U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | RE: alt-photo anniversary in 2009

RE: alt-photo anniversary in 2009

RE: "Anniversary":

That's not why I'm writing, but I must mention that Greg Schmitz, whom I'd picked up in the hall at Pratt, or maybe it was the other way around, told me about the list, sent me to Panix, and generally led the way. I was so thrilled by the incredible list info and the personalit(ies) -- then out of Australia courtesy of Steve Avery -- that I downloaded the entire archive (from 1994 to 1997 [Mike Ware, Steve Avery, Carson Graves, Allan Janus, Luis Nadeau, Peter Marshall, Bob Schramm, Bernie Boudreau, Henk Thijs, and "photo Dave" (Dave Soemarko), among others]) and printed it out -- and still have the stack on the shelf at my back as I write.

No, I didn't remember all those names, just picked them up by checking a page or two... And now I measure the stack (regular typing-laser paper, printed one side): As near as I can measure, just shy of 4 inches (10 centimeters).

Among my reactions to the list, most dramatic was that I'd been studying furiously on my own, testing, reading, experimenting, reading, researching, and testing, for several years, and -- given the givens and the time, had learned (I thought) quite a lot-- but I had the feeling that, between the archive and the ongoing discourse, one year on the list doubled that info.

Of course the cast of characters has changed, though some folks seem to weave in and out... the tenor of discourse is a lot like then -- mostly good natured, warm, and collegial, with the occasional, um, dust-up. But there's been a shift in content... now a lot of digital and inkjet. IMO inevitably. I myself am NOT about to give up my digital camera (weighs just 14.4 ounces so I can carry it routinely in my purse, for whatever grabshots come my way -- that being my "esthetic"-- at least at the moment), plus whenever I screw up the exposure, which is, um, always a possibility, OK, just pop it into Photoshop and hocus-pocus it. But... half of that stuff, ie., the digital, is over my head... It multiplies faster than I do. So I suffer ongoing, not exactly "genius envy," say, digital-savvy envy.

And there seems a strong ambivalence about it generally -- like illicit sex: We know that's not why the almighty made the list, but... it's on folks' minds. Which is to say, do we have to outlaw list digital? I don't (think I ever) want a digital print as my final product, well, not always, unless, well, maybe a hybrid -- tho that's not this e-mail -- but knowing the ways and means, possibilities and devices, for negatives, would surely make everything else easier/better. I mean getting a decent negative from gum in lith film was like patting your stomach and rubbing your head while standing on a balloon while walking and chewing gum.

OK, enough... I had a comment on something else, which, on 2nd thought calls for a separate message.