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  1. #1
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Has digital prints made older process prints special?

    Don't know if it's my perception, but Has digital prints made older process prints special or even precious? Just want to know how other APUGers think.

  2. #2
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    Really, B&W wet darkroom traditional prints are far more impressive than D-process prints (but not RA-4). For colour workers, now that old Ilfochrome bastion is gone, we have scant choice for printing, and I remain ambivalent toward its (digital) value. Personally I am happy with the D-print process but rest assured I am two steps away with a big stick making sure I get the very highest quality possible and it is 'just-so' — not "near enough", but spot on. In terms of value, my hoard of matted and/or framed Ilfochromes will easily outlive the prints of the alternative process, and that is what makes them even more valuable: they're just not done any more like that.


  3. #3

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    I don't think the general public even cares. But to me, darkroom printed B&W prints are special. I heard master printers can create nearly equal prints using either technology. I neither have the technique or have access to those equipment that produces such a high quality digital prints. Doing my best, my 50+ year old Omega D2 allows me to produce the best print I possibly can within my own limitations.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  4. #4

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    In this computer dominated age it's special to create anything without using a screen.
    Steve.

  5. #5
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    Absolutely. You can get lost in the tonal scale of a good black and white print.

    If you wanna see something really special though, check out a large format slide.
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  6. #6

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    I'd like to think so, but I've not seen much evidence of it, certainly not for J.Q. Public.

    I've had many occasions of explaining the processes and watching public reaction of various sorts of prints, plat/pal, collodion, silver, lith etc. and the common reaction is "oh, that's nice", and they move on to the "archival inkjet" next to it.

    For people who understand the processes, it's a little different, but even then it's often "oh wow, I remember doing that stuff...."
    Last edited by bdial; 02-01-2012 at 07:54 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainecoonmaniac View Post
    Have digital prints made older process prints special or even precious?
    Absolutely.

    There are [at least] two fairly orthogonal ways to define value in a print:

    (1) The "market" value, related to supply and demand; and
    (2) The "artistic" value, which may have no relation to (1) at all and has more to do with the artistic merits as recognized by those wishing to own the art.

    In the case of (1), the value of analogue prints is very clear. Analogue prints are unique, individual objects made with materials that may well soon be gone- at least from the mass market. The alt processes are also very difficult to scale up... which is of course why those kinds of prints are less attractive from a mass marketing perspective but more attractive from the standpoint of individual worth. Even flaws can become features and so forth.... which works well as long as the flaws aren't the only feature ...

    In the case of (2), that is more linked to undefinables like how much the audience will value uniqueness and manu propria. My own feeling is that there will soon be a massive backlash against mass-produced art; this will strongly favor the individual contribution. I think we already see signs of that here and there, even in unexpected places like boutiques that are hawking lomos. Many (most?) people do want to be different and will tend to select art that affirms that, even if it's only in a temporary trendy way. (trends that aim to make someone seem unique do have a way of clobbering themselves... hence "temporary")

    All that said, the analogue community must not rest on (1) as what defines the value of their art. There must be more, there should be more, than just being different from whatever else is out there. What disturbs me is the notion that just because a photograph was made with film and traditional printing, it is more artistic. Absolutely false!!! And people who believe that will continue to drain their own financial resources and seldom see return on investment In my view, there needs to be some harmony between the artistic vision and the methods of the artist, and simply taking the same shot on film that one might take on a dslr does not make it more valuable in the sense of (2). It might in the sense of (1) but not (2)...

    Then there is (3) the value of the artist's experience which is entirely separate from (1) and (2)....
    Last edited by keithwms; 02-01-2012 at 08:24 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  8. #8
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Not really

    This discussion is one sided as the moderator police will be active soon, but digital prints have had a positive effect.
    I don't think its fair to slam digital here, just like discussing its potential for traditional printing methods has been banned.
    I embrace both methods of making prints and can make both sing.

  9. #9

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    I've been shooting a lot of young models the last few months. most of whom have had very little exposure to film photography. Recently, I provided a couple of prints on Ilford Art 300 to a model. I am no master printer, but she was blown away by the darkroom print; to her it was special. If we can get actual prints in front of people eyes and in their hands, they will see they are special. Computer monitors (like iPods for audio) are the great leveler when it comes to technical quality, and does not do an adequate job of conveying the specialness.
    Nikon 35mm, Mamiya 645 & RB67, Leica IIIb, other bits and pieces

  10. #10
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    Not really

    This discussion is one sided as the moderator police will be active soon, but digital prints have had a positive effect.
    I don't think its fair to slam digital here, just like discussing its potential for traditional printing methods has been banned.
    I embrace both methods of making prints and can make both sing.
    Fair enough... and this will of course be a one-sided discussion. But stepping back from all that, I would say that if there is a real harmony between the image and the output method then the value will be higher. Regardless of the output method. 'Nuff said
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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