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Does a hybrid process enhance a traditional's artistic creativity?

  1. gr82bart
    That is beyond the extra tools and techniques it offers.

    I find that it's 'freed' my creativity. Released it from the stifling limitations that orthodox traditional boxed me into. I think it's because of the hybrid process that I shoot MORE film now. I find myself thinking not just about the image I am taking, but how the image will be part of a larger final product that may include elements of digital incorporated into it.

    Now, I don't always follow through. In fact more often than not, I find there is too much latitude in where I can go with the final product. Like that cliche "a kid in the candy store" I want it all and leave the store sometimes with nothing!

    Before I was a WYSIWYG kind of photographer. Today, sometimes I don't even know what the final product will hold.

    Regards, Art.
  2. Ian Leake
    Ian Leake
    I find the opposite Art. I've found that the self imposed constraints of equipment, format/size, print medium, etc have enabled me to go much deeper, much faster. I used to constantly dabble and experiment with new things - a new paper or a new toner, maybe lith, enlarging one day and contact printing the next. As a result I confused myself, mastered nothing, and was creatively boring. As soon as I decided to constrain myself I started making real progress. That says much more about how my mind works than about technology or process of course.

    What I do find incredibly attractive about hybrid is that when I need to I can make a digital negative for contact printing. I've no plans to stop using film - using a view camera is completely different from using a smaller format, and I very much prefer film negatives to digital ones. But sometimes LF is not the answer. I did a project with a dancer recently - lots of spinning and jumping - almost impossible to work productively with 10x8 (though if we'd had infinite time and money we could have worked this way - as witnessed by some of the prints I posted in APUG a while back). But by using digital capture we built two really good portfolios over a few shoots, and now I'm slowly working through creating decent digital negatives so they can be printed. And when I'm travelling it's much easier to carry a rangefinder and a few rolls of Delta 3200 - develop, scan, print a digital negative, make a platinum print - perfect. I really like the grain from Delta 3200 in Rodinal printed with platinum - yummy!

    So for me it's not a creativity enhancer, it's just another tool in the toolbox. But as Thomas said in another thread, "To each their own, I suppose."
  3. Jeremy
    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Leake View Post
    But as Thomas said in another thread, "To each their own, I suppose."
    I think this is going to be the deciding factor in this thread. I see those who use hybrid saying "Yes" and those who don't say "No."

    Honesty, if you are using hybrid there has to be a reason you are doing so, whether it be more options, such as Ian's use of a digital for a subject difficult to do with an 8x10, or something else. Additionally, if you aren't using hybrid then I don't imagine that you feel you are limited by "only" using traditional materials.
  4. Ann M
    Ann M
    Yes, Art, like you I have found hybrid processes very liberating.

    I've done some cyanotypes and gum bichromates but I also do some printmaking (i.e using inks!). The processes I use are all photography-based (mostly photo-etching and photolithography). I find that using the different processes and seeing the work of others makes me look at my subjects differently. Now I feel I am more aware of the potential of images and I am more inclined to experiment, perhaps using different processes together.

    This may be 'artistic' development rather than strictly photographic. It will be interesting to see how it affects my 'straight' photography.

    All of my work is based on my regular photography - flowers and plants shot on Fuji Velvia and then scanned for web or digital printing. Maybe this helps lend some cohesiveness and makes me less confused. (But I wouldn't bet on it...)

    I can, however, see Ian's point about going deeper faster, guess it depends on your individual approach. I reckon it'll take a lot longer for me to produce a decent print!

    (FWIW, using cyanotype, I will be able to contact-print 5x4, giving me a chance to make truly analogue prints without having a darkroom. )
  5. df cardwell
    df cardwell
    Photography, by its nature, is 'hybrid':
    papermaking, optics, carpentry, chemistry,
    and, most importantly, knowledge of the subject ......
    THIS was in 1836 !

    Henry Fox Talbot opened the door for us,
    and rule-makers have tried to close the door ever since !

    Album di Disegni Fotogenici: The "Bertoloni Album"
    William Henry Fox Talbot (British, 1800–1877)
    Album of 36 photogenic drawings
    Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1936 (36.37)

    The PROTOTYPE establishes the benchmark,
    and defines the nature of our craft. THIS is what photography is,
    not some semi-rational set of restrictions and dogma.

  6. nsurit
    Art, like any other tool, once there is some understanding of how the tool can be used, one's boundries are expanded. It also expands the realm of what is possible if one is on a journey of discovery. I don't drink orange juice with every meal and sometimes I do. Bill Barber
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