I agree completely with Wolfeye, and have been thinking that for a couple of weeks: the gallery simply has to go. It's a complete violation of the principles of this site, in the most blatant and hypocritical way. Either that, or some people need to loosen up and stop being so religious about what's essentially a silly issue. I vote for the second, but since the zealots are so vocal, I vote for dumping the gallery. That should make everyone happy.
The way I look at it, once we start scanning, converting, adjusting, everything for the screen, with different monitors, color calibrations, etc, becomes an approximation and a vague representation of what a print looks like in hand, properly mounted and lighted. With prints, especially toned ones, scans always end up with unwanted color casts and, with negs, it is quite hard to convey the look of a finished, toned print, especially when bleaches, and multiple toners have been used. Basically, it is all a compromise we have to accept if one wants to post on the web.
As far as scanned negatives, I've stopped posting them because for me it almost feels like cheating (please note that is MY feeling/opinion and it is absolutely not intended as passing judgement or looking down to anyone who does, by choice or necessity, posts negative scans). I feel that a finished print always looks more authentic and it is an accomplishment that I usually feel proud of. Presenting a negative that "may" look like a finished print, that I may never print or simply not be able to reproduce in the darkroom, doesn't feel right for what I believe in and my personality. Again, this is just me, and I'm not looking to offend anyone, nor would I not like a certain image just because it is presented as a negative scan. If the content is there, and there is potential for a great print, I would much rather see a finished print but I would still comment on the content in the neg.
I have digitally photographed the prints I have posted and that is hybrid... although best representation of what is in the frame on the wall.
I got to post more stuff sometime.
It seems to me that other than the galleries most who scan negatives for this site are doing it to illustrate and communicate an idea or problem associated with analog photographic pursuits and are seeking input from those who can help.
In regard to some of the comments: What is the difference in digitally enlarging a negative to make a hand-coated contact print from enlarging the same negative on to duplicating film for the same purpose? IMO digital capture, digital manipulation and digital printing discussions do belong on the DPUG site. Analog capture and forms of printing are for APUG.
Using the digital medium for the purpose of communicating analog issues is the only way to do such a thing on the internet. Let's not get too restrictive.
The comparison of scanning to self-pleasure is inappropriate and quite obviously an attempt to bait other responses. Childish.
Let's be clear: scanning negs is A-okay.
Some other points that come to mind:
(1) Some people make RC prints and can get decent photos or scans of those... good for them. But it's often difficult to get a decent scan of prints on textured papers and such; in that case, neg scans do a much better job of representing the image. I almost never print on RC. And I find digicam shots of FB prints to need more tone manipulation than neg scans to look like the original print.
(2) It's pretty rare that any of my prints can fit on my 4990 flatbed, so... print scanning is seldom an option. Most of my prints are at least 12" on the shortest side... and again, taking a shot with a digicam is no purer an act.
(3) Also, quite a few people are newcomers and may not have reached the print phase yet.... or may not want to print at all. For their sake, it's completely absurd to say that they cannot show us anything until they can make a print and scan that.
So, to newcomers I would say please feel free to scan your negs, trying to keep those scans as "straight" as possible. Most of us are reasonable and aim to offer helpful comments and critique when solicited.
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OK folks, let's not get this confused with anything that resembles a democracy. It isn't. This is Sean's sandbox and if you want to play here, you need to play "nice", which means play by his rules.
Originally Posted by Wolfeye
Much of my work involves the use of a digital negative, as is the case with many alt process photographers/artists. Because I respect, although I don't agree with, Sean's rules, much of what I produce will not be seen here. IMHO, not allowing the work of people using digital technology in their mostly analog work flow does not enhance the value of this site to people interested in analog technology. Full disclosure is important in a venue such as this were people come to learn and grow.
The image is for me the all important bottom line and I would enjoy having the opportunity to see the broader spectrum of work being created by photographers/artists who not only maintain a strong connection to analog processes, but also who use some modern technology in their work flow.
This could be done by having a hybrid forum on APUG. Like television, each viewer could make their own decision about what they wanted to watch.
The system currently in place with the seperate hybrid site is a little like the "Seperate but equal school systems in the segregated South."
Bill "Mostly Analog" Barber
I find myself very much in agreement with Max's point of view. When I first joined APUG I was quite content to scan my negs and post them, but slowly I began to see than my neg scan was not a true representation of the the print that I usually produced in my darkroom. I now print 8 x 10 size photos which I use for print exchange and scanning purposes. I may not always print a larger size print except for a club exhibition. I have also scanned some of my larger size prints in 2 halves and joined them in PSP to show in the gallery section.
Originally Posted by MaximusM3
It's like the seasons - this subject always comes up on APUG given a bit of time...
I shoot dr5 reverse processed b+w transparencies - the positive transparency' really is my 'finished' photograph, not prints. So a scan of the tranny is a good representation of what I do (although a scan is always poorer than a tranny on the lightbox!). A compromse, but hey...
Getting rid f the gallery as per a few suggestions is a bit short-sighted in my opinion, and likely to b counterproductive in the long run. Over the years, I've discovered and admired many great photographers from al over the world through APUG's gallery. Lovely brain food and a great inspiration for my own work. Sure, the gallery is compromise as photos are all digitised, but as we're an online forum, not sure I see a way around that. The positives of the APUG gallery for me definitely outweigh the negatives (no pun intended).
It's all about respecting the rules and spirit of APUG, even if there are a few grey areas. For example, I'm about to start a polymer photogravure class and would love to post results in the APUG gallery, but even though it's a mostly analogue process, Photoshop is used as an intermediate stage to provide an image to transfer onto the polymer plate before ink and printing. So this means no APUG gallery posts. But, as I said earlier, I love the APUG gallery and just accept the rules rather than trying to change or complain about them.
Originally Posted by nsurit
I am in the same boat for my alternate work (cyanotype and Van Dyke Brown) in using a digital negative most of the time, even though every other part of the workflow (from film camera to hand coated paper) is film/analog based.
Nikon 35mm, Mamiya 645 & RB67, Leica IIIb, other bits and pieces
I agree completely, it's his sandbox. For the record, a poll is just a poll. I wasn't implying that Sean would use it or care what the results were. Merely curious.
Originally Posted by nsurit
I just don't see how any image posted here isn't digital. So Sean makes that one exception, fine, you have to digitize any image you want to share. So then Joe Blow joins up, and asks about how he can scan his negatives b/c he doesn't have a darkroom. He's either told that sort of discussion isn't allowed here, or to go ask it on hybridphoto (dpug) or some other digital site where he'll find mainly digital users who advise him to drop film and go digital (or he gets no answer at all). Either way, a film user, who might have lots of legitimate film questions - what developer to use, what filter, how exposure compensation works, etc, is told to go elsewhere, and I think that hurts film. APUG isn't just film, it's more correctly silver-halide photography, right? And a scanned negative is still a silver-halide image.
I know APUG isn't going to change, and that's fine, but I do think that an active promotion of film use via scanning is harmonious with the core of what APUG supports, film.
In life you only get one great dog, one great car, and one great woman. Pet the dog. Drive the car. Make love to the woman. Don't mix them up.