An Actual Photograph; was list minders

From: Photogecko Austin ^lt;>
Date: 03/15/05-09:00:18 PM Z
Message-id: <>

On Mar 15, 2005, at 7:41 AM, Joe Smigiel wrote:

> I . . . [edit] . . . would hate to see this list
> become overwhelmed by discussions of digital capture technologies and
> output devices. As marvelous as digital cameras, scanners, printers
> and
> inkjet prints are, the latter are not true photographic prints formed
> by
> the direct action of light but a rather different beast.

How are they not true photographic prints? How are they not formed by
the direct action of light?

I shoot both digital and film, having been a film purist until June of
last year--but even my film has been edited digitally for seven or so
years. My ethical line is that I don't do anything digitally that I
couldn't do in the darkroom; i.e., I don't create images digitally, I
edit images digitally. (My own personal standards--not imposed on
anyone else, mind you.) And every image is made with a camera (film or

So what are they if not photographs . . . ?

Light strikes film and excites silver ions in certain pleasing

Or, light strikes a photosensitive chip and excites pixels in equally
pleasing arrangements.

The point of the art has nothing to do with technology, no matter how
ancient or advanced. The point of the art is the aesthetic quality of
the final print; be it silver or not. I would much rather have a
numinous print in finger paint than a mundane silver print.

Some of my most exciting (for me, if for nobody else) recent works are
nudes captured on 4x5 Polaroid 55p/n through a modified zone plate
camera. I break all the rules with the resulting negatives and get
really nice effects (Okay. . . . I like them). Weeks later, after
they've been totally abused, I scan the negatives, edit them a bit, and
print them digitally--either as direct prints or as digital negatives
for contact prints onto various media, most of which are often
discussed in this group.

Are these not true photographic prints?

> There are
> other more appropriate forums for digital discourse related to capture
> and output IMO.

No doubt-- but are they about True Photographic Prints? Or alternative
process photography, for that matter?

> Currently, when it comes to digital technologies, the list has confined
> itself largely to discussions of how to make a digital negative to be
> utilized in making an alternative process photographic print.

Ironic, being that the forum itself is entirely digital-- and open to a
vast horizon of alternative possibilities, digital and analog. And, I
think, beyond such a limited scope.

> I think
> that is as it should be since the final outcome from that process and
> light attenuator is an actual photograph.

Hmmmm. . . ?

So what exactly IS an actual photograph. . . ?

Seriously-- Thanks, Joe, for your perspective. I hope you don't feel
attacked by this. Your ideas helped me define my own ways of thinking.
  I am grateful.

[As for the rest of the nonsense that's dominated this group of late--
GET OVER IT! What a waste of energy all this bickering has been. I'm
not checking out, but I'm very disappointed in the whole enterprise.]

With regards to ALL,

John Campbell
Photogecko Studios & Gallery
1413 S. 1st Street
Austin, TX 78704
Received on Tue Mar 15 21:00:47 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : 04/08/05-09:31:01 AM Z CST