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Thread: Film is Racist

  1. #31
    ROL
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    Quote Originally Posted by analoguey View Post
    Wonder if all B&W film isnt racial then - only includes 'two races'... No? :-P

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    NO. (see my first post)

    If that is what you think about monochrome film and its ability to resolve tonality, you seriously need to get out and look at actual fine art prints, instead of wasting time on photo forums.

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    I'm not a portrait photographer per se, but every now and then someone pays me to shoot and print a portrait commission, often of couples.
    Going clear back to Kodak Vericolor, and everything since, I've been fairly amazed at how well Kodak color negative films respond to a wide
    range of skintones - maybe not colors in nature, but people. Even mixed races in the same shot. The notion that these films were in any way
    skewed one way or the other seems to me, from the practical working standpoint, to be a nonsense kind of statement.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROL View Post
    Originally Posted by analoguey<br />
    Wonder if all B&amp;W film isnt racial then - only includes 'two races'... No? :-P<br />
    <br />
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    <b><i>NO.</i></b> (see my first post)<br />
    <br />
    If that is what you think about monochrome film and its ability to resolve tonality, you seriously need to get out and look at actual fine art prints, instead of wasting time on photo forums.<br/>
    Uh oh.
    Someone missed the Smiley and obvious play on words.



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    Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
    . Even mixed races in the same shot. The notion that these films were in any way
    skewed one way or the other seems to me, from the practical working standpoint, to be a nonsense kind of statement.
    How do you meter for a mixed race portrait? IIRC, you shoot ULF so no built-in meters?

    Do you say, meter for the darker tones, then compensate during dev and printing? (or vice-versa?)



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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    At the Kodak labs one year long long ago, we had a photo of a green dog. Everyone "knew" something was wrong and so they sent it back as a reject to be reprinted. After many tries, the green dog was white!

    The customer returned his photos. His dog, he said, had fallen into a can of green paint and they took pictures of him before they cleaned him up. We reprinted the pictures.

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    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  6. #36
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Well, if you really care about the argument, you should read instead the academic paper that's behind most of the Buzzfeed's article:

    http://www.cjc-online.ca/index.php/j...view/2196/2055

    The main argument hinges on the question of whether or not film companies could have worked harder on a wider dynamic range to better reproduce darker skin tones.
    Using film since before it was hip.


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    I think the scientists at Kodak busted their tails to make film as good as is earthly possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Hardy-Vallée View Post
    Well, if you really care about the argument, you should read instead the academic paper that's behind most of the Buzzfeed's article:

    http://www.cjc-online.ca/index.php/j...view/2196/2055

    The main argument hinges on the question of whether or not film companies could have worked harder on a wider dynamic range to better reproduce darker skin tones.
    Sadly I read it as a spoof about sexism in the entertainment industry, perhaps it was a possion d'avril?
    Film or sensors do not recognise skin if the companies could have improved dynamic range they would have but they would have been looking for more sales not happier people.
    It is difficult photographing people with different skin together or zebras, even in monochrome.

  9. #39
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    As I understand it, Kodak's criteria for a number of products varied regionally. Materials that were used in, for example, Japan were often adjusted to reflect local needs when compared to, for example, Northern Europe.

    I have little doubt that standards that were designed for mass markets were best suited to averages.

    We have a large population in our area that are ethnic Chinese. The people I talk to in the photofinishing trade tell me that they get complaints from people who are ethnic Chinese and who want their photos to make them look more, not less, "white".

    Is it racist to respond to what your customers ask for? Maybe?

    As far as I can tell, the evolution of Kodak film technology has always been toward more accurate colour. The fact that that may have improved reproduction of darker skin tones more obviously than lighter skin tones may actually be a coincidence.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by analoguey View Post
    How do you meter for a mixed race portrait? Do you say, meter for the darker tones, then compensate during dev and printing? (or vice-versa?)
    If I was shooting film, I'd give a nice rich exposure and run it in Diafine. It's almost fool proof.
    Parker Smith Photography, Inc.
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    Commercial & Fine Art Photography
    Portrait Photography



 

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