I mentioned slides but feel I ought to clarify my point as I certainly don't think shooting slides makes one less of a photographer.
Originally Posted by jnanian
From this I asked about slide shooting & projecting specifically as the method has no darkroom stage. Without darkroom craft, I wondered, could this still be "the compilation leading to artistic expression" as Denise argued.
Originally Posted by archer
Dear Steve (Sirius Glass);
Where in heaven did you see me write that " anyone who takes slides, no matter how good is completely devoid of any artistic ability." My words mean exactly what I wrote, not what you have misconstrued. It may help you understand me when I tell you that I am not subtle in my meaning nor do I practice innuendo. If I meant you to understand that what you wrote was truly what I meant, I would have expressed it exactly as you have misconstrued it. When I started as a working photographer, I was junior to the rest of the staff of a large studio and was the only one there with experience in shooting transparencies and it thus fell to me to shoot all our color work, that was for publication, in 4X5 chromes, using a speed graphic, hand held with film no faster than 50 ASA. Our most important client was the University of California at Davis and their most important day was the famous Picnic Day. I was given the assignment to shoot the Queens float during the parade and the image was to be used as the signature image of the school in their yearbook and on every brochure mailed by the school for that year. My composition was perfect. The exposures were perfect and the assignment was a success and the work was used as intended. Does that make it art? No! it makes it WORK! Why is the assignment of the word, art, to our work, necessary for our vision of ourselves? Why is being a good, great or brilliant photographer not good enough to satisfy the need for self worth? Please remember that self delusion is the opiate of the ego maniacal and was the point of my first post regarding William Eggleston and that vapid inanity he refers to as his "art". From personal knowledge, I can assure you that if you called Gene Smith an artist, he'd likely punch you in the mouth and Ansel would have smiled and presented his fanny for kissing and these were truly great artists but more, they were great photographers.
I need to update my claim that I have never had problems with Wal-Mart.
I went today, to have 3 rolls of HP5+ and 400tx scanned. How I ended up with a roll of 400tx in the mix I don't know. Anyhow, the Fuji machine WOULD NOT register the frame on my HP5. He tried every way to make it work. Dishartened, I went to Walgreens, as they are the only other place I know of in town to scan my negs.
What did they do? This:
Well, I am still livid at the sheer incompetence. So that's all I'll say. The only reason I scan to CD is to proof... Thursday, its old school day. I'm going to make an actual contact print, and actual real print prints.
- J. Richard
4x5 Speed Graphic, Looking for another 8x10.
getting back to the original post ...
do we know anything about the fellow who operates the mini lab,
Originally Posted by Dave Pritchard
other than what we see and what he says ?
yes, he is a clerk at the drug store who runs the equipment.
he seems well trained and knows exactly what he is doing.
how much training would he have to have to be a competent printer
or photographer or artist ?
( one doesn't need to be a trained photographer or artist to
print photographs ... it helps but it isn't necessary )
do we know that he has never taken elective art classes in school ?
i would easily say that he uses a camera and knows what a good photograph
looks like from first hand experience ( using his phone, his ds or his camera and seeing thousands of negatives and prints ) ...
i don't think i am going out on a limb here but i don't really think
the lion's share of the people who drop their film off at the drug
store really care that he isn't a trained artist ( or is he ? )
what their negatives look like, or that he is using his own good judgement to interpret their film.
i really wouldn't call a drug store a "custom lab"
The point is that Brandon will correct an exposure which does not look right to him. Some of us assume that the machines are automatic. We think we are getting consistent results, when the Brandons are fixing our color balance or brightness using their own judgment. If we are shooting snapshots, that's fine. If we aspire to anything else, we should get to know the process, and maybe the person editing the scans, (or do it ourselves).
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1 hour labs or mini labs are far different than professional labs. I always send my film to a professional lab for development for three reasons - no time, no skill and because I can. I shoot colour transparencies mostly and any B&W film I shoot, I send to dr5 to develop them as transparencies too.
When it comes to printing, that's whole other story and I expect the professional lab to make NO adjustments to the file I send them except to correct for individual printer gamuts - that's because I made all the adjustments I want in PS and proofed them using an inkjet printer first.
i agree with you 100% david, it is good to know the process
AND the people doing it. working relationships can never be
a bad thing, unless of course, the lab guy is robin williams
I have no issue with minilabs/1-hr labs. I'll use pro labs sometimes, but they're expensive for my purposes--I don't need perfect prints created by someone else. I want scans, and only get the negatives--all minilabs, if properly maintained, are capable of doing this. Lately it's more difficult to find a drugstore with a minilab, at least in New York, which is why I've been frequenting my dedicated 1-hr lab more, even though they cost about $1 more. But generally I don't find the need for dip-and-dunk at an additional $3 above the 1-hr lab. And I love the people at my 1-hr lab, they are quite accommodating.
I would LIKE to get wet prints, but color is so variable when someone else is doing it. These days I only submit scans that I corrected myself and request no further adjustments as gr82bart said above.
I found some 10-year-old prints the other day and had a wonderful moment of nostalgia. They were essentially snaps but important to me (some dear friends with their 8-day-old baby) so I'd taken them to a pro place. I was rather horrified by the awful color of the prints I got back...and to my young self, they'd been relatively expensive. I then took the negs to a drugstore--possibly CVS, can't remember for sure--where I found an incredibly patient employee (not a teen) willing to adjust the prints exactly as I expected. It took multiple tries, yet she only charged for the single copies I'd wanted...and was just as excited as I was to see the color balance perfected. Complete professionalism and love for the job. At a drugstore. Hard to imagine now.