Is it really true that...
Is it really true that no one wants to discuss emulsion making any more? Photography has changed so much in the last five years it's staggering and the discussions here certainly reflect some of those changes. It's not just the technology, but also philosophy and some of the expectations we have for our craft. Those of us who started out when chemical photography was the only option might as well be from a different planet. That's fine. Same is true of just about any craft where digital has made big inroads. But, does that mean the handmade product has become alien? Hope not.
Anyway, I'd love to see meaningful discussion here again. Kinda strange when silly-season topics get an order of magnitude more discussion than actual emulsion making, but the withdrawal that some people are admitting to because LFF is down is both telling and encouraging. Seems to me there still are people who want to "talk real". Hope so.
It should be said, for those who might be new to APUG, or to chemical photography -- emulsion making (paper, film: sheet and roll, dry plate) has thoroughly left the realm of theoretical, and/or "primitive". The discussions can be about actual making and using, just as any other topic on this forum.
Maybe the people that are interested in emulsions are already knee-deep. Or that there's enough information out there now. Dunno.
But I'm playing with dry plate medium-format tintypes, so at least someone's still experimenting...
I am very interested in talking about emulsion making and how to work with it. My problem is that the workflow I use is a complete digital one to make negatives which is not appreciated here.
I wish it wasn't so, DPUG is not relevant to me , after the Sandy King attack so I do not go there.
We are working with some very interesting projects that do involve scratch process but unfortunately for me making the neg or pos is critical and the way I do it is not a topic for here.
Denise I believe that quiet a few members are still interested in emulsion making but have never actually done it. This makes discussing the topic a littler harder then say discussing a 35mm Bumby lens for the 500th time. Still I would welcome any meaningful discussion about the handcraft part of photography especially emulsion making and such.
Bob you coould talk about the negs in disguised terms, say enlarged neg with this and that density instead of digital negative and the positive handmade part doesn't seem to be a problem on APUG. To much knowledge and information is lost due to in this case stupid rules. It seems that we all benefit from this topic as it helps keep the medium alive.
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I think this would be very hard to do, since my working methods include critical, density readings within the info palette of PS as well that would be very difficult to just say put some density here and make sure there is density there. People that want to understand this method of working, would need a working knowledge of LAB, CMYK , RGB and of course greyscale and get to understand when one colour space is more important to be in than the others...
I am waiting for the day that the rules are relaxed in this area, but to be honest am quite happy just talking about the darkroom side of my life and not piss off the powers to be with my digital hybrid approach here on APUG.
QUOTE=MDR;1557052]Bob you coould talk about the negs in disguised terms, say enlarged neg with this and that density instead of digital negative and the positive handmade part doesn't seem to be a problem on APUG. To much knowledge and information is lost due to in this case stupid rules. It seems that we all benefit from this topic as it helps keep the medium alive.[/QUOTE]
But there is an active community of emulsion makers here; PE and friends at the George Eastman House are regularly scheduling emulsion making workshops, talking about the procedures and tools needed - and sharing results of glass plate negatives and AZO-type papers that they are making.
I enjoy seeing their posts and following along in my mind, but I continue to work with prepared and packaged, ready-to-use supplies.
I'd add to Bob's comment, Sandy King's contributions here and on DPUG are greatly missed.
Denise, you've been making a very great effort to encourage others to begin emulsion making and leading by example. I know from over a decades experience myself that it's a practical proposition.
Maybe the way to encourage people is to get them into alternative printing processes first, Kallitype, Salt prints. Albumen prints etc, then into more simple emulsion making. Just a thought.
It is so encouraging to see the thoughtful responses. jorj: Excellent! Good luck (and hope you show and tell here.)
Bill: Actually, very little work has been posted here for quite a long while. And that, mostly liquid emulsion*. (*I've nothing against LE.)
Is it perhaps that we've moved beyond the current title of the sub-forum ("...making and coating") People don't feel that it's about the art of the materials?? Maybe don't feel free to share the inevitable warts and wrinkles of the learning process?? I'm fairly used to being set upon by the "it's not good enough and never will be" mentality of a few posters here. It can be intimidating for the less bold among us and the unfortunate paradox is that shy folks are very likely some of the best artists.
Ian: I was an albumen printer for years. A simple silver gelatin emulsion is MUCH easier than albumen - cheaper, too. Heck, a not-so-simple emulsion is easier than most "alternative" processes. The supposed complexity of emulsion making that has become part of the meme of this forum is perhaps part of the reason it never really gets off the ground (?? -- just a thought).
Bob: The way APUG has been going... I can't imagine anyone censoring you over talking about the negatives you use with your emulsions. I'd love to see what you'd do with good digital negatives and AZO-type paper. I'm going to be pushing the envelope that way myself because I'm pulling inkjet negatives into my color photography research.
MDR: I hope you're right!
Perhaps now that the perceived existential threat to commercially available black-and-white films and papers has eased, maybe so has the panic? And with that some of the doomsday-driven interest in DIY at the emulsion level?
Lots of people have said that if doomsday ever came, they would just learn how to coat their own. But it now appears that doomsday never came. Not that there aren't lots of other valid non-doomsday reasons to do it. Just that the panic-driven one might now have subsided.
Just thinking out loud...
"They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."
— Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs