real or imagines what way do you process or print film to achieve what you want

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by jnanian, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    do you rely on processing tricks, exotic developers and chemistry
    excessively saturated or muted color films, vintage or new equipment
    damaged film, paper or other things to help you get your point across?

    what is your point anyways?

    please answer this any way you want, i am not overly anal retentive
    about satire, seriousness, or making a joke ... feel free to jest
    about anything you want ...

    as for me ..
    i rely on tricks of nearly every sort. overly saturated sometimes soft muted blurry
    negatives, exotic chemistry, expires chemistry, bad film and paper ...
    and my only message is do what you want and enjoy yourself..
    and if people have issue with it ... whatever ...
     
  2. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Using processing tricks does draw attention to the photographer's technique and away from his subject. For us who prefer sharing the subject with the viewer to demonstrating our technical abilities, basic equipment and processing suffice. We learn more about the World from conservative photographers, and more about photography from people like Jnanian.
     
  3. moose10101

    moose10101 Member

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    Using processing "tricks" can also allow the photographer to express his viewpoint, thoughts, feelings, etc. about the subject. It's not always a technical demonstration.
     
  4. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    Hi John; seems to me you have a pretty healthy philosophy regarding the making of your own images. For my part, I welcome a certain amount of randomness at the taking stage; that is, those uniquely photographic artifacts like camera shake, lens flare and subject movement or a mixture of all. Any variables at the processing/printing stage just makes my head explode, although a few of my favourite photo's are the result of some mild/serious/catastrophic but serendipitous anomaly in the process. Regards, B.
     
  5. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    It's Sunday morning and I must resist the urge to preach ... :laugh:
     
  6. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    YES! I especially love my Chromoskadasic chemicals and toners. Makes things look the way I want them too (at least most of the time). All my cameras are old, so vintage equipment is just what I have. I do like my Holgas and 110 cameras for their unique results. This is my fun in photography.
     
  7. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    Technique can be as much of a trick as anything else.
    while some may say "there is no trick to taking a good photograph, it is all composition
    and after that processing the film to certain specs, and printing the image ... "
    there are tricks to composition, tricks to processing and printing
    even if the process is claimed to be straight forward :smile:

    it ends up a case where the tricks arent tricks anymore . because they have become normal.

    to an onlooker photography / chemical photography is a kind of parlor trick :smile:


    its great to read how others are enjoying themselves ...
     
  8. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    Yesterday evening I had fun in perfectly developing some perfectly exposed HP5 in D23. I scanned it (well I photographed it on a lightbox) and had a bit of fun not having to modify any of it much to share on Flickr. If the weather cools down I expect to have fun making some wet prints from the roll - straight ones maybe. Or I might split grade print them (I especially like split grade printing since I was told off in a thread for doing so)

    Yesterday morning I had fun exposing some lith film in a film canister pinhole camera then stand developing it in a plant pot holder hidden under a paterson tank, because I could not be arsed to make the bathroom lighttight, and then I forgot I had my phone on (bright screen) and then I opened the door before I should have and half the negative got sabatiered, and then I scanned it; and one day I might print it, once I've cut a mask the right size out of cardboard to go in the enlarger. Or I might contact print it and send a copy to john. Or I might throw it away.
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    pdeeh

    sounds like a lot of fun :wink:
    hope the garden gnomes didnt mess with your film !
     
  10. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I would much rather rely on taking tricks like viewpoint, timing, perspective and composition.
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    why is that ?
     
  12. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Process tricks can be done at leisure, weeks, months, years if necessary. Tricks at the taking stage require quick thinking, seconds or fractions of and are thus more challenging (for me that is).
     
  13. Valerie

    Valerie Subscriber

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    do you rely on processing tricks, exotic developers and chemistry
    excessively saturated or muted color films, vintage or new equipment
    damaged film, paper or other things to help you get your point across?

    These and more (including careful composition) are all part of my toolbox. Along with a generous serving of happy accidents, serendipity, and "wonder what will happen if.." I can be a darn good "technical" photographer when I want to, but --for me and my work-- it feels like something (a sense of wonder, perhaps) is missing.
     
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  15. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    but when your taking tricks become second nature, as is what usually happens when we do something
    often .. will you do something else ?

    the challenge of things makes us better
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    a sense of wonder ... i like that :smile:
     
  17. Maris

    Maris Member

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    There are lots of ways of making pictures and logically one would choose a medium whose strengths are ideally directed to the ends sought.

    What photographs do best, that other media do not do well, is to make pictures that are directly and materially linked to the subject matter they depict. As a consequence photographs can offer a profound and sobering assurance that the subject matter really existed essentially as it appears in the picture. Or to put it more generally and abstractly there is a one to one correspondence between points in a photograph and places in real world subject matter.

    If one wants pictures featuring blobs and swirls, technical artifacts, maybe a bit of recognisable stuff, and chance markings, it is possible to make them doing semi-realist painting or digital picture-making. It is also possible to get there by the use (misuse?) of photographic materials. But to the latter I tend not say wow! or what! but rather why?
     
  18. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Why? Because film allows one to do so. Having a strictly formal view of what can be created, using film, limits both the medium and one's imagination. For me, the beauty of film is in the infinite possibilities.
     
  19. Maris

    Maris Member

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    An excellent point! Perhaps the beauty of any picture-making medium, not just film, is enhanced by an infinity of expressive possibilities beyond traditional usage.

    I think of Monica Lee who labours to make graphite drawings that look exactly like black and white photographs.
    And then there are Omar Ortiz's oil paintings that look exactly like giant colour photographs.
    Photographers of the Linked Ring Brotherhood strove mightily to make their photographs look just like etchings.

    I wonder, in all these cases, is the original medium being celebrated because it can be forced, by exquisite effort, in directions it doesn't want to go. Or is there a subliminal dissatisfaction that paintings and drawings aren't photographs and photographs aren't etchings?
     
  20. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    I use film and develop and print it with nothing exotic. With pinhole and with paper negatives, still nothing out of the ordinary, though I have played around with some extremes ( cold developer, very used developer... ) and it was fun and I found compensating development that I'm sure I'll use again. And even with salt prints, I'm trying to follow what was traditionally done or at least not something new. I'm not sure if my answer is "yes" or "no"! It's just that sometimes what I'm aiming for isn't "traditional".
     
  21. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    The idea that somehow one must only do certain things with a medium, or that not doing something a certain way is trivial or inauthentic is quite absurd.

    I know it is rather a tired analogy, but a painter who chooses to use Dulux rather than grinding her own paints, is not thereby doing something false or incorrect, and her painting is no less a painting or (potentially) a piece of art for that choice.

    The kind of artistic (or, perhaps more accurately, technological) apartheid that dismisses all but a single approach puts me in mind of of arguments that belong to the 1880s, not the 21st century
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2014
  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i dont think it matters at all what one does or doesnt do ...
    as long as it is whatver the user wants to do .. and i am never sure why it matters.
    it is like suggestig ( extremely of course ) that all photojournalism has to be done with tei x and pricessed in dektol, or all landscape work in velvia and large format, or all portraits be done with
    techpan processed in technidol by shaking ...the list is long

    it is simple of course to put everything into pigeonholes much easier to sort things out
    and as an imagined methodology this works fantastically but in the real world, for me at least,
    someone can ise paper coated with plant juice and cyanotype chemistry with an azo overcoat, processed in dung.and fixed in seawater ... if it is what the person wants to do and he or she is enjoying why should it matter otherwise ... and if someone wants to pay this person for their toil even better ...
     
  23. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    I addressed this from a slightly different angle in a blog post last month.

    http://silverdarkroom.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/influences/


    I interpreted the Group f/64 aesthetic as wanting to use photography for its own strengths and weaknesses, rather than trying to imitate another medium, usually painting.

    I am as impressed as anyone, by an artist that can paint or draw so that it is indistinguishable from a photograph. There are many ways to work with photographic materials to imitate a painting or drawing. But then, so what? If the purpose is to expand the limits of one’s medium, and I think this is where John (OP) os coming from, then why not? However, if the purpose really is just to imitate another medium, then there are limits to that, and it can or may quickly become just a gimmick.

    The element of chance in art is a whole other discussion.

    I don’t have any answers, just observations and my own approach. The bottom line is that it is hard to be original, and we're all trying different things. My different thing is concentrating on working within the limits of a very straight technique, but looking at the subject differently. I actually follow the manufacturers' directions ...

    YMMV

    John may be right. Maris may be right. Valerie may be right. Others may be right. I just hope I’m not wrong, ya know … :cool:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2014
  24. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    It's a bit of a niche genre (the hyperreal painting or drawing, I mean). It asks some nice questions about reality and "reality" (and to photographers perhaps especially about the claim of photography to be something to do with reality) but I'm not sure where it goes after that. That may be quite enough, of course.

    One of the difficulties is that every position one takes is bound up (necessarily) with implicit assumptions about the purpose of the activity of photography. So I try to produce beautifully exposed and flawlessly developed negatives some of the time, and other times I mess about without a plan or goal, throwing stuff in developing tanks and trays for the hell of it. Now for some people the latter activity is quite anathema, indicates dilettantism and lack of seriousness and purpose and is Not Photography. For others, the former activity is pointlessly anal and indicates that I am a sad old geezer who probably has a tweed jacket with leather patches and dandruff on the shoulders, let alone a problem with BO.

    Of course I exaggerate to make a point, but there you are. I like a bit of exaggeration.

    The thing is, whenever someone looks at a photograph of mine and asks "which camera/lens/developer/agitation/paper/enlarging lens/developer/pixie dust did you use?" I either have rather a feeling of failure (Oh god is that all the reaction i've managed to produce?) or of irritation (FFS look at the damn picture will you!.

    On the other hand if I stand in front of a (picture, painting, photo, sculpture, performance, dancing pixie) and can only wonder how it was done, of course then the problem is the artist's rather than any failure of aesthetic appreciation on my part :smile:
     
  25. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    There is no right or wrong. It's a creative endeavor. The only issue I have is with those who strictly define photography based on their own goals and requirements.
     
  26. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i have never understood extremes like this ...
    photography is an extremely broad thing and putting barriers up
    and suggesting
    abc is, and everything else isnt is pretty out there, although i know of someone
    that jsed to argue nothing but portraits are photographs ...

    to me boundaries serve no purpose other than to stifle .. buth the medium as a whole
    and creativity .....

    ===

    pdeeh i know exactly what you mean about excessive perfection and then letting things rip .
    it is a good exercise .... keeps ones mind and wits sharp