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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    [SNIP] There are only about 100 Photo Engineers left in the entire world. in 100 years, who will be around to teach it? Right now, out of the total membership of APUG, only about 20 are interested or are willing to act as you say may take place. So, the knowledge may be lost.

    PE
    This disturbs me, as I've heard of this knowledge vaporization happening before. As an example, there were some large glass castings done way-back-when (IIRC they may have been lenses for a lighthouse) via a method which has been lost in history and has proven extremely challenging- so far, impossible- to replicate.

    It can- and does, unfortunately- happen.
    I would love to use the "FP" flash setting on my camera, but I cannot find "Flash Powder" anywhere... such is life.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwross View Post
    Ten dedicated people are enough to nuture and grow the Art of silver gelatin. "Secrets" ?? Not so much - just skills to be learned and shared (And, there's absolutely no reason to assume commercial film and paper will ever go completely away. One generation of photo chemist will teach the next -- just as it's always been. Chemical photograpy can continue without Kodak or RIT.)

    d
    Denise;

    One dedicated person such as yourself can make an awful lot happen that is good for the future of analog, but it can only go so far in the absence of specific knowledge. I'll give an example..

    Good reciprocity and LIK in emulsions is obtained by the use of Iridium in an emulsion. A bottle of Iridium Chloride or Nitrate runs about $300 / gram, is stored under Argon and is used at the rate of 6x10^-6 moles / mole of Silver. So, you open a $300 bottle and use 1 mg and the rest goes bad within the week. Well, unless you can share (and once it is open you cannot ship it because it goes bad!) It so happens that there is a method to treat it so that it will keep for about 5 years. Did you know that? Does anyone on APUG willing to make emulsions know any of this?

    This is the type of knowledge that will be lost.

    Recenly, the inventor of 2e sensitization passed away! I know nothing about how to do this, even though a friend did all of the Organic and Physical Chemistry on our napkins at Red Lobster back a while ago, and no one else is willing to teach it. This would have to be re-invented essentially from scratch.

    How many layers can we hand coat or machine coat at one time? Well, I've hand coated up to 6 layers but there are "tricks" and with machines, don't ask how. I was never an expert. I know a bit of the technology behind it, but I handed in all of my charts and graphs when I retired. I could not do this now if I tried. And back then, 14 layers was a snap. I've even got my notes but reasoning backwards will only give me the answer to one coating set, not all possible sets.

    The list goes on and on and old formulas and methods, while useful, are "quaint" in some ways. It is akin to a teenager being asked to drive downtown to shop and instead of keys to the car, he is given a buggy whip! The poor kid doesn't even know how to hitch the horses! My dad never taught me how to do this. Our house was equipped with gas lamps, but I could not replace mantles or clean chimneys! No one taught me how. I can guess, but when I tried, I broke the chimney!

    Analog can be perpetuated, but it is not easy to do it well.

    PE

  3. #43
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    You know, my friend, we are talking to (or perhaps "at") different corners of the room. I offically cry "Uncle!". While the passing of a life is always sad, I don't personally care that 2e sensitization is information lost. Nor am I ever likely to buy iridium. Nor make Kodachrome or any other type of machine multi-coated product. My horse and buggy are very compatible with buggy whip technology. I don't want nor expect to drive an emulsion automobile. What I did do this afternoon was take a camera bag full of film I made myself out in the wilds to photograph. Great fun. I expect that all the exposures will be technically fine. Whether or not any of the images rise to "art" is limited by my vision, skills, and luck, not by my materials. That's all I ask. Easy? Not always. I've got a Canon Powershot for easy. But immensely satisfying? Yes.

    Handmade silver gelatin film, plates, and paper are as do'able as wet plate, albumen, or Pt/Pd. It is not necessary to damn the do'able for the unattainable.

    re commercial production: I think the prospects look pretty good right now. I'll leave it to Ilford and crew to decide on the fate of that corner of the room. They seem to being doing an excellent job.

  4. #44

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    As state by PE, once a technology is gone, it is so much harder to get back. I worked for a camera manufacturer in Japan and when I asked them about possibly reintroducing some of their old rangefinders in a digital version, they said the same thing--the expertise is just not there anymore for it to be possible. When Nikon reintroduced the S2 rangefinder in 2000, it was one of its most expensive products because the company had to relearn how to make the thing.

  5. #45

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    One thing is sure about photography 100 years from now, it will still use light and people will still be arguing over the superiority of Leica optics...

  6. #46
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    Hikari;

    Very good comments from an expert in this general area.

    Denise;

    One of your comments on Thelightfarm is on Solarizatiaon! Would you like to solve that problem?

    If the answer is no, then you have to live with it, but don't speak for the rest of the world. Maybe someone does.

    PE

  7. #47
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    I feel like I'm in the middle of that same room, hearing it from both corners!

    A large component of my journey is an attempt at retracing the footsteps of the brilliant/lucky/devoted/cuckoo people whose work brought photographic materials to the heights that we enjoy today. Of course, many of the innovations are not possible in a modest home lab, but I would certainly not want to discard any available knowledge because it is not of immediate practical use. It gives me a particular thrill to pull a print on hand-made paper, slow and fickle though it may be, I love the results. On the other hand, I thirst for knowledge of the beautiful chemistry (yes, chemistry is beautiful) and mechanics that lie within the 'modern' materials. I'd hate to see this journey reach a stop sign because there's nobody left that "knows".
    - Ian

  8. #48
    MDR
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    Denise and PE your both right the knowledge of how to make highly complicated emulsions will probably be lost ( I still pray for a wonder that fries all digitalcameras and proves the superiority of film) but I also believe that there will a small group of gearhead or is it emulsionhead that will work with homemade Film and paper just like there still are artists that use oil painting made from poppy oil instead of lineseed oil and with hard to get pigments like real Dresdner Green. One thing is sure that the way we make photographs will change in the next 100 years if we're lucky the world will make a u-turn and rediscover film if we're not everything will be digital or the next it thing after digital.

    Dominik

  9. #49
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    Someday one of us out here will be ready for iridium and solving the solarization problem and some of us will never care. I think you guys are talking about the difference between being an artist and an engineer. The artist wants to make it once and is happy with their result, the engineer needs to solve the problems and make it repeatable and reliable. That continuum has room for a lot of people on it and many will move to various points between the two extremes throughout their journey. Neither is right nor wrong, it's just about what you want to do and where you need to be.

  10. #50
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    I don't disagree.

    However, much can be totally lost if you are not careful because the creation of a photographic system is as much an art as it is engineering and that is part of the beauty of it and part of the weakness as well.

    Time will tell, but in the mean time, why take a chance.

    Please rethink some of the thoughts you expressed. See what you think in a broader context.

    Thanks.

    PE



 

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