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  1. #21
    Aggie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mitchell
    I've never know a photographer who doesn't consider darkroom work pure drudgery. Sometimes supremely exhilarating, yes. But always necessary, and always drudgery. Especially when you have to clean up after a session is over and you're tired, and it's late, and you've got to be bright eyed and bushy tailed in a few hours when you're back in the real world. Perhaps Mr. Barnbaum doesn't have to clean up his own darkroom. Replacing the traditional wet darkroom with a computer can make it all a pleasure again, and THAT, not dogged dedication to a grueling archaic process, is what makes for great photography.
    Bruce cleans his own darkroom and very well. He also is one of the luddites who doesn't care much for computers. You should meet him. He is a very warm and caring personable man. I'm sure many here will voice the same sentiment.

    BTW I don't consider darkroom work drudgery. I think of it as magic.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mitchell
    I've never know a photographer who doesn't consider darkroom work pure drudgery. Sometimes supremely exhilarating, yes. But always necessary, and always drudgery. Especially when you have to clean up after a session is over and you're tired, and it's late, and you've got to be bright eyed and bushy tailed in a few hours when you're back in the real world. Perhaps Mr. Barnbaum doesn't have to clean up his own darkroom. Replacing the traditional wet darkroom with a computer can make it all a pleasure again, and THAT, not dogged dedication to a grueling archaic process, is what makes for great photography.

    Could not disagree more Bill, in my own case I do not mind darkroom work at all - so there goes the first statement. Clean up is necessary with any task, Yes even computers need clean house keeping. It just depends on what YOU enjoy. I work with computers day in and day out, THAT is drudgery..be it 8-5 or 2 a.m. - it pays the bills, but provides no thrills.

    Hope you get as much enjoyment from your new technology that I do from something you see as grueling and archaic. Good Luck
    Mike C

    Rambles

  3. #23
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mitchell
    Replacing the traditional wet darkroom with a computer can make it all a pleasure again, and THAT, not dogged dedication to a grueling archaic process, is what makes for great photography.
    You might change your tune about that if you ever see any of Bruce's work. From the tone of your post I discern that you haven't. Believe me, he takes great pleasure in producing his art. Even if he didn't he would still produce great photography. And I'm also convinced that if digital processes could give him better prints, he would use them.

    While his methods are in many respects diametrically opposed, both aesthetically and technically, to those of my photographic mentors, I recognize him as one of the greatest of contemporary masters. He's also a profoundly effective teacher.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by c6h6o3
    You might change your tune about that if you ever see any of Bruce's work. From the tone of your post I discern that you haven't. Believe me, he takes great pleasure in producing his art. Even if he didn't he would still produce great photography. And I'm also convinced that if digital processes could give him better prints, he would use them.

    While his methods are in many respects diametrically opposed, both aesthetically and technically, to those of my photographic mentors, I recognize him as one of the greatest of contemporary masters. He's also a profoundly effective teacher.
    Very well said!
    Tom Hoskinson
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    Everything is analog - even digital :D

  5. #25
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    [QUOTE=Bill Mitchell Perhaps Mr. Barnbaum doesn't have to clean up his own darkroom. Replacing the traditional wet darkroom with a computer can make it all a pleasure again, and THAT, not dogged dedication to a grueling archaic process, is what makes for great photography.[/QUOTE]

    Bruce Barnbaum happily does the mundane things like cleaning darkrooms as well as being a great photographer, printer and teacher. As it happens I don't agree with his comments on digital but I know for sure that Bruce has given much thought to his very passionately held views and I respect them. I also think that your description of great photography is a long way wide of the mark. Great photography, Mr Mitchell, lies in the content of what is on the paper and not in the pleasure of sitting in front of a computer or dogged dedication to a gruelling archaic process.
    "Digital circuits are made from analogue parts"
    Fourtune Cookie-Brooklyn May 2006

    Website: www.lesmcleanphotography.com

  6. #26
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mitchell
    I've never know a photographer who doesn't consider darkroom work pure drudgery. Sometimes supremely exhilarating, yes. But always necessary, and always drudgery. Especially when you have to clean up after a session is over and you're tired, and it's late, and you've got to be bright eyed and bushy tailed in a few hours when you're back in the real world. Perhaps Mr. Barnbaum doesn't have to clean up his own darkroom. Replacing the traditional wet darkroom with a computer can make it all a pleasure again, and THAT, not dogged dedication to a grueling archaic process, is what makes for great photography.
    I do NOT consider darkroom work to be "pure drudgery." I have been under real time pressure, and ... "Clean up after ..."?? Unique concept.

    What to me is far worse, is the clicking of keys on this infernal machine ... trying to manipulate a scan to something approaching half the quality of the original print.

    One of the most frustrating experiences I ever went through consisted of trying to make a "Custom" 16 x 20 print of a white house, taken on a cloudy day, surrounded by grass of indeterminant "green-ness" -- between seasons. This was from a Kodak "Gold" 35mm negative. I never made an acceptable print... after *many* tries. Frustrating, disheartening... overall unpleasantness ... but not boring or "drudgery".

    Immediately above my desk is a ship model of the Flying Cloud. Built entirely from the keel up... every plank, spar, mast, shroud, stay, davit and lifeboat... with the only exceptions being the ship's wheel and the anchor. Building that model consumed over three YEARS of time (I've been giving serious thought to carving a wheel and anchor from scratch). Drudgery ... no. A "Grueling, archaic process"? I hadn't thought of that work in quite that light. Maybe so.
    I could run down to the local model store, and buy an injection-molded plastic "Flying Cloud"... arguably "more perfect",... pop the pieces apart ... assemble G12 to E16... and be done in a month or two.

    That to me is a direct parallel to film and digital photography. One - the plastic one, is cheaper, easier, more cost effective ... but there is no question in my mind which one I would rather have in this glass case above my desk. Not even close.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  7. #27
    Joe Lipka's Avatar
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    Drudgery in the Darkroom? Only when you are developing sheet film in a tray. I hate that.

    I have seen Bruce's photographs, seen the 16 x 20 LensWork Gravures of Cathedrals and he is the real deal (but we have pretty much agreed on that). The first photographic workshop I attended was an Owens Valley Workshop with Bruce in Coos Bay, Oregon. That workshop pretty much got me headed in the correct photographic direction.

    As for photographic medium, I can appreciate any media if it is produced with craft and sensitivity, but for me to love a photograph is has to be metal on paper.....
    Two New Projects! Light on China - 07/13/2014

    www.joelipkaphoto.com

    250+ posts and still blogging! "Postcards from the Creative Journey"

    http://blog.joelipkaphoto.com/

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    I do NOT consider darkroom work to be "pure drudgery." I have been under real time pressure, and ... "Clean up after ..."?? Unique concept.

    What to me is far worse, is the clicking of keys on this infernal machine ... trying to manipulate a scan to something approaching half the quality of the original print.

    One of the most frustrating experiences I ever went through consisted of trying to make a "Custom" 16 x 20 print of a white house, taken on a cloudy day, surrounded by grass of indeterminant "green-ness" -- between seasons. This was from a Kodak "Gold" 35mm negative. I never made an acceptable print... after *many* tries. Frustrating, disheartening... overall unpleasantness ... but not boring or "drudgery".

    Immediately above my desk is a ship model of the Flying Cloud. Built entirely from the keel up... every plank, spar, mast, shroud, stay, davit and lifeboat... with the only exceptions being the ship's wheel and the anchor. Building that model consumed over three YEARS of time (I've been giving serious thought to carving a wheel and anchor from scratch). Drudgery ... no. A "Grueling, archaic process"? I hadn't thought of that work in quite that light. Maybe so.
    I could run down to the local model store, and buy an injection-molded plastic "Flying Cloud"... arguably "more perfect",... pop the pieces apart ... assemble G12 to E16... and be done in a month or two.

    That to me is a direct parallel to film and digital photography. One - the plastic one, is cheaper, easier, more cost effective ... but there is no question in my mind which one I would rather have in this glass case above my desk. Not even close.

    Ed,
    Thanks for that thought, that puts it into perspective of how I feel and why I went back to silver over pigment printing or whatever they call it this week. I do it for the same reasons and that makes me happy.

    Mike
    "Capturing an image is only one step of the long chain of events to create a beautiful Photograph” See my updated website: mandersenphotography.com

  9. #29
    RAP
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    Drudgery? I call sitting in a chair, playing with a mouse, expending far less energy then lifting a beer mug to my mouth, watching as my belly, hips, grow, and lower back shift to the right. I have personally cut my web time by about 75% and have lost pounds and inches. Was it the Greeks or the Romans that believed a physically fit body was necessary for intellectual, artistic and cultural achievements?
    Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.

  10. #30

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    I stand by my thesis.

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