U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: 3 questions (one of them dumb)

Re: 3 questions (one of them dumb)

Hi Ryuji,

Yes-- I get what you mean by using the term "alternative," but-- like it or not-- that is what these exhibits are called: "alternative process exhibits." I also agree (somewhat) about how one goes about making his or her final image- and whether that process really matters- seems to make a difference only to the person doing the work. On the other hand, an image made in cyanotype or platinum sure isn't going to look the same if digitally printed-- so the final print-making choice does also make a difference to how that image is ultimately presented and viewed.

My point, really, is that if a c-print is considered "alternative," why wouldn't just about any photographic print be considered "alternative"-- with the exception, perhaps, of a digital print made from an original digital file. I'm guessing that these particular juried-in c-prints are "alternative," only in that they're not printed digitally, but printed the old-fashioned way-- in the wet darkroom. Now that the equivalent of the old-fashioned fiber-base papers are made for use in digital printing, it seems silly not to simply include "digital c-prints" in these shows, if one is truly considering a c-print to be "alternative." Are those c-prints "alternative," only because the person went to slightly more trouble in the printing stage? I've made "digital c-prints" of images that I've also made the old-fashioned way, and holding these prints side- by-side, I sure can't tell the difference. Stick it under glass, and I'd challenge anybody to tell me which is which. That's not the case with a platinum print or a gum print or a cyanotype. On the other hand, maybe I've been misinformed about what a c-print is all these years. ??

Anyway, thinking along those lines, maybe these shows should simply be called "photography exhibits," or just a juried "print" show.

On Nov 17, 2008, at 1:16 AM, Ryuji Suzuki wrote:

From: Diana Bloomfield <dhbloomfield@bellsouth.net>
Subject: Re: 3 questions (one of them dumb)
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2008 00:16:07 -0500

Although the print was wonderful, I was very surprised to
see that a c-print was considered "alternative."
I think that the notion that the means of registering or
forming an image can make any meaningful difference in the
value of the work as the final product already belongs to a
minority in photography.

In terms of "alternative" I tend to avoid that term because
its use is subject to rather subjective judgment of the author.

Ryuji Suzuki
"People seldom do what they believe in.  They do what is convenient,
then repent." (Bob Dylan, Brownsville Girl, 1986)