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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjsphoto
    No.
    Okay, why not (and what about the other example, negative, scanned, printed on silver paper).

    I'm asking, logically, why isn't it a photograph?

    A photograph, at it's simplest definition, is writing with light. Some definitions even reduce it purely to the capture - the capturing of the image on some light sensitive material (after all, when people look at work in a book or a newspaper, they don't actually say "hey, look at that ink based reproduction... etc", they say "I saw a really powerful photo in the paper..." etc).

    But even those that aren't that narrow, define photography as the capturing of light (or radiant energy) on some sensitised material and then the printing of that on some form of sensitized material (with all the usual wrinkles for projected/back lit transparencies, X-Rays etc).

    And these definitions have never relied on saying something like "to be a photograph it is required that it is working with a metallic salt from start to finish"

    Neither is quality a defining parameter "my analogue prints still look better than digital" - well, so what, my silver gelatin prints look a hell of a lot better than many old POP prints I've dealt with.

    These definitions have served photography in all it's forms and permutations through the last 160 odd years or whatever.

    The fact is, that whether we like it or not, the majority of the standard, accepted definitions of photography also apply to a lot of digital "photography" and even more so to the various hybrid process, such as the two examples - digital capture/traditional print, traditional neg/scan/traditional print.

    That we might not happen to like it, doesn't change that

    As soon as you start to narrow the definition down you start to cut out things that have, in the past, been considered photography or photographs.

    Now, I'm not just saying this to be bloody minded, but rather because if all we can really offer is essentially some form of emotional or knee jerk response then we really just end up ghettoising ourselves.

    Because in the end it isn't us who decides "what is a photograph". It's the wider populations of users of photography of all kinds, and also the museums and archives that are the depositories of photographs.

    I think some of us secretly (or perhaps not so secretly) enjoy being seen as a cranky old bunch of Luddites - but if that's so, it's doing nothing to further the cause of analogue photography at all.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by don sigl
    Ralph

    Tim: Call it rententive if you want. I'd probably classify it as purist.

    Regards,
    surely a purist wouldn't be using film though? They'd still be using plates at best.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by smieglitz
    Only the more knowledgable collectors or fellow practitioners will care enough to ask or consider the difference important enough.

    Joe
    I'd think you'd probably have to say only "some" of the more knowledgeable collectors . For many - private or institutional, it's not really an issue

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim atherton
    For many - private or institutional, it's not really an issue
    Yeah, they are the ones who have purchased color ink jet prints that have faded in just a few years.

    Here is something else to ponder. This photographer sells silver gelatin prints. Are they real photogrpahs?

    http://www.dominicrouse.com/index.html

    For that matter is he a photographer?

    We report, you decide.
    Don Bryant

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by donbga
    Yeah, they are the ones who have purchased color ink jet prints that have faded in just a few years.

    Here is something else to ponder. This photographer sells silver gelatin prints. Are they real photogrpahs?

    http://www.dominicrouse.com/index.html

    For that matter is he a photographer?

    We report, you decide.
    Because he does montage or because he uses some digital?

    If the former, photographers have been doing that since the beginning.

  6. #26
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    I believe as tim pointed out that they are indeed "photographs".

    Any image captured to me is a "photograph".

    Is it art though? Photography is the red-headed step-child of the art world. I believe that a digitally manipulated image has its place. Photojournalism, portraiture, commecial etc.

    I have entered the digital world this year, I have been impressed what I can do with it but I am also realistic. I know that nothing I shoot with it will ever grace my walls in the form of a fine B&W print.

    Sure its easier, I can scan a 4x5 neg and make it look better on my screen that I would have thought possible, but thats not a print is it? Its intangible to me and even if I were able to print it and have look every bit as good as a fiber print on the newest printer, I wouldn't.

    There is something to be said for craft. I respect someone who can go into a darkroom and make a stunning print. It glows. I also know that it took years of practice and I know that his/her hands have molded it into the print I see before my eyes.

    The digital world is very seductive. It makes life easy, but is easy better?

    I believe for most of my color needs digital will fit the bill, but I still prefer to make my B&W prints myself.

  7. #27
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    All this happened 15 years or so ago in the computer world. Hackers were highly regarded, skilled programmers and general wizkids. Then the general press got hold of the term, misunderstood it and applied it to the then new breed of computer baddies. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the insiders of the computer world ensued. Letters To The Editor were dispatched. Emails were sent. Comp.os.linux.admin filled with posts... But all to no avail. To 99.999% of the population a hacker is someone who breaks into other people's computers - that fight is over.

    When it comes to language, the many overrule the few - however misinformed the many may be. It is pointless bewailing the status quo: it is a digital fait accompli (where's all this Latin & French coming from all of a sudden???). You can quote dictionary definitions until your tongue drops out, but everyday usage operates at many orders of magnitude faster than the printing of new dictionary editions. If most people call an inkjet print originating from a 2 megapixel cameraphone a "photograph", then that is what it is - by definition. Getting involved in semantic arguments about what constitutes "a photograph" or "a photographer" is fruitless and as with all things in the real world, fraught with complications and exceptions that will rapidly have you spinning in ever decreasing circles until the universe realises you have passed your own event horizon and you disappear completely (this happens more often than people think - I mean, who has heard from Scarpatti recently?)...

    We wet/chemical/traditional/analogue/call-it-what-you-will photographers need to differentiate our methods on their own merits, and not try to maintain sole ownership of a term that no longer belongs to us alone. That fight is also over.

    Cheers, Bob.

  8. #28
    Sportera's Avatar
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    Amen Bob.

  9. #29
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    When was the time people started to call alternative process alternative ? and who did ?.
    I wouldn't call silver gelatin alternative, because silver gelatin was standard process when I started photography and it still is for me.
    Someday, people who started photography with digital thingies would call silver gelatin alternative, but I wouldn't. I wouldn't care.

    I thought music CDs have marks like AAD ADD DDD meaning record/edit/or something. People who loves to classify something should have made those marks for photography.

    AAA, DDD or whatever, music is music, photograph is photograph. I just love to have my photographs to be AAA.
    For me, digital things are much more alternative than silver gelatin.
    kunihiko kario

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim atherton
    Because he does montage or because he uses some digital?

    If the former, photographers have been doing that since the beginning.
    The latter. Of course we know that montage has been done forever.

    Rouse's prints are made from 4x5 negatives which are enlarged on to silver gelatin paper.

    So is a photogravure a photograph?

    My point is, that one goes down a slippery slope when we start splitting hairs about what does and does not conform to a strict narrow definiton about photographics prints.
    Don Bryant

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