Debating Color—And Digital—Photos As Art
"Art photographers have moved from arguing about color to debating the legitimacy of digitally-altered images
Feb. 24, 2006 - It’s really not worth the frustration to try to explain to someone who wasn’t around then about the war back in the ’70s when art photographers tried to introduce color into the mix. It’s like trying to get a grown-up to believe in the Easter Bunny. First you have to back up and explain that art photography at the time was—by habit if nothing else—almost completely black and white. Giants like Walker Evans had declared color “vulgar,” and although Evans would recant that judgment and make his own memorable color Polaroids late in life, the damage was done. If you wanted your work taken seriously, you left color photography to the fashion world and the family photo album."
Well, that's one more proof that art is not defined by medium but rather by practices. When practices change, so does the definition of art.
Using film since before it was hip.
"One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal
, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11
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do we have to have these arguments again?
why do we constantly attempt to justify or choices to others?
to reflect on another recent post, re what's wrong with the world, maybe it is this constant re-justification
Originally Posted by Ray Heath
Exactly my thoughts as well. Robert seems to be intent on beating the digital dog to death.
No, I'm simply posting a link to a web article, as food for thought.
Originally Posted by donbga
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I find the article interesting.
I also like your work, and appreciate both:
1) your commitment to analogue; and
2) your contribution here.
IMHO you provide an excellent example of how possible it is to both use digital processes as a part of your workflow, and still honour and support and enhance the purpose of this website.
Very interesting article written with insight and lucidity and only just a little hyperbole. The observation that a lavender tie (I think it was) may hold more interest than the face above it is important. Apart from the subject itself, black and white photographers have control only of value and contrast or lack thereof. Value AND color and contrast are very powerful tools. I think very few color photographers really know how to use these to make a photograph that has the merit of a competent painting. But when they do, the work is wonderful.
Robert, what are your thoughts on color negative film? I have been thinking about trying color in the darkroom.
art is about managing compromise
Unfortunately, I don't know any of them well enough to make a judgement, I've always used transparency film. There is just something about the "feel" of Velvia that I love, that I have not seen in a color negative process; probably the same reason some love Tri-X, some love TMax, some love HP5.
Originally Posted by avandesande
Color negative film is a good way to learn color darkroom processes or you can do Ilfochrome just as easily - it is just three chemicals, and with a Jobo processor, an easy job. I know that many will point out that Ilfochrome is difficult to work with because of its contrasty nature, but I've done it in the past quite successfully, without having to resort to contrast masks.
I would say try both, and settle on the one that works for you.
Originally Posted by MattKing
I appreciate the comments, I love the feel of the analog processes, and have always been happy with APUG and its mission. I've met a number of members in person, and am looking forward to meeting more in Toronto in May.