Wisner on digital

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by avandesande, Nov 30, 2002.

  1. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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  2. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Pretty cool article. His statement at the end has different meaning for both camps though:

    "Digital imaging is just one more medium both for self expression and as a tool for practical image making, and will take its rightful place along side other media".

    Traditional Photographers consider digital 'another' medium, but hard core digiheads do not consider digital another medium, their attitude is that digital falls under the traditional medium as 'photography', not digital imaging. I think this is where a lot of hostility arises in the pro-dig and non-dig debates. Hard core digital users refuse to acknowledge it is a different medium. I think that's probably what irks me the most about the digital camp.
     
  3. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Yep very nice, he also has a good article on ABC pyro, apprently he uses a greater dilution than most, I am curios about it and with DBI it should be a snap to try it.
    And of course take a look at the cameras...ah men, I am in love...[​IMG]
     
  4. SteveGangi

    SteveGangi Member

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    My problem with hardcore digiheads is their arrogant attitude. To hear them talk, only digital is valid, film is dead, and everyone else is an idiot. It's like they were preaching some New World Order that we will be forced to join. That's what gets my hackles up. I don't care if someone chooses to shoot digital, just don't try to jam it down my throat. "Digital imaging is just one more medium...." It is not the only one.
     
  5. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    I'm agree with Ron. Leave photography to the people that love photography.

    Jorge, I have been using this ABC dilution with efke pl100 @ 100, and have found it much more controllable, it is done in about 10 minutes as opposed to 5. The greater volume also makes it easier not to scratch the film. You can get whatever contrast you want out of this combo.

    --Aaron
     
  6. BobF

    BobF Member

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    The Wisner article has a lot I can agree with. The part about "The vintage print, like the contemporary print, both share an essential quality. They were both handled by the artist. With his own hands he made the object, and then passed it on to other hands, and with it conveyed a singular existence which can only beheld by one person at a time."

    The touched by a human and individual and unique aspect of traditional photography are what appeal to me, not just the final image. Just like early American folk art it doesn't necessarily have to be fine art to be appreciated. It can be appreciated just because a human made it, not a machine.

    I doubt if Wisner's reasoning would be appreciated much by the "digital is best" crowd as they have quite different priorities. I can see their view as Wisner does, but they are blind to other roads or priorities. I think that makes me the better man and just kind of chuckle at their attitude.

    The digicrowd is often the same bunch that feel the sharpest newest multicoated lens is always better then any other lens dispite many fine images that prove otherwise.

    BTW - Jorge. At the risk of getting you going again, did you notice he used the term "old analog"?

    Bob
     
  7. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    LOL...BobF...yeah I saw it and the first thing that came to my mind was the thread at photo.net and those fools!

    Aaron, thanks for the info I will try it.
     
  8. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    I think the point has been well made here.

    Too many people seem to see digital as THE medium.

    Which brings up an interesting issue.

    In my experience there seems to be two kinds of photographers - "Convience Photographers" and "Artistic Photographers".

    Now, what I am about to say will irritate many, but I doubt they are on this site....

    In my few years of serious shooting I have found that there are those photographers who seem to be wholly interested in simply getting the shot. Period. They will use the easiest, most effective methods possible to do this. For example, they will ignore the Zone System because they can just go out and buy an F5 with color metering or get a camera with good matrix metering. They will learn enough to use DOF, but have no idea of what bokeh means. They think that The Circle of Confusion is a band out of Seattle. Their goal is to just get the shot. To them digital is a god-send because they can do this cheaply now. They care little for anything but mega-pixels, which is ironic as they have usually NEVER picked up anything larger than a 35mm before.

    Then we have the "Artistic" types. These are the people who think things like "Hey, calotypes could be fun..." They care not so much about getting the shot as CREATING the shot. They study various mediums. They play with them. They have pyro in their veins. To them photography is about options. It is about exploration. Everything has its' place. They might see digital as fine for photojournalism, but realize that a sunset on 4x5 Velvia is so much nicer.
     
  9. steve

    steve Member

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    I was sure "The Circle of Confusion" WAS a band from Seattle - now I'm confused...

    I'm a fence sitter on the digital issue. While the "digi-heads" can be snobs, the analoggers are reverse snobs to the point that if it hasn't been done analog it can't be art.

    I really don't care how the image has been produced. If it is interesting to look at, it might be art. If it's boring - I don't care how much time it took to produce or how it was made.

    In fact, Michael Fatali's web site and approach to photography is ridiculous in posting how long it took him to make the photo. Does the amount of work or time spent somehow engender more appreciation? If that's the case, I have some photos that I've gone back to the same place for 5 years in a row, and spent a week each trip going back every day at the same time trying to get it "just right." So what? The photo either works - or it doesn't no matter if you spent 20 minutes or 20 years.

    As to digital imaging being different from analog photography, there are so many levels to digital imaging that I think this is not a "black-and-white" issue (pardon me, couldn't help myself).

    If I take a photograph using a 4x5 with reversal film and decide to have it output through a LightJet printer, I have to deal with digitizing the image for final output. This can involve color correction, contrast correction, and retouching (spots, blemishes, etc.) - but this is not outside of what I would do to an image produced in a wet darkroom. So what's the difference? I don't get that one. Is it no longer a "photograph" because it's been digitized? Or is it because the output is on a LightJet? It uses standard color photo paper and processing. Again, what's the difference? Perhaps it should be called a "digitype print" because the output is through a digital process, but it certainly is still a photograph.

    Let's go one step further. Let's compare Jerry Uelsmann's images to John Paul Caponigro's images. Uelsmann's work is done in the darkroom while John Paul Caponigro chooses to use the digital imaging process to create his images. The final print from both artists being a composite print made of mutiple photographic images. Since both people started with images taken with a camera on film - is the final print a photograph no matter how it was put together? Or, do you get more analog brownie points for using multiple enlargers instead of software - therefore, the wet darkroom print is a photograph (and "art"), while the digitally produced image can't achieve that status because of the (often wrongly) perceived "ease" in which a digital image is made?

    Now let's look at an image generated with a digital camera and output through a digital process. Is that a photograph? Hmmmmmm....I don't know. It might be. I don't think I can write it off because it was recorded as digital bits on memory media. In an earlier post, Robert Kennedy railed against people who just "want to get the shot."

    So, where is the turning point in Art / Not Art? Where is the tradeoff point when someone uses an F-5 and film, or a 4x5 with a digital back? If the point is to make a lot of work out of it - and that's art because you're suffering - then, again I just don't get it. If I'm using a 4x5 with a digital back and lugging a portable computer with extra batteries in a back-pack - is that enough work to qualify as "art"?

    The last case is the totally digitally produced image. To me that one is easy to categorize - it's an illustration and not a photograph because no part of the image was generated using a camera.
     
  10. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Personally, I just feel that when something is 'digitized' it then becomes a copy or representation of what was real. It lacks being 'the real thing'. A lot of people can argue that on a molecular level film does the same exact thing, but I disagree. Does film not take an analog waveform, capture it's values, and store it in the emulsion? A ccd or cmos, takes the waveform, produces an electrical charge from it which is converted to 1's or 0's and stores it in a memory chip. The original essence or soul of the waveform is lost in the conversion and storage to computer memory. Now, most people can probably not tell the difference between some digital or analog images, and probably don't care. If it looks exactly like the real thing then why care right? But I'm the kind of person that wants a real Rolex on my wrist, not one I purchased on a street corner that looks exactly like a Rolex, but is called a Rolax. Maybe no one will ever know it's a Rolax, but I will, and that will bother me. If I'm devoting my creativity, time, money, and energy towards a piece of artistic expression I don't want to feel that it merely 'looks' like the real thing,, I want to take pride that it is the real thing and I know it.
     
  11. steve

    steve Member

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    Sorry Ross - don't get your point. "Soul"? "Essence"? I again, don't get it. The idea is to produce a successful image. Your points make absolutely no sense to me.

    I understand that there is some unexplainable intrinsic value to you in knowing that the image went directly from film to paper without ever being digitzed but, for me it's about the final image and not how it's been made.

    If I wanted a 30x40-inch color print from a 35mm transparency, the only way to achieve it and have it look decent would be through a LightJet print. And, I am one person who has taken a 110 negative and blown it up to 20x30-inches specifically because the image totally falls apart into color blobs until you get back about 10 feet when it all comes together as a photo.

    Your Rolex metaphor is not well framed and really inapplicable to the digital process as a fake Rolex is a fake because it's not a Rolex. Using your metaphor, then you probably only listen to vinyl records because CD's don't convey the trueness of the analog waveforms created by the instruments? Never mind the fact that the entire analog recording process has distorted and colored the waveforms in some way starting at the microphone.

    Same with film. You can't tell me that any film truly renders a scene exactly the way you see it. Velvia certainly distorts colors in a certain way, as does Provia, Ektachrome, Kodacrome, etc. So, don't give me this pristine analog transition from subject to film image - it just isn't true.

    A photograph output through a digital process can, in many ways, look better than the analog equivalent. By this I mean the ability to make a big print with no grain, no distortion, no unsharpness, no edge distortion, falloff, no contrast loss, etc.

    Which is truer to your VISION? The distorted analog photo with all of the inherent analog losses, or the digital version that will preserve the look of a transparency on a light box viewed through a good loupe?

    Your romanticizing the process. That's OK. I don't care. But, I will bet that you can't tell a color LightJet print from a color analog print without using at least a 10x loupe directly on the print. If that's what it takes, what's the point? Ooohhhhh, it was a really great photo right up until the time I learned it was a LightJet print?

    I spent many hours with a group of transparencies (4x5, 6x7) that had been made into 16x20 LightJet prints. I've got LOTS of experience printing color negatives and transparencies. Really, honest, cross my heart, etc., I COULD NOT see a loss of soul, essence, or whatever between the transparencies and the print - and I'm damn critical.

    And by the way, the "real thing" can never be rendered in a photo, it's always an interpretation or translation. If you want to see the real thing you have to go there in person and experience whatever it was in person.
     
  12. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Yes, I am romanticizing the medium because that is a big part of it for me. Going on journeys and exploring my surroundings might even be more important than the 'final image'. It's this exploration that often teaches me something new about myself, and it doesn't seem right putting that in a ram chip. I love holding up a piece of film and saying, "I remember this moment in my life, and here is an object in my hand, burned by the light of that moment that I can keep forever". That is the 'soul' and 'essence' of it. In my mind, it couldn't be more real unless I was actually there in person (like you say). It's extremely hard to explain my stance and I surely don't speak for others who use film. I can only try to convey what the overall process is for me.
     
  13. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    My only opinion of digital genrated prints, negatives etc, is that to me they look "too" perfect. I had the opportunity to see in person a print by Daniel Fokos done in fuji crystal paper. I have to tell all the print was extremely beautiful, as a matter of fact not a single silver print I have seen had the tones and "feeling" this print had, but underlying all of that the print was just too perfect, I have to admit though, if I had the money I would have bought the print.
    To me digital is not bad, and when you see work by Fokos or Osburn you are seeing the best produced in the medium. So it is good when it stands on its own, but when it suddenly becomes the "replacement" for silver or alt methods, I have a big problem with this. Most saw my rant about the "digital platinum glicé". You want to make prints on your light jet print that look similar to platinum, fine, make them the most beautiful they can be, but dont tell me they are the replacement cause then I will laugh very loud. As I said the Fokos print was beautiful but in no way could it be mistaken for a print made from a "real" negaive....just a very different feeling about it.
     
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  15. BobF

    BobF Member

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    I would think that a better comparison than a rolex and a rolax watch would be say glassware or pottery. A machine produced product can certainly be great art and perfect in each and every reproduction but a hand made article which is equally beautiful art is something different for many people. Even if the hand made is not as perfect.

    There is really nothing WRONG with either approach but they are usually produced and appreciated by different groups.

    As in the Platinum example Jorge gives there is a certain "better" quality to the wet process over the digital. In digital there are also "better" prints made then can be done traditionally. It comes down to what is "better" and what you and your audience consider "better" is.

    Will digital take over, yes for the majority. Will traditional still have passionate devotees, yes until EPA eliminates heavy metal print processes.
     
  16. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (BobF @ Dec 2 2002, 06:30 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>

    Will digital take over, yes for the majority. Will traditional still have passionate devotees, yes until EPA eliminates heavy metal print processes.</td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
    That's Ok Bob, you all can move to Mexico, that will never happen here....
     
  17. steve

    steve Member

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    I'd like to ask your opinions on making enlarged negatives via digital for use in alternative processes. Since digital is only an intermediate stage and the rest of the process is wet photographic, has the image lost it's analog "quality" and become too perfect at that point - and its soul is lost forever?

    Or, during the translation back to an analog medium (via the interpositive contact print to larger film for the final contact print to paper) does it regain its previous "soul" and "essence" because the last process in making the final image is film to paper?
     
  18. carlweese

    carlweese Member

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    A quick point here. When folks talk about not being able to tell a print is digital "even with a loupe" I think they're missing the forest for the trees. Even the very best digital prints or prints from digitally produced negatives look digital from across the room: no need to stick your nose in it, the USM and, as Jorge mentions the overcorrections just always stick out like a sore thumb. Also, I've seen very few digital procedures that didn't lose the feel of the lens. As in, you can often tell at a glance that a print from 35mm was made with a Leitz lens, not a Nikkor, or that a large format contact print was made from a negative shot with a dagor, not a Sironar. This subtle but, to some very important, aspect of the print doesn't survive digital processing, just as it seldom survives reproduction whether with modern scanning or traditional process camera separations. I think we should use whatever methods and media get the results we want, but I also think the distinction between a photographic print and one made with digital intervention is technically and visually valid.

    As an aside, I'm working on several book projects. The pictures are made with big cameras, and the only kind of prints I'll ever show will be traditional contact prints, probably in Pt/Pd. But I use digital tools to make workprints (equivalent to the 35mm proofsheet). And the reproductions for the books will be made by scanning directly from the negatives and then working in PShop with the palladium prints used as visual guide. Hmm, so, is the final result a book of photographs, or something else?
     
  19. steve

    steve Member

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    Several comments -

    Ross, I understand perfectly what you mean about holding up a piece of film. I have not gone totally digital for kind of the same reason. Let me explain. Each film has it's own intrinsic "qualities." These qualities cannot be duplicated by the digital image recording process (in my opinion) at this time.

    For example, Provia has a totally different way of rendering blue, green, and red than Kodachrome, and of course, by extension all of the other colors made from blue, green, and red. It has to do with the spectral response characteristics of the film, which are very complicated and are related to how the film is constructed, D-log response curves for each emulsion layer, color response due to exposure, scene contrast, light color temperature, etc.

    I don't think you can duplicate that digitally because the inter-relationship of the film construction and response to light (brightness, color temperature, contrast range, etc.) cannot be quantified as a single "look like XX film" setting on either a digital camera or in post processing. There are just too many variables that are inter-related, and whose effect on the final image cannot be predicted because of the random mix and resulting film response.

    The software (whether in the digital camera or computer) cannot compute the total randomness of the ever changing single event - the film response to the scene variables. I also know that I, as a human being, cannot predict or imagine the film's response - so I cannot "correct to look like" in post processing.

    I am amazed at the colors that come back from some exposures. Some colors are exactly like I remember, but others have been totally transformed. This is especially true when I apply filters which further add to the complexity. The closest explanation I can come up with is part of Chaos Theory in which random events are repeatable, but not predictible.

    These statements, of course, are all predicated on photos take outdoors under random conditions, and not indoors with contolled light qualities.

    HOWEVER, I totally separate the taking process, from the image printing process. This is why I have no problem with LightJet prints from color film. They are as true to the original film (and in some ways better as stated previously), than analog printing processes. They also use the same silver-based print materials and processing, so the final result is not an ink-jet print on some type of paper, but a print on photographic paper.

    To me there is no loss of "essence" or "soul" through this image reproduction chain as the special scene "qualities" have been recorded and fixed at the time of exposure. The printing process then becomes the means to translate, as closely as possible, the photographer's original vision. If I can better render that through a digital printing process - how can that possibly degrade the image or is special qualities?

    In fact, why not address the transmogrification and degradation of the image as a "negative aspect" of the analog print process? There are down sides to analog which are conveniently ignored by the "not enthused with digital" crowd. What is the loss of essence caused by image contrast change, loss of sharpness, uneven illumination across the print, color crossover, etc.?

    Or, is all that okay just because it's expected as part of the total analog process?
     
  20. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I would agree that the well-done LightJet from a drum scan has surpassed most traditional forms of enlargement for reproductions from color transparencies. I use this process, because the result comes out looking like a very good reversal print with the same surface qualities as a traditional reversal print on color paper.

    For B&W, though, output to color paper or to inkjet in its various forms are just other media, as gum bichromate is different from silver is different from vandyke is different from platinum is different from photogravure. I've seen excellent B&W inkjets, but they look like inkjets and could never be mistaken for silver prints or any other medium. One could do outstanding work with digital materials, but it would look different from work made with traditional B&W materials, and while I enjoy looking at some digital B&W prints made by people who work with digital media, they just aren't the materials that speak to me for my own work.
     
  21. steve

    steve Member

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    ***>>"... folks talk about not being able to tell a print is digital "even with a loupe"<<<***

    If you are talking about my previous post, I never said you couldn't see the changes "even with a loupe." In fact, I said it would take a 10x loupe to see that is was a digital print.

    ***>>This subtle but, to some very important, aspect of the print doesn't survive digital processing, just as it seldom survives reproduction whether with modern scanning or traditional process camera separations. <<***

    Uh, yeah, and there is no degredation or changes using analog reproduction processes? I guess you can conveniently ignore those in order to support your point of view?

    When the very choice of enlarger lens can have a great effect on the final print - you know, that the preservation/loss statement about analog versus digital is total BS. You just want to THINK that there are no changes and that come through analog reproduction.

    Testing in my darkroom under carefully controlled conditions using a Schneider Componon and a Rodenstock Apo Rodagon show distinct differences in reproduction of red colors. Perfect preservation of qualities through analog reproduction?

    Hahhhhhaaahhaaahhaahhaaa - got proof to the point the Rodenstock rep asked me for copies of the prints to show his accounts the difference between the enlarging lenses. How does that change the "look" generated by the Leitz, Nikon, Fuji, or whatever taking lens?

    If you are complaining about losses let's not pretend it is intrinsic to only one process - at least be honest about it.
     
  22. steve

    steve Member

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    David Goldfarb - you and I are on EXACTLY the same wavelength as to digital usage and intrinsic print qualities. You may now have a reason to be very, very scared.... heee.....heeee....heee....
     
  23. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Steve, I think there is one point you have not stopped to consider. The response comes from a person who does large format, and as such the differences in the way you process, print and the intrinsic connection to the finished product is much different than someone working with 35 mm or MF.

    You will find in this and many other forums, how people are surprised at the way their photography has chnaged by merely changing formats. Those who had the all powered Nikon zip guns and shot 6 or 7 rolls, now find themselves shooting maybe 4 or 5 images. LF is a more contemplative process where the "connection" to the image, in my opinion is greater. This same feeling translates into the darkroom and the emergence of a print that is truly magnificent. I beleive this is what Ross was thinking when he mentioned the "soul" or essence of a print.

    The perfect example I have is my friend who gave me a job at a camera stiore when I was unemployed, he had a masters degree in photography and as such he felt the need to learn PS and digital techniques. Normally he shot 4x5 to 7x17. So after he took his PS shop course I asked him, how did he liked it? He told me, PS and digital is fine but working on the computer to produce a fine print did not fullfill me.

    I hope Ross does not mind but I think a little of his background should be explained so that you understand where he is comming from. Ross works for IBM and is or was on loan to a bank in NZ, his background is in IT and I really think we will be hard pressed to find anybody in this site who is more knowledgeable about pc, digital processes and the advantages of these materials. A good example is the speed and thoroughness he had forming this site, I beleive from his initial idea to having the site going all it took was one month. So when he speaks of the process loosing its "soul" I beleive he does so with a perfect understanding of both processes.

    I think I can speak for many here when I state that the reason we are here is not that we dislike digital, it is that the debate of "analog" vs digital does not interest us anymore, we are happy to accept digital as a medium perfectly capable of producing beautiful work, and that it is able to stand on its own. Actually I think it is those who have moved to a digital darkroom who are firmly entrenched in the beleif that digital should be embraced by everbody and that it is the replacement of wet or "analog" techniques.
    As I have stated I have seen the work done on digital by the best, and I own a couple of Burkholder prints, so yes I am able to accept and admire the work done by them. But there is no doubt in my mind that digital is not the same as "traditional" photography, it does not produce the same feeling and does not evoque the same emotions and response.

    This in itself is not bad or good, it is just different, I wonder why if we are able to accept this, the digital community is not able to do the same for us who prefer the "old fashined" way?
    In every debate I have read of digital vs analog, I have seen stated by those who prefer digital that the "final product" is what matters not the path taken to produce it, but then they go and argue how much "easier" better, faster, etc it is to do so with digital. This to me is a non issue, I can only speak for myself but I am not interested on faster, better, or easier, I am interested in the end result that imprints my vision on a print, and that for me is done better by traditional methods.

    you asked:

    I'd like to ask your opinions on making enlarged negatives via digital for use in alternative processes. Since digital is only an intermediate stage and the rest of the process is wet photographic, has the image lost it's analog "quality" and become too perfect at that point - and its soul is lost forever?

    Judging from the couple of Burkolder prints I have, my response would be a guarded yes, in a way the prints are too prefect and in some way they are surreal, even though they appear to be "traditional" prints, if you examine them closely you start seeing things where you think " there is no way he just found this by coincidence" . Have the prints lost their soul? nope, they are beautiful or I would not have bought them! But you see the prints transmit the vision Dan had, and he is perfectly comfortable and happy working on a computer to produce his vision, I am not. Is that simple.

    The reason this discussion was placed in the ethics and philosophy forum is because, at least in my case, I beleive there is a "special" connection with the prints as we see it through all the steps, and I beleive this comes as part of the message that comes across in the finished print. Again these are "personal" views, for all I know I can give you one of my negatives and you can make a great print also. But it wont be the same or have the same feeling.

    I have not discussed it with Ross, but I have the feeling some of my statements are the reason we did not take you up on your suggestion to add a digital forum. Digital is a fine medium capable of producing beautiful work, but it is different than traditonal photography, I have come to learn and accept this, and only wish the proponents of digital media would extend the same courtesy to those of us who wish to continue to pursue our vison a different way.
     
  24. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    I think we are wandering a bit here....

    Jorge summed it up well. The problem starts when a Foveon chip starts being touted as "Better than medium format!" or a Digital Platinum™ print is considered to be "Better than analog".

    I use a mix myself. All my images are analog when they are taken. To save money, I just get the negs done and then scan them in to proof them. Saves me a bundle.

    For output, I do a couple of things -

    If I just want a picture to hang on the wall or give away, I scan everything in at high resolution, crop it, get rid of the dust and crude, play with the contrast and saturation, and then have it done on a Frontier. I usually get batches done since the cost drop to $4.00 per 8x10 when I have a whole directory just done. They will last 60 years or so.

    But if I am looking at doing a "serious" piece, one where I am making the image, it is done in the darkroom (not mine, since I don't have one yet....). For example I did a triptych of images taken from a friend's wedding. I wanted these to last and have a very specific look. Since this was a gift, I figured longevity mattered and I wanted an arty look. So I had them done on fibre paper to spec. Very pricey compared to Frontier, but the look is very soft and gentle. Plus the image will last probably close to 100 years.

    In the end everything has it's place. I just refuse to accept though that digital is "IT". Digital can NOT duplicate a Pt/Pd print for longevity and overall look. It can NOT duplicate a gum print.

    I just wish people would stop saying it can and that output from their Epson will last 200+ years and "film is dead".

    My other beef is with non-disclosure. I've seen too many images that have been digitally altered beyond all reality, called "photographs". An example would be the infamous POW on Photo.net which was allegedly a "REAL" image of a protest, but turned out to be just a handful of images cloned in Photoshop and altered. It is not a "REAL" image. It is a CREATED image. Both have their merits, but one must disclose. In my mind if it goes beyond traditional methodology, one should say "digital composite" or something like that.
     
  25. steve

    steve Member

    Messages:
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    Sep 12, 2002
    Well Jorge - as someone who has used view cameras for over 35 years, I too think I have SOME small, teeny-weeny appreciation of the difference between large format and other formats. Maybe more than most people. In fact, I worked exclusively in large format from 1965 until 1982. I don't need to be lectured on the difference between large format and other formats. Been there, done that, own multiple tee-shirts. Own multiple large format cameras.

    As someone who has a graphic arts background, a fine arts background, as well as a photo background - I really think I can appreciate and, most importantly see the differences in printing processes - and with all deference to Ross's background - maybe better because I specifically don't approach it from a digital perspective, but from a print making perspective.

    My first experience with graphic reproduction came in high school where I ran an offset press four hours per day, including making plates. Later, I was a graphic designer at a small firm and had to do the process camera work for both black and white and color reproduction. Yeah, I know all about screening angles and figuring dot gain. I know all about "bump" exposures, and what it takes to at least get close to an original reproduction in color and contrast. So please, don't give me another spiel on "process" and how the process makes something lose it's "soul."

    Again, with all deference to Ross's background, a good web designer does not necessarily translate into a good photographic print maker. I am not denigrating Ross's photographic capability but you brought him up as the example on this one. He has certainly done a magnificent job on this web site and is unquestionably a talented, consumate professional in that area.

    However, I wouldn't go to a proctologist for a tooth ache and both persons are doctors. As such, I wouldn't necessarily unequivocally trust Ross's judgements as being unassailable because of his background - sorry. I do think his comments are valuable and interesting and that's what I'm here for - a healthy interchange of ideas.

    I really know how and what happens in analog processes of all printing types - including fine art lithographic printing because I did that too. Which included fine art photo-lithographs. On top of that, I have done custom color photographic printing of both negatives and direct reversal processes.

    I got a pair of eyes on me. I know processes better than most. I know how to discriminate and unemotionally judge print quality and image translation to prints at a professional level.

    I don't really give a flying fanny-chat about the digital versus analog debate as such, but I do think the strictly analog people often act as though analog is the holy grail of photography, and adamantly refuse to consider other means of print reproduction as being equal because that somehow threatens their self-constructed tower of photographic purity.

    I just like pushing the debate as far as it can go, as it often is far more entertaining than getting into a group-hug and self congratulatory society about how wonderful it still is to truly be an analog virgin - and NOT consider certain digital aspects to be totally equal for fear of losing not only my virginity but my photographic "soul."
     
  26. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Steve, it was not a lecture it was an observation. I am attempting to look at this through Wisner's eyes.
    There seems to be some hostility from you to those who dont agree with your point of view, this is exactly of the kind of thing I am talking about and of which I am tired.
    You have decided that digital fullfill your needs better, that is fine and I am glad for you, but allow those of us who feel differently the same respect and validity to our opinions.
    As far as I am concerned there is no "debate" and I am not in fear of loosing my "virginity" I am merely not interested in the digital process, I am very happy with the results and process I use, and have no need to prove my way is "better" as you seem to think of yours.
    The responses here are not because we enjoy a group hug, merely they are an example of minds who are in accord and enjoy they process they have chosen. We really dont need you to "push" the "debate" to the limit as there is nothing to push. At least in my case!
    As to your comments about Ross, you seem to forget that he is also a photographer, if I use your same reasoning the fact that you used many LF cameras and have many formats does not assure me that you know what to do with them. So please lets not follow in the steps of photo.net and start making innuendos as they are not productive to any discussion.