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  1. #11
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arigram View Post
    I don't know what you people do with greek words anyway...
    The educated Romans learned to speak and read Greek. The less educated ones did not. Shakespeare knew this when he wrote the play Julius Caesar. He had a less educated Roman who was referring to not being able to understand something going on say "It is Greek to me."

    Unfortunately, the English language has never been able to recover from this and it has been all downhill for those of us who understand classical languages!

    Furthermore, Anglophiles, especially us Yanks, like to use Greek and Latin as a basis for root words rather than Anglosaxon. Its a cultural snob thing. :rolleyes:

    Steve

  2. #12
    arigram's Avatar
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    The word "plasma" usually means "creature", as in "shaped thing". In modern greek, "plasmatikos", is taken to mean "fake", as in "shaped in one's desire". The greek language has changed very little and most of the ancient words have not changed meaning in modern times, only usually have restricted their broader use.

    Going back to "plastic", one maybe could use the verb "platho" to describe "shaping the light" as one often does in photography, especially studio one. In greek it makes sense but still metaphorically as the action remains a physical one. Atleast to a greek speaker.
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  3. #13
    arigram's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stever View Post
    Furthermore, Anglophiles, especially us Yanks, like to use Greek and Latin as a basis for root words rather than Anglosaxon.
    Yet I have such trouble explaining the brotherly words of "sarcasm" and "irony" to a modern english speaker. They don't seem to get the correct meaning of them and understand the subtle but important difference. Classic authors of the english language seemed to have no problem with their use.

    Oh, maybe I should stop these "lessons" as I start to feel like a snob myself.

    But, how about the etymology of the word "etymology"...?
    aristotelis grammatikakis
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  4. #14
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    Word "plastic", in painting and photography too, means
    three dimensional impression (which is not really 3D) AND with fine shaped edges (or tones) as just hand can make it (in clay at the time).

    So the same object shot in washing light (say spot light) is not plastic for it has "sharp edge" between dark and light area. The same object exposed to diffuse light will have fine tones between dark to light and we can "like feel" its three dimensions, the way hand shape clay (plastic material).

    Hope it is clear.

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  5. #15
    arigram's Avatar
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    Now that I think about it, the word could better used to describe digital alteration as it is so extensive and the result most often looks very manipulated and fake.
    aristotelis grammatikakis
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by arigram View Post
    Now that I think about it, the word could better used to describe digital alteration as it is so extensive and the result most often looks very manipulated and fake.
    That's more in tune with the 1960's use of the word after we were baptised in cheap polymers. We call someone who is shallow and phony "plastic". But get back in that time machine and go back to 1907 please before anyone had ever heard of modern plastics. I think Daniel is probably on the right track. I was thinking of beautiful 3 dimensionality which is the effect of tonality. That works well with a portrait lens maker of 100 years ago speaking of their lens in terms of plastic.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

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  7. #17
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    Jim- Bakelite was invented in 1907. And as someone else here mentioned, Celluloid was invented in 1856.

    A quote from the Wikipedia article on Celluloid -

    English photographer John Carbutt intended to sell gelatin dry plates when, in 1879, he founded the Keystone Dry Plate Works. The Celluloid Manufacturing Company was contracted for this work by means of thinly slicing layers out of celluloid blocks and then removing the slice marks with heated pressure plates. After this, the celluloid strips were coated with a photosensitive gelatin emulsion. It is not certain exactly how long it took for Carbutt to standardize his process, but it occurred no later than 1888. A 15 inch-wide sheet of Carbutt's film was used by William Dickson for the early Edison motion picture experiments on a cylinder drum Kinetograph. However, the celluloid film base produced by this means was still considered too stiff for the needs of motion picture photography.

    In the 1889, more flexible celluloids for photographic film were developed. Hannibal Goodwin and the Eastman Company both obtained patents for a film product; but Goodwin, and the interests he later sold his patents to, were eventually successful in a patent infringement suit against the Eastman Kodak Company. Nevertheless, the groundwork in these products was set for a photographic film, as opposed to a photographic plate, with all the implications that has for motion pictures.

    So even to Stieglitz, "Plastic" would have had the dual meaning it has today - both a thermoplastic substance and a descriptor for a type of artistic expression.

  8. #18
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    William Mortensen used "Plastic" lighting for some of his images. He discusses this tpe of lighting in his book "Pictorial Lighting".

    Obviously it had nothing to do with polymers.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  9. #19
    jimgalli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    Jim- Bakelite was invented in 1907. And as someone else here mentioned, Celluloid was invented in 1856.

    A quote from the Wikipedia article on Celluloid -

    English photographer John Carbutt intended to sell gelatin dry plates when, in 1879, he founded the Keystone Dry Plate Works. The Celluloid Manufacturing Company was contracted for this work by means of thinly slicing layers out of celluloid blocks and then removing the slice marks with heated pressure plates. After this, the celluloid strips were coated with a photosensitive gelatin emulsion. It is not certain exactly how long it took for Carbutt to standardize his process, but it occurred no later than 1888. A 15 inch-wide sheet of Carbutt's film was used by William Dickson for the early Edison motion picture experiments on a cylinder drum Kinetograph. However, the celluloid film base produced by this means was still considered too stiff for the needs of motion picture photography.

    In the 1889, more flexible celluloids for photographic film were developed. Hannibal Goodwin and the Eastman Company both obtained patents for a film product; but Goodwin, and the interests he later sold his patents to, were eventually successful in a patent infringement suit against the Eastman Kodak Company. Nevertheless, the groundwork in these products was set for a photographic film, as opposed to a photographic plate, with all the implications that has for motion pictures.

    So even to Stieglitz, "Plastic" would have had the dual meaning it has today - both a thermoplastic substance and a descriptor for a type of artistic expression.

    OK, if I'm wrong I'm wrong. But you knew I was referencing art speak, not mechanics. I found a good paragraph here under plastic arts.

    Quote Originally Posted by ARTLEX
    plastic art and plastic arts - First of all, such uses of "plastic" very rarely refer to art made with petroleum byproducts, but instead to the original meaning of "plasticity or plastic quality" — sculptural, modeled, or malleable. The singular form, "plastic art" generally refers to three-dimensional art, such as sculpture, as distinguished from drawing and painting; also, two-dimensional art which strives for an illusion of depth. The plural form, "plastic arts" generally refers to one or more of the visual arts, which include sculpture, architecture, painting, drawing, and the graphic arts; as distinguished from music, poetry, literature, dance, and theater. The terms "plastic art" and "plastic arts" are used much more by British than by American writers.
    A good reaffirmation of what has been said well above. I've answered my own question. Thanks all.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

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  10. #20

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    I recall an essay by George Orwell, written in the 1930s I think. Pretty sure the topic was bad writing. He really got stuck into arts writers who were using the word 'plastic' in all their articles. According to Orwell it was just trendy misuse of an obscure word.

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