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  1. #1

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    " Hand printed" prints

    When we make prints in the darkroom we remove a sheet of paper from it's box and place it on the easel. Then while the paper is being exposed we may dodge and burn areas of the print using masks or using our hands.

    Then the sheet of paper is placed into the tray of developer using our hands of course, and then we agitate the tray or print again using our hands. Same then applies to the stop and fix. Then a darkroom printers print will go through various stages of washing and toning again by hand.

    The print will then be dried and if needed spotted.....by hand...and so on etc etc

    So I think it's fair to say a traditional silver print is " hand printed "

    So what about digital photographers?

    I have seen many websites of digital photographers who state there prints are hand printed or they print all their prints by hand etc.

    Are these statements stretching the imagination just a little too far or are they very misleading statements, full stop?

    Personally I think the latter, what are your thoughts on the subject ?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firestarter View Post
    When we make prints in the darkroom we remove a sheet of paper from it's box and place it on the easel. Then while the paper is being exposed we may dodge and burn areas of the print using masks or using our hands.

    Then the sheet of paper is placed into the tray of developer using our hands of course, and then we agitate the tray or print again using our hands. Same then applies to the stop and fix. Then a darkroom printers print will go through various stages of washing and toning again by hand.

    The print will then be dried and if needed spotted.....by hand...and so on etc etc

    So I think it's fair to say a traditional silver print is " hand printed "

    So what about digital photographers?

    I have seen many websites of digital photographers who state there prints are hand printed or they print all their prints by hand etc.

    Are these statements stretching the imagination just a little too far or are they very misleading statements, full stop?

    Personally I think the latter, what are your thoughts on the subject ?
    I think they mislead although it's possible to do hand print digital with the digital de vere enlarger.

  3. #3
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    I believe it comes from the distinction from being produced by a separate commercial lab that does not put any correction or effort in, whether they mean darkroom or digital.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

    "No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." -Matthew 24:36

  4. #4

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    The world of photography is rapidly changing, and so does the definition of terms. If the buyer/consumer cares about them, it is up to them to learn what the term means and inquire what is actually meant by use of certain terms. This is not unique to photography but true in all consumer fields.

    I take a position of doing what I do because that's what I do. I don't necessary compare it with what anyone else does...
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  5. #5
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Pretty good point...

    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    The world of photography is rapidly changing, and so does the definition of terms. If the buyer/consumer cares about them, it is up to them to learn what the term means and inquire what is actually meant by use of certain terms. This is not unique to photography but true in all consumer fields.

    I take a position of doing what I do because that's what I do. I don't necessary compare it with what anyone else does...

  6. #6
    cliveh's Avatar
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    You could say that any Photoshop manipulation is by hand, so I don't quite understand the OP question.

    “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

  7. #7

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    Any high school debating team could make the case either way. For instance is a print exposed in a darkroom using a roll paper easel, not dodged or burnt because it does not need it and developed dry to dry in a continuous machine hand made? This sort of stuff is really only important to those who view traditional methods as the only path to real photography. OzJohn

  8. #8
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    Part of the confusion comes from the long standing misuse of the term "print" for "photograph". The gelatin-silver picture produced in a traditional darkroom is just as much a photograph as a film negative. The only difference is that there is paper behind the light sensitive emulsion rather than film-base. If people stuck to the word "photograph" for pictures made out of light sensitive surfaces then the whole "hand printed" conundrum simply vanishes into thin air.

    When I banter with my digi-friends about hand-made art I suggest that making a gelatin-silver photograph in a darkroom with one's wrists handcuffed behind one's back is an insurmountable problem. The digi-printer in a similar fix merely has press the print button with a convenient part of his anatomy. And a second press with a different part of the anatomy (or via an assistant using the same part) yields a print-out identical to the first. So much for hands.
    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.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    The world of photography is rapidly changing, and so does the definition of terms. .
    I guess that's where it's at.

    I just think there is a big difference in the "hand" part when it comes to traditional printing compared to digital.

    Manipulating images using a keyboard and clicking print with a mouse doesn't seem hand made to me

  10. #10
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maris View Post
    Part of the confusion comes from the long standing misuse of the term "print" for "photograph". The gelatin-silver picture produced in a traditional darkroom is just as much a photograph as a film negative. The only difference is that there is paper behind the light sensitive emulsion rather than film-base. If people stuck to the word "photograph" for pictures made out of light sensitive surfaces then the whole "hand printed" conundrum simply vanishes into thin air.

    When I banter with my digi-friends about hand-made art I suggest that making a gelatin-silver photograph in a darkroom with one's wrists handcuffed behind one's back is an insurmountable problem. The digi-printer in a similar fix merely has press the print button with a convenient part of his anatomy. And a second press with a different part of the anatomy (or via an assistant using the same part) yields a print-out identical to the first. So much for hands.
    I would suggest that making a Photoshop manipulation with your hands hancuffed behind your back is just as difficult.

    “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

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