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Author Topic: Is it the New Art?  (Read 6006 times)

Rob C

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Is it the New Art?
« on: September 06, 2016, 02:51:53 PM »

GrahamBy

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Re: Is it the New Art?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2016, 04:26:41 PM »

The very latest trend seems to be shooting a red-haired model on MF using a 10 year old expired neg film, home processed in C41 with a green-cyan cast. I've seen it from at least 4 photographers in the last week. Extra points if she has freckles, and if you shoot from very close. Forest setting optional.
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JNB_Rare

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Re: Is it the New Art?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2016, 08:59:04 AM »

My first real camera was a gift from my parents in 1970 – an Argus Cosina knockoff of a Pentax SLR. Try as I might, it just wouldn't produce any art, and I wondered why. At the local photographic gallery, the artists were all filing out their negative carriers so that their prints proved that they never cropped an image. I was reluctant to go to such lengths for art's sake. Besides, I'd already decided that it was hip to be square. I traded in my Argus on a really beat up Hasselblad. But, in the back of my head, I knew real art was produced with a loupe on a ground glass under a dark cloth. Roll film was for those with no real commitment. The beat up hassy was eventually traded for a scruffy 4 x 5 Linhoff Technika. Unfortunately, I couldn't afford (nor did I have the space for) a 4 x 5 enlarger, and no one was interested in my contact prints. Sigh.

I remember reading about the massive 20 x 24" Polaroid camera, and thinking "Man, I could produce some real ART with that baby."

Probably not.

John.
JBurnett.ca

GrahamBy

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Re: Is it the New Art?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2016, 09:43:27 AM »

Weston of course was overjoyed to trade down to 4x5, because he could then refuse to retouch the negs :-)
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Rob C

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Re: Is it the New Art?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2016, 02:31:44 PM »

Weston of course was overjoyed to trade down to 4x5, because he could then refuse to retouch the negs :-)

Anybody here - anybody else living, for that matter - remember using glass plates? I do. Much sharper images because they didn't buckle... I think they were Ilford R10.

;-)

Rob C

Mousecop

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Re: Is it the New Art?
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2016, 02:50:58 PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yU7ugil5oEM
Erm... no, film is not a "New Art." It is the tired old medium.

Anyone who wants to work with film, go knock yourself out. But spare me the rationalizations of your retro obsessions.

I for one do not miss the chemicals, the delays, the discomfort of working in a darkroom, the environmental nightmare, the limited options, the cost.

The only thing I miss is the form factor of the good ol' Hasselblad.
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Mike D. B.

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Re: Is it the New Art?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2016, 01:01:26 AM »

... the cost.
I'm surprised when people mention cost.  In analog times I bought bulk film and loaded my cartridges to minimize costl.  I bought my enlarger plus lenses once.

Today I have running cost of software (LR & Photoshop CC).  Sure, there's free software but I prefer LR (workflow and quality).  Printing isn't free today - paper and (especially) ink cost money.  When I upgrade to a newer camera body, the raw file size increases and it isn't long afterwards that I need to upgrade my computer.  Backup hard drives cost money.  I'll bet I spend more today on my photography than 30 years ago.

I simply can't understand references to the high cost of analog photography.  The comparison may hold true only when someone keeps their images on a hard disk.  Apples & oranges.  I still create albums and print.  Far nicer to share memories thumbing through a tactile medium than on a phone or pad.

Maybe it's a generation thing.

GrahamBy

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Re: Is it the New Art?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2016, 03:40:49 AM »

I just bought a 2TB hdd for 73€. That would hold about 20,000 50MP image files. Double it for a RAID array and you're looking at 0.73c (that is 3/4 of a cent) per image. That's cheaper than a sheet of neg file, even without a box to put it in... and I have the ability to purge the duplicates and technical failures.

I don't notice a sheet of inkjet paper being more expensive than a sheet of the same size BW Ilford... and quite a bit less than colour paper.

The only thing that is more expensive is a 35mm DSLR compared to a film SLR, but then since it gives you the quality of MF.... hmm.
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Rob C

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Re: Is it the New Art?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2016, 05:24:53 AM »

Erm... no, film is not a "New Art." It is the tired old medium.

Anyone who wants to work with film, go knock yourself out. But spare me the rationalizations of your retro obsessions.

I for one do not miss the chemicals, the delays, the discomfort of working in a darkroom, the environmental nightmare, the limited options, the cost.

The only thing I miss is the form factor of the good ol' Hasselblad.


On that we do agree!

;-)

Rob C

Otto Phocus

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Re: Is it the New Art?
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2016, 06:20:27 AM »



I simply can't understand references to the high cost of analog photography.  The comparison may hold true only when someone keeps their images on a hard disk.  Apples & oranges.  I still create albums and print.  Far nicer to share memories thumbing through a tactile medium than on a phone or pad.

Maybe it's a generation thing.

Perhaps because you are including optional costs to digital.  You choose to use expensive software (either purchased or rented) and you choose to print.  Neither of which is necessary to have a usable image.

With film, if I choose not to develop the negative, I did not have a usable image. I needed the necessary chemicals and the equipment to even make an image. This is, of course, not including the costs of printing.

Also consider that when people are commenting on the costs of film photography, they are not necessarily limiting themselves to only financial costs. There are other costs to consider.

But then, no one has even claimed that digital photography was cost free, it's not.  But, speaking only for myself, my costs have gone down when I moved from film to digital.  I don't think I am unique in that.

That is not to say that someone could not make their digital photography process actually cost more than film, but that would probably be their choice.
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Mike D. B.

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Re: Is it the New Art?
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2016, 06:42:46 AM »

Perhaps because you are including optional costs to digital. ...
I'm comparing my photography today with mine in analog times.  I printed then, I print today.  I'm not comparing output quality or quantity.  I'm delighted to being processing my images in a light room.

wmchauncey

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Re: Is it the New Art?
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2016, 08:38:27 AM »

Can anyone legitimately claim that yesterday's film IQ surpasses today's digital output.
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JNB_Rare

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Re: Is it the New Art?
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2016, 09:00:27 AM »

Aside from the nostalgia factor for some older photographers, I have to think that some of the motivation to return to film is "differentiation" (i.e. not like the billions of others who are using digital imaging). One would be further differentiated by using an even older photographic process, perhaps. There are instructions on the Internet for making tintypes and albumen prints and the like. In the art (fine-art photography) world, being different is one way to attract attention, or to suggest added value. But being different doesn't automatically mean better. A selenium-toned, wet darkroom, fibre print of a teenager displaying her tongue piercing is no more art than the same "selfie" taken with a cell phone and posted on facebook.

Some of the other reasons cited for the return to film really have nothing to do with film: "It slows me down. I have to be more disciplined." Hmmm. Use a hand-held light meter (or, at the very least, manual mode). Use manual focus. Use primes (or take only a single prime). Use a tripod. THINK about what you are doing. [Alternatively, get older. I'm slower and have to be more disciplined than I ever did. Did I charge that extra battery or not? Where are my SD cards? Have I got my meds/water bottle/sunscreen/hat? Where are my glasses? I'd better use the toilet one last time before we leave.  :-\ ]

I gave a short presentation called "inspiration and influence" to my local camera club. It was nothing fancy or academic in any sense. Just a few images from photographers I've admired, or whose work has had an influence on me (Edward Weston, Wynn Bullock, W. Eugene Smith, Arnold Newman, etc. etc. etc.). I talked a bit about what I've learned from looking at their work. Funny thing. Although almost all of the photographers I chose are pre-digital, I've never concluded that I need to return to film.

I'm going to do another inspiration and influence talk this year, focusing on contemporary photographers. And I won't be talking about camera brands, or sensor sizes, or post-processing.


Rob C

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Re: Is it the New Art?
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2016, 09:03:18 AM »

Can anyone legitimately claim that yesterday's film IQ surpasses today's digital output.


In 'look'' I would step up and posit that claim insofar as black/white goes.

That digital processing can micro-manage a square centimetre concerns me not at all. My concern is about the overall look of a finished print, assumimg both from competent technicians. Colour is a different matter, but for me, colour is hardly relevant anymore as I tend to see less and less of it that turns on my valves. Of course, you have to consider my zones of interest for this to make sense to anyone other than myself.

I say all of this from the background of being a professional photographer and printer in both colour and b/white for many years.

I have no interest in convincng anyone else; I preach no faith and will not debate the point, happy to allow everybody their own opinion based on whatever experience they have.

;-)

Rob C

Rob C

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Re: Is it the New Art?
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2016, 02:24:11 PM »

But, Rob, what are you using as a comparison? Ten+ year old printer technology and rag papers?


Partly, but more than anything else, I'm actually thinking about the look of digital capture. That hits my eyes before anything hits paper. It's there, right on the monitor. At least, it seems to be with my own original stuff, and in the end, it's all I really give a damn about. Currently, I don't even print. I suppose I might be missing great things... who's going to buy, buy and buy in an endless chase? Not I.

In a recently posted video of Peter Lindbergh I see a beauty in some old images that is perhaps more pleasing to me than some of his later, super duper electronic stuff, though he does seem to keep his original look quite well. And on the other hand, Hans Feurer has managed to do the opposite: make his digital colour look like Kodachrome! Both guys are as state-of-the art as photographers can be - top guns both. As a side note, I see that both have been using Canon of late, which as they were both long-term users of Nikon, is saying something or other - product placement even? As they are totally out of my world I can't ask 'em.

Rob
« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 03:19:21 PM by Rob C »
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GrahamBy

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Re: Is it the New Art?
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2016, 04:02:35 AM »

Printing, even if just to look at for a day or two before throwing it in a box, is a joy for me. I wouldn't get all moral about completing the photographic process and so on, but seeing it on paper is a different experience. And handing someone a print as a little present is a good thing too :-)
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Rob C

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Re: Is it the New Art?
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2016, 08:59:57 AM »

Printing, even if just to look at for a day or two before throwing it in a box, is a joy for me. I wouldn't get all moral about completing the photographic process and so on, but seeing it on paper is a different experience. And handing someone a print as a little present is a good thing too :-)


Ay Graham, I have several A3+ boxes full of what I thought delightful prints off the HP B 9180. All on Hahnemeuhle, Photo Rag Bright White (pace Keith!) and predominantly in black and white. Each resides within the appropriate Silverprint Polyester Archival Print Sleeve and cost me a small fortune to create.

Seen within said sleeve, the quality is pretty damned close to what I'd expect from a straight glossy print made via my darkrooms of yore, were I then printing in the more sombre tonality that I now like... On the fond assumption, borne out in practice, that behind glass the prints would satisfy me, I was surprisingly happy with the status quo. Then HP abandoned the format.

But, outwith the sleeves, the prints look decidedly dull. I did try using HP's glossy paper, but the inks, the inks: gold plate had nothing on it.

I only used matt papers in the wet days out of curiosity and abandoned them almost right away: they couldn't look a real, full-toned glossy (actually glazed, not air-dried) in the face.

So yes, despite now no longer printing, I do have a bit of a clue how to do it, just choose not to if it means a constant 'upgrade' of technology (at my expense) every three years or thereabouts. As with all things temporal, were there actually real money to be found at the end of the trials and tribulations rainbow, then I'd gladly invest. I have just realised that those pictures have not escaped their cardboard tombs since, several years ago, my granddaughters wanted to see what I used to do when I was alive. Today, as of this writing, the boxes were moved sideways so that I could see how to spell Hahnemeuhle - which always escapes me if it's to be a memory-dependent trick. That little movement may give them false hope, aka my revenge.

;-)

Rob

P.S.

Bullshit: I just realised that no, the pictures reside inside the cardboard boxes in which the Hahne was shipped! Sleeved, they no longer fit. No wonder I gather so much junk.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2016, 10:33:39 AM by Rob C »
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GrahamBy

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Re: Is it the New Art?
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2016, 09:31:29 AM »

The B&W I get out of the canon pro-100 on pleb-grade lumière RC Brillant (I think it's the same as the 310gsm Ilford... less OB than the 270gsm) looks like RC gloss Ilford multigrade to me. I never got into glazing FB papers. It's what swung me back to doing >90% BW: my previous printer (CcMmYK) was pretty useless on B&W, having the extra greys made a huge difference.

I put my favourites in poly?? sleeves in A3+ albums and the sleeve, although very clear, tends to kill a little shadow detail because of reflection. Bit like putting them behind glass.
Ink runs a little less than 2€/A3+, same as the paper.

Anyway, just my experience.
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chez

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Re: Is it the New Art?
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2016, 10:05:23 AM »

Can anyone legitimately claim that yesterday's film IQ surpasses today's digital output.

How do you measure IQ. I find my b&w images from medium format film gives me 'better' results than my manipulated colour digital images.
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Rob C

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Re: Is it the New Art?
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2016, 04:16:37 PM »

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