Originally Posted by Donald Miller
One of those would be my brother Dan. Another would be the guy with the gool fiberq website on old cameras. http://www.fiberq.com/cam/
Nope. Sorry Jim. Yer on your own on this one.
Originally Posted by Jim Chinn
You either walk the analogue walk under the power of your convictions, knowing what is best for your images, or you hop on the digital bus...just be sure to have a handfull of transfer tickets if you do
Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.
Lots of reasons for pessimism out there. But there's also a few rays of sunshine. One of my biggest surprises was browsing at photonet recently and discovering less negative attitude toward traditional photography and more posts having to do with film cameras. I really can't foresee knowledgeable people ridiculing traditional photographic works. There still seems to be a reluctance on the part of many galleries in considering digigraphs although that attitude will change.
I discount magazines and their editorial decisions completely. Commercial enterprises will always lean in the direction they see as being of the most benefit to them financially. They will try to be all things to all people and try to cater to the majority, just like a good old slimy politician.
Perhaps the biggest bright spot in the gloom is the information and materials available on the internet. It really has opened up possibilities for those of us who are engaging in marginally popular activities. If the digital storm had hit 25 years ago and the only information or products available were through the local camera store or newsstand, I would be SOL. Today, I can order what products I need or find other people with the same interests relatively easily.
Be of good cheer! We are becoming a unique, elite group. Enjoy it.
Well Jim, Think about these upcoming events - The Silver Conference, APUG Conference and the View Camera Conference will all be taking place over the next few months. If the predictions of doom and gloom were correct, do not think the folks involved would bother..so bottom line, there is still a buck to be made on traditional photography. Not what it was, but enough that these people think it worth while.
Maybe what you need it not sunshine but inspiration (did not make down for the Avedon exhibit here did you ) So get out, stay in...make some photos...use that new timer. All the fun toys we used to look forward to seeing are going away, but so many of the old toys we used to want, but could not afford - now we can...and they are just as much fun as before. Try some alternate process - make a VanDyke, try your hand at hand coating paper. Go to a gallery and find a print you love, get Rob Kendricks new book with the Cowboy Tin Types (it really is worth it)...now talk about a group of people that must hate to see all the automation replacing things...these guys are a what we grew up reading about, watching on TV....roping, branding, you get the idea. Things change....pretty much a cliche, but true none the less. How the change affects us is what is important, just because everyone else wants to point, click, download does not mean you have to. After all, how cool would it be if you were the last parent to shoot film at your kids graduation...and 30 years from now, they still had pictures from graduation....and no one else does? Now how cool do you think your kids will think you were then?
I agree with you that the popular trend is toward digital. But so what?
I consider myself to be an individual. I don't have to follow the herd - I can do whatever I damn well want to do.
A local group that I'm a part of is organizing a display of work at a local coffee shop, and I anticipate having something in that display. I may well be the only traditionalist in the bunch - both in the sense that the work I will be showing was done chemically, and that it was done with a large format camera.
Excuse me - I have to stop wasting time on the computer and write some checks (yes, the paper kind - I don't pay all my bills on line).
And I will be using a fountain pen with bottled ink to write those checks. Because I want to and the fact that the herd used those tacky ballpoints doesn't mean that I have to lower my standards to match them.
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With a glittering generality, I think digital will prevail where commerical interests rule. Hybrid technology (combination of digital and analog) will be successful in the serious amateur artist. Fully traditional analog photography will be practiced by a dedicated minority. This group (as evdenced by the 10,000 or so members of this site) will spend lots of dollars on their passion. This is good for those that run niche businesses to fill these need.
i just think it is a sad day when art schools have dropped most of the traditional photography courses ... risd has gotten rid of the lion's share of the classes... i guess it *is* marginalization ...
I'm certainly not planning on abandoning traditional unless the day comes when the materials are either unavailable or become to expensive for my budget and even if that happens I will still use a ULF camera part of the time with colodion or some other non-film alternative.
Originally Posted by MurrayMinchin
I will avoid the computer for as long as possible, because I simply find the end result to be of more value (for me at least) due to the hands on nature, the craft and decision making processes from deciding on the film to the paper to interpreting the neg in the print. I don't mean value from a money point of view, but more value as anything hand made compared to a machine made object.
What is currently bumming me out is that I have always thought that with collectors and even the general public who are interested in photography and grapics, there would always be a higher appreciation for anything done via a traditional method.
That is if there were two photographers, both with outstanding images and ideas in the print, both worthy of gallery representation, one with a digital print and one with a silver gelatin, the silver gelatin (or platinum) would be seen as a "superior product" based on the nature of the process.
I began to realize that we had better hope that a gelatin print is considered equal to a digital one, but what I fear is that eventually silver will be seen as the inferior medium. If that happens, then it is not long before the number of new or even current users of traditional methods dwindles to the point that mfg of materials ends with the exception of some 35mm film from China or Eastern Europe.
The optimist in me understands that there will always be a group of people who want to persue a more "pure" or hands on way of doing things from a satisfaction point of view, whether it is woodworking or painting, or restoring a classic automobile. I hope that as digital takes over that maybe a few galleries will specialize in traditional work preserving and enhancing the cache of silver and platinum prints. I hope that I few schools always provide an opportunity for students to explore film and the darkroom or that at least enough people will be able to continue to provide workshops in traditional methods.
It will be interseting to see what news comes out of the Ilford conference in March and then what buzz the APUG conference causes in May. For myself, I am going to try to quit reading the magazines for awhile, stick to APUG on the web and go get some overdue printing done in the darkroom today.
"Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
I'm still seeing plenty of traditional prints in New York galleries, and I still think the gallery owners and collectors are taking traditional prints seriously, even as they accommodate new digital work.
In the more traditional galleries, I've even noticed a bit of sheepishness about admitting that some of the work they are showing is digital (for instance, describing relatively straight Chromira/LightJet-type prints from film as chromogenic prints with no digital manipulation). While one might wish that they would just call a digital C-print a "digital C-print," the upside of this is a recognition that traditional prints are still accepted without question, and one has to be a bit cagey about presenting digital work in a photo gallery that caters to collectors of photographic prints (as opposed to a general art gallery that shows work in various media).
Traditional prints will open eyes tired by digital.
What significant event established the fine art photography market in the 70s? Was it some hippie post modern idea?
The answer is really quite simple, color had become the standard in magazines/advertising. B&W became special, and the impact of a B&W print much greater. It would be nice to think that digital process will also give analog art a boost.
art is about managing compromise