Re: The Center for Photographic History and Technology

From: Ryuji Suzuki ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 07/28/05-10:47:46 PM Z
Message-id: <>

From: Richard Sullivan <>
Subject: Re: The Center for Photographic History and Technology
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2005 13:51:23 -0600

> And yes we have more ideas than people to implement at the
> moment. Luckily much can be done by remote people and people here
> are certainly remote.<grin> As is usually the case, we did not have
> all the ground work in place by APIS time so we were not as prepared
> as we should have been for the big announcement.

If you feel like answering one more question, how could the presence
of the Center help individual photographers and scholars from distant
parts of the world (or the U.S.) to get grants and get actual work

> YIKES! I find it hard to believe that anyone is doing big time
> research into wet photo chemistry!

There is nothing surprising. Fujifilm is apparently still making money
from chemical photography. (Wet processed photo is a subset of
chemical photography. There are thermally developed photography and
instant photography.) Most inexpensive and high quality color prints
made from digital imaging today use silver gelatin paper exposed by
scanning laser and processed by the wet method. New patents are still
granted in past few years for emulsions and processing systems used in
this area. Fuji is one of the biggest suppliers of the paper,
chemicals and machines, so they'll make money when Mario Rossi buys a
digital camera today. Fuji also released a portable battery operated
color printer that connects to cell phone cameras by infrared
beam. They specially developed a negative type instant paper which is
exposed by LED beam in the printer, and the printer spits out the
exposed material, which develops the image in 20 seconds. This is a
newly designed emulsion because most instant photographic materials
are of the positive type, but that printer actually uses negative
emulsion and exposes digitally reversed negative image.

Last year, Tadaaki Tani, one of the high ranks of the Imaging
Materials Research Lab of Fuji Photo Film, said in front of press,
photographers, camera manufacturers, and a lot of people that "We are
not going to stop making silver halide films. The number of
researchers decreased, but we are still researching in huge
groups. Films are superior to CCD's in terms of sensitivity and
dynamic range. We further pursue advantages (of the silver imaging) in
these directions." Tani is one of the best known researchers in
emulsion chemistry since 1970s with numerous publications, patents and
a book, and he recently published a very nice tutorial paper on the
state of silver imaging technology and future perspectives (Tani,
T. 2004. Nanoparticles and nanotechnology in silver halide imaging,
J. Dispersion Sci. Tech., 25, 375--388.). Fuji's R&D division
publishes annual reports (titles and abstracts are in English, the
rest in Japanese) and you can see they are alive.

> I sense a real openness for the advanced folks to help newbies. It
> also allows room for growth in the organization. I remember the
> photo mags in the 50's ,60's, and 70's always being filled with
> articles on how to pick your first camera, or how to make an
> enlarged print. Rarely was there anything of value for the advanced
> worker. Eventually the only thing of value was the new camera
> reviews. If we target the beginner we lose the advanced workers,
> lose them and there is no top end to grow to or people to help the
> beginners.

I see better stuff in magazines like PSA J from 1940s and 1950s. But I
agree with the rest of what you said. I rarely pick up photography
magazines but instead I subscribe graphic design magazines.

I would love to see the Center running a translation project to revive
some of the excellent and classic German literature and bring them to
English readers. I know at least two great books that "must" be
translated. One is a very comprehensive account of photographic
chemistry industry in 1920s (with more than dozen pages on how
Autochrome was made!), and another is one of the best photographic
history book. There are numerous other books (in English) for which
someone has to get the rights from their publishers and bring them to
public domain or at least republish (like Dover does). (But at the
same time a lot of old stuff are plain obsolete stuff of little
current value in my opinion.)
Received on Thu Jul 28 22:48:12 2005

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