Haris has an interesting point. Young people don't like to work with chemicals. In fact, chemistry is in steep decline in this country right now as a course taught at the college and HS level.
Also, many large Colleges and Universities have ceased teaching conventional photography. Among them is RIT.
Well, I've started by learning to make albumen prints, and I've been following what Ron has been doing and getting myself set up so I can eventually work with gelatin emulsions and maybe try making some silver gelatin plates. For gelatin silver to happen, I think I'll need a more practical space than the dark/bathroom, though I've managed to get pretty far even within its limitations.
I think the thing I can do is to produce work and show it to people so a few of them might ask how they can do it too.
Auto-everything digital is seductive, because the buyers figure that they don't have to know anything to make it all work. "Look, dad! I'm as good as you, and it's only my second shot!"
I seem to have the good fortune to keep bumping into young people (high school age and up a bit) who are fascinated with silver-based photography. I've encouraged them by loaning them books, talking with them, selling one a Ciro-Flex TLR at an affordable price, and giving another one yet another Ciro-Flex I had. Film's only about as dead among the young as it is among the mature. Some it thrills, most it doesn't.
A related question for PE - if you had to make film using off-the-shelf products, ie, cutting strips of plastic and coating them with emulsion... what film sizes are most amenable to home cooking? I'm guessing that sprocket holes on 35mm make it difficult to brew at home, plus the small negative. But what about 120? Could a person save some of thp paper backings from 120 film, and spool their own homemade film onto it instead? Or is easier to put emulsions on the stiffer 4x5? 8x10?
Some people just aren't interested in photography...
Originally Posted by jgjbowen
I remember I started to think photography is interesting when as young boy wached that film in which James Woods acting like war photographer in Salvador or like. There were adventures, political involving, playing "cool", get a girl... So learn what values your children have, and show them how photography can be good in there values. For example if your children like adventure show them about street photography or war photography, or wild life photography and how photography can be adventure too. If they like easy life, then landscape, portraits, still life... Not force anything, just graduately introduce photography in theire interests and life values...
And how they will be proud to make something (photo/print) and will know something theire friends don't know, that is something which will make them unique, special among theire friends...
Doug, you have it right, sheet films and maybe at a stretch 120. Plates are much easier.
Speeds will probably be in the 3 - 50 range.
We discussed this a bit in Ron's NYC workshop, and I think glass plates are the wave of the future. You can get them from a hardware store.
Plastic film base needs to be clear and usually has to be subbed to accept the coating, so it's more complicated.
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
Threads like this cause me to read up once again on the D-200's specs! I keep reminding myself "my Nikkor glass is good, my Nikkor glass is good...."
The other day, in a similar thread PE made a point about people saying, but not doing. Now he starts ANOTHER thread wherein all the same people start saying all the same things about doing what they are very much unlikely to do!
I mean really; cooking up a batch of 120 in your kitchen using the carefully saved paper backs from past rolls? Shooting at speeds of ISO 5?
If we get to that state I think that APUG will have about six members remaining!
I think I'm gonna' be sick....
I think also that the "cool" factor of film is a two-edged sword. Everybody likes the (now) weird gear, the physico-chemical magic, the Barthesian implications of an analogue workflow etc, but few care to do it, they just want to hang around the cool kids. Think of all the other old stuff we find cool but only few people care to do: driving old 50's cars, dancing the swing, smoking the pipe, wearing a bérêt, going to see silent films, burlesque shows, etc.
Originally Posted by haris
I saw an ad for a clothes company once, and it was modeled like a contact sheet of 120 film, as one would expect from a fashion shoot. Edge markings in nice yellow on the black background, sequences, etc. The only difference was that instead of saying "Kodak EPY" or something like that, the "edge markings" gave the name of the brand.
Cool by association, but not by trade, that's the danger.
I think what is more important than looking cool is to underline the uniqueness of the medium. Daguerreotype still exists because there's a reason to use it. I wouldn't want to see silver gelatin go down the same way, but given that it's a product easy enough to use, the entry barrier is lower.
Direct dialogue with the manufacturers is I think a major step that so far only Ilford has done in a solid and stable manner. Why is nobody from Kodak around here (sorry Ron, I just mean someone who is in the house!)? We have some people who supposedly know people in film companies, but we need real people like Simon with real responsibilities. It dispels myths on either side (no PanF+ on sheets, sorry guys!), and it can affect production objectives (120 SFX).
This internet forum is the biggest focus group a film company could ever dream to have. Yes, we talk about stuff that is important to us first, but we are also valuable commercial fodder. Let's make ourselves useful by giving a call to these companies, telling them that it's worth allowing a staff member to surf the forums every once in a while and get involved in the activities.
I think one thing we have to do is to teach how "accessible" these can be.
Paradoxically, photography is always associated with its easiness and technicality at the same time. I do offer beginners classes to introduction to darkroom classes, it would be really hard to find students if we were to cover coating emulsion. Promoting historical processes is already difficult enough to general public.
Though I have to say that people who have taken classes here are getting more familiar with historical processes in general since that is what I do. I show my images in the class casually and also talk about them in the classes. We usually go to galleries and museums in NY to see photography shows to see actual prints. I take all my beginners students to Archive room at Philadephia Museum to show the orignal prints of photographers. So they do get used to seeing them eventually. I want to make sure that they are surrounded by those prints and processes, then they are not so foreign or discouraging.
Once people are comfortable with that level, emulsion coating is one more step ahead of those.
The way we try to promote these processes is the fact that they can manipulate the processes. You can print on different materials to getting different effects. It will bring an element of "craft" to the process and individualize the process. You can change it in any way you like once you understand the process.
So, to me this is a two-step process of getting people used to seeing and hopefully making prints that way.