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  1. #21
    artonpaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Yes,without emulsion making what is a course in photography. It is just mix and stir!

    Send them to a workshop at George Eastman House.

    PE
    While I think that emulsion making is a highly laudable practice that can give one a much deeper understanding and appreciation of the photographic process, I do not think NOT teaching emulsion making merely mix and stir. First, I feel what goes on prior to and during the moment of initial exposure is paramount. Some of the world's best photographers never even contemplated making emulsions. Those who did their own printing learned to work with the commercially available products and created well crafted prints of excellent photographs. I have known highly skilled photographic technicians whose picturing taking results left much to be desired. I worked with an optical engineer who designed systems for SAC, but whose pictures were boring and sterile.

    I find that in any given class there may be a student or two who express interest in the chemistry of analogue photography. Those students are few and far between. Yet many students are producing good work, and small number are turning out wonderful photographs with a very limited understanding how it all works. (Despite my best efforts to stir their curiosity and present at least some theory.) Introducing students to a process such as palladium printing, even if it comes in kit form is an excellent way to spark that curiosity and give them the experience of creating a printing paper with a unique visual quality just by wusing a few simple chemicals. IMHO.

    Doug

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by artonpaper View Post
    While I think that emulsion making is a highly laudable practice that can give one a much deeper understanding and appreciation of the photographic process, I do not think NOT teaching emulsion making merely mix and stir. First, I feel what goes on prior to and during the moment of initial exposure is paramount. Some of the world's best photographers never even contemplated making emulsions. Those who did their own printing learned to work with the commercially available products and created well crafted prints of excellent photographs. I have known highly skilled photographic technicians whose picturing taking results left much to be desired. I worked with an optical engineer who designed systems for SAC, but whose pictures were boring and sterile.

    I find that in any given class there may be a student or two who express interest in the chemistry of analogue photography. Those students are few and far between. Yet many students are producing good work, and small number are turning out wonderful photographs with a very limited understanding how it all works. (Despite my best efforts to stir their curiosity and present at least some theory.) Introducing students to a process such as palladium printing, even if it comes in kit form is an excellent way to spark that curiosity and give them the experience of creating a printing paper with a unique visual quality just by wusing a few simple chemicals. IMHO.

    Doug


    IMHO, you are right and wrong at the same time.

    Photography, as it exists now, is silver gelatin. The Pt/Pd and other methods are trivial compared to silver gelatin and it is vanishing. It is possible to mix and stir and get a good Cyanotype or Pt/Pd, but to get a good Ag/gelatin is a vanishing art. None of the above address this. You see, your answer falls far short of understanding silver gelatin itself.

    PE

  3. #23

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    As long as a process is still readily available commercially, then its inclusion into the alternative process spectrum is perceived as less critical. When Ilford switches off their last coating line, then you will see a rush to learn silver emulsion coating. Its human nature to not worry until its too late ;-(
    van Huyck Photo
    "Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    IMHO, you are right and wrong at the same time.

    Photography, as it exists now, is silver gelatin. The Pt/Pd and other methods are trivial compared to silver gelatin and it is vanishing. It is possible to mix and stir and get a good Cyanotype or Pt/Pd, but to get a good Ag/gelatin is a vanishing art. None of the above address this. You see, your answer falls far short of understanding silver gelatin itself.

    PE
    I agree with artonpaper about this. I can understand the importance of silver gelatin, but many processes were used prior to it's existance and optimisation, to make very valid and beautiful images.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  5. #25

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    I'm at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. We have (or had until recently) a JanTerm alt. process class. It's four hours a day for two and a half weeks, and covers Pt/Pd and cyanotype. I took it last year, and TAed it this year. Unfortunately this year was the last JanTerm, so the future of the class is unknown. We do have plenty of opportunities for people to study alt. processes independently. This semester, there was one student who did an independent study in Pt/Pd, and there's a senior who just finished her thesis project which included gum, cyanotype, salted paper, and a few others.

  6. #26

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    this sort of reminds me of conversations i have overheard about how photography is only landscapes, or portraits ...
    and nothing else ... because the people having the conversation only enjoy or make landscapes or portraits ...

    the way i see it is there is more to photography than landscapes and portraits ... much more.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    I agree with artonpaper about this. I can understand the importance of silver gelatin, but many processes were used prior to it's existance and optimisation, to make very valid and beautiful images.
    Again, yes and no. For example, Pt/Pd would be difficult to use to make negatives. And collodion, although useful to make negatives, is not useful to capture moving images.

    I am not saying that silver gelatin is the be all and end all, but merely that it is an important part of photography and it is being lost. The formulas for cyanotype and Pt/Pd are out there in abundance, but there are very few silver gelatin emulsion formulas out there that are correct or that are useful. And, virtually no one is making a concerted effort at teaching how to make and coat them.

    PE

  8. #28
    AgX
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    Well, you do... at least in your one-man show. Who knows, maybe you form a band. Sufficient for chamber concert.

  9. #29
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    With a 3 or 4 day workshop, there is really no time to approach this subject to the depth that is needed for a college level course. And I think that this is the topic of this thread.

    PE

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    With a 3 or 4 day workshop, there is really no time to approach this subject to the depth that is needed for a college level course. And I think that this is the topic of this thread.

    PE
    This is very true. Hopefully, taking Chris under your wing and Dick letting me hang around, we'll have the next generation at least carrying some of the torch--even if it's less bright.
    K.S. Klain

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