Re: An Actual Photograph; was list minders

From: SteveS ^lt;>
Date: 03/16/05-12:18:29 AM Z
Message-id: <001a01c529ef$fa3bc1f0$4802280a@VALUED65BAD02C>

I believe the intent of this list was to discuss photographic techniques using 'alternative to pre-packaged, factory made, industrially provided crafts materials.' The digital world expands that 'alternative' art-craft of photography.

What's interesting, is they all use the 'digits' and computer aided photography is in fact 'electronic photography.'

Logically it follows: Digital photography is an alternative to . . . sic. 'real photography.'

Not Jewela,

Steve Shapiro, Carmel, CA
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Photogecko Austin
  Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2005 7:00 PM
  Subject: An Actual Photograph; was list minders

  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 digital).

  So what are they if not photographs . . . ?

  Light strikes film and excites silver ions in certain pleasing arrangements.

  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 Wed Mar 16 00:18:44 2005

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