Black and White Photography Magazine
I see that with articles by Les and Baxter, APUG members are prominent in the February issue of this UK magazine. Well done.
Cogito, ergo sum.
I haven't even gotten the December issue yet, much less thinking about the February one.
Originally Posted by roy
A comment on one of the articles, which disappointed me.....
Article by Peter Hogan on stop and fix
This appeared almost to cross the line from article to endorsement of his own products. IMHO the manner in which the information was presented also represented a 'favourable and evidence free' presentation of the supposed facts.
One (especially novices) could easily easily take home the following messagesfrom the article:
1. Acid stop is bad for your film, stopping the reaction in some cases too quickly. It may cause outgassing (pinholes) and retculation.
2. Acid fix will almost certainly degrade your images, especially if you overfix (giving teh impression that this is easily done and almost innevitable with tabular films if you wish to remove the dye).
3. Wetting agent must be used with distilled water or it will not work.
4. To look after your negs and prints (as well as to produce the best results in the first place), using alkaline products is the only responsible thing to do (guess who supplies these).
My issues here, which have been covered I think elsewhere are:
a. How on earth have photographers managed over the years with acid fix and stop?
b. Overfixing can degrade "deliocate highlights". Is this not an error often touted by advocates of alkaline fix? Surely overfixing would degrade areas of little silver density on the neg ie the shadows or print highlights. I may have my facts wrong, but this seems much more likely. Small amounts of bleaching could cause shadow detail to disappear. I would have thought the considerable density in the areas of neg correlating to print highlights would be much more robust. It reads to me like he is talking about overfixing the neg degrading print highlights? If I am correct about this, it reduces the whole argument to hogwash, apart from when clearly unneccessarily damaging fix times are used (not that I have ever experienced this). The apparrent confusion here suggests to me a lack of real experience and evidence of this happening. If it had, it would probably have been described more clearly
c. Acid stop and fix should never be used with staining devs. I beg to differ. There may be reduced stain, but I have personally never seen this to my own eye and I have tried alkali and acid extensively (alkali fix from Barry T). Perhaps the difference is there (subtle) and I would venture that it would be more relevant to alt processes and possibly graded papers.
d. I have always used tap water with wetting agent and it performs it task perfectly well. I never get drying marks, ever (once film is hanging I pour the water with wetting agent it has been soaking in for a few mins down the film). I have done this with water from many houses, but agree that there may be houses with (very hard?) water where it could cause marks more easily.
My gut feeling was that with absolutely no evidene or testing done, the reader is deliberately led in one direction....to buy alkaline products. I may be wrong, but he is the only supplier in the UK is he not?
As a final word, I know Barry Thornton raised some of the same issues, but IMHO in a far less absolute fashion. Additionally he did so in books under his own name, where promotion of his 'way' and his products would be expected. Had Peter Hogan presented evidence to back up his statements of fact (IMHO presented with a slight hint of scaremongering (making people think that acid process is lazy and harmful) I would have raised no objection at all. Not a peep. I also concede that I may be completely and utterly wrong in my asertions. However, in years of printing, including very delicate transluscent Lith highlights (the most susceptible to bleaching in fix of the lot) I have never experienced bleaching from overfixing. I know this as I often produce a pilot print which is fixed fully and then dropped into a tray of water. This tray often has plenty of other drafts in and would be laden with fix. I then at a later point (sometimes hours later) remove it, wash it for a few hours, dry it and assess it. The print will have been sitting it fixer laden solution (not withstanding that already in the emulsion) for ages. When I have returned to print final versions, where adjustments have been made perhaps to snatch point or dodging (and the final prints fixed in 2 bath, rinsed thoroughly immediately in fresh water and straight into a long wash or hypo clear then shorter wash) I have never seen any difference in delicate highlights when exposed the same. I would have expected the relatively slapdash technique with fixing and washing the pilot print to have bleached the prints, but nope....which is why I am slapdash with the pilot!
Anyway, I have no issue with Peter Hogan and am pleased he has continued Barry T's products as well as his own, but think the editirial team could perhaps have ensured that the article was either an advert or perhaps more objective, considering which shop the conclusions point you in hte direction of. A line like...with certain devs and certain films there may be a chance of pinholes...(like Efke pl100...) and one needs to vastly overfix to cause bleaching of the low density areas of teh neg (print shadows!)....How hard could it have been to have exposed 2 rolls of a few popular fims and fixed one for normal time in acid fix and another for long enough to bleach. I would love to have known how long it would have taken to affect the final print. I am sure he could have used a densitometer to show how much harm occurs or shown prints as evidence.
I remember another article by another columnist (michael someone I think) who regularly scoffs at people with exotic film choices and pet formulae.....but later says that to make prints that glow (giving his own absolute list of pet musts) one must avoid nikon lenses! What utter crap.
I have no issue with subjective opinion, as long as it is not masquerading as fact.
The seamy side of living in paradise, Robert...
Originally Posted by roteague
On the other hand, my car thermometer read 1 degree F when I started up the car, this morning...
Living just up the road does help !
Originally Posted by roteague
Cogito, ergo sum.
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I can't seem to find this magazine anywhere. Nor can I seem to find their web site to subscribe. Can anyone help, or is this some sort of conspiracy?
You can easily order a subscription on-line, but it is expensive - 12 Issues with 10% discount Pay £46.50 which is $87 USD or $108 CAD; at current exchange rates.
Originally Posted by BruceN
The address is: http://www.thegmcgroup.com/page--Pho...s--phmags.html
Mine came this morning as well.
The issue also contains an index to 2004's articles. Something that I've been wanting for ages. The front cover without all the text is wonderful for us subscribers but it makes finding an article in a back issue really difficult.
Can we have an index for all the other issues please? Not just 2004! I expect it's a pain producing an index but I'm sure you can find some work experience student or somebody to knock one up By the way I love the new format. Being wider seems to allow reproducing images larger than before with less white space.
We are all entitled to a good rant occasionally Tom, I trust that you feel much better from having had yours. In this case I think the editor took the decision that most of her readership is adult enough to recognize a promotional article when they read one. I would not expect Peter Hogan to write about his products in anything other than a positive light, obviously he believes in what he sells. Judging by his images displayed on his website he’s quite justified in the belief. Check it out at:
Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth
Dave, yes I do feel better, but there was a rational, calm reason for me writing it (and I knew you would respond as you have - no insult intended). However, the association between Peter and his products was not made clear in the article (unless I missed it), so for those unaware of the link (probably the vast majority of the readership) my point still stands. When Kodak have someone doing 'pseudoreviews' talking about why they love TriX or whatever, it is clear that it is an endorsement angled peice of writing. This was not the case with the article to which I refer. This was not a trifling matter such as, 'I love this film cos.....' It was, '[sucking of teeth] dont go on underachieving and harming you images (by using acid processes), use alkali instead. No mention of the fact that he is the sole supplier .....(again, maybe I missed this).
I still think it unreasonable that someone factually states the supposed fatal flaws in the basic film stop + fix process that 99% of photographers (successfully) use without a shred of evidence (and with a serious vested interest) without declaring that interest is not professional. I agree that many photographers' knowledge extends beyond that covered by the article, but many do not (otherwise there would be no point in the article).
I checked out the site long ago and yes they are fine images, but so are those by many other photographers (who use acid processes, such as AA or Les), and fail to see how his production of fine images in any way bolsters his assertions. It is perfectly possible that he produces the goods regardless his practices not neccessarily because of them! Association vs causality - two very different things.