U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Users of digital negatives

Re: Users of digital negatives

Thanks Judy - er Cassandra.

I too see the writing on the wall for darkroom processing of large sheets.
But - and perhaps it is due to what I learned and when I learned it (late
1970s) - there is/was always the possibility of serendipitous discovery in
the darkroom. Inevitably something would happen and other 'solutions' would
appear - or disappear - quite by accident in the developer. As you know, one
approach for gum, for example, is to make negs of three different densities
under the enlarger. Diluted paper developer 'going off' or oxidising also
produces unexpected negatives and prints (well it did for me).

I guess you can make digital negatives of different densities with both Mark
and Dan's systems -but (without having ever asked either of them this
question, because I just thought of it now) I suspect that their ingenious
methods for really fine negative making aren't constructed with this more
random approach in mind. I am sure that a range of other, quite different
additional outcomes are also possible with PDN curves, for example. But I
need to think about that some more.

I haven't had the good fortune to see any of Keith Taylor's actual prints
for Cy de Cosse - only on the net. But you make a good point about whether
the alternative processes community will suddenly exponentially increase
because of the undoubted relative ease and vastly improved accuracy of
producing digital negatives - and, now too, with so many different means for
doing this. I don't know how we can asses that apart from an increase of
membership of this fine list!

I'm sure that digital learning has caused me brain damage - no doubt of it
at all. This paper may be one outcome of that! Moreover I calculate that I
have lost at least 2 years of my life learning digital things - and still
everyone else always seems to know far more than I will ever know...

Thanks again
cheers Catherine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Judy Seigel" <jseigel@panix.com>
> And in my admittedly imperfect and incomplete experience, digital is more
> controllable and versatile than those large sheets of wet blubber. True,
> the digital learning curve causes brain damage, and some of us must deal
> with enemy computers, but nothing is perfect.
> I think by the way I mentioned a couple of months ago that I'd
> seen a show at John Stevenson Gallery that consisted of large digital
> prints -- rich, vivid and nearly abstract, Joel Grey's photos printed at
> Laumont Labs in NYC.  There will be more like that. At the same time, the
> young man in charge kindly showed me the exquisite gum prints made by
> Keith Taylor for Cy de Cosse -- in a way the two opposite poles of photo
> printing facing each other. But, even discounting the fact that these were
> a special process, ie, gum printing, not "regular" photography either, I
> don't think there will be many more like that -- too arduous.
> people learn to do that to keep the factories going?
> I remember well the moment (probably Photoshop 3) when it dawned on me
> that you could take a small piece of an image and darken the darks (for
> instance) with one tool and and brighten or clear the lights in the same
> small area with another, or the other way around. Which is to say you
> don't have to be Ansel Adams to get that control.
> Judy