Is there reconciliation between digital and analog world in alternative processes
As with most philosophical questions in life and in photography, I don't expect any "right" answers. But I've been feeling conflicted lately. I've seen beautiful platinum prints by Irving Penn and other old time photographers and I know that older prints are purely an analog process. I've just started to explore the world of alternative process that require contact printing.
Just recently within the past 10 years, the world of computers and inkjet prints have fueled a Renaissance of platinum and palladium printing. I personally don't think there's a difference in quality of a print done with a well made digital neg and an analog neg. Correct me if I'm wrong.
I'm mainly a film shooter but also shoot with a digital camera. I have some beautiful shot in digital that I'd like to print in palladium and some analog negs that I have to scan to enlarge for larger palladium prints. My gut feeling is not to reject an image because It's shot in digital nor be a slave to the analog process by contact printing original negs.
I'm posting this thread to start a dialog about the philosophy of platinum/palladium printing and the hybrid methods.
A lot of people do it happily. Sandy King does a lot of digital negatives for carbon printing, and he is active on the Large Format Photography Forum and Hybidphoto.com with these topics.
You are well on the road to enlightenment.
Some of the best photographic work today is a hybrid mixture.
Irving Penn would be using any and all means of perfecting his prints.. he was obsessive in his experimentations.
Though using an all analoque method of producing platinums, silver or other processes it totally acceptable.
If I could lug a 20 x24 film camera around and make contacts directly from the original with contrast reducing and expansion masks on top I would also think be hard to beat.
This is just not practical for me, to consider physically and financially, also even though I use an 8x10 camera, I prefer looking at larger prints so I do need at some times to go the hybrid route.
I have tried discussing the merits of the hybrid process here and basically most of the APUG community does not want to hear about it and that is ok with me. I am not sure how far this thread will get with this dialog about hybrid .
Originally Posted by Mainecoonmaniac
Based on my observations, I'm not sure that saying "most" is accurate. From recent comments in another thread, it appears a large portion of the APUG community are using both technologies; only a few seem to have a rabid dislike for things digital.
Originally Posted by Bob Carnie
A number of APUG members who enjoy using hybrid processes are also members of DPUG as well, at least I am. I find both forums interesting and track them both. It can be hard to separate analog and digital now days but I find having the two forums helpful. Just my 2 cents.
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I primarily shoot and print with full analogue means. I have played around with digital negatives, created from digital capture and from scanned color or black and white negatives. As for the final print quality in a platinum print, I don't really see a difference. Nevertheless, in my own shooting, the images are different. This is mainly because the tools at the taking stage are different. Just as my silver LF and MF images are different, if I shoot with a small camera, film or digital, the image will be different from one shot on 8x10 or 16x20. Personally, I enjoy the process of shooting the larger cameras, even though they greatly limit the subject matter. I work differently with large format. The difference shows up in the final images, but it is a difference in character, not print quality.
I'm not the type of person that sees the world in black and white. I think there's a false dichotomy of digital and analog. The world exist in shades of gray. (18% gray) . Those who are rabidly anti-digital don't fit view of photography. Successful immigrants that assimilate throw out what they can't use in the new world and adapt things that are useful for them. I love analog photography, but I'm not dogmatic about it.
I'm 1000% with Bob here . At some point we'll all have to face reality. I've just returned from a five day workshop with Paul Taylor at Renaissance Press doing copper plate Photogravure. It was one of the best experiences ever and the resulting prints are more beautiful than almost anything I've ever seen. The first two days of the workshop were spent discussing and making digital positives using QTR, Piezography and Mark Nelson's PDN. I'm not going into details here, as this thread will I'm sure be zapped in no time, BUT after recently also making digi-negs for silver printing, I am 100% confident in saying that all gaps have been closed. I can make a silver print from a digi neg that could MAYBE only be differentiated from an enlarger one under a microscope. it would be foolish to deny all the incredible possibilities that this brings, including promoting darkroom printing to digital users and to the many who still shoot but only scan film and would be interested in making wet prints without using an enlarger.
To answer your question: no, there is no difference at this point, in a print made from a good digital negative and conventional one. In the case of photogravure, which I will be doing a lot more of, there simply isn't a choice for film positives so I am simply grateful that digi-world allows me to continue and perfect one of the most (if not THE most) beautiful and satisfying processes.
the gap is closed for some but for others it is wide as ever.
these people are angry, still, at a whole range of things
and while they often times rant about how "the otherside"
tries to cram their POV down the throat of an analog devote
it is equal on both sides. to hold ground i guess.
i think the gap is pretty much closed, and current technology and
old technology have found a common ground. if my ink-thing was the right
kind i'd be making OHP film now, but i can't see spending the $$ on toys
these days when i have a 5x20x8"trench cut in my front yard and 600+ bricks
ready to herringbone, windmill and common bond ...
I am visiting Sandy next month, I want to bone up on carbon theory before I start mixing some platinums and carbons together... from digital output negs.
He is not active on hybrid whatsoever, lots of people bitch slapped him there and he left , along with a whole bunch of us as well.
Originally Posted by Greg Davis