Going back to real photography
I am on the brink of returning to my darkroom,the dark, the developers and the smell of fixer. Digital is magic and can result in stunning pictures but they are not the product of my skill. I will never forget my first print emerging in the tray, and my first good print some time later.
I am in awe of the vast knowledge of subscribers on this site and wonder why they stick to this peculiar, messy long winded method of making pictures ?
Real photography is with a P/S, as with my mother's Brownie, still have some of the pictures going back to the 1950's, retired lady with a great Hawaiian sunset, with a 35mm P/S, a grandmother of her granddaughter in a field of flowers with a 110. These last two I seen while working in a one hour photo shop years ago.
Yes I do have digital cameras, backs turned off, using the real viewfinder, and several 35mm SLRs and P/S, my Minolta Hi-Matic can out do the digitals, and for normal photos can not tell from the SLRs photos, the SLR's are better when going for the art side of photography, negs are in a box, can find them when I want. Just getting back to darkroom myself. Learn the craft, and learn to enjoy other peoples photos as well.
Learn good photo habits, they will serve you for life. Mark
Reading this fascinating thread, these 2 quotes leaped out at me because the reflect the analog dilemma most clairvoayantly:
Originally Posted by jscott
I have very limited darkroom experience but agree that the experience is critical. I remember the days (1990's...I'm not that old) when I had a decent relationship with a good photo store who processed my film and listened to my print requests. They had a plethora of checkboxes on their envelopes for the no-nothing point-and-shooter to the pro, and I too advantage. I shot Rollei 35 and Nikon F with decent glass as a young "prosumer". Swallowed up in digital later, I now realize that all my photos taken since look essentially the same compared to my earlier analog shots which are abundant with character. Turning pages, my older photo albums crackle with difference and energy depending on which film I happened to have in the camera, which camera, grain, etc. It's a wonderful journey.
Originally Posted by Portellini
That's been lost with digital. I love the absolute clarity digital gives me, but I feel like I am driving through the same suburb when looking at my shots. There's no quirkiness; no randomness; and digital being so unforgiving with mistakes, no quirky salvations. I like to hold prints as much as online sharing. In fact, the real joy of analog is in the print for me, but that is a process I never did.
I do not have the time for a scanner and am loathe to spend more time in front of a computer screen. And with no darkroom experience, space for, or time to learn I feel that jumping back into film is a real test. Last summer I took my Minolta X-500 and gear out with Ektar 100 and was very impressed with the results, manual focus and all! Did the same with my Olympus 35 RC and was again impressed. I then bought an incredible bargain Mamiya 645e and am looking to leverage my composition and exposure skills with the MF format, preferably in B&W, but am stymied by how to get to the print stage effectively and affordably without it becoming a part-time job
Anyway, terrific, inspiring thread.
Last edited by Aristophanes; 03-25-2011 at 05:52 PM. Click to view previous post history.
It gives me a great deal of satifaction reading all these posts about the real photography. I've done it off and on for many years with the film, digital and even instant prints from Mom's old Polaroid! I continue to return to the original format, film. Someone selling photogear once asked, "Why are you doing this in digital"? My answer was simple, it has become it's own type of therapy. Even the industrial photography I did for so long is a recollection of simple healing that has its own reward. Thanks for the memories, to turn an oft used phrase best said by the late Bob Hope.
This is a great thread to read. I have a B&W develop and print background as well as a life in photography with a photo degree. I put my DSLR's down for December and I have yet to take them back up. I have been getting my B&W darkroom stuff together again. I just shot three rolls of 35mm T-Max, yet to develop. Not so sure what part of all this I am willing to play right now. I think that I will develop the film myself, then put it into plastic pages and scan (as a proofsheet). Then, it is all up in the air from there. I hate the idea of spending $100 on ink for my printer. Also, it is a shame that my enlarger with my Apo Rodagon is just sitting there, unused for so long now. Any needed print correction is going to be easier on my computer after I scan the negative I want to print.
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I have seen sports photographers doing that too.
Originally Posted by MinoltaUser10
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
I would like to add that I finally developed my first four rolls of T-MAX 400 in over eleven years. Yea! Most of it came back to me. (slight misload of one metal spool-5 pics-nothing important lost). I finally remember using only water on a stop bath in the past but this time I could not remember how to mix up my stop bath! No wonder. I never did for film. Then, I did something else I never did before. I poured the 32 oz of used fixer back into the half gallon container. I always used to just throw it away as a one shot. No big deal as I will re-use it next time. When I was done, I had to say, "this is photography"!
What throws me off now is remembering some film enthusiasts saying to scan the negs while in the Printfile sleeves to get an idea of what pictures to really persue. My scanner wants them in strips, with only two rows for the real scans. It won't accurately scan the Printfile sheet because I only get a negative appearance when I do that and not a positive photo to look at. Bummer, because I thought hybrid. Back in the film game now.
I learned that I can "invert" the proof sheet in Photoshop to see it as a positive.
Any memorable rare moments in life can never be forget for whole life. Real photography is on basis of street events, family events etc.
Originally Posted by perkeleellinen
I'm a network engineer. I surf the Internet at home (mostly forums of my hobby interests) extensive, keep in touch via email, then go to work and sit in front of a computer for work email and a terminal program configuring devices to keep Internet traffic flowing. It's nice to get off the damned thing and get my hands wet and feel like I'm actually crafting something.
Plus I started in photography when that's the way it was done, never got over the excitement of watching a print come up in the developer tray, and I enjoy it.
That last is key. Because I enjoy doing it this way.