Yep, that's no joke. As I detailed over at hybridphoto, I discovered some time ago that one can wash off the ink quite easily. So I developed procedure for making digital prints on photo paper that went like this: inkjet the neg onto the photo paper (in the dark), expose it, wash off the ink... By the way, this was done with the fancy ultra-archival epson ultrachrome inks :rolleyes: I added that to my list of "things that make you go hmm."
Originally Posted by eclarke
Thanks everyone, there are so many wonderful perspectives, thoughts, ideas, etc., here to think about, it has been most valuable.
I do love working with film and the alt processes, much more than I ever did with the silver printing process, and certainly much more than the digital printing process, which feels empty somehow. So I will keep plugging away and strive to make better and better VDB prints — both technically and artistically — and not do an "apples to oranges" comparison between VDB and digital. Perhaps there is little point in such comparisons. It can't really just be about the end result.
My digital gear has a place — the kids move too fast for pics with the 8x10 — but LF is where my artistic heart lives (for what that's worth). I think I will build that really big pinhole camera I've been pondering for the last several months, and print 16x20 VDBs or something . . .
You shouldn't take any artistic medium in faith.
I would say you shouldn't take anything in faith, but I understand that's pushing it for most.
Use what works for you, the medium you can express yourself, explore and further your artistic potential and can practically use and sustain.
I am myself considering abandoning film as well, but so far undecided.
Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
no digital additives and shit
In the long run mere resemblances don't count. Electronic picture making can already replicate the surface appearance of any medium.
A Van Dyke Brown photograph "is" but the digital confection merely "looks like". If "looks like" can pass for "same as" then by all means synthesize pictures by the most facile method. Much of popular culture accepts this paltry bargain especially when it comes to visual entertainment.
I say Van Dyke Brown photographs, and in fact all real photographs, reassert the supremacy of "being" over "seeming".
Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.
Aside from the front and rear movements and so on which handle convergence and so on, analog processes simply look different I think. I'm in a photo group that shares BW images and only two of us use film and develop and print. I've seen beautiful digital images, but I simply enjoy the craft of using film and messing about in the dark with smelly chemicals. In addition, it's a slow process. When I use Photoshop, changes are immediately seen. In the darkroom, I have to wait until the prints dry to see if I got it right. It's a process that requires concentration, and experience, and study. We use these old technologies for their challenges and rewards. If I just want to get somewhere I drive my modern car that starts, has heat and A/C and keeps up with modern traffic. If I want to enjoy the drive, it's the MGB. If I just need snapshots, I use my DSLR. If I want to enjoy the craft of photography, it's film. Ansel Adams looked forward to digital innovations in the year or so before he died in 1984, and I've seen the images of digital masters, but I hope there will always be film and old cars and Coleman lanterns and wooden boats, etc., etc.
Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.
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If you use the inkset on matte inkjet paper or watercolor paper they're pretty waterproof and archival. See inkjet + alt. process hybrid prints.
A nice (both technically and aesthetically successful) portfolio can be found here (palladium over inkjet by Jim Collum):
P.S. I use HP9180B Vivera inks and they're rated +250 years; even better than Epson Ultrachromes.
Originally Posted by keithwms
Last edited by Loris Medici; 12-22-2009 at 09:13 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Corrected HP product ID...
Yeah, but can they outrun a Graflex SLR? Seriously, with rack and pinion focusing, I find my 5x7" Press Graflex the best camera for chasing our 3 y.o., and I get a big contact printable neg out of it. I take a lot of pictures of him with the non-analogue camera too, because it's more convenient to carry around, and grandma wants a steady stream of pictures via e-mail, but there's no question that the percentage of keepers is way higher with the big camera. I've photographed him with the 8x10" as well, and then it's more a matter of getting him interested in sitting for the big camera, but that's a more formal kind of photography.
Originally Posted by Kami-the-Trout
As far as the original question goes, I've looked at alt process prints, silver prints, and various kinds of digital prints of the same neg under blind test conditions, and I have no problem telling them apart and can often identify the process (it's harder when you've got a combined process like gum over platinum, and toning can sometimes confound identification). That's not to say that every medium doesn't have its own attractions, aesthetic and practical, or that all prints of one medium are inherently better than another medium, but that they are different, and even if many people can't distinguish among them, it doesn't mean that no one can distinguish among them.
Originally Posted by Loris Medici
I agree with you Loris; the question is, what is "pretty"
N.b. one has to take care when reading the specs on how archival inkjet prints are. If you read the fine print, you'll probably find the catchall disclaimer, "if stored properly." In other words: in dry conditions, under argon, away from light. Then, yeah, 250+ years should be easy. But then, one could probably keep a ham sandwich for 250 years under those conditions.
:rolleyes: I know, I know, the new pigments really are surprisingly archival and the papers have greatly improved. Question is, will anybody want them in only 5 or 10 years? After even better inksets and papers are on the market? The electronics industry has a convenient way of obsoleting its products in order to phase in 'better' products and drive new product sales...
I keep asking somebody to tell me what the world's most expensive inkjet print is, per square inch. We routinely see trad'l prints go for six figures. In light of that, what is the value of hypothetical statements regarding the stability of an inkjet print 250+ years hence?
Last edited by keithwms; 12-22-2009 at 10:15 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I have a print hanging on my wall (which sees open shade daylight and fluorescent indoor light) since it was printed 7 years ago by an Epson 890 (read as: lamest dye inks) that shows no signs of fading whereas I have prints that show silvering after 4 years (made by friends, and yes I know it's a processing error)... Now, probably the print has changed somehow and I could see the difference if I were printing a new one today, but if that simple cheap dye inkset can hold that much I can use what current high-tech pigment based inks with pleasure and confidence. If I cared for a print with a certain life expectancy >100 years, I mean if I was in real need of it, I would print it in gum, carbon, cyanotype, pt/pd or you name it (but not silver based and untoned)...
As for inkjet prints against "traditional" prints; I think we'll see that figures for inkjet prints when they will become "traditional" (or as a better / more correct term: "vintage")... How much Andreas Gursky's huge C-prints fetch right now? (Maybe he does inkjet also...) Are C-prints ("dyes" in gelatin on "synthetic" substrate to my knowing) indeed more archival than current high tech inkjet inks (pigment trapped in paper fibers) on matte paper? How are c-prints made today? (Especially wall sized ones...) Do buyers pay six figure sums to photos solely because they're traditional hand made prints, or do they have other incentives?... ... ... (a thousand questions more; you got the idea...)
And please, don't get me wrong. I'm in favor of neither and also I'm in favor of each. I do both, choose the method according to when it's appropriate to my purpose / convenience / my current masochism level.
P.S. Won't pursue since we're way out of topic + subject goes to way inappropriate areas for this site...
Last edited by Loris Medici; 12-22-2009 at 06:20 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Small additions