want to split the membership between those who follow the standards and those who don't? Bickering over interpretations of the standards will inevitably erupt if human nature holds to itself. Then, who resolves the conflict? THe site moderators or some one who is self-appointed? What do you do with the rants from people claiming to be screwed by the interpretation?

    This delving into the world of legalistic trivia. In my opinion, it will serve no constructive purpose, only serving to fuel endless bickering over the fine points of definition.
     
  10. Pastiche

    Pastiche Member

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    Hey Alex,
    Im not for segregation- that is not the aim.. I believe. Then again, I havent been here long, and am not familiar with the individual character of the users.
    In effect, I think that it would be useful to heave a glossary of terms, but not necessarily ones which we define, but rather, as Lee proposed, that we search out the conventions of bodies which are have "great range"... I would propose institutions like the Library of Congress here in the US, or The Smithsonian, The Louvre, et. al.
    NO reason for us to rack our heads when someone else already has these things figured out.. PLUS, if we were to "define" something contrary to the "institutional" definitions, it would only set APUG back, and not forward.
    Along those lines of thought, I DO think it would be useful to those who wish to speak lucidly about their work, to be conversant with the terminology pertinent to their work. Every trade and craft, as well as area of Art, has it's lingo, and it's serious practitioners use those terms to convey very precisely what they are getting at succinctly.. why shouldn't photographers? (In a large way, we all already do... f/stop, mydol, dektol, fix... all those are technical terms... why not use the same as applicable to prints and process? ) . . .
    BTW- how the heck do I insert paragraph or line breaks????!!!! my texts all come out in "block"
     
  11. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    I think you answered your own question Noah. There is no end of it. You are right about another point-there are people who make a living at this. They make a living at it because it is never-ending and there is a never-ending demand for "expert" interpretations and "code wizards". Why do I know about this? Because I deal with it first-hand every day and have been doing so for 25 years.

    Museum curators have to categorize things. That's why they like standards so well. Makes their life easy. But guess what? Every once in a while, something comes along that doesn't quite fit into the existing buckets. That sparks a controversy as to which "bucket" is the "correct" bucket. Enter the code wizards to make the call or create a new bucket. How long does it take to do that and get everyone's buy-in? YEARS!
     
  12. dsisaacs

    dsisaacs Member

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    Rather than "Film" which would exclude images on glass plates, paper negatives, polaroids, deguerotypes, tin types, etc.

    I think "CLASSICAL or TRADITIONAL" works better it isn't neccesarily "dated" or "antiquated" and it will for most people define the process as "an image taken, processed, and printed without: "digital process, enhancement or modification"

    It will always be easier to define what "CLASSICAL or TRADITIONAL" means by specifying what it is not. Most people at least for the next several years already have somewhat of an understanding of what non-digital photography is. It is the blurring of digital and "CLASSICAL or TRADITIONAL" nomenclature that is what we need to work on.

    Thus FWIW:
    1. CLASSICAL or TRADITIONAL EXPOSURE. A photographic image captured by a light sensitive chemical emulsion and processed with chemical action resulting in a visible image.

    2. DIGITAL EXPOSURE. A photographic image captured by a light sensitive electronic device and captured in a digital format.

    -----------------------------
    as for intermediate processing
    -----------------------------
    how about "DIGITALLY ENHANCED OR DIGITALLY MODIFIED"
    -----------------------------

    As I am thinking this out it occurs to me that this could get very complicated.

    So then we could end up with a label such as this:

    Dog #7
    Limited Edition 1 of 37
    Digital Inkjet Print from a Digital Montage of Digital Exposures, Digitally Enhanced Classical Exposures, and Classical Exposures.

    Somehow I don't think we are going to get much cooperation for this much detail.

    It will be labeled:
    Dog #7
    Silver Giclee Print
    LOL

    Hmmm, trying to think outside the box. A bit of a quagmire.
     
  13. hortense

    hortense Member

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    You got to be kidding!
     
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  15. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Hortense,

    I think it's a Python skit, but I don't recognize it yet.

    Lee

    "Nevertheless, I must warn you that in future you should delete the words 'crunchy frog', and replace them with the legend, 'crunchy raw unboned real dead frog' if you want to avoid prosecution." - Monty Python

    :smile:) a little joke folks, carry on.)
     
  16. Graeme Hird

    Graeme Hird Member

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    Can this be moved to The Soapbox? I'm working really hard at stopping myself from posting an acerbic response.
     
  17. argus

    argus Member

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    My thought also.
    There's no use in creating defenitions that exclude future creativity.

    G
     
  18. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I would say that it does make these prints "Hybrids".
    There is no question in my mind that in all this there is sequential scanning, and most probably some sort of "automatic digital processing". I can't see a substantial difference between that and tossing an image into PhotoShop, and hitting "Fix Everything Automatically."

    Discussions here, of whatever flavor, will never be labeled "Pissing up a rope."
    Each and EVERY thought is "good".
     
  19. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    So what about something like what used to be printed on music CDs?

    AAA = Analog recording, analog copy to analog media, through
    ADA = Analog recording, digitally output to analog media (lightjet),
    ADD = film - scan - inkjet
    DAA would be digital recording output to film and then analog copy to analog media,
    DDD then an inkjet print from digital capture?

    It might be difficult to do an AAD, though...
     
  20. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Good point. I've been struggling with semantics here. "Film" seems to carry with it the idea of a flexible backing, which was not intended. I was thinking of the light sensitive layer (film as a thin coating). "Negative" should definitely be out.

    Tough calls here. To me "Classical" is more of an aesthetic term ... linked to well-established art: "A CLASSIC Greek statue". "Tradition" indicates something passed down through generations. Either are "not bad" ... but I think we should zero in on terms less susceptable to interpretation.

    I was trying to avoid using "Analog". The more I think of it, the less I am sure of why I tried to avoid it.

    How about substituting:

    1. ANALOG EXPOSURE. A photographic image captured by a light sensitive chemical emulsion and processed with chemical action resulting in a visible image.

    - Or in reading this, "Exposure" is common to both. do you think it might be deleted from both?

    2. DIGITAL EXPOSURE. A photographic image captured by a light sensitive electronic device and captured in a digital format.

    True. That is the hard part - keeping it simple and concise.

    I agree.

    What about the form: "Digital/ Ink Jet Print."

    Or, in another case: "Analog - Silver Gelatin Print" - linking to the "Silver Gelatin Print" definition.

    Again, I agree.
    I just finished making two (2) Silver Gelatin Prints. Analog images, both enlarged on silver gelatin paper and chemically processed. Trying to satisfy my own aesthetic demands -- that meant five (5) Test Strips, eight (8) 8"' x 10" Evaluation prints and nine (9) Almost there, but not quite "16 x 20"s.
    All that for two (2) 16" x 20" Silver Gelatin "Exhibition" prints.

    That is the real difference between "analog" and "digital" -- but how to describe that in three words or less..?
     
  21. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    "Arguments" (in the best sense - NOT heated) are OK .. So is "Challenging". Just argue about, and challenge ideas, not people or their principles.

    I think the mission here is to define the finished work itself, not the image on a computer screen somewhere. I would understand a digitally transmitted image to have undergone scanning and transmission. The ORIGINAL image description, "Analog/ Silver Gelatin PRINT", would not be affected.
     
  22. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    THE THING IS...

    one can use a digital internegative to faithfully enlarge a 35mm neg to be able to platinum print it, OR

    one can make an 8x10 contact print through several generations of hand-worked paper negatives

    Do we (through definition) endorse them both ? Do we disqualify the faithful hybrid and keep the highly modified but traditional paper neg ?

    At what point does an antique method like oil printing displace straight forward contemporary practise ?

    Do we bless gravure, but only allow 1900 methods ?

    Do we then disavow ascorbate developers ?

    I ask, because I don't know how to describe this world. But the act of description is to literally draw a circle around it. By defining terms, we are judging what is to be included and what is left out. Have at it, children. But see what photo supplies you have in the basement before you... define them out of bounds.
     
  23. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I would create a "definitions page" if I knew how - and with the help of Sean, probably will, once we "settle" - more or less - on workable definitions.
     
  24. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    A year or so ago when this topic came up I recommended the same thing. I still think it is a good idea.
     
  25. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    It would be "Hybrid". To me, Platinum/ Palladium prints are solidly in the realm of Large Format contact prints --- but this would hinge on the DEFINITION of "Platinum Print' - yet to be done.

    True. It would be a "Siver Gelatin", "Platinum", "Salt", "Carbon" or ...?

    This is not to "endorse" or "condemn" or "deny" or "disavow" anything. The idea is to DESCRIBE what the various finished works ARE.

    I can say that a rock I've found in my back yard is "Grey Granite."
    Why does that description of it infer that I've "drawn a circle around it"?
     
  26. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I've just talked with a "past" Photographic Curator from the Museum of Fine Arts, In Boston. He agrees that there was no NEED for "finely cut" definitions in photography until the introduction of digital media, and is not aware of a definitive source at present.
    I am aware of Christies definitions, and will visit that site again for possible guidance.

    If you know of a another source that would be useful in this effort I would appreciate it - a LOT - if you would let me know how to gain access.