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  1. #31

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    35mm RF
    Quote Originally Posted by r-s View Post
    Here's a question regarding the Lippmann process: Does it require panchromatic emulsion? (I realize that pan films were in fact available back in that era -- the Library of Congress's amazing "The Empire That Was Russia" presentation is evidence of that fact.)

    But I'm wondering if perhaps Lippmann photography doesn't require spectrally sensitized emulsion. When the infinite "layers" are formed at each depth in the emulsion at which the interference "events" occur, is the "exposure" based on an actual (at time of exposure) "color" light present within the emulsion (as a result of the interference at that point), or, is (perhaps) the exposure a result of white (or "near-neutral") light that results from the colliding waves?
    According to Lippmann's biography, the biggest difficulty of implimenting his method was that "the photographs were somewhat defective due to the varying sensitivity of the photographic film." - http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/p...pmann-bio.html

  2. #32
    r-s is offline

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    People's Republic of Michigan
    Multi Format
    What an amazing life of an amazing person! Thanks for that link, it was very refreshing (in these cynical times).

    Interesting that he was at first home schooled, and then later on, a classic "problem student" -- the type that to this day is shaped, boxed, molded, and hammered into "conformity" as a "good" student, until he gives up that part of his personality that makes him unique. (And they call the process "special"! Talk about "cynical", LOL!)

    Maybe some day, using contemporary sensitized materials the likes of which he could only dream of, which would make his problems trivial, we'll see commercially produced "Lippmann film". I am certain that it could be produced in forms that would at first blush seem imposible, such as roll film (the reflective layer could be sputtered onto the support prior to the application of the gelatine layer), and things that must have given him fits, such as film speed and spectral sensitivity, would be easily managed.

    Perhaps even (and I am stretching my mind here), someone could come up with a way to produce a transmission-type Lippmann film. Now that would be something! (and I've learned not to say "impossible!" even when it seems impossible).

    How could such a thing (transmission film -- which would make the process practical for projection and reproduction) be possible, when the process is inherently dependent on a reflective layer behind the emulsion? I have no idea -- but I will not be surprised if someone figures out a way to do it.

    I think that the beauty, and infinite scope of silver photography, will save it from the digital "revolution" (root term: "revolting" which I expect to run its course hopefully within our lifetimes.

    A "simple" process (a layer of boiled cow-hide with some silver salts and a few other "primitive" chemicals, laid on top of a mirror surface) produces results that after nearly a century and a quarter since its invention, still cannot even come close to being duplicated. Three- color photography (silver or electronic) is capable of remarkable results (and yes, I acknowlege that the eye is generally accepted as cones that have three main sensitivities). However, it's still a compromise. Real light, the stuff we look at, is comprised of infinite colors. And as such, any three-color approximation of it, with the intermediate colors "synthesized", is not "the real thing". Lippmann's process, however is, and it remains the only process that delivers real colors (as opposed to the synthesized colors produced via the mixing of three primaries.)
    Last edited by r-s; 10-28-2006 at 07:59 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Typo ("the" for "they").

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