I want a modern folder. Nothing too fancy. Well built like my Ensign but add in higher shutter speeds [say 1/500] Move the controls so changing the shutter speed doesn't change the F stop. A view finder would be nice-) All small enough to fit in a jacket pocket when folded.
A view camera shutter that could be stuck on the camera and the lensboards put in front of it. More speeds then a packard. Not too many more. Or I could just live with a packard with a couple of speeds.
Oh and a camera that works perfectly in -20 temps while keeping me warm.
I wouldn't mind having a 8x10 film holder which has a big ccd or cmos chip in it. Then instead of proofing with a polaroid you could slip in this holder, and see a rough preview of your shot. The holder could be calibrated to the exact specifications of your film. I think that would be a good use of digital technology mixed with analog. The back of the holder could also double as an lcd screen which shows you the preview.
I also look forward to advances in film which will push the envelope even further. There is a lot going on now with nanotechnology. I suppose it would be possible to have a nano emulsion which has zero gaps and is 100% halide molecule next to halide molecule. I suppose it would increase the film resolution by factors of 10, 100, who knows...
I've followed this thread from the first post and enjoyed it immensely, it's probably one of the most interesting and civil discussions that I've read in any newsgroup, thank you all. Having had that pleasure for so long I think it's about time I contributed so here I go.
I don't think that there will be any further significant changes in either analog cameras or materials. Too much investment has gone into digital for the grey accountants to allow more money to be spent on analog without the return they demand. I attended an Ilford UK dinner in December and the Sales Director announced that they would not develop any new traditional black and white products although they would modify the existing products from time to time. Two years ago over 80% of their turnover came from traditional black and white, within the next 12 months more than 50% will come from digital. The industry is changing and we should be prepared to be involved with the change in order that the digital process produces what we want and not what the bean counters give us. Again, I can speak from experience for until 10 years ago I was a bean counter for a multi national company so I know what motivates them.
For many years I have been involved in testing new films and papers Ilford have developed, they have now asked me to do the same with digital. Before anyone begins to worry about Ilford's committment to the traditional skills and materials I do know that they will always be there for those who wish to use only analog materials. However, the feeling that I have from the views expressed in this thread is that most of us agree that traditional and digital can and will sit comfortably side by side, and so it should.
Having got the boring factual bit out of the way I'll put in my 2p worth (2cent for our friends across the pond). The debate on craft and vision has produced a number of different views and I don't believe that any is wrong. Aggie made the point that it is very personal and subjective and in a thread like this one we can only relate our own preferences and hope that others will benefit from them. Certainly some of the comments passed here have motivated me to reconsider some of my ideas.
Without doubt the mechanical process involved in making a digital print is unsatisfactory but it is still in it's infancy and it will get better so we have to work with it. No matter what the process, digital or analog, for me the object of making an image is to communicate a feeling, emotion or even a political point to those who choose to view the final print. To that end I always produce the best interpretation and quality on THE DAY I make the print for my prints tend to change with my mood. For that reason I always set out to create the expressive negative of any exposure that I make for I believe that this will help me in making different interpretations of the same image. Whilst it is true that we can teach the craft but not vision I also think that as we improve our skills in the craft of photography a logical benefit is that the vision also improves.
Just another data point on the "death of film"--I just got back from B&H and when I asked for a box of Tri-X 8x10", the guy at the film counter said he was surprised at how much sheet film and LF Polaroid they've been selling lately. It's not a bad thing.
Les, I very much agree with your last statement on the relation between craft and vision.
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What motivates me? It kind of depends. I don't particularly care for abstract art in any medium. Well, I guess that isn't entirely true because I kind of like Salvador Dali, but I don't care for most abstract art in any medium.
My tastes are quite different when moving from sculpture to painting to photography to music. In sculpture, I find I like complexity and action. A captured snapshot, a point of decision. State of dress is not relevant.
Paintings, however, are different. I often like the action and complxity, but I also like some still life. Surprisingly, I don't like most nude paintings (well paintings where there is just nudity and nothing else.
Photographs are more complex still. I like the highly detailed high speed photographs, the subtle colors and textures of landscape photpgraphs, and I find that I like many of the nude studies much more than I like the equivalent paintings.
Music is too complex to go into here.
In response to your questions, obviously since the adjunct usage has yet to be determined, one would be foolish to dismiss digital usage out of hand. That would indicate both stupidity and prejudice. Secondly in your scenario of the stand alone printer, I would hope that you would be able to transport your electrical generator with you if in the field. If in the studio, it would seem that the evaluative snap shot would be of limited usage since one would not be making a definitive evaluation since the equivalent lens selection and perspective controls would probably not extend to the digital camera.
I guess that the usage that I would use digital for would be to take "snap shots" of all of my analog equipment for the purpose of advertising their sale on Ebay when the digital age fully arrives.
I find a digital camera handy for digitizing negs and transparencies in formats for which I don't have a scanner, and when I don't need the resolution of a drum scan. I do this using a Coolpix 990 (3.3 Mpix) on a copy stand with a 5000K light box. This provides plenty of resolution for the web, and I've even produced a file for a friend from a 5x7" transparency with this method that was used to produce a 4-color postcard announcing his solo exhibition. If you look at the images on my photo website, you can see the results. The 35mm images (the birds and a few others) were scanned with a Minolta Dimage Scan Dual (I), but most of the others were with the CP990.
It's also handy to give a rough idea of lighting ratios in the studio (contrast is comparable to color slide film), particularly if I want to throw in a portable unit without a modeling lamp as an accent light.
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Aggie @ Jan 21 2003, 12:15 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>Next question,,,,, think about your responses on the craft verses art and such ....
Aggie, you are going a tad too fast for me to keep up.
The questions you pose are deep ones, and strike at the very essences of "what we do" and why we do it. There are many hot buttons here -
"What is Art?" - I've studied and struggled with that one for many moons now....
I seriously *don't know*. I've heard a lot of definitions - some significantly better than others (see: "There is NO *bad* Scot's Whisky - It's just that some is better than others). After - ahem - (mumble) years of chasing that question, I think I am farther from the answer than when I started. Additionally, NOW I am not at all sure that I even WANT to know - I feel more comforatble in accepting art as a matter of faith than I would in becoming some holy guru on a mountaintop - those mountaintops are COLD!
Art is- (Choose one from one or more of this extensively - and severely abbreviated list):
" -The lie that leads us to the truth" - Pablo Picasso
" -The encoded widow to the being of the artist on the other side." I really like this one.
" - Communication."
" - That mysterious conduit carrying emotional energy between human beings."
" - That which artists *do*"
I don't know about "is", but anyhow, related:
"But the artist persists because he has the will to create, and this is the magic power which can transform and transfigure and transpose and which will utimately be transmitted to others" - Anais Niin.
Now ... "What inspires me."
The one work of art that has had more of an effect on me that any other is Renoir's "Torse au Soleil" - painted in 1875. There is a phenomenon I call "Rapture of the Work"; that effect is hypnotic, obsessive, haunting -- I close my eyes and I *still* see it... That happens to me many times, but nowhere as intensely as when I first experienced this work.
There are *SO* many others - Edward Weston's "early" work... Robert Farber, Alfred Cheney Johnston, Horst, Zoltan Glass, Irving Penn - I could go on for days.
Now -- "Vision".
This could fill volumes. I agree with the idea that it cannot be "taught" - at least not in any traditional way that I know about. I think that there will be an 'infiltration' into that area, and it will change with experience. Every experince changes my being to some extent - my conditioning, my viewpoint, my conception of the world.
Vision is difficult "stuff". This idea has been beaten to death, but it is true: we all have our individual visions, particular to, and peculiar to, each one of us. We "see" things differently. To an artist (and everyone else, for that matter) our vision - our perception of the world - is THE most important part of our being.
That is the great pitfall in critiquing - When can we be constructive - providing suggestions that may be useful in expanding or enhancing another's vision, or - will we prove to be something negative - diluting and confusing the other person's style?
Try this for thought - it is the philosophy I've followed for some time now -
There are three kinds of art, as far as I am concerned:
1. The well done, finely crafted, technically "good", pleasant works. The stuff you'd hang on the wall of your living room.
2. The works that "Nail my flippers to the floor." The Enrtancers, the Enrapturers.
They usually have a pronounced emotional effect. I have real trouble "getting them out of my mind".
3. The works I don't understand - possibly the most important category. Someone else - a different "Being" found these to be significant - very possibly "enrapturing" in their vision. There is a strong probability that the fault of not understanding is mine - I simply don't know how to decode the window. With more study and contemplation, I might figure it out .... if I do, I've GROWN just a little bit - and that is a wonderful thing to have happen.
Note that in all of this there is no "Good" or "Bad". Certainly there are differences, but to try to 'rank" art is far too dependent on each individual vision, and I cannot with any kind of conscience claim my vision to be "better" than anyone else's.
I'll apologize for the long-windedness here - I'm trying to keep pace.
Ed Sukach, FFP.